What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Intersection Panhandlers. I’ve seen the five of you working the same intersection for 14 months… but only when the weather is agreeable. I’ve seen you getting bottles of water, soda, and bags of chips out of the truck that cost more than mine did on more than one occasion. I’ve even watched you swap signs, thinking that maybe you’d have better luck as a homeless vet than an unemployed single father. While I appreciate your ability to find a niche and milk it for all its worth, the next time you’re tempted to step off the curb in front of me just as the light’s turning green, try to keep in mind that while your family might appreciate the insurance settlement, you’ll be too flat and squishy to enjoy it.

2. Congressman Todd Akin. You, sir, are an asshat. Your lack of knowledge of basic health science and general lack of tact are inconsistent with your elected position in government. There are plenty of ways to espouse wackadoodle positions without sounding like a giant douche on national television. It’s probably best if you STFU and start making plans for your new career as a former Member of Congress, unless, of course, the fine people of the State of Missouri go ahead and elect you anyway… in which case they’ll get exactly the kind of senator they deserve.

3. The Prince’s New Clothes. Harry went to Vegas, got naked, and was dumb enough to let it get captured on “film.” I get that he’s a HRH and all, but can anyone that’s ever spent a weekend in Vegas say that they’d want some of the less noble moments of their trip preserved for posterity and flashed around the globe as an alleged bit of news. Like so many pop culture “scandles,” maybe I just miss the so what of it all. The guy’s in Vegas, he’s having a good time, no one got hurt, and I say God bless… but I don’t really need to see the pictures.

Executive powers…

Some sections of the Constitution are vaguely worded and difficult to understand. Others are written in pretty plain English and can be plainly understood even without a helpful ruling from the Supreme Court. Now bear in mind that I’m generally a proponent of broadly interpreted executive powers. I like my presidencies Imperial. But what we have here is just an example of an executive branch agency, namely the TSA, being stupid for no apparent reason.

As much as I think Senator Paul and his dad are a little and a lot on the kooky side, respectively, they’re still members of the United States Congress, which means that “in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace” they are “privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same,” at least according to Article 1, Section 6.

Whether TSA’s handling of this incident constitutes arrest, detainment, denial of service, or some other turn of phrase is certainly open for debate, but regardless of the phrase we decide to use, it ultimately means that the senator was, at least briefly, barred from returning to Washington. In doing this, I can have no opinion other than the TSA violated the intent, if not the letter, of the Constitution. Maybe it was an honest mistake and maybe it wasn’t, but there are broader issues that need to be addressed. The rights of a Member of Congress to free and unobstructed travel in the conduct of their duties as elected representatives of the people are specifically identified in our foundational document. If those rights can be so easily thwarted, what hope is there for the general public to be free from this kind of treatment?

Surely we can come up with a better method of maintaining public safety in the air than relying on federal employees touching our junk.