I Know These People

Continuing in my quest to read more in 2011, I finished another book tonight, partially due to the inclement weather about which I said “I ain’t goin’ back out.”

This time it wasn’t British History, but Southern fiction. See, I figure if I want to be a southern author, I need to read southern authors. So I picked up Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven: A Novel (Ballantine Reader’s Circle) by Fannie Flagg. It was southern, charming and a book which had me on just about every page saying “I know these people.”

The story centers around one Elner Shimfissle, a lady of undetermined age because her deceased sister had buried the family Bible to keep her own age a secret. Elner’s innocent desire to pick some figs to make jam set off a chain of events in this small Missouri town. It’s one of those towns where the women know the appropriate response to the news of a death in town is to bake a casserole. It’s just how things are done.

I fell in love with the book on Page 13 when I read this paragraph:

She also had an earthquake kit in the garage, where she kept bottled water, matches, six cans of Del Monte chili, a small supply of her hormones, thyroid medicine, aspirin, a jar of Merle Norman cold cream, and fingernail polish remover and an extra pair of earrings. Although it was not very likely that an earthquake would hit Elmwood Springs, Missouri, she felt it was better to be safe than sorry.

Like I said, I know these people.

The book is a comedy and a mystery and you’re right to suspect all the way through that there’s just something you don’t know…yet.

Senator Janet Howell and the Abuse of Power

State Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) is the Chair of the Senate Privileges and Elections committee. It seems she been taking extra privileges.

Senator Steve Martin (R-Chesterfield) explains over at the Virginia Gentleman:

The Privilege & Elections chair chose not to place these 6-7 resolutions on the docket, as is her right. Senator Obenshain made a motion to add these bills to the docket, as is his right. It is always in order for a member to make such a request. The committee can, if it chooses, reject the motion. However, the chair ruled the motion out of order. When asked what rule, parliamentary guidance or other legal basis she used in her judgment, she said “because that’s how I ruled.”

This video shows how it all transpired:

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Colgan (D-Prince William) agrees with the Republicans.

Colgan, the most senior member of the senate, rose to his feet to talk about abuses of power employed by majority when he first joined the senate 36 years ago–bills that were assigned to fake subcommittees that never met; budgets crafted by a few members meeting at a hunting lodge; other items considered in executive sessions where the public and even many senators were not allowed to attend. [The Washington Post]

All 40 State Senate seats are up for reeelection this November. It’s time to rule Janet Howell “out of office.”

See also:

Bearing Drift: Obenshain, Martin & Colgan Protest Howell’s Disregard of Senate Rules

Crystal Clear Conservative: Senate Democrats: Who Needs Rules???

Shaun Kenney is keeping a roundup of posts.