But for whatever reason, it was all kinds of headline-making weird this week:
- West Virginia continues to lead the nation in the “Near-Future Dystopian Science Fiction is Here” category. A few weeks ago we had a toxic chemical spill from a company named Freedom Industries; now it’s a coal ash slurry spill from Patriot Coal. You can’t make this shit up. Or you can, but they’ll call you a tired hack recycling the same old Orwellian tropes.
- Remember Rand Paul’s little plagiarism problem a while back? It’s starting to look like something bordering on the pathological, since he and his totally-no-homo-bro buddy Ken Cuccinelli just filed a complaint in their high-profile lawsuit against the NSA — in their names — that’s lifted almost word-for-word from an earlier draft produced by lawyer Bruce Fein, whose name does not appear on the complaint. The whole lot of ‘em have apparently been tearing each other apart behind the scenes in e-mails, which are now in The Washington Post and therefore not behind the scenes at all. Godspeed, Senator!
- And also in the Bluegrass State, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just got called out by The Louisville Courier-Journal for mocking President Obama’s support of biofuel research (in a speech on the Senate floor, no less), while he was soliciting federal grants for biofuel research funding in his home state. Oh, and taking campaign checks from the company whose grant applications he was endorsing. Because algae-derived fuel is “a pipe dream,” as the Senator said, unless of course that pipe is pumping money. To private companies. Who then write checks to Mitch McConnell. That kind of pipe’s okay.
So the week in short: Appalachia is the new dystopia. Come for the sinkholes; stay for the corruption!