Bitter News, Week of July 4th, 2011

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Here are your headlines from the Bitter Newsroom, where we don’t leave our $100m ATM receipts lying around:

The Supreme Court cut through the crap and stated, unequivocally, that video games are art and subject to full First Amendment protection. We in the Newsroom applaud this decision for a number of reasons: Now a violent action game like Doom can enjoy the same protection as its novelization and film. We appreciate the Court’s comparison of video games interactivity to those found in choose-your-own-adventure books. Some of us remember being teenagers in the early 1990s, when games like Mortal Kombat were supposed to turn us all into sociopaths. Well, after an entire generation of boys (and some girls) ripped off countless heads and shot the bejesus out of various enemies, we’re taking our places as productive members of society.

W.S.C. Smackdown: The Wisconsin Supreme Court got physical during a heated argument in chambers last month, as Justice David T. Prosser allegedly grabbed Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck (!). While it dismays us to hear about the Honorable Justices of the Badger State applying choke holds to each other, we admit that it opens up intriguing questions about who would prevail in a nine justice Battle Royal of our nation’s highest court. While it seems natural to see Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a ninth degree black belt, our money is on none other than the Chief Justice John Roberts. His confident look and sturdy frame strike us as being the Ryu to Justice Antonin Scalia’s E. Honda.

Welcome to the Connetherlands! The great state of Connecticut, best known as the former home of the Hartford Whalers, opted to partially decriminalize marijuana possession. Now adults over 21 who are caught with less than half an ounce will receive the equivalent of a traffic ticket and a fine of $150. Those under 21 will be subject to a drivers license suspension, and those younger than 18 will be reported to juvenile authorities. As most of the enforcement issues surround driving, it appears that people who partake at home may be able to avoid the hassle. There was some more to this, but I honestly can’t rememb—ooo, are those Cheetos?

The fun didn’t stop at Connecticut! This July a whole raft of new state laws took effect throughout the country. Virginia opted to pull a page out of the Chicago political playbook and allow dead people to vote: if you send in an absentee ballot but die before Election Day, your vote still will be counted. No word on what happens if you become a felon after you send in your ballot.

A brief commentary on the Casey Anthony trial: White girl? Check. Is she in peril, missing or dead? Check. Is cable news paying it way too much attention? Check. Three for three, we have a prime candidate for MWWS (missing white woman syndrome).

It’s pool season and nothing confirms our deepest fears about public pools than this item: a dead body went undetected for days while swimmers continued to use the pool. Okay, off hand we’re not entirely sure what the Massachusetts health or criminal codes say about this, but the plaintiff’s sense in all of us tingles for something to sue about. Exactly how “cloudy” must pool water be for people to not notice a body? If you know the answer, we are not swimming at your house.

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