Tuesday was a great day for Maryland! The Walt Disney Company announced it would trash Prince George's County, and Gov. Martin O'Malley signed laws against driving fast near children and/or taking nudie pics of them with telephones. Hooray!
Let's focus on O'Malley's two very controversial laws.
First, the one "to permit speed cameras and $40 fines for people caught driving at least 12 mph above the speed limit" in highway work zones and within a half-mile of all schools. This was all over the news leading up to its passage in the Maryland General Assembly in April because ... a half-mile? From any school? Really?
What ever happened to good, old-fashioned traffic cop work? Oh, right, it didn't haul in enough money to fix the state budget crisis! Well, a petition is circulating to put the issue before voters in a 2010 referendum, the prospect of which is making O'Malley very catty.
Asked whether the issue of traffic cameras should be put to a public vote, Mr. O'Malley responded that he was "agnostic."
"I really don't care one way or the other," he said.
Ooh, tough guy.
As for the the second law, about naked brats swapping telephone pictures:
The Democratic governor also signed tougher penalties for the possession of child pornography -- a measure that could cover "sexting," or the practice that's become increasingly popular among teenagers of sharing nude photos via cell-phone messages... [It raises maximum prison sentences for] possession of a film, videotape or photograph of a child under 16 years old engaged in sexual acts.
So by toughening the penalties on pre-existing laws, this will dissuade 15-year-olds from breaking those laws ... for which no one wants to prosecute them anyway, because they're just wacky teenagers?
Maryland is now a frightening police state, run by naked teens.
Jim Newell writes for Wonkette and IvyGate.