There’s curmudgeonly, and then there’s asshole.

Remember this name: Bruce Caswell. Got that? Bruce Caswell. One more time. Bruce Caswell. He’s a state senator in Michigan. He’s come up with a bill that would require foster children and children of the working poor in Michigan to ONLY purchase clothes at Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other thrift stores.

He wants to make sure the money is spent on clothes, says he. He says he got his clothes at thrift stores when he was a kid, says he. If it’s good enough for him, it should be good enough for all the poor kids in the state, says he.

Now, this curmudgeon admits to doing most of her clothes shopping at the local free bin; But within the last year I splurged and bought 2 brand new Levi’s button fly 501 jeans, and it was wonderful. Panties and the rare bra I have bought only once since moving into the mountains. But I bought them NEW. Shoes, bought new. Although I do have a good pair of hiking boots left by some kind soul with a note saying they didn’t want them, they were too tight and to enjoy them. They were my size, so I took them.

What Mr. Senator Caswell doesn’t realize is that you can’t buy used underwear at thrift stores. Nor socks. Bras are iffy, usually damn near impossible to fit because they’ve been stretched out. And many thrift stores don’t have dressing rooms, and won’t accept returns.

Plus there’s that whole consent thang: It’s one thing to realize that yes, used clothes often are a great bargain. I have a stunning full-length red wool princess coat I bought for $15 at Sally’s on the Avenue about 8 years ago. It’s a gem. But gems are few and far between at thrift stores. It takes skill and timing to get the gems, too, time that the parents of these kids don’t have because they are working. And being forced to put on old shoes, old jeans, old shirt and trudge off to school tells kids they aren’t worth having something that is uniquely their own. It’s a blow to self esteem. And foster kids and poor kids have enough to deal with as it is. Why slap them in the face like this.

Here is the final kicker: He even says it won’t save the state any money. IT WON’T SAVE THE STATE ANY MONEY, HE SAYS SO HIMSELF!

Senator Caswell, you’re an obnoxious, pompous, vicious, insufferable and unmitigated asshole. With no hemorrhoids, which makes you a PERFECT asshole. You’re power drunk, and need to get the hell over yourself. And get the hell off those folks’ lawn, dammit, and quit pissing in their gardens! Good galloping horse shit, I can’t believe I have to explain this. Go read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

In conclusion, I *just* looked up his party affiliation: Republican. And if he’d been Democrat, I’d still have ripped into him.

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