Definition of must-read: The Turner Report, a blog run by Randy Turner. He teaches for a living but he's still a reporter, digging up stuff that you need to know.
The latest example is Turner's examination of an incident involving Gary Nodler, a state senator from Joplin.
Nodler, 54, is a regional biggie in GOP circles. On July 22, however, Nodler was nothing but a brat.
The skinny: Nodler and his brother went to a Joplin cinema to catch an afternoon showing of "Fantastic Four." Also in attendance: several developmentally disabled adults and their caregivers. Nodler got steamed because the disabled people were making noise. He exchanged words with one of the caregivers. Now he wants an apology from the 20-year-old woman, Amanda Richardson. He also wants her reprimanded.
None of this is in dispute.
Richardson told the Joplin Globe that the senator said "people like that shouldn't be allowed in places" like the theater. Nodler denies the specific statement -- but what he told the newspaper is no better:
"If you have clients who cannot behave without disturbing other patrons," Nodler said, "they shouldn't be there. The fact that someone is disabled is not a license to act inappropriately."
Nodler asked the Missouri Highway Patrol to give him a lie-detector test so he could prove he was telling the truth. The state boys declined to get involved. Nodler then asked the Globe to pay for a polygraph; wise heads at the newspaper declined the senator's invitation to fork over some cash.
Of course Nodler hired a polygraph examiner. Of course the test he paid for showed he was telling the truth.
Nodler told the Globe that the whole thing was "politically motivated" because he voted to cut Medicaid for some 90,000 poor Missourians, including the disabled.
Damn those developmentally disabled people and their planned vendetta against Gary Nodler! What's next on their evil agenda -- terrorizing Aunt Norma Champion with their Skinny & Rusty impressions?
Randy Turner offers a succinct observation to Nodler's madness with the polygraph: It sure seems as though he is attempting to swat a fly with a sledge hammer. Amen, brother.