No Nobel Prize for intellect 

After the conductor driving a yearlong trainwreck at CU jumped overboard this week, lawmakers and other policy wonks were quick to speak glowingly about the woman who just a year ago testified that the word "cunt" is actually a term of endearment.

After all, under Betsy Hoffman's watch, two University of Colorado scientists won the Nobel Prize. Between 2000 and 2003, other faculty members were awarded MacArthur Fellowships, known to us mere mortals as genius grants.

This is no small feat. But in the end, Hoffman might best be remembered for her other accomplishments, including the intellectual prowess she exhibited during a deposition, citing Chaucer's "A Miller's Tale," a 14th century story about England in the Middle Ages that included some guy affectionately calling his woman the c-word. At the time, Hoffman was covering football coach Gary Barnett's butt in the midst of a nasty scandal involving allegations of rape, sex and heavy duty boozing during recruitment parties. That included former CU football kicker Katie Hnida's claims that she had been raped, as well as called the c-word by her teammates, to which the aforementioned Barnett responded by noting that Hnida was actually a terrible kicker, and a girl to boot.

Barnett, of course, went on to be named the coach of the year -- 2004, not 1304. He, apparently, gets to keep his job. Hoffman, meanwhile, has traded her $400,000-a-year post and is going off somewhere where she can bury her head in romantic tales from the Middle Ages. Well, what do you expect? She is, as Barnett might endearingly point out ... a girl. Talk about taking one for the team.

Which brings us to Bill The Fister Cadman. It's been a couple of weeks since the conservative Republican from Colorado Springs -- he of high morals and self-proclaimed (or is it self-serving?) commitment to family values -- stunned the Colorado General Assembly with a bizarre outburst. On the floor of the House of Representatives, Cadman defined his own bottom-line style of decorum by demonstrating his knowledge of a raunchy sex act during a disagreement with state Rep. Val Vigil.

Specifically, Vigil, a Democrat from Denver, had introduced a bill to allow the families of dead soldiers to obtain special military license plates. Cadman didn't like the bill and called it "garbage." Vigil responded by calling Cadman "garbage." Cadman then proved Vigil's point by saying "if you try that again, I'll ram my fist up your ass."

What a truly, um, unusual, thing to say. That Cadman would threaten such a thing to another man in the hallowed chambers of the Colorado House of Representatives caught everyone by surprise.

By the next day, Cadman's name was synonymous with gay sex. According to one capitol mole, heretofore clueless lawmakers got a fast -- and not necessarily welcome -- education about the practice of fisting. Concerned bloggers across the country urged readers to send Cadman a care package of ultra-glide lube with a note warning him of the dangers of high-risk behavior. Rubber gloves were spotted around the capitol. And The Fister got his new nickname. "The lobbyists are having a grand old time at his expense," reported our mole.

Making matters even worse, at first Cadman actually refused to back down, which led to a Rocky Mountain News editorial chastising him as "a sanctimonious loose cannon -- someone to whom it might be wise to give a wide berth."

"What is shocking is not only Cadman's reluctance to express regret but the fact that he wasn't absolutely mortified by what he'd stooped to say," the News opined. "It would never occur to most people to use such an expression even in private, no matter how incensed they were over an affront, let alone utter such words in public before other elected officials."

Cadman finally apologized for his disgusting threat. Vigil showed his sportsmanship by apologizing as well. But will Cadman's behavior go unnoticed by conservative Republicans living in northeast Colorado Springs when he announces his run for the state senate in a couple of years?

We wish there were a moral to this 21st century tale of debauchery and madness. Give us 700 years to think about it.


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