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The Dead Hand Journal



I work at home.

Every once in a while I'll wander out to the kitchen to grab a sandwich or a cup of coffee. Generally I'll flip on Fox News while I'm at it, so over the course of the day I get a sampling of the day's news.

Today it's been virtual CSPAN, as Fox turned all its cameras onto the dramatic hearings involving Roger Clemens, his former trainer, and Major League Baseball.

A few days ago I pointed out that the United States Congress may have better things to do with our tax dollars than jawbone about baseball, steroids, and HGH. Today Fox anchor Shepard Smith took up that drumbeat. As the hearings progressed, Shep took advantage of the occasional break to rail about a Congressional activity that is costing U.S. taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and tying up Congressmen and their staffs who must have something better to do.

Shep also pointed out that the alleged illegal activity—the use of a controlled medication without a prescription—took place at least eight years ago, and is thus well beyond its five-year statute of limitation. As a result, the only indictment that could possibly come out of these hearings is one for perjury. Admittedly, somebody in that room is lying... but it's impossible not to note that any perjury charge would be an artifact of hearings that never should have happened in the first place!

It's ridiculous. When you count the tax dollars spent on this farce, it verges into the obscene. It needs to stop.

Meanwhile, where's the oversight committee that's supposed to prevent boondoggles like this? I'd commit a few more of my tax dollars to that investigation.

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One of those
# One of those "liberals" who makes Jason crazy
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 2:31 AM
I agree with you wholeheartedly that our elected officials surely have more pressing matters to attend to beyond doped-up ball players. However your suggestion that Congress doesn't have the authority to investigate this matter, merely because the statute of limitations may have lapsed, misconstrues Congress' reach. The Committee on Government Reform, which is conducting these hearings, has the authority to hold hearings on any subject falling under the jurisdiction of Congress. The federal Controlled Substances Act regulates the use of performance enhancing drugs, including steroids. So it's fair to conclude that these matters fall under the jurisdiction of Congress, regardless of whether there is the possibility of any criminal charges arising out of the testimony. For example, Congress may use the information obtained at the hearings as a basis for amending the statute to expand or alter its reach, or to increase the liability or penalties for violators. Or maybe they're just basketball fans out to bust some chops at MLB...
# jscroft
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 3:37 AM
Fair enough... except you're arguing against an assertion I didn't make.

I'm sure you could make a case that just about ANYTHING lies within congressional jurisdiction. My point isn't that those hearings shouldn't have been held because they are an extralegal activity. My point is that they shouldn't have been held because they are a stupid waste of my money and yours, whether they are technically allowed or not.

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