Monday, March 14, 2005

 

Congress raises stakes over baseball subpoenas -threatens contempt - AND WASTES TAXPAYERS MONEY AND TIME

Why in the world is this stupidity going on. Prominent members of congress have seen fit to ignore the war in Iraq, terrorists planning attacks on schools and movie theaters, Swiss cheese for a southern boarder, social security reform and the economy to hold hearings on steroids in baseball. What's next, hearings about ecstasy use at raves?

Congress has stepped way out of bounds with this investigation. The House and Senate should hold hearings which are designed to investigate anything threatening the basic framework of our democratic government and our capitalist economy. Such things might include national security, military issues, voter fraud issues, anti-trust or monopoly issues and basic human rights issues. To somehow think that the fate of the nation or it's security is being jeopardized by a few baseball players on steroids is ridiculous. This investigation is nothing but a few congressmen trying to get some attention by stepping into the MLB spotlight. This sham of an investigation is clearly diverting attention away from the real issues of the day.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not defending steroid use by these players. However, as a physician, I know they are only destroying their own bodies. Testosterone-like substances (aka anabolic steroids) do wonders to bulk up a person. They also have deleterious effects on the gonads, liver, kidneys and central nervous system. And don't forget this: use of anabolic steroids is ALREADY ILLEGAL. So congress is having hearings to investigate the use of illegal toxic substance. I'm sure their report will ultimately make astute conclusions such as: steroid use is a problem, it is harmful to individual health, and should be illegal.

I've never heard of democrat Paul Kanjorski before but I could not agree more.

Critics have accused the committee of grandstanding, and one lawmaker on the panel has questioned whether issuing subpoenas was more of a publicity stunt than a serious exercise in oversight.

"To spend our time calling seven baseball players -- maybe I've missed something, but is this the most important issue in the United States today?" Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week. "It doesn't warrant even a committee hearing, no less the issuing of subpoenas."


To make things more ridiculous, the committee has invoked the "c" word: CRISIS. If this is a health crisis I wonder how they categorize smoking, diabetes, heart diseaes, obesity, cancer and aids.

"It is a public health crisis, and our testimony from medical experts is going to show this," Davis said. "We have the parents of kids who have used steroids and committed suicide. Over a half a million youth are using steroids and these major-league players are their idols."
(Maybe congress should investigate parents who were so univolved or blinded by athletic success that they didn't know their kids were on steroids - just a thought.)

The players union and the league directly challenged the congress' ability to subpoena players for their investigation:

Representatives of the league and the players union infuriated lawmakers last week when they challenged Congress' authority to issue subpoenas, saying that the committee has no jurisdiction over the steroid issue and that the subpoenas infringe on the privacy of both the players and the league.


The players should have challenged the ability of congress to waste this much time and money.

If you have a congressman ignoring your district, your state and your country, please call or email them to get on with the business of running the country.



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