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The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

A bunch of teenagers getting drunk is hardly something to make a federal case out of. But apparently New York Senator Charles Schumer wants to do so -- literally.

Sen. Charles Schumer is asking the Justice Department to look into the underage drinking problem in Westchester County, which has seen several startling episodes of teen drunkenness _ and one death at a party _ in the past year.

At a news conference with County Executive Andrew Spano, Schumer called on the department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to study why alcohol is so readily available to minors and why there is excessive drinking among minors in Westchester.

"When teenagers are literally dying for a drink, we need to do everything in our power to fix the situation," Schumer said. "Teenagers have always tried to drink and can access alcohol too easily. This is nothing new and it's certainly not just a local problem. But we still don't know exactly how to deal with it."

The problem has recently won wide attention in Westchester. From the Chappaqua football team's beer-and-a-stripper party to Scarsdale's chaotic homecoming dance, where as many as 200 students arrived drunk, inebriated teens have raised the concerns of parents, teachers and law enforcement.

Wow. Drinking in high school. Whoda thunk it?

I know that Democrats don't believe in federalism, but I still can't begin to fathom how Schumer thinks this is a reasonable idea. Oh, I know -- it's For The Children ™. But what really galls me is the ideologues like Paul Krugman who insist that tax cuts are such a dangerous idea. If the federal government has enough resources to look into high school parties, it's too damn big. That would seem obvious and indisputable to me. I don't know why the government at any level is worried about such a trivial matter -- but certainly there's no reason for the federal government to be.

Chuck Schumer wants to know why kids drink? People like drinking. There. I just saved millions of taxpayer dollars. The only remaining question? Oh: why didn't I ever get invited to the beer-and-stripper parties? Maybe we can do a federal study of that.


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