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Thank god it's an election year

On Friday, the New York Times whined about the fact that Washington politicians weren't spending enough time interfering in our lives (*):

Call it legis-lite: the Republican leaders of Congress have been running one of the least demanding workloads in decades, politicking most of the year while scheduling only 94 days in session, 40 fewer than four years ago.
And yet, Congress still has plenty of free time for the important stuff; it's an election year, after all. I know, because Congress is taking time to inject itself (no pun intended) into the issue of... steroids in sports:
"Your failure to commit to addressing this issue straight on and immediately will motivate this committee to search for legislative remedies," warned McCain, R-Ariz. "I don't know what they are. But I can tell you, and the players you represent, the status quo is not acceptable."
Now, what John McCain thinks he can do about it -- steroid use without a prescription is already illegal, after all -- is beyond me. And the steroid rules are the result of collective bargaining between Major League Baseball and the Players' Association. But the fact that McCain thinks he should do something about the issue -- and the fact that nobody had the guts to tell him to shove his legislative remedies where the sun don't shine -- is disgusting. Is there a single person left in Washington -- okay, aside from Ron Paul -- who believes in limited government? What possible justification can there be for the Senate sticking its nose in the personal medical decisions of professional baseball players, or the rules of a private business like Major League Baseball?

(*) Actually, what the Times was complaining about was something different; it was complaining that Congress was spending one of its limited days in session on the issue of frivolous lawsuits -- a topic which is actually legitimate for the legislature to be addressing. The House passed a bill to ban tobacco-style tort lawsuits against the fast food industry. The Times had a fit, of course, because (gasp) "big business" might benefit.

The nation has a time-proven tort system that should not be tampered with to protect individual industries. The judiciary is capable of dismissing frivolous suits, and if any tort reform is needed, it should not be tailored to benefit any one class of defendants.
This is disingenuous on so many levels.
  1. What's been "time proven" is that the tort system is spinning more and more out of control.
  2. The judiciary may be capable of dismissing frivolous lawsuits, but even if it does so, each of those frivolous lawsuits cost the defendants -- and hence consumers -- tens of thousands of dollars. Somehow I doubt the Times would put forth the equivalently silly argument that it doesn't matter whether the government unfairly arrests immigrants because "the judiciary is capable of dismissing inappropriate criminal charges."
  3. Somehow I doubt even more strongly that the Times would endorse such a bill as this one if it applied to lots of industries rather than just fast food, so the argument that it's too narrowly tailored is disingenuous.


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Comments (1)


this just in from the CDC:

"After a landmark multi-center, prospective, randomized, cross-over controlled study, we have found that not reading the NYTimes leads to 1) Higher overall IQ, 2) Lower Cortisol and other stress hormone levels, 3) Higher general feeling of 'Happiness' and 4) Lower desire to throttle anti-war pseudo-intellectuals with ivory tower disease"


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