Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Athletes and Ambassadors

Things That Make Me Go Arrrggghhh

Athletes. Ambassadors. Attacks in Iraq. Airline Crashes. Arrogant Powermongers. Abstract Addresses by Supreme Court Nominees. There are a lot more, but hey, I'm just warming up on the A's.


Gerald Herbert, AP

"Do I believe steroids and growth hormones helped me achieve that? Yes. Were there a lot of other players doing it that I had to compete against? Yes." Jose Canseco

Is there anybody out there who still thinks athletes don't take steroids? Yo! Grow up! Sports is a multibillion dollar business -- performance isn't about "personal best," it's about Winning. And nobody cares more about winning than the fans. At any cost. Including the potential of liver damage or even death for their home town gladiators.

The rules are a joke. Breaking the rules is the norm. A top athlete has what, maybe 10 years of solid productivity, not counting injuries. So Rafael Palmeiro is the latest of a long illustrious line of pro jocks who got caught, and has agreed to give Congress information about his steroid use. Like that matters.

What's Congress going to do to stop steroid abuse -- filibuster the World Series? It can't get its act together on any Illegal Drugs, or Violence Against Women, Stem Cell Research, Throwing out an egregiously unqualified UN Ambassador. Please, spare me.

Professional athletes aren't heroes, they're outrageously overpaid performers. And when they fall off their pedestals, all the bigwigs in the front office care about is Don't Break Your Throwing Arm.


Doug Mills/The New York Times

"Go f**k yourself." Dick Cheney

John Bolton is an arrogant, obstinate, hard line protege of Dick Cheney who has nothing but contempt for the United Nations and most of its members. As the State Department's UN Affairs Officer he belittled the UN in a public address, calling it "an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that is the United States.''

Well. Such thoughtful, reasoned diplomacy clearly makes him the man for the job. Especially in the Bush Administration. So aside from Mr. Bolton's qualifications--or lack of them--and his reputation as a brash bully who kicks those below and kisses those above, his status as a Recess Appointee hobbles him from the get-go. Which might be a good thing, come to think of it.

And what angers many in Congress and the general public is less Mr. Bolton's appointment than the way it was made -- yet another end run around the process by President Bush and his radical Tag Team.

I agree wholeheartedly with Senator Frank Lautenberg, who said of Bolton's recess appointment, "even while the president preaches democracy around the world, he bends the rules and circumvents the will of Congress at home."

You know, if the President hadn't just passed a medical checkup with flying colors, I'd wonder if he weren't on steroids too. It's for damn sure he likes to win -- and at any cost.

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