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Thursday, July 10, 2003

I have to admit, I can see the point of the White House in wanting to keep a weak Gray Davis in office as governor of California. His popularity has sunk to new lows (even the unions hate him), and that would be a boon for those Bushies who want to make inroads in a seemingly inpenetrable Golden State political arena. However, I have to disagree with the pundits who maintain that the recall effort there is illegitimate, unfounded, and preposterous. Voters, using the tools that have been given them, have every right to "fire" an elected official who has shown incompetence time and time again. If you "recall" (pun intended), the only reason Davis was re-elected was that his challenger was wet behind the ears, and no one in his own party was strong enough to stand up and assume the mantle of leadership the California Democrats sorely needed. I commend the voters from Sacramento to San Diego who managed to take this unprecedented, but perfectly plausible step in reforming their government from the top down. My prediction: Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes the next governor of California. We do indeed live in interesting times.

I'm no fan of Donna Shalala, but the Miami University president had every right to move the football powerhouse school from the Big East to the ACC. Now, mind you, I don't much like her methods. She took several cues from her former White House boss in being politically deceptive, swearing that she would not change affiliations without the presence of Boston College and Syracuse. When the deal fell through with those schools, she changed her mind, and left with Virginia Tech (an original plaintiff in the lawsuit to keep the Big East intact, ironically). Shalala basically lied to those schools, and to administrators alike. But did she have the fundamental right to dissolve the school's tenuous association with the Big East? Yes. Was it the best move for Miami? I think so, but only time will tell. Like it or not, college football is king in the South, and Miami is (last time I checked) in the South. Besides, who can argue against Miami vs. Florida State as a conference game? The move makes sense for Miami. The Big East schools, to a man (or woman) would have done the same thing in the same bargaining position. That's business in the 21st century. Get used to it.

In the absurd department, we read about former Atlanta Brave Randall Simon being charged with assault for... get ready for this - assaulting a sausage. Not a real sausage, but a girl running around on the baseball field dressed as a sausage. You see, the Brewers of Milwaukee have a sausage race between innings, a very popular scene apparently, and Simon allegedly pushed the female sausage over, causing her to fall and scrape her knees. A fellow racer, apparently a "hot dog", also fell over in the fracas. Simon, best known for being called a "fat monkey" by former Braves' reliever and Hillbilly pariah John Rocker, was later booed as he pinch hit for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Milwaukee 2-1 win. The fact that this was a news story at all says a lot for the slow sports day yesterday.

And in a final thought, Senate Democrats, who have figured out that the only weapon left in their arsenal is the filibuster, stonewalled the medical malpractice legislation yesterday. The vote of 49-48 left the Senate 11 votes short of those needed to break the filibuster. If anyone is left out there who thinks the Democrats don't want to socialize medicine, witness this debacle. The only rationale for not passing this bill is either to enable the trial lawyers to continue to extort millions out of the system, or to cripple the private medical community to such an extent as to require Uncle Sam to swoop in and "save the day". My guess is both are on the agenda for the Dems. It is my hope that 2004 will see a 60-40 majority so this obstructionism can finally come to a halt. No one likes the kid who continually takes the ball and runs home. It's time to let the kids play.


.: posted by Dave 10:04 AM

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