Wanted to comment on two events that had press coverage yesterday. One everyone has heard and has an opinion on and the other was all pomp, circumstance and bullshit.
First, Roger Clemens sank to new lows during his week on Capital Hill. In what was supposed to be a last ditch attempt to clear his name, I found myself hating me even more. I didn't even think it was possible.
Quick rundown for those who need it. Brian McNamee claimed in the Mitchell Report that he had injected steroids or human growth hormone (HGH) into Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Chuck Knoblauch (in an desperate attempt to gain arm strength so he could make the throw to first base from his second base position). In an effort to get to the truth, some egomaniacal Congressmen (I know - that's redundant) decided to waste our taxes by forcing these men to testify.
Under oath, McNamee stuck to his story (he was under oath when interviewed during the Mitchell Report, too) and added the bombshell that he also injected Clemens' wife Debbie with HGH when they were training for their appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. You can't make this shit up!
Pettitte confirmed McNamee's story regarding his own use and also added that he had taken HGH that was provided to him by his father back in 2004. Previously, he had only claimed to have taken it in 2000 when recovering from an injury and even then only for a few days. Knoblauch also confirmed McNamee had injected him with performance enhancers.
Even more damaging was Pettitte's testimony that he had conversations with Clemens about both of their HGH use. Specifically, Pettitte recounted asking Clemens how he would respond if the media ever asked about him using performance enhancers.
Clemens - when confronted with Pettitte's comments - stuttered and used the term 'misremembered', which I'm pretty sure isn't even a real word. Well, maybe in Texas. Anyway, when asked for his take on the conversation Clemens claimed they were talking about his wife's use of HGH.
I'm going to let that sink in for a minute.
Done? That's right. Clemens threw his own wife to the wolves in an attempt to salvage his already tattered reputation. Besides the obvious 'how could he do that?' question, it also raises more disturbing questions for Clemens defenders.
1: Was this his idea of a Valentine's Day gift to his wife? 'Happy V-Day, Honey. I just made a potential indictment against you a real possibility. You're welcome!'
2: Now we're supposed to believe that McNamee told the truth about Pettitte, Knoblauch, and Clemens' wife, but is going out of his way to lie about Clemens? Do Roger or his lawyers not see the booby trap he just set for himself?
3: Is Clemens really getting the best advice from his lawyers? Unless he's the one pressing on with this, any lawyer worth the suit he or she is wearing would have told Clemens long ago to just fess up and deal with the backlash.
It's becoming increasingly apparant that Clemens just doesn't get it. He seems to think that he has earned some sort of free pass because he's won seven Cy Young Awards. He is consistantly and arrogantly using the 'Don't you know who I am?' defense. It's the same road Barry Bonds took and we all see where his career and legacy are right now.
The highlight of the day was when Clemens was hammered (literally) down by the Chairman of the Committee. Chairman was summarizing the testimony of the day and Clemens - in a completely characteristic display of pomposity and desperation - interrupted him with denials or corrections. It was awesome!!!
Item number 2 on my list also involves a public figure trying to save face.
President Bush, with much fanfare and smiling and camera flashing and ass kissing and hand clapping, signed into effect the new tax relief bill that should send a few hundred dollars into our pockets in the coming weeks. Depending on your situation, expect anywhere from $300 to $600. Couples will get up to $1200 (2 times 600 is 1200 for you dolts at home) with $300 per child. So, wifey and I stand to get $1800 back.
Hold on, though. Like everything this administration seems to do, this isn't at all what it appears to be. See, this money we all have coming (or most of us anyway) is simply an 'advance' on any 2008 tax refunds we would normally get back. We're getting our own money back. This is nothing but a fancy, government sponsored shell game.
What really steams me is Bush is spinning this as an attempt to 'stimulate the economy'. While I'm no expert on economics, wouldn't this money be better spent getting our country out of the record deficit we currently have? Wouldn't this money be better used by sitting in a high interest account and the country using the interest generated by it to pay off some bills? Bills like....oh I don't know...Medicare, the endless Iraq War, school improvements?
Look, I'm all for getting money back from the government, but I also know that this country is in dire financial straights - something that won't be fully realized until Bush has skipped town. This is nothing but an attempt to boost his approval ratings and make the middle class he is constantly screwing over feel a little bit better.
Just keep in mind that this is a stop gap and we'll all be paying it back in 2009. I suggest putting it into a one year CD for yourself or invest it in your retirement plan.
Whatever you do, try not to spend it all in one place.
Today's distraction: For all of you romantics out there, here are some wedding photos you'll always remember. It says so in the title, so it must be true.
Happy Hallmark Holiday, everyone!