Major League Boondoggle

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"We are subsidizing multimillionaires to pay salaries to other multimillionaires," D.C. Council member David Catania aptly observed yesterday as his colleagues approved the Washington Nationals stadium deal. One bright spot: An amendment requiring private financing for half of the stadium construction cost (amounting to less than a third of the total project cost) may yet scuttle the deal with Major League Baseball.

NEXT: Euro-narcolepsy

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  1. On the radio this morning some DJ was ranting about the lady on the DC councel who proposed the ammendment that requires that half of the stadium costs be privately funded. He called her a “cun*”. It’s amazing how we have changed so much where we now deride elected official for practicing fiscal restraint.
    Apparently governments are instituted among men to secure the rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and to build $500 million dollar baseball stadiums.
    For that much money DC could have bought the team outright. Then again maybe they should pay for the entire stadium costs if they can change the name to the “Washington Communists.”

  2. Something for the DC delegation to throw the faces of Texas and Florida (and most other places) Congressmen when they start to the lecture District officials on fiscal responsibility.

  3. Oh my god, where’d the Matt Furey ad go? I feel so lonely!

  4. Of course most of the arguments from protestors I’ve seen against the stadium funding go something like this:

    “We could use that money for education, health care or some other social problem.”

    They still want your money, this is just yet another squabble about how to divide it up. I find it all extremely funny and entertaining.

  5. I mentioned this once before in a H&R thread and the conversation went nowhere, but I think it would be damn cool for a municipality to buy a franchise. Wouldn’t leave town then, would it?

  6. Said radio rant is because MLB is undoubtedly going to walk on the DC arrangement. Tom Boswell in the WaPo is apoplectic about it today. And if I’m not mistaken, I think I just heard a hideous toad laugh deep in a Baltimore warehouse.

    Maybe the best thing is to just relent and send these Expos to Vegas. Prostitution is legal there after all, isn’t it? Let the mob pay the costs related to luxury boxes and narcotics trading and bruising labor negotiations. They’re experts at this kind of thing. Vegas and baseball have a nice cosmic symmetry here in aught four.

  7. Flem:

    Prostitution isn’t legal in Vegas (only in the rural counties in Nevada). A different kind of nonconsensual prostitution is taking place in Major League cities, however. And sadly, the mob no longer runs things there, either. It was a much nicer town when it did.

  8. Couldn’t the District just deed RFK to the Nationals and be done with it all? It’d be one less public property and gobs less public funding. If the Nats wanted to build a new stadium on its own, or improve RFK, fine. The team would gain value (property, stadium) without costing the city a penny. I know that won’t happen, but it seems like a feasible idea. I wonder if it would serve those pesky “best interests of baseball,” though.

  9. David Catania is the only DC council memeber that says anything even remotely intelligent. I voted for Carol Schwartz last mayoral election, but she’s only marginally better than Tony.

    If this measure stalls the negotiaions long enough to get the newly elected members sworn in, than we can reject the stadium deal outright. I never thought I’d ever say this, but Marion Barry and I agree on something!

  10. Writing of government boondoggles:

    Interceptor missile fails to launch in test

    WASHINGTON – An interceptor missile failed to launch early Wednesday in what was to have been the first full flight test of the U.S. national missile defense system in nearly two years.

    The Missile Defense Agency has attempted to conduct the test several times this month, but scrubbed each one for a variety of reasons, including various weather problems and a malfunction on a recovery vessel not directly related to the equipment being tested.

    The military is in final preparations to activate missile defenses designed to protect against an intercontinental ballistic missile attack from North Korea or elsewhere in eastern Asia [depending on the weather conditions of course].

    Wednesday?s test was to have been the first in which the interceptor used the same booster rocket that the operational system would use.

    In earlier testing of tracking and targeting systems, which critics derided as highly scripted, missile interceptors went five-for-eight in hitting target missiles.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6716035/

    Does it seem strange to you – dear fellow bloggers – that this missile system, after all the money and hoopla, can be apparently be shut down by the weather?

  11. The weather? Who can forsee bad weather during a time of war? Look, we need to make the best of our weapons’ deficiencies. We go to war with the missiles we have, not the missiles we wish we had.

  12. cdunlea,

    Look for weather data to soon become a highly classified state secret. šŸ™‚

  13. <sarcasm_and_offtopic>
    If we want to build a missile defense shield, how about something like an X-Prize? The test could be something like, “when you say you’re ready to try for the prize, the military will launch two missiles from some random spot in the eastern Pacific at some random time in the following week, directly at your CEO’s and CFO’s houses. Stop the missiles from destroying both houses, and you get the money. Otherwise, SORRY.” I would contribute to a fund like that.
    </sarcasm_and_offtopic>

  14. damn. a good bit of hyperbole, in utter ruin.

    Hope you saw the pic of Jack Evans’ reaction in the Washington Post as Cropp announced her Middle Way thing. a classic.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/postphotos/asection/2004-12-15/5.htm

  15. Leave’em in Montreal, the taxpayers there have already been fleeced and it would be poetic justice for MLB to have to play again in the city they wanted to abandon.

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