Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill…

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The Senate approved the pork-swollen $295 billion Highway Bill by 89-11, and Congress is getting set to force all commissioners of professional sports to answer the eternal question, why shouldn't we pass a federal law requiring each and every private-sector professional athlete to urinate on command at least once a year, without warning? (No, there's no provision requiring Congress to follow the same rules, though they are thinking about imposing the rules on amateur athletes as well.)

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  1. Bush has threatened to use his veto (for once) if the Highway Bill comes to his desk with the extra $11 billion added (it was originally $285 billion). I can’t say I would totally object to his using it, given all the pork packed into it. But would the House override his veto? They very well could, and it would be interesting to see how the White House will react.

    Between this, the Filibuster fight coming tomorrow, and increased support for Stem Cell research possibly becoming a Congressional issue soon, this will be an unusually interesting session.

  2. W should use the line item veto that Ronnie Raygun threatened to use.

    Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don’tcha just luv it.

  3. NoStar, do you mean this line item veto?

    On the other hand, I would like to see the test results of Congressional urine.

  4. Eddy, I had forgotten that law. Previous to that, Reagan aides were espousing their belief that a president could single out pork. It was primarily just a threat to create a constitutional crises in order to get congress to follow his lead.

    If memory serves correctly (strange place for an Iron Chef reference, but it is getting close to dinner time) the law you mention came as a result of Reagan’s threat to assume line item veto powers.

  5. Maybe it wasn’t so strange after all. The secret ingredient being pork. ALLEZ CUISINE!

  6. So why the hell doesn’t GWB use the line item veto more often? To let ANY pork-laden spending bill pass through unchecked is just a crime.

  7. kmw-

    Well, you do understand how old some of those congresspersons are, don’t you?

    Just ask Elizabeth Dole.

  8. So why the hell doesn’t GWB use the line item veto more often?

    Brett, the answer can be found in Clinton v. City of New York.
    From my previous link:
    “On June 26, 1998, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, struck down the line-item veto law, declaring it unconstitutional.”

  9. Mandatory drug testing for politicians! Frankly, I think every law passed should be made to apply to politicans first. It’s only fair.

  10. I’m currently working in the office down the hall from one of the congressman high-up in the Gov’t Reform committee… I talked to some of the LAs last week and asked them , “what do pro sports have to do with Government Reform?” The universal reply was, “I don’t know… I think they’re just doing it because it’s a sexy issue and it’ll get them on TV.”

    So straight from the horse’s mouth – Congress has no idea what the fuck to do with themselves, so why not go on the TV.

  11. “Congress is getting set to force all commissioners of professional sports to answer the eternal question, why shouldn’t we pass a federal law requiring each and every private-sector professional athlete to urinate on command at least once a year.

    Where in the Hell do they get the idea that this is any of there business and that they have the right to request such a thing. Is a delusion grandeur a requirement to be a member of congress? It’s frightening that they’re even considering such an intrusive thing.

    I wish that one of the commissioners of professional sports would just tell them to **** themselves. The congresspersons who are in favor of this draconian BS are being so un-American that they might as well be spitting on the flag. Even forcing the commissioners to answer any questions is intrusive to the extent that it offends the basic principles of our republic.

  12. Of course that should have been: “Is a delusion of grandeur a requirement to be a member of congress?”

  13. On the other hand, I would like to see the test results of Congressional urine.

    I’m sure they’d find some traces of urine in Ted Kennedy’s liquor specimen.

  14. LOL, mediageek. You should write for Letterman.

  15. A test of my urine would show that my dissertation is being written with the aid of the performance-enhancing drug known as caffeine.

  16. I don’t support urine tests for Congress.

    But I might support a law that said once a year one voter from each district could take a leak on their Congressmen’s leg.

  17. And if you sold raffle tickets for the chance to piss on a congressman’s leg you could pay off the national debt.

  18. Ahhhh. Thanks Eddy, that’s what I get for not reading it thoroughly.

  19. thoreau,

    Will you be changing your screen name to “Dr. thoreau” pretty soon? Could you please tell us what the title of your dissertation is and what it’s about?

  20. R C Dean,

    I watched his whole testimony, and I thought Galloway got killed — especially by Carl Levin. Galloway did quite a bit of ranting against the war and against the Bush administration and Zionists, but when it came to tough questions about the scandal he was actually there for, he dodged questions and looked guilty as hell. When pressed, he said multiple sets of documents were forgeries and implied the Iraqi witnesses who have implicated him were tortured to do so.

    However, if Galloway’s goal was to get the media to pay attention to his blustery statements instead of his weak answers, then I guess he can claim victory.

  21. “And I’m not so sure why, spur, you should be so excited about someone grandstanding and evading questions about the Oil-for-Food scandal.”

    Maybe spur lives in Senator Coleman’s district?

  22. I must be entering into the worst part of Oldtimers disease. First, I find myself in agreement with a Joe post (elsewhere) and now I realize I placed Reagan before Carter.

    Let me apologize in advance for any future displays of dementia.

  23. Sounds like NoStar is demonstrating his qualifications for Congressional office!

  24. RC, (I now have an urge for a cola) you want to be my campaign manager? Actually, I’d rather run against Senator Maria Cantwell, D. WA.

  25. NoStar

    In the first heady days of the Reagan presidency*, ie when there were actually people talking seriously (but naively) about reducing the size of the federal behemoth, there was talk of a Constitutional Amendment to provide a Line Item Veto.

    Reality returned when everyone realized that the last thing the political class wanted was spending restraint.

    *Before David Stockman was thrown to the lions.

  26. Will you be changing your screen name to “Dr. thoreau” pretty soon? Could you please tell us what the title of your dissertation is and what it’s about?

    I’ll defend my thesis on June 3. The title is “Scattering, Emission, and Localization of Light in Multiply Scattering Media.”

    I basically describe 3 different projects that involve light being scattered many times inside a material. Think of clear water: Light travels through it without scattering and so it looks clear. Now make it slightly cloudy by adding, say, a little flour or something from the kitchen: Light scatters weakly. Now add more powder, and it looks more opaque because light bounces around a bunch and gets totally distorted inside it.

    So that’s the concept of multiple scattering. Why should anybody care? Well, let’s start with the most applied project of all: Plastics manufacturers sometimes add small particles to their plastics to make them tougher. But the particles scatter light, just as grains of powder in water do. A plastics company approached my advisor and asked us to come up with ways to reduce scattering and make the plastics more transparent but just as strong.

    My finding was that if we add certain types of coatings to the particles the scattering can be reduced in a very predictable manner as long as the particles aren’t too big. However, there are basic limitations that make it almost impossible to reduce scattering from particles much larger than the wavelength of light. Certainly not with the particles and coatings that I studied. (There’s a very recent paper showing that metallic coatings might work better, but there are still some limits there, and the chemistry might not work for the plastics company.)

    My next project was much more theoretical: I studied the behavior of waves in special class of materials that scatter light very strongly. I showed that some of the earlier theoretical predictions are wrong because they don’t account for a special way that light can get through unimpeded at certain angles. The particular system that I consider isn’t terribly significant, but my work points the way to handling much more general questions.

    The other project (actually my first project) involves light in a system where all of the scattering particles are arranged in a regular array. Instead of placing them in the system randomly, like particles floating around in water, we stacked them regularly, in a pattern similar to the way that oranges are stacked in the supermarket. In those systems, because the scattering particles are arranged so regularly there are directions in which the light adds up constructively and directions in which the light adds up destructively. We did like so many other people and studied these systems with a variety of different optical measurements. We got pretty much the same results as everybody else. The results were OK, but when we try to make them into useful configurations things fall flat. I conclude that chapter of the thesis with preliminary results on a new method for making similar materials in a much more useful and reproducible configuration.

  27. I can’t imagine that anyone cares, but here is Major League Soccer’s testimony:

    http://www.mlsnet.com/MLS/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20050518&content_id=30118&vkey=pr_mls&fext=.jsp

    Pro soccer players in the US can barely afford Meisterbrau, let along steroids.

  28. Thanks, thoreau. Good luck with your defense.

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