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Doesn't Congress Have Anything Better to Do?

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So this week, I watched pitcher Roger Clemens as he desperately fought for his name in baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown – without the asterisk. The seven-time Cy Young award winner testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on whether or not he was pwj – playing while juiced (on steroids and human growth hormone).

Here’s a recap: Under oath, Clemens told the panel that he never used steroids or human growth hormone. The problem was, however, that his ex-trainer and ex-friend Brian McNamee testified under oath that he did inject Clemens. Even more damning was that Clemens former teammates Chuck Knoblauch and Andy Pettitte said that McNamee was correct when he implicated both of them in steroid use. Pettitte, who wasn’t at Clemens’ testimony, gave a sworn affidavit in which he told the committee Clemens about 10 years ago that he used HGH. Clemens said that Pettitte “misremembers.”

So, it’s been a game of he said-he said. And obviously one of them is lying. But I’m not about to pass judgment on that. What I am passing judgment on is the use of the government’s time and money – i.e. taxpayer money (mine and yours) to chase down cheaters in baseball. I’m wondering why doesn’t Congress have anything better to do?

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You might be interested in knowing that the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is LA’s own Rep. Henry A. Waxman, whose district includes Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Westlake Village and West Hollywood, as well as such areas of the city of Los Angeles as Beverly-Fairfax, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and Westwood. Why aren’t more people crying foul over Waxman’s taking so much time to give to this subject?

According to the committee’s own website, “The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction to investigate any federal program and any matter with federal policy implications.”

So when did baseball become a federal program? And yes, as a sports fan, I get disappointed when I hear about players cheating to get ahead, but I’m having a hard time finding federal policy implications here.

I guess that the use of performance-enhancing drugs falls under the purview of the Federally Controlled Substances Act. But if it need be governmentally investigated, why not leave it up to the DEA. It’ll give them something to do in between busting medical marijuana dispensaries.

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Photo of Roger Clemens (r), Brian McNamee(l) and lawyer Charles Scheeler by Chuck Kennedy/AP Photo/MCT, Pool
Photo of Henry Waxman by Susan Walsh/AP