Tuesday, June 06, 2006

four things to wonder about

#1 -- Gay Marriage Debate
The made-for-TV, demogogic anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment debate is rejoined in the Senate. Remember, if two gays get married, it will have NO EFFECT on your marriage (unless you were engaged to one of them, I guess). The wonder here is how long the national Republican party assumes it can play the theocratic part of their base for fools like this.

#2 -- Estate Tax Repeal
A better thing to be outraged about is the Paris Hilton/Wal-Mart Relief Act, aka GOP efforts to kill the estate tax. Remember, as you consider your views on this and before you fall for the line of crap the Republicans are feeding us on this. Fewer than 1% of estates pay ANY TAXES at all. The first $4 MILLION left by a couple is completely EXEMPT. NO family farm has EVER been sold to pay estate taxes. Even if you ARE lucky enough to have a rich relative with a family business die and leave it to you, you would have FOURTEEN YEARS to pay the tax. And finally, the billions in lost revenue ($776 billion over a decade) will have to come out of OUR pockets. Do you wonder why the GOP wants to give Paris Hilton and the Waltons such a huge a tax break on unearned inheritances? The answer -- because THAT is their real base. The only thing the de facto Bush Administration is good at is giving the rich tax breaks.

#3 -- Holocaust
Richard Cohen wonders why God didn't do more to stop the Holocaust, and finds himself incapable of reconciling the evil of the Holocaust with the existence of a compassionate, caring God...

#4 -- Whitewashing Baseball on Steroids
Jeff Pearlman at Slate wonders the same thing as me: why do sportswriters act and write as if the steroid era in baseball is over? Pearlman notes performances (and physiques) by Albert Pujols, Jason Giambi, and Roger Clemens.

I've always assumed Pujols and Clemens were using steroids. Differences between Pujols and Barry Bonds -- Pujols started steroids before hitting the bigs, so we can't make the comparisons between the bulked-up Pujols and his leaner younger version because there never WAS a leaner version. And Pujols is a much, much nicer person so nobody is willing (yet) to do a "gotcha" on him.

Roger Clemens is doing the pitcher equivalent of what Bonds has done, i.e. performing at an incredibly high level far beyond what most 40-plus players can do. And just LOOK at Clemens' body -- he is every bit the steroid taker as Bonds, surely. And Giambi is bigger now (after being smaller in 2005) so why not assume he's back on the 'roids? I do.