Saturday, May 02, 2009

glad to see congress is focused on the key issues

On Friday the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection had a hearing. Texas Republican Joe Barton, who has introduced legislation on the issue of the day, said "It's interesting that people of good will keep trying to tinker with the current system, and to my mind it's a little bit like -- and I don't mean this directly -- but it's like communism. You can't fix it. It will not be fixable. Sooner or later, you're going to have to try a new model, and that's why we're here today."

Strong words from Congressman Barton, who even used the "communism" card. So what system is he decrying? The practice of corporate chiefs to name their friends to their compensation committees to guarantee fat raises? Price-fixing by the oil companies? The system by which businesses and their lobbyists get special little bits of legislation passed to benefit a certain class of business, defined so narrowly that only the particular firm in question can benefit?

No, Joe Barton is complaining about the college football Bowl Championship Series.

Now look, I'm sympathetic to the Boise States of the football world. Yes, the BCS is a sour, pustular chancre on the face of college football. Yes, the big power conferences plus Notre Dame have rigged this to guarantee the vast majority of TV bowl money continue to flow into their pockets. Yes, the NCAA is a bunch of weak-willed wimps for not allowing a REAL championship for big-time college football, the way it is done for college basketball and wrestling and swimming and baseball and water polo and volleyball. The way it is even done for FOOTBALL, outside of the big Division 1-A schools.

But why is the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection talking about this? Ultimately, the NCAA is a private organization. Believe it or not, there is NO national interest at play in how the NCAA rigs its championship bowl games. There is NO compelling reason for Congress to be involved.

Funny, I thought the Republicans wanted the government to keep its nose out of private business.

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