A piece I had in the Boston Globe this morning, with help from Keith Lawrence and Kelly Gilmer at Duke News Services.
A brief excerpt:
BULKED UP beyond all recognition. Clearly operating outside the usual guidelines of acceptability, even if they are not violating the law. Scorned by most fans and pundits, and yet we can't help but watch to see what new record they might set this year.
I wish I were talking about hormone-laced sluggers swinging for baseball's fences. But the description describes the budget situation in Washington. The size of the federal budget has gone from $1.8 trillion in 2000 to more than $2.5 trillion in 2006, with even conservative estimates placing total outlays at well over $3 trillion by the end of the decade. The current Congress is Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays all wrapped into one muscle-bound package.
Who is supposed to be managing these guys? By tradition, and the Constitution, that would be the president. Public embarrassment and the threat of a veto -- followed at least occasionally by a real veto -- would provide a check on the burgeoning budget.
I wrote this over the weekend. But some of the points I make were echoed in comments or emails I received. Thanks for the comments. And, remember: if you don't comment, the terrorists win.
UPDATE: V from Badlands just sent me a very polite note, pointing out that JQ Adams had in fact served only ONE term. Well....darn. That's right. I had even checked, but had just misread the list.
Whether one should believe anything ELSE in an article that makes such an obvious mistake...well, not my finest moment, this.
UPDATE II: And a note on what society values. I checked the "most emailed" list for today's Globe. My op-ed had 6 forwards. That puts it....about 120th for the day.
Top Ten: "Woman gets beer from her faucet"
Woman gets beer from her kitchen faucet
March 13, 2006
OSLO, Norway --It almost seemed like a miracle to Haldis Gundersen when she turned on her kitchen faucet this weekend and found the water had turned into beer.
Two flights down, employees and customers at the Big Tower Bar were horrified when water poured out of the beer taps.
By an improbable feat of clumsy plumbing, someone at the bar in Kristiandsund, western Norway, had accidentally hooked the beer hoses to the water pipes for Gundersen's apartment.
"We had settled down for a cozy Saturday evening, had a nice dinner, and I was just going to clean up a little," Gundersen, 50, told The Associated Press by telephone Monday. "I turned on the kitchen faucet and beer came out."
I emailed it to two people myself, just to join the wave. ATSRTWT