Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Your Baseball Boondoggle is Back On!

Well, it appears that a deal has been reached between Mayor Williams and Linda Cropp that will facilitate the packing up of taxpayers hard currency and delivering it into the hands of the poor little matchgirls of Major League Baseball. The new deal includes a measure that allows private financing to be sought after, which is designed to sound good in theory, but prepare to be disappointed, people: no one's going to try that hard to find any! In addition, the measure calls for insurance to be bought to protect the city from cost overruns--the payments to be split with MLB.

Split? Um, how about, MLB picks up the whole tab on that? How about, private financing is what has to pay for cost overruns. I mean, can DC save its residents ANY money?

Because, let's face it, there are going to be cost overruns. That's by design here in Washington. We may never know how many dollar dollar bills y'all showed up underneath Cropp's welcome mat to make her opposition go away, but if you've lived in the DC area for more than fifteen minutes, you know how this will work: Cropp and company will farm out contracts on a crony-by-crony basis, the budget inflation will start overnight, the overruns will pile up, and then the Council's homies will have got to get paid, bitch. And pay them DC's taxpayers will, with a little somethin'-somethin' coming back to Miss Linda and her Council girlfriends in the form of hot cash for the campaign coffers. Oh, yes, DC, your ass just got served.

I guess that's what bugs me about the fatuousness. A person like Ms. Drop Cropp can rend her garments and shriek, "Linda Cropp lied! She's a liar! This shall not stand!" But if they are being honest, they should amend their statement to say: "We've never been much concerned with the prevarications of anyone on DC Council before, but in this instance, Linda Cropp has failed to prevaricate on our behalf, and so we are thus incensed."

The people like that--disgusting gladhanders and grandstanders all--don't need to announce that after they get their baseball they'll return to their regularly scheduled program of never giving a fuck. Having stepped in to ensure that wealthy MLB gets more booty, they'll tone down their volume and will never be heard again raising their voices or expending one-half calorie of concern for anything or anyone in Washington, DC. Wherever there is assistance to be offered, they won't be there! And they'll be damned proud of it.

The majority of DCers polled were in favor of Cropp's measure. Polls are hardly scientific, but you wouldn't want to wager against me if we bet that a supermajority of DC taxpayers, if they were specifically asked to contribute money to support baseball, would decline their support. On the 2005 DC tax form, there should be a checkbox: "Do you support baseball in DC?" Everyone who says yes gets dinged in 2006.

And now, some David Pattersonny breed of clueless git is moving air past his larynx in an effort to get his voice past his sweaty lips in protest: "Fine, then only those people who check the box can share in the windfall!" Ha. That's okay by me. I'm entering a macro right now: "Major League Baseball has not delivered on the benefits it promised." I wonder how soon before I get to headline a blog entry with that title! Three years? Four years? Won't be too long, I imagine. Certainly sooner than "Washington Nationals posts winning season!" (Yeah, did I mention: this is the sorriest team in the League we're getting?) In the meantime, I'll cherish the fantasy of baseball supporters dividing into zero.

Look, my problem is not with baseball. I have, in the past, liked baseball. But my problem is with getting reamed. And DC is getting reamed. Big time. There are so few people in DC government that can be counted on to behave responsibly. Cropp's never been one of them. Three of the people who will vote on the measure: Allen, Brazil and Chavous--they've never been among them. Tony Williams is a party to the reaming, he's specifically engineered the vote so that due diligence never happens--evidence of this is as clear as day: he put the measure to the lame-duck council and even fled the fucking country for an important period of time! I mean, when a man behaves like a thief, it's usually safe to assume he's thieving!

Right now, the DC Government, they aren't mature enough to contemplate a baseball team. They aren't smart enough to manage this legislation. They haven't earned enough points yet. They lack the stomach to negotiate firmly on behalf of their constituents. It reminds me of what might happen if you put a six-year old child in charge of a howitzer.

Hey, look. I hope I'm wrong about how fucked we're going to be. It would be such a novelty, for one thing. I'd be glad to write, and I mean this, OVERJOYED to write: "Anacostia Enjoys Renaissance, CItizens of Once Blighted Neighborhood Rejoice! And It's All Thanks to Our Crappy Baseball Team." But I would not bet one thin dime on that outcome coming to pass. Methinks the sinkhole instead. Either way it works out, I'm content as hell to not stand up and support the ass reaming.


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