Monday, January 29, 2007

To task: Ballplayers with Playmates

The new ethics reform is referred to as the "toothpick rule" and after reading about its scope, I understand the nickname.

Like in having the impact of harvesting a toothpick from Yellowstone.

The nickname, truthfully, comes from the rule that only food on a toothpick can be served at schmoozy receptions. Meaning essentially, that little weenies are in and filet mingnon is out.

Aw, shucks.

Wait a minute, there are 23 exceptions. So find a way to put that slab of meat on a stick, talk to the ethics committee and you're likely in.

It's a creative way to avoid the point of reform and provide some red tape. The only thing missing are congressmen's red faces.

The influence peddling remains in full effect. The lobbyists are still rubbing elbows with senators, still pushing their words into legislation.

Nothing has changed. Yet, the Democrats will tout this bill as their keystone change in their first "100 hours."

The Wall Street Journal, thankfully, will turn some faces red over this issue.

The Journal is slyly, and maybe unknowingly, taking professional ballplayers to task.

See each July, the America Meat Institute uses ballplayers to hand out hundreds of hot dogs to lawmakers.

At the same time, Playboy playmates wear lettuce garnished bikinis and hand out veggie burgers on behalf of PETA.

The watchdogs at The Journal have shed some light for housewives who thought Washington was a harmless midseason road trip. David Eckstein & Co. will have some explaining to do.

Thanks to The Journal.

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