Here are some things that have happened while the United States of America has spent thousands of dollars and untold man-hours attempting to bring ex-baseball player Roger Clemens to justice:
Financial executives and bankers continued to show they learned nothing from the financial crisis of 2008, as JP Morgan lost $2 billion thanks to unnecessarily risky trading.
The Occupy Movement and other protestors planned to descend on Chicago in conjunction with the NATO Summit, a stark reminder that despite the movement’s numbers and momentum, lawmakers have done nothing to address out country’s wealth disparity.
Our court system debated whether or not it’s OK for cops to taser a fucking pregnant woman who doesn’t want to sign a traffic ticket, showing that our country continues to have a massive problem as it relates to civil rights and authority, particularly for minorities and the impoverished.
Republicans turned to obfuscation and legislation to deprive citizens of voting rights and assure that they can continue to rig elections in their favor.
The GREAT state of Arizona passed a law that states that whatever debt collection agencies claim you owe them, you actually owe them. (via Eschaton)
We learned that the BP oil spill continues to poison seafood from the Gulf, affecting not only consumer health but Gulf Coast business viability.
The federal government granted Louisiana $10 million to help turn around its failing education system — but is doing so by forcing low-performing schools to close or become charter schools, part of a growing and terrifying disparity between public and private schools across the county.
Congress prepped for future battles on the debt ceiling and increased taxes, either of which could prove a nightmare for most Americans if things go the wrong way.
Of course if the United States elected not to prosecute Clemens, that wouldn’t instantly solve any or all of the above problems. But perhaps the federal government should make strides to get its house in order and address the many severe problems facing this country. Perhaps it should pursue dangerous criminals instead of pitchers, and perhaps it should devote its finite resources to problems that actually harm people.
The government’s thirst to catch and punish steroid users has always been inane and shocking. Yes, the prosecution hides behind perjury charges (how dare anybody lie in front of the sacred institution that is the U.S. Congress?) but the bottom line is that the federal government is spending time and money trying to catch baseball cheaters.
Barry Bonds is a jerk. Roger Clemens is a jerk. They both used steroids. Let’s not kid ourselves. But prosecuting them is an ongoing joke and an affront to our legal system and our political priorities. Even leaving aside the fact that the United States of fucking America should have bigger fish to fry, we still must contend with the notion that players themselves were not the only ones responsible for the steroids era. If anyone should be prosecuted, it’s Bud “Buddy Boy” Selig, who allowed the game to spiral out of control under his purported watch.
Meanwhile, the trial itself has turned into a farce — even more a farce than it was just by existing — because of the prosecution bungling the case like the antagonists on a David E. Kelley show. They were shocked when Andy Pettitte essentially repeated his Congressional testimony from a few years ago, and called multiple witnesses who actively harmed their case. In the process, they’ve made Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin (previously a laughingstock based on some of his public statements in support of his client) look like the second coming of Clarence Darrow.
The prosecution’s case rests entirely on the credibility of Brian McNamee, the man responsible for the loathsome Mitchell Report, and a drug dealer, likely rapist and all-around skeeze. Again, Clemens almost definitely did the shit he’s being accused of, but the idea that he’s in trial for trying to add a couple miles per hour to his fastball is an embarrassment to everyone involved.
I mean…the fucking jury is literally falling asleep during arguments. This disastrous execution of the case is exactly what the U.S. Attorney’s office deserves. Once this is over, and ends in another mistrial or an acquittal, the government can focus on what’s really important — like prosecuting Bill Belichick for Spy Gate.