March 20th 2005 Business as Usual on Capitol Hill
In this time of war, it’s important to know that Congress is doing everything in its power to engage in business that will help the American people. With this in mind, Monkey Robot’s chief political correspondent, Michael Dippery, has traveled to Washington to take a look at the important items on the agenda of the US Congress. We now go to Michael for the stories:
Congress Investigates Steroid Epidemic in Major League Baseball
Washington, D.C. — Last Thursday, Congress levered its subpoena power against the growing threat of steroid use in baseball. In an unprecedented move, Congress called before committee several well-known baseball players in an effort to get them to admit to steroid use, and name others who were involved in steroids. Speaking from his office, Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin), chair of the Senate Un-American Baseball Activities Committee, made this statement: “Steroid use is rampant in baseball today! Why, I’ve heard that there are as many as 205, 81, or even 57 steroid users in baseball! At the very least, there are a lot! And I’ve heard there are many steroid users known to the Secretary of State who are still working and making policy! This has got to end! Steroid use will be the end of this great nation if my esteemed colleagues don’t stop it once and for all!” Shelving plans to restructure Social Security or improve relations with its European allies, the Senate spent the day grilling baseball players about steroids in a grueling hearing which nearly forced retired National League slugger Mark McGwire to tears. Singled out in has-been baseball player José Canseco’s book, Mark McGwire refused to affirm or deny his alleged steroid use, only saying that he wished not to “name names.” Baseball critics have suggested that if he weren’t retired, McGwire’s testimony would undoubtedly blacklist him from baseball forever.
When asked whether Congress would enact legislation to control steroid use in baseball, McCarthy said, “We’re going to implement more stringent drug testing in Major League Baseball. From now on, every player will be dunked in a pool prior to every game. If he floats, he’s a steroid user, and will be burned at the stake.”
Commissioner Bud Selig said that Major League Baseball would do everything in its power to prevent further steroid use by its players.
Congress Enacts Legislation to Make Death Illegal
Washington, D.C. — Pre-empting God himself, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) has announced that Congress will meet one minute after midnight on Monday for a roll-call vote on historic legislation that would make death officially illegal in the United States. Prompted by the case of Terri Schiavo in Florida, House Republicans have stated that they plan to turn one family’s personal tragedy into a political escapade that is “sure to win us a few more seats in the next election,” DeLay’s spokesman said.
“Let’s be honest about one thing: the American people don’t like death,” DeLay stated on Saturday. “Furthermore, using a tragedy to win political power is the American ideal. Therefore, Congressional Republicans plan to introduce legislation that would officially make death illegal in the US.”
Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) went on to say that “[t]his legislation will get rid of the nasty business of dying with dignity in the United States. Families will no longer have to cope with their loved ones passing on in peace. It will now be a felony for a person to die in peace, and offenders will be subject to stiff penalties. Families should not have to deal with their loved ones dying with dignity!”
Speaking specifically on Terri Schiavo’s case, several House Republicans noted that it was heinous that a woman who has been incapacitated for over fifteen years should be allowed to die in peace, instead of having her lingering death stretched out over the next several decades. “Look, just as a fetus has brain waves, so does Terri. Removing her feeding tube amounts to a very late-term abortion, and we can’t have that in America!” one representative exclaimed.
When asked if Congress had overstepped their bounds, Roy Blunt said, “Absolutely not. Yes, we know that over a dozen courts have ruled in the past seven years that Schiavo should be allowed to die, and we know that the Florida State Supreme Court ruled that her feeding tube should be removed. We also know that the Republican Party is the party that upholds states’ rights. But let’s be honest—we only want to use that platform when it keeps us in power. In the 1980s we were all about balancing the budget, too, but you have to change with the times. You have to change if you want to keep seats in the House. One thing the Republican Party is all about, is using hot-button political issues to win power. Hey, it worked with the proposed [Constitutional] ban on gay marriage, right?”
“Besides,” Blunt added, “that [Florida] State Supreme Court is a rogue court anyway. I put them right up there on the Axis of Evil beside Iran and [North] Korea.”
DeLay noted that killing someone with an assault rifle would not carry a stiffer penalty, “although the murdered individual may be subject to some penalties.” He also added that sending soldiers to die in war would still be legal under the proposed law.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced that “should this legislation ever make it [past the House of Representatives and] to the Senate floor, the Democratic Senators are prepared to talk non-stop, all day and all night, for the rest of eternity, to make sure the legislation doesn’t pass.” DeLay responded that House Republicans were adding an amendment to the United States Anti-Death Bill that would make it “a capital crime to engage in filibuster attempts.” He added that the proposed amendment included language that would give a small town in Iowa $4.3 million “to be used in the purchase of new wooden barrels in which to keep all of Iowa’s pork.”