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Political wagers usually are reserved for major sporting events like the Final Four or the Super Bowl, but occasionally get made on the outcome of something so small as a Class 3 state football championship, or the annual Texas-Oklahoma football game. It is considered bad form, however, to wager on just any run-of-the-mill athletic contest.
Diminutive Nashville congressman Bob Clement made that mistake a few year ago when the Tennessee Titans played a midseason game against the Washington Redskins. Like a gambling addict desperately needing the action, Clement squared off with Capitol men’s room attendant — and die-hard Skins fan — Melvin Gaither. Clement offered to pay double for a shoeshine if the Titans lost; Gaither had to pony up a free shine if the Skins fell. The Skins lost, and Gaither duly buffed and shined Clement’s tiny shoes. Nothing makes a small man even smaller than when he takes a free shoeshine from a bathroom attendant.
Clement’s picayune wager embodies just what is wrong with all of this faux gambling: The small stakes are for wusses. I’ll mute my criticism the day the wagers start shaping up like satirist Matt Schroeder suggested before last month’s Rams-Patriots Super Bowl. Schroeder wrote a fake news short about the bet between Governors Bob Holden of Missouri and Jane Swift of Massachusetts: “Holden said Monday he would put $1.2 million of state funds against a similar amount from Massachusetts, adding that he would give the Patriots 12 points….’I’ve got a system that never fails me, plus I have inside information about Patriots injuries that not even the media knows about,’ Holden said. ‘That money is earmarked for teachers’ pensions, and won’t the union be thrilled when I double their funds in one afternoon.”
Now that’s gambling.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online