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Our Other Long National Setting of Money on Fire Is Over

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Roger Clemens not guilty on all counts. While normally I root against Clemens, as I’ve said in the case of steroid witch hunts I’ll make an exception. If only Clemens has tortured someone on behalf of the federal government or committed a massive bank fraud — he could have saved a lot of money in legal expenses…

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  • Marek

    This is one that Yankee fans and Red Sox fans can agree on. I’ve never rooted harder for Clemens, as much as I dislike him.

    • NBarnes

      Like many things, it’s not so much rooting for one team as rooting against the other. Like all those AL post season series where I rooted (holding my nose all the while) for the Angels because they were playing against, well, you know.

      Go whoever, boo prosecutoral overreach!

    • Hogan
  • tucker

    Yeah, but they got that arrogant black dude. At least for now, anyways(snark)

  • There’s still some wiggle-room for a drone strike isn’t there?

    • It’ll be a drone ball that an intimidated mp will call a strike.

  • david mizner

    I guess they didn’t have a smoking gun, a photo of Clemens at the CATO Institute. And no, I won’t let that post go — nevah!

      • Sometimes many!

        • david mizner

          You guys are cute. Where’s Joe to make it a threesome? But I still don’t understand your point. Sincerely. Please explain.

          • You really don’t understand the point? Wince much?

            • david mizner

              I thought there was some thematic connection, because my comment is so reasonable, making the banal point that people on both sides of these debates distort, misrepresent, etc. I said the same thing today in that Loomis thread, in case Substance desires more recent example to beat off to. Indeed, Loomis’s patent dishonesty proves my point.

              • It proves your point that you’re full of shit? Okay then.

              • “Patent dishonesty”…is that like “absolute liar“?

                But since you’ve sorta confessed to trolling, whatev.

                • david mizner

                  I’ve “sorta confessed to trolling,” because I said I don’t get upset by criticism from anonymous people on a blog? I consider that a sign of emotional health, but what do I know.

                • Well, I asked, essentially, why do you frequently lapse into intellectual dishonesty and other poor practices and you wrote:

                  I never get upset on blogs. This a game to me, a hobby. I care about the issues, and I care about ideas, but I never take the debate here personally, and never lose sight of the fact that I don’t know — and am not known — by the people here.

                  I read the “it’s a game” and the anonymity as a claim that evidence, respect for persons, etc. were not your concern. I see you were selectively (and confusingly) responding.

                  You should wince about that comment because what you wrote was wrong, hypocritical, and anti-intellectual.

                  I would like answers to my actual questions (e.g., why you are evidence adverse).

                • david mizner

                  Perhaps I shouldn’t have said game; that trivializes it, and I do take this stuff seriously. But I think it’s important to be aware of the gamesmanship involved, esp one’s own.

                • Ok, but this still doesn’t answer the question.

                  Indeed, I’m pretty much asking about your gamesmanship.

                  Given that you often say things which are 1) wrong, 2) shown to be wrong (and easily so), and 3) judgements about people’s character or actions….well why?

                  If you were a great ranter or insulter that might be at least interesing. (Whatever else one might say about Greenwald, he’s a fire brether; “absolute liar” is wrong but also flecked with spittle. Your “data” whine isn’t remotely close, as well as being, well, dumb.)

              • joe from Lowell

                You know, when I call out someone for being dishonest, my point in doing so is to object to dishonesty.

                I know, crazy, right?

          • joe from Lowell
            • david mizner

              Ah, there you are.

      • david mizner

        ? What’s that got to do with anything?

  • ploeg

    No worries, there’s always another athlete to pursue.

    • greylocks

      B-b-b-but… this is the USADA, not the DOJ, which dropped its investigation of Le Lance, which I take to mean they couldn’t even fabricate some evidence.

      Also, cyclists aren’t athletes. Ron Borges said so.

      • ploeg

        What does that matter?

        I ain’t an athlete, lady. I’m a ballplayer. – John Kruk

    • timb

      The difference being Armstrong was breaking the rules of his sport, whereas Clemens and Bonds and scores of others were not

      • timb

        I should say allegedly breaking the rules

  • Ross Douchehat

    As much as I think steroid hysteria is dumb and the use of perjury and obstruction charges by prosecutors when they can’t find a primary charge to go after a defendant with are outrageous, the main thing I notice here is the unjustifiable difference in the outcomes of Clemens’s trial with Barry Bonds’s trial. The system can let steroid use slide for an asshole redneck like Clemens but for a black man to exceed the accomplishments of white players in decades past is unforgivable, and he must be punished with some trumped-up charge or other.

    • Just Dropping By

      The system can let steroid use slide for an asshole redneck like Clemens but for a black man to exceed the accomplishments of white players in decades past is unforgivable, and he must be punished with some trumped-up charge or other.

      Yes, who can forget how Sammy Sosa has been pursued by Javert-like prosecutors!

    • JoyfulA

      It isn’t like Bonds wasn’t an amazing power hitter long before he was accused of dealing in steroids. Race may be a cause of his persecution; he also didn’t display a lovable personality.

      • rea

        Man you can’t blame it on personality, because Clemens was almost as big a notorious asshole as Bonds.

        • LosGatosCA

          Bonds definitely deserved to be convicted because:

          1. He was an asshole,
          2. He was arrogant,
          3. He cheated on his wife,
          4. He cheated on his mistress,
          5. He was very likely a poor tipper,
          6. He was an parsimonious, arrogant, asshole, adulterer.
          7. And he was black.

          Plus he did something that wasn’t against the rules of baseball at the time and was a poor interview so nobody liked him.

          • Scott Lemieux

            DOn’t forget the barcalounger in the clubhouse! I’m pretty sure the federal sentencing guidelines require an extra 3 years for that.

    • MosesZD

      The difference between Bonds and Clemens is Clemens was an outstanding power-pitcher for a very, very long time and the case against him for steroid abuse was very, very weak.

      Bonds, OTOH, couldn’t hit for power. Not like the steroid users could. So he joined the race. He then compounded this error by making denials to the wrong people. Bonds should have just taken the 5th like Mark McGwire.

      Other people, like ARod, Sosa and Palmeirio, haven’t been charged because their cases are too full of holes. Just like your racism-baiting claim.

      • tucker

        Huh? Bonds couldn’t hit for power?
        1990, 33HR
        1991, 25
        1992, 34
        1993, 46
        1994, 37
        1995, 33
        1996, 42
        1997, 40
        1998, 37
        All excellent power number for the pre-roid era. Yo also realize that Hank Aaron never hit 50 HRs in a season.

        • tucker

          Sorry didn’t read your qualifier. But I’m still sure that it is true. He would have made it to 500 easily and maybe 600 without the juice. He wasn’t so much a power hitter per se but was a contact hitter who hit the ball very very hard. The juice meant when he made contact… He was probably more upset that he wasn’t recognized as a great hitter but that is part of the problem of the “roid” era. Great hitter = home run hitter.

          • LosGatosCA

            If anything he was probably getting pissed that he was making other people MVPs (Kent) or getting them big contracts (Bonilla, Aurelia) far beyond their talents because Bonds made everybody better.

      • “He then compounded this error by making denials to the wrong people. Bonds should have just taken the 5th like Mark McGwire.”

        Maybe I’m misrembering the details here, but Bonds was acquitted of perjury while bing convicted for obstruction of justice. However, his “crime” was not answering a grand jury question by…answering the question he was asked. He gave some sort of long meandering answer and sort of took his time getting around to the point, however, and the prosecutor then expanded that to a count of obstruction, which is why basically every non-ESPN employed observer of the case expects the conviction to be overturned on appeal.

      • LosGatosCA

        How uninformed.

  • joe from Lowell

    This was a dumb prosecution, but I don’t see how the jury could come back not guilty.

    • David M. Nieporent

      Because there wasn’t the slightest shred of evidence of guilt? Seriously, did people pay any attention to the trial at all? Here’s what the prosecution put on, in terms of substantive evidence:

      1) Andy Pettitte, to say that he may have once heard, a dozen years ago, Clemens make a single statement in passing about using hGH — but, admittedly, maybe he didn’t hear correctly or didn’t remember correctly.

      2) Brian McNamee, an admitted liar-under-oath, who came up with a nonsensical story about how his wife wanted him to save evidence in her basement proving he was a drug dealer, which his wife herself completely contradicted.

      • John F

        Seriously, did people pay any attention to the trial at all?

        judging by many many blog and twitter comments? No.

        • CJColucci

          And this happened despite what seems like ill-advised cross-examinations by Rusty Hardin that opened the door to lots of evidence — admittedly not very impressive evidence — that would not have come in otherwise.

          I guess the big question now is how the acquittal affects his HOF chances. Although I would have voted to acquit, I think he probably did juice up. I suspect most HOF voters will think so too. I belong to the “it may have been bad but it wasn’t against a rule of baseball” school, though I’m willing to vote against an otherwise marginal candidate who juiced (Palmiero? Sosa?).

        • David M. Nieporent

          Good point. It seems that after the ritual two minutes of hate for Andy Pettitte for saying exactly the same thing about Clemens at trial that he had previously said under oath, the talking heads just switched to, “Well, of course he’s guilty. After all, he has been accused, and tHe government wouldn’t try to railroad an innocent person, so… what’s on the other channel?”

          • Moreso than Pettitte even (and what a shining example of journamalism that day was, eh?) I still can’t figure out why the hell prosecutors put Brian Cashman on the stand to talk about how everyone liked Clemens and thought MacNamee was a weasley slimeball who overstepped his boundaries and was ultimately fired.

      • Scott Lemieux

        David is completely correct; “knowing” that Clemens did steroids isn’t actual evidence, and alas the prosecutors had no actual evidence except in the Troy McClure sense.

        • David M. Nieporent

          Surely you mean Lionel Hutz.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Whoops, yes, got my Phil Hartman characters confused there. “Well, Your Honor. We’ve plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are kinds of evidence.”

      • elm

        Yeah, David’s right on this one. Clemens probably used steroids and/or HGH, but the prosecution sure as hell didn’t prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, which they would need to do to prove that Clemens perjured himself. (Actually, I think they’d have to do more than that: they’d have to prove he knowingly used steroids.)

  • 1) I didn’t like Congress holding idiotic hearings on steroids.
    2) I don’t like people lying under oath to Congress and consider it a serious crime.

    While that creates contradicting emotions, I am glad Clemens got off for “the system worked” reasons but it’s hard to enjoy the moment when you see the DoJ acting like a bunch of incompetents.

    • njorl

      I’m with you. The original congrssional hearings were ridiculous. They should never have happened. On the other hand, lying under oath to congress is serious, and should be prosecuted if it is possible and there is a good chance of winning. The amount of money needed should not be a factor, otherwise, we wind up prosecuting only those who can’t afford to mount a strong defense.

      • Well, the relevant qualifier there is “if it’s possible to win,” and I think there’s a pretty strong case to be made that the prosecution never had a chance in hell of getting Clemens convicted on anything but a wink and a nod from the jury.

      • rea

        I for one think it ought to be a defense to a charge of lying to Congress that Congress was poking its collective nose into something that was no proper business of Congress

  • Manju

    lying to congress is like the most amusing crime ever. not even burning a cross on robert byrd’s lawn can top it.

    • LosGatosCA

      Like its monopoly on violence, the government MUST hold the monopoly on lying at public hearings. Otherwise, it’s credibility is shot and any lying weasel can go to Capitol Hill and say and lying crap they feel like.

      Does that make it clearer?

      • LosGatosCA

        any lying crap

  • Tehanu

    Can’t stand Clemens (and hate hate HATE that he’s actually related to Mark Twain!), but this was a grandstanding publicity grab by the prosecution, so good on the jury for swatting them down.

  • Manju

    Roger Clemens is a libertarian hero. The star pitcher for the New York Yankees has woken up Major League Baseball, and watching it unfold has reminded me of nothing so much as the collapse of the old political paradigms and the inevitable and upcoming rebirth of libertarianism in November.

    This became clear to me during the 2000 World Series. The New York Yankees were playing the Bridge & Tunnel Mets, who are so poor that they can’t even afford decent bats. Some guy named Pizza sent one these bats flying toward our hero. Clemens picks it up and throws it back at Pizza guy.

    Pizza guy, like the socialist he is, complains to the authorites instead of taking matters into his own hands. But libertarianism won out. Clemens got to stay. There are no rules in libertarian land. And even if there are, they don’t apply to us, ie the $$ed.

  • Joe

    Yes, this should be the end of stupid prosecutions.

  • DrDick

    If they want to try someone for egregiously lying to Congress, might I suggest all of the Republican SC justices?

    • LosGatosCA

      That’s not lying, that’s politics. There’s a difference you know.

      • DrDick

        Not so as you would notice.

  • I think this case shows pretty much exactly why we didn’t pursue cases against members of the prior administration.

    Because it’s pretty certain he lied, but it’s also pretty certain we couldn’t prove it.

  • If only it were possible to try Clemens for being a flaming asshole. Then we could all get along.

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