"We have no interest in making baseball the central focus of this committee's agenda." -- Congressman Henry Waxman
MSNBC released a hearing from Waxman's Chairmanship on the Oversight Committee. At the time, he was investigating steroid abuse in baseball, a subject which he should be more inclined to sweep under the rug, since he betrayed so unacceptable an ignorance on the subject in the documentary "Bigger, Faster, Stronger".
The MSNBC clip indicts "Inconsistencies with Mr. Clemens," referring to Roger Clemens pretended perjury before the Oversight Committee. The real inconsistency from this hearing stems from the abuse of the Oversight Committee to pursue an issue that has nothing to do with the role or the scope of the federal government.
Our veterans were striving, barely surviving, even dying on the streets of Los Angeles at that time, yet the Brentwood VA remained a rental property for private proprietors, including washing machines and merry-go-rounds. Mr. Waxman was investigating the inconsistencies between a trainer who claimed to administer growth hormone and steroids to Roger Clemens.
Even if Congressman Waxman won the 33rd Congressional District, he still has a lot of explaining to do for his unconscionable lack of oversight on key issues, such as the proper use of our wetlands in the Santa Monica Bay, or the improper use of federal funding for a bullet train which will transport people very quickly from Bakersfield to Tulare. He changed his mind rather suddenly on the Subway to the Sea. One wonders if Waxman will kill that project now that he is back in office, or like Congresswoman Janice Hahn, he will support a subway of some kind, but he will demur and stall on specific proposals indefinitely.
Recently reelected, Waxman is writing more letters once again, not to protect our veterans, not to get our troops out of Afghanistan, but to protest the closure of the Fifth Street Post Office in Santa Monica. I do not understand what drives this legislator to focus on such picayune issues such as keeping a post office open, when the Brentwood VA remains closed to the very public it was intended to serve: our veterans. Granted, the inconvenience of not being able to deliver mail at a closer facility will unnerve certain people, and the Fifth Street Post Office is a prized piece of "New Deal" Americana. Yet our troops, the looming fiscal crises, and the ongoing foreign policy failures in the Middle East deserve more attention.
Let's not forget the well-being of our immigrant population throughout the Santa Monica Bay. Congressman Waxman has proposed nothing to alleviate the second-tier status of immigrant youth whose parents brought them to this country without naturalization status. Waxman ought to right letters diminishing the welfare state so that this country can open the borders and permit any able-bodied individual to find work. I do not endorse amnesty, and neither should Congressman Waxman. A compromise emphasizing border control and state authority in the limited and diminished disbursement of benefits will encourage legal immigration. One writer shared with me that Congressman Waxman was influential in assisting a Russian engineer. He expedited the processing of her naturalization paperwork. Certainly, the Congressman can step up his focus on the immigration issues in his district, California, and the rest of the country.
38 years of mixed priorities and lost time does not excuse letting him off the hook. Congressman Waxman then and now has a record of doing too much on issues of no importance and "not enough" on the issues that matter. If he takes the interests of the voters in the 33rd Congressional district serious, then he must relinquish his heavy focus on post offices and baseball, and advance restoration of the Brentwood VA and the recuperation of our veterans; advocate for comprehensive immigration reform; and investigate the waste and fraud in bad transportation projects (Browns' Boondoggle) and support the Subway to the Sea.