Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Line in the Sand (Dennis)

Arlen Specter, who almost conducted life saving oversight on the Iraq war, who very nearly stood up to Bush on right wing judges, and who wet himself during the FISA battle, has finally decided to stand up to a devious scheming administration:

(Duh duh duuuh)

The New England Patriots

Though apparently too busy masturbating to the sight of Andy Reid's mustache to press for a thorough investigation into whether Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, Arlen Specter has now found the political courage to press on into how extensive the Patriots sign stealing was.

Now regardless of how you feel about the sports issue (go ahead you can say the Patriots don't deserve their championship if you like), exactly how does it warrant getting Congress involved? Sign stealing might be schemey and against the rules, but its not illegal (as with steroids), nor does it involve a billionaire extorting a community for money to subsidize his stadium (as with many teams, most recently, the Sonics). It's probably a little worse than Gaylord Perry throwing a "spitter," not as bad as Sammy Sosa corking his bat, and about the same as the NY Giants stealing signs during the '51 pennant race (take that NY Baseball Giants fans!).

But is there more to this story? Could Arlen Specter be needling the NFL on behalf of say...his largest donors?

From the Philadelphia Inquirer :

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that details contributions to political campaigns, Specter has received more money from political action committees of Blank Rome and Comcast than from any other business.

Blank Rome has donated $358,483 to Specter, and Comcast $153,600, since 1989, according to the Center's Web site. (Comcast chairman Brian Roberts donated the maximum personal amount, $2,300, to Specter last year, according to, a Web site that tracks individual donations to candidates for federal office.)

The league sued Comcast in October after Comcast decided to move the NFL Network, owned and operated by the league, from its digital tier of channels seen by approximately seven million viewers to a special sports tier seen by only 750,000. Comcast claims that there is little general interest in the NFL Network and that most subscribers don't want to pay extra for it.

The league stands to lose millions of dollars in potential revenue if the switch stands because it has an arrangement with Comcast in which it is paid per subscriber.

Perhaps it's nothing, but if this whole thing goes away after a deal is reached between the cable giant and the NFL, you'll know why Specter has been raising this.

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