Of The Day
But, sometimes not every day.

Saturday & Sunday, December 26 & 27, 1998

The Full Monty (People Want It),
The Sort-Of Beetle (People Don't Want It),
The Drugging Athletes (People Hate It),
The Three-Legged Pantyhose (You Decide)

The Impeachment Rules, after reading all XXVI of them, are really boring and vague in a specific sort of way. They are the same rules used to impeach but not convict Andrew Johnson. Well, there have been some minor changes but, essentially, they are the same ones. The Capitol insiders say that there is no chance that 67 Senators will vote to remove the twice-elected President who is raking in 70%+ approval ratings. The Congressional Republicans have led their party through their part of the impeachment process, resulting in approval ratings in the low 30's and, by some polls, mid 20's. This must be greatly encouraging to the Senate Republicans whose majority is also up for grabs every two years. But unlike the House Republicans who felt there was "no downside" because they are elected every two years for two years and memory is short and people view the stakes of a two-yearoffice as less than the six-year Senate, Senators KNOW that people will remember. As one of them said, "It would be a blessing if this baby came a bit early, like this year." But reviewing the "Rules" leads me to think that, like all Senate procedures, this one will be tediously protracted and circumspect. In fact, Senator Bird has said that "all due deliberation" is necessary to sustain the Senate's sacred reputation. This baby is already overdue, and there appear to be complications looming in the birthing room. Censure is a long shot; it looks like a limp slap on the wrist and may not actually be Constitutional. No, I vote for the full Monty. Let's go all the way. Let's hear all of the seedy arguments and evidence again, let's look in Mr. Delay's evidence room, and let's see what's in there. In the end, as I have said, it seems to me to be a no-lose for Clinton. If they failed to remove, he is vindicated. If they do remove, the Republicans look so bad, like they could care less what you and I think; they look viciously partisan. It could be the end of that party as we know it. And Bill will be the downtrodden, beaten-by-politics, ever popular, if-flawed President who had he office stolen by goons. If I were voting in the Senate (if nothing compelling surfaces anew) I would vote
not to impeach. Did you know that this is the one circumstance in the Senate where Senators, no Senators, are allowed to speak? If they have a question, they let the Supreme Court's Chief Justice know, and he asks it for them. All they can do is listen. It's in the Rules.

Call me crazy, but it's got to be one of the worst-looking cars ever designed. And, if you get in one, the dashboard is the size of a dinner table. Why would anyone want to own a car that, every time you drive buy anyone, they gape and often, they laugh and point. Especially feminine in its appeal according to dealer polls, I would prefer the old beetle, which I once owned, not because it was "pretty" but because it was cheap. (Also I loved the sound of the engine when you hit the accelerator.) I sold it when the driver's seat fell through the floor and almost killed me. Pass the potatoes.

People are now saying... well here, I'll just give you the quote: "I'm afraid to be successful because I don't want to be considered a bad person." So stated Jon Drummond, a silver medalist in the 4x100-meter relay at the 1996 Olympics. And that is also true of many other athletes. Amy Van Dyken, the four-time gold medalist has stated: "Something's got to change or the Olympics won't be what they are. There's going to warfare at the pool and the track." Now when an athlete gets a nose bleed, it looks EPO (a synthetic hormone used to increase oxygen-carrying capacity. If one of them shows up with braces on their teeth, it looks like they are trying to cover the enlargement of their jaw, a side effect of using growth hormones. If someone achieves a break-through time, it's a clear cut case. When almost the entire top end of the Chinese swimming team was suspended, Michelle Smith, the three-time Olympic Gold medalist is banned, Randy Barnes, Uta Pippg and even Florence Griffin Joyner are all under the cloud, it's just too much. Some in the Olympic movement are calling for the wiping "clean" of all world records and starting over. But there's no easy answer. "I think it's difficult to win without cheating," stated Arnold Beckett, a British pharmacologist who was a member of the Olympics' medical commission for 25 years. Athletes know how to cheat, from urine substitution to just being hard to find for surprise testing. Officials agree, only "the dumb athletes" are being caught. The smart ones proceed at will. Some are predicting that the acceptance of using drugs is just around the corner. I know that when I was at the University Of Connecticut and we were swimming to qualify for the 1968 Olympic tryouts in Mexico City, I watched Don Schollander* swim in the heat after me, and to this day I am still in awe of his skill and fitness. When he got out of the water, he looked like a God to me. His time was about .04 faster than me that day. There were 15 other swimmers between Don and I on the board. The thought that he was using drugs never occurred to any of us. Of course it didn't, we were all working hard and trying our best. After all it was for the Olympics. We had no thoughts of making a living with endorsements and TV appearances. We were doing it because we could do it. A varied set of circumstances put us all there at Yale that day, for me it was the only thing I was good at, so naturally I made the most of it. For Don it was just part of destiny, and we were there to watch. We enjoyed his success as much as we did dreaming about our own. We were stupid by today's standards of elite athletics, but almost every day since that day in 1966 I have taken great personal pride in my qualifying swim that day. Even when I missed the tryouts because I had another date on the muddy rivers of Vietnam. I just love thinking about those days when I was young and in Olympic contention. Can all of the athletes of today say the same thing? Can you imagine being ashamed every time you see your Gold Medal or even just the Olympic Rings? No matter where the Olympics are held, you just hate them. Every two years... until death do you part. That's your athletes on drugs.

It's a new design for women's "pantyhose." It's got three legs, two in the usual places and then one extra that you roll up and insert in its pocket until you run one of the other. Then you take your leg out of the ruined one, and put on the new one. Voula! Just don't forget to tuck that other one back in or people might get the wrong impression.

*Schollander was one of many in a line of great U.S. swimmers. In 1964, at the age of 18, he became the first swimmer to win four gold medals in a single Olympic Games, including a world record performance in the 400-meter freestyle and an Olympic record performance in the 100-meter freestyle. Schollander added a gold and a bronze to his Olympic medal total in Mexico City in 1968. Over the course of his career, Schollander broke 22 world records and 37 American records.

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