Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spygate: Arlen Specter style:

Meanwhile, Arlen Specter, the honorable Senator from Pennsylvania who always talks a good game about standing up to his administration's egregious violations of the law and our cherished constitutional protections -- yet in the end always goes along with them -- has got his panties all in a twist about something really important: Investigating the NFL and especially the New England Patriots for spying on other teams.

Not only had the NFL destroyed the all the evidence about the Patriots' video taping of the New York Jets' defensive hand signals during the first game of the season, it also emerged a few days before Super Sunday that an employee of the Patriots had video taped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough in 2004, the day before the underdog Patriots beat them in the Super Bowl.

On Feb. 5 the Inquirer published an interview with Specter and reported that he was talking tough.

"Specter said his continuing interest in Spygate came not from being an unabashed Eagles fan [Ha!], but from his concern that the Patriots' actions may have violated federal law -- specifically, laws that make the stealing of 'trade secrets' a violation subject to penalties of up to $5 million for corporations, $500,000 for individuals, and prison terms of up to ten years under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996."

I don't know about you but that sounds pretty serious; Specter said, though, "I'm being very careful not to overplay the matter." Oh, parish the thought! Just because he also likened Spygate to Baseball's Chicago Black Sox scandal at the beginning of the last century, one shouldn't get the impression he's going a little overboard with the whole thing.

"When you deal with the integrity of sports," Senator "Magic Bullet" says, "you're dealing with something that's very, very important." Uh huh. Also again, not to say he's a homer for the Eagles or anything, but he says "I think it's something that Philadelphians have a lot of interest in."

The Daily News Attytood blog caught this gem on a local radio talk show:

"Were the Eagles cheated out of a Super Bowl victory? That's the first question Sen. Arlen Specter hopes to be asking the NFL today, he stated unequivocally this morning on WIP radio (610 AM).

"Absolutely, that's going to be my lead question, Angelo," he said to sports-talk host Angelo Cataldi."


I'm sure there are a great many fans around the country, not just Eagles' fans, who are now concerned about Bill Belichick's famed halftime "adjustments" and the effect video taping the opposing teams plays might have had on the outcome of a lot of close games. Hell, I'm sure there are bookies out there as well thinking about it, too. I don't know, however, if it's as important as letting the phone companies retroactively get away with letting W. vacuum up billions of Americans' phone calls for three years or so.

This all couldn't have anything to do with Specter receiving some $358,483 from Blank Rome, the cable industry's lobbying firm, or the $153,600 he got from Comcast since 1989, could it? [] It is a bit of strange timing that the cable companies just happen to be fighting it out in the courts with the NFL over their crappy NFL channel at the moment.

All purely coincidental, I'm sure: Specter says, "I'd have to go back and see how much a percentage it is of the $23 million I've raised over the years. . . It's a fraction of 1 percent and has nothing to do with what I'm doing here."

Inquiring minds want to know Arlen.


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