Of Budgets and Cockfights

[Submitted/published in the State Journal-Register]

Today’s City/State section caught my eye. This, I thought, will surely end the whining about our legislators not being able to do anything important – like the budget, electric rates, etc. There it was in black and white — “Cockfight bill awaits Blagojevich’s signature.”

Well good, I told the wife, besides solving one of the hottest issues of the day, I figured maybe I would like to see a cockfight sometime. After all, I really enjoyed “The 300.”

Of course, I was a little embarrassed to see it actually makes cockfighting illegal. Well, that wasn’t exactly right, either. It makes it a felony instead of a misdemeanor — although honestly, after you take off the razors and throw him in jail, I don’t think the “life outcomes” for a lawbreaking rooster are going to be much different either way, if you get my drift.

At any rate, no one interviewed had even heard of any cockfights around here, so it’s already working. Are these guys good or what?

Speaking of cockfights and budgets, further on was an article about how much progress our “legislative leaders” and “governor” didn’t make after spending most of the day listening to a plan to sell the lottery — which everyone already said they wouldn’t vote for. The balance was Blago talking about his health plan — which everyone already said they wouldn’t vote for. Then they all complained about each other, especially how crowded it was.

Here’s a thought. Since they already need a super-majority to pass a budget, anything they agree on is already veto-proof. What do they need Blagojevich there for? Send him home to Chicago. The “legislative leaders” can meet without him, get a status-quo budget done, email it for his veto, re-pass it and adjourn. And we’re all safe for the rest of the summer.

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