In Praise of Death Panels 

Finally, into my fourth decade of life and I have a government advocating the values I stand for: mandatory abortions, shoddy, dirty, decrepit medical facilities, and most of all — at long last — death panels! How eagerly, how urgently, those of us leaning towards the political left have longed for this day, when the fate of elderly and infirm could be voted on by sinister group of shadowy bureaucrats. As everyone who has spent the requisite time studying the voluminous literature provided us by Minister Mentor Obama, newly formed panels such as the CEAC, or Continued Existence Allowance Committee, are the best way to adjudicate the difficult matters facing our civil society. What an exciting time for all Children of the Glorious Revolution! The cleansing has begun. Now, in the spirit of these happy times, let us convene and decide which sports careers should be allowed to… expire.

Tom Watson
I invested four days in the Tom Watson drama at the British Open last month. For a 59-year-old man to win the British Open would certainly have comprised one of the greatest athletic accomplishments in recent memory. I wanted to be watching when it happened. Of course it didn’t happen. Instead Watson shanked an eight footer on the final hole and then was inhumanely savaged by the thoroughly underwhelming Stewart Cink in four miserable playoff holes, during which Watson suddenly appeared to be positively senile. What began and nearly ended as a fountain of youth story, evolved rapidly and without warning into a public service announcement for dementia. For the Rush Limbaugh-loving Watson, the appropriate course of action seems only too clear: time to cancel his subscription.

John Smoltz
I’ve always liked John Smoltz, from the time when I took my first job as a 20-year-old columnist living in Georgia and he was a veteran star of the Atlanta Braves staff. Therein lies the trouble — he was a veteran pitcher on the Atlanta Braves when I was 20 years old. That is an amusement, but not a reason to still be pitching. When Smoltz flamed out recently with the Boston Red Sox, it seemed that every last fastball he threw was being launched out of Yankee stadium with one of those T-shirt guns. The Death Panel seeks only to arrive at humane solutions for nuanced impasses such as these. Good night sweet prince.

The Washington Nationals
Major League Baseball left Washington, DC in 1973, after the hapless Senators relocated to Texas and became the hapless Rangers. Following three decades of deprivation, professional baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005. Unfortunately, that was only the visiting teams. For this fine sports town, long starved, it feels like an unnecessarily vindictive prank to send not a baseball team but instead a 25-man clown car, driven by perhaps the most insanely feckless front office east of the Cincinnati Bengals. In addition to rapidly establishing themselves as prodigious losers (following a recent spate of quality play, they are currently 40-83) the Nationals have managed to assemble the league’s consensus worst farm team, misspell the team name on their uniforms and see their (since resigned) General Manager Jim Bowden investigated by the FBI on suspicion of embezzling from the team. Is it time to euthanize baseball in Washington? We like to think of it as proactive compassion.

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