With all of the issues currently afflicting our nation at this point, only a New Jersey Democrat - in this case, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) - is dumb enough to believe that this is a valuable use of taxpayer's time and money:
A Democratic member of Congress next week is holding a hearing into baseball players' use of chewing tobacco.
Chewing tobacco has long been used by players both in the dugout and on the field, but there have been recent calls to tamp it down because of the health risks posed by the product, such as oral cancer.
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), who helms the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, said that the practice provides a poor example to young people who are baseball fans.
So does a Congress that ignores the will of the people, and spends the nation into crippling debt, but I don't see Pallone holding any hearings on those "poor examples"...
Pallone is considered to hold a "safe" seat; he represents a gerrymandered district that encompasses most of what one might call the "northern portion of the Jersey Shore", a older and slightly poorer area. He's also got a pretty nice war chest all ready for 2010.
BUT - Pallone's 6th District went for Chris Christie last year 51% - 43%, a pretty big margin of victory for a Republican in a D+8 district. And Christie, it is said, is licking his chops at the opportunity to exact vengeance on Pallone, who was an outspoken (and often rude) detractor of the Republican during the 2008 governor's campaign. Furthermore, the lovely and quite wealthy Diane Gooch appears a lock to get the Republican nomination for CD-6, and has already let loose some early salvos....
Pallone took a lot of heat at recent town hall meetings, the district is moving towards the right, the most powerful man in New Jersey wants to bring him down, and his opponent this fall cannot be outspent. So what to do?
Get in front of the cameras and trash Major League Baseball. Makes him a big man, I suppose.
Not quite sure if the irritated, overtaxed, and under-appreciated voters of NJ-6 are going to agree with that...