Thursday, March 17, 2005

The House Judiciary Commitee, and Urine

So this morning started out nicely with a trip to the press club to hear a panel discussion on anonymous sources. It was most interesting to me, but none of you would give a damn, so I won't write about it.

Our editor is out of town today and tomorrow, so no news stories to do. We're just supposed to research stuff and keep ourselves occupied as best we can while completely unsupervised.

Mmmm, freedom.

So, instead of staring at my computer screen with nothing to do, I went to Rayburn House Office Building to see what kind of insanity was happening there.

You see, our lawmakers have decided that they need to get involved with steroid use in Baseball, and they're calling in stars like Jose Conseco and Sammy Sosa and others to be held accountable, or something like that.

I don't really care what they do, and I wasn't going to do a story on it. I just get a real buzz off a media frenzy and try to seek them out, and I always like being able to say "I was there." If that's wrong, I don't want to be right. And if that's right, well, HA!

It was a zoo, make no mistake of it. I stepped out of the Metro station to find crowded sidewalks and Independence avenue blocked off with cops on each and every corner with extras in between. A few on the Capitol building side had automatic weapons cradled in their arms, while countless people stood around gaping in random directions as if Sammy Sosa would suddenly fall out of the sky.

The hallway outside the committee chamber was packed with reporters on one side and tourists on the other. I didn't go into the main room, but instead went upstairs into the media check-in and overflow room. They had 3 big TV's with the courtroom proceedings on, and I had a seat in the back.

I was just in time to hear Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland start asking questions about the testing process, and I learned some things. Things like urine samples of less than 75 milliliters are rejected and destroyed, and that a test subject who couldn't "put out" then has to be observed for an hour before taking a second swing at it.

After hearing a United States Congressman being educated on pee tests, I felt rather umcomfortable and left.

As I walked out of the building, I heard a Jewish kid tell his Jewish friends (they were all wearing yarmelkes and standing separate of everyone else) he was certain he knew which door some person of interest was taking, and they made it clear he'd better have been right.

I hope he didn't get beat up.


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