Monday, July 10, 2006

The Sports of Kings - Horse-Racing and Buying off Republicans

The Republican Congress is about to play nanny again, this time in the form of an anti-gambling bill that will block access to internet gambling sites (didn't the Republicans claim they wanted an unregulated internet when we were talking about net neutrality?) and outlaw using credit cards to pay online bets. The party that once claimed to be the party of small government is working hard to expand its presence in your bedroom and now your poker room.

Hilariously, though, the bill specifically exempts horse-racing from the restrictions. Really. You can't play poker online, or bet on the St. Louis Cardinals, or even wager on the greyhounds, but you are allowed to lay down your money on the ponies.

Is this favoritism toward the sport of kings a symptom of the Republicans' pathological love of the uber-wealthy? Well, perhaps the exemption is yet another skirmish in the class warfare we regular people have been losing during the Bush regime, but the real truth is more likely due to the success of the horse-racing industry lobbyists. Nothing over-rides a Republican's sense of family values quicker than a campaign donation, and the horse-racing industry has made sure that the Republicans answer their calls.

Anybody out there want to bet on whether the horse-racing lobby wins? I'll put my money on the corruption of the Republicans. Heck, I'll even lay odds . . .


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