Clemens vs. Waxman


Bulked-up right-hander grabs a bat to square off against crafty lefty

It’s hard not to get pumped up about Wednesday’s hearing on Capitol Hill about the baseball steroids scandal. Go ahead and hoot when California congressman Henry Waxman mispronounces the names of players, but the bespectacled little lefty will likely stand in strong against Roger Clemens‘s high hard ones.

Last week Clemens toured the grandstand — congressional offices — to glad-hand. Such brazen lobbying hasn’t been seen since the last AIPAC national conference and schmoozefest.

Baseball’s Mr. (Suspiciously) Big is still making his rounds, rubbing the bellies of various Congress members. Waxman, however, is not the kind to roll over to be petted into submission.

He injected himself into the steroids scandal three years ago, summoning pecs’ bad boys in March 2005 for a round of what turned out to be Mark McGwire’s most musclebound moment.

Tune in Wednesday when Clemens trudges up the Hill to throw out his first bitch, but while you’re at it, see what else Waxman is up to. Go to the California congressman’s site, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and you’ll see that he’s not shirking his other duties.

Remember the Iraq War?

Last Friday, Waxman subpoenaed documents on the colossal Baghdad embassy project. In case you’ve forgotten, this is what Waxman’s panel uncovered last October:

Documents obtained by the Oversight Committee depict widespread defects in fire detection systems, fire service mains, fire sprinklers, fire-proof construction materials, and electrical wiring throughout the Embassy complex. Other documents implicate the Managing Partner of First Kuwaiti, the prime contractor, in an illegal kickback scheme to obtain subcontracts under the Army’s multi-billion logistical support contract.

Telegenic Waxman isn’t, and that’s too bad, because he’s been the most consistent gadfly since the start of the Bush-Cheney regime’s reign of error.

He’s likely to get more press out of this steroids probe than from the more serious issues he’s probed. So use this as an excuse to probe what else Waxman is probing.