Jim Bunning still knows a doctored pitch and Henry Paulson just threw one.

Hall of Fame Pitcher Jim Bunning

Hall of Fame Pitcher Jim Bunning

Back when I was a kid living outside of Baltimore, my dad, from time-to-time, would take me to see the Orioles play at the old Memorial Stadium.  One night game I remember very well.  That night the Orioles were playing the Detroit Tigers and the starting pitcher was Jim Bunning.  Bunning would later be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  At any rate, during the game, while Bunning was pitching, Oriole manager Billy Hitchcock came out of the dugout and ran toward the homeplate umpire.  After a brief conversation, the umpire, Detroit manager Bob Scheffing, and the Tiger catcher walked toward the pitching mound where Jim Bunning was standing.  As the tree men approached the mound, the umpire reached his hand out toward Bunning in a gesture that revealed he was asking for the baseball Bunning was holding.  After a momentary hesitation by Bunning the ball was given to umpire.  Then, after only a couple of seconds, the umpire motioned that Bunning was being thrown out of the game.  For the thousands fo fans in the stadium, they had no clue what was going on, but later the news got around that Bunning was “doctoring the baseball” by cutting it with his belt buckle.  That is against the rules and that’s why Bunning was thrown out of the game.  Nevertheless, when I finally learned what happened, I began to quiz my dad on how and why pitchers would do such a thing.  He said pitchers were always looking for ways to sneak a bad ball into a situation that gave them an advantage without the batter knowing it.  Plain-and-simple it was cheating.

So, today while watching the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearings on the proposed $700 Billion bailout of Wall Street and the credit markets, it was no surprise to me to see Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky taking to task the architect of the plan, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.  You see,

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson

Bunning can not only throw a doctored baseball, but he also knows when one has been thrown at the American people.  Today he, along with others in Congress (see the Forbes article) who have great reservations about the details of Paulson’s plan leveled a flury of attacks aimed at demanding that individual American taxpayers don’t get holding the bag.  As economist  Willaim Greider stated in a Nation Magazine article, “If Wall Street gets away with this, it will represent an historic swindle of the American public–all sugar for the villains, lasting pain and damage for the victims.”  Bunning called the plan “financial socialism” and “unAmerican.”  Although I agree with both of these men, I do not necessarily agree with Bunning’s last characterization.  The fact is, greed, corruption, and stealing from the poor to give to the rich is hardly “unAmerican.”  It is, all to often, the American way.

Related Articles:

Sen. Jim Bunning’s Statement

Paulson Plan a Historic Swindle – William Greider

Administration Seeking $700 Billion for Wall Street – New York Times

What We Need to Know About the Bailout Plan – Forbes

Congress Tries to Fix What it Broke – Investor’s Business Daily

Dirty Secret of the Bailout – Huffington Post

How We Became the United States of France – TIME

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