Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jason Holds a Hearing

Make no mistake, I have no pretensions that the “new and improved” (same old) RAWA as introduced by Rep Jason Chaffetz will go the standard way of “how a bill becomes law.”  I figure the best chance for HR 707 to become a reality is to take the UIGEA-back door route, attached in secret (or attempted, at least) to a must-pass bill in the dead of night.  That’s iffy (we’re all watching now), so at the very least there may be some pretense of a legislative “process” with a hearing, recommendation, etc. 

Of course, I expect THAT act to be a sham.  Despite Chaffetz’s threats that he could call a hearing to discuss how children are targeted and perhaps issue subpoenas, I expect a dog-and-pony-show type of event.  Scripted by you-know-who. 

Something like this…

On the fifth day of March, in the “D” of the “C,”
In the heat of the day, did RAWA come to be.
He was pounding his gavel in front of the boys,
When Chaffetz the Congressman heard a small noise.
So he stopped with the gavel and stopped being loud.
“And now,” said Jason.  “Here’s Andy Abboud.”

Andy spoke with a passion, his voice rather meek.
“There’s children to think of, it’s gambling they seek.
“This online stuff is like garbage a stinkin’,
“If you don’t believe me, go ask Blanche Lincoln.”

And Lincoln stood up, as she wiped back a tear.
“I have two small boys, who I love very dear.
“We can’t allow gambling to be on their phones.
“I have a busy schedule, and they’re all alone.
“I could be a parent, and lay down the law.
“But they might think me evil, and that’s the last straw.
“I’d rather the governments do all this for me,
“And go back to Arkansas where the Waltons ignore me.”

“Here, here,” said the committee, their voices as one.
“We know families suffer, so let’s call in some.”
“Not now,” said Chaffetz, “There’s no time to ramble.
“We want to know all about how terrorists gamble.”

And with than George Pataki took to the table.
And said, “With this letter, I hope I am able
“To show how the terrorists launder their money
“Through online casinos like bees around honey.”
“They play only Pot-Limit Omaha tourneys
“To give all their ill-gotten money a journey.
“Through smooth calls and all-ins, they never make errors
“And that’s why their poker play gives me the terrors.”
 “Huzzah!” the committee cried, “We must defeat ISIS.”
“This online casino stuff is really a crisis!”

“Just wait,” cautioned Jason, “It only gets worse.
“Here’s Willie and Wellington to tell us the curse
“Of the freemium games that our kids play so bolden.”
“And then they slide over to play Texas Hold ‘em.”
“That’s right” said the duo of Welly and Willie.
“These games look like fun, and some are quite silly.
“But they’re dangerous horrible threatening games
“Because they have bright colors and colorful names.
“Like Candy Crush Fever and Farmville Eleven
“Zombie Dash, Bingomania, and Trivia Heaven.”
The duo got solemn.  “And are you aware
“They even use characters like Paddington Bear?”

“Not Paddington, please!” The committee showed fright
At the thought that a game would make kids not just right
But gamblers and degenerates, plying their vices
On iPhones and tablets and other devices.

“I told you,” a voice cried into the masses.
“You must pass this bill – now get off of your asses.”
The committee turned ‘round, and who should they see,
But Sheldon G. Adelson, as mean as could be.
“I’ll spend what it takes to get gambling erased
“From the Interweb…Cloud…whatever you call that in space.”
The committee sat stunned. “Who knows more than me
“About gambling, that is.  I’m the richest, you see,
“So that means that I get what I want – that’s the way
“That America works now.  So vote and I’ll pay.”

And off the men rushed, to head out the door.
And vote for the RAWA upon the House floor.
But one soul remained, “But wait, I for one
“Would like to know how it’s actually done.”

It was Tulsi Gabbard, the lone woman there.
“I know you’re convinced, but the evidence is bare.”
“A kid playing slots, and all just because
“Of the scarecrow and tin-man from Wizard of Oz?
“And terrorists trying to launder their money
“By playing Badugi?  To me, that’s just funny.
“We’ve not heard from experts, the states where it’s on.
“New Jersey and Delaware.  Is this a big con?”
She grew more indignant. “And where are the tech guys?
“The one who would know how to stop terrorist spies.
“And keep kids from accessing Dad’ digital cash.
“There’s none of those folks talking here in this trash
“Of a hearing.  What kind of a joke is all this?”
At that Sheldon got up to go take a … break.

“And what about online state lotteries?  How
“Will they continue now that you’ve killed their cash cow?”
“And what about Horse Racing and the DFS stew?
“Can’t kids and the terrorists try these games, too?

And Jason saw Adelson back in the room.
And he started to speak with a voice filled with gloom.
“Graham says he won’t run anymore, so that’s that.”
Sheldon spoke, “And I guess I will throw down my hat
“And admit that the Internet is here to stay
“And it’s safe – so let’s let all the USA play!”


At that, Jason woke from his afternoon nap.
It was all because someone yelled loudly, “Oh, snap.”
And he looked all around – who was this loud joker?
It was Senator McCain, on his phone, playing poker.

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