Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter
We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.
Summer’s sultry news cycle is approaching its last gasp. What does that mean? Well, probably no more stories on the wonders of the garden hose, for starters.
But with Obama’s Biden announcement and all the texting that went with it, we’re off to the races.
*The Swamp is playing up contradictions between O and B on Afghanistan. Oh no!
*MSNBC, too, is big on the O-B Afghanistan issue.
*And a look back at the whole clean and articulate issue.
But really: Who has time for veep politics, even on the eve of the Democratic convention, when you got the story of the decade out of Beijing. Angel Matos, a Cuban master of taekwndo, decks the ref in his match against some lughead from the former Eastern bloc. The ref’s offense: He called the match over after Matos was on the mat for a minute—a call that appears consistent with the rules of the game.
Refs—yeah, all of us sports fans at one time or another might have fantasized about doing exactly what Matos did. That’s because you don’t have to be a fan for too long before some official screws your squad/player/horse/whatever.
But to follow through on the urge? Shameful doesn’t even begin to get you there. Set aside the notion that the ref is almost always defenseless, never expecting to be attacked; that he’s doubtless way underpaid for the services he offers; that 9.9999 times of out ten, he has no bias other than to be ignored and just do his job; that he’s doing what he does because he loves the sport/activity/game; and that he’s decades older than the people he’s adjudicating. Yeah, forget all that, because the rule is a no-brainer: You don’t mess with the refs. Period.
The only reason I’m the slightest bit sanguine about this event is that Matos is from Cuba. Were he from this country, he’d deal with a lot of shit, for sure. He’d get condemned by people from his hometown, the media countrywide, and all sorts of others. But eventually, he might piece his life back together.
Cuba, on the other hand, remains a totalitarian country, where they still deploy people to spy on their neighbors and keep the state in control of everything. Perhaps only in a society so tightly controlled can Matos get the sort of punishment he deserves. Hey, there’s a lot of sugar to be harvested down there.