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November 20, 2006 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-20

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4A - Monday, November 20, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890
413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104





Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
A new day in Washington
Dems should seize chance to clean up Congress
Americans overwhelmingly voted two weeks ago to change
the culture in Washington by entrusting Democrats to
lead both houses of Congress. Soon, the lame-duck rub-
ber-stamp Republican Congress will be no more, and the legisla-
tive branch will begin to function independently again.

Believe it or not, this
was pretty mild so far,
for as big as this
game was."
- LT. DAN RANNEY of the Columbus fire
department, commenting on the nearly
40 arrests made and dozens of fires
set following Ohio State's win against
Michigan on Saturday, as reported
yesterday by the Associated Press.

_J : 'L
{f' C

The last Michigan Man


The incoming Democratic Congress has
an ambitious agenda laid out for when it con-
venes next January. The Democrats want to
raise the federal minimum wage to give a
fighting chance of joining the middle class
to Americans who earn a low wage. Even
President Bush seems receptive to the idea.
Democrats also want to eliminate provi-
sions in the Medicare statute that prevent
the government from bargaining with
pharmaceutical companies. The Republi-
can Congress instituted those provisions
as a favor to the pharmaceutical industry
- resulting in higher prices for America's
neediest and higher profits for drug com-
More important to students, the Demo-
crats want to make college more affordable
by increasing the maximum Pell Grant and
halving interest rates on student loans. By
lowering the economic barriers that keep
so many young Americans out of college,
Congress can expand access to higher edu-
cation and help build a highly educated,
skilled work force. At the very least, lower
interest rates will make it easier to pay for
textbooks and beer.
To ensure thattheir agenda becomes law,
House Democrats last week unanimously
elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the
first female speaker of the House. Besides
becoming the third highest-ranking offi-
cial in the federal government, Pelosi is
charged with selecting committee chairs.
While selecting her leadership team, Pelosi
should be mindful of the culture of corrup-
tion that ended 12 years of Republican con-
trol in Congress.
Exit polls from the midterm election
showed that about 40 percent of Ameri-
cans ranked the corruption in Congress
as the issue that most influenced their
vote. Clearly, voters were not enamored
with the ethical standards practiced by
Jack Abramoff's party. It would be a mis-
take for Pelosi to lead the Democrats down
the same path Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.)

chose for the Republicans - which is why
she should distance herself from Rep. Jack
Murtha (D-Penn.) and Rep. Alcee Hast-
ings (D-Fla.).
Murtha, a longtime ally of Pelosi, was
deeply involved in the ABSCAM scandal
in the 1980s, and a recently released video
shows he was clearly open to the idea of
accepting money for legislative favors. The
incoming Democrats seem to have gotten
the message about ethics; last week they
soundly rejected Murtha for house major-
ity leader despite Pelosi's support for him.
Hastings is the second highest-ranking
Democrat on the House Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence. Yet in 1989, the
House - then controlled by Democrats -
impeached him for corruption and perjury
over allegations he solicited a $150,000
bribe in exchange for lessening a sentence
while serving as a federal judge in Florida,
and a panel of the Senate removed him
from office. Because the ranking Democrat
on the committee - Rep. Jane Harman of
California - bickers regularly with Pelosi,
Hastings is the favorite for chairman. The
justified outrage that would come over
entrusting an impeached official with
overseeing the intelligence community is
the best way for Democrats to start off on
the wrong foot.
Americans shouldn't even have to sus-
pect that the men and women elected to
represent them in government would use
their positions for personal gain. Ethical
lapses under Republican rule, includingthe
recent convictions of two corrupt Republi-
can congressmen, helped Democrats win
back control of Congress. The Democrats
now have an opportunity to change the
culture in Washington by practicing sound
ethics and bringing accountability to those
that do not. If voters decide Democrats are
as ethically challenged as the Republicans
they just threw out, it's difficult to see how
the Democrats can build support for their
agenda in Congress.

When someone like Bo Schem-
bechler dies, it's more than
just the man or his legacy
that we lose. Gone with that giant of
an era is a bit of that era itself, a bit of
everything that happened to Michigan
football, college football and college in
general since he first donned the block
M in 1969. The University didn't just
lose its greatest coach. As the icons of
college football's
golden age con-
tinue to leave us,
we lost perhaps
the last remain-
ing consummate
Michigan Man.
only took over
the Wolverines IMRAN
in 1969, which is
recent consider- SYED
ing that other
coaching giants, like Pop Warner and
Amos Alonzo Stagg, were long dead by
then, and Woody Hayes and Bear Bry-
ant were already well into building
their legacies. Though Schembechler
does crack the top 10 in all-time
coaching victories for Division I-A
college football, his greatness isn't in
those 234 wins.
Like only a handful before him, and
perhaps none since, Schembechler
understood the role of the head foot-
ball coach in a college community. The
coach wasn't just the man leading the
troops every Saturday - he was often
the most visible face of the University.
Bryant used that influence to hasten
the lagging winds of integration in
Alabama athletics by offering schol-
arships to black players. Similarly,
Joe Paterno recognized and stressed
the importance of academics and the
holistic college experience for athletes
- leading to especially high gradua-
tion rates among his players.
And Schembechler, for his part, was
always a willing, active voice at the
University. Not only was he athletic
director from 1988 to 1990 and amen-

tor to current players and coaches. Bo
also maintained his office at Schem-
bechler Hall and - as anecdotes we
heard after his passing attest - con-
tinued to reach out students at large.
His appreciation for the University,not
just its football team, was unmatched,
as shownby his involvement in raising
funds for cancer research at the Uni-
versity and his regular attendance of
a class in the School of Public Policy
this semester.
That kind of involvement is hard to
fathom today when coaches like Lloyd
Carr - compassionate and dedicated
as theyare - matter to campus only on
game days and, from about mid-Janu-
ary to late August, essentially disap-
pear from our consciousness. Sure,
Paterno and Bobby Bowden trudge on
stubbornly, and there are occasional
aesthetic throwbacks - Barry Alverez
and the sterling suit-and-tie years at
Wisconsin, Jim Tressel's sweater-
vested tribute to the old ball coach at
Ohio State - but the era when a foot-
ball coach was a representative of a
university is largely over.
In the old days, the coach was more
than just a coach to his team. In the
time of slow rail travel, it took a lot
more to recruit a kid from one coast
to come play on the other. When you
came cross-country to play for Pater-
no or Schembechler, it was because
you saw a man who loved you, and you
trusted him to mold your life. Players
today may say they wentcto USC to play
for Pete Carroll or to Texas for Mack
Brown, but they don't really mean it.
Not in the same way. Not when hun-
dreds have left school early to cash in
at the National Football League.
Most football players and many
coaches today see their commitment
as pertainingto their sport alone. The
university community, the college
experience, the distinction of student-
athlete: These are just words to most
big-name football players. There are
exceptions - Peyton Manning, our
own Braylon Edwards - guys who

stay longerthanthey need to, defer the
millions awaiting them in endorse-
ments and the NFL and return to fin-
ish up an experience they appreciate
and pick up a diploma. Much like Bo,
these are shadows of a bygone era.
And it isn't just coaches and players
who have changed. The game itself has
evolved. With our age's over-commer-
cialization looming, there have been
all sorts of nominal efforts to protect
the sanctity of the game and the purity
was the last of
his kind.
of the Michigan (Notre Dame, Ohio
State, etc.) brand. The University can
try to preserve symbols of the old game
(keeping the stadium an ad/alcohol/
skybox-free zone, for example), but
as Michigan and Ohio State dueled in
a nail-biter last Saturday, you didn't
have to look too hard to see how much
has changed since Bo first took helm
in 1969. Nike swooshes, multi-million-
dollar television deals - and who can
forget that the game almost became
the "SBC Michigan-Ohio State Clas-
sic" a couple of years ago?
These changes show us that college
football today ain't the game in which
Hayes and Schembechler waged their
famed "Ten Years War." Commercial-
ization and fragmentation have left us
today with a brand of football that is
fiercely contemporary. As icons like
Schembechler continue to leave us,
those good old days will soon be a
mere memory.
There may never be another Michi-
gan Man.
Imran Syed is a Daily associate
editorial page editor. He can be
reached at galad@umich.edu.



Redecorating Congress


Schembechler inspired
father-and-son trumpeters
Bo Schembechler was a very large part of my
life, pretty much from the cradle. The day I was
born, the guy who lived across the street from
us hung a banner on our garage: "Call Bo - It's
a Boy!"
Well, I never quite materialized into a foot-
ball star. Instead, I'm in my third year in the
Michigan Marching Band. My dad was also a
trumpet player in the band, and he loves to tell
people that he started for Bo at the 1972 Rose
Bowl. They always ask, "What position did you
play?" They're always surprised at the response:
"First trumpet. In the band." The guy who
laughed the hardest when he heard that joke?
Bo Schembechler.
I got an opportunity to get my picture taken
with Bo during the taping of an ESPN College
GameDay segment last Labor Day on the field at
Michigan Stadium. Christmas morning, I came
downstairs and found a very special gift under
the tree. My mom had taken the picture of Bo
and me to Bo's office at Schembechler Hall and
left him a note asking him to sign it. He did, and
he added a special note: "To Aram - A great
Michigan man from a great Michigan family!
Go Blue - Bo Schembechler."
Looking at that picture, it's the greatest com-
pliment I've ever received. Bo is the reason I
developed my passion for Michigan football. Bo
is the reason Iam honored to wear the Michigan
Marching Band uniform on Saturdays. He's the
reason people like me have such immense pride
and love for our University. He's the greatest of
the Michigan Men, and I'm glad I have had the
opportunity to spend even the smallest morsel
of time around him. I'm a better person because
of Bo's love for Michigan.
Aram Sarkisian
The letter writer plays trumpet in the Michigan
Bo defined game day
on and off thefleld
For as far back in my childhood as I can
remember, Bo Schembechler and Michigan
football were a part of my life. My family and I
watched the games and cheered on Michigan
with great emotion. We would jump up and
down in the living room and yell at the referees.
And we'd always wonder, "Can't Michigan throw
just one pass?" We were elated on days when

Michigan won and down in the dumps after that
occasional loss.
Even after his retirement from coaching, I
looked forward to Bo's commentaries and cri-
tiques of the games, and I marveled at all he did
especially outside of football. Coach Schem-
bechler truly was a special person, not only dur-
ing his time coaching Michigan, but also in the
subsequent years when he did so much to help
and inspire so many. Thank you, Bo.
Martha Sweigert
Assistant to the dean, College ofEngineering
Angelo's generosity, Bo's
legacy will be remembered
When Bo had his bypass surgery during my
time in Ann Arbor, from 1973 to 1977, I lived in
the apartment above Angelo's restaurant. Bo was
in St. Joseph's Hospital on Glen Street, and there
was a media circus in our neighborhood. I recall
that some wag wanted to find out exactly how
well-known Bo was and sent a get-well card to
him with only a picture of Bo on the envelope. It
was delivered to him at the hospital.
That was a great two-bedroom apartment
with a parking place that Angelo rented for $250
a month. If we paid our rent on time, Angelo
would give us a loaf of his homemade bread.
Michael J. Chandler, M.D.
LSA Class of77
UAAO doesn't have right to
dictate society's policies
When I read the front-page story on Fri-
day (UAAO demands society be more open,
11/17/2006), I couldn't help but think that United
Asian American Organizations is stepping way
out of line. I didn't know that UAAO, or any other
student group, could dictate what any other stu-
dent group on campus did, no matter how con-
troversial the group. Also, there doesn't seem to
be much incentive for the group formerly known
as Michigamua to publish a list of all its mem-
bers (as it already has) if being known as a mem-
ber of the group means that you are shunned and
condemned by other student groups.
UAAO, just like the entire campus, needs to
give ex-Michigamua a chance and work with
them, instead of attempting to destroy the orga-
Matthew Lewis

Even before this year's midterm elections, media com-
mentators already were making snide remarks about Rep.
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) "measuring the drapes" in Speaker
Dennis Hastert's (R-Ill.) office in preparation for a Demo-
cratic takeover of the House of Representatives. After
bemoaning the Republican Party's "thumpin'," President
Bush himself joked: "In my first act of bipartisan out-
reach since the election, I shared with (Pelosi) the names
of some Republican interior decorators who can help her
pick out the new drapes in her new offices." Although the
remark garnered some laughs, it also revealed that many
Republicans may be unprepared not only to face a Demo-
cratic majority, but also a female speaker of the House.
The traditions that accompany a partisan changeover
in the House have long involved redecorating offices and
changing desks, but I doubt commentators would have
focused on this aspect if the speaker-elect were a man.
Perhaps Pelosi's gender should be a topic of discussion,
but the discourse shouldn't involve fabric swatches or
curtains. The fact that the discussion is centered on these
superficial changes only proves Republicans are unwilling
to acknowledge the historical significance of our nation's
first woman speaker.
Certainly some believe gender equality has risen to the
point where a female speaker should not be considered
news, but Capitol Hill is in many ways still an old boys'
club. The congressional women's caucus is proof of this;
congresswomen from both sides of the aisle join together
not to plan strategic votes or even to advance women's
issues, but to create a support network. Issues discussed
in the caucus are less political and more practical. Most
congresswomen are wives and mothers, and the caucus
allows them to share experiences and advice on how to
juggle their multiple roles and responsibilities.
Pelosi's ascension to speaker should be seen as an impor-

tant step for women, but instead it is being hailed as the
chance of a lifetime for one interior decorator. The media
underestimates the impact of female role models on young
girls. In fact, the day after the election, MSNBC news host
Tucker Carlson sarcastically asked a guest ifshe felt her life
as a woman would be better with a female speaker. For the
generation of women already in politics, a female speaker
may not seem life-changing, but historical significance is
measured in the impact on future generations.
For elementary and middle-school girls learning about
government, party label takes a backseat to gender. A
female speaker of the House will have an impact on how
girls view their possible role in politics. In middle school, I
worshiped Elizabeth Dole for the simple fact that she was
a powerful female senator, something I one day hoped to
be. To insinuate that Pelosi is spending her time thinking
about end tables and throw pillows is ridiculous and cer-
tainly diminishes her role as a political leader.
Unfortunately, it seems that the male-dominated power
club in our government is not yet ready to admit a female
member. It is a grown-up version of playground politics,
and the Republicans were just beat by a girl. What's next?
Claims that she speaks like a girl? Presides like a girl? Leg-
islates like a girl?
The American public just rebuked President Bush's neo-
con clubhouse, and the last thing the Republican leadership
should be worried about is whether the speaker's office has
floral wallpaper. And besides, Bush's gesture of lending his
interior decorators to Pelosi is unnecessary. I'm sure the
San Francisco liberal in her will ensure the speaker's office
is tastefully decorated - by avoiding the gaudy southwest
chic of the White House.
Amanda Burns is an LSA senior and a
member of the Daily's editorial board.

Editorial Board Members: Reggie Brown, Kevin Bunkley, Amanda Burns, Sam Butler,
Ben Caleca, Devika Daga, Milly Dick, James David Dickson, Jesse Forester, Gary Graca,
Jared Goldberg, Jessi Holler, Rafi Martina, Toby Mitchell, Rajiv Prabhakar, David Russell,
Katherine Seid, Elizabeth Stanley, John Stiglich, Neil Tambe, Rachel Wagner.






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