The Wire

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
"They Don't Teach It In Law School"

Clay's landing uppercuts now. He gets in a dig at fancy-pantses like Bond -- "Prosecutor O-Bond-a," Clay calls him, and, man, remember the bygone days of early 2007 when gas cost $3 a gallon and publication ran headlines like Is Obama Black Enough? It seemed like it was only yesterday. "My world is strictly cash-and-carry," Clay continues, "and I am Clay Davis. My people need something, they know where to find me. Let me tell you, brother, I step out the door, hit the corner of Mosher and Pennsylvania, you better believe my pockets are bulging. But by the time I get to Roberts Street..." Here Clay stands up and turns out his pockets -- they're empty. All that's missing is the little cartoon moths flying out to further drive home the point. The courthouse erupts in laughter and applause, as Bond shouts out his objections. Back to the testimony then -- even though this money supposed to be used on basketball charities, Clay notes that it doesn't take $20,000 to buy a ball and a pump, so yeah, he used the leftover money elsewhere. "'Senator Clay, I gots to bury my mother,'" he says, describing the requests he gets. "'Bail out my son.' 'Buy a new shirt for a job interview.' 'Pay for my child's asthma doctor.' Takes me half-an-hour to go a hundred yards. And excuse me if I didn't ask that old arthur-itised woman for a receipt." Well, you know the old legal saying -- if you can't argue the facts, argue the law; if you can't argue the law, then argue the facts; and if you can't argue either the law or the facts, say, remember all that stuff I bought you people? "And if a jury of my peers," Clay concludes, pointing to the jury which is soaking up every last syllable, "you all, deem it right and true for me to walk out of here an upright and justified man?" Clay pauses as if he's fighting back tears: "Well, I ain't going to lie to you. I'ma gonna do the same damn thing tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that, until they got me laid out at March's Funeral Home and truck me off to Mt. Auburn." The jury nods approvingly, the spectators applaud, and Bond and Pearlman look like they regret not applying to medical school instead all those years ago.

Back at City Hall, Carcetti is offering assorted homeless proposals. "What about trailers?" he asks. "Like FEMA. We set up trailers to act as temp housing for some of the shelter population." Well, that's gone swimmingly for FEMA lately, hasn't it? More to the point though, Carcetti's aides point out that trailers cost a pretty penny and wouldn't even qualify as a drop in the bucket given the number of people they have on the street. "It's symbolic," Carcetti explains. "You know, we're doing what we can with a civic disaster. Like New Orleans." Carcetti for Governor: Now More than Ever, Marylanders Need Cheap Symbolism and Empty Gestures Aimed at Shaming Our Opposition. Ah, but cheap symbolism doesn't come cheaply -- keeping the existing homeless shelters open around the clock is going to put the health department in the red and then there's all the police department overtime coming due. The bottom line is that if the current crisis goes on for more than a month, then Carcetti faces the prospect of cutbacks throughout city agencies and maybe even teacher layoffs. That does not look good on a campaign bumper sticker: Carcetti in '08: Let's Be Totally Boned Together.

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The Wire




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