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A Closer for K-Rod

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New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez took a plea in Queens Criminal Court last week that should allow him to keep his freedom and salvage his baseball career. K-Rod pleaded guilty to attempted assault. The misdemeanor charge resulted from his beating the father of his girlfriend at Citi Field.

As part of his plea, K-Rod will participate in 52 weeks of anger management. He will pay for the counseling that will take place in Venezuela, Florida and wherever the Mets travel during the baseball season. He will also pay $14,000 for the victim’s medical bills and a $1,000 fine.

His reputation has been damaged and he appears to have destroyed his relationship with the mother of his twins. The judge extended an order of protection for the girlfriend and her father for two years.

He is an athlete who plays with much emotion, but he should have left that emotion on the field. The district attorney did the right thing in offering this plea bargain and Mets management did the right thing in retaining him.

‘Let Them Eat Cake’

For weeks the nation’s unemployed were used as a political football by the newly empowered Republicans who were exerting their influence in Washington, D.C., before becoming the majority in the House in January.

The GOP used the unemployment benefits that expired Nov. 30 as a bargaining chip to preserve the across-the-board tax cuts created by the Bush administration. Thanks to a last-minute compromise with the White House, it appears out-of-work Americans will continue receiving the benefits.

Republicans threw their weight around at a time when unemployment has reached 9.8 percent, while real unemployment counting part-time jobs and the underemployed stands at 17 percent.

Conservative leaders opposed extending benefits. They believe people are not looking for work because they prefer the entitlement.

Nonsense. The unemployment benefits top out at $405 a week. For a Queens family, that is barely enough to survive. The city’s unemployed are willing to stand in line for hours to get a job.

If the Republicans in Congress want stomping on the nation’s jobless to be their legacy, they should be prepared to become unemployed in two years.

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