Yesterday, after an extended overtime hard day's labor, I returned home for a little rest and relaxation. This consisted of laying flat on my back on the couch while drinking an MGD, gnawing on a brick of cheese, playing a hand-held Tetris game, and watching CSPAN on the tube. Sure, that's not exactly solitary meditation, but be aware, if I would have gotten home before 8:00 PM I also would have had the Hugh Hewitt show on the radio in the background.
Perhaps it's best I didn't have that extra distraction, for I did have the ability to concentrate a little bit more on what was happening in the House chambers, via the CSPAN feed. Specifically, a presentation by the distinguished Representative from California, Maxine Waters. From the Congressional Record of floor speeches yesterday (page H9545, if you're using the Thomas search engine), check out this Soviet style white washing of history:
At the moment the President declared "mission accomplished," the insurgents said, now let the war begin. And, guess what? They do not have the sophisticated technology that we have. They do not have the resources that we have. But you know what? They are wreaking havoc on us and our soldiers. They are killing our young people.
By whitewashing, I speak not of Ms. Waters' skewed version about what is happening in Iraq. No, I speak of the works she spoke. Because amid the many distractions I put in front of myself last night (in a vain hope of silencing the awful screaming of the lambs), I clearly heard her state:
At the moment the President declared "mission impossible" the insurgents said ... blah blah blah.
Friends, as God Shamgod is my witness, last night she said "Mission Impossible!" not "mission accomplished." It was such a jarring statement, I tore myself away from Tetris and my sumptuous meal to stare at the TV, expecting to hear that cool theme music bleed in and perhaps some expert testimony on Iraq from Tom Cruise and/or the ghost Peter Graves.
But now, according to the official record, she said "mission accomplished." Overnight, some government stenographer sees fit to clean up her statement to something actually coherent and relevant to the debate. And the real story of what was actually said by a US Representative is lost to history (unless the Fraters Libertas archives reach a deserved status of parity with the Congressional Record in the minds of historians.)
This is an abomination and I demand an immediate investigation into this government manipulation of information.
But even with these blatant attempts by the bureaucracy to cover for one of its favored daughters, it is amusing to find that no government stenographer can clean up some of the other comments uttered by Rep. Waters last night. This from Congressional Record page H9546:
The war in Iraq has cost us almost $3 billion so far. The funding would provide much-needed resources for Americans here at home for the money that we are sending in Iraq.
Ah, were that it were true! Unfortunately $3 billion doesn't pay for the film developing costs at Abu Ghraib. Currents estimates for our valiant efforts in Iraq are a staggering $216 billion and counting.
But a little misunderestimation of the numbers doesn't stop Rep. Waters from making a few conclusions. Her thoughts on what that money could have been spent on instead:
Let me just give you some idea what could have been provided: Health care for 46,458,000,805 people.
While we check her math on this one, I must say I respect the confidence she implies by refusing to round this number off. 46 billion ... blah blah blah ... and five people. I suppose if we only paid for 46 billion, four hundred and fifty eight million, eight hundred people, and left those 5 poor souls out in the cold, it would be cause for another condemnation of the heartlessness of the Bush administration.
By the way, the 46 billion and change number she cites is approximately 6.5 times the population of the entire Earth. Perhaps Ms. Waters is proposing the US government also pick up the tab for the health care costs on whatever planet she originally came from .
Don't put your slide rulers away yet, she continues:
3,545,016,000 elementary schoolteachers could have been paid for.
With 3.5 billion extra elementary school teachers at our disposal, I think the student-teacher ratio would finally fall in line with the teacher's union recommendations. And then we can concentrate on the real problem in education, increasing teacher salaries!
Ms. Waters' abacus continues to clack:
27,93,000,473 Head Start places for children. 120,351,991,000 children's health care could have been paid for. We could have built 1,841,000,833 affordable housing units. We could have built another 24,000,072 new elementary schools. On and on. 39,000,665,748 scholarships for university students. 4,000,000,699 public safety officers or 3,204,000, 265 port container inspectors. I could go on and on.
I'm sure she could. And she will. In 2004, the voters in Congressional District 35 in California returned this seven time incumbent to office with a staggering 80% of the vote. In lieu of a Constitutional amendment on term limits, or Rep. Waters being recalled to her home planet, she will go on and on for as long as she wishes.