Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Congressional Record

Dear Madame L,

U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) claimed the other day that "well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does" is provide abortions. A staffer later explained that Kyl's lie "wasn't intended to be a factual statement."

Well, duh. It was obviously intended to be a lie, to incite anger or dismay among people who didn't know the truth and wouldn't bother to check.

And now I read that Kyl's original statement won't be recorded in the Congressional Record the way he said it. The Congressional Record says that Kyl said, "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that is what Planned Parenthood does." What gives?


What's a record for, anyway, if not to record what happened?

Dear What's-It-For,

The Congressional Record explains on its website, "The Congressional Record is not an exact record of the proceedings and debate in the House and Senate. As previously stated, it is a substantially verbatim report...

"In addition, Members of both Houses are allowed to edit the transcript of their remarks before publication in the daily Record, permanent Record, or both. Also, by unanimous consent, House Members may be granted leave to revise and extend their remarks. Senators may be given permission to have inserted in the Record, at the point where they stopped speaking, any unfinished remarks."

The key here: "a substantially verbatim report," which, in the language of Washington, means, "Members of Congress can say anything they like, then pretend they were speaking knowledgeably, telling the truth, or being intelligent."

Madame L happens to believe that the Congressional Record's version of what Kyl said is even worse than the original statement. And everyone can still go to YouTube to see the actual statement.

Madame L suspects you won't be going into politics any time soon, and she's sorry about that. This country would benefit from having a few politicians who would tell the truth and challenge lies.

Good luck, America,

Madame L

1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...

Q: What's worse than a bald-faced lie?

A: Being STUPID and saying a bald-faced lie. C'mon. The recording of the actual event is viral all over the country.

Q: Perhaps Madame L in her 8-cylinder "Sleuth Mode" can find a website that tallies up the Truthiness vs. Lie-i-ness of individual politicians for comparison? Perhaps a site that compiles all these ratings into a Republican Honesty Coefficient and a Democrat Honesty Coefficient?

I would SURE like to see such an assessment.