Friday, March 23, 2012

The Stumbling and Bumbling Senate

On Wednesday March 23, the Senate held a Finance committee hearing regarding the economic effects of the Keystone XL pipeline. However, instead of the hearing being remembered for an intellectual conversation between well-informed Senators and expert witnesses, the hearing was instead marred by blunders of a wide variety.

Senator Olympia Snowe, in one of the more heated moments of the hearing, seemed to suggest that the United States had gone to war for oil, a claim which many opponents of the Iraq War have levied many times.  Ms. Snowe seemed to realize her mistake and rushed through her controversial statement.

"I did not intend to imply that the United States engage in foreign wars for oil, but simply that other countries around the world are willing to fight for that resource.  I was merely trying to imply that the United States should fight with its economic policies to compete in the growing world oil market," said Senator Olympia Snowe.

Senator Orrin Hatch was next to make a mistake, as he, in an attempt to quote Mr. Carney, instead quoted the fox news story he had taken the quote from instead.

"I unintentionally read a portion of a fox news story, instead of Mr. Carney's direct quote.  Although, I misspoke on the statement, my point remains; cleaner tomorrows was unqualified for the job," said Senator Orrin Hatch.

The final and probably worst of all of the errors came when the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Max Baucus, stated the unemployment rate was 9.6%.  The unemployment rate is in fact 8.3%. How can the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee not know the rate of unemployment in the United States? Either this misstatement exposes an intentional attempt by Senator Baucus to sway voters against President Obama or it exposes a lack on preparation on the part of Senator Baucus in the field of the committee he chairs.  Either way, something deeply disturbing is happening in the Baucus camp.

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