Our own Senator Dick Durbin was recently involved in some political theater with sidekick Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D - Friendly Old Guy Next Door). From the Congressional Record:
Mr. Durbin: Will the Senator yield for a question?Boy, that Dick Durbin sure is an inquisitive fellow. And that nice Mr. Reid is so patient in providing answers. It’s just dandy how they get along.
Mr. Reid: I will be happy to yield for a question.
Mr. Durbin: Can the Senator refresh my memory? Was Mr. Bremmer the recipient of a gold medal or something from the President? Didn't he receive some high decoration or medal for his performance in Iraq?
Mr. Reid: The answer is, yes, he received that. I assume one would expect that from somebody who had a throne while he was over there.
Mr. Durbin: Isn't it also true that George Tenet, who was responsible for the intelligence that was so bad that led us into the war in Iraq, got a medal from the President the same day?
Mr. Reid: That is true.
Mr. Durbin: Did Michael Brown with FEMA receive a gold medal from the White House before he was dismissed?
Mr. Reid: I don't think he did. Even though he was doing a heck of a job, I don't think he obtained a medal from the White House.
Mr. Durbin: Apparently, these gold medals were being awarded for incompetence. They missed Mr. Brown, but they did give one to Mr. Bremmer. Will the Senator yield for another question?
Mr. Reid: I will be happy to.
Mr. Durbin: I am trying to recall the exact number -- it was in the billions of dollars -- that we gave to the President for the reconstruction of Iraq; is that not true?
Mr. Reid: It started out at $18 billion. But as the Senator from Illinois will remember, part of that money, stacks of one-hundred-dollar bills, was used by some of the contractors who were sent over there to play football games -- some of these same people.
Mr. Durbin: It is also true, is it not, that the Democratic policy conference has been holding hearings -- in fact, I think it is the only agency on the Hill holding hearings -- on this waste and abuse, this profiteering and corruption at the expense of American taxpayers and even, equally important -- more importantly -- at the expense of our troops?
Mr. Reid: I say to my friend, this war is approaching 3 1/2 years, and there has not been a single congressional oversight hearing on the conduct of the war. This war has now cost us, the American taxpayers, about $325 billion. There has not been a single congressional oversight hearing on the war.
Mr. Durbin: I ask the Senator from Nevada if he might comment on this as well: Are we not in a situation where the President has told us that he wants to "stay the course'' in Iraq, and Vice President Cheney, when asked a week ago, said he wouldn't change a thing in the way they have done this war in Iraq? Is it very clear that unless there is a change in leadership in this town soon, we are going to continue down this disastrous course, exposing our soldiers to danger every single day, their families to the anxiety of separation, and the taxpayers of this country to billions and billions of dollars more being spent that don't make us any safer?
Mr. Reid: I say to my friend, I spent the weekend reading a book. I did other things. I spent a lot of time on an airplane. The book is called "Fiasco,'' written by a man named Thomas Ricks who has spent his life covering the military. He has written books on the military. I don't know his political persuasion. This book is on the best seller's list of the New York Times.
In this book, he talks in such detail about what has happened as a result of the incompetence of this administration to our valiant fighting men and women over there. I recommend the book to anyone. It is a searing indictment of this administration.
Hat tip to Atrios.