Media Holding Democrats Accountable on Transparency

Over the last few weeks, there has been talk of not having the traditional “conference” to meld the Senate and House health care reform bills. I laughed off such thoughts, as transparency is something this administration and congressional leaders have been hammered for over the last several months. However, it appears I was wrong. Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) and House Majority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) are setting things up so they will not have to have the conference, and instead get the “conference” bill without a conference.

This is bothersome. However, a number of media sources are doing their job and calling for the Obama administration to open the melding process to the public. (H/T to The Heritage Foundation’s “The Foundry.”) Let’s make our voices heard in support of C-Span’s efforts and make certain Democrats know they should have full transparency in this debate or face the wrath of the voters come November.

What the “Buck” McKeon?

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General McChrystal faced one of the most difficult panels he may have ever faced as a military officer.? He sat in front of the House Armed Services Committee, forced to play the political game in the real-life portrayal of Leonidas’ going before the Council of Elders.? Watching his testimony reminded me of Dr. Mansfield’s remarks during the Iran Contra hearings (this is secondary, as I was not as much into C-SPAN then in the days of my youth) in wich he referred to Oliver North as a loquacious Lacedaemonian, or a talkative Spartan.? In General McChrystal’s case, the latter is true, but the Special Operations soldier’s excessive gabbing is not done verbally but rather his steely look.

The soldier, the leader of our troops in Afghanistan, the General sat facing Representatives who had, for the moment, privied themselves as defense policy experts.? During this masquerade, Representatives ask their ‘prescient’ questions and echo their one-liners to be perpetuated by mass media sources.? During the question and answer section, Ranking HASC Republican “Buck” McKeon from California used his pedestal to try and get the?General to fall into the trap of making a sound-bite that could be carried by the evening news tonight.? Instead, we watched as Representative McKeon bordered making a mockery of his post as Ranking member of HASC in politically motivated attempt to pit the commanding general of armed forces in Afghanistan against his commander-in-chief on semantics.? We won’t mention the time when General McChrystal has to inform the Congressman that the document from which Rep. McKeon?is drawing his questions is still?Classified. ?

Representative McKeon is generally an alright statesmen, from my understanding.? However, he threw his fellow Republicans under the bus during the whole National Defense Authorization Act when he railed against the addition of the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to the military budget, before voting for it in the end.? I found his actions today on the level of distasteful.? There is a time to campaign and score political points.? Today was not it.?

-rj