Lee State Bureau reporter Mike Dennison reported this weekend on the workings of the supercommittee tasked with finding ways to fix the federal budget. Or rather he tried to:
I’d like to tell you, with some degree of certainty, which side is more to blame for the failure this week of the deficit-cutting “supercommittee,” which included Montana Sen. Max Baucus.
But I can’t, because the panel inexplicably conducted most of its business in secret.
There is a compelling and fundamental right on behalf of all citizens to have access to vital information relating to the deliberations of publicly elected officials to cuts $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.
That’s why the Montana Cowgirl Blog uncovered the secret transcripts of the debt panel proceedings, which are presented here for your edification. As you can see, the transcripts reveal just how heavily the U.S. Senate relies on ancient tradition, logic and most importantly, precedent. Many of its current rules, procedures, and traditions even draw inspiration from the dealings of ancient Rome. I hope you draw as much inspiration and confidence from these passages as I have.
DEFICIT SUPERCOMMITTEE OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT
Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas (Republican and committee co-chair): I call this meeting to order. Twelve buzzards appeared around lunchtime last Tuesday, and, as provided for in Senate Rule 2837B-2, a surprise visit by more than eight buzzards signifies that it is time to commence our work.
Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan (Republican): Thank you gentleman for the opportunity to address the body.
Aide: Reminds Upton that there is also a woman present.
Upton: (Waves hand dismissively, continues.) When I was last home in Michegan in 1994, I witnessed two eagles dueling over a dead goat. This portends ill for the continuation of the Bush tax cuts.
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana (Democrat). Aside, to an Aide: How many goats do we have in Montana?
Aide: leaves to fetch graphing calculator, returns with a printout.
Baucus: I vote no.
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona (Republican): We must increase military spending by at least double the amount of any revenue increases we make. This is partially to fight terrorists who want to harm our freedom, but mostly because I saw three meteors strike the moon at dawn.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts (Democrat): I disagree. When meteors strike the moon that signifies an unhappy parent, meaning we must not cut Medicare and Social Security.
Kyl: No it doesn’t.
Kerry: Yes it does.
Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania (Republican): We must consult the Oracle to clarify this matter before proceeding further. Lets adjourn for three weeks. This work is very tiring.