Live blogging the meeting with Senator Leahy

11:08 AM. The senator is late. He had another meeting in the building and it went over.

11:15 AM. Still no senator. Supposedly he was “on his way” five minutes ago. It’s not that big of a building. I’m close enough to the podium that he could easily read my Barrett Firearms shirt. I wonder if he will notice.

11:20 AM. I’m beginning to think the senator stiffed us. But what do you expect from a politician?

11:22 AM. He is being introduced now. He is in the room.

11:23 AM. He says the sound system here is better than in the Senate.

11:25 AM. He is telling stories about the wonders of the Internet.

11:27 AM. The changes going on in America are unique.

11:28 AM. He is telling us how wonderful it is that France likes the changes.

11:30 AM. There is an opening, an opportunity, to reintroduce America to the world.

11:31 AM. Opening the floor to questions. First question is from someone from Vermont who asks, “What is in the stimulas package for Vermonters?”

11:32 AM. Answer is bridge maintance, Internet access in rural areas.

11:33 AM. Someone else is asking if he is going to go forward with the Truth Commission.

11:34 AM. Telling us about previous attorney general being forced out of office. Options for now are 1) Ignore it. 2) Prosecution which could take 15 years. 3) He proposes a middle ground which is offer immunity to those that come forward and tell the truth. He compares it to the Church committee of the 70s.

11:38 AM. I don’t jump in quickly enough. Other people start asking the next question before I even realize there is an opening coming up.

11:43 AM. He says Secretary Clinton is good at building bipartisan support. Context was “truth commission”.

11:44 AM. Question and answer about judical pay raise. Probably not going to happen in this economic situation.

11:47 AM. Q: What is the exit strategy for getting out of the “business” of nationalizing banks, insurance companies, etc.?

11:49 AM. A: Make them pay back the loans as soon as they are on their feet. Hope we don’t nationalize our industries.

11:50 AM. Suggestion for a “postmortum” on what went wrong with some legislation or other government activity. Senator says they do that frequentl but it doesn’t get any press coverage.

11:52 AM. Q: What do you think of the anti-trust action against Microsoft by the European Union? A: I hope they get those Microsoft guys! THAT WAS A JOKE! I don’t know if there is press in the audience, but that was a joke.

11:55 AM. Continuing on EU answer. He says protectionism benefits never last.

11:56 AM. They ended the meeting early.

2 thoughts on “Live blogging the meeting with Senator Leahy

  1. Wow. What a disappointingly typical politician. By the time I could finish the thousand-word essay explaining all the points on which he is totally wrong, he’ll have made 100 more totally wrong points. They do keep us distracted, don’t they?

  2. Yeah. That was pretty much the way I wrapped it up for Barb when we were having lunch. Typical politician. Very superficial and mostly wrong. It was frequently vague enough that you weren’t really sure what he was saying. “Make them pay back the loans as soon as they are their feet?” And what if they don’t “get back on their feet?” Do you loan them more money? Do you let them fold? If it was so important to prop them up last time will it be any less important next time? You “hope” we won’t nationalize any more industries? Setting aside the little problem of no enumerated power to nationalize the first one what is the objective criteria for nationalizing (or not) the second, the tenth, and the 1000th industry? Why should GM get help but not Joe’s Diner or The Mustang Ranch? Sure GM employs 10K as many people but Joe at the diner and Trixie at the ranch would probably be content with less than 1/10000 of the bailout.

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