[Note: I suspect that every person - Republican or Democrat - who has ever had to appear at a Senate confirmation hearing wishes he or she could have responded like this]
Richard A. Galen
Junior Deputy Assistant Subordinate Secondary
Secretary of State
International Kumbaya Affairs
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Galen, the Committee would like to welcome you and the chair would caution you that this will be a fairly brief hearing inasmuch as, until your nomination came to us, we were not aware there was a position of Junior Deputy Assistant Subordinate Secondary Secretary of State for Kumbaya Affairs.
MR. GALEN: Thank you Senator. Until my wife found the letter nominating me underneath the stack of Christmas cards from my car dealer and my bank, I didn't know it either.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Ranking Democrat has asked for time.
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: Mr. Galen, in your column "Mullings" did you, at any time, compare my colleague, Senator Schumer of New York, as "garbage?"
MR. GALEN: That is an absolute lie, Senator. I would never compare a United States Senator to garbage. I compared him to dog poop. I wrote,
"Any time Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is the lead dog for the Democrats, you want to watch where you step"
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: And, Mr. Galen, did you once portray another colleague, Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts, as having misbehaved while in college?
MR. GALEN: Another lie, Senator. What I wrote was, while Senator Kennedy was a student at Harvard he was an admitted cheater, having
"arranged for a friend to take a Spanish exam for him, an incident he later had to own up to before taking public office."
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: Do you think that spreading right wing-generated rumors like that is helpful to your confirmation process?
MR. GALEN: The rumor about Senator Kennedy cheating was a direct quote from that well-known mouthpiece for, and wholly-owned subsidiary of, the vast right-wing conspiracy: the PBS website.
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: Let's move along to another issue. As you know, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the qualifications of political appointees. What, in your background, qualifies you for this position?
MR. GALEN: I am no less qualified to do this job, then you were to do your job when you were first elected to public office. Or maybe even now.
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: Mr. Galen, do you promise to recuse yourself from any project or program which includes a group, association, or company which may have been a client of yours?
MR. GALEN: Sure. As soon as you promise to recuse yourself from voting on any bill which may affect any group, association, or company which has donated to your campaign fund.
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: Mr. Chairman, I see that I have another important meeting, so I yield back the balance of my time.
MR. GALEN: Thanks for stopping by, Senator.
THE CHAIRMAN: Inasmuch as there are no other Senators in attendance, I will adjourn this hearing and, by unanimous consent, declare that your nomination be taken up by the full Senate.
MR. GALEN: You mean you're APPROVING me?
My daughter Meggie, who loved your stories of the Double Stuffed Oreos in Iraq asked me to let you know she is trying to do her part.
With the advent of the Girl Scout Cookie Sale her council Pines of Carolina (Raleigh - Durham - Fayetteville) have added an option to let each customer donate a box(es) of cookies (to be determined by the Army) to the troops in Iraq. The council goal is 10,000 boxes. It is called Operation Thin Mint. Meggie is suggesting each customer donate a box. We will update you on the final count.
Have a Blessed Day