Where "Is" is not always "Is"
And Lies Are Never Lies
By Carolyn Cormey
When someone we trust lies to us it is a huge deal. If we base our financial investments on their lies, we sue them. If we invest our emotional commitment to someone who lies to us, our heart is broken and it may take many years to repair the relationship, if it can even be repaired at all.
On Planet DC, lies are never "really" lies. They seem to be a tolerated (if not an accepted) way of communicating. Politicians lie about each other, lie to each other, lie to their Special Interest Groups, lie to the Media and then they come home and lie to all of us. When we first send them to Washington, DC, they understand the concept of truth vs. lies but very shortly this distinction fades away when they begin recognize that they suffer no real consequences from the lies they tell us, the things they make up, the things they exaggerate, the promises they make with no real intention to deliver. They become confident, self assured, well practiced AND can soon deliver whoppers so well that they begin to believe it themselves!
Our own Senator Bill Nelson was recently interviewed "On the Record" by Greta VanSustern about reported violence of those who attended town halls over August Recess and concerning "the battle over health care reform in his home state of Florida." The following are direct quotes from the transcript of this televised interview:
Ms. VanSustern; "Where was there violence?"
HUH????? All WHAT town hall meetings during August Recess?
Senator Nelson; "Well, for example, you didn't hear about all my town hall meetings because most of them were very polite, very orderly. But you heard about one of them, and that was when I was speaking to the Miami - Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce because while I'm in talking substance in the building, outside, a pick-up truck pulls up, stopped, they get into an argument, one completely knocks out a 65-year-old demonstrator, and of course, all the press comes when he is waking up, and that's what you heard about."
Senator Nelson's daily schedule said that he was attending a Miami Chamber of Commerce Lunch. WOW! Silly us! We did not understand that Chamber Lunch were code words for "town hall." It makes me wonder how many other code word "town halls" we missed. Most of us would think that a Chamber Lunch would be by invitation only, open to Chamber Members and their guests.
Nothing was said, posted or advertised about this Chamber Lunch being a town hall open to constituents, no notice or invitation to the public to attend and bring their questions, concerns or fears about the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in this health care legislation. I guess when frustrated constituents and union members turned up to bring signs and demonstrate outside the luncheon AND when one of them got slugged and knocked down, all of a sudden it presented Senator Nelson with the perfect hind-sight opportunity to "remember" this Chamber luncheon as one of ". . . all my town hall meetings . . !" Never let a good crisis go to waste?
For two weeks prior to the August Recess, I called Senator Nelson's DC Office every day asking about any and all town hall meetings scheduled anywhere in Florida during August Recess, so that I could take time off to attend and make travel arrangements. Each day I was referred to Senator Nelson's website and was told that the Senator's schedule was not yet available but that no town halls were scheduled yet during August Recess. I explained my frustration about his website providing only the most minimal information about what the Senator was doing that day with NO advance notice of upcoming meetings or events. Even the posting of his schedule for the day most often contains no real information on where the event is and who I would contact to find out if I would be welcome to attend. On the last day before the August Recess, I called and/or emailed the five major newspapers in our state, asking them to help me get an answer to this question AND a couple of them told me that they got the same answer I got.
I was just one of many Florida constituents who also called and emailed his office in Washington, DC and offices all over Florida, asking about where they could attend town halls while Senator Nelson was home for August Break. Like me, their calls netted NADA . . . nothing! During August Recess, when Senators and Congressmen all over the United States, returned to their states and districts to make themselves available to answer questions in town hall meetings with their constituents, the regular folks - Senator Nelson, for reasons undisclosed to all of us, prioritized (my word) a trip to China over town hall Meetings to answer questions and reassure senior citizens about the massive cuts to Medicare/Medicaid and rumors of "death panels" proposed in this Health Reform Legislation. When he returned to Florida from China, The Senator's schedule was too packed to squeeze in some real, non-code word town halls with the regular folks who can provide him nothing else but their votes?
It is now November and August Recess is history. With so much happening right now, what good is it to look back? Our politicians always count on the fact that all of us are so consumed with the pressures of "today," that we won't look back and remember what they did or said OR how they voted. They know us so well, don't they? This gives them the freedom and confidence to simply rewrite any mistakes out of their political history and add in the things they should have done. In that interview with Greta VanSustern, Senator Nelson looked back and to many of us it seemed like he took the opportunity to re-write a Miami Chamber Lunch into one of a number of town halls he held when in actuality, according to the way all of us (not living on Planet DC) define "town halls," our Senator did not hold a single one anywhere in Florida during August Recess! But then, we learned that on Planet DC, there are many ways to define even the word "is." Perhaps Senator Nelson has other definitions for "town hall." What do you think?
This Health Care Reform Bill is set to transfer about 500 Billion from Medicare/Medicaid while at the same time qualifying millions more to receive Medicaid benefits. Take this opportunity to write him a letter (the best thing) Mail it to Senator Bill Nelson, 716 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510-0903. OR call and fax his DC office or one of his offices around the state. www.contactingthecongress.org