For how many years now have I been sitting through these Congressional hearings? (Mid-2006, I think.) Never does that happen.
Until . . .
. . . today.
Steve Buyer is the Ranking Member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. That means he's the highest ranking in the minority party on the committee. (The Republicans are in the minority.) And he just had a freak fest as C.I. documents in the snapshot.
It was just so film-like. Everyone attending was just on edge during Buyer's attack on Sgt Chuck Luther and reporter Joshua Kors. Kors was nothing but an ambulance chaser is what Buyer implied and he claimed that Luther was lying about his own experiences. And, on top of that, he kept insisting he had Luther's medical records but he was too much of a lady -- er, gentleman, to tell what the papers said. Buyers had his Drama Queen moment and stormed out. And everyone was just on edge. It was obvious how uncomfortable Buyer's scene was. Bob Filner, who Chairs the Committee, tried to joke it away. When he brought up the second panel, he noted it should go more smoothly because he didn't think the medical records on either witness had been requested.
Buyer actually began coming undone at the hearing before that one. It was a brief hearing, a mark up hearing. And Buyer was jovial and joking around; however, Debbie Halvorson was explaining her bill. And for some reason, Buyer got very nasty. Halvorson stayed focused and to the point but he was really attacking her and insisting that her bill wasn't necessary. But Buyer was really out of control. And then they took a break (less than 15 minutes) between the two morning hearings and the second one started.
And C.I. and I were talking about that second hearing at length. We both think Buyer was genuinely upset. But the confusion is this:
1) Chuck Luther was scheduled to testify.
2) Somehow Buyer got Luther's records or what he thinks are records (medical).
3) Luther handed over his prepared remarks (written statement) in advance by a day or two.
4) Luther reads his prepared remarks at the hearing.
5) Buyer is outraged.
Did Buyer not read the remarks ahead of time? The witnesses submit their prepared remarks ahead of time.
I don't get it. It makes no sense. But the drama made no sense.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"