Published on
the Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Holiday Hit: The Five Lies of Congress

Some folks think I’m tough on the president. They think the president has done a bang up job and the war’s escalation and health care’s sellout should have been expected. ’Cause it’s really about what Congress is doing and not about the actions of one man, even if that man is the most powerful human being in the world.

The only person who should be surprised by the implosion of the so-called left is Hillary Clinton. Heck, she campaigned promising more and bigger wars as well as virtually guaranteeing the sellout of health care reform. She’s got to be wondering why someone else delivered on those promises and she isn’t president!

Still, I can agree with those who blame Congress for this mess, so I wrote this ditty for them to sing. It’s the same tune as “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It goes like this:

The first lie of Congress my senator told to me was that all the bad guys are in the pokey. According to a study published by Del Mar University only about 5 percent of white-collar criminals end up in jail. The Del Mar report lists white-collar crime as “companies or individuals knowingly using substandard building material, marketing untested drugs, or knowingly and illegally polluting the environment. Neglect of worker safety requirements may also be considered white-collar crime.” Additionally they point out, “91 percent of those convicted of bank robberies go to jail while only 17 percent of those convicted of embezzlement of bank funds go to jail.” So much for Congress being tough on crime!

The second lie of Congress my senator told to me was that they would’ve voted as doves. According to an ABC News survey, “33 out of the original 77 senators” who voted in favor of the Iraq War, “indicated they would vote differently knowing then what they know now.” If that’s true then the majority of the Senate now believes the war is wrong and always has been, so why are they still funding it?

The third lie of Congress my senator told to me was socialism was bad for all men. Unless those men work on Wall Street: In October of 2008 the Senate approved the government refinance of our death-spiraling stock market. For those who feel this still gives me the opportunity to scold the president who, as a senator, cast a pro-bailout vote — so did his so-called opposition Sen. John McCain.

The fourth lie of Congress my Senator told to me was mountain top removal companies would eat their words. If the Senate would call the Appalachia Restoration Act for a vote the lying would show. Their inaction on this critical environmental and human rights issue proves that while they claim to advocate clean air and clean water; they actually support big coal and job loss. Further information on the degradation of West Virginia’s air and streams is available at the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Web site.

The fifth lie of Congress my Senator told to me: five red herrings!

Here are my favorite:

They love our soldiers — that’s why privatized armies make four times the salary! And there are plenty of them; the Department of Defense says the number of contractors in Afghanistan is 73,968.

Privatized prisons making prisoners into commodities isn’t dangerous to our liberty: The Wall Street Journal says that the three biggest companies, Corrections Corp. of America, Geo Group and Cornell are trading “at 12 to 18 times what each is expected to earn in 2010.”

Repeated deployments aren’t hurting our forces. Web search “troop fatigue” and see the truth.

Passing defense of marriage legislation will defend marriage; preserving the institution for guys like Tiger Woods and Eliot Spitzer.

And my favorite: electing a Democrat instead of a Republican will change our policies substantially. Like last month’s debate over abortion services in insurance policies, The Center for Responsive Politics found that “Democrats who supported this amendment that added restrictions to abortion-related health insurance benefits received considerably more campaign contributions from anti-abortion interests than Democrats who opposed the amendment.” It isn’t about the party, it’s about the money.

I’m out of space, but keep singing on your own. By now the “Lies of Congress” should be a familiar tune.

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Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche is an author, activist and advocate. She is the author of "Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States."  Her new novel, The Magic Diary, is due out in late spring.

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