August 17, 2007

The Ghoul And The Fool

Patty Murray managed to sucker her fellow Democrats into looking like exploitative idiots two weeks ago, but not many media sources caught the Senator from Washington in her fib. Murray, who made headlines by pointing out Osama bin Laden's educational career after 9/11, used the St. Anthony Bridge collapse to rail against the Bush administration's supposed callousness towards our nation's infrastructure. The Hill and the Seattle Times noted the exchanges (h/t CQ reader Stoo):

A day after the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, Sen. Patty Murray joined other Senate Democrats to accuse the Bush administration of failing to maintain the country's bridges. And she had a dynamite anecdote:

"I have learned of a bridge where school buses have to stop and let all of the children out and pick them up on the other side because of weight restrictions."

The Hill reports that the anecdote was quickly repeated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

"The children have to walk across the bridge!" he declared in outrage.

My Lord! Where is this bridge, where The ChildrenTM are at risk? Why haven't the parents and local community acted to protect them? Why hasn't George Bush flown out to survey the scene?

Actually, in retrospect, Harry Reid began asking questions, too. And that's where Patty Murray and her office got a little fuzzy on the details:

So where's this limited-purpose bridge? Reid's office said to ask Murray. Murray said to call her office. Spokesman Mike Spahn looked into it. A couple of weeks later, where is that bridge?

Well, Spahn doesn't know. He said an unnamed member told Murray the story minutes before she addressed reporters, but she didn't hear where it was.

Well, what a shock. Patty Murray, one of the dimmest bulbs in this or any other Senate, went on the Senate floor to make an accusation against the Bush administration without checking the evidence to see if it was, you know, actually true. Everywhere else in the nation, this would be called "making crap up". It would also be called, "exploiting a tragedy for purely partisan purposes," and it makes Murray little more than a ghoul.

And what does that make Harry Reid? He appointed the vacuous Murray to chair the committee on transportation spending, and then he turned around and used her gossipy nonsense without first checking it out. Checking for verification after making the charge on the Senate floor doesn't count. He proved himself a fool, and not for the first time since he became Majority Leader.

The 110th Congress certainly has covered itself in glory, hasn't it?


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Comments (34)

Posted by swabjockey05 | August 17, 2007 6:09 AM

...yes but when "Bush lied"..."people died"...

Posted by jgreer | August 17, 2007 6:13 AM

would certainly be interesting to ask Patty if the children walk across at the same time the bus is driving...assuming the bridge can tell the difference

Posted by negentropy | August 17, 2007 6:20 AM

Apparently, a lie speeds across the bridge in the HOV lane, while the truth is still struggling with it's seatbelt.

Posted by onlineanalyst | August 17, 2007 6:21 AM

Let's let the Tedster weigh in on the issue. He is the senator most apt to know about bridges and crossing them when he comes to them. (Stevens doesn't count as an expert; his boondoggle is still in the planning stages.)

Posted by NoDonkey | August 17, 2007 7:06 AM

The Democrat Congress - more clowns than Barnum and Bailey.

And if we switched the clowns and sent the absolutely worthless Democrats to the circus where they belong, Congress would improve by having graduates of Clown College, as opposed to whatever diploma mill sold degrees to illiterates Murray and Reid.

Who voted for these inane Democrats? What were they thinking/drinking/snorting/shooting?

Posted by The Yell | August 17, 2007 7:07 AM

Why woud this be a federal issue? Is the federal government suddenly responsible to pay for construction and maintenance of all bridges, overpasses, and road structures in the United States?

Posted by Clyde | August 17, 2007 7:08 AM

The 110th Congress has definitely covered itself in SOMETHING, but I don't think it's glory. More like something that came out of the south end of a northbound horse.

Posted by sherlock | August 17, 2007 7:15 AM

Harry probably thought it was little Timmy's schoolbus on the bridge. Damn, that kid has had a tough year.

Posted by MarkW | August 17, 2007 7:16 AM

The facts may have been wrong, but the narrative was right.

Posted by Keemo | August 17, 2007 7:24 AM

This Congress has a 3% approval rating on some polls; as high as 14% on others...

Well deserved, I might add. But in reality, who are the fools.. The American people voted these bottom suckers into power. Maybe this will be a "wake-up" call for all of us. Both parties need to do a much better job of representing the people while upholding our laws & our traditions. I'm not happy with many from my party (Mel Martinez for example), but my god folks, the Democrats aren't even hiding their quest for complete power over the people.

Why aren't Democrat voters calling their own people out on the lies & fabrications they have consistently thrown out at our soldiers; do these people have no problem with being lied to... Democrats wonder why so many of us call bullshit on the "we support our soldiers, but not the war" theme. If you support the soldiers, then you would not allow your leaders to lie to you; in fact, you people seem to thrive on the lies. If you Democrats really do support our soldiers, then why don't you go to and donate money to the freedom charity events Sean sponsors for the children of fallen soldiers? Why is it that you only see actual "support" for our troops coming from the right side of the blogosphere? Why is it that we constantly see actual "work" being done for our soldiers coming from Republicans and Independents, and nothing but lip service from the left...

Harry Reid makes Tom Daschle look like a choir boy. Nancy Pelosi is in over her head in the most obvious of ways. Obama is years away from being ready for prime time. Jeez, how bad is it when the Democrats put these kind of people at the top of their ladder? On my side; how bad is it when a guy like Mel Martinez makes it to the top of the Republican ladder. Come-on Democrats; how can you stand one more minute of Ted Kennedy?

Both parties must do much better at every level of government. The corruption is far worse than I ever dreamed of. We, the people, must clean house on both sides of the isle; we must take our country back...

Posted by Bennett | August 17, 2007 7:38 AM

Well possibly there's some historic covered wooden bridge somewhere, up in New England maybe, where weight restrictions might require passengers to disembark before the vehicle can cross. And somehow that morphed into schoolkids have to get off the bus before it can cross the Golden Gate and how come President Bush isn't out there with his hard hat on personally directing the retrofit? Well, it sounded good, it was timely and the Senator made her point. The Bush administration has failed us yet again.

Posted by MarkJ | August 17, 2007 7:50 AM

I have learned of a bridge where school buses have to stop and let all of the children out and pick them up on the other side because of weight restrictions.

Can this infomercial be far off......?

"Hi, I'm Senator Patty Murray. Thanks to the evil, nasty, incompetent Bush Administration, which won't retreat from Iraq and use all those war-dollars for really important projects, Tiny Tim has to get out of his school bus every day and hobble across a bridge on his crutches because it will otherwise collapse. Friends, the hour is late and Tiny Tim is crying. Won't you puh-leeeeeze help?" [*PAN* to photo of Tiny Tim, tears streaming down his face, as he crosses the bridge on his crutches, and *FADE*]

Posted by O'l Country Boy | August 17, 2007 7:53 AM

OK all you city folks; very limited weight restriction bridges (normally old truss types, not old wooden covered), and bridges that have sudden heavy truck damage are common in the rural areas. AS A PRECAUTION, it is not uncommon to have the kids (children) get off and walk across. This has happened with several bridges I know about in Oklahoma. I think is most common when the bridge is the only way to get to a particular school district from an outlying area. These bridges are normally fixed or replaced as quickly as possible. However, they are often just torn down and not replaced if alternate routes are available. The only Democrats (or Republicans) involved is the county commissioner and school board. This has nothing to do with Bush, Reed, or Pelosi. By the way, sometimes the only way these low priority but very necessary bridges do get fixed is through earmarks (no, I'm not defending earmarks)

Posted by docjim505 | August 17, 2007 8:07 AM

Fake but accurate?

But, judging by our resident libs' response to the AFP "bullets" pic, Murray and Reid are both off the hook. After all, they're only repeating what somebody else told them. Not their responsibility to make any effort to ensure that it's true, you know.

By the way, I heard today from somebody whose name I didn't catch that a company controlled by Dingy Harry is deliberately building faulty and unsound school bus bridges in Nevada so that the busses will crash into the valleys below so that the kids' organs can be harvested for stem cell research. I also heard from that person who's face I don't remember that Dingy Harry is running a "dead pool" in Vegas, making millions by betting how many kids will be killed on his faulty bridges on any given day.

I just heard it. Not saying it's true, you know.

Posted by FedUp | August 17, 2007 8:18 AM

Dimwits in congress.... sunk to new heights!

Posted by runawayyyy | August 17, 2007 8:42 AM

This story is in the same spirit as all those black churches that burned down in arkansas during bill clinton's childhood....or at least that's what he TOLD us....

of course, when every single historian in arkansas or anywhere else failed to come up with ONE SINGLE example of a black church EVER burning down ANYWHERE in arkansas during clinton's ENTIRE childhood, we were told it didn't matter because the message was the important part....

see, it doesn't matter when a leftist lies to your face, knowing full well it's a lie when they tell's the MESSAGE....leftist leadership lies because they can, leftist voters believe because they're told to.

Posted by Scrapiron | August 17, 2007 9:03 AM

The poll indicating 3% approval was a poll of congressional members? We know at least half of the 14% that approved of this congressional leadership in another poll were lying or congressional family members (also liars) and the margin of error (that's lies by the poll takers).covered the other half. I made it up but it sounds good. The truth is that the democrat leadership of congress can't be trusted around money, children, or whore houses, much less to protect the lives of Americans. Is this a result of evolution or creation?

Posted by rrk | August 17, 2007 9:19 AM

I agree with Ol' Country. No doubt such bridges exist, though it's delicious that neither Murray nor her intrepid staff know of any.

The wonder is that she would come up with such a patently stupid "example" in her adolescent urge to one-up other victims of Bush Derangement Syndrome. As has been mentioned, she plays to the ignorance that somehow now the Federal bureaucracy is to responsible for every local thing.

Posted by John Gault | August 17, 2007 9:29 AM

I bet whoever told the original story, "read it on the internet" or got the story from a FW: FW: FW: FW: email.

Posted by bulbasaur | August 17, 2007 10:00 AM

The democrat party playbook sez get the propaganda out fast and run away.

That's why it's called DRIVE-BY MEDIA.

Has Congressman Murtha (D) apologized yet to the Marines re: the Haditha charges?


Posted by David M | August 17, 2007 10:11 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/17/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Posted by FedUp | August 17, 2007 10:39 AM

Scrapiron... it has to be evolution. God doesn't create junk!

Posted by FedUp | August 17, 2007 10:44 AM

Scrapiron... it has to be evolution. God doesn't create junk!

Posted by always right | August 17, 2007 11:17 AM

Captain Ed:
The 110th Congress certainly has covered itself in glory, hasn't it?

As long as it reflects the MIDDLE 30 or 40%, that's the Congress we deserve.

Posted by Pat Patterson | August 17, 2007 11:24 AM

And like Sen. Dirksen's oration that the marigold is the most magnificent of American flowers then what Sen. Murray claimed must be true because it's in the Congressional Record.

Posted by eeyore | August 17, 2007 12:22 PM

Thirty years ago, when I was in school, a bridge on a gravel county road had to be worked in this way. Students walked across the bridge then got back on the bus after it passed. I wanted to do the same when riding in a car across it. People complained and the county rebuilt it. I could probably drive someone to where it is but since it happened so long ago, under Carter, who would care?

Anyway, it was a county bridge the county had to maintain. The DOT wouldn't be involved in it.

Posted by Tom the Barbarian | August 17, 2007 1:10 PM

A Republican gave us the "Bridge to Nowhere". Now a Democrat gives us the "Nowhere Bridge".

Seem kind of symmetrical, doesn't it?

Posted by Ken Oglesby | August 17, 2007 2:01 PM

The 110th Congress certainly has covered itself in glory, hasn't it?


So much so that this Congress will go down in history,along with sick willie's two terms in office,as the most ethical in history.

It is no coincidence that the democratic mascot is a donkey.
They continually make asses out of the American people.

Posted by Blaise MacLean | August 17, 2007 2:51 PM

Two quick points.

The first is that it is the nature of the allegation, and not the nature of the facts that is important to Democrats attacking the President.

Secondly, perhaps because I am a Canadian, I am a little more tuned-in to Federal/Provincial and division of jurisdiction issues (we live for this in Canada), but there is something here that I have been having a hard time getting my head around. How does a local issue, such as a bridge, get to be a FEDERAL/PRESIDENTIAL problem? The US is a federal country, just as Canada is. The idea, therefore, is that local issues are to be dealt with by the level of government with the most local knowledge and ability...I should think that bridges are a quintessentially local issue.

This came back to me, by the way, because I had the same question during the Hurricane Katrina situation. Hurricanes occur locally, and local governments deal with them, assisted when necessary by the national government. Florida, for example, seems to handle its own hurricane planning. How did Katrina become not just a Federal problem, but maybe the Bush Administration's back-breaker? It seems weird to this Canuck.

Posted by Ray | August 17, 2007 4:20 PM

"How did Katrina become not just a Federal problem, but maybe the Bush Administration's back-breaker?"

Katrina didn't become a federal problem, New Orleans did. That city screwed up in how it prepared for and handled the flooding situation but since it is a liberal city, the blame automatically falls to the federal government. Liberals NEVER take responsibility for their actions, it's always someone else's fault.

Remember, Katrina hit more than just that one city and the other states and cities that were affected did quite well handling the crisis, but all the news focused on just New Orleans and that government's screwup. The city government didn't want to accept blame for the crisis that they help create through their incompetence, they HAD to blame Bush as he's an easy target for liberals and the liberals knew the MSM would be happy to assist in scapegoating Bush.

The same can be said of the St. Anthony bridge collapse. That bridge was in a liberal area of a liberal state. If it turns out that a liberal city, county, or state government is to blame thought inattention, or that a liberal state approved a flawed design to begin with, the liberals will NOT accept blame and will instead try to foster blame onto their political enemies. In this case, a republican governor and president. The liberals are already prepping the public to accept the idea the it's all the fault of republicans. It's never a liberal's fault and it's never just an accident, it must be the fault of someone else. The liberals have already decided that their chosen scapegoat will be republicans.

Posted by James Williams | August 17, 2007 7:15 PM

This is another instance of the Democrat's "Fake, but Accurate " playbook. After all, everyone knows that everything bad in the world is George Bush's fault.

Posted by Bleepless | August 17, 2007 8:06 PM

The Seattle "news"papers never, ever contain a single sentence about Murray's brains.

Posted by Ray | August 17, 2007 8:57 PM

""I have learned of a bridge where school buses have to stop and let all of the children out and pick them up on the other side because of weight restrictions.""

And I learned that the children later realized that they didn't need to get out, they just jumped out of their seats the same time the school bus crossed the bridge. With the kids in the air and not in their seats, the weight of the bus was reduced. It had the same effect of leaving the school bus and having that bus drive across empty. It was also a hell of a lot more fun than getting out and walking.

On a serious note: ALL BRIDGES (and roads) have weight restrictions, the St. Anthony Bridge was no exception. You couldn't drive a M1 Abrams tank across it, for example. This isn't an indication of bad maintenance or design, it's just a matter of physics.

Ed is right, she sure is a dim bulb.

Posted by T A M N Y , T . D . | August 19, 2007 3:05 AM

The senatorial duo from Washington State may well be - - to the extent I can quantify - - the Nation ' s WORST . Admittedly the brethren from CALIFORNIA , MASSACHUSETTS , NEW YORK and VERMONT have to rate very near the bottom
regarding opportunistic partisanship and endorsement of chronically bad public policy ;
this ' competition ' would be tough .

Senator Murray ' s elementary school civics text naivete about Osama Bin Laden is so idiotic as to be an embarrassment for the voters of Washington State - - or so one would think .

Senator Murray is now serving her THIRD term : just the kind of career solon TERM LIMITS ought to target , had limitations on tenure only passed constitutional muster .

Mrs . Murrray ' s colleague MARIA CANTWELL , with her haughty support of the Congress ' s favorite muzzle on dissent
McCAIN - FEINGOLD , demonstrated a lovely little authoritarian streak that ought to disqualify her from representing the Public .

Said Ms . Cantwell , in a statement that is remarkable in conveying the speaker ' s contempt for competitive elections and the right to criticize incumbents : " THIS BILL IS ABOUT SLOWING POLITICAL ADVERTISING AND MAKING SURE THE FLOW OF NEGATIVE ATTACK ADS BY OUTSIDE INTEREST GROUPS DOES NOT CONTINUE TO PERMEATE THE AIRWAVES . "

Alas , it is the responsibility of Washington State ' s voters to remove Senators Murray and Cantwell , along with the Governor - whose - absentee - voters - aren ' t limited to the living , CHRISTINE GREGOIRE . The voters of KINGS COUNTY , Washington ' s eight - hundred - pound yeti , fail the common - sense test abysmally .

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