Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Liveblogging the confirmation hearings of Dr. Benton Quest
The following is a portion of my liveblogging this very contentious confirmation hearing for Really Knowledgeable Scientific Person in the Obama administration. I was very lucky that I was able to get a press pass for this occasion. Marcy Wheeler apparently had something other to do.
Undetermined Democratic Senator: I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Dr. Quest to this confirmation hearing. I am sure we all want to treat this hearing, and Dr. Quest, with respect and due diligence that…
Undetermined Republican Senator: *inaudible* Can we just get on with it? I have an appointment at the Club in two hours!
Undetermined Democratic Senator: Yes, well then, we shall begin with these preceedings. Dr. Quest, do you have an opening statement to make?
Dr. Benton Quest: Yes, senator. Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Benton Quest and I…
(Sorry, I missed this part. I think I fell asleep. Man, these chairs are uncomfortable. I wonder if there is a vending machine around? I need some caffeine.)
Undetermined Republican Senator: Dr. Quest, if I may be so blunt. You say you are an”expert.” Just what kind of expert are you.
Dr. Benton Quest: I am very glad you asked that question. I hold a Ph.D. in archeology from Princeton, a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from Embry Riddle University, a Ph.D. in computer science from Cal Tech, a Ph.D. in South American native cultures from the Florida State University, a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Arizona, a…
Undetermined Republican Senator: Yes, thank you very much. It would appear that you are rather fond of "science". There's "good" science and there's "bad" science. Everyone understands that. That just goes without saying. Now, Dr. Quest, you appear to have spent quite a bit of time in college. Is that because you couldn’t find a job, or just because you couldn't cut it?
Dr. Benton Quest: Pardon me?
Undetermined Republican Senator: Come now, Dr. Quest. It isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. Lots of people couldn’t get a job when they got out of college. Take me, for instance. If it weren’t for the Young Republicans, I wouldn’t have had gainful employment at all! My first job was going down to Florida in 2000 and yelling at some people in an office. Something about a recount. I wasn’t quite sure what we were doing there, but it was really important!
Dr. Benton Quest: I just found I was better suited to independent research and consulting.
Undetermined Republican Senator: So, you live on an island, don’t you? Out in the Azores or something really esoteric and un-American, if I have that correct.
Dr. Benton Quest: No, sir. It’s off the coast of Florida. Part of the United States.
Undetermined Republican Senator: Humph. And you live there alone?
Dr. Benton Quest: No, sir. I live there with another gentleman, Race Bannon, my son Johnny and his friend Hadji.
Undetermined Republican Senator: We’ll get to “companion” in a minute. Your son’s friend. He’s a furriener, isn’t he?
Dr. Benton Quest: Excuse me?
Undetermined Republican Senator: Furriener! What’s the matter, can’t you speak English? If I am correct, your son’s friend, this “Hadji”, he’s from Eye-raq, isn’t he?
Dr. Benton Quest: India.
Undetermined Republican Senator: Whatever. He's a Mooslum.
Dr. Benton Quest: Actually, Hadji's Hindu.
Undetermined Republican Senator: Whatever. I have proof that he is here illegally. An illegal immigrant! Undocumented!
Dr. Benton Quest: But he’s my adopted son!
Undetermined Republican Senator: How do you know he’s not a terrorist!?!
Dr. Benton Quest: He’s 11 years old!
Undetermined Republican Senator: That don’t make no never mind to them terrorists! They blow themselves up and you with ‘em as soon as look at you! Just look at his name! “Hadji”! Ain’t that what our soldiers call terrorists? That, or “raghead.”
Dr. Benton Quest: Hadji has never caused me to lose a night’s sleep in all the time he’s been with us! Except, of course, for the time that he and Johnny were kidnapped by a hostile Indian tribe in the jungles of South America..
Undetermined Republican Senator: Leave your family reminiscing to some other time, if you would, sir. I would like you to be aware that I have dispatched the INS to your island. They should be there within the hour.
Dr. Benton Quest: But…
Undetermined Republican Senator: I would also like to ask you about your “companion.” This “Race” person. What kind of name is Race, anyway? I’ll bet he’s from San Francisco.
Dr. Benton Quest: His real name is Roger. He’s not my companion. The government provided his services as protection for my son!
Undetermined Republican Senator: At great expense to the taxpayers, I might add! Two unmarried men, living by themselves on an island. Running around on the beach, half naked... All that sun... Rubbing lotion on each other’s bodies… Um, yes, well. That’s beside the point. Yours is hardly what I would call a typical American family. I find this profoundly disturbing. It’s an unhealthy environment for such an impressionable young boy. I must say that I find your values distinctly un-American.
Dr. Benton Quest: I am as American as you are!
Undetermined Republican Senator: Are you, now? Need I remind you that I am a senator and you are not? You can’t get much more American than a senator, now can you? If you are so American, how come you are out of the country so often? But I will save that question for later on. I would like to ask you about your association with one Dr. Zin.
Dr. Benton Quest: Dr. Zin? He’s a madman. What has he got to do with anything?
Undetermined Republican Senator: Well, you and he seem to have an established… relationship. You and he have been seen "palling around" together in several instances, have you not?
Dr. Benton Quest: No, that's not…
Undetermined Republican Senator: And isn't it true that this Dr. Zin is an international criminal and terrorist? He is contantly inflitrating this country’s military installations, with… let me make certain I have this correct, a giant metal spider. Is that not the case?
Dr. Benton Quest: Yes, but…
Undetermined Republican Senator: So, even though you indicated you and he do not have a relationship, how is it that you know about this event?
Dr. Benton Quest: I was the one who stopped him!!
Undetermined Republican Senator: Are you saying that the Army could not stop Dr. Zin and his toys? Dr. Quest, if you really are a doctor, I would like you to know that nothing can stop our military, not even giant metal spiders. And you believe that you could accomplish something that the mightiest military force on the face of this planet could not accomplish? Isn't that an insult to our brave men and women in uniform?
Dr. Benton Quest: You have this all wrong!
Undetermined Republican Senator: Now, Dr. Quest, I have another question I would like to ask you. In your written answers to our questions, you constantly refer to someone with the name of “Bandit.” At this point, I would like to ask you if you commonly consort with known criminals?
Unfortunately, I believe I once again fell asleep at this point. I woke up and the room was completely empty except for a janitor.
(This post has been updated to greatly increase the humoresness of the original.)