It's sad but true - many Americans are ill-informed about the political process in their own country. Fortunately, the recent scandal involving Senator Durenberger (R-Minn.) offers the perfect opportunity to discuss a little-known but interesting facet of Our American Government At Work: Namely, C O N G R E S S I O N A L P U N I S H M E N T S ======================================================================== According to today's Detroit Free Press, the Senate Ethics committee recommended that the full Senate `denounce' Sen. Durenberger (who apparently likes to be called `Dave') for the following ethical lapses: + falsely claiming office expenses for trips to his Minneapolis condo, and + collecting fees in excess of Senate limits for a book publishing deal. Wow, these are serious charges! Since Sen. Dave has apologized, and didn't contest the charges, the Senate (presuming guilt) recommended denouncement. Dictionary and Thesaurus entries (Webster's 9th, Digital edition): >de.nounce \di-'naun(t)s\ vt de.nounced; de.nounc.ing >[ME denouncen, fr. OF denoncier to proclaim, fr. L denuntiare, > fr. de- + nuntiare to report ] >(14c) >1: to pronounce esp. publicly to be blameworthy or evil >2 archaic > a: PROCLAIM > b: to announce threateningly >3: to inform against: ACCUSE >4 obs: PORTEND >5: to announce formally the termination of (as a treaty) >syn see CRITICIZE >P de.nounce.ment \-'naun(t)-sment\ n >P de.nounc.er n > >' Thesaurus: > >denounce vb > syn CRITICIZE, blame, censure, condemn, denunciate, knock, rap, > reprehend, reprobate, skin > rel accuse, arraign, charge, impeach, incriminate, indict, tax; > revile, vituperate; delate, inform > idiom cry harrow (or haro) > con panegyrize, praise > ant eulogize The Senate's range of options is quite wide, eh? On the mild end, we have 'cry harrow', wherein each member of the Senate is required to say 'Harrow, Dave' in the morning instead of the conventional 'Hello, Dave.' Harsher but nonviolent punishments include 'rap', wherein the Senate is obliged to write, produce, and market a rap song about Sen. Dave: >[tappa-tappa-tappa-tappa tap tap skreeeeek!] >We's the Senate, and we gotta say >Dave's condo ain't no office, no way! >[zippa-zippa-zippa-zippa boom boom CLAP!] Moving into the physical punishments, we have `knock', which I would recommend that Senators Larry, Moe, and Curly perform: >``Dave, you're a knucklehead!'' BONK >``Hey Moe! Let me at him! Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!'' EYE-POKE The three most blood-curdling punishments seem to be `skin' (!), `eulogize' (!!), and, of course, the dreaded `tax' (!!!) Imagine that! Instead of using one of these disciplinary measures, the Senate has decided that a denouncement is actually a `Harrumph of Disapproval.' I can see it now. I'll tune in C-SPAN tonight to see 99 senators saying `Harrumph, Dave. Harrumph!' in unison. Apparently, Sen. Dave turned down a plea-bargain arrangement wherein he would not be harrumphed, but merely referred to as the `Congress-weeny' for one year. I hear that Congress-weenies emeriti Wright and Tower were in favor of that arrangement.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)