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Thursday, 6 September 2012

The U.S. Senators gathered for today's floor debate unexpectedly and unintentionally broke out into verse in the middle of their proceedings. The following is the official Congressional transcript of what occurred.

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD

PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 112TH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION

WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 2012

SENATE

MORNING BUSINESS

The Senate met at 10 a.m. and was called to order by THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. The Senate is called to order. The first item on the docket is debate on provision 48, Section 18 of S.R. 6438. Mr. Rawlins has indicated a desire to speak. As such, I recognize the Senator from Michigan. You may speak now, sir.

MR. RAWLINS (MICHIGAN, R). Thank you, Mr. President. I find provision 48 of Section 18 of S.R. 6438 particularly troubling because it clearly infringes upon eminent domain statutes enacted within the municipalities of Taylor in Wayne County and Ypsilanti in Washtenaw County. I cannot in good conscience acquiesce to this provision because it so blatantly violates the local statutes of these two townships. I therefore motion that S.R. 6438 be sent back to committee to work out a suitable solution to this clear conflict between local and federal jurisdiction. I must confess, my fellow senators that,

Alack and allay!
My soul doth convey,
Much dread and dismay.
At civic foul play.

[Transcriber's note: MR. RAWLINS (MICHIGAN, R) immediately stopped his speech, visibly shocked by this unexpected poetical outburst. The other senators awoke from their individual musings. All eyes were on MR. RAWLINS (MICHIGAN, R). THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE interrupted the silence).

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. Mr. Rawlins.

MR. RAWLINS (MICHIGAN, R). Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. Did you just speak in verse?

MR. RAWLINS (MICHIGAN, R). I, uh… I…Yes I did.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. Why?

MR. RAWLINS (MICHIGAN, R). I don't know.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. What do you mean you don't know?

MR. RAWLINS. (MICHIGAN, R). I, uh… It just came out.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. Senator Rawlins, I find it difficult to believe that,

Man could recite with no prior forethought,
Poetry gifted from muses unsought.

[Transcriber's note: THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE stood frozen behind the podium, his mouth and eyes open in surprise. A grumble passed through the floor of the Senate.]

MS. CUERO (NEW JERSEY, D). What's going on? Is this some sort of joke?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. No…I…no. I don't know…

MR. HOLLIS (TENNESSEE, R). Mr. President, we have a whole lot of very complicated procedures to get through. This is the Senate, good sir, not the open mic night at the Slam Club.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. I…yes…I know. I'm not doing it on purpose. I,

Swear I did not deign to plan or rehearse,
Handle our business in metrical verse.

Gah! It happened again!

[Transcriber's note: The grumble grew louder.]

MR. DORNISH (CALIFORNIA, D). Mr. President. Mr. Rawlins. I don't know what game you're playing at but I think it's about time we,

Get back to work,
Quit being jerks,
End all the laughter,
Wipe off the smirks.

[Transcriber's note: The grumble turned into a racket.]

MR. SIA (ALABAMA, R).

I must be sincere,
I'm quite at a loss,
To why all my peers,
Sound like Robert Frost.

Sweet Father above!
I'm rhyming as well!
I'm prisoner of,
Some lyrical hell!

MR. DANSON (ARKANSAS, R).

What's going on?
I'm scared, I'm afraid.
Have we yet gone,
Past all help and aid?

MS. BRENT (FLORIDA, D).

The end has now come!
We're surely all screwed!
I'm nauseous. I'm numb.
My mind's come unglued!

[Transcriber's note:

Panic then gripped the dismayed politicians.
Scared and unnerved by their rhythmic condition.
Right blamed the Left and the Left's accusation,
Blaming the Right for its versification.

Insults replaced what was tact and decorum.
Fighting soon wracked the old senators' forum.
Fear mixed with ego quick clashed and collided,
Punches and libel flew thick and unguided.

No passerby or objective outsider,
(Or unintentional poet-transcriber),
Seeing this mayhem could stop from concluding,
All of them morons for pointlessly feuding.

Just then THE PRESIDENT entered the battle,
Trying to calm the aggressive and rattled.
Banging his gavel through racket and riot,
Firmly demanding some semblance of quiet.]

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE.

Order! Now order, is what I demand!
You will obey my official command!
Stop all this brawling. Get back to your seats.
This I ordain and, if need be, entreat.

[Transcriber's note:

Utter hysteria calmed and subsided,
After the senators slowly decided,
Heed their superior's call for suspension,
Of such a senselessly violent contention.]

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE.

Gentlemen! Ladies! We have to return,
To our nomistic lawmaking concerns.
Section 18 still remains on the list.
Congress's duties cannot be dismissed.

MR. REIMS (DELAWARE, D).

But, Mr. President,
There's hardly a precedence,
For our fellow Americans,
To understand verse.

MR. LOWEL (KANSAS, R).

Ha! Typical Democrat!
Can't even keep meter,
Or speak in full-rhyme!

MR. REIMS (DELAWARE, D).

Speak for yourself!
Ya' dense Conservative!
Can't not use no talk,
Or little rhyme none!

MS. CROWLY (MAINE, R)

Democrats bad!
And stupider more!
Righter is righter!
And Lefter is wronger!

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE.

Order! For no one will speak out of turn!
Long as I'm standing behind this lectern!

[Transcriber's note:

Down went THE PRESIDENT. Order was shattered,
Hitting the floor with a groan and a clatter.
Battlefield prey of a camouflaged shooter,
Felled by a swiftly thrown laptop computer.]

MR. GRENICH (KANSAS, R).

Bah!
Reps are da' bestest!
Dumberest you!

MR. BURKE (ILLINOIS, D).

Umf!
Durr!
Growl…

MS. REINHOLDT (ALASKA, R).

Harr!
Hein!
Grrrr!

[Transcriber's note:

Meter broke down as the rhyme was forsaken.
When their more bellicose instincts awakened.
Monosyllabically grunting displeasure,
Senators turned from all lyrical measure.

No longer able transcribe what resembled,
Lunacy neither disguised nor dissembled,
Sickened, the transcriber left from his station,
Loath watch the Senators ruin his nation.]

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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