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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Five other times the House Stenographer has been dragged from the floor

Tonight, the House Stenographer--the person appointed to sit quietly and carry a big typing hand--was dragged from the floor. She yelled about Masons and God, and perhaps a sticking 'Q' key.

Here are five other times in this history of the US House a stenographer has been pulled from the House floor.

1776. Luddy Cartwright took the initial notes of the second Continental Congress. He was removed from the hot Philadelphia room when he insisted the Continent was not represented, and therefore should not have a Continential Congress. Instead, he suggested a Colonial Congress.

Cartwright was later proven to be a Navajo.

1860. On Oswald Clemmons first day as House stenographer, he shouted, "Gentleman! I support President Buchanan. I support him so much, I am carrying his child!" When asked for proof, Clemmons cited the recent Dred Scott decision, insisted he was a free-born white man, and denounced his own pregnancy as against the State. I had sex with that President, Mr Buchanan, and as a free man I am still a victim of the Dred Scott law. Dred Scott is to blame! Long live Oswald Clemmons. The outburst was stricken from the record. The typed pages, however, are still accessible in the Library of Congress, with a notation from Helen Thomas: Wow, I'm impressed he managed to write all this while being ripped from his pen.

1942. The only thing Stenographer Jed Susaki managed to type: Help, America, I'm being dragged right now from my assigned po. Port of call? Post? Point of origin? No one knows what Susaki meant to type when he typed 'po'. He was in a position to do a lot of things, but Susaki never managed to complete 'po.'

1953. While waiting for the Senate to end, because Strom Thurmond wouldn't shut up, the House stenographer sent a note to the Senate stenographer: It's okay. We'll always have Paris. 

2002. Gordon Gorson typed a few words, then looked to the House. "You saw me type everything right?" he asked. Speaker Dennis Hastert asked for a review. The House went into recess. Gorson never returned, and his stenography machine remains under investigation. Hastert, who currently credits Scientology as his stenographical hero, refuses to speak of Gordon Gorson.

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