From Andrew Malcolm at the Los Angeles Times:
Well, at least these congressional hearings focus only on the major issues facing the troubled country.
California Sen. Barbara Boxer was chairing a hearing of her Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, examining what in blazes is taking the Army Corps of Engineers so long to properly protect a Louisiana city that sits below sea level from the sea. Good luck with that still. Again.
Boxer was getting a little exasperated, head dramatically on hand and all. As the proper sign of military respect for a female, Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh was answering "Yes, ma'am" and "No, ma'am."
And finally, the ma'am had had enough. "Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am'? It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title." No, really. Watch for yourself. She actually said that. A different attitude than on Memorial Day.
Truth be told, even on Capitol Hill, Walsh has taken a few years of service to his country to earn those general stars too. But Boxer did not deign to call him general. Nor did she bother with a please. Of course, the general complied with the Democrat's wishes immediately without complaint.
(UPDATE: 5:28 p.m. A Boxer aide sends word that she did refer to Walsh as general several times during the hearing, though not on this particular clip. The aide also said Boxer telephoned the general earlier today, "expressed their respect for each other" and look forward to working together in the future.)
Next year, Boxer is up for reelection back home. We'll see if Babs gets to keep that title.