Thursday August 6, 2009, 8:27 am
It has come to the point that the GOP should be known as The Anti-Family Values People; The Terrorist Club; Adultery, Inc; The Liars Den. Lump the sects together and you have The Cave Man Club.
I'm sure the Democrats all remember this and are prepared for it this time. Right?
If you haven't read the entire PBS timeline on how health care reform was derailed in 1994 recently, do yourself a favor and read it. The legislative side has an eerily familiar feel to
it, especially the part where the Democrats in the Senate preen egomaniacally while selling out reform to the insurance industry and the Republicans. You'll recall that the Republicans consciously pumped Whitewater in the press to create a distraction for the public and fuel mass protest among their own base. It's a sign of their impotence that the best they could come up with this time was a fringy clown show like the birthers, but it's certainly done its job among the 58% of Republicans who now aren't sure if Obama is actually an illegal alien. This stuff is evergreen.
If you can, please attend any town hall meeting in your area and try to bring some sanity to it or expose these phony populists for what they are. If you can, interview the teabaggers and send me the
video at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. It will be up to the progressive groups also to organize activists to offset what Republicans hope to accomplish. The Democratic party should have expected this. That's why I asked President Obama to demand that Congress work through the August recess. You can depend on Max Baucus to do his part and screw up health care for all Americans. He sold us out before.
August will be littered with images of the Zombie Plumbers disrupting town hall meetings because the media just loves this stuff. As usual, they won't give proper context or explain who these teabaggers are, and Americans will view these wackos on the news as a legitimate effort by patriotic Americans who are against changes to the health care system instead of explaining who they really are. I hate to bring this up, but do you remember how the media handled the six weeks leading up to the Pennsylvania Democratic primary? It was pretty frightening. That's what we can expect this month, and it won't be pretty.
Thursday August 6, 2009, 2:30 pm
The Texas GOP’s endorsement of these tactics joins remarks by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) that the “fear” and “anger” of Americans over health care reform present “real opportunities” for the Republican Party.
The Texas GOP isn’t alone in encouraging the mob protests, though. On a blog post titled “Here’s to Mob Rule,” Connecticut Republican chairman Chris Healy yesterday listed off the times and locations of several health care town halls. In the post he wrote that “one perrson’s [sic] mob is another person’s concerned’s citizen’s group” and remarked that if members of Congress “get upset because people are shouting at them, maybe they should listen.”
Some attendees admit they don't live in the Congressman's district, so why attend the meeting? The wave of unfounded, anti-Obama hate found legitimacy through the McCain Presidential campaign last year. Republicans are actively supporting the hate...
Thursday August 6, 2009, 9:15 pm
Missouri's Republican Rep. Akin and other conservative leaders have whipped up the right-wing base with a combination of lies and rage, and the results have bordered on dangerous. One Democratic lawmaker has received death threats because he supports health care reform. Another Democratic lawmaker was "physically assaulted." Far-right activists have registered their misguided, uninformed fury with everything from nooses to tombstones to signs with Nazi "SS" lettering.
Akin opposes health care reform; I get that. He's a far-right lawmaker who probably finds right-wing mobs comforting. But under the circumstances, maybe now would be a good time to skip the lynching jokes?
Police officers were called to calm down an unruly crowd outside a health care reform town hall meeting in downtown Tampa, Florida on Thursday evening, according to local news reports.
Angry protesters screamed, yelled and banged on windows as officers hurried to guard the entrances to the facility, where U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor was trying to discuss the various health care reform proposals being debated in Congress. One photojournalist said that a fistfight broke out inside the building, reports WTSP.
Many of the hundreds of protesters said that they had been inspired by a conservative activist group promoted by Fox News host Glenn Beck and some received emails from the county Republican party, according to the St. Petersburg Times.....
The Tampa Tribune reports that some protesters carried racist caricatures of President Obama and added details of more fights and scuffles.....
The GOP is willing to disrupt the health care debate if they can't win it. Yesterday in Tampa, a mob of Glenn Beck supporters nearly caused a riot. The Republican is an uncaring idiot who cares for no one but itself? To hell with the guy in the street!
Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, the operation that’s running a national campaign against a public health care option, is now publicly taking credit for helping gin up the sometimes-rowdy outbursts targeting House Dems at town hall meetings around the country, raising questions about their
CPR is the group headed by controversial former hospitals exec Rick Scott that’s spending millions on ads attacking reform in all sorts of lurid ways, a campaign that’s being handled by the same P.R. mavens behind the Swift Boat Vets.
In response to my questions, a spokesman for the group confirmed that it has undertaken a concerted effort to get people out to the town hall meetings to protest reform. The spokesperson, Brian Burgess,
confirmed that CPR is emailing out “town hall alert” flyers, and schedules of town hall meetings, to its mailing list.
These efforts — combined with CPR’s effort to enlist Tea Party-ers, as reported yesterday by TPM — provide a glimpse into the ways anti-reform groups are trying to create a sense of public momentum in their favor.
CPR spokesman Burgess confirmed that the group had set up a list serv designed to reach out to “third party groups” involved in the health care fight, including the Tea Party activists. And in a statement emailed to me, Scott, who was ousted as a health-care exec amid a 1990s fraud probe, took credit for the town hall showings.
“We have invested a lot of time, energy and resources into educating Americans over the past several months about the dangers of government-run health care and I think we’re seeing some of the fruits of that campaign,” Scott said, though he claimed outrage was spontaneous.
Similarly, America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, the insurance industry group, has stationed employees in 30 states to track local town hall events.
The question is whether these uprisings are actually helpful to the anti-reform cause, or whether their raucus agitprop will work againt them. Dems have blasted out to reporters examples of protestors harrassing House Dems.
“The more you dig the more you learn that this is a carefully orchestrated effort by special interest lobbyists and the Republican Party, who are using fringe elements on the right to protect insurance company profits and defeat health care reform,” said House Dem leadership aide Doug Thornell. “The anger at these events looks very similar to what we saw at McCain/Palin rallies in the fall.”
Friday August 7, 2009, 9:53 pm
There shouldn't be a problem with these townhall meetings. The speaker should set the ground rules for the meeting. The police should be standing by should the speaker ask a disrupter be removed from the meeting. Why should this be such a big deal?
Monday August 10, 2009, 6:14 am
Thank you for this post, Melva. I must say I am surprised that coordinators of these meetings as well as the speakers have allowed these disruptions. As a former instructor, the rules in this playbook are almost standard for any speaker to control the room. At the beginning of any meeting, the speaker sets the ground rules. Disruptions are not on the agenda, which gives the speaker grounds to have the disrupter removed. Of the many years I taught in a college setting, only once did I have to speak to a student, and I did not have to have him removed. He understood the rules of conduct.
Because these meetings have not been controlled, it makes me think the speaker is tolerating or welcoming the outbursts.
What we're seeing in these angry town halls these days is the last gasp of the angry white man. He's not quite sure what he's angry about, but he knows he's angry. It's not the world he used to know. He gets the disquieting feeling that he doesn't rule the roost anymore. And it's driving him crazy.
One of the chants at the town hall events
was, "No national healthcare!" Okay, mission accomplished. No one has proposed such a thing. So, I guess they can go home now befuddled at what they were yelling about.
The reality is that what they have been manipulated into arguing against is a public option that would give them more choices, not less in health insurance. It wouldn't nationalize health insurance at all, let alone any part of the rest of the healthcare industry.
a group of top Tea Party and conservative organizers offered a surprisingly frank description of their goal: Completely blocking any kind of bipartisan compromise, and completely preventing any type of health care reform bill at all from ever becoming law
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 11:45 am Health Insurance Reform Reality Check
Get the facts about the stability and security you get from health insurance reform instead of listening to industry and right wing hype.
* Nice work from the LA Times fact-checking common health care claims. (thanks to reader T.C. for the tip)
Outside, the gathering verged on a street brawl. The opposing forces lined up like screaming armies on either side of the street, about 1,000 people a side. Diane Campbell of Kingston, N.H., held a sign with Mr. Obama's face superimposed on a Nazi storm trooper, a sign, she said, that was made by her chronically ill mother.
Her mother's hereditary autoimmune disease is treated with expensive transfusions of gamma globulin, paid for by Medicare. Her sister, Louise, was born with no arms and one leg, and is also covered by Medicare, the government-run, health-insurance program for the elderly and disabled.
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 3:01 pm Professor Stephen Hawking Enters U.S. Health Care Debate
"I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the National Health Service," he told The Guardian. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.
Sunday August 16, 2009, 2:26 pm The brutal truth about America's healthcare vs Stephen Hawking, who said, "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.." And a student who suddenly found himself unable to move and had to be supported by his wife would not have been able to get that sort of care in the United States at all, let alone be kept alive and allowed the time to think that made it possible for him to become *the* Stephen Hawking.
Wednesday August 19, 2009, 2:54 pm
BE THERE ... 9/12/2009 in D.C.
The place to organize for the March on DC
I just wanted to remind everyone that you can connect with other people in your state by joining our ning social networking site. JOIN NOW and find a bus to ride in on, or a caravan of cars coming from your area. Connect with others in your state and work together to spread the word!
Health insurance reform represents the high political ground for four major reasons:
1). Most Americans - including swing voters - can't stand the health insurance industry. As Congress reconvenes, the Administration and its allies will unleash a major drive to correctly define the battle as a contest between the interests of private health insurance companies and ordinary Americans. Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the big coalition of progressive organizations and Labor, will put it this way: If the insurance companies win, you lose. ....
2). The Obama Administration will use every ounce of its political capital to win this battle. The President and his top advisors understand that -- when it comes to health care -- failure is simply not an option. They know that defeat on health care would be a huge blow to the President's ability to pass his entire agenda and his own standing with the voters. People follow successful leaders - not those who fail.
As a result, the President will use every bit of his charm, his persuasive ability and the formidable powers of the Presidency to secure the votes to win.
And make no mistake. While Barack Obama would prefer a bi-partisan bill passed through the regular order with broad consensus, he has an iron will and will pass a bill by one vote using special budget procedures if that is necessary to win. He is a huge fan of Lincoln's Team of Rivals, but in matters of legislation his model is Lyndon Johnson.
Anyone who doubts the strength of his resolve - or his resourcefulness - doesn't yet understand Barack Obama.