House Dem to town hall attendee: ‘Knock off the bull’
Tempers again flared at a congressman’s health reform town hall meeting underscoring highly emotional debate over the proposed overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) told an anti-health reform audience member at his meeting to “knock off the bull” after he made heated remarks. Grayson then noted that his three children were in attendance.
“I’m not saying I know everything,” Grayson said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “But I’m pretty familiar with this bill. Let’s be respectful.”
The freshman Democrat held his town meeting inside a union hall filled with more supporters than critics. A large number of protesters demonstrated against the bill outside the building. The Sentinel reported that the hall could hold 120 people.
The public town hall was held right after a meeting of local Democrats, many of whom stayed in the scant number of seats for the healthcare meeting immediately afterward.
During the meeting, Grayson said that he would vote for the bill and stood behind the public option, which some White House officials labeled non-essential on Sunday.
“This bill cost half what the war in Iraq cost,” Grayson said. He added that while “no one would be required to be in the public option,” it would provide the best competition against exisiting private insurers.
Orly Taitz Might Run for Office
By David Weigel 8/17/09 2:55 PM
Benjamin Hartman of Ha’aretz conducted a strange, semi-credulous interview with birther/fraudster Orly Taitz, who’s in Israel for a month, and rather disappointed that the birther “phenomenon” has faded, “largely supplanted by the debate over health care.” Hartman buries the lede:
In a classic, Americana twist, the matriarch of the birthers has not ruled out her own stint in politics. “You know I never ran for office, but I would not exclude this as a possibility.”
The rest of the interview consists of Taitz patriotically bashing America on foreign soil.- Taitz claims, for the umpteenth time, that the Obama administration is setting up detention camps for its political opponents. Hartman leaves this unchallenged….
- She claims that the president is an enemy of Israel and that “he issued an executive order to give $900 million to Gaza with no preconditions.” (A lie; Congress had to approve the money.)
- She claims that “the vast majority of the population is supportive . There are some leftists, and some people in the media who are pro-Obama, but even they in private will say they’re with me.”
First, we must maintain a clear and unwavering purpose – and not overstate our accomplishments. In Vietnam, we seemed to change our objectives whenever they were seriously challenged. At one time or another we fought to halt Communist aggression from the North, to avoid the fall of the “Southeast Asian dominoes,” to prevent a slaughter should the Viet Cong take over, and to maintain U.S. “credibility.” And we kept promising “light at the end of the tunnel,” until Tet shattered public expectations and support.
So in Afghanistan, we must avoid confusing Americans by citing too many justifications for our presence. We aren’t there to create democracy for Afghans, stabilize a nuclear-armed Pakistan or deal with strategic rivalry on the subcontinent. These may be means to an end, but we must not lose public focus on Al Qaeda. And we must be cautious in claiming progress.
Second, we must realize that, as we ratchet up our military commitment against the insurgency in Afghanistan, we will take increased losses, and this will limit our political staying power. We must get the balance right between the urgency of the mission and the costs and risks of actions to speed up our success. In Vietnam it turned out there were actually extraordinary military measures that might have been decisive against the North, but we were self-deterred from taking them until it was too late. We should have gone after the North by air more heavily sooner; we should have cut off their base areas in Cambodia and Laos sooner and more effectively.
Our military must seek to find more effective measures against the enemy headquarters and base areas in Pakistan – and the Predator strikes are a good start. Let’s not wait too long to act.
Finally, we gain nothing by blaming our hosts or their culture. In Vietnam, we constantly complained about the ineffectiveness of our allies and engineered the ouster of South Vietnamese leaders. In the end, we simply ended up owning the problem. In Southwest Asia today, Americans must recognize that local leaders and their institutions do not share our own priorities and values. We cannot really build a nation for other people, and the American public must not expect it. Instead we will be working quietly behind the scenes to focus greater regional efforts against Al Qaeda.
Our commitment to defeating Al Qaeda need be nothing like our tragedy in Vietnam – unless we make it so. Under the Obama administration, we are off to a good start. Let’s learn from America’s errors, not relive them.
Two new lawsuits against President Obama:
Venieris v. Obama, US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Mr. Obama as acting President of the united states did in fact receive letters from me explaining the illegal actions performed by the former President George Bush before Mr. Obama became President now that Mr. Obama is President he continued to violate my rights as an American Citizen under the Constitution of the United States by continuing to allow numerous government agencies and different branches of the military to perform psychological and physical warfare deemed to be illegal under any circumstances on American soil especially on myself an American Citizen who was offered a position as under cover cop by the former President. Therefore I am suing for 1.000.000 per day that I was tortured which is 1,264 days includeing being kidnapped comes to 1.264.000.000 Please be advised that additional law suits of 7.000.000 per week will be filed as I continue to be tourtered. My law suit is for attemped murder.
And that was the saner of the two.
You bunch of weenies, stop the bitching and moaning and support your goddamned President.
An administration official said tonight that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “misspoke” when she told CNN this morning that a government run health insurance option “is not an essential part” of reform. This official asked not to be identified in exchange for providing clarity about the intentions of the President. The official said that the White House did not intend to change its messaging and that Sebelius simply meant to echo the president, who has acknowledged that the public option is a tough sell in the Senate and is, at the same time, a must-pass for House Democrats, and is not, in the president’s view, the most important element of the reform package.
A second official, Linda Douglass, director of health reform communications for the administration, said that President Obama believed that a public option was the best way to reduce costs and promote competition among insurance companies, that he had not backed away from that belief, and that he still wanted to see a public option in the final bill.
“Nothing has changed,” she said. “The President has always said that what is essential that health insurance reform lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and increase choice and competition in the health insurance market. He believes that the public option is the best way to achieve these goals.”
A third White House official, via e-mail, said that Sebelius didn’t misspeak. “The media misplayed it,” the third official said.
Here is what is happening:
“Every time we are in sight of health insurance reform, the special interests fight back with everything they’ve got,” the President said outside Bozeman. “They use their influence and run their ads. They use their political allies to scare the American people.”
He is right about that. But the special interests aren’t fighting the reform, in a system that cries out for reform, as much as they are fighting him. They see their first real good opening and they go for it.
They don’t just want to hijack this debate, they want to hijack his presidency. The rest of it, about your coverage and everything else, is just the cover story.
Please, do not give the right wing a helping hand.
I am rather glad to see this. Somebody has to stop Birther lawyer Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq. from endangering the lives and careers of whomever she feels like by posting personal identifying information to her blog and website. If it’s Birther lawyer Phil Berg, more power to him. I thought Judge Robreno made the wrong decision. I only hope Berg handles the appeal better than he handled the Liberi v. Taitz TRO hearing itself—see here.
NOTICE OF APPEAL
Notice is hereby given that Plaintiffs’ in the above named case, Lisa Liberi; Philip J. Berg, Esquire; the Law Offices of Philip J. Berg; Evelyn Adams; Lisa Ostella; and Go Excel Global by and through their undersigned counsel, Philip J. Berg, Esquire hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from the Orders denying Plaintiffs’ Motion for an Immediate Injunction or Restraining Order entered in this action on the 10th day of August, 2009 and on the 25th day of June, 2009.
I haven’t listened to Ed Hale on Plains Radio recently, but last time I did, he expected Berg to be dropping the charges against all defendants except Orly. I guess not.
August 18 - Berg has now filed a new motion for an Emergency Temporary Restraining Order Pending Appeal.
Rick Perlstein in yesterday’s Washington Post.
In the early 1950s, Republicans referred to the presidencies of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as “20 years of treason” and accused the men who led the fight against fascism of deliberately surrendering the free world to communism. Mainline Protestants published a new translation of the Bible in the 1950s that properly rendered the Greek as connoting a more ambiguous theological status for the Virgin Mary; right-wingers attributed that to, yes, the hand of Soviet agents. And Vice President Richard Nixon claimed that the new Republicans arriving in the White House “found in the files a blueprint for socializing America.”
When John F. Kennedy entered the White House, his proposals to anchor America’s nuclear defense in intercontinental ballistic missiles — instead of long-range bombers — and form closer ties with Eastern Bloc outliers such as Yugoslavia were taken as evidence that the young president was secretly disarming the United States. Thousands of delegates from 90 cities packed a National Indignation Convention in Dallas, a 1961 version of today’s tea parties; a keynote speaker turned to the master of ceremonies after his introduction and remarked as the audience roared: “Tom Anderson here has turned moderate! All he wants to do is impeach [Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl] Warren. I’m for hanging him!”
Before the “black helicopters” of the 1990s, there were right-wingers claiming access to secret documents from the 1920s proving that the entire concept of a “civil rights movement” had been hatched in the Soviet Union; when the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act was introduced, one frequently read in the South that it would “enslave” whites. And back before there were Bolsheviks to blame, paranoids didn’t lack for subversives — anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists even had their own powerful political party in the 1840s and ’50s.
The instigation is always the familiar litany: expansion of the commonweal to empower new communities, accommodation to internationalism, the heightened influence of cosmopolitans and the persecution complex of conservatives who can’t stand losing an argument. My personal favorite? The federal government expanded mental health services in the Kennedy era, and one bill provided for a new facility in Alaska. One of the most widely listened-to right-wing radio programs in the country, hosted by a former FBI agent, had millions of Americans believing it was being built to intern political dissidents, just like in the Soviet Union.
So, crazier then, or crazier now? Actually, the similarities across decades are uncanny. When Adlai Stevenson spoke at a 1963 United Nations Day observance in Dallas, the Indignation forces thronged the hall, sweating and furious, shrieking down the speaker for the television cameras. Then, when Stevenson was walked to his limousine, a grimacing and wild-eyed lady thwacked him with a picket sign. Stevenson was baffled. “What’s the matter, madam?” he asked. “What can I do for you?” The woman responded with self-righteous fury: “Well, if you don’t know I can’t help you.”