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Voices of Outrage in America

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Some things about the New Radicalism are very positive. A lot of people are waking up and trying to take responsibility for their own future before that option is taken away. More people becoming politically aware and politically active can only be good for the country.

One way this is being manifested is in the vociferous protests at the town hall meetings which many of our legislators are holding in their home districts during the August recess. People are coming to these events in large numbers; they are asking questions and expressing informed opinions and when the representatives seem shocked or unresponsive their constituents make very clear that they are not at all satisfied.

It's the video age, so we have video from a lot of these events, and with the recess only barely started, I suspect we will see a lot more in the near future. But for now, these clips may give some idea of the questions which are being asked and how genuine the concern which motivates these citizens is. These are not paid protesters bussed in by ACORN or hardcore partisans working for a political group, these are average citizens who have had enough and are demanding more responsive and more responsible government. They are Republicans, Libertarians, independents and even Democrats who had enough big government, big spending and big brother under Bush and don't want 8 more years of the same.

One of the first town hall meetings where large numbers of angry constituents made their voices heard was in Setauket, New York earlier in the summer. Moderate Democrat Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY) was clearly not prepared to be asked intelligent and specific questions about pending legislation, he barely managed to mumble out responses while looking like a deer in the headlights. The audio on this clip is not great, but the sentiments and outrage come through loud and clear. Pay particular attention to the veteran who caught Bishop out on his fatuous statements about Veterans Administration health care.

One of the best bits of video comes from a townhall held in Downington, Pennsylvania with Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in attendance. This clip gives a very good feel for how out of touch and arrogant these politicians are and has an interesting focus on the issue of why so many legislators dismally fail in their responsibility to the people by not reading so many of the bills which the vote on. The reaction when Specter admits to not reading major legislation sums up the frustration and disgust of a lot of citizens.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was savvy enough (or arrogant enough) not to show up personally at her recent town hall meeting in St. Louis, but she sent members of her staff, who were faced with some excellent questions and a particularly eloquent statement from a young veteran displeased with McCaskill's lack of regard for her oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. As far as I know, he has yet to be identified, but the video is getting wide play and there's buzz about what a good candidate he would make to challenge McCaskill when she's up for reelection. McCaskill is particularly important as one of President Obama's leading supporters in the Senate and someone who has advocated a variety of socialist positions as well as being associated with some of the government's more questionable anti-liberty positions as a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.

I have to give Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) some credit for seeming genuinely interested in hearing the opinions of his constituents; they were a particularly concerned and informed group when he met with them at a town hall in Minneapolis a few days ago. The problem is that he didn't actually answer any of their questions, despite making a good show of listening. Ellison is about as far to the left as they come and a strong supporter of the administration, but as a first-term Congressman he may turn out to be more responsive to his constituents than others who are more set in their ways.

And the last, but not least, features Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) from an appearance this past weekend in South Austin. Doggett had apparently arranged to have the event attended by picked supporters, but word got out and it was flooded with angry citizens. By all accounts Doggett attempted to answer questions at first, but when the questions became too pointed and critical of his role as one of the farthest left members of Congress, he decided he should just leave as quickly as possible, at which point the previously civil crowd became more hostile and much more vocal. Since then Doggett has made statements to the effect that he plans to vote without regard to the desires of people in his district and on the basis of what he considers right. Not a surprise to those he has misrepresented for years.

I like the idea of town hall meetings, they give people a chance to talk directly to their representatives. The problem is that things don't go well when the representatives clearly aren't really interested in what the people have to say. I hope there will be more of these events and more protests as the month goes on, but I'd bet that right now a lot of these legislators who don't like the idea of having their assumptions challenged are having second thoughts and are likely to cancel future appearances.

For too long the American people have been apathetic and could barely be persuaded to vote. It looks like that is finally changing. It's not representative government if your representatives are not listening to you and actively promoting your interests. Challenging elected officials and members of the administration and holding them accountable is the way to break their complacency and make them work for you. Be informed. Be outspoken. Let no voice of the state go unchallenged.

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About Dave Nalle

  • zingzing

    We shall soon see whether democrat politicians in Washington will stand by President obama or start to waffle and hedge their bets.

    I can almost guarantee that those who stand their ground will be reelected and those who waffle will be swept aside in the coming bi-elections next year.

    Just as they did in the last election cycle I believe that the American people, while not enthusiastic about the American sacrifices needed to better the economy, will continue to see these, and other policies as being far better than any alternatives that the republicans are likely to offer.

    Americans know that we have come a very long way and have accomplished a great deal in a very short time. They will not want to abandon such an important venture when the first lap of a one-mile race is almost completed.

    It is, in my political opinion, a race worth finishing.

    ….No matter how many people showed up at the town hall meetings.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Americans know that we have come a very long way and have accomplished a great deal in a very short time.

    Your mistake here is that you underestimate the American people. More and more they realize that what has been accomplished is a great deal of harm which may even be beyond reversal. They certainly don’t want the madness to continue for another 6 or even 2 years.

    Dave

  • Rick

    Who is Freedom Watch and what is their role in the funding and national coordination of these right-wing thugs?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “The reaction when Specter admits to not reading major legislation sums up the frustration and disgust of a lot of citizens.”

    Actually, it sums up the ignorance of citizens. What is wrong with a bill being broken up into smaller sections, so his staff can help prepare and advise the Senator before he votes?

    “they give people a chance to talk directly to their representatives.”

    Except Republicans apparently since you were unable to find any clips of them at town halls. Surely a coincidence, right?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    These particular events are obviously staged. The participants have little or no interest in asking real questions or having them answered. They are there for the kicks of shouting down a congressman.

    There is evidence that the disruptions have been planned and created by corporate lobbyists for the health insurance industry — unlike the less specific [but quite ridiculous] Tea Parties that started in April.

    Dave actually does the real ‘new radicals’ [if there really are any] a disservice by associating them with this phony hogwash.

    Does anyone believe this is how issues should be ‘discussed’ in a democracy? No, not even Dave.

    Freedom Watch is a Fox News show/web site associated with the icky Judge Andrew Napolitano.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I can’t help but agree, Handy. If this meeting with Specter is representative of these so-called “town hall meetings,” them it’s indeed a farce. Obviously, these people are not concerned with discussing the issues, or listening, only with venting.

    An unarticulated anger is but an ejaculation. Sorry, Dave. You’ve go to do better.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Who is Freedom Watch and what is their role in the funding and national coordination of these right-wing thugs?

    FreedomWatch is a libertarian-leaning but strictly non-partisan political advocacy group and although they have tried to cash in on just about every grassroots activity they can get involved in, from my research they play no real role in organizing the tea parties or these protests, despite their efforts to claim credit or even take over.

    In fact, a lot of the grassroots folks not only resent their attempts to get involved with the tea parties, but consider the Koch family which backs the group to be a nefarious globalist enemy.

    However, FreedomWatch and a few other groups like them make excellent tools for left-wing propagandists seeking to misrepresent these protests as “astroturf”.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “Your mistake here is that you underestimate the American people.”

    to recognize their own words?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Actually, it sums up the ignorance of citizens. What is wrong with a bill being broken up into smaller sections, so his staff can help prepare and advise the Senator before he votes?

    I actually agree with you here. I have never though the “read the bills” argument was a strong one. But it’s part of what’s being bround up, so I reported on it. Having worked on Capitol Hill I know that reading the bills is what you have staff for.

    Except Republicans apparently since you were unable to find any clips of them at town halls. Surely a coincidence, right?

    We’re only a few days into the recess. Give me time. But I agree, there won’t be as many protests targeting Republicans. But I guarantee there will be some. My sources tell me there are Republicans who will be protested. In fact, Specter would have been one of them if he had not changed parties. The same grassroots folks encouraged Toomey to challenge him in the GOP primary which is one of the reasons he changed parties.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    An unarticulated anger is but an ejaculation. Sorry, Dave. You’ve go to do better.

    I’d say that the soldier at the McCaskill townhall was very articulate, as were some of the others.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    granted, you’ve written plenty over the past several years, but surely, you recognize your own condemnation of protest against government when you see it…

  • zingzing

    think of it like a negativland approach. sure, it may be edited, but it’s still telling.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    These particular events are obviously staged.

    I can state uncategorically that this is not the case with the one in Austin. One person I know found out about it about two days in advance, put out a call on Facebook and Twitter and she was able to rally a couple of hundred people as a result.

    The participants have little or no interest in asking real questions or having them answered. They are there for the kicks of shouting down a congressman.

    And again, though the video doesn’t show it, in the Austin one they started out asking questions, but when Doggett was unresponsive and then tried to leave they became more confrontational.

    There is evidence that the disruptions have been planned and created by corporate lobbyists for the health insurance industry

    Really, where? Show me the evidence, because I know the people involved in many of these protests and they probably hate lobbyists and the healthcare industry more than you do — and certainly more than these legislators do.

    Dave actually does the real ‘new radicals’ [if there really are any] a disservice by associating them with this phony hogwash.

    Sorry to use a trite phrase, but you really are drinking the kool-aid.

    Does anyone believe this is how issues should be ‘discussed’ in a democracy? No, not even Dave.

    Actually, when government stops being responsive to the people I do believe they have a right to protest.

    Freedom Watch is a Fox News show/web site associated with the icky Judge Andrew Napolitano.

    Wrong FreedomWatch. See above.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, I’m noq quite getting the context of #s 11 and 12.

    Dave

  • zingzing


    those are your words.
    i just edited them for context.

    today’s anti-war protest in dc-how many & who cares or something like that.

  • zingzing

    and negativland is a band that recontextualizes recorded sound and pop culture for socio-political ends.

  • zingzing

    and the “those” in #15 refers to #1

  • Baronius

    Well, he wanted the communities organized…

  • zingzing

    “when government stops being responsive to the people I do believe they have a right to protest.”

    i’m the decider.

  • zingzing

    i like the fact that back when we were protesting WAR, we believed in nothing and were just protesting anything, but now that we’re in power (because the republicans are stupid), you’re the “new radicals,” or something, protesting for what’s “sane” and what’s “true.” for fuck’s sake, just read what you wrote a few years ago. cringe at your own hypocrisy.

    i’m not saying you don’t have a right to protest or yell about things, i’m just saying you find your righteousness at wonderfully opportune times.

    your shit stinks.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yeah, protests backed and organized by lobbying groups sure does smack of “radicalism.”

    It’s interesting, too, that these “protests” are being represented as people asking questions and demanding answers when it is, in fact, a group of thugs obstructing others’ ability to have questions answered and to learn more about health care options and reform.

  • Clavos

    a group of thugs obstructing others’ ability to have questions answered and to learn more

    Sounds just like the anti Vietnam war protests I witnessed in the sixties, or the 1968 Democratic convention protests in Chicago, etc., etc. — ad nauseam.

  • zingzing

    i was there, in chicago, in 1968.

    if you don’t get the reference, you haven’t kept up.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    They’re thugs and crazies when you don’t agree with them. I only agree with them partway, so I can see how they have a legitimate cause, even if I disagree with some of their more extreme beliefs.

    Jordan, I challenge you to find where I ever said that anyone doesn’t have a RIGHT to protest. I may think that some protests are silly, but I still think people have a right to make them.

    And your link takes me to a video which gave me a headache. Thanks.

    Yeah, protests backed and organized by lobbying groups sure does smack of “radicalism.”

    Jordan, again – stop repeating the lie or show me evidence that these protestors are backed by lobbbying groups, because I know a lot of these people and the truth is that they are not.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dick Armey’s Freedom Works is behind a number of these ‘spontaneous protests’/fake mobs [your choice]. The organization pretends to be ‘grassroots,’ but it is really a lobbying organization designed to counter MoveOn etc. Thus the term “astroturfers.”

    Last night, Rachel Maddow read from a leaked memo by Bob MacGuffie of Freedom Works with scenarios for disrupting Democratic Congressmen’s town meetings.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave claims his own congressman, Lloyd Doggett, is ‘scum’ who is unresponsive to his constituents and deserves to be slimed by ranting wingnuts.

    Mr. Doggett has been flamingly, not secretly liberal, for all his 15 years in congress. He was reelected last year with 65.8% of the vote. He may be ‘unresponsive’ to Dave and like-minded citizens. But a few folks there seem to like him rather well, and they are no doubt well aware of his stands on most issues.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Handy, where is your evidence that FreedomWorks is behind these protest besides their expression of support for them? Show me the money. A memo with some ideas for protests is not a causal relationship.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    For the record, Lloyd Doggett is not my congressman. Hasn’t been for almost 9 years, in fact. I moved a bit east and my current representative is Mike McCaul who seems to really be making an effort to listen to constituents and might be turning into a pretty worthwhile legislator.

    And yes, some people in Austin like Doggett. Especially the wealthy leftist real estate developers who fund his campaigns.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    and the kickass people that make austin the only cool place to live in texas. awesome little town, i hear. my brother was there for sxsw this march or april or whatever and he said it was like a little oasis. it’s nice that you live in austin and michael savage (weiner that he is) lives in san fransicko. you’re right in the thick of it. how do you live like that?

    shouldn’t you move to the plains or something? live off the land? be “freeeeeeeee?”

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Austin is much more bearable when you live 12 miles to the east as I do. I can go into town for the fun stuff, but am greatly less oppressed by the socialist government and self-righteous leftists.

    dave

  • zingzing

    yeah. let them have their fun, you have yours.

    did you go to sxsw?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Have you seen how expensive SXSW passes are? I went to a couple of the free events, but that’s all. I’m going to see if I can use BC clout (such as it is) to get into the SXSW interractive events next year.

    Dave

  • Jordan Richardson

    They’re thugs and crazies when you don’t agree with them.

    They’re thugs and crazies because they act like thugs and crazies. Shouting people down and creating chaos is not conducive to the process of public discourse.

    At least when I’m being a prick, I can admit it. I don’t pretend I’m some sort of “radical” posting on a message board with a message to save the universe from SOCIALISM.

    Here’s where your comment confuses me:

    I challenge you to find where I ever said that anyone doesn’t have a RIGHT to protest

    What is this in reference to?

    And your link takes me to a video which gave me a headache. Thanks.

    What link?

    Handy provided some proof. I suppose it might not counter your “I know some of these people” point, but hell.

  • zingzing

    you can go for free, you just have to be willing to wait.

    such is life, eh?

  • zingzing

    well, 34 was for 32.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And we’re playing an interesting semantical game with “behind the protests” and “supporting the protests.”

    Essentially my point is this: these lobbying groups provide directions, talking points, and instructions that go so far as to tell “protesters” how to shout down their opposition.

    Like the tea parties, this is no grassroots uprising against health care. It’s parroted rhetoric introduced and influenced by the normal right-wing talking points that have old and gullible people believing Obama’s health care is going to literally kill them.

  • zingzing

    jordan: “Shouting people down and creating chaos is not conducive to the process of public discourse.”

    you know i’m on your side. you know that. but. 2000-2008. we were bad, bad, bad. but it was fun, right? and now they’re being stupid. wonderful thing is, i was too young to know last time they were being THIS STUPID.

    “What is this in reference to?”

    see comment #1 where i reference, quite deftly, i might say, dave saying that our anti-war protest was meaningless. (at least i hope it’s this one… yeah it was. and he never got the negativland thing. dude, that was 20 years ago. get with it, dave.)

    art means nothing to these people. if they take over, life sucks.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Shouting people down and creating chaos is not conducive to the process of public discourse.

    When you ask questions and they blow you off and arrogantly dismiss your concerns, you get frustrated and maybe irate and maybe a bit loud. It’s understandable.

    I challenge you to find where I ever said that anyone doesn’t have a RIGHT to protest

    What is this in reference to?

    And your link takes me to a video which gave me a headache. Thanks.

    What link?

    Sorry, these were meant for Zing, not you.

    Handy provided some proof. I suppose it might not counter your “I know some of these people” point, but hell.

    No proof of any real substance.

    And we’re playing an interesting semantical game with “behind the protests” and “supporting the protests.”

    It’s a very important difference, not just semantic. The key thing is that like the tea parties these protests originated in the grass roots and groups like FreedomWorks just jumped on the bandwagon to promote them and help organize. That’s very different from the false allegation that FreedomWorks or some mysterious hypothetical healthcare lobbyists somehow started it all.

    Essentially my point is this: these lobbying groups

    FreedomWorks is NOT a lobbying group. It’s a non-partisan issue advocacy group which is legally prohibited from lobbying.

    provide directions, talking points, and instructions that go so far as to tell “protesters” how to shout down their opposition.

    So? They support the idea behind the protests and they think they can help. FreedomWorks was specifically created to prokmote individual liberty and smaller government. That’s an agenda I have no problem with. If they want to provide some resources to protesters that’s their right.

    The key fact is that they did not CREATE the anger or the protests.

    Like the tea parties, this is no grassroots uprising against health care. It’s parroted rhetoric introduced and influenced by the normal right-wing talking points that have old and gullible people believing Obama’s health care is going to literally kill them.

    Sorry, you’re just wrong. You have no idea what you’re talking about. People out here are genuinely concerned and angry and it’s not because they’re dupes or shills or partisans. They’re just people who are tired of big government solutions.

    Dave

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    “These are not paid protesters bussed in by ACORN or hardcore partisans working for a political group…

    But Dave, that’s exactly what they are. Not from ACORN of course, but most of them are in fact brought in from outside the respective districts. They are even to a degree scripted and instructed to prevent ANY discussion by whatever means.

    These dupes are the shills for the right wing nutfarms and the healthcare industry.

    It is an attempt to promote the illusion that a majority of the populace is against health care reform when exactly the opposite is true. It is the same tactic used by the so called “Brooks Brothers Brigade” to quash the 2000 Florida recount. The only good thing that can be said of that effort is that it worked.

    It is my hope that the supporters of health care reform manage to effectively counter these efforts.

    B

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    And let me add this. There are organizations on the left which doe EXACTLY the same thing as these groups which are trying to provide support for these grassroots protests. Ever heard of Moveon.org? Ever heard of ACORN? Hell, ACORN actually PAYS their protestors. And how about the protests staged by unions where protesters are paid? The SIEU pays protesters to picket WalMarts all around the country. Spare me the hypocrisy.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    But Dave, that’s exactly what they are. Not from ACORN of course, but most of them are in fact brought in from outside the respective districts. They are even to a degree scripted and instructed to prevent ANY discussion by whatever means.

    Sorry, Bari. This is just not true.

    One of the groups involved in these protests is the Republican Liberty Caucus. As National Chairman I know for a fact that the RLC activists who go to these townhalls come from local chapters in the areas where they are taking place and were not directed to do so by anyone beyond their local organization. We’re encouraging it now, but we found out about the protests from our members and are now doing what we can to help them compare notes and share ideas. And the intent is NOT to just should down the congressmen at the townhalls, but to raise legitimate questions and issues and try to get through to them.

    Obviously we’re not the only group involved, but the other groups I know of like C4L are also widely dispersed groups with local chapters with a lot of grassroots activity.

    Despite the spin that you are getting from the left media and the Obama administration, these protests ARE genuine.

    Dave

  • Jordan Richardson

    Dave,

    You’re essentially setting up (yet again) a premise that’s impossible to argue: personal experience. You say you know these people and you know that these protests are genuine. Anything else is “spin.”

    Even with proof that these groups have vested interests in protecting pharmaceutical companies and health care lobbies, you won’t depart from what you “know.” It’s impossible to reason with somebody who is so utterly convinced of the legitimacy of something that isn’t quite as “grassroots” as you’d have us believe.

    Much like you “know” that you’re standing up for the people, there’s no wiggle room here. You reproduce, time and again, these talking points about “left” and “right” as though that can instantaneously dismiss a line of thought. Again, it’s an impossibility to reason with you because you’re so obsessed with drawing lines and pegging people that you’ve got me pegged as some “leftist” who simply disagrees with you, period. That’s fine and you’re welcome to think that, but don’t imagine for one second that the reasoning behind that thought process is based on anything factual.

    Now I’d ask you how creating placards and shouting rude things (such as one guy shouting about Chris Dodd washing down painkillers with Ted Kennedy’s whiskey) has to do with legitimate questions and what all of these YouTube clips have to do with process and discourse, but I already know what the answer is.

    You say these people were “not directed to do so by anyone beyond their local organization.” You and I both know that there is nothing spontaneous about this and there is nothing “radical” about it either. This is a calculated political move, as per usual, and these people who are all worked up about this are the pawns.

    Health industry power brokers don’t want to disrupt the status quo (they like money, after all) and they’ve got the right guys on their side. They spin and spread fear by expressing almost anything they can think of, including the absurdity about putting old people out to “pasture,” and make sure those messages reach the right audience. Those people, infused with fear and paranoia over their lives being taken away, start to imagine a health care system in which they are forced to not only die early but also to pay for Todd and Kimmy’s 45th abortion. Oh, and the fags want to marry too!

    This is fear-mongering at its finest and you, with your continued complicit approval of it, have the audacity to sit there with article after article claiming you stand up for the people. That’s bullshit and you know it. You’re supporting these clowns by looking for an angle, ANY angle, that keeps things just as they are. Your offering of health care reform was a concession to what you rightly understand is the inevitable tide of change.

    So while I know what I’ve said and what I’ve been saying makes no difference to you because you’ve got things how you want them and are willing to do anything to keep them that way, I hope for once you’ll actually bother to listen to the people instead of filtering them first.

    Trust me, I won’t hold my breath.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You’re essentially setting up (yet again) a premise that’s impossible to argue: personal experience. You say you know these people and you know that these protests are genuine. Anything else is “spin.”

    Sorry, it’s the truth. You certainly have no personal and direct knowledge to counter it with. Shall I bring some of the organizers of the protests here to BC to corroborate?

    Even with proof that these groups have vested interests in protecting pharmaceutical companies and health care lobbies, you won’t depart from what you “know.” It’s impossible to reason with somebody who is so utterly convinced of the legitimacy of something that isn’t quite as “grassroots” as you’d have us believe.

    I have a very realistic view of this. I know that there are groups that want to guide the debate and encourage protests, but they would get no traction at all if there weren’t real people with real concerns for them to work with.

    you’ve got me pegged as some “leftist” who simply disagrees with you, period. That’s fine and you’re welcome to think that, but don’t imagine for one second that the reasoning behind that thought process is based on anything factual.

    All I know is what you write and how you behave. Behave differently and I’ll reassess.

    Now I’d ask you how creating placards and shouting rude things (such as one guy shouting about Chris Dodd washing down painkillers with Ted Kennedy’s whiskey) has to do with legitimate questions and what all of these YouTube clips have to do with process and discourse, but I already know what the answer is.

    I doubt you do. I don’t think that the ruder and more confrontational approach is a good idea. But if you look at the clips I posted, most of them consist primarily of people asking legitimae questions and not getting answers from their representatives. Most of these people are NOT going to cause trouble, they’re going to these events to express concern and ask questions, and that is very clear from the videos.

    As for the Dodd video you reference (watching MSNBC are we, no wonder your view of all of this is so twisted), one fat crazy shouting on a streetcorner doesn’t exactly make a protest. I want to see video of what went on inside the townhall meeting, but my initial research shows that the reason we only see video of protesters outside is that attendance to the Dodd/Sebelius townhall on the 3rd in Hartford was only by invitation, so no one who would have challenged them was allowed in the audience. I think this kind of manufactured event is what we’re likely to see for the rest of this process. No more townhalls with real people and real questions.

    You say these people were “not directed to do so by anyone beyond their local organization.” You and I both know that there is nothing spontaneous about this and there is nothing “radical” about it either.

    No. I don’t know this and you certainly know nothing at all about the subject. In fact, I know the exact opposite to be true.

    This is a calculated political move, as per usual, and these people who are all worked up about this are the pawns.

    Your arrogance and dismissiveness is very reminiscent of the attitude of these legislators who they are trying to get some accountability out of.

    This is fear-mongering at its finest and you, with your continued complicit approval of it, have the audacity to sit there with article after article claiming you stand up for the people. That’s bullshit and you know it. You’re supporting these clowns by looking for an angle, ANY angle, that keeps things just as they are.

    You are either just lying or extraordinarily stupid to come to no greater insight than this after all I’ve written.

    Your offering of health care reform was a concession to what you rightly understand is the inevitable tide of change.

    It was an attempt to look for solutions before we get railroaded into something unacceptably awful.

    I hope for once you’ll actually bother to listen to the people instead of filtering them first.

    As I’ve said before, I’m listening to the people. They’re just not the same people you’re listening to. I’m listening to working people and small business owners and families struggling to get by. You’re apparently listening to the mouthpieces of the leftist elite on MSNBC.

    Dave

  • http://euchay.blogspot.com Charles Euchay

    Mr. Nalle, it’s hard for me to believe that you could be so gullible as to believe those awful images of staged acts of disruption and hooliganism sponsored by the Right Wing faction of the GOP. In case you did not see it, Rachel Maddow exposed these crude purveyors of perverse political opposition in the form of anarchy and tasteless mob frenzy. That is not political dissent nor is it a legitimate form of protest. What is needed in these confused times and, yes, serious economic woes is an organized and intelligent dialogue on how to solve our problems. While I concede that some of our elected lawmakers fall far short of our expectations, I believe they deserve a hearing in these town hall meetings to explain not only their performances or lack thereof, but to tell us where they stand on the issues you and I care most about: unemployment, healthcare, rising cost of living, homelessness, massive military spending in the face of a contracting economy, just to name a few. Dick Armey’s lobbying firm issuing “how to memos” to party partisans to perpetuate the ugly mob scenes I saw on tv and which you incorporated in your latest post as proof that these protests deserve our attention is contemptible. I might add that I have no political party affiliation beyond lending support to people who promote good and sensible approach to governance and who show genuine intent and dedication to solving our common problems for the good of all, regardless of party loyalty.

  • Arch Conservative

    Dave it’s not use arguing with these ignorant moonbats. To them no one who does not agree with the policies of “the one” has a right to express thier concern or dissapproval. You’re not legitimate unless you have a yes we can button on or a che t-shirt.

    What you and I both know is that these are real AMerican citizens expressing their legitimate and sincere dissatisfaction with the proposed government takeover of healthcare. [Edited] zing, jordan and rick are ridiculing them and attempting to minimize them but it won’t work because for every Jordan out there [Edited] there are 10 just like the ones at these town hall meetings.

    It’s coming and they don’t even see it. Oh well.

  • Jordan Richardson

    What a surprise! More of the same left-right, “you’re not listening” bullshit.

    Dave and Co. seem convinced that the only way to listen to someone is to agree with them wholly, so I guess there’s no real purpose to continuing any conversation. And Arch is so obsessed with this idea of King Barry and saying the word “moonbats” (I’m thinking of having a drink each time he says that) that he’s become a ridiculous parody of, well, himself.

    You guys can continue, and you will, to have the same circle jerk here until you get your way. You can’t acknowledge the simple facts or the will of the people without dismissing them as engines of the left/right and you can’t imagine that somebody could actually listen to your ideas, process them and honestly disagree with you.

    Arch, why would my head be up Obama’s ass? I didn’t vote for him (I can’t) and I don’t care about him. My wife, incidentally an American citizen still, didn’t vote for him either. I keep saying this and keep repeating that I don’t support Obama (he’s not “left” enough for me, to put it in language you understand) but you keep ignoring those simple facts. Ah well.

    Go ahead and think that the “10” people at town hall meetings speak for the majority of Americans. Go ahead and imagine that the majority of Americans don’t want health care reform. Go ahead and pretend you’re the only ones who can possibly be right on an issue (pick one, I bet you think your opinion and ideology is the ONLY one that matters). But, for the love of fucking Christ, stop calling people who honestly disagree with you “stupid.” And stop preying on the fears and prejudices of those who don’t know any better and are destined to a lifetime of ignorance, like dear little Arch here.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Rachel Maddow exposed these crude purveyors of perverse political opposition in the form of anarchy and tasteless mob frenzy. That is not political dissent nor is it a legitimate form of protest.

    Good luck, Charles. Rachel Maddow doesn’t count around here, even if she’s suggesting that oxygen is necessary for human existence, because she’s a “leftist moonbat.”

    BC Politics: Fuck the facts. It only matters where they came from.

  • Arch Conservative

    I never claimed Americans don’t want health care reform Jordan. What I said is that they don’t want the government to completely takeover the health care system which is what the Dems are proposing and the public is realizing despite their best efforts to hide this fact.

    Second Racheal Maddow? You’re kidding right? She and Ubermann are nothing but propagandists. Did you ever notice how neither of them ever has anyone on their shows that has an opposing viewpoint? Instead they have a constant parade of yes men fromt he NYT and other such left wing wing organizations. We’re supposed to listen to these fools who are so weak minded that they can’t even attempt to engage in real debate on their shows? No thanks.

    You can laugh at me and ridicule myself, Dave and the people at these town halls all you want. You can claim over and over that all you care about is facts. Well here are some FACTS for you tough guy:

    Cap and Trade (One of Obama’s biggest goals) is dead. It’s dead and never coming back because the American public spoke out against it.

    Obama’s poll numbers have been going down over the past few weeks and they show no signs of getting better anytime soon. The American people are disillusioned with all of the bullshit hope and change rhetoric as well as the wreckless needless spending which hasn’t even begun to show any signs of paying off in the least.

    There is a growing backlash against the government takeover of healthcare plan that the Dems have proposed and would not even agree to abide by themselves. It is very real and very widespread. All of the propaganda spewed by Olbermann, Maddow and the NYT times cannot stop it.

    Those are the facts at the moment Jordan. I know they’re not the facts you’d like to hear but then the facts you’d like to hear aren’t actually facts.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Blah blah blah…

    Your “facts” are composed of you claiming you speak for the American people, claiming they’re “disillusioned,” and so forth. You even go so far to say that the backlash is “very widespread.”

    Those aren’t facts. Not one of those statements is a factual statement. It’s your interpretation of what’s going on. It’s an opinion, nothing more, of what you incorrectly see as a grassroots movement comprised of people fed up of the government.

    You live in this little bubble where you think MSNBC and the NYT influences people, but do you honestly think FOX and Limbaugh don’t or aren’t? Do you honestly think these people, the protesters at these meetings, aren’t reading what to do and what to say right from FreedomWatch’s memos and talking points? Do you really think that’s any different than what you accuse the “left” of doing? Is that type of material not propaganda?

    Notice that I’m not referring to this as a grand movement, nor am I saying that these people aren’t genuine in their beliefs. But they are heavily, heavily coached through the motions by groups with far more interest in keeping things as they are. And they repeat the same thing, just like you do, because all public discourse has been reduced to is a series of talking points circulated either through the internet or on television c/o the same group of people. They want to own you, Arch, and they do. You’re a zombie, just like they want you to be and you’re so convinced you’re not that it’s kinda frightening.

    There’s a vested interest by special interest groups to purposely and frequently cloud the issues. You do it too. All you do is trumpet the same things about Obama, the Left, and so forth. Where are your solutions? What else do you do but criticize and threaten King Barry? Nothing. Same thing, over and over again, and I bet you barely understand the concepts you’re talking about.

    This isn’t meant to be insulting. I bullshit a LOT around here, but at least I admit it from time to time. You, on the other hand, are so fully convinced of this that you seem fanatical about it and almost violent. Yet the left is filled with “moonbats?”

    It’s scary because there’s a continued movement to prey on the weak-minded and gullible out there, just like Reagan did with those idiotic Commie records decrying socialized medicine. It’s the same shit, different pile, and the American people, time and again, continue to buy it and continue to prop up their corporations because they think it’s something “private” the government can’t touch. And on and on it goes, with a whole new generation (albeit a smaller one) buying it this time around.

    I do like facts. Do let me know the second you come up with one. I don’t doubt that people don’t like the Obama plan (I honestly don’t like it either, it doesn’t go far enough and it’s too much of a concession), but how many of those people even know what the hell it is?

  • Califgirl

    Thank God that Americans are waking up! Just hope it is not too late to stop this monstrosity in Washington.

    It is a sad day when our government including the President has such contempt and disdain for the American people. I am not an activist, do not belong to any organizations, have not really talked to other people outside of family about my beliefs and am a libertarian or independant politically. I Did not vote in the last election because I did not have a horse in that race that I believed in.

    That said, I am SCARED, ANGRY and
    RESOLUTE in opposing what is happening to our country at the hands of these so called “progressives”. I talked my entire family into going to the local tea party where we were among 20,000 other protestors. Black, white, democrat and republican. The media did not even report on it.

    My father in law was a prisoner of war in world war 2. My father is 95 and fought in both world war 2 and Korea. Obama and Nancy Pelosi represent everything that these brave and great men fought against.

    Our laws and Constitution are being completely ignored by this administration ad congress to achieve a completely socialist agenda by the few.

    Everyone in this country that is productive, has a family etc., better get active in fighting this out of control government.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Americans know that we have come a very long way and have accomplished a great deal in a very short time.”

    Other than dumnping an even more massive debt on the next generation, what the hell exactly has changed in your life? They were handing out trillions, how much did you get?

    I already have healthcare and pay for it for my family at a reasonable price, the only thing that’ll change is now in addition I (or my kids as we usually dump it off on them) need to pay for someone else’s family. With tens of millions of new customers and no new doctors I can’t see how people are deluded into thinking they’re going to get the same level of service.

    Some medical research stats I dredged up for the last bashing of US healthcare:

    Medical Nobel Prizes (10 year period)
    US born 12
    Foreign working in US 3
    All others 7

    Medical Research Expenditures
    US (all sources) 98 B
    US government 35 B
    EU Govts (combined) 8 B

    The rest of the world lets the US shoulder the lion’s share of R&D so they can then just copy or spend their money on universal health care.

    When you think how many lives could be saved by UHC, think how many lives will be cost by the necessary reductions in research and decreased pace of growth in medical knowledge.

    Of course, here and now sob stories work our emotions over better than projections about potential cures that will be found later or not at all.

  • Doug Hunter

    It’s ironic how ‘Progressive’ policies lead to a lack of progress.

  • Jordan Richardson

    here and now sob stories work our emotions over better than projections about potential cures that will be found later or not at all.

    Actually, Doug, your repeated point about some imagined loss in R&D dollars (which is flabbergasting as a suggestion because you’re already running THE most expensive health care system in the world and the changeover would actually save money) is just the same as the so-called emotional sob stories you dread.

    This “projection” is based outright on a falsehood, yet you repeat this notion that you’ve “bashed” health care in the last round. You sure about that?

    The only real fact you present is that of your refusal to pay for someone else to receive adequate care. There’s nothing more American than saying “go fucking do it yourself, asshole” to your neighbour, is there?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I mean, really. What is it you think is going to happen? Obama’s going to have a fucking fire sale on all of the medical equipment to pay for health care? Labs are going to be shutting down left and right and turned into drive-in movie theatres to make money for UHC?

    Come on.

    Incidentally, lab space is going cheap in China and LOTS of American research is being done over there now. The reason for this is because of the ever-increasing COST of the health care system in the U.S. and its link to expenses in terms of renting lab space and getting adequate lab equipment. Under UHC with a money-saving plan that works with a viable public option, the money you save can be put to use putting American researchers back in American labs using, yep, American equipment.

  • Clavos

    you’re already running THE most expensive health care system in the world and the changeover would actually save money…

    According to whom? The very same president and government that are trying to sell their plan to us. I say he’s lying. Nothing the government does is cheap; since they don’t have to make a profit, there’s no incentive to save moey, and they don’t. Remember the $600 hammers?

    viable public option

    The biggest lie of all. The government is going to give away insurance for “free,” and the for-profit insurance companies are going to be able to compete in an open market place? Employers are going to be able to insure employees for far less under a government plan, and they’re still going to buy insurance from Humana?

    Gordo chance.

  • zingzing

    dave: “And your link takes me to a video which gave me a headache. Thanks.”

    well, it’s not a video game. and it is supposed to be annoying. but it’s pretty clever, if not their best song. it just shows a (rather simplistic) version of the way they work.

    their best one was when they created a fake press release saying that one of their songs (“christianity is stupid”) caused a 15-year-old kid to axe murder his family, so they were told by the fbi that they could tour. the media uproar was fantastic, and negativland took samples from the television and radio and fashioned their next album out of it, which sold pretty damn well for experimental music, then told the media that it was all fake and they were duped. fantastic stuff.

    doug, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, i refashioned some of dave’s words (on the war protests) from a few years ago. that line was a little unfortunate, but you must admit that the economy is looking better right now. not good, but better. at least the freefall has, at least temporarily, stopped (or drastically slowed). so i left the line in.

  • zingzing

    “so they were told by the fbi that they couldN’T tour.”

  • Zozobra

    Mobocracy

    You fools are doomed!

    Z

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “People out here are genuinely concerned and angry and it’s not because they’re dupes or shills or partisans. They’re just people who are tired of big government solutions.”

    Too general an issue to get so roused. Generalities like that don’t ring true, especially when they’re supposed to serve as the defining issue. The absence of specific concerns, concrete issues, etc., does suggest an orchestration. These people don’t seem to speak with their own voice.

    If it was truly a grass-roots movement, there should be signs of leadership. Someone would have resurfaced by now. So for the time, it’s but a mob-like behavior.

  • Doug Hunter

    “There’s nothing more American than saying “go fucking do it yourself, asshole” to your neighbour, is there?”

    There’s nothing american about doing nothing to help yourself then EXPECTING your neighbor to pay your way either. You’ve got to be consistent. I hear over and over how selfish it is that I’d rather spend my money on my children and their future rather than someone else’s children and their futures. Ok then, that’s a fine position, but I don’t see how you can say it’s not selfish to pay for no one, then expect everyone else to bail you out.

    You bash productive rightward members of society but I never hear you lambast those entitled non contributors.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Common, Doug. You are living in the past. One major reason for America’s economic downfall is precisely the absence of productivity, innovative and creating thinking, and yes, responsibility, too, from the business leaders.

    When attention of every CEO and the board of directors turned away from excellence of products and services to the bottom line, that’s when it all started downhill. Corporations have become nothing but number-crunchers. And the same with our financial institutions. There’s a good example for you of the kind of innovation we’ve been famous for: derivatives and other financial products you need a Phd to even being to figure out what they’re about.

    And what’s innovative, friend, about old American firms – Stanley, Black & Decker, Hamilton Beach, you name it – relegating the production to China. As far as I’m concerned, all they’ve got to sell is their brand name – which given the inferiorly made products, ain’t much anymore. It stinks.

    So before we can talk in the good old terms as though they still applied, let’s stop and think. The entire business climate must change.

    Probably the worst sin of this administration is support of big business. It’s the small and mid-size businesses which must be encouraged, given incentives, the bulk of the stimulus money – not the big nationals.

  • Zozobra

    “I never hear you lambast those entitled non contributors.”

    ‘It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.’

    With your society structured so that the only job open to lots of people is as entitled non contributers, surely you are doomed!

    Z

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Mr. Nalle, it’s hard for me to believe that you could be so gullible as to believe those awful images of staged acts of disruption and hooliganism sponsored by the Right Wing faction of the GOP.

    I’ve seen real staged protests where protesters were paid to be there by groups like the SEIU and ACORN. Plus I’m in touch with protest organizers and know that they originated with the grass roots.

    In case you did not see it, Rachel Maddow exposed these crude purveyors of perverse political opposition in the form of anarchy and tasteless mob frenzy.

    I saw Maddow’s scoffing and misrepresentation. The fact that FreedomWorks wants to encoruage this doesn’t mean that they created it. Do you think sending out an email of suggestions is going to suddenly cause hundreds of people to go out and protest? The desire to protest was there first and FreedomWorks is just adding their advice and assistance, as are other groups.

    That is not political dissent nor is it a legitimate form of protest.

    Actually, that’s exactly what it is. But like most on the left you prefer to discredit and hopefully silence dissent you don’t agree with.

    What is needed in these confused times and, yes, serious economic woes is an organized and intelligent dialogue on how to solve our problems.

    Watch the videos. Most of the people who went to these events tried to ask serious questions. In most cases protests only really got going when the legislators were dismissive.

    While I concede that some of our elected lawmakers fall far short of our expectations, I believe they deserve a hearing in these town hall meetings to explain not only their performances or lack thereof, but to tell us where they stand on the issues

    So why do you want to discredit and smear those who want to participate in this process?

    Dick Armey’s lobbying firm issuing “how to memos” to party partisans

    First off, FreedomWorks is strictly non-partisan and it is not a lobbying group. Dick Armey was only recently brought on as chairman and the group existed for years before his involvement. They also aren’t funded by the health care industry any more than any other group.

    And what’s wrong with them issuing advice? People can take it or not as they choose.

    I have no political party affiliation beyond lending support to people who promote good and sensible approach to governance and who show genuine intent and dedication to solving our common problems for the good of all, regardless of party loyalty.

    So you’re saying that your role here is exactly the same as FreedomWorks.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Zozobra,

    I like your comments. You’re telling it how it is.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Actually, that’s exactly what it is. But like most on the left you prefer to discredit and hopefully silence dissent you don’t agree with.”

    I don’t think it’s dissent, Dave. It would have to become more properly articulated. See #59.

  • Doug Hunter

    Roger, I don’t disagree with anything you said there except, of course, the jab about living in the past. The whole idea that we can move on from a manufacturing economy to shuffling papers around has been a farce from the start. Intellectual property will just be stolen and copied and the world will only buy pieces of paper up to a limit. (granted they have bought alot of em)
    Eventually the gig will be up, if it’s not already, and we’ll be left with a nation of entitled paper shufflers. As a benefit, when we realize we don’t have any money and can’t borrow any more maybe we’ll be forced to end our addiction to cheap Chinese shit. It’s not a damn bargain if you have to buy a new one every three months becuase the old one falls apart. Oh well, maybe you can still unload it at the garage sale to another useless junk collector.

    Strangely, every time I look at some plastic gadget made in China, I can’t help but think that the person who made it probably never would buy something so ridiculous and must think that the end users in the US are morons. That may not be true, but it is my imagination. I’m now too embarassed to visit China becuase everytime I see someone whispering about me I’ll imagine they’re saying ‘Look, there’s one of those idiots who buys that crap I make at the factory’ At least he’ll have a job though.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry about that, Doug – just expressing my frustration.

    I really believe we’ve got to bring productivity and innovation into American industry – at the mid-size level – whether by way of incentives, credits, what have you; not to mention turn the whole nation away from being Wall-Mart consumers. And unless we do so, we’ve had it.

    What’s most discouraging, I expressed this on another thread, I believe, the administrations is doing nothing about changing the climate. And increased government regulation cannot be the answer because it relies on an antagonistic – i.e., business vs government – model. What we need is cooperation, not antagonism.

    Pumping more and more money into big business ain’t gonna do it.

  • Bliffle

    Doug Hunter #51 says:

    “I already have healthcare and pay for it for my family at a reasonable price, the only thing that’ll change is now in addition I (or my kids as we usually dump it off on them) need to pay for someone else’s family. With tens of millions of new customers and no new doctors I can’t see how people are deluded into thinking they’re going to get the same level of service.”

    By re-deploying the excess costs and profits of the monopoly Insurance Companies?

    And why shouldn’t they pay for someone elses healthcare? Someone else paid for the schools they go to, someone else paid for the roads they drive on, someone else pays for the universities they go to, someone else paid for the medicines they have.

    We have a society here, a joint venture.

    “Some medical research stats I dredged up for the last bashing of US healthcare:

    Medical Nobel Prizes (10 year period)
    US born 12
    Foreign working in US 3
    All others 7

    Medical Research Expenditures
    US (all sources) 98 B
    US government 35 B
    EU Govts (combined) 8 B”

    Those Nobel laureates went to schools supported by the public, they got government grants paid for by all the taxpayers. You can’t deny treatment to those same members of the public.

    “The rest of the world lets the US shoulder the lion’s share of R&D so they can then just copy or spend their money on universal health care.”

    Looks to me as though the US taxpayer shoulders the lions share of R&D and then the richest people with the best insurance step in and demand exclusive access through their Cadillac Healthcare plans.

    “When you think how many lives could be saved by UHC, think how many lives will be cost by the necessary reductions in research and decreased pace of growth in medical knowledge.”

    Think about how much more R&D there can be if we stop the excess overhead costs of the insurance companies and the excess profits that their monopoly squeezes out of people. Why spend that money fruitlessly on paperwork and billion dollar bonuses when it could be spent on R&D? After all, good scientists are a hell of a lot cheaper than the pampered princes of wall street.

  • Doug Hunter

    Yeah, take the carbon/climate issue and the recent cap and trade bill. Instead of deciding to invest real money in alternatives to fossil fuel and next generation energy resources we decided to hand out credits to current large businesses. Now, if you want to compete with Exxon Mobile you have to go to them and ask to buy some credits they got handed for free. We’ve got bureacracy where politician’s can now hand out valuable credits to their favorite contributors increasing corruption. We’ve got a system where mega corporations/mega carbon producers will be rewarded and locked into their positions when competition has to buy through them to compete. And all of this will have no measurable effect on global temperatures even if our current rudimentary models are correct.

    We are getting change, change from very bad to almost unbelievably, even worse. That’s part of what’s causing the outrage.

  • Jordan Richardson

    According to whom?

    Every other country in the world with UHC running a system with much less cost than the current American system. This takes out the unknown variable of how it’s run, of course, but speaking on the strict basis of UHC, it’s less costly. Hell, almost anything else would be less costly.

    You bash productive rightward members of society but I never hear you lambast those entitled non contributors.

    Yeah, those people on welfare are just floating through life in shitshack apartments collecting pop cans and food stamps. It’s such a live of privilege and entitlement that they certainly need my criticism heaped on board.

    How much of the population of poor people in your country would you say deserve it? And second, who are you to say who deserves it?

    I don’t ask questions before I try to help someone, unfortunately. My goal, one that I consistently fail at but continually strive to do, is to help regardless of whether someone is deemed worthy. And in the process, I may wind up providing health care or an education to someone who’s lazy or stupid or who doesn’t deserve it. But in my philosophical outlook, that’s not for me to decide.

    I believe that, by the very construct of living in a social society, we all deserve help and compassion. It may be more of my naive youthful bullshit and I may well grow out of it and become more cynical, but for the time being I’m comfortable being part of a society that provides the odd safety net and the odd bit of care to people who, for the most part, need it and find it helpful.

  • Doug Hunter

    “And why shouldn’t they pay for someone elses healthcare? Someone else paid for the schools they go to, someone else paid for the roads they drive on, someone else pays for the universities they go to, someone else paid for the medicines they have.”

    Not really, I already pay more than my share in taxes than all of that would reasonably cost, except perhaps roads/fuel tax.

    Anyway, fine I understand you think I’m selfish but you haven’t addressed the other side of it. Isn’t it also selfish to expect society to help you when you won’t help yourself?

  • Doug Hunter

    Jordan, that’s very good of you. Most people who support these safety nets often don’t devote many of their own resources to helping others, it’s much easier to be charitable with other people’s money I’ve found.

    Everything you desire could be achieved in a free society without using the government to compel people to act if it were truly what the population wanted.

    In fact, the only advantages of having the government run your charity is the ability to dump the cost on your kids through deficits and to compel people who don’t want to participate to do so. If that’s ‘progress’, screwing our kids and forcing people to do things they don’t want to, then I want no part of it.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I really believe we’ve got to bring productivity and innovation into American industry – at the mid-size level – whether by way of incentives, credits, what have you; not to mention turn the whole nation away from being Wall-Mart consumers. And unless we do so, we’ve had it.

    Roger, I agree with you on this. Small and enterprising businesesses which can innovate are the future for America’s economy. But believing that, how can you support the current healthcare proposals which will force small businesses to insure workers whether they can afford it or not, and penalize them if they don’t comply with that mandate.

    Knowing what a tight margin small businesses operate on, what justification can there be for this approach to healthcare?

    What’s most discouraging, I expressed this on another thread, I believe, the administrations is doing nothing about changing the climate. And increased government regulation cannot be the answer because it relies on an antagonistic – i.e., business vs government – model. What we need is cooperation, not antagonism.

    Very true. And it’s exactly the same attitude which is embodied in the health care plan. Antagonism towards consumers and businesses is the basis of their policy in many areas. IMO it’s suicidal for the nation.

    Dave

  • http://euchay.blogspot.com Charles Euchay

    Having read most all of the thread of comments on this and other postings on BC, I have come to the conclusion that “as in Congress, so in the public”; consensus is an unattainable goal when it comes to politics and political philosophy. What is going on here on our comments board is no different from what is happening in Congress. You see the same entrenched positions depending on people’s political affiliation and philosophy, the reluctance to acknowledge other people’s view points without resorting to name calling, labeling and sarcastic caricaturing of heartfelt ideas being expressed by all of us. Perhaps, the real difference between what we as contributors to this page and the elected officials do is that the latter have a constitutional obligation to hatch out a consensus, however imperfect, so that the work of governance does not come to an impasse. The Budget Crisis in California, where I live, is a good example. Until its recent resolution, state workers had to settle for IOUs in lieu of real pay checks. Can any of us imagine how that must feel, especially when the banks decided not to honor those IOUs. If the California lawmakers had followed some of the advice put forward in some of the posts and comments and allowed a free for all approach where people (voters) simply crowded into the Assembly Hall of the Capitol to vent their feelings and shout down legislators they disagree with, there surely would be no resolution to the crisis. No prizes for guessing who suffers in the end…. the voters and the state workers who were left with IOUs they could not negotiate at the banks. Anarchy and mob action could never be a solution to the serious business of governance despite citizens’ right to free speech and protest.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Lloyd Doggett appeared on Rachel Maddow last night. He said he was most bothered by the ‘protesters’ shouting down other questioners in the hall. Not just when Doggett spoke, but when anyone NOT asking him a hostile question tried to speak, they were drowned out by a chorus of “Just say no!” He also claimed that the video cameras capturing the event were provided by the local Republican party.

    Dave’s rosy picture of these ‘concerned citizens’ politely asking reasonable questions, then becoming frustrated at not getting an answer, THEN becoming raving lunatics, is not an accurate reporting of what happened. Can Dave offer even one or two examples of these ‘reasonable’ questions and Doggett’s ‘evasive’ non-answers?

    The thoughtful, signs displayed by these exemplars of civic virtue included: a tombstone with Doggett’s name on it, a luridly colored representation of Doggett as a horned devil, the slogan “No Govt Counselors in My Home” [referring to the — entirely false — rumor that the proposed plans will send agents out to ‘force’ people to draw up living wills and end-of-life documents].

    None of this adds even one tiny bit of useful information to the health care debate. It’s just noise.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I note that there is nothing about this in this morning’s NY Times or Wall St Journal beyond a half a sentence deep down in a Times article [“in the last week, several members of Congress have been confronted by constituents, protesters and advocacy groups denouncing Democratic proposals”].

    The blogosphere [both left and right] and cable TV opinion shows [primarily left] are covering this extensively. Fox News and CNN have a single item each on their home pages, but no pictures. CBS and ABC don’t mention it on their news front pages.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    In addition to Armey’s Freedom Works, another organization fighting health care reform and cheerleading the town hall ‘protests’ is Conservatives for Patients’ Rights [CPR], founded by Rick Scott.

    Mr. Scott founded the hospital chain Columbia/HCA. He was forced out of that company in 1997 in the wake of $1.7 billion in civil and criminal fines assessed against Columbia/HCA for overbilling federal and state governments. Scott himself was not charged, and he says, so what, everybody was overbilling.

    CPR is responsible for those obnoxious commercials that appear several times an hour on CNN. [Scott himself appears in the ads, maybe not the wisest choice of spokesmodel.] CPR’s ads are produced by the same agency that gave us another masterpiece of mischief and misinformation, the Swift Boad ads of 2004.

    CPR’s web site includes a convenient listing of upcoming town hall meetings in congressional districts. A fine public service.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The Freedom Works memo is entitled: “Rocking the Town Halls: Best Practices”

    Here’s an execerpt:

    Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up … You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation. Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early. If he blames Bush for something or offers other excuses — call him on it, yell back and have someone else follow-up with a shout-out … The goal is to rattle him…

    So the purpose is not to ask legitimate questions or foster a genuine discussion, but to put the ‘Rep’ on the defensive and rattle him. All in the name of spontaneous, authentic citizen outrage.

    According to Source Watch, Freedom Works was founded by Armey in 2004. He merged two former groups, his own Citizens for a Sound Economy and Jack Kemp’s Empower America.

    Dick Armey is perhaps most fondly known to some of us for ‘accidentally’ calling Barney Frank “Barney Fag” into an open mike.

  • Lumpy

    Got to admire him for calling frank names. Childish but amusing.

    Out of curiosity do you think these congressmen were sent out without a game plan or some issue prep and talking points? How is that any different from various groups helping attendees be prepared?

    And btw sourcewatch is not a neutral source and freedomworks did exist under a different name prior to bringing armey on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Out of curiosity do you think these congressmen were sent out without a game plan or some issue prep and talking points?”

    It shouldn’t be the same, Lumpy. I would assume if they even haven’t read the entire bill, they should be familiar with the key points. The picture you’re presenting is one whereby our congresspersons are just mouthpieces for some grand, overall plan. However low opinion one may have of the Washington, D.C. crowd, these people are better prepared than you suppose: at the very least, they have their constituencies to answer for if they hope on getting reelected.

  • Baronius

    Handy, protestors tend to sit up front. If they’re unorganized, they will be spread out. They tend to yell out, and call people on excuses. I don’t know what your citation of that memo is supposed to tell us other than that protestors act like protestors.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Yes, I would admire someone for calling Frank some names, if they took into account a few other facts about him:

    Smartest member of congress

    Best debater against foolish GOP positions past and present

    Funniest deadpan wit in either house

    But ‘admiring’ Armey for “Barney Fag” [and for disingenuously denying he said it intentionally]? It implies you approve, and if you do, well, let’s not have lunch anytime soon.

    And if you find any specific inaccuracies in SourceWatch’s info on Freedom Works and CPR, happy to listen to your corrections. Yes, SW is partisan; they are also invaluable. There are similar groups on the right.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Got to admire him for calling frank names. Childish but amusing.”

    Yet, you are bothered when people call you Limpy or other variations. Hypocrite much?

  • zingzing

    gimpy! get your mask back on! (or i’ll stop whipping you…)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I think it’s just an ad, but that push poll which appears directly below the concluding paragraph of Dave’s article does seem like his style!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    To comment #80.

    Roger, do you even watch the news? Have you seen how many congressmen have openly stated that they haven’t read the bill?

    It’s not a low opinion to think they’ve been sent out with talking points, it’sa fact! How else could they spew about a bill they haven’t read?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You wouldn’t read those bills too, Andy; they’re atrocious. But they have their staff to do it for them. So I’m certain that some of them at least, the conscienscious ones, are rather better informed than the general public.

  • Baronius

    Where did Barney Frank get this reputation for not being a fool? He supposedly didn’t notice that his house was being used as a brothel, and his oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was equally thorough. But the guy comes in first in Washingtonian Magazine’s survey of smartest Congressman, beating out Vern Ehlers, a PhD nuclear physicist.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    You’re certain…I’m so glad for you roger…I really am…I on the other hand, like a lot of other people, am not so certain that they even have a clue!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Handy, I’ve got to agree with you on CPR. They’re completley bogus tools of the healthcare and insurance industries. I doubt that anyone at these protests would take anything they said seriously because they are known for what they are. FreedomWorks, on the other hand, does have a certain level of credibility because they are NOT partisan and because while their money may come indirectly from corporate sources, it comes from many sources and they are not known for pushing a specific corporate agenda, just a broad pro-capitalist agenda.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It shouldn’t be the same, Lumpy. I would assume if they even haven’t read the entire bill, they should be familiar with the key points.

    Yes they should. Yet in these townhalls — and about a half-dozen more have happened since I wrote this article — they consistently show ignorance when being asked about specifics.

    The picture you’re presenting is one whereby our congresspersons are just mouthpieces for some grand, overall plan.

    Not at all. But the DNC did organize this effort and presumably briefed them in some way to help them promote this healthcare legislation. If they didn’t then they are idiots.

    The point is that both sides in the debate have a right to prep their people to ask and answer questions intelligently — that makes it a worthwhile debate.

    However low opinion one may have of the Washington, D.C. crowd, these people are better prepared than you suppose: at the very least, they have their constituencies to answer for if they hope on getting reelected.

    Yet here we see people objecting to constituents trying to get their attention and hold them accountable.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think it’s just an ad, but that push poll which appears directly below the concluding paragraph of Dave’s article does seem like his style!

    Actually, Matt Sussman told us all to add polls to our articles, so I did.

    As for the pushiness of it, I bet you can’t even guess which one I voted for. But I’d be curious to hear which one you think I’m pushing, since I tried to write the questions as neutrally as possible and the poll script even randomizes the order.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Come on, Dave. Dissent against Bush is the highest form of patriotism.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Got to admire zing for calling Lumpy names.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I tried to write the questions as neutrally as possible.

    I got the impression that the options for some form of publicly-run healthcare were couched in somewhat negative language.

    I haven’t voted because I don’t much like any of the options on offer.

    What I’d like to see (from a medical consumer’s point of view) is a worry-free, red tape-free, cash-free system like the one back home. I’m not holding my breath.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    If that’s the case, Andy, you may as well pack it in, because there’s no hope. And besides, why keep on reelecting the rascals time and again?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In light of #91, we should see some semblance of a discussion, Dave. But you’ve got to admit that thus far there has been none. And you can’t blame it exactly on the congresspeople. The whole atmosphere of these meetings resemble a circus more than anything else. You tell me whether the participants are more interesting in learning the “finer points” of the issue or whether they’re more intent on voicing their opposition?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    What I’d like to see (from a medical consumer’s point of view) is a worry-free, red tape-free, cash-free system like the one back home. I’m not holding my breath.

    Back home where wait times are 3 times what they are in the US and death rates from the most curable forms of cancer are 20% or mor ehigher than in the US. Thanks, I’ll pass.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dave,

    I was thinking more along the lines of back home where you can go to the doctor’s office for an annual checkup without having to take out a second mortgage for the privilege and be subsequently bombarded with invoices of a complexity that would make an accountancy professor want to hang himself. And that’s with insurance.

    I’ll be the first to stand up and say that American health care is (or can be) among the best in the world – IF you can afford it.

    Trouble is, nobody can.

  • Arch Conservative

    blah blah blah the moonbat parade carries on.

    Obama’s socialist vision for America’s future is in it’s death throes.

    I can’t wait to see the look on that arrogant piece of garbage’s face when the GOP picks up most of the seats up for grabs next fall. the only thing that could possible top that would be seeing the look on his face as he passes through the gates of hell!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Enjoying a few brewskis as you write such copious words of wisdom this evening, Arch? Careful though, you may blow a gasket.

  • Arch Conservative

    Nah I’m in a great mood watching videos of real Americans stand up to that little punkass bitch in the white house. By year’s end any influence he had on this nation’s future will all but be nullified.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I can’t wait to see the look on that arrogant piece of garbage’s face when the GOP picks up most of the seats up for grabs next fall.

    Ooh, whoopee, another one of Archie’s election predictions. Those are really accurate!

  • Clavos

    I’ll be the first to stand up and say that American health care is (or can be) among the best in the world – IF you can afford it.

    Trouble is, nobody can.

    Oh, I dunno. We get a lot of Arab sheikhs and Latin American dictators at M.D. Anderson in Houston and the Mayo in MN.

    LA and NY get their share of wealthy foreigners come to have their lives saved, too.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Rachel Maddow spent considerable time tonight perusing the web site for RecessRally.

    Their inspiring slogan:

    “Many of the original groups behind TaxDayTeaParty.com are joining together for the Nationwide Recess Rally. This is a collaborative effort to make it known that we will not stand for socialized, government controlled healthcare.

    [As Ms. M correctly pointed out, the bills currently in the House and Senate are not for “socialized, government controlled healthcare” either — or a nefarious plot to kill old folks for that matter. The misinformation in these ‘collaborative efforts’ is massively pernicious.]

    Note the many logos of sponsoring orgs at the bottom of the page. They include:

    Michele Malkin
    Patients First
    American Majority
    Americans for Prosperity
    The Sam Adams Alliance
    and of course, Freedom Works

    Maddow’s point is that this is professional political PR, not a grassroots movement at all. And yes, Virginia, there has been some busing of participants to various townhalls.

    None of this is illegal. But it has nothing at all to do with open-minded discourse about improving the health care system. It’s all about protecting the status quo — and most importantly, it’s about handing Obama a high-profile defeat.

    Raw, bare-knuckled, ugly politics. If it works — I suspect it will not — a troubling precedent will be set.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “the only thing that could possible top that would be seeing the look on his face as he passes through the gates of hell!”

    No surprise that you would be there to see it

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    The Health Care System we have RIGHT NOW:

    “Despite the worst recession in 25 years, U.S. employers can expect to see their health-care costs rise by 9% next year, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute. As a result, 42% of employers expect to increase the amount that employees must contribute to health benefit plans, and 41% expect to increase the amount of co-pays, deductibles, and other health costs the employee must pay.

    The only good news: The 9% climb is slightly lower than the increases of the past two years. Medical costs to employers rose 9.2% in 2009 and 9.9% in 2008. But the health-care inflation rate for corporations still significantly outpaces overall inflation and the increases in worker earnings. It is even higher than the health-care inflation rate for the nation as a whole, currently running at 6.9%.

    The consulting firm said that, in the last five years, health insurance premiums for employees have increased four times faster than wages.” Business Week

    It’s MATH, people. If health care premiums keep increasing at FOUR TIMES the rate of wages, you have a system destined to implode in the very near future.

    In my state of New Jersey?

    “Roughly 5.5 million people in New Jersey get health insurance on the job, where family premiums average $14,154, about the annual earning of a full-time minimum wage job.” Health Reform

    Whipping out my calculator:

    By 2015, 5 short years from now, if we do NOTHING, and the SAME system stays in place:

    The average family insurance premium in New Jersey will cost $21,777.68 a year.

    How many Small Businesses, start-ups, or entrepreneurs can absorb those costs? In my state, the number of businesses even offering health care has declined dramatically.

    The current for-profit health care system is mathematically UNSUSTAINABLE.

    If somebody disagrees with that, please demonstrate with MATH how it is not.

    –Cobra

  • Arch Conservative

    Congrats on being one of the 67 people that watched he/she Maddow spread her America hating left wing moonbat propaganda handy.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Arch, I’m glad you have shown up because I wanted to let you know something.

    I have decided that this site can no longer tolerate your excessive rudeness towards other commenters.

    This means that either you will need to start showing a little restraint in how you express yourself OR that I am going to ban you.

    The choice is yours but this is your final notification. One more outburst will be your last. Enough is enough…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Note the many logos of sponsoring orgs at the bottom of the page. They include:

    Michele Malkin

    Last I checked, Michelle Malkin was not an organization, but one very short oriental woman with a chip on her shoulder.

    Americans for Prosperity
    The Sam Adams Alliance
    and of course, Freedom Works

    These three groups are actually all funded by the Koch foundation. And none of them have any actual grassroots activists to speak of and they even have very small staffs. They don’t have people to send out to protest. All they can do is email out suggestions through lists of like minded people. They are basically information clearinghouses and they are all non partisan and not associated with the republican party in any way. In fact, FreedomWorks has a past history of being fairly hostile to the GOP. Sam Adams alliance mostly does activist training and has a staff of about 4 people. AFP is the probably the closest to having an organization because they have state chapters, but their actual grassroots presence is very light.

    The truth is that these protests are actually being organized by three groups, the Republican Liberty Caucus, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty and in some cases local Libertarian Party groups. In some cases other groups like Patriotic Resistence (scary) are also involved. These are all actual grassroots organizations with active local groups all over the country.

    Maddow’s point is that this is professional political PR, not a grassroots movement at all.

    And Maddow is full of shit. Sorry for the bad language. The fact that some groups want to cash in on the grassroots protests just like they did with the tea parties does not mean that they are actually playing an organizing role. The advice that FreedomWorks was handing out was terrible and counterproductive, clearly shaped by the fact that their staff is made up mostly of young anarchists who are obsessed with borrowing tricks from the radical left.

    Maddow is acting as a shill for the Obama administration in their attempt to spin and misrepresent this issue. It’s reprehensible given their history of hiring paid protesters, but it’s no less than I’d expect.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I was thinking more along the lines of back home where you can go to the doctor’s office for an annual checkup without having to take out a second mortgage for the privilege and be subsequently bombarded with invoices of a complexity that would make an accountancy professor want to hang himself. And that’s with insurance.

    I can get a check-up on 24 hours notice and it costs $20 for a co-pay. I just ignore the paperwork and eventually the doctor and the insurance company sort it all out.

    Dave

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Dave,

    Can you explain to me how America will sustain the health care system we have in place right now using MATH?

    -Cobra

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    There’s an excellent article by Steve Portnoy on ABC News which helps clear up a lot of the confusion about these townhall protests. Read it.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Cobra. Read my past articles on health care. I’ve never said I’m for the current system, but I’m also not for making it worse and further subsidizing the insurance industry with the disastrous ideas currently being considered.

    Dave

  • Georgio

    That veteran does not speak for every veteran ..I am a Veteran and the VA treats me great!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos-/ Christine

    Hey Dave, great article!

    What is wrong with our politicians when they don’t read “bills” that will impact our country at many levels, and those that don’t listen to concerned citizens.

    Hey we have a new “Misinformation Czar”. For anyone that hears anything “fishy” about the Health Care Reform (take-over) you are supposed to contact the White House! What a bunch of crap!

    One thing people can do to help reduce the cost of health care both individually and collectively is through self discipline; eat right and exercise! Prevention is the BEST!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The VA — and Medicare — are examples of “socialized, government run healthcare” that work quite well. Single payer systems.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I see nothing wrong with a ‘misinformation czar.’ There’s certainly plenty of misinformation being spread around, much of it intended to scare people.

    If the misinformation czar starts countering with his/her own counter-misinformation, compounding the problem, you let me know. Otherwise, fine with me.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Speaking of misinformation, there has been a considerable amount of it floating around about how insurance companies view health reform.

    The top 10 insurers make many billions in profit each year. Thus they, like pharma companies, are likely places to look for savings.

    The largest company, Wellpoint, is different from the others. It sells insurance primarily to individuals, not groups. And it is opposed to reform.

    Most of the other largest insurers [United, Cigna, Aetna] sell primarily to groups and they are ready to sign on to reform — as long as it doesn’t include a ‘public option.’

    [According to Dave’s favorite congressman, Lloyd Doggett, compromises forced by Blue Dogs have reduced the likely portion of all healthcare covered by any public option to just 4% — leaving 96% for private insurers. The public option won’t be available to just anyone — only folks without other access through employers.]

    Wellpoint successfully killed Schwarzenegger’s insurance reform in California. It prefers the status quo, and won’t willingly go along with big changes.

  • Baronius

    Christine – Preventative medicine and basic common sense are the best ways to extend your health and your life. No doubt. But it’s not government’s job to tell us how to live our lives. At least, it isn’t their job today.

    What about when government begins to run our health care system? All of a sudden, telling us what eat and what not to eat is a legitimate governmental function. The health care bill isn’t a grab for 20% of the economy; it’s a grab for 100% of our daily lives.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I heard Charles Krauthammer say something last night that made a lot of sense…

    All these folks that are heading to these townhall meetings and bitching, supposedly coached by who knows who or what, well, they’re just another form of Community organizing…and isn’t that part of the list of actual experience that the democratic nominee for pres and now pres listed on his resume?

    I guess community organizing is only okay if it’s happening on the south side of Chicago or Harlem or someplace like that…but when it’s people who actually work for a living doing it it’s a bad thing…you liberals are such hypocrites!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The ABC News story that Dave links to is very interesting — and it doesn’t necessarily reenforce his own points.

    1. The Congressman in this case seems very intent on really listening and talking to his constituents — yet by the end he’s exasperated, and many are still jeering him

    2. Several of the less loudmouthed folks in the crowd are not favorably impressed by the rhetoric or tactics used

    3. This is a conservative district and the freshman Rep, a Blue Dog, was elected by a narrow margin.

    To use the dogged Doggett again, as a counterexample — he is an unabashed liberal who won overwhelming reelection. So the people holding signs picturing his tombstone are likely not representing the views of most voters in the district.

    4. None of the comments from the hostile members of the crowd are questions. They are accusations. Someone had hanged the Rep in effigy the week before. Is this anger based on anything reasonable?

    What do these folks really want? Having a conversation with their congressman is definitely not it.

  • Zozobra

    When your government starts enlisting (the emotions) of the population asking for reports on fishiness

    you’re all doomed

    Z

  • zingzing

    chris: “I have decided that this site can no longer tolerate your excessive rudeness towards other commenters.”

    we can tolerate it. it’s just archie. no one really gives a shit about what he says. besides, he’s hi-larious. if you ban him, it’s the right wingers that will be happy, not those he continually insults with his little words. sticks and stones, etc. it’s not like he ever makes a valid point.

    shit, last time i was screwing his mom, i asked about him and she was like, “wha? who?” and i was all like, “archie! your son?” and she was like “am i pregnant? he’s named archibald?” and i was like, “no, no… your 32 year old, very unhappy son? lives around people he can’t stand? is slowly being crushed by the liberals around him and the visions in his head of the “real america”?” and she said, “i have no idea who you are talking about, but i’m ready to go again.”

  • zingzing

    just why is it that when the left wing protests the government, we hate america, and when the right wing does it, they are “real americans?”

    really. i want to know. does the right wing really think that the left wing hates america? do they really think they’re the only “real americans?” isn’t that a bit arrogant, or, at least, delusional?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The health care bill isn’t a grab for 20% of the economy; it’s a grab for 100% of our daily lives.

    One of the dumbest of the many sweeping generalizations this debate has led us to.

    The bill[s] aren’t a ‘grab’ for anything. They are attempts to grapple with a serious issue.

    The Democrats who wrote them believe in a bigger role for government than you do [obviously] — but the system proposed is a series of tweaks on the current system, not a single-payer ‘socialist’ behemoth.

    If experts make recommendations to you to better your health, you will still be free to ignore them. How silly, and trivial-minded, your assertion is.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos-/ Christine

    120 – Baronius
    Hey there, not suggesting that government should do it, in fact I am TOTALLY against government run health care. Less government the better!

    I am just giving my two cents from a “fitness expert’s” perspective. About 60% of health problems are due to an “unhealthy lifestyle”. If we did take care of ourselves better, we would have less health problems, thus less health bills!

    But I realize people are lazy, so they will look to the government to fix all their problems even when it comes to something they have control over most of the time, their health! How sad that is for America!

  • Clavos

    The VA — and Medicare — are examples of “socialized, government run healthcare” that work quite well. Single payer systems.

    The VA ranges from poor to very good, depending on where you live. For most veterans, it does involve long waits for appointments and tests and the vets are means tested, so are required to pay from their pockets or with their private insurance. I would hardly call it “socialized medicine” — it only serves a little over 5M people nationwide.

    Medicare is a financial train wreck; it’s getting ripped off to the tune of multi billions annually nationwide (down here in Miami, where they REALLY know how to steal, Medicare looses $2Billion annually to fraud), and its per patient costs are already higher than private insurers and climbing faster.

    And Medicare DOES ration. My wife is on the tail end of a 12 week hospital stay, which Medicare stopped paying for about two weeks ago (she exceeded her allotment of days for this benefit period because she was home for less than 60 days after her previous hospitalization, which lasted about 13 weeks). If it weren’t for our top echelon (and expensive) private insurance, the $500 a day tab would have been coming out of my pocket for the last two weeks.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Well folks, it now turns out that the entire claim that FreedomWorks and other groups were in any way involved with these protests is a fraud. Even the document Maddow and others have used as evidence turns out not to have originated with FreedomWorks, but with some local activist in Connecticut who shared it with a dozen friends one of whom apparently passed it on to someone who sent it to the vast shadowy network of leftist propagandists. Amusing.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    sure, dave.

  • Baronius

    Handy, did the Democrats just change their minds? A lot of them were in favor of a single-payer plan a couple of months ago.

    Christine, I didn’t mean to imply that you favored a national system. I was just using your mention of preventative health care as a teachable moment. (Just teasing, of course. “Teachable moment” is a term used in elementary education. No adult would use such a term in reference to a conversation with another adult.)

  • Clavos

    – but the system proposed is a series of tweaks on the current system, not a single-payer ‘socialist’ behemoth.

    But a careful analysis of the “tweaks” does reveal that collectively they leave the door open for further “improvements” down the road which could be used to establish a “socialist behemoth.”

    And government and its power NEVER shrinks — it only grows — larger and ever more powerful, not to mention more expensive.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The VA — and Medicare — are examples of “socialized, government run healthcare” that work quite well. Single payer systems.

    And ones which have had to both go through massive reforms and restructuring in the last decade — generally with positive results. And in the case of Medicare one which is extremely expensive.

    But I don’t necessarily disagree. The people who are going nuts about “single payer” healthcare are idiots. Single payer is NOT the problem in Obamacare or any other proposal. The real problems are the public option, the forced continuance of group plans, and the new system where people and companies will have to buy insurance or be penalized.

    Handy is dead right in #119. As I’ve been trying to point out and have generally been misunderstood on, the problem here is that the proposed healthcare plan institutionalizes and subsidize the big monopolistic insurance companies. The reliance on group plans is one of the causes of our current problems and the bill currently under consideration enshrines them even more.

    This is why the most abusive insurers under the current system are supporting the bill, not opposing it — another thing which gives the lie to the anti-protest propaganda. The insurance industry wouldn’t be funding protest, they LOVE this bill. It gives them 40+ million more customers to abuse.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Baronius, none of the 3 completed draft bills or the 1 still in Senate committee is a single payer proposal.

    Many of us on the left would prefer single payer. But it would be so disruptive to remove the current employer based system that it hasn’t even been proposed.

    The [incredible shrinking] public option is all that remains of it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “the new system where people and companies will have to buy insurance or be penalized.”

    How else are you going to insure the presently uninsured, Dave, if not by means of mandates?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave’s tendency to equate legislation he dislikes to the apocalypse does real damage to his arguments.

    All big legislation is a patchwork of compromises, and will necessarily result in Winners and Losers.

    Here’s my prediction:

    There will be a bill [with maybe even 5 or 10 GOP Senate votes], but…

    The public option will vanish, diluted into regional insurance co-ops

    Employer and individual mandates will still be in the bill, but watered down — maybe so badly that a lot of people are left uncovered.

    The best thing about the bill will be insurance reforms: no more pre-existing conditions, and no lifetime cap on coverage.

    As Howard Dean points out, this is insurance reform, not health care reform. The Daily Kos will be apopleptic, like the “Just Say No” crowd is now.

    But we will all move on.

  • Lumpy

    Mandates are theft. I look forward tto the SCOTUS striking it all down.

  • Lumpy

    But o think it’s a travesty when the peoples best hope to preserve their rights is the court system.

  • Baronius

    Handy, sorry; I misread your comment #126. I thought you were saying that Democrats don’t believe in a single-payer plan.

  • Oops they did it again

    I guess the right has a case to be outraged. But the rest? Doesn’t anyone read candidate voting records anymore? Or be skeptical about campaign promises for that matter?

  • Neo-Hippy

    So begins the building of the oppressive machine that will be the government health care industrial complex.

  • Bliffle

    For the first time ever, Lumpy is right: SCOTUS will strike down mandates.

    Keep it up kid, maybe you’ll be right again some time.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It may make for an interesting debate, but even a lot of Republicans accept mandates as necessary to get most people covered.

    If you don’t mandate Young Healthy Guy to buy insurance, and then he is in an auto accident or comes down with lymphoma, we’re all losers.

    The employer mandate is necessary if we keep an employer-centered distribution system. That is debatable, but it is the path of least resistance.

    But calling mandates ‘theft’ is just rhetoric. Stealing what from whom? You don’t want health coverage? Is all taxation theft too?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Especially if you’re young, healthy, and able-bodies, you should have health insurance. How different is it from being required a liability insurance when you drive?

    I would think, however, the greatest problem is to insure those who can’t afford it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    A guy from FreedomWorks and a guy from the AFL/CIO were on Chris Matthews tonight. Matthews roasted the FreedomWorks guy, Max Pappas, pretty unpleasantly, but Pappas held his own rather well.

    Anyway, he basically said, yes, they have been using their 400,000 name database to email people and get them to show up to town halls. But he denied using buses.

    The labor group is planning to start sending its own folks to the town halls now as well. I hope this does not turn even uglier.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Yes, subsidizing insurance for those who can’t afford it is most of what that much-talked about $1 trillion cost is composed of.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Have there been successful court challenges to the insurance mandates in Massachusetts? Didn’t Mitt Romney start this whole thing?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos-/ Christine

    129 – Dave Nalle
    I think Maddow and Olbermann should get married!

    131 – Baronius
    All Good!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Then, in light of #146 and #144, I don’t see what all the bitching is about. In my thinking, they’re not going far enough with these reforms. But as you said, it’s but a reform of the insurance practices, not of healthcare.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Not sure about Olbermann, Christine, but Rachel Maddow is indeed already happily partnered, to a woman. But then maybe you knew that already.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I’d go straight for Rachel Maddow. But then again if Keith Olbermann was the last man on Earth, I’d probably go straight, too.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Have there been successful court challenges to the insurance mandates in Massachusetts? Didn’t Mitt Romney start this whole thing?

    We’re stuck with the insurance mandates which Romney takes credit for — LET HIM! It’s a complete failure.

    Our legislature is so corrupt that we’ll never know the truth. We’ve seen several Speakers of our House leave disgraced and prosecuted. One former Speaker was Whitey Bulger’s brother and went on to be President of UMASS, I believe. The Massachusetts political system is rampant with corruption, back room deals and an unholy marriage with the Labor unions. In addition, we have no credible journalists left in Boston which only adds to the problem. And, when a journalist tries to do the “right thing” he/she is incessantly pressured to the point where they cower.

    So when you hear Chris Matthews pontificate about how forward thinking we are in the Northeast, guess again. Forget about New Jersey and Illinois, my friends. When it comes to corruption, Rhode Island wrote the play book and Massachusetts copied it. Corruption gets prosecuted in NJ and IL while it is regarded as Divine Intervention in New England.

    If Paul Revere could have glimpsed into the future before his famous ride, I’d venture to say that he would have proclaimed, “Thank God Almighty the British are coming!”

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    For the first time ever, Lumpy is right: SCOTUS will strike down mandates.

    Ah, tes, SCOTUS. The other white meat.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Really, I think he’s handsome. Loud, but handsome. Great deep announcer’s voice too.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    From a distance, Silas, the Mass. health plan looks ok. It did succeed in covering a lot of uninsured folks.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Handy, it added a new level of bureaucracy that’s taking its’ toll on those who are paid very little for what they’re supposed to do. When I was in hospital last week I talked to a lot of nurses and hospital workers. They’re discouraged. They feel like their education and the reasons why they went into medicine to begin with was all for naught. That’s an indication of things to come. We’re gong to end up with a substandard labor pool delivering health care because there’ll be a shortage of quality people going into medicine.

    From a distance all things look good in Massachusetts. The problem is the new increase in sales tax is hurting the poor and no one else. Remember we’ve got MIT, Harvard, BU and BC. They own all the prime property and control the local politicians. If you want to know what a Presidential Administration filled with Harvard and MIT grads will deliver, look toward Boston and the surrounding communities. Liberal elitists are as dangerous as folks like Limbaugh and Coulter. Sometimes things that stare us straight in the face are those which we neglect to see.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Rachel Maddow, fair and polite interviewer as she is [at least compared to other cable opinion-heads], has trouble booking conservatives on her show.

    Big exception tonight. Catch it if you can on repeats later or on the MSNBC site.

    Timothy Phillips, formerly a political and corporate consultant in partnership with Ralph Reed, is now president of Americans for Prosperity, whose subgroup Patients First is sending lots of people to town halls about healthcare.

    He’s one slick character, and Rachel is nearly unflappable in the face of his spiel. Whatever side you’re on, it’s excellent television, as she knowledgably quizzes him on the corporate connections [Koch, Exxon].

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I know Tim and he’s a very sharp and very honest guy and AFP is doing a lot of good work under his hand. I’m going to watch the 10pm showing.

    It will be interesting to see what he says about Patients First, because as far as I can tell from my contacts they’ve had virtually no presence at the townhall events.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’d go straight for Rachel Maddow.

    That’s only because she looks like a really cute guy.

    But then again if Keith Olbermann was the last man on Earth, I’d probably go straight, too.

    I sympathize. Gay or straight he’s just creepy.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    How else are you going to insure the presently uninsured, Dave, if not by means of mandates?

    Well, a single-payer system wouldn’t require mandates, it would just insure everyone.

    What I’d favor if we have to have nationalized healthcare would be a universal flat percentage tax for healthcare, with vouchers issued to everyone which they could then spend only on individual health insurance plans (group plans have to go) or maybe also on HSAs.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Timothy Phillips and Ralph Reed did do business with Jack Abramoff. And Enron was a client of their firm, Century Strategies, as well. None of this makes him ipso facto dishonest, but he keeps creepy company.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Everyone did business with Abramoff, including a lot of Democrats. It’s not all that clear how large a role Phillips played at the PR firm Reed ran. He certainly doesn’t have the kind of nasty reputation Reed does.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Maddow apparently used this Wonk Room article as background for her Tim Phillips interview. Interesting stuff. The causes he backs are rarely, um, moderate…always far-right true believer stuff. And the Eric Cantor story is an eye-opener, whether Phillips was as unaware of it as he claims or not.

  • Bliffle

    Why do we need mandates? We already have taxes. We don’t need another form of compulsion. Better to spend tax money on the health of our own people than to pursue vain dreams of glory in remote foreign wars.

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Christine,

    Please explain to me, using MATH how the CURRENT for-profit Health Care system, where premiums are increasing at 4 TIMES the rate of wages, is sustainable.

    –Cobra

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Bliffle, has your sense of direction [left/right] been compromised? What is your anti-mandate rhetoric about? Or are you being ironic and I am missing it?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Cobra is correct. The status quo would be expensive too! Only worse.

    By the way, aren’t we glad Rush Limbaugh added his dulcet, moderate voice to the discussion today, making an extended [and loud!] comparison of the Dems’ health care plans and other policy positions to…Nazi Germany. Very sensible, very useful, thank you so much for sharing.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    This kind of thing is why the left finds it so convenient to repeat the ridiculous claim the Limbaugh is the secret leader of the GOP.

    Dave

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    You folks think this mandate that small business owners pay for health insurance for their employees is a good idea?

    You all must be rich, because if this happens the dollar menu at every fast food restaurant in this country is gonna become the $5 menu. Who do you think is gonna pay for employer mandated health care? You folks seem to forget how easily shit roles down hill!

    When a small business owner has to pay health care premiums for his 10 employees, where is he supposed to come up with that $150K or more a year it’s gonna cost him? He’s not paying that much in taxes, so a tax break won’t do it. There goes the dollar menu! But you’re all right…that will cut health care costs, because when all the fat bastards that live on Double Whoopers with Cheese can’t afford them any more, they’ll lose weight and then the costs will go down.

    Oh yeah, you didn’t think about that part of it did you. You don’t care, you just want free health care! To hell with what it costs.

    You liberals love this idea of sign without reading…millions of you did it on your home mortgages and half of you are now homeless.

    I suppose you rich folks just had your staff read your mortgage papers for you…they’re way to long to waste time reading yourself. Somebody remind me why we elect these guys in the first place! So they can hire someone else to do what we pay them for…now I remember.

    And whoever made the reference to car insurance is an idiot. You’re required to have liabilty for when your dumbass is texting while driving and you rear end the guy in front of you. And I’m required to have uninsured motorist coverage for you illegals and law breakers that don’t have any insurance. You wanna mandate that a twenty year old have health insurance for what…so he doesn’t cough on you? It’s apples and oranges.

    And I saw someone mention COBRA the other day. Last time I got laid off I got a letterabout COBRA and it said I could continue my employer health care coverage for some ridiculous sum of around $7K for about 6 months. I’d say thats a bit steep.

    If you want me to sign off on any kind of govt run health care then you had better put a work for coverage provision in it. As in, you work for the govt for a certain period of time, like a year or two before you get squat from them. Not that anyone really give a damned about what I want….

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    And why is it that the only people at BC that Quote Limbaugh are the LIBERALS?!??! When do you ever have the time to listen to him…oh wait…you’re just repeating what you hear on MSNBC, they do all your listening for you, don’t they?

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Andy Marsh writes:

    “When a small business owner has to pay health care premiums for his 10 employees, where is he supposed to come up with that $150K or more a year it’s gonna cost him? ”

    As I posted EARLIER, under the CURRENT system, the average PRIVATE employer based family insurance premium has increased at a rate of 4 TIMES that of wages, and has averaged a 9.26% annual increase the past three years.

    The state of Georgia has seen Health Insurance Premiums increase 88% since 2000.

    As I posted BEFORE, the average employer based family insurance premium in the state of New Jersey is $14,154 a year, which breaks down to $1179 a month.

    That’s the system we have right NOW, and there’s NO END IN SIGHT to the increases.

    1. Do you see a problem?
    2. If you Don’t, then justify how the current system is sustainable using Math.
    3. If you Do, what solutions do you propose if you don’t like the reform ideas being suggested in Congress?

    –Cobra

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    The end that you can’t see is millions of small business owners not being business owners anymore and a lot more bankruptcies in a future.

    Just because you throw numbers in there doesn’t make it any more or less affordable to someone like me that doesn’t make enough to pay $14,154 a year for an employees health care and nothing will in the foreseeable future.

    mandating it doesn’t change the fact that I still can’t afford it and NOTHING the democrats are trying to do will change that…and even if it did, how the fuck would they know, none of them have read the bill!

    And EVERYTHING in Jersey is more expensive than just about anyplace in the country except maybe most of CA and the city just northeast of you…that’s what you get for electing Corzine!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Andy,

    A small business with close to half a million a year is quite substantial: it translated to about 4 times as much in gross sales (especially if we’re taking about a business that’s not especially labor-intensive).

    There are, furthermore, ways of dealing with it. You could cut the salaries somewhat to accommodate the extra surcharge; of course, not everyone will like it, but in this, still-recovering economy, it’s the employer’s market.

    In short, when there is a will, there is a way.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    should be: “half a million a year in payroll”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Just because you throw numbers in there doesn’t make it any more or less affordable to someone like me

    Actually it does, but you’re so wrapped up in this concept of opposing it on principle that you won’t bother to read the facts. Everything’s “LIBERAL” this and “left-wing” that to you, so what’s the use in looking into something you’re going to oppose on philosophical grounds?

    Just keep getting pissed and keep getting angry and keep getting scared. You’re right where they want you.

    Honestly, it’s pathetic how much whining and carrying on there is over this. The rest of the world has some form of UHC already and the U.S. is having a big ol’ emo-fest over it because Big Health Care Business is going to lose a few dollars. Then people like Andy and these weirdos at town halls crying about “my America” being somehow gone end up buying myth after myth and lie after lie. When somebody actually does put the numbers and the facts right in front, they’re so blinded by rage and fear that they can’t see it.

    It’s hopeless. I honestly hope you guys fuck it all up. It’s too bad that everything in America has to be so difficult and needlessly politicized to death and it’s too bad that normal, hard-working people like Andy end up being pawns in political games and emotional pleas, but you’ve all earned it through years of buying lies and burying your heads in the sand.

    America isn’t the envy of the world anymore. It’s the laughing stock.

  • Jordan Richardson

    there is a will, there is a way.

    That’s just it though. There isn’t a will.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    How does it make it more affordable? I’m not making half a mil a year! I’m not making near that and I’m a small business! IF I had any employees, I wouldn’t be paying them much more than minimum wage and by law I’m NOT ALLOWED to cut their wages! So now what?

    And one day you’ll get this Jordan, America is not the rest of the world, but for some reason you want us to be. Maybe we don’t want universal health care because we already have enough of your poor, your weak and your huddled masses and we don’t want more of them suckling on the govt teat! You take ‘em up there!

    Like I told you, I have health insurance and I will have it until the day I die.

    I honestly believe that it’s you folks outside our borders that are buying all the lies. You like it where you are, good on ya, stay there!

    It’s funny, but I never hear a Canadian saying My Canada…guess it’s a pride thing…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dave,

    It took me a while to dig this story out. The Congressional Roll-Call has a one liner, but you need to subscribe to get the full article.

    So here it is.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, they do, Andy – at every hockey game on the Canadian soil:

    O Canada!

    O Canada!

    Our home and native land!

    True patriot love in all thy sons* command.

    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,

    The True North strong and free!

    From far and wide,

    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    God keep our land** glorious and free!

    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Not one “My” in that entire song roger…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    O Canada!

    I think it’s implicit, Andy. Every national anthem is patriotic to the core. But I won’t argue the point.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Hey, every time I ever heard my mother say, “O Andy!” it was never for anything good…so roger, imply away…but I do get your point about national anthems…the thing is though, if you can be a smart ass and bring up a national anthem, I can surely point out that the phrase I was talking about isn’t in there.

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Andy Marsh writes:

    “And EVERYTHING in Jersey is more expensive than just about anyplace in the country except maybe most of CA and the city just northeast of you…that’s what you get for electing Corzine!”

    What state DO you live in, Andy?

    We can run the numbers there as well.

    Math is the Universal language.

    –Cobra

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Handy,

    You may want to comment on this article. I’d be interested to hear your comments.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Andy, the bill would mandate insurance coverage for businesses that have payrolls of $500,000 a year or more. Below that, no mandate. Take a deep breath. Don’t react to ‘facts’ that aren’t even true.

    In previous versions of the bill the figure was $250,000. In the final version it may end up being a million. ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats demanded the change. I don’t agree with them, but maybe you do.

    You’re not having a discussion or even an argument. You’re just venting.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Roger the article about a surge in demand causing people to have to wait longer to get a doctor’s appointment [depending on where you live] is interesting.

    It’s certainly not a reason to oppose reform. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a ‘Part II’ of reform, hopefully less expensive and contentious, that will deal with issues of access and incentives. Although not all of this can be legislated.

    Changing away from fee-for-service is a very worthy goal, but it’s not like turning a light switch. It would be a complex process with a lot of consequences.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks. I’ve going to re-read it in light of what you said.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Cobra – I grew up in Jersey and I live in VA, but that’s all besides the point…to all of it.

    Here’s my problem. All of you…as in, you’se, you’se guys, ya’ll, all ya’ll, however you wanna put it, want something for nothing and that’s my problem.

    I get health care, paid for by you, the tax payers and I didn’t get it for free. It cost me twenty years.

    Why should you get something for nothing that cost me twenty years? Oh yeah, that’s right, Jordan said I should want it because of the goodness in my heart and stuff like that…well, there’s no goodness left.

    I know, I’m just a prick, but I’m a prick with a big mouth and relatively quick fingers and I’m not gonna give up fighting against the rest of you getting something for nothing.

    You want it, earn it! Put your hand back in your pocket, there’s no free lunch in this country.

    When the govt starts taxing transfats the way it taxes cigarettes, then maybe I’ll listen…

    Yeah, I won’t have to pay for your health care, just like I don’t have to pay for medicare…oh wait…they do take money out of my check for that…

    …in the final version as you put it handy, it may end up with no minimum, you don’t have any idea how it’s gonna end up, neither do they! The “they” being the idiots that we elected.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    As I say, you’re not even making a point. You’re just blowing off steam. Go right ahead, but I won’t make the mistake of trying to answer you again.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    At least Andy is being honest, Handy, you’ve got to give him that. Since he paid for his coverage by doing 20 years, he feels everybody else should too. Whether I agree with his reasoning or not is beside the point, but I understand where he’s coming from. There are plenty of people with this mindset, and we have to face this.

  • Clavos

    It’s the laughing stock.

    Not that that matters.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Huff Post Daily Brief:

    Bill Maher: New Rule:

    Just because a country elects a smart president doesn’t make it a smart country. And before I go about demonstrating how, let me just say that ignorance has life and death consequences. Take the health care debate we’re presently having: members of Congress have recessed now so they can go home and “listen to their constituents.” An urge they should resist because their constituents don’t know anything. At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to “keep your government hands off my Medicare,” which is kind of like which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Andy writes:

    “Cobra – I grew up in Jersey and I live in VA, but that’s all besides the point…to all of it.”

    Virginia, huh Andy? Here’s the MATH:

    “Roughly 4.8 million people in Virginia get health insurance on the job, where family premiums average $13,302, about the annual earning of a full-time minimum wage job…

    Since 2000 alone, average family premiums have increased by 99 percent in Virginia…

    While small businesses make up 71 percent of Virginia businesses, only 48 percent of them offered health coverage benefits in 2006…”

    Virgina Health Care Facts

    Andy writes:

    “Here’s my problem. All of you…as in, you’se, you’se guys, ya’ll, all ya’ll, however you wanna put it, want something for nothing and that’s my problem.”

    I haven’t made any such argument here. What I am saying, is that the CURRENT system is UNSUSTAINABLE. That’s based upon MATH. In a sense, you’re not even arguing with “me” at all.

    –Cobra

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another exemplary behavior by right wing activists.

  • Bliffle

    I’ve done 50 years so I should get 2.5 times as much care as Andy!

    If Andy wants as good care as me he has 30 more years to put in.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    It took me a while to dig this story out. The Congressional Roll-Call has a one liner, but you need to subscribe to get the full article.

    So here it is.

    Thanks, Roger. I’m sharing that truly reprehensible pack of lies with everyone I can. I’ve warned them to be prepared to be painted as the villains no matter what kind of thuggery the unions get up to, and this just confirms it.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I checked out your second link too, Roger. Out of curiosity, you are aware that these articles are almost entirely lies, right?

    Dave

  • Jordan Richardson

    America is not the rest of the world, but for some reason you want us to be.

    Yes, Andy. Because you’re in the rest of the world whether you like it or not.

    I have health insurance and I will have it until the day I die.

    Oh we know, Andy. As long as you’re in the boat, everyone else can swim.

    It’s funny, but I never hear a Canadian saying My Canada…guess it’s a pride thing…

    Why would we say “My Canada?” except if we’re talking about beer? Honestly. What’s the point of that? People who say “My America” tend to be clinging to something or tend to believe they’ve lost something. It’s quite sad, really.

  • zingzing

    dave: “Out of curiosity, you are aware that these articles are almost entirely lies, right?”

    sure, dave.