By Gary Starr for the Neville Awards August 15, 2009
One American Fights Back
Must See Video: Retired Marine David William Hedrick at Rep Baird's Town Hall
Retired Marine David William Hedrick at Rep Baird's Town Hall: "Stay away from my kids."
“I also heard you say that you were going to let us keep out health insurance. Well, THANK YOU! It’s not your right to decide whether or not I keep my current plan or not. That is my decision!
"I will remind you. A little history lesson. The Nazis were the National Socialist Party. They were leftists. They took over the finances. They took over the car industry. They took over health care in their country. If Nancy Pelosi wants to find a Swastika maybe the first place she should look is the sleeve of her own arm."
Last week we detailed to you the first wave of negative popular reaction to the Healthcare plan. Protestors were characterized as well-dressed
angry mobs, swastika carrying astroturf racists, you name it. None of it worked. So the Democrats, instead of backing off and mayb considering that something is wrong with the
whole approach to healthcare reform, decided to have and even bigger temper tantrum.
When in doubt play the race card again..after all it worked for thirty years.
Rep. Maxine Waters:
Resorting to the only tactic that those on the left resort to when losing a battle, Rep. Waters said this about the senators not going along with Obama's plans.
"Yes, we know that you are a nice man, that you want to work with the opposite side of the aisle. But there comes a time when you need to drop that and move forward," Waters said. "We're saying to you, Mr. President, 'Be tough. Use everything that you've got. Do what you have to do. And we have your back.' "
"Not only are we going to do everything we can to organize and put pressure on the senators -- some of whom are Neanderthals..."
Cynthia Tucker - Recently demoted editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was willing to get specific, estimating that "45 to 65%" of the protesters are motivated by racism.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Put 100 of these people in a room. Strap them into gurneys. Inject them with sodium pentathol. How many of them would say "I don't like the idea of having a black president"? What percentage?
CYNTHIA TUCKER: Oh, I'm just guessing. This is just off the cuff. I think 45 to 65% of the people who appear at these groups are people who will never be comfortable with the idea of a black president.
Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) will vote for the bill no matter what his constituents think...
Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) addressed an intimate group of Netroots activists during their annual Netroots Nation gathering in Pittsburgh this weekend. Mr. Massa reiterated his support for a single-payer health care bill. He discussed the risks he takes for wanting to support such a measure in his "right-wing Republican district."
According to Swing State Project, Mr. Massa won his 2008 race by 2 percentage points. The district's voting pattern index (PVI) is a Republican +5 seat. The National Republican Congressional Committee has the upstate New York congressman in their sights for 2010 along with 69 other House Democrats as reported by Politico.
MASSA: I'm not going to vote for 3200 as it's currently written. Step one, I will vote for a single payer option or a bill that does have a medicare coupled public option, which we don't have right now. If my town hall meetings turn into the same media frenzies and ridiculousness, because every time that happens we lose. We lose another three million people in America. They see that happening and negate us.
PARTICIPANT: It changes the narrative.
MASSA: Every time that occurs. So what happens in my town hall meetings frankly is important, because I am in one of the most right wing Republican districts in the country, and I'm not asking you guys to go back to wherever and send people to me. This is a generic statement of 'what can I do?' Well that's one thing we can do.
PARTICIPANT: So if we got your meetings to sixty forty, you'd vote…and there was single payer in a bill you would vote for it?
MASSA: Oh absolutely I would vote for single payer.
PARTICIPANT: If there was sixty forty sentiment in the room?
MASSA: Listen, I tell every audience I'm in favor of single payer.
PARTICIPANT: If there was eighty twenty in the room?
MASSA: If there was a single payer bill?
PARTICIPANT: And there was a single payer….
MASSA: I will vote for the single payer bill.
PARTICIPANT: Even if it meant you were being voted out of office?
MASSA: I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.
(inaudible participants' comments regarding the "interests" of the district statement from Mr. Massa)
MASSA: I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them.
When in doubt play the race card..after all it worked for thirty years.
First there is our girl, professional self-hating guilt-ridden white woman Maureen Dowd wringing her hands over the harsh and racist treatment of our porcelain representatives in the NY Times:
Instead of a multicultural tableau of beaming young idealists on screen, we see ugly scenes of mostly older and white malcontents, disrupting forums where others have come to actually learn something. Instead of hope, we get swastikas, death threats and T-shirts proclaiming “Proud Member of the Mob.”
Actually Maureen, it was you guys that labeled the protestors an angry mob.
One should be reminded that Maureen wrote of white people in a previous column regarding the Sotomayor nomination hearing:
A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not know that a gaggle of white Republican men afraid of extinction are out to trip her up.
After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They've had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.
We at Neville have never seen anyone so desperate to be one of the sisters. C'mon Maureen be proud of who you really are...an old white woman.
MSNBC's Carlos Watson
Today I want to talk about a word that we're hearing more and more, and that's the word socialist. You hear it from a lot of conservatives these days, that's usually critiquing the President, or more broadly Democrats. And while that's certainly a legitimate critique, there certainly is an ideology that can and should be critiqued at certain times, it also some times is just a kind of a generic conservative bludgeoning tool. And that's alright, too, because you hear it on the Democratic side as well: rightwingnut, what have you.
But what concerns me is when in some of those town hall meetings including the one that we saw in Missouri recently where there were jokes made about lynching, etc., you start to wonder whether in fact the word socialist is becoming a code word, whether or not socialist is becoming the new N-word for frankly for some angry upset birthers and others. I hope that's not the case, but it sure does say to you what David Brooks said the other day on T.V. which is that more credible conservatives have to stand up and say that there's a line that has to be drawn, that there's a line of responsibility that's important, and that extends to the words that we choose including how choose even legitimate words like socialist.
Now that we have a black president, words that have been used in our country for decades -- words that have real meaning -- suddenly stand for something else altogether that imply a racial slur?
Ed Schultz -- Lib Radio Talk Show Host
"Sometimes I think they want Obama to get shot. I do. I really think that there are conservative broadcasters in this country who would love to see Obama taken out. They fear socialism. They fear Marxism. They fear that the United States of America won't be the United States of America anymore."
Rise of the Mythical Militia Groups
Finally we have the "non-partisan" Southern Poverty Law Center seeing right wing militias everywhere. They released an extra special report detailing phnomenon redoux of the 1990's:
The Second Wave
Return of the Militias
A Special Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center
by Mark Potok
It's reminiscent of what was seen in the 1990s — right-wing militias, people ideologically against paying taxes and so-called "sovereign citizens" are popping up in large numbers, according to the report to be released Wednesday. The SPLC is a nonprofit civil rights group that, among other activities, investigates hate groups.
Last October, someone from the Ohio Militia posted a recruiting video on YouTube, billed as a "wake-up call" for America. It's been viewed more than 60,000 times.
The 1990s saw the rise and fall of the virulently antigovernment "Patriot" movement, made up of paramilitary militias, tax defiers and so-called "sovereign citizens." Sparked by a combination of anger at the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the movement took off in the middle of the decade and continued to grow even after 168 people were left dead by the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City's federal building — an attack, the deadliest ever by domestic U.S. terrorists, carried out by men steeped in the rhetoric and conspiracy theories of the militias. In the years that followed, a truly remarkable number of criminal plots came out of the movement. But by early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a new, highly conservative president.
They're back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country. "Paper terrorism" — the use of property liens and citizens' "courts" to harass enemies — is on the rise. And once-popular militia conspiracy theories are making the rounds again, this time accompanied by nativist theories about secret Mexican plans to "reconquer" the American Southwest. One law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia training groups — one of them made up of present and former police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda. "This is the most significant growth we've seen in 10 to 12 years," says one. "All it's lacking is a spark. I think it's only a matter of time before you see threats and violence."
A key difference this time is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man. That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama. At the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda, from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the president's country of birth.
Fifteen years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote then-Attorney General Janet Reno to warn about extremists in the militia movement, saying that the "mixture of armed groups and those who hate" was "a recipe for disaster." Just six months later, Oklahoma City's federal building was bombed. Today, the Patriot movement may not have the white-hot fury that it did in the 1990s. But the movement clearly is growing again, and Americans, in particular law enforcement officers, need to take the dangers it presents seriously. That is equally true for the politicians, pundits and preachers who, through pandering or ignorance, abet the growth of a movement marked by a proven predilection for violence.
Neville's Note: Conservatives are being set up to take the fall for either a terrorist attack or an attempt on the President's life. Coming on the heels of the ridiculous Homeland Security report last April 2009, which claimed that returning veterans, pro-lifers, and tea-party attendees constituted a potential security threat, you have to wonder what is going on the mind of the leftist noggin these days.
President takes staged questions from friendly audience
From Peggy Noonan in the Wall St. Journal:
The president's town-hall meeting on Tuesday in Portsmouth, N.H., was supposed to be an antidote to the fractious town halls with members of Congress the past weeks. But it was not peaceful, only somnolent. Actually it was a bit of a disaster. It looked utterly stacked, with softball after softball thrown by awed and supportive citizens. When George W. Bush did town halls like that—full of people who'd applaud if he said tomorrow we bring democracy to Saturn—it was considered a mark of manipulation and insecurity. And it was. So was Mr. Obama's.
The first question was from a Democratic state representative from Dover named Peter Schmidt. He began, "One of the things you've been doing in your campaign to change the situation is you've been striving for bipartisanship."
"Right," the president purred. They were really holding his feet to the fire.
"My question is," Mr. Schmidt continued, "if the Republicans actively refuse to participate in a reasonable way with reasonable proposals, isn't it time to just say, 'We're going to pass what the American people need and what they want without the Republicans'?"
The president said it would be nice to pass a bill in a "bipartisan fashion" but "the most important thing is getting it done for the American people."
Neville's Note: Here just a few of the amendments offered by Republicans that were defeated:
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) offered an amendment that would ensure that nothing in the bill could prevent individuals from keeping their current health benefit plan. Based on their own reading of the language of the bill, several Committee members did not believe such a guarantee, as proposed by Rep. Stearns, was necessary. So, they defeated the Stearns amendment.
Jeopardizing Seniors' Existing Coverage: (Rogers #4) Approximately 20 percent of Medicare enrollees obtain private coverage through Medicare Advantage (MA). MA offers seniors access to a wide variety of private insurance plans with richer benefits or specialized options that best suit their personal needs. The House bill calls for payment reductions to MA plans. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) wanted to protect seniors' current private coverage under MA. The Rogers amendment would prevent the House bill's MA reductions from being implemented unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) could certify that those provisions would not cause seniors to lose their current MA plans or be forced to switch plans. The Rogers amendment was defeated.
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) jointly introduced an amendment that would specifically prohibit federal funds from being used to cover abortion services. The Pitts-Stupak amendment failed. Rep. Pitts also offered an amendment to block any government requirement on health insurance networks to include abortion. Although this second Pitts amendment initially passed, it was reconsidered and it failed on the second Committee vote. Based on the passage of the Capps amendment and failure of the Pitts and Stupak amendments, taxpayers would end up financing abortion.
Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) proposed that the public plan be subject to the same legal rules and standards and operate in the same business environment as private health plans. He offered an amendment that would impose these various requirements, including payment of state taxes, on the public option. The Radanovich amendment failed.
Interfering with the Doctor-Patient Relationship: (Gingrey #14, Gingrey #48, Rogers) President Obama has repeatedly told Americans that any health care reform legislation he signs will keep the government out of health care decisions. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), himself a physician, offered an amendment to prohibit federal officials from interfering or dictating how medical providers should treat patients. The Gingrey amendment failed, with 33 Democrats voting against it.
The best part of the Presidential townhall was the little kid.
Again from Noonan via the Boston Globe:
Then came a grade-school girl. "I saw a lot of signs outside saying mean things about reforming health care" she said. Here one expected a gentle and avuncular riff on the wonderful and vivid expressions of agreement and disagreement to be seen in a vibrant democracy. But no. The president made a small grimace. "I've seen some of those signs," he said. There's been a "rumor" the House voted for "death panels" that will "pull the plug on grandma," but it's all a lie.
Kathleen Manning Hall, Julia’s mother, was shocked when her daughter said she wanted to ask a question. They wrote it down beforehand, and Julia didn’t miss a beat when Obama called on her.
“It was surreal,” said Manning Hall, a coordinator of Massachusetts Women for Obama during the election.
So the kid was a plant along with her Obama-supporting Mom.
Rep. Shiela Jackson Lee -- File under "Turn your damn cellphone off you moron"
Sarah Palin caused quite a stir when she called the 'End-of-Life' counseling Death Panels. So much so that she got into the presidents head...again:
At the fake Presidential Townhall Obama made light of the DP's:
“Let me just be specific about some things that I’ve been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here. The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t, it’s too expensive to let her live anymore....It turns out that I guess this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, etc. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything.”
In response Palin wrote the following on her Facebook page:
The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.
Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often “if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual ... or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility... or a hospice program." During those consultations, practitioners must explain “the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice,” and the government benefits available to pay for such services.
Palin must be doing something right because those non-existent 'End-of-Life' counseling sessions have now been stricken from the Senate bill:
Finance Committee drops end-of-life provision http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/08/13/ finance-committee-drops-end-of-life-provision/
August 13, 2009
by Michael O'Brien
The Senate Finance Committee will drop a controversial provision on consultations for end-of-life care from its proposed healthcare bill, its top Republican member said Thursday.
The committee, which has worked on putting together a bipartisan healthcare reform bill, will drop the controversial provision after being derided as "death panels" to encourage euthanasia by conservatives.
"On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. "We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly."
The Finance Committee is the only congressional committee to not report out a preliminary healthcare bill before the August congressional recess, but is expected to unveil its proposal shortly after Labor Day.
Grassley said that bill would hold up better compared to proposals crafted in the House, which he asserted were "poorly cobbled together."
"The bill passed by the House committees is so poorly cobbled together that it will have all kinds of unintended consequences, including making taxpayers fund health care subsidies for illegal immigrants," Grassley said. The veteran Iowa lawmaker said the end-of-life provision in those bills would pay physicians to "advise patients about end of life care and rate physician quality of care based on the creation of and adherence to orders for end-of-life care."
"Maybe others can defend a bill like the Pelosi bill that leaves major issues open to interpretation, but I can't," Grassley added.
"The principle of free speech is not concerned with the content of a man's speech and does not protect only the expression of good ideas, but all ideas. If it were otherwise, who would determine which ideas are good and where forbidden? The government?"
"Once a country accepts censorship of the press and of speech, then nothing can be won without violence. Therefore, so long as you have free speech, protect it. This is the life-and-death issue in this country: do not give up the freedom of the press -- of newspapers, books, magazines, radio, movies, and other forms of presenting ideas. So long as that's free, a peaceful intellectual turn is possible."
-- Ayn Rand
From Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs:
Patriots, be on notice. This is the favorite tactic of the left. Any criticism of Obama, no matter what or how legit, will be labeled racism. Tea party? Racist! Opposition to socialism? Racist! Opposition to nationalized healthcare? Racist! Opposition to cap and tax? Racist! Opposition to the ethnic cleansing of Jewish people in Israel? Racist!
This tactic used to be effective. One case study is the 2006 Virginia Senate race, and the destruction of George Allen’s re-election campaign by the “macaca” incident. A presidential contender was destroyed by a leftopathic lie, despite the fact that the charge of racism was utter nonsense. Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s insult to Indian people went unremarked and unnoticed in the mainstream media.
And indeed it can be, at least unless you cross our Dear Leader Barack Obama. After eight years of relentless Bush bashing and America hating, The New York Times’s opinion makers are warning about the dangers of dissent. Bob Herbert recently warned about “right-wing hate-mongers” and “gun crazies.” Frank Rich sounded the alarm about “far-right rage.” Paul Krugman worried over “the rise of right-wing extremism.” Charles M. Blow came out more or less openly for a police state: “Society needs to do a much better job of creating an environment where hateful beliefs are never ignored and suspicious behavior never goes unreported.” What kind of “hateful beliefs”?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it clear who these people have in mind when she lied outright about anti-Obama protesters, claiming that they’re “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare.”
LIE! This has never happened at any of our rallies and protests. The left employed the swastika for years against Bush; the right has never engaged in this. Pelosi is spreading more lies and smears of good, decent folks. At the leftist rallies, the hatred against Bush was pushed and promoted relentlessly. The rallies that were organized by the far left infrastructure for years never hesitated to orchestrate the most vicious attacks on Bush. But when one poster mocking Obama appears in Los Angeles — a poster that was not orchestrated, not part of any moveon.org strategy — it’s the shot heard round the world.