Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, September 10, 2009


President Obama hit all the right points in his speech last night, assuring Americans that there are no silly plans to kill grandparents, insure illegal aliens, and no "government takeover" of America's health care. He found his mojo and in addition to separating distortions from the truth, he passionately made his case to the American people for why this country can no longer afford to ignore the coming financial disaster if our health care system is not addressed and reformed.

During his speech, which also included a call for civility in the ongoing discussions on health care reform,  Republican Representative from South Carolina, Joe Wilson, yelled "You lie!" [when Mr. Obama emphasized that illegals would not be covered under the plan], thus committing a rare breach of protocol and making a complete and thorough ass of himself in front of millions of people.

After the president's speech, Wilson, like any other coward, ran out of the chamber as quickly as his little rat-feet could carry him.  Later, he issued an apology to the White House, which the White House graciously accepted.

Here are some highlights of Mr. Obama's speech:

"I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last. It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for health care reform. And ever since, nearly every President and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has attempted to meet this challenge in some way. A bill for comprehensive health reform was first introduced by John Dingell Sr. in 1943. Sixty-five years later, his son continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session. Our collective failure to meet this challenge – year after year, decade after decade – has led us to a breaking point." 

"The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care."

"First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have. What this plan will do is to make the insurance you have work better for you. Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick. And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies – because there's no reason we shouldn't be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives."

 "Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple."

•"My health care proposal has also been attacked by some who oppose reform as a "government takeover" of the entire health care system. As proof, critics point to a provision in our plan that allows the uninsured and small businesses to choose a publicly-sponsored insurance option, administered by the government just like Medicaid or Medicare. So let me set the record straight. My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition."
 "I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. I just want to hold them accountable. The insurance reforms that I've already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. Let me be clear – it would only be an option for those who don't have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance."


A guy named Dave said...

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: “Whoever shouted out that the president was lying is a dumbass who should show the President respect.”

On MSNBC after the speech, Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman said, “The Republicans were mostly stage props in this speech tonight and they behaved like it.”

Other Republicans came out and condemned Wilson:

On CNN, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that Wilson's outburst was "totally disrespectful": "He should apologize immediately."

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said, "I thought that was unfortunate. [Obama's] the president. He deserves more respect than that."

Dave Miller said...

A good speech. It will be seen as great if it helps moves the debate and we actually get anything near universal health care this year.

As for the "You lie" comment, while the congressional GOP people said he was wrong and needed to apologize, the blogosphere is another matter.

Patrick at Sane Political Discourse gave him a thumbs up and of course, the same can be seen in full bloom at Mike's America. And these are probably the moderate voices.

Also, found it rather interesting that a "former" birther can be celebrated for his contributions to America and given the opportunity to respond to President Obama. But a mistaken, or former "truther" cannot be allowed to help President Obama officially craft any policy.

Somewhat hypocritical don't ya think.

Finally, it is nice to have another "Guy Named Dave" hanging around.

dmarks said...

Dave: The "former truther" you refer to, Van Jones, happened to also be a proud member of hate groups who favored large-scale mass murder. A real kook of the worst kind, who should be no-where near any policy decisions. Nothing really hypocritical, as Van is way out on a fringe extreme like David Duke is, and should not be making his way in civilized company. I doubt Obama has any real need for Van Jones, as Obama does not need anyone to impliment a policy of building a gulag prison system or liquidating America's kulaks.

Back on subject, it looked like a good speech. And the liar-shouter was an embarassment to himself, his party, and Congress. I have yet to see anyone come to his defense. (but I would not be surprised if Limbaugh does defend the guy in a couple of hours)

The Lone Voice said...

That speech was a long series of bald faced lies. I'm glad that Joe Wilson said what he did... somebody had to stand up and say it.

I'll see you in Washington DC on the 12th...

Arthurstone said...

This is more like it.

dmarks typed:

'Dave: The "former truther" you refer to, Van Jones, happened to also be a proud member of hate groups who favored large-scale mass murder'


'I doubt Obama has any real need for Van Jones, as Obama does not need anyone to impliment a policy of building a gulag prison system or liquidating America's kulaks.'

Once in a very great while dmarks has an attack of reasonableness.

It never lasts long.

Oh well. I suppose someone has to stand up for Americas' 'Kulaks'.

dmarks said...

Arthur: According to the dictionary, the kulaks were "were a category of relatively affluent and well-endowed peasants "

Why do Jessica Simpson and Brittany Spears come to mind?


Thanks so much for quoting my reasonableness.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...
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Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I already sent in my donation to Act Blue for Rep. Rob Miller's campaign against Rep. Joe "You lie" Wilson in 2010. If you want to shoot him $10, $20, $50 or more go here to donate:

Let's put our money where our mouth's are when it comes to making the true liars of health care pay for their misinformation.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The Lonely Voice,

Everyone knows that you admire low-intelligence knuckleheads.

You don't need to keep running back here to remind us of your tragic flaws. Proud of them as you are.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Great idea, Handsome!

We'll be sending Miller some Liberal Love very soon.

Shaw Kenawe said...

A telling little story about Rep. Joe Wilson from TPM:

Last night, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) issued an apology -- "I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks" -- and called the White House after heckling Obama during his nationally televised health care speech.

That's the first time most Americans heard of Congressman Wilson, but it's not, it turns out, the first time Wilson's emotions got the best of him and he was forced to apologize.

Flashback to mid-December 2003, when Essie Mae Washington-Williams came forward with the bombshell that she was the illegitimate daughter of the recently-deceased patriarch of South Carolina politics, Sen. Strom Thurmond.

Rep. Wilson, a former page of Thurmond's, immediately told The State newspaper that he didn't believe Williams. He deemed the revelation "unseemly." And he added that even if she was telling the truth, she should have kept the inconvenient facts to herself:

"It's a smear on the image that [Thurmond] has as a person of high integrity who has been so loyal to the people of South Carolina," Wilson said.

Of course, Williams' story was entirely true -- and never really in doubt. Thurmond was 22 and Williams' mother, a black maid working in his family home, was 16 when Williams was born in 1925. Thurmond supported Williams financially for decades.

The State story continued with Wilson wondering aloud how anyone could dare "diminish" one of his personal heroes.

Wilson said it is unfair to debate rumors about Thurmond when he can no longer defend himself.

The same goes for discussion of an affair Thomas Jefferson is said to have had with a slave.

"Sometimes these things just go on," Wilson said. "These are heroes of mine. I really hope these would be heroes to future generations of Americans. (The stories) are ... a way to diminish their contributions to our country's existence."

Six days and several furious letters to the editor later, Wilson was forced to apologize. But, amazingly, he maintained that Williams should not have gone public.

TRUTH 101 said...

Wilson is just another bit of proof to my contention that the Republican Party is the party of of bigots, homophobes and idiots. Who else would vote for a creep like this?

libhom said...

The important thing is that the plan at least have a very strong public option. Single payer would be better. Everything else is a sideshow.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dmarks said...

Single payer is a very bad idea. I'm glad this plan does not foist that nightmare on the country.

Arthurstone said...
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Arthurstone said...

dmarks wondered:

'Why do Jessica Simpson and Brittany Spears come to mind?'

They really don't but then you have a very special mind dmarks. One where the belief that Van Jones 'favored large-scale mass murder' finds fertile ground.

Shaw Kenawe said...


Re: single payer:

Many US seniors love Medicare:

The term 'single payer' refers to funding and does not imply a socialized medicine system. A socialized medical system is one "in which all health personnel and health facilities, including doctors and hospitals, work for the government and draw salaries from the government," an example being the U.S. Veterans Administration, while U.S. Medicare is a single payer system which is not socialized medicine.

Arthurstone said...

You are very, very patient Shaw.

dmarks said...

Arthur: Van Jones himself proclaimed allegiance to a hate group worse than the Nazis. He did this himself, I did not make it up. Forgive me for taking Van Jones at his word. Defending Jones is as bad as defending David Duke. You appaar badly informed on this one.

Dave Miller said...

Amen to that Arthur...

A guy named Dave said...

you just don't get it, dmarks, do you.


libhom said...

dmarks said: "a hate group worse than the Nazis"

This proves that he is a troll. Only a troll would say there is such a thing as "a hate group worse than the Nazis."

I've been completely vindicated.

dmarks said...

Libhom: When you look at the total number of victims, the communists are worse than the nazis.

I would not call the nazis more acceptible, or "better". I can't imagine letting the nazis off the hook for anything. You haven't been vindicated. Crack open a history book sometime.

Dave: What don't I get?

Arthurstone said...
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Arthurstone said...

dmarks said...

Arthur: I guess Tom Tomorrow was on a roll, and didn't bother to fact-check while he was making his comic.

Specifically, look at the derided Gallant comment "Wake up America, before Obama enslaves us ALL with MANDATORY HEALTH CARE"

This mandate is in fact described as "true" in an older post of Shaw's (the page 167 section). While Obama has said he opposes such provisions to punish and add hardship to working families, he's not said he'd veto a healthcare bill that contained it, either. And HR3200 does indeed contain "mandatory health care" enforced by a fine for those who do not buy into it.

(Other panels are dubious too. Goofus is the liar in the first panel, and #6 attempts to mislead one into thinking of a crime or actual threat of any kind having occured).

Arthurstone said...

Heh. Heh.

Single payer health care plan won't 'enslave' me dmarks. Nor will it 'enslave' you for that matter.

But please. Keep it up.

aaroncrowe said...

Health care or not, I’m partisan to a president that can lower my taxes and fix what the housing market “greed” created… Just get the job market back up and avoid more scams…including “communism”

dmarks said...

Thanks, Arthur. I won't fail in keeping up pointing out the truth, even if it might harm someone's partisan "sacred cows".

Aaron: Not sure what you are getting at. "Communism" is not a scam which any US president has even tried to foist on us.

Arthurstone said...

I'm joking dmarks.

'Truth'? Nope.

Your smears & red-baiting have become tiresome.

Please don't keep it up.

dmarks said...

Arthur: There have been no "smears". There is no red-baiting either, you know that. I have condemned it when it is done here. Especially against Obama.

(The term red-baiting does not apply on Van Jones, as he personally proclaimed himself to be in line with the very worst of the "reds": there is no doubt).

So let's stick with the truth, shall we?

dmarks said...

Arthur: To drive home the point that I do not engage in red-baiting, look at the comment above yours in which I condemned red-baiting (the comment by Aaron in which he accused Presidents, probably Obama, of foisting communism).

You probably did not bother to read that. Careless.