But first . . .


What do you think of these two, one from Montana, one from Maine?


Congressman Grayson said on the House floor that the Republican health care plan was . . . “Don’t get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly.” They demanded he apologize, and he did. It’s the kind of apology Democrats should perhaps make more often:

Last night here in this chamber I gave a speech. I’m not going to recount every single thing that I said, but I will point out that immediately after that speech, several Republicans asked me to apologize.

Well, I would like to apologize. I would like to apologize to the dead. And here’s why.

According to this study, “Health Insurance and Mortality in U.S. Adults” which was published two weeks ago, 44,789 Americans die every year because they have no health insurance. That’s right, 44,789 Americans die every year, according to this Harvard study called “Health Insurance and Mortality in U.S. Adults.” You can see it by going to our website, grayson.house.gov.

That is more than ten times the number of Americans who have died in the war in Iraq. It’s more than ten times the number of Americans who died in 9/11. But that was just once: this is every single year.

That’s right: every single year.

Take a look at this. Read it and weep. And I mean that – read it and weep because of all these Americans who are dying because they don’t have health insurance.

Now I think we should do something about that, and the Democratic healthcare plan does do something about that. It makes healthcare affordable for those who can’t afford insurance, and it saves these peoples’ lives.

Let’s remember that we should care about people even after they’re born.

So I call upon the Democratic members of the House, I call upon the Republican members of the House, I call upon all of us to do our jobs for the sake of America – for the sake of those dying people and their families.

I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.

And now, continuing our discussion from earlier this week . . .


Ralph: “The responses from people taking insult at my characterization Monday of the DC TEA PARTY video, prompted me to watch it again. That made me conclude that the responders either didn’t watch the video or they are as uninformed as the marchers. Anyone who uncritically accepts arguments like: Obama is working to destroy this country or that he is some kind of foreigner (as evidenced by his appointing czars) is putty in the hands of the likes of Limbaugh and Fox. I was also going to repeat that the marchers all mean well, but the truth is that the Republican Party doesn’t mean well. Lacking any solutions, themselves, they plan to respond to the election of a dynamic, intelligent, charismatic Democratic President by doing everything in their power to stop him from being successful. Their worst nightmare is Obama having a successful Presidency.”

☞ Oh, boy. Well, I highly doubt any readers here are as uninformed as the marchers, so I agree they probably responded to your first post without having watched what you were posting about. But emotions run so high, and feelings are so raw, it sure is easy to offend when no offense is meant – an important fact of modern life we can never be reminded of too often (so thanks to all the angry readers who reminded me).

I think the marchers do mean well – what other motivation would they have? Which is why, when we find ways to reach them, showing respect and providing facts they lacked (Reagan and Bush appointed czars, too), they sometimes reassess their views. But reaching people is difficult, because all of us tend to listen mainly to those we already agree with. Look how long it took to persuade most people the Earth is not flat (if it were round, people on the bottom would fall off!) or that humans are the latest link in an evolutionary chain (science, schmiance – it just seems impossible).

As to the Republican Party itself, I think it’s only fair to note, first, that by no means are all Republicans comfortable with the marchers’ signs or with Limbaugh/Beck/Palin. But, yes, these things take on a dynamic of their own. The Republican leadership is focused on taking back power in 2010 and 2012, as it was in 1994 and 1996, so they do seem to have made a very clear strategic decision to try to keep anything good from being accomplished on Obama’s watch. One yearns for a more collegial bipartisanship, and President Obama has worked pretty hard, I think, from the very outset of his unlikely campaign, to calm things down and search for common ground. But the discourse has gotten awfully polarized in the last couple of decades (was it this bad in the Carter-Reagan days?) – you really do have to thank right-wing talk radio and pioneers like Lee Atwater and Karl Rove for that, I think – and it’s made worse by the tough economic times. Emotions run even higher when people are hurting or scared.

Pete K.: “The folks in the DC Tea Party video remind me of Jay Leno’s man on the street bits where he asks simple questions of passers-by. They appear to be ignorant or downright stupid. The only difference is when Jay asks a nineteen year old who is president, that person is typically caught off guard and does not profess to know anything. The DC Tea Party folks are there with a strong point of view, professing to know what they’re talking about. They might have been expected to ‘study up’ a bit.”

Steve Gilbert: “Donald Szostak asks: If those opponents, tens of millions of them, are gullible, ignorant and misguided then why haven’t they been easy prey for the left?’ Because the left doesn’t tell them what they want to hear. Ever since the sainted Ronald Reagan started telling people they could get more by contributing less, a growing number of Americans have bought into the me-first, screw-everyone-else ethic that is so common today.”


I think there’s lots of risk in the stock market after its remarkable six-month run-up. But I’m generally wrong when I try to outguess the market; and, right or wrong, I find it hard to resist a good bet, albeit only with money I can truly afford to lose. So I’ve taken a little of the 30-fold gain on those 2-cent BZ warrants (now 60 cents) and bought a little DEPO. Like the AVNR, JAV, and PARS pharma bets I had hoped might hit big this summer – none did – my guru thinks DEPO could gain 50% or more by year’s end, based on upcoming drug-trial results. Boy’s gotta have a little fun.


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