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Frank: tell it like it is!

Boy, this has stirred up a hornet's nest!! I am delighted so many of you have jumped into the fray on this extraordinarily important subject: I do not believe we are talking about anything short of the future well-being of our country.

To see the roots of what is going on now I believe one must go back to the Great Depression. A socially Darwinistic approach to society had left our major institutions unregulated, half our population disastrously vulnerable to the other, predatory half and a country on the brink of a full-blown civil uprising. FDR, the bane of modern neo-cons, instituted a sweeping program of social reform that spent billions of work programs, social safety nets and a reining-in of Wall Street. This drew a line in the sand between two fundamentally opposed American Ideals. On the one hand was the notion that America was a home to the poor, the oppressed and the huddled masses. That our borders offered a benign and helping hand to those who wanted a better life. Inherent in this belief was the argument that our modern society should actually make an effort to balance the scales a bit so that the very rich, who have bennefitted most from this generous and "free" society, should "put back" into the pot to help those less fortunate. On the other hand stood the notion that that word "free" meant that every American was "free" to make their own fortune, undeterred by a Government, and also "free" to fail."

This argument insists that there is no obligation anywhere in the Constitution for the Government to "take care of those less fortunate." The people who held this view, and argued that the Government's role should be "background" at best and not involved in the business of "social engineering," were direct descendents of today's "tea-baggers." The problem I have with this latter crowd is that their fierce anti-government stance shifts as it suits them. Their hypocrisy was summed up for me by the actor Craig T. Nelson, who appeared on Glenn Beck's show in support of this anti-government fervor and announced proudly,( and I quote,) " I grew up poor. I grew up with welfare and food stamps. Did anyone offer me a hand?....No! Never!"What the $%##@@!!^%$ do you think welfare and food stamps are, Mr Nelson??!!

But you know what. I think Frank Rich can express my overflowing thoughts better than I can right now: I am just too upset with the level of misinformation, obstruction and gleeful hatred shown by these miserable people.

So go for it Frank.

THERE were times when last Sunday’s great G.O.P. health care implosion threatened to bring the thrill back to reality television. On ABC’s “This Week,” a frothing and filibustering Karl Rove all but lost it in a debate with the Obama strategist David Plouffe. A few hours later, the perennially copper-faced Republican leader John Boehner revved up his “Hell no, you can’t!” incantation in the House chamber — instant fodder for a new viral video remixing his rap with’s “Yes, we can!” classic from the campaign. Boehner, having previously likened the health care bill to Armageddon, was now so apoplectic you had to wonder if he had just discovered one of its more obscure revenue-generating provisions, a tax on indoor tanning salons.

But the laughs evaporated soon enough. There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.

How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far.

No less curious is how disproportionate this red-hot anger is to its proximate cause. The historic Obama-Pelosi health care victory is a big deal, all right, so much so it doesn’t need Joe Biden’s adjective to hype it. But the bill does not erect a huge New Deal-Great Society-style government program. In lieu of a public option, it delivers 32 million newly insured Americans to private insurers. As no less a conservative authority than The Wall Street Journal editorial page observed last week, the bill’s prototype is the health care legislation Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts. It contains what used to be considered Republican ideas.

Yet it’s this bill that inspired G.O.P. congressmen on the House floor to egg on disruptive protesters even as they were being evicted from the gallery by the Capitol Police last Sunday. It’s this bill that prompted a congressman to shout “baby killer” at Bart Stupak, a staunch anti-abortion Democrat. It’s this bill that drove a demonstrator to spit on Emanuel Cleaver, a black representative from Missouri. And it’s this “middle-of-the-road” bill, as Obama accurately calls it, that has incited an unglued firestorm of homicidal rhetoric, from “Kill the bill!” to Sarah Palin’s cry for her followers to “reload.” At least four of the House members hit with death threats or vandalism are among the 20 political targets Palin marks with rifle crosshairs on a map on her Facebook page.

When Social Security was passed by Congress in 1935 and Medicare in 1965, there was indeed heated opposition. As Dana Milbank wrote in The Washington Post, Alf Landon built his catastrophic 1936 presidential campaign on a call for repealing Social Security. (Democrats can only pray that the G.O.P. will “go for it” again in 2010, as Obama goaded them on Thursday, and keep demanding repeal of a bill that by September will shower benefits on the elderly and children alike.) When L.B.J. scored his Medicare coup, there were the inevitable cries of “socialism” along with ultimately empty rumblings of a boycott from the American Medical Association.

But there was nothing like this. To find a prototype for the overheated reaction to the health care bill, you have to look a year before Medicare, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both laws passed by similar majorities in Congress; the Civil Rights Act received even more votes in the Senate (73) than Medicare (70). But it was only the civil rights bill that made some Americans run off the rails. That’s because it was the one that signaled an inexorable and immutable change in the very identity of America, not just its governance.

The apocalyptic predictions then, like those about health care now, were all framed in constitutional pieties, of course. Barry Goldwater, running for president in ’64, drew on the counsel of two young legal allies, William Rehnquist and Robert Bork, to characterize the bill as a “threat to the very essence of our basic system” and a “usurpation” of states’ rights that “would force you to admit drunks, a known murderer or an insane person into your place of business.” Richard Russell, the segregationist Democratic senator from Georgia, said the bill “would destroy the free enterprise system.” David Lawrence, a widely syndicated conservative columnist, bemoaned the establishment of “a federal dictatorship.” Meanwhile, three civil rights workers were murdered in Philadelphia, Miss.

That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.

In fact, the current surge of anger — and the accompanying rise in right-wing extremism — predates the entire health care debate. The first signs were the shrieks of “traitor” and “off with his head” at Palin rallies as Obama’s election became more likely in October 2008. Those passions have spiraled ever since — from Gov. Rick Perry’s kowtowing to secessionists at a Tea Party rally in Texas to the gratuitous brandishing of assault weapons at Obama health care rallies last summer to “You lie!” piercing the president’s address to Congress last fall like an ominous shot.

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

They can’t. Demographics are avatars of a change bigger than any bill contemplated by Obama or Congress. The week before the health care vote, The Times reported that births to Asian, black and Hispanic women accounted for 48 percent of all births in America in the 12 months ending in July 2008. By 2012, the next presidential election year, non-Hispanic white births will be in the minority. The Tea Party movement is virtually all white. The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.

If Congressional Republicans want to maintain a politburo-like homogeneity in opposition to the Democrats, that’s their right. If they want to replay the petulant Gingrich government shutdown of 1995 by boycotting hearings and, as John McCain has vowed, refusing to cooperate on any legislation, that’s their right too (and a political gift to the Democrats). But they can’t emulate the 1995 G.O.P. by remaining silent as mass hysteria, some of it encompassing armed militias, runs amok in their own precincts. We know the end of that story. And they can’t pretend that we’re talking about “isolated incidents” or a “fringe” utterly divorced from the G.O.P. A Quinnipiac poll last week found that 74 percent of Tea Party members identify themselves as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, while only 16 percent are aligned with Democrats.

After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, some responsible leaders in both parties spoke out to try to put a lid on the resistance and violence. The arch-segregationist Russell of Georgia, concerned about what might happen in his own backyard, declared flatly that the law is “now on the books.” Yet no Republican or conservative leader of stature has taken on Palin, Perry, Boehner or any of the others who have been stoking these fires for a good 17 months now. Last week McCain even endorsed Palin’s “reload” rhetoric.

Are these politicians so frightened of offending anyone in the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base that they would rather fall silent than call out its extremist elements and their enablers? Seemingly so, and if G.O.P. leaders of all stripes, from Romney to Mitch McConnell to Olympia Snowe to Lindsey Graham, are afraid of these forces, that’s the strongest possible indicator that the rest of us have reason to fear them too.

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
And remember my friends . . Only Connect! Charles Shaughnessy

Additional comments from Charlie on
30 March, 2010 at 09:36
30 March, 2010 at 22:29


  1. Oh God. Karen can tell you, I sent her this article yesterday, wondering when it would appear.It's getting scary how well I know you, my friend.
    Look at the size of that crowd, look at the responses from your you REALLY think that all of "us" just can't cope with the fact that the president is black? What's the expiration date on that race card? There was NO SPITTING, and people who were AT the rally report that those who yelled the N word were immediately chastised by the other protesters around them. The guy who called Barney Frank a fa**ot ran through the crowd, yelled, and ran away. But, apparently he must have flashed his membership card for the RNC before he did. What is it going to take before the reality that these protesters are NOT ALL REPUBLICAN to sink in? These people are NOT all racists? They are NOT all violent? And that those of us who are angry(approx. 50% of the population)have a legitimate reason?
    I will agree with you, though...Craig T Nelson's comment was silly. But, the fact that these welfare programs were supposed to be a temporary "hand up", available to all who fell upon hard times..and they are a FAILURE. I'd assume Nelson was "trying" to say that he grew up poor, but worked hard to better his life. We now have families who are in the FOURTH generation of being on welfare! The whole point is to give them basic human necessities so that they can concentrate on improving their condition, finishing school, staying out of jail, etc etc...and become taxpayers who feed INTO the system that helped them. A trip to the housing projects(including the one in my town) shows the "basics" of housing, food and medical care being provided for people who have $$ for cigarettes, nice cars, the latest in electronic gadgets and satellite dishes. The working people in this country see that, in their face, every day...while they head off to work, after canceling their cable contract because they need to cut corners.
    Why does "the left" think it's effective to ridicule their opponents, then feign outrage when the opposition yells back? Violence and why isn't "you just don't like black people?" politically incorrect too? All that does is take the focus off the issue at hand, and deflect the conversation to how they're not racist. Methinks that's the point all along. Alinsky rules #5 "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon and #13" pick the target, freeze it,personalize it and polarize it". Then, anyone like me who comes out to defend the non-violent protesters is automatically a closet racist by default. Saul was a genius. Perhaps you should actually ATTEND one of these rallies before making judgments.

  2. If you are looking for the roots of government intervention, and people's response to overregulation and the lack of regulation, however, you have to go back further than the Great Depression. The Populists certainly were not a mild group when they rebelled against the railroad industry and grain elevator operators during the 1880s and 1890s. Threats on people's lives and destruction of property were the norm, as they found that to be the most effective way of expressing their disgust with the federal government--even when the government started creating regulatory agencies like the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887. Big business was not happy when the Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890 (by Republicans) and actively tried to avoid it, to the point where they colluded with the federal government during the 1890s to make sure that it was applied to labor unions (such as during the Pullman Strike in 1894) instead of trusts like Standard Oil. Not until the administration of Theodore Roosevelt (a Republican) did the U.S. government begin to use the Sherman Act to break up illegal combinations. Standard Oil was finally broken up in 1911--only to be reassembled in the 1990s during the Clinton Administration. Additional regulations passed during TR's administration included a series of railroad regulations and the Pure Food and Drug Act--which created an outcry from the meat packing industry (if you want to know why the law was passed, read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle"--but not while you are eating a hot dog or sausage). The public response was different then, because people were not as fed up with the situation as they are today.

    So it doesn't all begin with the Franklin Roosevelt's response to the Great Depression with the New Deal. And, after all, some of the harshest critics of the New Deal were Democrats like Huey Long, who were upset because the reforms didn't go far enough--just like some of the critics against the health care plan are upset because we did not achieve true reform with this plan, just another government attempt to intrude into our daily lives.

  3. I forgot to mention that some of the New Deal reforms credited to FDR were based on ideas proposed by Herbert Hoover while he was president--but the Democrats controlled Congress, and they were reluctant to pass bills that would have hindered their chances at gaining the presidency in 1932.

    And FDR included Social Security in the Second New Deal--it wasn't in his original response to the Depression during his first 100 days in office. Looking back, it is remarkable what he was able to accomplish in such a short period of time. But Social Security only became part of the New Deal agenda after he was pressured by Father Charles Coughlin, Francis Townsend, and Huey Long to take the New Deal to the next level and make it more responsive to the people's needs. And even then, there were members of both parties who were concerned about the cost and objected to the passage of this type of social reform legislation.

  4. Kristallnacht: It seems like EVERYBODY'S doing it!

    I guess this makes it roughly twice as bad as Kristallnacht.

  5. With all the history that's being's eye opening that the current issue is becoming just another battle in a long time war between Democrats and Republicans.

    Seems like Americans have to choose sides, not choose a health care bill.

    I think everybody that is making money off of the unfortunate demonstrative fiascos should be made to donate it to the 32 million people that need health care NOW...not after they fill out a bunch of paperwork...not after they have to wait in an even longer line...not after the democrats and republicans are done using this to settle who's to blame for what.

    Yes it takes persistance to achieve good for the people...but somehow the forces of the big two parties have been whirling into an eddy that is pulling everyone down.

    Quiz: Who is getting the most attention in the health care bill news?

    A. Republicans
    B. Democrats
    C. The Tea Party
    E. Sarah Palin
    F. Glen Beck

  6. Thank you JoAnn, Karen and Brenda!Between the 3 of you, you've said everything I wanted to and saved me a lot of typing.

    Hoped you wouldn't see that article Charles, guess I should have known better:)

    Like many others I beleve that this bill is long overdue and will be beneficial to many people.

    That being said, one thing that's been bothering me to no end (among others), is your dogged belief that these acts of violence, rabble rousing and just plain stupidity are all being done by REPUBLICANS & TEA-PARTYERS. I think you're being a little too subjective in your statements. Saying that is like saying all men are like Tiger Woods. You're talking in absolutes here and it's ridiculous. Do you have the proof to back it up? (a few rabble rousers and window breakers do NOT constitute "all republicans")I think your drifting into the dark side a little.

    You need to sit down, take a deep breath and look at your statements a little more objectively. I realize that politics gets people's passions stirring (I respect that) but we all need a little objectivity or we end up like the very people we dislike so much.

    Relax a little. I think we'd all like to have you around for a few more decades!

    Have a nice week Charlie! xoxo

  7. With reference to the is a link to an awesome song with scenes of what really happened...

    April 11th - Holocaust Memorial Day

  8. To all of you who keep saying that this rabble-rousing and hate-mongering is reflective of only a few, and NOT the Republican Party as a whole, please connect the dots....
    John Shadegg R- Ariz: " This Bill will destroy freedom and do damage to the very fabric of our society."......9 militant militiamen arrested for targeting government officials for assassination in the hope of sparking an anti-government insurrection......Sarah Palin, on her PAC website, targets pro-health congressmen with sniper cross-hairs on a map of the US....John McCain, Republican Party's latest Presidential pick, chooses, once again, to have Ms. Palin stump for him in re-election bid....Michael Steele calls for Nancy Pelosi to be "put on the firing line,".....constant use of the Biblical reference to Armageddon by Republicans ( a code word for the Militia "day of Liberty.)
    These calls to action are NOT isolated...those bricks DID smash Democrat windows...the rhetoric is nasty, violent and dangerous and I am still waiting to be shown one instance of it coming from a Democrat.
    Obama tried his best to be bi-partisan, even speaking at a Republican caucus breakfast. They sniggered, insulted and even questioned his citizenship!! The gloves are off; he will undo the damage done to this country over the last eight years, despite their tantrums. Oh, and by the way, this "soft on terror" President is taking out more Al Quaeda by the day with his drones than Bush did in months.

  9. Well it is starting to come from other sides.

    This unfortunately happened doesn't say if she was a Democrat - an Independent?

    You have to copy and paste the link below into your browser

  10. Charlie--you want evidence? You have just proven our point. You are in effect condemning an entire political party for the actions of a few. To use this type of analogy, during the 1950s all Democrats were racist because J. Strom Thurmond, a Democrat (at the time--he didn't switch to the Republican Party until 1964), authored the "Southern Manifesto" against the Brown v. Board of Education decision and filibustered against the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. They must all have still been racists during the 1960s because George Wallace, a Democrat, stood at the entrance to the University of Alabama to prevent desegregation. Democrats perpetrated the violence against civil rights activists in 1963 that led to "Bombingham." This would be the same Democratic Party, incidentally, that pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965--obviously not the actions of a racist political party. Not all Republicans are alike, and there are a significant number (obviously we're not vocal ones) who do not approve of these actions and will show their disapproval at the polls in the primaries and in the fall elections. Just because the media has become prone to highlight the actions of a few people (who, admittedly, should be restrained) does not mean that all members of that political party are guilty of these actions.

    Again, not all Republicans support the actions of these "rabble-rousers," no matter what you choose to believe (I certainly do not, and I have voted for Republican candidates far more often than I have voted for Democrats--and am a registered Republican). Just because John McCain has chosen to have his former running mate support him on the campaign trail (so that he can be reelected and prevent some of the "tea partiers" from taking over Washington) does not mean that he fully supports her views; it's just that he's being politically astute and doing what is necessary to be reelected. Would you prefer that a "tea partier" be elected to the Senate in his place, and we then lose one more effective senator who can be a voice of reason?

    And, while we're at it, Obama called for the Republicans to be civil at the prayer breakfast, but he can't make his own officials behave that way. It would have been nice to have a civil debate over the health care legislation, but the Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate shut it down. Perhaps Congress needs to watch "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock to re-learn how the process works, because it sure wasn't followed when this law was passed.

  11. Amidst all the fuss from the parties I was just wondering how the drug companies and hospitals that seem to have most of the commercials on TV these days fit into the equation of the health bill issue.

    It used to be one drug commericial when you were watching a its 3 or more at a time along with a commercial for a hospital...and they will repeat the same commercials about 3 or more times during the show.

    They must be doing pretty good to afford the airtime.

    Who profits in the world of television from these sponsors?

    How will they profit in the future with the new health care?

    I think all the attention on television, etc. to the party disagreements has been very effective in keeping our attention away from the real issues here.

    Watching the news these days...makes me feel like I am in one of those "hate meetings" in Orville's book.

  12. Eric Cantor was threatened by an identified man, who APPEARS TO HAVE donated twice to the Obama campaign. There may well be two Norman Laboon's out there(father and son perhaps, or random coincidence). *IF* it is proven that this man, with 2000 threatening videos on youtube, is the same who donated to Obama, well, I think that speaks for itself. We also have this lovely video...again, no identifications or proof of political party, but some lovely egg-throwing and veiled threats toward Andrew Breitbart The one guy said "get out of here or I'm going to jail tonight"!! I think we can safely assume that at least SOME fo those Harry Reid supporting, anti-Tea Party people were Democrats, Charlie.
    Even the militia, we don't know their political persuasion. Most of those groups are anarchists. They were targeting Law Enforcement, not politicians. The FBI did a fabulous job. I do wish though, that the media would just call them militias(as you did, thank you) instead of "Christian militias". The media bends over backwards when a Muslim fringe crazy does something(eg Fort Hood), to let us know that the perp's faith had nothing to do with the event, it was just a coincidence, and Obama gives a speech calling for calm and not jumping to conclusions.When they claim to be Christian...not so much. And, it just fed into the fearmongering business. These militias probably had nothing to do with the Tea Party rallies and most likely don't even vote, but again, we just don't know.
    Armageddon...well, I think you're being a little dramatic here. I'd bet the original Tea Partiers in Boston used the word to discuss their "ultimate" battle between good and evil. It's been used for centuries...even by Obama, to describe a blizzard last month. Armageddon is not a call to arms code word, or is that just one more word/phrase we aren't allowed to use anymore? I need a new Newspeak dictionary. But, Obama saying "bring it on" over the HC bill, or telling his supporters to 'get in our faces' during the election is just fine. And, while it had nothing to do with the HC nonsense, we can't forget the SEIU goons who beat up a black man who was against Obama. The man who yelled "Kill him" at the Sarah Palin rally..identified as an Obama worker trying to cause trouble. The woman who called Barney Frank a Nazi at the town hall? A Lyndon LaRouche radical fringe Democrat.
    You'd think by now you'd have learned not to say "show me JUST ONE EXAMPLE", because we always do. ;o)

  13. All I have to say is why are you even watching that douche bag Glenn Beck anyway??

  14. If we are looking at historical precedents,(and I think we should,) check out how Teddy Roosevelt talked about health care for the poor back in 1905! It became a serious issue in 1916 when the opposition ( big business and people nervous about having their wealth tapped for those less fortunate,) came up with an effective, if dishonest, weapon. Germany had recently become the latest European power to extend health care to all her citizens: it was a no-brainer to equate the American attempt to do the same with the rising European enemy. Health care was un-American, a threat to our freedom, Prussian. Then, when it was resurrected in the 1920's, it was a "communist" threat....sound familiar?

  15. Charlie--thanks for the historical reference (although I noticed that you omitted the fact that Theodore Roosevelt was a Republican). Obviously, as an historian, I fully agree that we should look at historical precendents when examining the main issues of today. After all, as George Santayana said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" (something I remind my students at exam time).

    Anything German was considered suspect in 1916 because of the German atrocities during the First World War, as we had "liberty cabbage" instead of sauerkraut, dachshunds became "liberty hounds," and German measles became "liberty measles"--so it's not that surprising that the federal government did not act on health care, even though the Democrats controlled Congress. And, in the aftermath of World War I with the Russian Revolution, labor unions were considered communist (and the federal government supported injunctions against strikes)--so it's not that unreasonable to think that health care would be considered "communist" in the 1920s--when "the business of America is business," according to Calvin Coolidge.

    The real question, though, is why health care wasn't part of the New Deal, especially since FDR clearly had a Democratic majority in Congress and was able to get Congress to pass Social Security--which was modeled after the old age pension system developed by the Germans in the 1890s. The U.S. government was obviously not afraid to use the Prussian model for social security, so why did FDR not use the Prussian model for health care (especially since his cousin had addressed the issue thirty years earlier)? Could it be that he was concerned about the cost, especially during the Great Depression? After all, the cost of the current health care plan is one of the reasons why people oppose it--not that they are against health care.

  16. Brenda, you have hit the nail!I don´t really think the issue is to get care for everyone, but by opposing this Bill just these parts of medical care feel they would be earning less if such a Bill comes., then prices would be partly regulated.Which I think is right, Then no companies like the Pharma industry makes so much profit.At present that same issue is being brought up in Germany as the prices here are exhorbitant for medication, due to the monopoly of the industry and of course the lobbyists.
    If someone in future wants to have a right to get an expensive drug instead a generic then he shouldt pay for it, as it can´t be expected that a solidary system should pay for these people.This doesn´t of course mean that an expensive drug can´t be prescribed if absolutely necessary . It just shows how business orientated the US health industy is when it is allowed to advertise drugs the way it is done in the US . I don´t think there are many countries that allow this except maybe advertise for a mild pain killer.
    For me all this rejection of the Bill has to do with money and lobbyist. Mind you I would not agree with everything mentioned such as fining people for not being insured. Once compulsary insurance was applied here in Germany about 3 years ago, most people are insured especially small one man businesses and artists!( actor ,freelance journalists etc.) This group
    especially was very negligable and a lot later in life had to depend on social welfare!!In those days they didn´t earn those horendous sums of course some get these days.But at least they would have had health coverage.
    To Charlie , you are absolutely right with your last comment.
    Then what is typical American? What is wrong with being a Prussian?At least at the time of Bismarck he got the social security system going which is still in use these days.
    Americams I´m sorry to say are quite paronoid with the word freedom. Is freedom just a word that everyone uses to get the best out of life for themselves.
    I don´t really think so .

  17. @Tracy[All I have to say is why are you even watching that douche bag Glenn Beck anyway??]
    This is yet another weapon in the left's "how can I blow off the legitimate complaints of the right" arsenal(oh yeesh...I said weapon and arsenal, somebody call Sarah Palin). First the race card comes out, if that doesn't make them cower and go away, pull out the Beck/Rush card. Can you see how insulting and demeaning it is to spend time researching and finding links to answer these blogs, only to have someone say "Beck told you to say that"? We have some very intelligent, very well-educated women on this blog who are trying to participate and have an informed debate on the issues, with an intelligent well-educated man with whom we disagree.
    For me personally...I don't even watch Glenn Beck(or listen to Rush). It *is* possible to actually read the news, check a few sources to make sure the story is accurate before you post, and form an opinion based on facts. It's not unlikely that a "big story" in the news is going to be discussed by the pundits on the tv and radio. I don't need Beck to tell me that the group of Harry Reid supporters threw eggs at Breitbart's bus or threatened him...I saw it with my own eyes. Charlie AND Frank Rich both mentioned Kristallnacht in their blog/op ed. Does that mean that Charlie gets his ideas from Rich, or that Keith Olbermann sent it out as a talking point? means that they both had the same reaction to a news item. I've been participating in these blogs long enough, that I've LEARNED to double check every story and to make sure I link to a non-Fox news source, just to avoid these discussions. Much of my 'info',I get from Huffington Post, then I do some fact-checking.
    I'm not trying to pick on you,'s a common response to criticism of Obama. But, it's demeaning, insulting, and makes people afraid to post replies here because they feel it's just not worth the hassle to post their passionate views, backed up with FACTS, only to be blown off.

  18. To piggyback on Liane's comment about health care providers losing money in their pockets, that's probably true for the high-earners. But, we need to look at the REST of the story. HC professionals in America are forced, by law, to keep updated on the latest research and techniques, the best therapies to treat disease. We must show proof of attendance at these courses in order to renew our licenses. We are in legal danger if we do not implement/recommend these state-of-the-art advances..because the rule of law says that the patient is not "educated" enough to know the risks/benefits and it is our job to make it clear to them. The record-keeping involved in documenting every single conversation with patients(and having them sign that they refused the treatment) is a nightmare. Patients sign it then swear we never told them!! Why? Because the insurance companies(including the government plans like Medicare/caid) will not pay for the best, up to date care...the same government that forces me to take the classes to learn it(and they're not free). The patients genuinely can't afford what they need, so we try to provide some help while praying we don't get sued. So many politicians are lawyers, they aren't gonna "poop where they eat" if you know what I mean.
    I'm glad you understand that a medication might be necessary that is NOT covered, and that will be the patient's responsibility(NOT increasing the burden on the taxpayers to make sure every single thing is covered). I fear that is going to be a big surprise to those who want govt. health care. I truly believe they think that they'll go for care and get all that they need. Then, we're right back to social justice/it's not fair/xyz is greedy. And while I hate working with the leeches in the insurance industry, I don't trust the government either. The politicians(both sides) have been very successful at vilifying the insurance companies(who are their best friends behind closed doors), while forgetting to mention that their OWN health care plans pay for even less treatment. And, to defend insurance cos(which I hate to do), they are required BY LAW to have a surplus "account" to pay for unexpected large claims. That money is counted as profit, and skews the results. They are not ALLOWED to break even, as ordained by the government. The govt. plans, when they run out of money for care, borrow it from another govt. fund or raise taxes.

  19. To Charles and all of those "lefties" out there who claim that the Democrats have NEVER behaved or thought in such a way as "those extremist Republicans" are doing now against our President Obama...please take a "trip down memory lane" with me, would you?!

  20. Always appreciate Frank's articles. Thanks.

  21. Just out of curiosity--does anyone else find it a bit unusual that President Obama has to go out and "sell" the health care plan to the American people after it has been signed into law? Perhaps he's beginning to realize that, when over half of the population is in favor of repealing the law (and they are NOT opposing health care; they are opposing this law), it might affect elections this fall. It is highly unlikely that pollsters are only questioning Republicans, and, since the Democrats are the majority party in this country, it speaks volumes about the public's support of the current president. LBJ probably had an easier time selling the Vietnam Conflict in 1964 than Obama does selling his health care plan now.

    Also, if supporters of one party erroneously accuse members of another party of violent action--levying false charges along the way--it may not be long before our nation will be experiencing not another Kristallnacht, but another "witch hunt" like the Red Scares of the post-World War I and post-World War II eras. Senator Joseph McCarthy's unsubstantiated allegations of Communists in the federal government (with an ever-changing number of them in the State Department) in some ways is similar to the Democrats' unsupported contentions that only Republicans are responsible for the name-calling, taunting, brick throwing, etc. The Democrats weren't exactly pacifists when they objected to some of the actions of the Bush administration (thanks to Valerie for sharing the link), and "Fahrenheit 9/11" was in no way supportive of President Bush (could you imagine the outcry if a similar film was made about our current president?). Remember, the Democratic Party is not 100% behind the president; there are "Blue Dog" Democrats who are vocally objecting to the actions of the current administration (some of whom voted against the health care bill in the House because it was fiscally irresponsible--not because they objected to people having health care).

  22. What is this all about..?
    (Pg 95 on the Health care bill)

    Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan


    Just going along with Karen in the fact that President Obama has to go out and "sell" the health care plan. Now he also has to RECRUIT people to accept the health care bill even if they're willing to pay the extra taxes just to NOT have to have it?

    Again...I say, "What is THAT all about?" This bill is wrong on so many different levels. All I can do is laugh at the audacity of it all. LOL

  23. What do you mean, it was a setup? Are you saying the racial slurs that were shown on the news were a fake? I am not meaning to play the race card. I live in a racist town and am familiar with the NAACP being called in to investigate any possible discrimination quite alot. Some do like to play the race card. Not meaning to offend. Just an example. Don't think folks are being racist toward the president. I'm sure that it is the issues and nothing to do with his race. Just saying it could be interperted as racism by some. And could cause some anger or questioning of discrimination since he is being targeted by such hatered acts. An assisanation attempt could bring even more violence and arguing. Violence can bring more violence. A domino effect.

  24. Charlie: You have thrown down the gauntlet by asking us to provide evidence that opposes your interpretations. We have noticed your lack of response when we have provided verification to support our views that Democrats are as equally responsible as Republicans in the social unrest our nation is experiencing. To the bloggers who have devoted their time to researching the facts and supplying the links, it potentially means two things:

    1. Perhaps we have not supplied enough material to refute your claim that only Republicans are responsible for these events (and that no Democrats are involved in any way). If that is the case, please let us know—we will keep looking, because these attacks ARE bipartisan. It’s not just rogue Republicans wreaking havoc.

    2. We can follow the guidance of Sir Thomas More (St. Thomas More to the Catholic readers of this blog), who spoke, “Qui tacet consentiret” (“Silence gives consent”)—which implies that, by not responding to our comments, you are agreeing with us.

    For those wondering about the context of the More quote—this was his response when asked at his treason trial why he kept silent when requested to acknowledge King Henry VIII’s supremacy over the Church. In More’s case, his refusal to support Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn led to his conviction for treason and subsequent beheading. Personally, I do not advocate beheading as a solution to any problem, nor do I advocate assassinating anyone—regardless of how much I might disagree with his or her social or political views.

    We do realize that you are busy with your acting career, business ventures, and charitable causes and that you might not have found the time to respond. We do look forward to your future thoughts and comments on these issues, even if we do not always agree with them. It’s just that we don’t like being asked to do homework (in this case, find the evidence to support our case) and then never having our hard work acknowledged—or have another blog posted that takes a new spin on the same topic, hoping that we will move on and not notice your lack of response.

  25. I think my post got lost in cyberspace.

    I'm going to quote Jonah Goldberg:

    "During Kristallnacht, Nazi goons destroyed not just 7,000 store windows but hundreds of synagogues and thousands of homes. Tens of thousands of Jews were hauled off to concentration camps by the Nazis, who had been in total power for half a decade.

    "This combination of state power and murderous, genocidal intent is nowhere on display in America today, not in the Obama administration (contrary to what some overheated right-wingers claim) and certainly not among out-of-power conservatives and 'tea partiers.' It's amazing anyone needs to point this out, but a few fringe libertarians throwing bricks to beat back an expansion of government is not the same thing as the tightening fist of the National Socialist Third Reich. Indeed, it's an anti-American slander to suggest anything like it is going on here, and it cheapens the moral horror of the Holocaust."

    If you'd like to read the entire article, here's the link:


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