Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good for you, Barney

Finally, after weeks of listening to blithering idiots shriek like spoiled children at town halls across the country, a member of Congress had the guts to say enough's enough. At a Massachusetts public meeting on health reform, Rep. Barney Frank had the misfortune of dealing with a woman who was carrying a sign of President Obama made to look like Hitler and asking why Frank was supporting "Nazi policies." You can check out the video here: Frank replied, "Ma’am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it." At another point, he asked her, "On what planet to you spend most of your time?" Good for him. For too many days now, the so-called debate on health-care reform has been dominated by goofuses who not only don't know what they're talking about (I'm guessing some of them need help matching socks), but insist on doing so at the top of their lungs, the better to drown out any real discussion. In some cases, they start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or singing "God Bless America," the clear implication being that they're "real Americans" who love their country, while those who favor a reform of our clearly sick health-care system are some sort of commies. Well, Barney Frank gave them the figurative middle finger, and it's about damn time. If you oppose the elements of the president's health reform proposal, by all means say so, but let's deal with facts, not hysterical claptrap, and let's have a reasoned conversation about it. The Republicans have made it clear that they have no interest in crafting a bipartisan, compromise piece of legislation. Their prime interest is clearly in taking down the president as many pegs as possible. So, it seems wise that the Democrats are turning their attention to crafting legislation that is acceptable to most members of their party in the House and Senate, and moving on with it. In the meantime, the Democratic game plan should be to follow Barney Frank's lead and tell the ill-informed, delusional, keening town hall toolsheds to step off.


Anonymous Newslady said...

You know what really pisses me off about that? Two people with homemade anti-Bush t-shirts were kicked out of a Bush rally a few years ago and ARRESTED. Oh, wearing negative t-shirts isn't okay, but pleeeease feel free to strap as many automatic weapons and sidearms to your body as your spine can withstand, and we'll gladly let you within a few hundred feet of Obama. Oh, and all those screaming crazier-than-shitehouse-rats protestors can ruin town hall meetings for legit people who come for a real debate. That's F** up!

August 19, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

I don't mind people who disagree with the health care reform plans. This is American and it's your right to voice your opinion. But do it with a civil discussion. These town hall meetings are designed to inform the public while also gathering feedback. They are not for the crazies to come out and start ranting and raving. A photo of Obama with a hitler mustache hardly gets your point across. In fact, it makes you look like an uninformed idiot.

August 19, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Brant. I applaud Barney Frank,and any other public figure who has the moxie to call out these ranting and raving morons on their disruptive and imbecilic behavior.

August 19, 2009 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

The lady was clearly uninformed or unintelligent but his response was unprofessional and stooped to her level.
The health care bill is long and has college/legislative language that can make the average citizen's eyes spin. But....unless you have really read it for your self, you are uninformed as well. I read the part that people think is the Death by Euthanasia section. There are older people who don't have a clue what will happen to them. They need to be counciled before they don't have the mental capacity to chose. My older friend fell, and while she was in the hospital her family found the first rat whole they could stick her in. They emptied her house of all her personal belongings and so what.....She lost things she had an unofficial will stating where items should go. And fours years later it took a congresswomen, advocate for the elderly and some good friends to rescue her from that rat hole where she would be robbed and beaten by the other patients and staff. End of life counseling is a good idea. At least that's what I got out of it.

August 19, 2009 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I despise Barney Frank, but I have to say that the way he handled this was the right way. I saw him once on Bill O'Reilly's show (talk about a rude screamer!) and BO kept yelling over everything Frank tried to say. So whether Frank had the answers to the world's ills, we'll never know courtesy of this, well, lack of courtesy.

I wish more people would let the other person say their piece, then be free to respond in kind with the same polite reception. Maybe then we can get some things settled.

August 19, 2009 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said.

Last week, Katy Abraham, who bellowed and howled at Arlen Specter at a town meeting, was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and she made a fool of herself. When asked whether she thought Social Security and Medicare were unconstitutional, she hemmed and hawed and didn't answer the question. Then she seemed to suggest that people in need should turn to church groups. Yeah, right -- America will be a better place if we just repeal the 20th century and make it more Dickensian.

Y'know, these folks need to get a grip and realize that what's being proposed will hardly turn America into Canada, never mind Cuba.

--Brad Hundt

August 19, 2009 at 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have never seen the wide-ranging stupidity of our populace than with these town-hall meetings. From the feeble twit who stood up and said, "I want the government out of my Medicare," to the woman who stood up to Arlen Spector but later, when interviewed on TV, could not remember the answer he gave her.

America, you can not seem any dumber, misinformed, and just plain idiotic. What a show.

August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read where Rush Limberger made a homosexual joke about Barney Frank. You can find it on Google if you want.

You know, I would think the leader of the Republican Party would have a little more class than puking out this fifth-grade style ha-ha.

August 19, 2009 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Just put it on facebook... Be my friend and you can see it :-)

August 19, 2009 at 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't buy this crap about taking the high ground when someone opposed to your viewpoint has no interest in rational exchange of ideas. I applaud Frank's refusal to "debate" someone who was out to cause trouble. I'm disgusted and saddened that so many people have bought into the campaign of disinformation about health care. The sad part is that the loudmouths get all the coverage. But I guess after eight years of the "if you're not with us, you're against us" mentality of the Bush administration, we should expect this. I'm afraid there is no middle ground left in America.

August 19, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason health care reform is foundering is that it lacks the specifics. It's OK to agree to a stimilus package without knowing the details. But when it's health care we're talking about, then it's different. It's personal. That's Obama's mistake.

Our health care system is failing us, from the duplication of service to the lack of common sense in treatment. We are not getting much for our dollar, despite the ability and technology to outperform every country.But the public option seems doomed because it does not offer us specific ways in which it would improve our system.

Those should be the talking points at the town halls.

August 20, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

The specific way in which the public option would potentially help is in providing competition for the private insurance behemoths that are currently bleeding us dry.

August 20, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entire discussion about health care reform has been stupid from the get-go, from both sides.

I put the blame directly upon the shoulders of the Obama Administration. As somebody pointed out, there is lack of specifics. The Obama camp has been inconsistent, and misinformed about the plan. Pres Obama himself has admitted he doesn't know what is in the House legislation. He has said things that are directly contrary to what is written in the bill. When the White House was questioned, their answer, "don't take his answers literally." Huh?

The Obama Administration has shown itself to be lacking in leadership and decisiveness. They have make themselves to be a real joke, when five or six weeks ago, the message was clear, "This health care reform bill must be passed before the August recess." When it didn't, and the discussions started, the meetings continued with the purpose of "gathering input to craft legislation" (Sen Spector's words), it shows how inadequately Obama Administration was prepared to take this to the people. Clearly, the House bill was not understood, or embraced by hardly anybody. Yet, we were told "this must be passed before August recess."

What has happened now is the citizens don't trust the Feds. The people have lost their confidence in the Administration for knowing what they are doing. This, combined with the personal nature of health care, has created a hostile environment. To be sure, much of what has happened in the town hall meetings has been dismal, on both sides. But, if this reform package was so tight six weeks ago, why is there any need of "getting input." It is total hogwash!

This entire issue needs to be taken back to home base, and reconstructed. Something must be done in DC that gives the citizens some confidence that a reform package is reasonable. Now, the confidence is waned, and impossible to bring back. The political capital has been expended, and the pool is dry. No more town hall meetings, press conferences, speeches around the country, all focused on the same plan, will restore confidence. The trust has been broken. Too many times, contradictory statements have been made. Too many trial balloons have been floated (e.g. yesterday's plan of "going it alone). People have seen spend, spend, and yet more spending. Pres Obama himself has said very little on how any present proposal will be paid. Yes, a few days, another reference to the top 5% of wage earners was made. Taxing this group is another story, for another discussion.

I have to give kudos to those congressmen/congresswomen who have held town hall meetings. To those who have shirked (Sen Casey, Rep Altmire), shame to you. I guess you of the group that does not "need input."

As for Barney Frank, he has shown himself to be such a jerk in so many other ways and places, he is hardly a good spokesperson for his side to call out others. I never heard anything substantive from him in yesterday's meeting. Can somebody give me three or four bullet items he spoke about at the meeting?

August 20, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republicans have made it clear that they have no interest in crafting a bipartisan, compromise piece of legislation.

Are you kidding me?

The left doesn't want the right in this hot mess at all, cause the left will loose some of its special intrest money.

The specific way in which the public option would potentially help is in providing competition for the private insurance behemoths that are currently bleeding us dry.

That is like saying if the post office wasn't around we should create a post office to compete with ups and fedex and don't worry, it would be a govt run post office so it will work tens times better LOLOLOL

This entire discussion about health care reform has been stupid from the get-go, from both sides.

Thats cause you fell into the left right game. Don't ever fall into the left right game. Psychology 101. Read the facts for yourself. Then make a sound judgement.

Brant before America has a inteligent debate on this, doesn't the left havt to lay it out on the table? I think what is causing all the b.s. is there is like three different bills out there that everyone is talking about. Lets have one final version, then your hero Barney Frank and his gay escort service he runs from his house can have a debate with normal people, not the loons that carry nazi signs. I do remember protestors with G.W. Nazi signs, why doesn't that come up?

August 20, 2009 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

When the looneys were carrying nazi signs to bush protests... what extremely important or contentious thing was he trying to accomplish?

August 20, 2009 at 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it matter? Or are you with Nancy goofy eye Pelosi when she was for the disrupters?

You can't have it both ways, you just can't. It's wrong in any circumstance, or it's a political thorn that no one likes yet both sides get to use it.

August 20, 2009 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

It does matter...

First, we can agree that comparing our politicians to Hitler is retarded.

On one hand... you have people just being out in public being retarded (protesting bush wherever he goes, etc.). But aside from that, not really affecting anything with their displays. They are, essentially, acting a fool and drawing attention to themselves.

In this case, you have people comparing Obama to hitler and using that as a reason to voice their opposition to legislation... and they are doing it at townhall meetings and are successfully DOMINATING the discussion with their idiocy. They aren't just standing in the street looking dumb... they are staining our legislative process with their "dumbth"

August 20, 2009 at 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is, no one is really interested in copmpromise. No one is interested in giving an inc hto benefit evryone.

August 20, 2009 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:55 p.m. - not giving an inch. This is the good news. There is no reason for this massive overhaul to fix some problems that do exist. The massive overhaul is just a power grab by the Federal government, the desire to have universal medical coverage, and to further their intrusion into private lives.

So, at this point, kudos to those not willing to give an inch. Let is lay as is, until somebody finally has enough leadership to start over with a different perspective. This is not a case of doing something, just for the sake of doing something. Once done, there is no turning back.

The best time of the year is when Congress is on recess.

August 20, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Obama can't craft jack... he is a part of the executive branch now, so he can't write the legislation. I blame it on the Democrats in the Senate who don't have the guts to agree on a plan. I do blame Obama for not twisting arms to get this thing through.

As for the repubs. You better thank the crazies at the town halls, because any chance of bipartisanship is finished. The dems will pass it on their own, or the repubs will hold the senate/house by 2012.

August 20, 2009 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The meeting turn nasty when the politicians have tried to feed us a line of bull.
PS. The woman you reference was a democrat. shhhh.
Annie Oakley

August 20, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the repubs. You better thank the crazies at the town halls, because any chance of bipartisanship is finished. The dems will pass it on their own, or the repubs will hold the senate/house by 2012.

Have you not watched tv in the past mth? People telling the dems wtf are you doing? Yeah, the dems will own this, and America will not forget who skull f'ed us in the middle of the night. RIP DEM PARTY. I just pray that we only pass a bill that covers unemployed and the stupid. AKA the ones that rather have a new truck than ins, an leave the illegal's out.

I know illegal's really don't effect us here, but I have lived around the US. They are nothing but a pest, don't pay taxes, yet suck up emergency room care, cause schools to pay for free lunches, ever get hit in a car by a illegal? good luck getting him to pay for your car! I KNOW! The root of health care, and almost 70% of our social problems is illegals! Lets see Obama get tough on the illegals and kick his aunt out of the US! Cause if the illegals don't respect our laws,, it will end up like this video clip all over the south!!!!!! WATCH!

August 20, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Who are all these unemployed, uninsured people with new trucks?

That sounds like a republican problem... :-)

August 21, 2009 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

In the middle of the night? This isn't the state legislative paygrab 2005, pal. If it was, then we wouldn't have to deal with the loons from the right trying to start a ruckus just because their guy didn't win.

August 21, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimme cheap gas, cheap health care and the freedom not to work too hard or give up anything. Don't ask me to look out for those who have not. I'm an American.

August 21, 2009 at 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So disrupting meetings you don't happen to agree with is good.
Disrupting meetings you do agree with is bad?
Can't have it both ways on this one, Brandt, Elipses, etc.
If it's wrong to compare Obama to Hitler - which it is - then it was wrong to do that same to Bush.
Just because you didn't agree with him doesn't mean the office should not have been respected when he held it. But the hate speech from the left and comparisons that were made were rarely trashed like the people who are attending these town meetings have been.

August 21, 2009 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I agree... It's wrong in both cases... But that doesn't makeboth cases equal. What were the bush protestors obstructing? A speech?

I don't recall a lot of townhalls for Medicare part D... I don't recall many Q and A's leading up to Iraq...

So if some crunchy granola farmer held a bush = Hitler sign outside of... Wherever... Was that preventing any policy from being formulated?

August 21, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a panel discussion on msnbc where one rep of a medical insurance company said most people were happy with their coverage. I was waiting for the followup question - "but can they afford it?" - but it never came.

This debate is not about being happy with your coverage. It's about being able to afford your coverage.

It's just like the housing bubble. Do you think the people who bought overpriced houses, liked them? Of course. They probably loved them. But they ended up not being able to afford them.

Health care is the same way. My employer pays about $15,000 a year to insure me and my family. What happens when it hits $20,000 or $25,000 in the next five or six years?

Employers will either eliminate coverage or contribute a stipend - say $10,0000 - and tell the employee to find their own plan. Imagine thousands of small business owners pulling out of their plans in the coming years. What affect do you think that will have on the industry?

This is what the debate should be about. Not wating our times talking about death panels.

August 22, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I see everyone has access to the best health care in the world but some of don't have insurance. With a single payer like the VA everyone will be covered but not everyone will have the same access to the health care. That is a real problem. Give me an example of something the government runs well. Insurance companies are solvent the government isn't.

August 22, 2009 at 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never read about or see on TV the people who are at the town hall meetings asking legitimate questions and are interested in this country's future. The media only is interested in the nuts who are in the minority. And by the way, Barney Frank can take credit for the downfall of our economy by supporting the loans on housing that people could not afford. ng. He is a first class jerk and I hope he gets voted out.

August 23, 2009 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Ou should watch franks town hall meeting in it's entirety... He addressed the financial situation.

You might find it on It was on cspan Thursday afternoon

August 23, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if some crunchy granola farmer held a bush = Hitler sign outside of...


Happened plenty of times in the last few years of the Bush Administration. What do you have against granola farmer (a non-entity, by the way; maybe that is what you intended).

August 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Give me an example of something the government runs well."

I'll give you an example: Medicare. What do you think the chances of you receiving insurance at retirment age from a private insurer? Suppose you are 65, just retired and need coverage, and medicare is not available.

The chance that you would be able to secure any policy would be slim because of how expensive it would be. Also, if you could afford coverage, your policy would probably not be good for pre-existing conditions.

Insurance companies spend the bulk of their money on older individuals. Most would not be willing to insure you at that age.

August 23, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

When a Bush protester held ANY sign or wore ANY button outside of his speeches, they were arrested. Tell me how many of these town hall nutjobs have been arrested?

And raise your hand if you can afford $450 premiums per month for one person in considerably good health... Without the federal government/stimulus bill, there is no way I could afford that. So with the help of COBRA - paying 65 percent - that might be an option. It's a shame that in the wealthiest country on Earth, health insurance is a privilege and not a right.

August 23, 2009 at 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Medicare is run well?
It is completely broke right now. That is a real bad example of a well run government program. In fact anyone for government health care should look to Medicare as a reason NOT to have the gov involved.

August 24, 2009 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Medicare is run great... it's America's 28 year allergy to taxes that has contributed to it going into the red...

It's a particularly well-run program seeing as how it ONLY serves the absolute most-expensive segment of our population... old people.

Can you imagine if a private insurer were to populate its enrollment only with elderly people? You'd have to invent a new number to describe those premiums... Stajillion?

August 24, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try working a $7-an-hour job and see if you "have access" to health care. Access means you have to get through the door first.

August 24, 2009 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get it.
You mean if a person with a 7.00 an hour job cuts his arm off he won't be treated? Get through the door? Huh?

Lets say he has the flu?
In both cases the person would receive the best medical care in the world.

August 25, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

They would receive medical care... but probably not the best in the world... more like the 37th best in the world.

But they would get a bill for 2x the best in the world.

August 25, 2009 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Not to mention that the same person probably hasn't been in for a regular checkup in a few years... so he/she might be developing diabetes, have a tumor or two, and have high blood pressure that needs to be treated...

August 25, 2009 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Medicare is run great... it's America's 28 year allergy to taxes that has contributed to it going into the red...

e... been smoking the bad stuff again, huh? Medicare is going broke. Social Security is going broke. The war on poverty only adds to poverty, not eradicating poverty. More money is put into government run education every year, yet our world position in educating our children diminishes. The list goes on and on about government run programs that fail and drain taxpayer money. The only solution suggested to any failed program is to throw more money (e.g. PA current budget crisis).

The C4C program is another example of a horribly executed program. This one didn't have any legacy, so it was able to be built from the ground up. Look at the fiasco of administration, despite having $50M initially allocated. Why is anybody "processing the paperwork?" This has been the reasoning given for slow payments to dealers. Why is there any paperwork at all? Have the bureaucrats in DC forgotten about electronic management of information? Why can't the applications be electronically filed, verified as the information is being supplied? Even the simplest of transactions work this way elsewhere. When the application is submitted, the i's are dotted, the t's crossed. The application doesn't reach the accepted state before submission is complete. But, the reports say checkers are finding, apparently "by hand" that the i's and t's aren't done right.

But, I digress. My point is that government run programs, even the very simple rebate program, C4C, can't be done efficiently. Ask some of those who have been entangled in the web of Social Security and Medicare questions if it works well. Been there, done that; speak from experience.

August 25, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

37th in the world huh? Look at the WHO website for the patient care and stats that really matter and see who is #1. My brother is a Dr. and cringes to think where we are headed. You state you 'know' plenty of Dr.'s who are for Government Health care. I challenge you to provide the name of one. I know one to name who you can count on and who you should contact. His name is Tim Murphy.
The way you browse the internet picking and choosing what stats to post leave you zero credibility. In fact, from now on I skip each of your posts. Time is too valuable.

August 25, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Marcia Angel, MD.

But I guess you aren't reading this, since you are skipping my posts.

That's a great way to have a conversation; stick your fingers in your ears anytime an opposing voice speaks up...

August 25, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

August 25, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

It might be tough to ask Tim Murphy. I think he's still hiding in that bookstore to avoid answering whether he thinks Obama is an American.

August 25, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean Marcia Angell?

Yins know each other huh?
You need to get to the Dr.
You are a Liabetic.

August 25, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I met her in 2004 at the Omni William Penn.

Would you like someone that is less "famous"

Dr. Sebastian Ortiz... he worked at Southwest Regional Medical Center in waynesburg.

August 25, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Newslady said...

There are plenty of doctors and nurses who support government takeover of healthcare because they know it is badly needed.

Also, Tim Murphy is NO doctor. He's a PSYCHOLOGIST without a medical degree.

August 25, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might be tough to ask Tim Murphy. I think he's still hiding in that bookstore to avoid answering whether he thinks Obama is an American.


Sorry Brant - charge will not work. Tim Murphy did a couple of town hall meetings in the area, one specifically in Peters. Also, he did an hour TV program a few days ago in Peters discussing the proposed legislation. He is clearly not hiding, rather is out talking the issue with constituents. He is taking plenty of questions and explaining what is in the legislation. I know, the meetings are not loud, boisterous, and screamers. So they don't get publicity like others -- just plain folks asking questions.

I'm not a great fan of Tim Murphy, but your charge is clearly false.

August 25, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brants snore on the news...

time for a new blog, hell maybe blogger!

August 25, 2009 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

To the next-to-last anonymous, I was making a joke about Tim Murphy. You know, a joke? He hid from people who were trying to ask him if he thought Obama was an American citizen. He also did not answer my inquiries about the matter, even though I am one of his constituents. To the last commenter, I do apologize for the lack of new content. I have been busy with other duties at work. I'll try to rectify that today or tomorrow. Cheers to all.

August 26, 2009 at 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bunch of homo-lovers!

August 28, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great column bt Nicholas Kistof on health care. Here's the link:

August 30, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

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