'Legislators for Sale'

Have you ever wanted to bitch-slap a member of Congress? Yes, I mean the action in its most derogatory form, for how else would you treat members of Congress willing to sell themselves?

Well, that’s what MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann did on his show Monday night. He let a whole bunch of them have it – with facts that should make them writhe in embarrassment.

DemWit presents here in its entirety Olbermann’s SPECIAL COMMENT on health care reform and the legislators who would sell their soul to the devil for campaign donations. You may watch the 10-minute comment on video HERE. The transcript follows:

“Legislators for Sale”

A SPECIAL COMMENT by Keith Olbermann, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” MSNBC, 3 August 2009:

Members of Congress are failing to represent their constituents in the health care fight

In a Special Comment, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann slams members of Congress for acting more in the interests of their health industry campaign donors than their constituents who so clearly favor health care reform.


Finally tonight, as promised, a Special Comment on Health Care Reform in this country, and in particular, the "public insurance option."

In March of 1911, after a wave of minor factory fires in New York City, the City's Fire Commissioner issued emergency rules about fire prevention, protection, escape, sprinklers. The City's Manufacturers Association in turn called an emergency meeting to attack the Fire Commissioner and his 'interference with commerce.'

The new rules were delayed. Just days later, a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The door to the fire escape was bolted shut to keep the employees from leaving prematurely. One hundred and fifty of those employees died, many by jumping from the seventh floor windows to avoid the flames. Firefighters setting up their ladders literally had to dodge the falling, often burning, women. This was the spirit of the American corporation then. It is the spirit of the American corporation now. It is what the corporation will do, when it is left alone, for a week. You know the drill. We all know the drill.

You get something done, at a doctor's, at a dentist's, at an emergency room, and the bills are in your hands before the pain medication wears off. And, if you're one of the lucky ones, and you have insurance, you submit the endless paperwork and no matter whether it's insurance through your company, or your union, or your non-profit, or on your own dime, you then get your turn - at the roulette wheel.

How much of it is the insurance company going to pay this time? How much of it is the insurance company — about which you have next to no choice, and against which you have virtually no appeal — how much is this giant corporation going to give you back? What small percentage of what they told you they were going to pay you, will they actually pay you?
You know the answer. And, you know the answer if you don't have insurance. But, do you know why that's the answer?

Because the insurance industry owns the Republican Party. Not exclusively. Pharma owns part of it, too. Hospitals and HMO's, another part. Nursing homes — they have a share. You name a Republican, any Republican, and he is literally brought to you by campaign donations from the Health Sector.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota? You gave the Republican rebuttal to the President's weekly address day before yesterday. You said the Democrats' plan was for "…government run health care that would disrupt our current system, and force millions of Americans who currently enjoy their employer-based coverage into a new health care plan run by government bureaucrats."

That's a bald-faced lie, Senator. And you're a bald-faced liar, whose bald face is covered by … your own health care plan run by government bureaucrats. Nobody would be forced into anything; and the Public Insurance Option is no more a disruption than letting the government sell you water, and not just Poland Spring and Sparkletts. But, as corrupt hypocrites go, Senator, at least you're well paid. What was that one statement worth to you in contributions from the Health Sector, Sen. Thune?

Five thousand dollars? Ten? We know what you are, Sir, we're arguing about the price. What about your other quote? "We can accomplish health care reform while keeping patients and their doctors in charge, not bureaucrats and politicians." Wow, Senator — this illustrates how desperate you and the other Republicans are, right? Because, Sen. Thune, if you really think "bureaucrats and politicians" need to get out of the way of "patients and their doctors," then you support a woman patient's right to get an abortion, and you supported Michael Schiavo's right to take his wife off life support, and you oppose "bureaucrats and politicians" getting in the way, and we'll just mark you down on the pro-choice list. That's a rare misstep for you, Sen. Thune. No $12,000 payoff for that statement! I am not being hyperbolic, am I, Senator? On the money?

Sen. Thune has thus far received from the Health Sector, campaign contributions — and all these numbers tonight are from The Center For Responsive Politics — campaign contributions amounting to $1,206,176.

So much for Sen. Thune. How about Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite? Good evening, ma'am. You are the Florida representative who claimed on the Floor that Democrats had “…released a health care bill which essentially said to America's seniors: ‘drop dead.’ ”

Now those are strong, terrorizing, words — that's exactly what your Insurance and Medical Overlords wanted to hear. But, are you truly worth every dollar of the $369,000,255 of them you have received over the years from the Health Sector? I'd read the rest of the operative part of your speech myself, but your rendition actually cannot be matched:

“Listen up, America. Seniors have special needs. This bill ignored the, ignores the needs of Florida's health care system. We should be fixing what is broke. Not disseminate, disseminating, decimating, the care of our senior population.” - July 21, 2009

You can always tell, can't you, Congresswoman, when the hostage is reading her own ransom note, and when she is reading one written for her? So much for Rep. Brown-Waite.

There are so many other Republicans, bought and sold — like the unfortunate Congresswoman there —by the Health Sector. Minority Leader McConnell of the Senate?

Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee. Congressman? Undecided on the public option? At $1,173,000 in donations from the Health Sector, I'm surprised. You should have already said “no” — and loudly. The only thing you should be "undecided" about is whether or not you're really a Democrat. So much for Rep. Gordon.

Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Good evening, Senator. So, you're supposed to be negotiating all this out with the Republicans and hesitant Democrats? To gain bi-partisanship with a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Health Sector? Bi-partisanship that will get you, what? A total of no votes? And, your price has been, let's see, $414,000 in donations from Hospitals. About $667,000 from the insurance companies and just over a million from Big Pharma. There was a $1,300,000 from other health professional and $237,000 from Nursing Homes.

When you think of getting $237,000 in campaign contributions from nursing homes, Sen. Baucus, do you ever think about whether they subtract that amount of money evenly from all the patients suffering and dying in the lousy ones, or just from a few of the lousy ones? So much for Sen. Baucus. Sadly, this list could go on almost all night, too.

I could ask Blue Dog Congressman, Democrat John Tanner of Tennessee, if, since he's gotten $215,000 from hospitals over the years, if I and the appropriate number of my friends were willing to make it $216,000, if we could buy his vote — or would there have to be an auction?

We could bring up Senator Hagan, and Congressman Pomeroy, who, at $628,000, appears to represent the Insurance Industry and not North Dakota. I could bring up Sen. Carper, and Sen.Blanche Lincoln.

Senator Lincoln? By the way, considering how you're obstructing health care reform, how do you feel ... every time you actually see Sen. Kennedy? I could bring up all the other Democrats doing their masters' bidding in the House or the Senate, all the others who will get an extra thousand from somebody if they just postpone the vote another year, another month, another week, because right now without the competition of a government-funded insurance company, in one hour the health care industries can make so much money that they'd kill you for that extra hour of profit, I could call them all out by name.

But, I think you get the point. We don't need to call the Democrats holding this up “Blue Dogs.” That one word "Dogs" is perfectly sufficient. But, let me speak to them collectively, anyway. I warn you all: you were not elected to create a Democratic majority. You were elected to restore this country. You were not elected to serve the corporations and the trusts who the government has enabled for the last eight years.

You were elected to serve the people. And, if you fail to pass or support this legislation, the full wrath of the progressive and the moderate movements in this country will come down on your heads. Explain yourselves not to me, but to them. They elected you, and in the blink of an eye, they will replace you.

If you will behave as if you are Republicans — as if you are the prostitutes of our system —you will be judged as such. And, you will lose not merely our respect. You will lose your jobs!

Every poll, every analysis, every vote, every region of this country supports health care reform, and the essential great leveling agent of a government-funded alternative to the unchecked duopoly of profiteering private insurance corporations. Cross us all at your peril.
Because, Rep. Ross, you are not the Representative from Blue Cross.

And, Mr. Baucus, you are not the Senator from Schering-Plough Global Health Care even if they have already given you $76,000 towards your re-election. And, Ms. Lincoln, you are not the Senator from DaVita Dialysis.

Because, ladies and gentlemen, President Lincoln did not promise that this nation shall have a new death of freedom, and that government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation, shall not perish from this earth.

Good night and good luck.


DemWit submits that every newspaper or television report on where senators and representatives stand on issues - and how they vote - should disclose the total amount of contributions received from entities who would profit from passage of the legislation.

Now, do a search on each of your senators and your representative, followed by “contributions from the health industry” and hold them accountable for their allegiance.

Is it you they represent?


Papamoka said...

Wow! Keith is just a little pissed off don't ya think? Thanks for throwing this video and the transcript up BJ.

I have to say that I'm a little ticked myself that this issue has to be even debated to the extent that it is. Why do opinions and arguements on the right side of the aisle have to revert to misdirection and in some cases out right lies about the legislation? The only ones that will win in the end are the biggest insurance companies and as Keith pointed out, the politicians in their pockets willing to deceive the people. Shameful but that is Washington for you.

Thanks again for putting this story up.

Frodo, I'm Your Handyman said...

Frodo saw the presentation, causing him to think that this effort, once again, is a scripted monologue funded by very deep pockets. Instead of "Harry and Louise," there are fat,old, white people showing up in "town hall meetings" in order to disrupt the message. At the same time, Democratic electees, in border or "purple" states are receiving significant pecuniary support from the same deep pockets, and it is damn tough for any political person to turn away critical dollars. Money is the cheapest tool in the world to obfuscate an issue. There is no doubt that some of these "blue dogs" and some of these fat,old,white people do not consider themselves "tools," but that is, indeed, what they are.

bbj said...

Olbermann and BJ tell it like it is. Thanks for my daily dose of wisdom. ~ bbj

Ranch Chimp said...

Good Morning Ms.BJ...Well...you certainly are on a roll...heh?

Very nice posting here. Actually I have myself posted something recently about this,because I "made" the play that they were pulling on the Hill over this health care reform,some time back,but I couldnt at the time pinpoint who was doing what. I'll tell ya how to "make" the phonies, which is actually quite easy...it's basic everyday street hustling knowledge these folk's are so easy to make at time's.But the one's who are strongly against this "Gvmnt Option" that Obama proposes are the one's that you must watch now on ever issue,not just this.You see...the reason is because they are opposed to an "option" is the key. The whole reason Obama proposed an "opytion" is because he knew deep down that this cesspool wasnt going to let any kind of nationalized healthcare get through...he was also trying to be bipartisan, to try to get as close to it as possible,and he pointed out about the $80 billion in a public address that a major pharacuetical company was putting on the table to address only health care reform...meaning that if you can throw around these kind's of fund's this loosely...imagine what kind of investment stake's are at hand. Here's the bottom line, the money/powers that control this dope pushing(prescriptions)and the mark up overstaffed medical industry...are not going to let anything even remotely close become of this...or even option's wothout their direct involvement, period...and more frankly...they could give a rats ass less what any American think's about it...the public are looked at as sheep,and the poor as piss-on's that need to be led. Money is power...and money talk's. This isnt just the health care in this country..it's across the board, in every industry there is. Sure Washington alway's had a lobby power and contribution's to candidate's even in early America...what is different today, is that it is now an international lobby as well of the world's wealthiest. Agter WW@ folk's would have been appauled for instance to find out communist's(or during the McCarthy era) were in our affair's or investment's, today it is even common...the communist party of China even has a strong say so in our countries matter's and a large financial stake.I'll shut up.

What's at stake to where they want no outside option's? Over 40 million uninsured American's that will be now forced to "buy" insurance is what...they want a piece of that...it big buck's.


Tiny said...

Tiny watched Oberman, then Rachael Maddow. Rachael showed how the soul-less Republicans are using their scripted instructions from lobbyists to out shout speakers and any questioners at town hall meetings.

Just the same damn thing they did in Florida in 2000 to keep votes from being counted. And we have to be dumb as a rock not to be aware of the eight years that fiasco got us!

People needing surgeries and medical attention need to be lined up on stages at town hall meetings so the world can see these greedy, heartless idiots in operation to the desperately needy.

Because the "cash for clunkers" worked so well, they want to slow that program down. God forbid that any of these stimulus programs work and show the Republicans and Blue Dogs, or as Olberman tagged them "dogs." that something the Democrats do helps the people, the economy and the enviroment.

Tired of the greedy-gut, soul-less politicians? Run the sorry a$$e$ out of the country!

Ranch Chimp said...

Sorry for the type-O's all through this...I typed without checking my print after I did,cause I'm tied for time this morning...like in WW@ was supposed to be WW2 etc.

Again...my apologies

Ranch Chimp said...

Very good "Tiny" ... you are right on the money!

Infidel753 said...

The wavering Democratic legislators need to start hearing from their constituents in a big way. And the Republicans need to be sidelined. All they're interested in is obstruction. Enough of this bipartisanship rubbish. The Democrats have the votes to do it without them.

Falzone for America said...

Action Alert from Change Congress:
Maybe just a dream but if this would make lobbiests obsolete we'd have a whole new country.

While you watch in astonishment as Congress goes into recess without addressing health care, and as you read the experts tell about how special interests have gutted Congress's first attempt to deal with global warming, we thought we'd give you one reason to be hopeful about what's happening in Washington -- something you've had an important role in bringing about.

Last Thursday, the House Administration Committee held a major hearing on the "Fair Elections Now Act."

This is our bill. In a packed hearing room, for the first time in decades, Congress considered real campaign finance reform. Under this bill, qualifying candidates would get a chunk of funding for their campaign and then would be free to raise more in contributions of $100 or less per citizen. These donations would then be matched four-fold by a central fund.

If passed, this would be a game changer -- replacing our system of special-interest-funded elections with citizen-funded elections.

Regular people have been integral to giving this reform bill momentum. When I emailed you a couple months ago announcing the introduction of the bill, there were two (heroic) sponsors in the House: Reps. John Larson (D-Conn) and Walter Jones (R-NC). Today, there are over 70, and it's growing each week. We need to keep it up.

Can you take 1 minute to call your Member of Congress to ask them to support the Fair Elections Now Act -- or thank them if they are already a co-sponsor? Just click here to see your representative's position, their phone number, and a short script.

I just moved to Boston and called my new representative, Barney Frank, to urge him to co-sponsor this bill.

This bill is about restoring trust in Congress by removing the corrupting influence of large campaign contributions. It's also about liberating politicians from spending hours each day doing "call time" to special-interest funders -- instead allowing them to spend time listening to their constituents, as has been proven at the state level.

Sam Waterston of Law & Order walked office-to-office on Capitol Hill before the hearing, and he reportedly rounded up a dozen more co-sponsors. And reform groups such as Public Citizen and Common Cause believe we can round up at least another 50 co-sponsors before the end of the summer -- if we continue our momentum.

So, can you help rustle up the co-sponsors this bill needs -- and thank those who are on board? Click here to get started.

Then, please forward this email to your friends. Let them know we're not going to get real change on any issue until we solve this first issue of money in politics.

Thanks for helping to Change Congress.

B.J. said...

To one and all: good comments.

Ranch Chimp: I can read something over 10 times and as soon as its published the typos jump off the screen and grab me by the throat.

Falzone for America: You have, of course, hit upon the solution to all our problems: campaign finance reform. Thanks for the update, and the link works!

TV ALERT: If I’m reading the promo correctly, Olbermann will have another “special comment” tonight (MSNBC at 8 ET) titled, “Hooliganism at Town Halls.” (At least these folks are allowed into Obama administration appearances. Bush’s rallies only admitted supporters. Remember?)

Oh, and I-753: I’m with you, bud. To heck with bi-partisanship. Did we see bi-partisanship when the Repugs had the votes?


sue said...

B.J. I saw Olbermann last night and look forward to more tonight! I'm so angry and so addicted to this debate it makes me want my own political blog! I'm seriously thinking about it!

B.J. said...

Sue! Thanks for visiting! Yep, I know what you mean about the “anger.” I just left “Miss Anonymous” (over on that other blog) a list of questions to answer. We’ll see, huh?

As for the political blog: go for it! I recommend “Blogger.” Since Google took it over it’s so user friendly and runs like a well-oiled machine.

When you’re ready, put your blog URL in the comments on DemWit so we’ll all know where to find you!



Tiny said...

Tiny bets the Repugs are s****ing up their backs tonight when the news hit the air ways that former President Bill Clinton and VP Al Gore are the ones who brought home the two journalists sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in North Kores.

See What Democrats and Democracy Can Do!

The North Koreans didn't ask for GW Bush to be the one to come to their country. They ask for that Impeached Pres. Bill Clinton!

Ah, Those Clintons. Two For The Price of One. Will Wonders Never Cease!

And it seems the Repugs are getting on the bad side of most Americans who use their brain instead of listening to the diatribe propaganda. Folks, there's always hope.

You Go Barack and Michelle Obama!
Two For The Price of One Again.

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