For weeks, for months, we have faced Regressive scare-mongers who have literally warned of death if health care is reformed. Just around the edges. Just slightly. At all.
Tonight I will present what I believe is the longest Special Comment I have ever aired, naming names and citing dollar amounts to call out the politicians -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- who are paid by the Health Care Monopolies to bring to life one of my favorite quotes, the observation of the Belgian essayist Maurice Maeterlinck:
At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past.
A few of the sections of tonight's Comment, below.
But first I did wish to make brief responses to two topics that have been much discussed here and elsewhere.
Primarily, there is no "deal" between MSNBC and Fox over what we can and cannot cover. This is part of a continuing strategy of blackmail by Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, that reaches back to 2004, and has as its goal the cancellation of "Countdown." This stuff has ebbed and flowed for five years, it's part of my daily job to push it back with whichever strategy I think will best work at a given moment. For the last two months I've been employing "News Jujitsu." If you watch tonight and catch the references to Fox and its rogues gallery you will know that the most recent tack has worked, but the fight is endless and there will be reversals in the future, I'm sure.
Ailes himself is tonight quoted as saying he tried to 'broker peace' by restraining his hosts. This is the same Ailes who insisted he would never interfere with what Bill O'Reilly said on the air. Even naked hypocrisy is not too much if Fox can make itself seem victimized, or can muzzle dissent.
But there is no "deal." I would never consent, and, fortunately, MSNBC and NBC News would never ask me to.
As to Richard Wolffe I can offer far less insight. I honor Mr. Greenwald's insight into the coverage of GE/NewsCorp talks, and his reporting on Richard's other jobs. I must confess I was caught flat-footed. I do not know what the truth is; my executive producer and I have spent the last two months dealing with other things (see above) but what appears to be the truth here is certainly not what Richard told us about his non-news job.
I am confident his commentary to this point has not been compromised - he has been an insightful analyst and a great friend to this show - but until we can clarify what else he is doing, he will not be appearing with us. I apologize for not being able to prevent this unhappy set of circumstances from developing.
Now, to the Comment:
PBS pointed out that the health and insurance industries are spending more than a million, 400 thousand dollars a day, just to destroy the "public option" - the truly non-profit, wieldy, round-up and not round-down, government, from helping you pay your medical bills with about a billionth of the recklessness with which it is still paying Halliburton and its spinoffs to kill your kids.
And much of this money is going to, and through, Republicans.
But that's the real point tonight.
Not all of it is going through Republicans...
I will go into detail about the contributions from these industries to the familiar villains like Senator McConnell and Senator Thune and Congressman Barton.
And, the Democrats:
Congressman Mike Ross of Arkansas.
Leader of the Blue Dogs in the House.
You're the guy demanding a guarantee that Reform won't add to the deficit.
I'm guessing you forgot to demand that about, say, Iraq.
You're a Democrat, you say, Congressman?
You saw what Sandy Barham said?
Sandy Barham is 62 years old, she's got a bad heart, and she's hoping her valves will hold together for three more years until Medicaid kicks in, because she can't afford insurance.
Not just for herself, mind you.
For her employees.
She needs the public option. So do those six people who work at that restaurant of hers, Congressman Ross.
And why should you give a crap?
Because Sandy Barham's restaurant is the Broadway Railroad Café, and it is at 123 West First Street North in Prescott, Arkansas.
Prescott, Arkansas, Congressman Ross.
Your home town.
You are Sandy Barham's congressman.
Hers, Sir. Not Blue Cross's and Blue Shield's, even if they do insure 75 percent of the state and they own you.
Mr. Baucus gets his, and Mr. Tanner, and Mr. Gordon.
And then they all get a reminder of who they are supposed to be working for.
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.