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As Obama signs history, healthcare redraws 2010 map. Unions, tea party activists sharpen knives

President Obama signs health care reform bill March 23, 2010 with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Vice President Biden, Vicki Kennedy, widow of Edward Kennedy and Marcelas Owens of Seattle looking on by AP
At the White House, the signing ceremony looked like a victory party as President Obama delivered on the signature promise of his campaign for change. As he signed the historic healthcare bill, Obama was flanked by Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late Edward Kennedy, who had called this the cause of his lifetime, and by ordinary Americans who wrote to him or campaigned with him on the issue.

But the long, torturous slog through Congress left the field littered with wounded.

Now, some vultures are circling for the kill.

On the left, unions are furious with Democrats who enjoy labor backing and still voted against the bill. Of the 34 Democrats who voted against the bill, more than half a dozen have enjoyed strong labor support. Now, unions are recruiting third-party candidates to run against Democrats Mike Arcuri and Mike McMahon in New York and looking at other possible contests against New Jersey's John Adler, Illinois' Dan Lipinski, Massachusetts' Stephen Lynch and Ohio's Zack Space.

"Everyone who voted against passing health insurance reform ... will have to explain to voters why they stood up with the insurance industry," said Service Employees International Union spokeswoman Lori Lodes.

On the right, tea party activists are rallying conservatives for a repeal drive against "the socialist healthcare vote." And they are gearing up for November -- registering new voters, launching political action committees, running attack ads against Democratic incumbents who said yes to change.

"They chose not to listen to what the people want," said Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party. "We, the people, will have our say in November." Gina Loudon, a founder of the St. Louis Tea Party, added that she has been deluged with calls from folks who wanted to get involved. "This has absolutely awoken a giant," she said.

High on the target list for many conservatives is Michigan's Bart Stupak, who provided the winning margin of victory with his band of antiabortion colleagues who settled for an executive order pledging that no federal funds would be used for abortion.

Conservatives may have the easier hand. They will be lobbing money and muscle against a candidate while backing an opponent. For liberals, the challenge is to oppose fellow Democrats while finding third-party alternatives.

Mindful of the terrible price paid by others who did support the bill at great political risk, they are planning rallies for "yes"-voting lawmakers whose districts voted for Republican John McCain. "First thing we want to do is take the time to thank those who took the tough vote," the AFL-CIO's Karen Ackerman told the Hill. "This is not a one-time appreciation rally. We will let them know that we stand with them."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: President Obama signs the healthcare reform bill on March 23, 2010, with Marcelas Owens of Seattle (foreground left), Vice President Biden, Vicki Kennedy (just to the right of Biden), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (in brown) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (to right of Pelosi). Credit: Associated Press

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This is some of the worst journalism I have seen on this issue. They want you to think that the tea party is the only opposition to the bill. In fact, the opposition in Congress was bi-partisan, with a significant number of Democrats opposing, and the opposition across the country is polled give or take 55%. Which is much bigger than the tea party. Ms. Neuman doesn't want you to see it that way, so she is writing spin instead of a fact piece, and it reflects on her journalistic credibility and sense of ethics.

I should also point out that Reverand Al Sharpton agrees with the tea partiers that the health care bill is socialist. I guess that wasn't worth reporting either.

On behalf of your readers, Ms. Neuman, please try to report all of the facts relevant to an issue, and refrain from abusing your privilege as a journalist to advance a personal, political agenda.


Vultures don't circle "for the kill." Eagles circle for the kill; hawks circle "for the kill." If you want to talk about vultures circling the carnage created by this bill, you would be inferring their gorging on the dying liberties found in the United States Constitution. The vultures found in the Democratic party, have been circling the sickly state of rights and liberties that have been under assault since the days of Wilson, through FDR, and now into the crescendo of Obama's "socialism." (As confirmed by Al Sharpton). Further, are you claiming the Democrats don't have big money funding their agendas? If you bothered to check donors and big corporations, you would see that you cannot make such a claim about the Republicans, without implicating the Democrats.
Terrible reporting. You should be writing on Cragslist with people of a similar level of analysis and sophistication.

YEA! Our president is strong. he didnt back down from what he and many people believe in. For all those sick people that could die without insurance and all the hard working people who still cant get affordable insurance,What a day for them. A human life and in this case many human lives should come before all other issues. Its Black and white. Thank you mr. president!How could anyone not want this? The people that have good insurance and good jobs maybe?

This is what you call: Enabling

Enabling, this is extremely common around presumed great people, that have a server personality disorder.

Look out world, were feeding Obama's ego:
I was and enabler for over 40 years:

Please look up Narcissistic Personalty Disorder + Obama

I look forward to the elections in November, where for the third biennial time in a row, Republicans will demonstrate how out of touch with America they are.

I remember seeing the alternative health plan offered by the Republicans. Let me see if I can dig it up:
Don't get sick. If you do, die quickly.

Such an appealing message for the populace to sign onto in an election year.

I guess Republicans would have more to go on if they'd bothered to negotiate in good faith, instead of saying "we're negotiating" in the capital, and "we're gonna kill it" to their astro-turfed crowds of town-hall clowns all summer long.

Memo for Republicans reading this: if you don't actually hold the offices of power, you have to negotiate with something of value. But you didn't even bother coming to the table to negotiate. So, forget you, we did it OUR way and you got NOTHING. Welcome to irrelevance. I guess you have to believe in government in order to be given the power to govern.


Tea Party activists and sharp knives?

Judging by the recent behavior of these radicals, I think I fall firmly into the camp that believes children should play with sharp knives.

Fortunately, I just read about this great new bill that will ensure when they inevitably hurt themselves with those sharp knives -- they won't be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.


Not one day in anyone's life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem, no matter whether you are a seamstress or a queen, a shoeshine boy or a movie star, a renowned philosopher or a Down's syndrome child.

Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kindnesses for others, both by conscious acts of will and unconscious example.

Each smallest act of kindness - even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile - reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it's passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.

Likewise, each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will.

All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined - those dead, those living, those generations yet to come - that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands.

Therefore, after every failure, we are obliged to strive again for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better in the ashes, just as from pain and grief, we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the strength - the very survival - of the human tapestry.

Every hour in every life contains such often-unrecognized potential to affect the world that the great days for which we, in our dissatisfaction, so often yearn are already with us; all great days and thrilling possibilities are combined always in THIS MOMENTOUS DAY!

Excerpt from Dean Koontz's book, "From the Corner of His Eye".

It embodies the idea of how the smallest of acts can have such a profound effect on each of our lives.

The irony of the abortion party passing a healthcare bill is not lost on the public.Ten years of taxes to pay for 5 or 6 years of benefits is not lost on
the public either.Dems will be wiped of the political map in unprecedented
numbers in order that true American,market solutions may be voted to
properly address the problems of healthcare insurance.Pelosi,Reid and all
the other sectarian dogmatic leftys will resume their place in the minority for
at least a generation,or even better go away for ever like ACORN.

Our premiums will increase by $121.00 a month thanks to this F$%?ing deal
as our vulgar and incompetent poor excuse for VP put it earlier today.Like
countless other retired couples.we will get a taste of the socialist law of the
lowest common denominator...we will all enjoy second class status and constant lower quality care as is the reality in Canada and Britain. 300 million
Americans are beeing forced to pay higher taxes for lower quality care so that
30 million(,of which 50% dont want to buy insurance prefering something else
like a third car or trip to Hawai)can receive subsidies while the rest of us work
our asses off to pay for those subsidies.Fortunately we will get to vote before
too much damage is done.

Now everyone with HIV is covered! Thanks O! We here in San Francisco and the progressive movement are darn proud of you! No more worrying about having too many lovers. Get a bit of bad news, WE COVERED! Dang all those religious moral servatives for not having compassion just because we got sick doing what we love best.

Anyone that thinks the Dems aren't going to have their asses handed to them this November is smoking crack. After this horrendous unconstitutional federal power grab under the guise of health care reform they will be extremely lucky to hold onto control of Congress.

There's a freight train headed down the tracks at 100mph and the Dems are standing right in it's path.

It took 22 pens to sign this enchalada of buy outs,sweethart deals and God
knows what other hidden monstrositys in the 2800 pages that no one had the
patience to read. The number 22 is symbolic of catch 22 and of the 22 minus habens on the photo(Biden counts for 7 )

Max, Max, Max. Republicans had many proposals for reforming healthcare, even drafted up into bills introduced on the floor. The fact that you are unaware of this points up the problem of journalists like Ms. Neuman. They don't report what they don't want to you hear, and then you go off uninformed on their own comment boards, embarrassing both of you. Not to worry though, you and everyone else will be much reminded of these effective, proposed solutions in the months ahead, which will make it abundantly clear that the government/public employee union take over of the health-care industry had to have been motivated by something other than healthcare reform.

I hasten to add, Max, that republicans actually did have something to negotiate with: public opinion. It was Obama who refused to compromise on the very point the public was against. It was republicans and part of the democratic congress who held the moral highground. And it was Obama who should have listened.

Yes we did! Way to go Democratic Party!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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