calling out the liars

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In his healthcare address to Congress last night, Obama took aim at "all the misinformation that's been spread over the past few months:"

I realize that many Americans have grown nervous about reform. So tonight I'd like to address some of the key controversies that are still out there.

Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.

There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false - the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up - under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.

My health care proposal has also been attacked by some who oppose reform as a "government takeover" of the entire health care system. As proof, critics point to a provision in our plan that allows the uninsured and small businesses to choose a publicly-sponsored insurance option, administered by the government just like Medicaid or Medicare.

Congresscritter Joe Wilson (R-SC) had a little outburst toward the end, yelling out "You lie!" when Obama mentioned excluding illegal immigrants. This drew stunned looks, a quiet "Not true." rebuke from the president, and a blogsphere full of comments about impropriety. In addition, many observers noted that Wilson's accusation was false, most notably Politifact. FactCheck noted last month that the relevant portion of the bill (HR 3200, Section 246) specifically excludes illegal immigrants:

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

Wilson has apologized for the timing of his gaffe, but not for its content:

"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility."

I checked Wilson's website to verify the statement, but was greeted with this:

20090910-joewilson.gif

Later in the day, that epic fail was replaced with this image:

20090910-joewilson2.gif

Jill Lawrence notes at Politics Daily that Wilson's opponent Rob Miller has been the recipient of greatly increased campaign donations since last night. That's a good sign!

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 10, 2009 2:31 PM.

Limbaugh and the loons was the previous entry in this blog.

eight years later, still on edge... is the next entry in this blog.

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