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Obey berates woman over war funding, later apologizes

Old 03-09-07, 04:19 PM
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Rep. Obey berates woman over war funding, later apologizes

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/...007-03-09.html


By Jeremy Jacobs and Susan Crabtree
March 09, 2007
House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) berated a woman who approached him in a Congressional corridor, claiming that “idiot liberals” don’t understand the war supplemental spending bill process.

The altercation was videotaped and posted on www.youtube.com .

“We’re trying to use the supplemental to end the war,” Obey said. “You can’t end the war if you’re going against the supplemental. It’s time these idiot liberals understood that.” Edit:

David Swanson, a liberal blogger with AfterDowningStreet.org, posted a YouTube video of the encounter on www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/19392 and sent the link to reporters Thursday night.

The unidentified woman told Obey she was the mother of a Marine who had been deployed to Iraq who was experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and wasn’t receiving adequate treatment from military hospitals. She then asked why Obey was not cutting off funding for the war.

Obey responded that the Washington Post has been running numerous stories on the inadequacies of military hospitals and that Congress is holding hearings on the topic, adding that the supplemental spending bill includes extra money for military healthcare.

A few moments later he grew angry and began attacking liberal groups for failing to understand how the supplemental bill, of which he is a sponsor, would affect the war.

“The liberal groups are jumping around without knowing what the hell is in the bill,” he bellowed. “You don’t have to cut off funds for an activity that doesn’t exist.”

“The language we have in the resolution ends the authority for the war,” he added. “It makes it illegal to proceed with the war. You don’t have to de-fund something if the war doesn’t exist.”

It is unclear if Obey was aware he was being videotaped. Most of the video is shot from waist level. House rules for the media stipulate that members of Congress must approve when they are being videotaped. But this footage was apparently not shot by a member of the media.

Obey stressed the need for liberal groups to understand that cutting off military funding means de-funding important military programs, such as hospitals for veterans.

“I’m not going to deny body armor. I’m not going to deny funding for veterans’ hospitals and for defense hospitals so you can help people that have health problems. That’s what you do if you go against that bill,” he added.

Asked about passing a resolution to end the war, Obey screamed that they did not have the votes.

“We don’t have the votes to pass [a resolution],” he yelled. “We couldn’t even get the votes to pass a non-binding resolution one week ago. How the hell do you think we’re going to get the votes to cut off the war?”

“You cut off the funding,” an onlooker replied.

“How, if you don’t have the votes?” Obey roared in response. “That bill ends the war! If that isn’t good enough for you, you’re smoking something illegal. You’ve got your facts screwed up.”

“We can’t get the votes! Do you see a magic wand in my pocket?” he continued, opening his suit jacket as if to display an empty pocket. “We don’t have the votes for it. We do have the votes if you guys quit screwing it up. We do have the votes to end the legal authority for the war, that’s the same as de-funding it.”

When The Hill contacted him Friday about the videotaped encounter, Obey immediately apologized for getting angry with the woman, saying that his immense frustration about “this stupid war” boiled over.

“Once in a while that frustration boils over, I wish it hadn’t but you cannot continue conversations forever,” he said.

He also continued to skewer “liberal groups” for failing to inform the members and the public that the war supplemental spending bill contains language aimed at ending the war.

“Let me be frank: That kind of encounter is the kind of frustration this stupid war is causing across the board,” he said in an interview with The Hill. “I’m trying to figure out how to get the votes [for a spending bill] that is going to try to end our participation in that Iraq war.”

When the woman asked him whether he was going to vote for the supplemental, that further aggravated him because, as the lead sponsor, of course he was. Tensions had already been riding high, he said, because this week protesters had been “sitting in” his district office and have refused to leave at the end of the business day and were arrested.

“What so frustrated me about the encounter is that it became apparent that she had no idea that the bill she was being asked to tell me to vote against would set a deadline for our getting out of Iraq,” he said.

“So many of these liberal groups don’t adequately inform their members. They don’t have the full story about what we’re trying to do and they wind up not being able to distinguish their friend from their enemy. These people won’t take yes for an answer.”

He said he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Reps. John Murtha (D-Pa.) have been spending “night and day” trying to figure out a way of the war in Iraq. Instead of trying to help them in the task, the members of liberal groups are viewing them as the enemy rather than their friends, Obey said.

“When you have misinformation or lack of information put into their head’s, it’s a disservice to them and to me,” Obey said. “I respect their views. But I would hope they would also respect mine and others on the Hill who are working so hard to find a way out of this.”

Obey’s proposed supplemental bill, entitled the “U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health and Iraq Accountability Act,” expands funding for veterans’ health care and hospitals and stipulates that the Bush administration must meet standards of troop readiness before deployment to Iraq. It also states that the Iraqi government must meet Bush’s benchmarks for reform in order for our troops to remain in the region. The legislation sets a deadline for complete withdrawal from Iraq by Sept. 8, 2008, but also states that troops would be withdrawn earlier if Iraqi government fails to satisfy Bush’s benchmarks.

Obey went on to stress his opposition to the war, that he voted against it from the very beginning and that he was the first member of Congress to call for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation. He said the supplemental bill provides greater resources to the very veterans the woman was expressing concern about.

“If the president wants this funding, he has to accept a timeline for an orderly ending of this war,” he said.

“I hate this war,” he continued “It’s the worst foreign policy disaster in my life time. It’s extremely frustrating when you see groups that cannot be united because they don’t agree with each other on the timeline or they don’t agree 100 percent.”

At the end of the interview Obey again said he was sorry about his outburst then cut off questions, saying he needed to get to a hearing.

“I’m sorry that the frustration happened to erupt in that hall,” he said. “I wish it hadn’t. If these groups would inform people before they hit the Hill…we might have a better chance to have the votes to end this thing.”

The video can be viewed here.

You can see it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS4wHMCc57k&NR

Sounds like Obey needs to go into rehab

Last edited by bhk; 03-09-07 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 03-12-07, 07:59 PM
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The woman who approached (or confronted) Rep Obey is not just some woman.

Her name is Tina Richards, and she's an anti-Iraq War activist

This is her website grassroots

And here's a site with video of her making a speech speech

She is the mother of a Marine --her son Cloy (that's a weird name), who did two tours of duty in Iraq.
Cloy has had medical problems since returning that (Richards claims) he can not get addressed by the Veterans Administration.

In light of all the recent news about Walter Reed, Cloy Richards' problems getting medical care are a timely subject, BUT...

Let me repeat that-- BUT, Richards lives in Missouri.
So why is Tina Richards talking to a Congressman from Wisconsin.

If her veteran son needs help, she should be talking to her own freakin' representative (or Senator) from Missouri.
Why doesn't she camp outside the office of Missouri Senator Kit Bond? (Kit? Cloy? What's with these Missouri names?)
Kit Bond's son, Sam, is a Marine --So Senator Bond should be very interested and sympathetic to Cloy Richards' problems.
Oh, but Kit Bond is also a Republican, so he probably won't get within ten feet of an anti-Iraq War activist like Tina Richards.

But, let's get back to Rep Obey.

Richards approaches Rep Obey with her sob story about her son the marine who can't get medical care, but what she really wants is to confront him about the Iraq War, and then when he comes back at her on the subject of ending the Iraq War, he looks like a jerk for attacking the poor mother of a wounded soldier.

Rep Obey is correct when he complains about "idiot liberals".

When it comes to the issue of Iraq War, Rep Obey is on Richards's side for chrissakes.
He voted against the war in the beginning, and he's working to end it, now.
But "idiot liberals" are completely eager and willing to make him look like an ass.

Don't just listen to, or read, the news reports about this that slant the story with leads like the one in the OP's posting:
David Obey (D-Wis.) berated a woman who approached him in a Congressional corridor,
Watch the youtube video link , and listen to what Rep Obey is saying about why he wants to continue funding the troops, and how the Democrats don't have the votes to pass the pie-in-the-sky anti-war bills that idiot liberals are pushing.

Obey loks bad getting angry like he did, but he had every reason to be angry.
Why was this woman bothering him?
She didn't know what the frak she was talking about when it came to the bills .
And why are these people scolding him about working to end the war, when he's been against it all along

On the front page of Tina Richard's website, there's a message to Reo Obey from Bob Fertik Bob Who?

Please tell us which Democrats we need to persuade to vote for a fully funded withdrawal.
Rep. Obey, we are not "idiot liberals." We are the American
people, and we want to help you end the war as quickly as possible
- if you will only talk to us and work with us as we lobby your
colleagues for a fully funded withdrawal.

Rep. Obey, will you join us in this dialogue?
Yeah, put the onus on Rep Obey to tell you who need to pressure.
Here's an idea. Turn on freakin' C-SPAN, you idiots!

MY question to Tina Richards and people of her ilk is this:
You're all up in some guy's face about ending the War in Iraq --NOW, but what were you doing four years ago, when this war was starting? Smashing Dixie Chicks CDs?

Last edited by Count Dooku; 03-12-07 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 03-12-07, 10:36 PM
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Apparently, Pelosi also wants nothing to do with some of the folks who helped elect her.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...sn=001&sc=1000

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed past peace activists Monday who camped outside her home overnight to demand that Congress stop funding the war in Iraq.


The small group confronted Pelosi and asked for a meeting at about 6:30 a.m. as she hurried to a waiting vehicle without stopping to speak. "My home is my home," Pelosi curtly told the protesters before being driven away.


The activists gathered outside the speaker's Pacific Heights home were the remaining few of a group that marched Sunday across the Golden Gate Bridge to meet with the Democrat.


"San Francisco has been against this war from the very beginning," said Toby Blome, 51, a physical therapist from El Cerrito who organized the Sunday event. "This is our fifth year of the war, and Nancy needs to wake up and represent San Franciscans."


The group was stopped Sunday evening outside Pelosi's house and told the Speaker would not see them.


The rally was the most recent "occupation" activists have staged in lawmakers' home communities and offices in recent weeks. Democrat U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel's office in Chicago was targeted on Thursday, and peace activists dressed in pink showed up recently at the Senate offices of presidential hopefuls Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.


"Speaker Pelosi shares the concerns of the protesters about the disastrous war in Iraq. The Speaker has put the House of Representatives on course to chart a new direction for the American people and the war in Iraq," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement.


On Wednesday, about 20 demonstrators gathered outside Pelosi's San Francisco office — but before they could enter, a staff member ushered the group down to a conference room seven floors below, where many voiced frustration that Pelosi was not being aggressive enough in seeking an end to the war.


Other recent protest targets include Reps. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and David Obey of Wisconsin and Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. All four Democrats voted against the 2002 measure authorizing the war.
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Old 03-12-07, 10:54 PM
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Ever get the idea Democrats just don't have a fucking clue how to stand up for Americans. Or their themselves? Or their own party?

Ever get the impression Republicans are intent and content on exploiting Americans for all they have and will suck them dry?

What a choice come 2008.
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Old 03-12-07, 11:57 PM
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Those protestors should cool it. After all, the elected dems are trying enact legislation that will lose the war as fast as possibly.
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Old 03-13-07, 01:10 AM
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Many Democrats ran on the war being bad, a failure, etc. They played to a lot of these people. Now many seem unhappy about who their people are.

Even though I don't agree with the course of action, it would be nice to see the Democrats actually try to actually live up to what they campaigned on, wrt to the war.

But that's politics. You have some true believers, and you have some that are worried that if they actually do something, it will make them look soft on terror and hurt them in the future. So many just make the same complaints they did when they were in the minority and don't seek to make actual change.
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Old 03-13-07, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bhk
Those protestors should cool it. After all, the elected dems are trying enact legislation that will lose the war as fast as possibly.
I'm sorry, but you can't lose a war faster than the Bush Administration. Nice try on the political hand-off, though.
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Old 03-13-07, 02:39 AM
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An idiot liberal calling an idiot liberal an idiot liberal

classic
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Old 03-13-07, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bhk
Those protestors should cool it. After all, the elected dems are trying enact legislation that will lose the war as fast as possibly.
I didn't realize the congressional Democrats were now in favor of the surge.
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Old 03-13-07, 09:29 AM
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I like David Obey. He's one of the few that has not publically been bitten by the 'earmarks are terrible bug.'

He tells you the truth about earmarks.
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Old 03-13-07, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Many Democrats ran on the war being bad, a failure, etc. They played to a lot of these people. Now many seem unhappy about who their people are.
Rep. Nancy Boyda (D) - KS, is getting a lot of heat from her supporters about not being tough enough on Iraq and those same folks are threatening to make her a 'one-term' rep. in the House.
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Old 03-13-07, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Nazgul
Rep. Nancy Boyda (D) - KS, is getting a lot of heat from her supporters about not being tough enough on Iraq and those same folks are threatening to make her a 'one-term' rep. in the House.
These are the sort of people who are easily frustrated and give up pretty quickly on electoral democracy. No great loss if you ask me.
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