March 22nd, 2010
08:31 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Rep. Bart Stupak: The Democratic congressman was speaking on the House floor Sunday night, shortly after the chamber passed the sweeping health care reform bill with his help, when someone yelled "baby killer."  Members of Congress groaned, and someone shouted, "Who said that?"

Stupak had opposed the bill over its abortion language until he reached a deal with the White House on Sunday. Just days earlier, Stupak, D-Michigan, was a hero of anti-abortion House Republicans who opposed the bill.

After he announced his support for health care reform legislation, an organization opposing abortion rights withdrew an award it had planned to present Stupak. The Susan B. Anthony List had chosen Stupak to receive the "Defender of Life" award at the "Campaign for Life Gala" Wednesday in the nation's capital.

"By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country," Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement shortly before the House was set to vote on the controversial bill.

In reaction to the award being rescinded, Stupak said, "I didn't seek the award. I stood on my principle. I don't need an award."

CNN: 'Baby killer' shouted at Democrat after bill's passage

CNN Political Ticker: Stupak award rescinded

Rep. John Lewis: The civil rights leader and Georgia congressman said demonstrators against the health care bill yelled racist epithets at him and Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indiana, as protesters walked past them on Capitol Hill on Saturday. Witnesses said demonstrators hurled the N-word at the congressmen multiple times.

"I haven't seen or heard anything like this in more than 40 years, maybe 45," Lewis said. "Since the march from Selma to Montgomery really."

"I've faced this before. So, it reminded me of the '60s. There's a lot of downright hate and anger, and people are just being downright mean," he said.

Andrew Langer, the president of one of the groups that sponsored Saturday's protest, issued a statement Sunday condemning the incidents.

"The Institute for Liberty roundly condemns the isolated incidents of intolerance that occurred. ...  As a core value, the Tea Party movement believes in the precept upon which our independence was declared and this nation was founded: that all men are created equal."

Lewis, 70, risked his life many times on Freedom Rides in the early 1960s when he challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals and sat in seats reserved for white patrons. According to his Web site biography, "he was also beaten severely by angry mobs and arrested by police for challenging the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the South."

In 1965, he led a group of 600 protesters who had intended to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demonstrate for voting rights. The marchers were attacked by local and state police. The confrontation is now known as "Bloody Sunday."  The march went ahead two weeks later.

CNN Political Ticker: House Republicans denounce racial slurs hurled at Democrats

Office of Rep. Lewis: Biography

Vicki Kennedy: The widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and co-founder of The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate saw her late husband's dream realized on Sunday. At the Democratic National Convention in 2008 - just three months after he was diagnosed with brain cancer - the longtime Massachusetts senator called health care for all "the cause of my life."

The couple were married in July 1992.  Their families were longtime friends, and Vicki Kennedy had once been an intern in the mailroom of her husband's Senate office, according to TIME magazine.

Vicki Kennedy is scheduled to sit down with John King for an exclusive interview on the first edition of "John King, USA" which premieres tonight on CNN at 7 ET. The institute she helped to create is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to educating the general public, students, teachers, new Senators, and Senate staff about the role and importance of the Senate."

Edward M. Kennedy Institute Web site

TIME: The woman who saved Ted

'John King, USA' blog

Ali Noorani: Tens of thousands of people turned out on Washington's National Mall on Sunday to support the Obama administration in its next big battle, a renewed effort to overhaul U.S. immigration laws.

"You are a spectacular sight," Ali Noorani, chairman of the coalition that organized the demonstration, told the crowd.

Noorani said the rally had drawn more than 150,000 people "from across the country, and we are demanding comprehensive immigration reform now."

Though overshadowed by the historic debate on health care taking place in the nearby halls of Congress, Sunday's rally set the stage for a revival of efforts to reshape U.S. immigration law.

The issue has been largely sidelined since 2007, when the Bush administration's push to establish a path to legal citizenship for the estimated 11 million people illegally in the United States foundered in Congress. Noorani is executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a leading immigrants' rights organization.

This Just In: Immigration rally draws thousands to Washington

Benjamin Netanyahu:  Israel's prime minister will meet President Obama in Washington on Tuesday and will also make a speech to an influential pro-Israel lobbying group, at a time when United States-Israeli relations are more strained or stronger than ever, depending on your point of view and the expert you ask.

Netanyahu, who will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and members of Congress at a dinner Monday night, is visiting the United States soon after Israel was criticized for the announcement that it was planning to build 1,600 new housing units in a disputed area of Jerusalem claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

The announcement was made during Vice President Joe Biden's recent visit to Israel and Netanyahu then ordered an investigation into its timing.

AIPAC Web site

CNN: Israel won't back down in dispute with U.S., PM says

soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. alex

    Frankly these Right to (tell others how to live their) Life people disgust me. To them it's only important that every fertilized human egg be carried to birth. They have absolutely no concern whatsoever that every child that's born has health insurance.

    They're like spoiled children who can't get their way so they stomp around like little tyrants spitting on people and calling them every name in the book.

    You lost, accept it, get over it and move on. You don't have the right to dictate morality to the rest of the world. No one elected you and no one cares about your dogmatic, oppressive religious views on the subject. Get a life (your own) and stop trying to control everyone else's.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joshua Ludd

    Of course what no one will talk about is that the bill DOES NOT fund abortion in any way and all Stupak's psychotic wrangling would have done is keep women from buying insurance with their own money that would cover abortions. But hey... being a news site.. why in the world would we want to do any fact checking or do more than just publish what politicians say as the truth?

    March 22, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    So Congressman Stupak is a baby-killer because he no longer opposes abortion? No, he was called a baby-killer because the other side realized it was going to lose. Stupak got the president to issue an exectuive order that bans the use of federal money to pay for abortions. This can not be overturned by any new law. And still, the Republicans shout baby-killer. The communist-socialist-maoist-marxist-terrorist diatribe that is the only remaining plank in the Republican platform is, I predict, going to see a huge backlash.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. SV

    Doesn't less government also mean less government control over the decisions that we make, especially a women's decisions and what they decide to do with their bodies? Pretty hypocritical if you ask me.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ljay Houston

    I am amazed. Yesterday, I heard congressional republicans argue that the sanctity of life was tantamount and that nothing should interefere with it from "the moment of conception through natural death". And these are the same people who support the death penalty. This contradiction is rarely pointed out when screaming Right to Life members get on a roll. I also note how easily they get away with calling those opposed to their stance "Pro-Abortion" as opposed to "Pro-Choice". Again – when do they get called on this.

    This whole argument yesterday simply reinforced the notion that Republican's only interest in all of this was to impede the President's agenda in whatever way possible, at whatever cost. I am an independent and have voted Republican many times. But, I have to say, while I am not a Nancy Pelosi fan, Boehner and McConnel DISGUST me. Their tactics and their blatant condescension is vile. One need only really listen to them to realize how stupid they think the American people are. Unfortunately, they have been proven right before......

    March 22, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. sara

    .I see and hear 10 year olds call others names when they can't have what they want. These Men are how old and we put them there. Shame on us.. They really are setting a fine example for the Children. I won't call them names but I will NOT vote for them either.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. CR

    The GOP/Tea Party unmasked. Rude, disrespectful, and obnoxious.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ralph

    Michael, your statement about the news clips showing disrupting actions and chaos in OTHER countries struck me as well. I heard from US citizens then, how barbaric, uncivilized and how not used to democracy THOSE participants were. Fast forward to recent news clips made HERE of Representatives soiling the Congressional floor with shouts of "you lie" and "baby killer", makes me realize today's adults just didn't get the strong parenting messages issued by their Moms and or Dads. In fact to your question of "when will the actual, physical, fighting start?", the answer is real soon. The atmosphere for violence has already been primed and set for ignition. In GOD We Trust, no more for we have lost sight of GOD, and may heaven help us all.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. geekman

    Had there not been police and security with the members of congress as they walked to and from their offices to the Capital to vote, I'm quite sure some of the mobs that were there would have descended on them and beat them while yelling racial slurs and other hate-filled things. Most people who didn't like the health care bill didn't like it for made-up reasons...reasons made up by the hate speech, lies and misinformation spewed by conservatives (and their media allies) to try to discredit anything and everything this president or this congress does. It has absolutely nothing to do with policy or procedure. They were screaming about reconciliation, and yet their own party used it numerous times during Bush's administration.

    Facts mean nothing to these people. And the continuous blather of misinformation, hate and lies is going to cause something more terrible or tragic than some of the isoated incidents that have already occurred. Have these people no common sense or no regard for civility or decorum? As much as I thought George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their lot were war criminals in how they got us involved in Iraq, I never participated in such hate-filled behavior while they were in office. Grow up America!

    March 22, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Matt

    While this is an historic moment and a turning point for our great country, we cannot say that we are supremely confident in how this will change all of our lives. And while I am hopeful and optimistic that this is for the better, I don't think anyone can claim victory at the moment; no one is sure how everything is going to play out and how this will actually effect our country in the long run.

    I do, however, believe that what we saw with this debate was the absolute worst of American politics. From the refusal of the right to bring anything to the table, to the refusal of the left to even consider including the right, this has been a strong lesson that our political system has degraded into a chaos of partisanship. We, as the voice and power of this country, must understand that it is our responsibility and duty to elect officials that will represent the best of our beliefs and not those who are easiest to elect.

    Now that the legislation has passed, I strongly hope that the benefits promised to us and our children will be realized and that Senator Kennedy's goal of "health care as a right, and not a privilege," will better the lives of all those who call our nation home. But let us not forget, that we, the people, are what this nation was founded on, and we, the people, are what this nation shall carry forward as her greatest legacy.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. barryg

    Another stupid republican remark.
    They had it eight years under Bush, got what they wanted
    now they are all crying like babies. Hope the public is smart
    enough to vote them out of office!

    March 22, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. Norm

    Like they don't have cameras set up all over the room and couldn't pinpoint the coward that yelled baby killer. That kind of behavior is typical of the childish GOP mind set.
    Blurt out whatever comes to your mind, then try to apologise for it later. I predict this idiot will come forward thinking they are some kind of hero. Just like the crooked justice that said You lie when Obama was giving his address. Pockets bulging with special interest money from over seas corporations and terrorist cells.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Patrick

    The Tea Party crowd isn't fooling anyone. Not to say that they are a racist group of people, but if you ARE racist, you will find like-minded people there for sure, and the leadership has done nothing to deny or stop it.

    A simple look at some of the signs you see them carrying will tell you all you need to know.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. Arthur Serio

    Pay for the abortion for rape and/or incest victims, yes. How about the tax deductions you make for contributions to your church and your church uses money to pay legal bills for children harmed by church administrators? My wife and I will earn inexcess of $500,000 income this year...we don't mind paying to help others not able to afford health insurance. We believe in concept that civilazations are measured by the way the lowest able person is helped.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. Martin Korvak

    The Institute for Liberty is just a front organization for Republican operatives, whose strategy is to stir up racist and violent hysteria. To those who say Republicans are the party of 'no', I say they are the party of 'win at all costs', and 'rule or rebel'. In taking this tack, they abandon a central tenet of their own party, which was adherence to the principles written into the Constitution. Perhaps these are the Republican followers of Cheney, who dropped this principle many years ago.

    March 22, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
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