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In reaction to the award being rescinded, Stupak said, "I didn't seek the award.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CNN Political Ticker: Stupak award rescinded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. Jack Bentley

    Well, after watching those children yesterday yelling, cursing and spitting at each other my opinion of Americans as good nieighbours just went down the drain. GOod luck tryuing to get y oru country back in order. THis isn;t about Reps. or Dems, it;s about ad ults
    acting up and being spoiled brats. And to think they critized the Canadian and Brit health care systems, THese guys guys can't evern figure out their own system(s)

    Rots a ruck !!!!!

    March 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tim L

    abortion is up to the patries involved If a woman can live with that decission then that is her right. It shouldnt be a means of birth control, Everyone has a choice it is america land of the free, land of everything. stop whining and crying over the little things.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Betty Lou

    I totally agree that the Republicans acted like spoiled children. I felt like patting them on the head and saying to them "use your big words". To you James, "Because they want people to be able to hold on to their freedom to follow their ethical values without being fined, oppressed, etc?". It appears to me they don't want me or my neighbor to hold on to our freedom and follow our ethical values without being oppressed. They want to decide for me and my neighbor what we should have access to and be able to do with our lives/bodies.
    I believe in the utmost, in an America where I am not persecuted (called a baby killer or a N-word) for my beliefs and desires and I have the ability to pursuit happiness for myself and my family. It is better to learn and grow as a nation through change then to stay still and stagnant for an entire lifetime. No system is perfect but exploration is the key to success.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Oklahoma Sooner

    I'm thrilled that the U.S. is finally moving out of the 19th century and into the 21st. Also totally thrilled that we are moving on without the GOP. They've never been on the right side of history.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MB

    As a 22-year-old who has been uninsured for 9 months, and skeptical of the government for my entire adulthood I stand proud of the events that unfolded this weekend. I admire the President, Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid for NOT backing down, and continuing to fight for something they believed in rather than taking some financial or political deal to make it disappear. Even at my young age I stood amidst the protesters on Capitol Hill Saturday and felt ashamed and embarrassed as I looked at these people as uneducated, naive, immature and downright mean human beings. I am literally scared to live in a country where people can have such hate for their fellow man. What does that say for me and MY future?

    March 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jim

    If you say you are pro life then you can't limit it only to the abortion issue. To have any credibility in your position you must be anti war, anti death penalty pro gun control and pro universal health care. If you are truly prolife, you don't get to be selective on what life is important.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Franklin

    Because a person disagrees with your position does not AUTOMATICALLY make them racists or evil. There is a lot to hate about this bill from both the conservative and liberal perspectives. Liberals often bemoan the canned "talking points" rhetoric they claim consistently comes out of "tea party" types but honestly, libs are as predictable. Perhaps they should take some of their own advice and think things through before making assumptions.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jessica

    I am passionately pro-life and tend to be pretty against the bill because I don't think it will solve what we need it to solve. However, how can I not be grateful to Stupak helping to ensure that federal funding doesn't go towards abortion? Didn't he do something GOOD for those of us who are pro-life? I think this is just representative of the deep divide and our unwillingness, on both sides, to find common ground.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Flex

    Religious zealots disgust me. They claim that they support family values, but because a black president, who governs a party that they don't like, is facilitating one of their messages, they will say and do anything to see him fail, and take away essential health care reform in the process.

    I absolutely hate them for voting away my right to get married, and now they want to exclude me from essential health care insurance. They deserve to be bankrupted!

    March 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TamarS

    Those "representatives" who yell out when someone is speaking seem mentally unstable to me. Can't the Congress require they get a Mental Health workup? Their arrogance and anger is scary.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jean

    I love the way the Republicans speak for the American people. Clearly they did not hear what the American people were saying a little over a year ago.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jerryjazz

    Ever since 9/11, fear has been the motivating factor in our decision making. We are in horrific debt thanks in major part to this philosophy. Now, in addition to "fearing the terrorists," we are told to "fear the costs," "fear the loss of freedom," and "fear the socialists." Congressmen were on the floor yesterday comparing health care to that found in a "Soviet Socialist System."

    A very wise leader once told us, "The only thing we have to fear itself." Time to grow up and move past our fears, folks.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tina

    Thank you, Richard. I knew that there had to be a voice of reason somewhere in the Republican party. It is no coincidence that of the 7 Presidents who have tried to reform health care, only 2 (that's right, 2) were from the GOP. The current system benefits Life Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies who, like all big business, have the GOP in their back pockets. They have not made an effort at reform because it is simply not in their best interest to do so. Recently, I was expected to pay $ 130.00 per month for a prescription that amounted to little more than a vitamin supplement. I did the on-line research and bought the vitamin supplement instead which has been very effective. I wonder how many people out there are paying $ 130 per month for niacin?

    March 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Musa

    I cannot believe with all the access to unbiased, historical accounts, people still repackage and deliver the same nonsense they were told by someone else. I will give the Israelis credit that they won much of the disputed land in a war. As such, I am hesitant to question their entitlement to the same.

    However, let's remember how this land became disputed in the first place: the British and French. In our past Imperialistic dreams, humans attacked and subjugated other humans (in different parts of the world) and the winners used the losers (and the losers' land, people and natural resources) in any way that was deemed fit. At some time following WW2, these same victors found their hearts (some at least and kind of), but rather than giving the land back, they moved "displaced" Jews into territory which belonged to other people – thus infuriating the losers, again.

    Using some jumbled theological and ideological justification for the placement of Jews in countries that no more belonged to the Jews than the countries making the decisions to place Jews there in the first place, was and still is wrong. There has been so many decades and battles since. It is about time that everyone brought this conflict to an end and reached a peace agreement.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JohnMichaelBoston

    You mean to tell me that NO ONE heard and saw who said "Baby killer"? The house's behavior these past few days has been indefensible, but no one coming forward to confess having said that AND no one coming forward to say he/she saw who said that is beyond comprehension. High school shenanigans! "Who threw that spit ball?" Dead silence. Shame on ALL OF YOU!

    March 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
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