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C-Span Asks, “Where’s The Transparency Obama Promised?”

Here it is, a new year. And just what does that mean for the “historic” health care bill that is about to be foisted upon us? That the two houses, the Senate and the House, are supposed to get together to work out their differences before presenting a unified bill to President Obama for his signature.

Well, there is one organization that has a request for Congress, and that would be C-Span. Surely you remember the numerous times Obama promised to debate healthcare in the open, so constituents could see what their elected officials were doing, and that it would be aired on C-Span, rather than the bill being crafted in secret, behind closed doors? Well, naturally, we should have known (and many of us suspected), that scenario, the secret meetings one, was EXACTLY what the Democrats have done. C-Span is over it, and recently sent this letter to the Powers-That-Be:

December 30, 2009

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi The Honorable Harry Reid
Speaker Majority Leader
United States House or Representatives United States Senate

The Honorable John Boehner The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives United States Senate

Dear Speaker Pelosi:
Representative Boehner:
Senator Reid:
Senator McConnell:

As your respective chambers work to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate health care bills, C-SPAN requests that you open all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings, to electronic media coverage.

The C-SPAN networks will commit the necessary resources to covering all of these sessions LIVE and in their entirety. We will also, as we willingly do each day, provide C-SPAN’s multi-camera coverage to any interested member of the Capitol Hill broadcast pool.

Since the initial introduction of the America’s Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 in the House and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the Senate
C-SPAN has televised literally hundreds of hours of committee hearings, mark ups and floor debate on these bills for the public to see. And importantly, we have archived all of this video for future generations to study in the C-SPAN Video Archives.

President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system. Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.

We hope you will give serious consideration to this request. We are most willing to employ the latest digital technology to make the cameras, lights and microphones as unobtrusive as possible.

Please contact me if I can answer any questions.

Sincerely,

Brian Lamb

I guess Mr. Lamb couldn’t put “Honorable” in quotation marks, though I think I would have been sorely tempted to do so for the members he addressed. But that’s just me.

And what kind of response did C-Span get? Nothing formal yet, but Speaker Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D,MD), among others, appeared before the cameras in the video below. Wait until you hear Speaker Pelosi’s response about Obama’s campaign promises. That’s a good one. And Rep. Van Hollen goes on at some length about the process behind the Healthcare bill. I suggest you not drink or eat anything while he is speaking. Just a suggestion. Then it goes back to Speaker Pelosi. Does it ever get funny around the 7:45 mark:

Okay, just HOW is it that none of their heads exploded while they stood up there lying through their teeth? Mr. Van Hollen’s voice did go up and crack, a tell-tale sign he’s lying, and Pelosi just blathered on with impunity.

I might add, yes, there were all kinds of Town Halls, Mr. Van Hollen, and the vast majority of people then told you and your colleagues that We. Do. Not. Want. This. Bill. As. Crafted. We have been saying it, screaming it, writing, it, and phoning it in, Rep. Van Hollen. The problem is, y’all aren’t listening. Even today, the majority of Americans do not want this policy you are about to shove down our throats.

This certainly explains another poll, that the majority of Americans think Congress is doing a poor job. Yeah. No kidding.

Oh, wait, maybe there’s another possibility for the La-La Land response by the giggly Speaker of the House. Perhaps Nancy just doesn’t understand the word. That is the only possible explanation I can think of to explain her emphatic insistence that this has been the most transparent process EVER. Either that, or I’m thinking really, really good drugs. Considering her giddy, giggly self, I am inclined to the latter. Ahem.

In case you didn’t catch what she and Rep. Hollen said, this aptly entitled article,
Nancy Pelosi’s Response, has it:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Congress’ work on a healthcare bill Tuesday saying the process has displayed historic transparency, just as C-SPAN mounts an effort to open the negotiations.

C-SPAN wrote a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday asking that TV cameras be allowed to film negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of healthcare reform legislation.

But Pelosi said Congress has already been transparent throughout the process.

“There has never been a more open process for any legislation,” Pelosi said at a press conference.

Pelosi also hinted that holding informal negotiations–likely without TV cameras–might be the most practical way to push the legislation through.

“We will do what is necessary to pass the bill,” Pelosi said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), assistant to the Speaker, said the healthcare bill had been “subjected to unprecedented level of public scrutiny.”

Pressed on whether C-SPAN cameras would be allowed in negotiations, Van Hollen hedged.

“We don’t even know if there’s going to be a conference committee,” he said, alluding to the likelihood that Democrats will reconcile the two bills behind closed doors.

Oh, yes, unprecedented “public scrutiny.” Seems to me Rep. Van Hollen has been smoking a bit too much of that Hopium if closed-door, often partisan, meetings in which decisions are made to payoff Big Pharma (Obama – before the official work on the Healthcare Bill even got started), the insurance industry, and to force taxes on the middle class that will make it the working poor class. Staggering. Again, Rep. Van Hollen, we have said – CLEARLY – that we do not want this bill of yours. (The Comments after this article are mighty telling. I didn’t see a Pro-Pelosi one among them. Here’s the Link if you’d like to see for yourself.)

Oh, and the White House? If you had to guess, what do you think Obama would do? If you guessed avoidance, you’d be right. If you wish to read Robert Weasel Gibbs’ slippery response to queries about the C-Span letter, click HERE. If you have a strong stomach, or high threshold for bullshit, that is.

Here’s the reality of the situation:

You tell it, Johhny Mac. Transparency on this issue, with this Congress, is simply non-existent. Oh, and Mr. Lamb? I wouldn’t be holding my breath for Nancy, Harry, or Barry to let the cameras in anytime soon…

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  • Anonymous
  • Alex

    TO FLDEMFEM-
    COMO? No entiendo? What are you talking about? My name is Alexandra-Alex for short-are you trying to show people you  know the movie I referenced is an Alex JONES production-a guy? Que paso with you?

  • FLDemFem

    You should mention that it is your movie and that you have an agenda.

  • FLDemFem

    I think Obama has a condition I saw on “House” once, and in the news when a person who had it died. The person had a weird type of amnesia, they couldn’t remember things that had just happened, each day was a new day. I think that is the way Obama’s memory is, not at all retro-active. He probably thinks that what he says now erases the things he said previously. If we didn’t have tape, we would be hard put to prove it, after all, people lie and most would take the President’s word for something over someone else’s, especially news reporters who may have an agenda of their own. Thank God for video. We can now prove what was said and who said it.

  • FLDemFem

    Anyone want to bet on whether or not some of the Kossacks got jobs with the administration?? Or think they might? That would be a good reason to support them no matter what they do. After all, they claimed to have put him in office, one would think Obama would be grateful..snicker.

  • FLDemFem

    A list of the states that allow recall of their elected representatives would be a good thing right about now. Perhaps we can get busy getting the ones not up for re-election this year recalled. Really clean house, angry voter style!!

  • Eliza

    Transparency is key. We deserve to know what our lawmakers are doing.
    Maybe this is why they don’t want us to watch; critics admit formal conference committee process is often ignored: http://www.newsy.com/videos/health_care_transparency_in_question

  • Alex

    I agree with you as well beachnan. There is no way things would be as bad as they are all around if Mrs. Clinton had been allowed the nomination. She is not a lazy narcissist and believes in doing her job to the best of her abilities. Check out “The Obama Deception” where it is quite gratifying to hear that she would not have been the clueless puppet Obozo is. And how about Mr. Gore Vidal having sold Mrs. Clinton down the river to support the payaso/clown now admits that “….girls tend to do a better job.”

  • Doc99

    First ever national Tea Party Convention will headline … Sarah Palin.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0106/Sarah-Palin-will-headline-first-ever-Tea-Party-Convention

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I couldn’t agree more, beachnan.  Hillary would have done for the country what she has done for the State Dept – rolled her sleeves up, and gotten to work.  She would not be shoving bills down our throats to satisfy her own ego.  No, she would have been working on bills that would work for us.

    Yes, her heart was/is in the right place.  And who did we get instead?  Yeah.  That One.

  • beachnan

    I’m trying  my hardest to think of any campaign promise this administration has kept.  The problem is who do we trust.  I had started to listen to Hanratty sporadically, but his dems are bad, and republicans are good is driving me crazy.  The problem is the Republicans were always getting the big corporate money, so the Democrats wanted a piece of that pie, not that any of them were terribly principaled to begin with, but they sold out.  I may hold my nose and vote for a Republican just so we can have checks and balances, but I don’t trust them either.  Call me crazy, but I do not believe that Hillary would have been  pulling the crap that this administration is pulling.  Bill had already been President, they have money, she really didn’t need to kiss anybody’s ass to get anything done and I feel that her heart was in the right place.  It wasn’t about the perks, it wasn’t about the fame (they are both held in the highest regard world wide), so her Presidency would have been about making this country as good as can be.  Now we are stuck and God forbid this health bill go through or we will be hurting for many years to come.

  • SeriouslySickOfObama

    I think NancyPee is BaghdadBob, LOL!!  What country is she living in bc when she talks, I don’t know what country she is talking about.  The town hall meetings were not meant with cheerleaders of this corrupt bill and what internet bill was posted, I never seen the damn thing, just stacks of paper on MSM desk as they talked about it and when in the hell did we ever have a VOICE to say NO without being escorted out for DISTURBING THE PEACE, LOL?  LIES, More LIES and still with a smile on her face, LIES some more!  Just Disgusted by them all!

  • SeriouslySickOfObama

    The only TRANSPARENCY that I see that is HISTORIC for me is for the first time in my lifetime, I can see right through the lies of our elected officials.  I used to give the benefit of doubt, but now I am convinced if their mouths are moving, they are LYING!!  That press conference display was childish, bloated full of ignorance and pretending they were doing exactly what they promised all the while knowing they were LYING! VOTE THEM OUT and if they try to retire, arrest them and demand they be charged with blackmail and bribes to get votes for this corrupt healthcare bill!  All of them deserve prision time and community service to pay back the taxpayers the money they are stealing from us every damn day they are in office!  We need a LEADER, We need Hero!  We need to reclaim our country NOW!  I am going to scream it to the end, that the Man Child N Chief is a sleeper cell destroying us from within!  See his past and you will see our future.  Look at the damage from year one and ask yourself, he is really concerned about American Citizens? >:o

  • candymarl

    Now, now. You people don’t get it. Just because Obama promised something repeatedly and there’s video doesn’t mean he said it. Geeze folks! My head hurts. I gotta lie down.

  • Doc99
  • jbjd

    R3A, I am not ashamed to admit, for some time, I was unable to view any portion of the videos embedded in the articles posted on this blog.  Then, writers began posting ‘content warnings,’ allowing me to censor in advance which videos I (thought I) could tolerate viewing.  If you hadn’t provided such warnings here, I would not have attempted to watch this video in the first place.
    And if I hadn’t watched this video in the first place, I would not have seen NP callously re-defining “public option” so as to dupe the American people into thinking, she and her colleagues were not forcing us to pay for another pig in a poke.

  • Obamasucks

    Brian Lamb’s (CEO of C-SPAN) salary was $250,000 back in 2005. C-span makes its money by charging cable networks fees to show C-span. If the ratings go up, they can charge more, get higher salaries, etc. If C-span is really non-profit why does the CEO need $250K+ in salary? Oh, and Obama still sucks.

  • Doc99

    Gibbs is America’s answer to Baghdad Bob.

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

     I saw that earlier – isn’t it telling that someone even claimed that Obama DIDN’T say this?  We’ve only seen the video a thousand times…Sheesh.  Thanks, samb.

  • samb
  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    I agree with that – I used to watch it religiously in the mornings, but when it became apparent that even they had consumed the Kool Aide, I gave them up.

    Maybe they, like others, are starting to come out from the haze and realizing they were had by all of Obama’s “lofty” rhetoric.  Hey, it could happen, right?

    I admit, it is many moons late, and a gazillion dollars short, but it’s a start. 

    But I hear you – I do, and I’m cynical abt this, too.  I do love that Obama is being called out on his campaign lies, though.

  • xathnealon

    Brian Lamb is a little late – C-span has been as biased as the rest of the MSM from the time Clinton was running against the One. Where was Brian Lamb after 9/12 and before the House and Senate was bribing, intimidating and calling secret meetings before the votes. Now he wants to act as if C-span is neutral and unbiased – too too late Mr. Lamb, C-span is as untrustworthy as MSNBC.

  • Obama: Dubya 2 Electric Boogaloo

    In some ways, it’s a nice way of saying “we’re actually full of shit and will say anything to get elected”. WTG Pelosi!!

  • I’m a Linda too

    looks like my unintelligable transcribing is wrong,

    “There Were A Number Of Things He Was For On The Campaign Trail’

    …and I still agree with THAT :)

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Great links, Doc99 – thank you.  The one on Stern is mighty telling indeed.

    I gues the DailyKos people don’t care abt Obama’s allowing lobbyists to run the country either, right?

    And the lying thing – I am not kidding abt van Hollen – his voice was cracking and going up into upper registers – does he/they REALLY think we are that stupid?

    I know, I know – just go look at DK…

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Amen, sister – you got that right.

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Are you kidding me???  What a crock – they most certainly did. 

    And now they are saying at Kos that they don’t care abt transparency??  So they are okay with a dictatorship???  WTH?

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    YES – exactly, jbjd – she is tryin gto re-define it.  I have to admit, when she started being all giggly and goofy, it was hard to listen to her anymore.  I was just disgusted – and disgusted with myself for EVER thinking it was a great thing that she became the Speaker of the House.  What an embarrassment she is with her behavior.

    Sorry – back to your point – she is trying to re-define the term so the Dems can do some more smoke/mirrors crapola when it serves them down the road…

  • Doc99
  • Doc99

    More transparency on the Stern lobbying issue.
    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/06/video-cnn-looks-at-stern-lobbying-issue/

    Integrity!

  • I’m a Linda too

    These Democrats are embarrassing. They say anything, anything at all, for the moment, to get them out of being accountable and answering.

    Yes, the only thing I can agree with Pelosi, “there’s a number of things you swear on the campaign trail. ha ha ha ”

    And not just Americans, but the world sees you all for the lying sack pos that you are

  • I’m a Linda too

    These Democrats are embarrassing. They say anything, anything at all, for the moment, to get them out of being accountable and answering.

    Yes, the only thing I can agree with Pelosi, “there’s a number of things you swear on the campaign trail. ha ha ha ”

    And not just Americans, but the world sees you all for the lying sack pos that they are

  • I’m a Linda too

    These Democrats are embarrassing.  They say anything, anything at all, for the moment, to get them out of being accountable and answering.

    Yes, the only thing I can agree with Pelosi, “there’s a number of things you swear on the campaign trail.  ha ha ha ”

    And not just Americans, but the world sees you all for the lying sack pos tjat tjeu are.

  • jbjd

    Yes; and later on, after she repeats the talking points that, the reconciled bill will hold insurance companies accountable, she giggles, ‘And then insurance companies will be asking for the public option…’  (In other words, she re-defined the term, “public option,” obviously trying to implant this new definition in our minds; and then, jokingly, uses the term “public option” again but, this time, she uses it in the context it was originally meant to be used.  And she finds her use of this doublespeak so very clever that, she made herself laugh.)

  • Obama: Dubya 2 Electric Boogaloo

    Obamabot consensus at Dailykooks…..”Transparency is overrated”, and “CSPAN didn’t care about broadcasting negotiations when the GOP was in power!”, LOL.

  • PA Caucasian

    CSPAN stands for Cable-Satellite Public Access Network.

    They don’t depend on advertisers to stay on air, therefore they are not terribly concerned about ratings.

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Excellent observation, jbjd – thank you.

    I still don’t know why people like Pelosi’s heads don’t just explode from all of the lying – surely, somewhere deep down inside, she MUST know what she is doing is so wrong…Or maybe I just hope that people cannot lie with such impunity and not have it affect them…

    You are so right abt them not listening to us, and what we need to do to get their attention.

  • Obamasucks

    Obama and the Dems suck but come on. CSPAN is just begging for ratings here. I mean, does anyone think that this administration isn’t going to ram Obamacare down our throats whether the cameras are rolling or not?

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Is that right?  I hope so.  This plan, this late night, closed door, sell your soul kind of bill is NOT in the best interest of Americans.  I do not understand the rush, especially for legislation that will cost so much money (and target the middle class so much).  Why not take the time to do this right the FIRST time around, without all of the pork, without all of the coercion, and with the backing of the people? 

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Retired, that quote is in the above video, right before Van Hollen speaks.  And, it is in the very beginning of THIS one.

    And I could not agree more with your assessment of Congress and what they think of us.

  • jbjd

    R3A, you missed what I think is the best(?) statement, at around the 4–minute, 40-second mark.  NP is asked about the “public option.”  She replied, “I prefer to think of that as the “public’s option,” an option for the public to hold insurance companies accountable…”

    Rep. van Hollen points to the precise problem with allowing the fraudulent election of this President, to stand.  That is, notwithstanding the “unprecedented” attention from the public to this bill (and presumably, the registration of that public of its opposition to that bill, in at least numbers that match the objection refllected in public polling); Congress insists on going forward with this bill.

    They don’t listen to us; they don’t have to.  We should be camping out on the steps on the capitals in those states whose election laws were violated to get BO’s name on the ballot, until the A’sG in those states investigate charges of election fraud.  And for goodness sake, if we don’t KNOW whether the law in our state requires the candidates whose names appear on the ballot, to be eligible for the job, we need to find out!  (I have said, I will compose a citizen complaint for any additional applicable states!)

  • PA Caucasian

    the odds on Intrade are very slim of a Health Care bill passing this spring.

  • Retired

    I was listening to Speaker Pelosi on the radio this morning as I was driving, and heard her mock the entire idea of an Obama ”campaign promises” being kept.  I wish I could’ve caught the venue.  Does anyone have this on video?

    At any rate, you can see from the above clip what the leaders of Congress think of the American people.  Summed up in two words:  Fuck you.