Here are some photos (mostly crazy and/or wildly offensive) by anti-health-insurance-reform protesters at the Reston health care town hall meeting with Howard Dean and Jim Moran. The photos are courtesy of Brian Devine, who notes that there are "Plenty of Obama/hitler signs for everyone" and also describes a bizarre scene, "White guy in Obama mask whipping two old people w 'tax payer' signs on them, one saying 'please don't whip me masta' - wow, will get pic." Brian also comments that "BobMcdonnell's field staff are idiots for putting up so many yard signs here - makes it look like he's with the protestors."
P.S. Click on images to "embiggen."
UPDATE: Oliver Willis retweets, "Teabaggers have fliers with Obama in noose! Welxome to Reston! // but remember it isnt racist at all, no sir!" Bryan Scrafford tweets, "Lady walking around with signs in support of public option getting big cheers at townhall" and "cheers of 'what do we want - healthcare - when do we want - now.'" Bryan addsd, "It's amazing how the possitive energy comes from supporters of health care but most opponents here are full of hatred." So true.
UPDATE 7:10 pm: Bryan Scrafford tweets, "Jim Moran and Howard Dean just walked in. Yes we can chants are covering up boo's." Jane Hamsher tweets, "At Moran/Dean event w Ben Tribbett of @notlarrysabato. Freaks out in force." Jane adds, "Want to ask all the oldsters waving socialism signs at Moran/Dean if they will resign from Medicare."
UPDATE 7:16 pm: Jane Hamsher tweets, "Woman wearing "don't tread on me" flag as a sarong. Yes, it's going to be that kind of evening." Ha. Brian Devine tweets, "So many outbursts its insane." Bryan Scrafford tweets, "Anti-reform folks are even booing Rabbi who says that "we could each be agents of healing." Jane Hamsher notes, "Jim Moran is in a D+16 district. Let's say the crowd does not represents the district." She adds, "Death panel freaks booing Rabbi at event who says "healthcare system needs help." Miles Grant tweets, "wow, booing the prayer? teh crazies are worse than philadelpia eagles fans." Now THAT is bad! :) Dominic Gabello tweets, "Gym holds 2500 or so - packed house and still lines outside at Moran/Dean health care forum."
UPDATE 7:21 pm: Jane Hamsher tweets, "Moran asks everyone to be civil; death panel freaks were insulted." Also, "Let's just say the crowd feels strongly on both sides about Howard Dean." Jim Geraghty tweets, "Jesus H. Christ, people, don't heckle the Rabbi." Bryan Scrafford tweets, "In all my years of organizing in Virginia I've never heard so much hatred as I'm hearing from anti-reform folks." Brian Devine tweets, "Jim_Moran trying to give overview - too wonkish for the protestors to let him go 2 mins w/o shouting." Jane Hamsher tweets, "Moran says public plan is like medicare. Old people hissing. Really, where's the clipboard, let's close the budget gap and get em to quit."
UPDATE 7:28 pm: Bryan Scrafford tweets, "Jim Moran pointed out that 800 families went bankrupt due to medical bills in the 8th District last year" and "I think Jim Moran is doing a good job of not letting protesters disrupt the townhall." [Note: I'm trying to connect to C-Span coverage of this but having trouble...] Jane Hamsher tweets, "Death panel freaks seem to be math challenged. Boo when Moran says it already costs to cover the uninsured." Good point.
UPDATE 7:37 pm: Hilarious (but true) tweet by the awesome Oliver Willis, "if anyone was curious how roman crowds in coliseum reacted when christians were fed to lions, just check out teabaggers at these town halls." LOL. Jane Hamsher tweets, "'Seniors will pay 50% less in out of pocket drug costs.' Gets a big round of applause. Anti-socialism oldsters look confused." Hahahaha.
UPDATE 7:45 pm: Jane Hamsher tweets, "Outside, am told a guy in a Cato tshirt just punched a guy in an Obama tshirt." Bryan Scrafford makes an excellent point, "Why do people come to these meetings if they're going to scream so much that they can't hear what's being said?" Jane Hamsher tweets, "'Iraq war never paid for' -- booed by death panel freaks. Okay now we know they're Bushies, not libertarians" and "Moran to address myths. Most of the freaks will lose their entire act if he says he'll accept the same health care they will get."
UPDATE 7:54 pm: Jane Hamsher tweets, "Here we go: "Members of congress have same insurance as all public employees." Lemme finish it for you Jim -- YOU DUMBSHITS." and "'Insuance companies hold the power' -- applause. "They are run by good people" -- silence." and "Moran could have the entire crowd behind him if he wailed on the insurance companies."
UPDATE 8:01 pm: Jane Hamsher tweets, "Moran looking like he's had enough of the freaks. Mad enough to take the pledge & get @terry_mcauliffe fundraiser? Maybe." Crewof42 tweets, "Rep Jim Moran makes it to ONE full hour without taking a question. Must be a health care town hall record. Impressive. Still talking..." Ha, I've seen Jim Moran speak many times and bet he could go for 24 hours without stopping, easy.
UPDATE 8:04 pm: Jeremy Koulish is the guy who was punched in the face by a "man with Cato Institute shirt." Another hilarious tweet, this time by Jane Hamsher, "Moran trying to explain electronic payments to wackdoodles is like a scene from 'quest for fire.'"
UPDATE 8:07 pm: Watching on C-Span (finally), Jim Moran introducing Howard Dean to mix of cheers and boos. Ha, "the last time I was in front of a crowd this size it was me who was doing the screaming, now it's you doing the screaming." These people are rude, crude and obnoxious. Jim Moran yells at the disruptive jerks, says they're not from the 8th district, they really don't belong here, "and I'm going to ask them to leave." The freaks start chanting, "We won't be silent! We won't be silent!" Yeah, I think we figured that out. Duh. Jane Hamsher tweets, "Moran: death panel freaks aren't from the 8th district, and I'm going to ask him to leave. Calls out Randall Terry." Moran asks Randall Terry to leave. Then gives him the choice of asking the first question. Apparently, Terry's too much of a coward to ask a question, decides he'd rather leave. Loser. Bryan Scrafford tweets, "The guy being kicked out was plunging knives through plastic babies in the parking lot before the meeting." Cuckoo. Cuckoo.
UPDATE 8:17 pm: Howard Dean speaking. Someone yelling, "don't let him speak." Lovely. Jane Hamsher tweets, "Sent @notlarrysabato out with flip camera to follow what happens to Randall Terry. Note to self: make sure liability insurance paid up." Oliver Willis tweets, "ladies and gentlemen, abortion terrorist sympathizer randall terry, locking arms with with teabaggers. the base of the gop!" Great question by Sarah Stott about why people in US are so afraid of change, of a system like in France. Howard Dean says, "change is hard," gives brief history of health care systems in Europe vs. United States. "You never make real changes until the pain of staying the same exceeds the fear of change." Excellent point!
UPDATE 8:23 pm: Jane Hamsher tweets, "Teabaggers go nuts at the mention of the word "France." It's a real lizard brain rodeo in here." Question about coops (and shoutout to Clare McIntyre), Moran says it's not an acceptable compromise to him. There's nothing wrong with them, but they're not a substitute for a public option. Ben Tribbett tweets, "got video of Randall Terry being thrown out. Am I the only one who is going to enjoy that?"
UPDATE 8:27 pm: Big cheer by the wingnuts at question by fellow wingnut with foreign accent about "socialized medicine." Moran answers "yes" to question about whether he'd be willing to accept the "same plan." Whatever. Now some crazy woman pretends to be someone else and starts trying to give a speech. Moran tells her to take her seat ("You're not Miss Appleton" - ha, classic). Go Jim! Question about how Medicare Part D will be affected by health insurance reform. Moran starts talking about "doughnut hole gap." Maybe he's referring to the huge gap in the brains of many of these wingnuts? Yet ANOTHER wingnut asks the SAME QUESTION to Jim Moran. As Oliver Willis tweest, "omg theyve asked this question about moran being on govt plan THREE times. why do they have rocks for brains?" Jane Hamsher adds, "OMG 'you didn't answer the question - are you willing to go under the same plan?' WHAT PART OF YES DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND?"
UPDATE 8:36 pm: Question about the public option from a supporter, can we cover everyone without it. Howard Dean talks about experiences of other countries. Suggests, jokingly, maybe putting the Swiss system into place. Another really stupid question. Howard Dean asks, "all those in favor of getting rid of Medicare raise your hands." Jim Moran says that Medicare isn't actually in the red because we don't use general funds. However, eventually we'll run out of money because cost of medical care going up. But...doesn't know anybody who wants to give up their Medicare. Also, Medicare is must more efficient than private insurance. Oh my god, another moron, this one asking about tort reform. Howard Dean answers, "the more stuff you put in, the more enemies you make...the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everyone else and that's the plain and simple truth." Brian Devine tweets, "I really don't think most of these people who are shouting for it know what tort reform actually is." By the way, Howard Dean's knowledge of healthcare is greater than 1,000 of these wingnuts combined. I don't even think most of them have a clue what Dean is talking about. Ha.
UPDATE 8:47 pm: Person asking about the "quality of the debate," both the screamers and the media. "The government has to be involved if we're going to have universal health care." Specifics about this plan? Dean says there are some parts of health industry that do better for profit, including drug industry. The drug industry reduces your time in the hospital and develops drugs that save lives and money. "Profit in healthcare isn't always bad." "That's why I like President Obama's bill, because it gives you a choice."
UPDATE 8:53 pm: Question about single payer, will Moran support it. He says he can't really say, it depends what the best bill they can get out of the House is. Questioner thanks Moran for doing this, says it's been a tough crowd, but it is "part of your job." Moran - "I'm not complaining, I'm honored to represent this area." Moran - people who don't like the public plan don't have to enroll in it. It will be self supporting. Moran - "We have the largest civil service system that is the least corruptible." "The military is a government program." Most abuses in Iraq were committed by contractors and they ripped off the government (Moran singles out Blackwater and Halliburton). The VA is a "socialized medicine system." Right now we rely too much on private insurance companies, we need some balance.
UPDATE 9:00 pm: Last question from someone opposed to health care reform. "When does reform become more important than cooperation?" Moran says he doesn't understand the question (neither do I). Another question, about chip with medical information on it, "government knowing all of your business from cradle to grave...important we have privacy." Howard Dean thanks everyone on both sides, says this was a "spirited" debate. "This isn't just about health care." Dean points out that it's not great to have your private insurance company or bank to know all your information either. Dean - We want complete records so patients get best care. HIPAA guards your privacy, but it's not sufficient. There's no really good answer to this in this information age. "This is an open question...how are we going to build a wall between government, corporate America and ourselves." "No perfect answer." Moran - Thanks everyone, "this is important." Social Security, civil rights struggle...this is a transformative struggle and should be difficult. It affects everyone, we need to hear from all sides, "it was certainly helpful to me."
UPDATE 9:25 pm: I'm very VERY impressed with both Howard Dean and Jim Moran. Great job, guys!!!