Thursday, February 23, 2017


Oooh, my back!  (I have spinal stenosis.)

Through a heroic effort, I made it into the meeting and found a front row seat. Bill Cassidy arrived on time, and talked and talked, yada, yada, yada, running out the time of a one hour meeting. Here are my notes as I wrote them as I sat and listened.

President O'Trump (He really said that) will spend 1 trillion on infrastructure
Trump will bring back energy jobs
Trump will bring back manufacturing jobs
The Dakota pipeline is good and will create many jobs in the US
He's talking too much. Get to the questions
Cassidy talks too damned much
Running out the clock, blah, blah, blah

I sat patiently for a good while and was tired of wasting my time, so I started waving my hand. Cassidy paid no attention, so I shouted out, "Senator, you're talking too much. Listen to the people. Also, I have a question."

He didn't get to me, and people were pointing to me and telling him to answer my question. He finally turned to me, and I asked:

"Will you guarantee that your health care plan or whatever Republican health care plan you sign will cover everyone who is covered by Obamacare?   You are a doctor, and you took an oath to do no harm."

He answered something like nearly everyone. I said, "That's no guarantee."

Then he said, "What if people don't want coverage?"

I said, "That's not what I mean, and you know it."

Cassidy never got to the written questions that were handed in, so I'm glad I shouted out and didn't wait. He left promptly after an hour with a number of people still waiting to ask questions.

Among the few questions and comments that time permitted, one man spoke of how Medicaid expansion helps hospitals that had to take losses in the emergency room before the program was implemented.

In answer to a question that I could not hear, Cassidy said, among other things, that Jeff Sessions is an honorable man.  [Edit:] The question was from a woman wanted to know if Trump was Putin's puppet.  Jeff Sessions served on a Trump campaign committee, and, as Attorney General, prosecutors will be reporting to him during the inquiries looking into contacts between the campaign and Russia. Honorable or not, many think Sessions should recuse himself from inquiries into the campaign in which he had a role.

Another asked about an independent investigation of Trump's Russian connections. Cassidy said he's very concerned about Russia, but he did not state he would support an independent, bipartisan investigation.

Then, a woman asked about Trump's appointment of Pruitt as administrator of the EPA, who is on record as wanting to destroy the EPA. Cassidy said the EPA will not be destroyed.

The crowd was not a rowdy bunch, but they were clearly annoyed by Cassidy hogging the time to speak.  I'm not good at crowd counting, but I'd guess there were a couple of hundred people sitting and standing. The people at the meeting appeared to be local people or from places nearby, and they asked intelligent and thoughtful questions. I doubt anyone in the crowd was bused in.

I was briefly interviewed by the local paper, the Comet Courier, Fox 8, the New Orleans local station, and The Nation magazine.

Update: Here's the link to my minute of fame with Bill Cassidy from Fox 8 news in New Orleans.


Rmj said...

Hmmm...if people "don't want coverage," we'll let them die in a ditch rather than care for them in an ER, shall we? No, somehow I don't think we will. Then again, I don't want to pay taxes, so why am I forced to do so? How is paying the salary of idiots like that doing me any good?

But you know, the system doesn't work that way. So maybe, instead of forcing people to buy insurance coverage, we just cover everyone and eliminate the problem of people making the ER their first choice for healthcare?

Nah! That would make too much sense!

June Butler said...

Cassidy said he could not give a God guarantee for health care coverage. Medicare for all would be more God-like than anything the GOP will come up with.

Russ Manley said...

You go, June! Why am I not surprised you broke into the Senator's self-serving monologue? The room must have been filled with the powerful odor of mendacity!

Good work, sister, calling him to account. The more this happens the more the pols will actually listen to the people.

June Butler said...

Thanks, Russ. I have a low tolerance for bullshit, and I and the rest of the folks there had waited long enough. Even if I'd had no chance to ask my question, it was time for Cassidy to give the people who were there time to speak.

miki pfeffer said...

Good job, June! Mendacity was definitely in the room, so was evasiveness, circuitousness, and slow-walking. A practiced performance that left most of us unsatisfied. I hope his staff at least hands him the pink cards we asked our questions on. I write him regularly. I told him he was a "good dancer" on this one.

June Butler said...

Ha ha. Cassidy did not want me to ask my question, but the people prevailed.

Cheryl Mack said...

Grandmere, I believe you are pictured on the front page at's article about Cassidy's town hall meeting. If so, you're now officially famous! :-) Cheryl

Cheryl Mack said...

The article is about GOP plans to dismantle ObamaCare.

June Butler said...

The woman certainly looks like me. :-) Thanks, Cheryl.

Russ Manley said...

BTW June I just now realized that when I posted my comment yesterday it didn't ask me to join Google+ - somebody must have fixed the system, yay!

June Butler said...

Russ, I hadn't noticed, either. I didn't change anything, but I'm pleased someone fixed the system, or it fixed itself in through the mysterious ways of technology.

Russ Manley said...

PS I just gave you another second or two of fame:

Wish I could frame that picture and send it to you!

June Butler said...

Thanks. I'll try not to let my fame go to my head. ;-)

The Thought Criminal said...

I'm going to link to this if I may.

June Butler said...

By all means, feel free to link. Thanks, TTC.