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O'Reilly and Miller Kick Off the Healthcare Reform Summit Spin

Reported by Julie - February 25, 2010 -

The healthcare summit kicked off this morning (2/25/10), the meeting where President Obama basically holds the Republicans' feet to the fire and says, put up or shut up. And, in fact, it appears that's just what President Obama is doing. The Republicans have been running in circles and crying that it's all a trap – they've been obsessed with the set-up of the room, and, I don't know, whether there will be flowers on the table, water served in bottles or in pitchers -- you know, the rational fears of any crazy person forced to sound coherent for a time. But the thing is, they should, reasonably, be fearful of this meeting. The whole country is watching, and, after all, when you've been busy making excuses amidst a chorus of "no," and someone calls your bluff . . . hey, I guess it is a trap of sorts, but of their own making. I don't believe it's President Obama's grand plan to humiliate Republicans (although, if there's a God, that will happen too) or make them look more foolish than they have looked for the past year. But on the O'Reilly Factor last night (2/24/10), O'Reilly asked Dennis Miller if it would be "tombstone, shoot-out, high noon?" As if the Republicans are packing that kind of heat. With video.

Miller had a ready response that blended the Godfather and the Pope and something about smoke and splitting the difference.

"You know Barack Obama's gonna blow so much smoke people are gonna think there's been a new Pope elected, so if I was the Republicans I would just come in, take my time up front and lay down five basic things . . . say we only need a minute, lay down the five basics and say we yield our time back to you, Mr. President . . . and he'll do all the smoke and mirrors, the obfuscation . . . here are the five things . . . cross state borders, tort reform, nurses all have to wear yoga pants, whatever you want to say . . . really simple, you're not gonna keep up with Barack Obama in a speech, you know that . . . I'd keep it to name, rank and serial number if I was the Republicans."

O'Reilly had an additional agenda last night, though, in addition to whipping the right into a frenzy, via Dennis Miller, over this healthcare summit – he was back on that whole “taxed to death” thing, and he made a claim about President Obama taxing retirement money that appears to have been taken directly from an e-mail that was circulated in April 2008, a claim which was completely debunked by Factcheck.org, as well as snopes.com. The e-mail outlines a slew of items that President Obama will tax, including “new tax on retirement accounts.” (It's worth noting, according to a Chicago tax attorney, that retirement income is already taxed as ordinary income, but that there are no proposed new taxes and, in fact, there have been tax reductions.) But, as factcheck.org pointed out, “Alert readers may already have noted that this chain e-mail does not provide links to any of Obama's actual proposals or cite any sources for the claims it makes.” In fact, factcheck.org noted that a version of the e-mail was circulated by “a financial professional, Robert Jenkins, a vice president of Wachovia Securities in St. Louis, Mo.” Wachovia later scrambled to distance itself from this guy, and issued an apology.

O'Reilly the other night seemed highly offended that Bill Maher, among others, made statements that we're a nation of idiots. Can you explain to me why, given that, O'Reilly relies on that very thing to push his own agenda?