THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cantor & Nazism; H1N1 & Wall Street; Billionaires for Wealthcare

I spent the day on the Hill interviewing Representatives about Wall Street and how they were able to jump the line to get the H1N1 flu vaccine before pregnant women and children.

Yesterday, I spent the day with the Billionaires for Wealthcare and witnessed some truly scary moments.

When I got home today, I saw TPM reporting that Eric Cantor has come out against Rush Limbaugh's Nazi rhetoric. I was surprised. When I asked him about it several weeks ago, Cantor (and John Boehner, and Virginia Foxx and Michelle Bachmann and Jean Schmidt and scores of other republicans) remained silent.

Congress and Wall Street jumping the line to get the H1N1 flu vaccine

On November 5, 2009, we learned that Goldmann Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan and other elite banks on Wall Street received hundreds - maybe thousands - of doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine before at risk groups like pregnant women, young children, school and hospital workers. After receiving billions in bailouts and bonuses (after running our economy into a ditch), these privileged executives scored a vaccine that is in short supply.

When kids contract H1N1, there's a not-insignificant chance that they will die. When middle-aged executives contract the H1N1 flu, they get a little under the weather. You've got to be a real bastard to jump the line.

Rep. Minnick is probably the most conservative Democratic Congressman. And he's not happy with the banksters.

Rep. King is from Long Island. He counts a lot of Wall Street workers as constituents. And he's not happy with the banksters.

Rep. Shaddegg is a leader amongst Republicans. And he's not happy with the banksters.

Rep. Defazio is consistently progressive in his politics and he's seeing eye-to-eye with Blue Dogs, Republicans and virtually every other Representative I spoke with today. And he's not happy with the banksters.

Rep. Bright is a business-friendly blue-dog Democrat through and through. And he's not happy with the banksters.

When you've got conservative fire-breathers like John Shaddegg singing in harmony with Long Island Republicans like Peter King and red-state blue dogs like Bobby Bright and Walt Minnick... When liberal Democrats like Peter Defazio are humming along too... well... that doesn't happen too often.

Maybe Wall Street's act is finally starting to wear thin.

Walt Minnick Video
Bobby Bright Video
John Shaddegg Video
Peter Defazio Video
Peter King Video

Billionaires for Wealthcare

As most of you probably know, yesterday Representatives Michele Bachmann, Steve King and the rest of the Republican caucus, along with Mark Levin and several other conservative celebrities rallied their base against health care reform on the Capitol steps.

The Billionaires for Wealthcare showed up; I followed them around for a couple of hours.

These folks have always made me laugh. Their shtick is creative and fun. what I hadn't thought about is how dicey (meaning borderline - or actually - dangerous) their work can be. In fact, when they finally broke character and went home for the day, I spoke with one of the troupe. He told me that at one of their outings, he watched one of his performers take a punch to the face.

I put this video together to show you what it can be like in the lion's den...

Eric Cantor -- finally -- says something tepid about Rush Limbaugh's Health Care/Nazism comparisons

From TalkingPointsMemo.com:

"Do I condone the mention of Hitler in any discussion about politics?" said Cantor, who is the only Jewish Republican in Congress. "No, I don't, because obviously that is something that conjures up images that frankly are not, I think, very helpful."

Video from the not-so-wayback machine...