More or less as expected. Not much substance and lots of style.

Early on, Congressman Deal seemed to blame healthcare reform for a $17 trillion dollar deficit but he used enough weasel words to avoid putting all the blame on healthcare for a projected deficit.

Congressman Gingrey, who now has earned a nickname as “Newt,” tried to do the heavy lifting for Deal. Deal presented no slides, handouts, or substance. The Honorable Nathan Deal used a wonderful prop. He brought a three ring binder with a copy of one proposed reform bill. He never opened it and it was just there for show.

If you haven’t been following the reform movement, we have two bills working through Congress, H.R. 3400 and H.R. 3200. I don’t know which bill Deal brought with him.

Nor, do I know which pages he didn’t read. I wanted to ask him but my Southern Manners prevented me from asking for facts.

“Newt” Gingrey didn’t provide any reference materials or links to reports. He did rehash the partisan talking points about “Cap and Trade.”

I have no clue why voters needed a lesson in global warming during a healthcare meeting. I guess I needed to know my utility bill is going up $300 a month, or there abouts. It’s just more Democrat bashing that wasn’t needed with so many giving their time to learn about healthcare.

“Newt” Gingrey used the caduceus symbol in his slide and hide show. That symbol is Greek and shows two snakes twining around a staff. I don’t know what place this pagan symbol had in the presentation.

Maybe “NEWT” thought it looked enough like the rod of Asclepius that people would confuse the two.

The rod of Ascepius is associated with medicine but the caduceus is the symbol of the god Hermes, with inappropriate connotations of theft, deception, and death.


Since “NEWT” is no longer a doctor, maybe the linkage to deception wasn’t just ironic.

The rod of Asclepius is used by the AMA and other world wide medical agencies.

The Gainesville Police Chief, Chief Hooper, was there. His people were polite and well positioned.

I must complain about only one thing. Twice I saw the officers speak to an audience member about proper behavior. His manner looked very professional and respective. No complaint with that. However, each time another officer blocked the Channel 5 camera from recording the exchange.

I know that might lead to some finger pointing about a strong police presence not being needed. The individual left the forum and did not at anytime say he was asked to leave or forced to leave. Channel 5 did interview him outside the Civic Center. The handicapped gentleman had no complaints towards the officers. Chief Hooper seemed aware of the exchange and fully informed when I spoke with him.

Overall, I found nothing new in the presentations. The crowd was respectful and attentive. Nothing like the train wrecks we’ve all heard about.

If only we didn’t waste time talking about other bills that have nothing to do with healthcare, and less talk about amendments that were never propsed in Congress.