Monday, October 15th, Graeme's parents appeared on Keith Olbermann's program on MSNBC, 'Countdown.'
First - look at that face to the left.
As his mother points out in the video below, Graeme couldn't eat, couldn't talk, couldn't walk, couldn't sit up, could not hold his head up, could not swallow, and without CHIP he, most likely, would not be where he is today. And in relation to his sister, the prognosis was even more grim.
As the New York Times pointed out last week, Mitch McConnell's office was "poised to take on" this undeserving family.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, who were gearing up to use Graeme as evidence that Democrats have overexpanded the health program to include families wealthy enough to afford private insurance, have backed off.
An aide to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, expressed relief that his office had not issued a press release criticizing the Frosts.
But what he also didn't divulge was this, " Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's spokesman acknowledged yesterday that he alerted reporters last week to questions bloggers raised about the financial circumstances of a 12-year-old boy Democrats had used to urge passage of an expanded children's health insurance program.
But Don Stewart, the Kentucky Republican's communications director, said he also wrote a follow-up e-mail later the same day that said a blogger he respected had determined that there was no story and that "the family is legit."
Why Mitch McConnell's interest? Because ole' Mitch has an alternative bill, and has labeled this particular bipartisan health care for kids as the first step towards providing universal health care in this country as it expands the income limits to include those caught being poverty-stricken and those who can afford private health care. Those who too poor to buy insurance, but too well off to qualify for Medicaid.
However as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman (Matthew Miller) put it: "spreading false rumors about a 12-year-old boy is despicable for any reason." And Mr. Miller is right on here as well, "No matter how McConnell's office spins it now, the e-mail makes clear that they were part of the campaign to smear a child who had the nerve to stand up and say children's health insurance shouldn't be cut."
Last night, Keith Olbermann had Graeme's parents on to discuss their coverage under S-CHIP in Maryland; they live in Baltimore. They also discuss the fallout from their decision to allow Graeme to be the face of what this legislation is about when he gave the Democratic response to Bush's Saturday radio address on September 29th. Graeme's father points out that "one of nails in the coffin" in his business folding was the exorbitant cost of the family's health insurance costs.
Then....today, there's this
The Louisville Courier-Journal has a story this morning on Mitch McConnell's statements to WHAS in Louisville. And just look at that headline - whoo-boy!
McConnell knew of e-mails about boy. Below is his flat out denial.
Now one of the most telling things I noticed was this below from McConnell's communications director, Don Stewart, who sent a 'follow-up e-mail last night (apparently, Oct 16th - Tuesday) to the Courier-Journal, in which he reiterated that McConnell's answer to WHAS that "there was 'no involvement whatsoever' " was accurate."
"The blogs started this story on Oct. 6 -- two days before I pointed it out and spiked it. This story started and ended in the blogs," Stewart wrote. "I told reporters there was 'no story.' I told Sen. McConnell that I spiked the story. That is 100 percent accurate."
Sooo, it's the fault of those damned blogs. But wait, Donnie - didn't you leak the info to 'a blog?' (Red State come to mind?) I'm sure there are some 'out there' and specifically in the U.S. Congress who undoubtedly think blogs and more specifically, liberal blogs, are a blight on the dissemination of their lies and tactics. Blogs play as important a role as pamphlets did in the time of the American Revolution. Blogs are dangerous.
Now - in the event you think your lying ears and eyes might be deceiving you when you see Mitch's lips moving, there's a transcript from the C-Journal's page - down just a bit, to the right.
Here is a transcript of WHAS reporter Mark Hebert's interview Friday with Sen. Mitch McConnell:
Hebert: Was there an indication that your office was trying to push reporters to go dig into this 12-year-old's background?
Hebert: Then what was the deal with the e-mail?
Hebert: What was the deal with the e-mail from your staffer?
McConnell: There was no involvement whatsoever.
Hebert: From your staff?
Over at The Gavel, there's a number of others who reveal how they were helped by the version of the CHIP program in their varied states. Being poor is not an easy task.
Oh and a bit of a reminder, Mitch is married to Elaine Chao, the Department of Labor secretary responsible for this.