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Stop GOP Hooligans From Stalling Health Reform

Join MoveOn's fight against Joe "You Lie!" Wilson and others who are relying on town hall-style antics to mire progress.

Capping off a summer of cacophonous "town hell" meetings, armed threats and race baiting, South Carolina GOP Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" exclamation was yet another example of the desperate sensationalism that has become the right's raison d'être.

This was not Wilson's first outburst. While working as an aide to Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., Wilson called it "unseemly" when Thurmond's illegitimate, biracial daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, came forward. A staunch admirer of Thurmond's, Wilson accused Washington-Williams of lying (she was not) and told a local newspaper that her only motivation was to tarnish Thurmond's reputation.

"It's a smear on the image that [Thurmond] has as a person of high integrity who has been so loyal to the people of South Carolina," he said. "These are heroes of mine. I really hope these would be heroes to future generations of Americans. (The stories) are ... a way to diminish their contributions to our country's existence." He was later forced to apologize.

He had to apologize for his more recent outburst, too. But that didn't stop him from telling Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that he would "not apologize again." Or from brushing off his inexcusable behavior as simply "a town hall moment."

Instead, he has used his nascent notoriety as a platform to push a paranoid, misinformed agenda -- one that falsely claims undocumented immigrants will be granted extravagant health coverage under Obama's plan.

Despite a wave of campaign contributions sent in disgust to his opponent in next year's election, Wilson snagged upwards of $1 million in donations on Sunday. He is essentially being rewarded for preposterous and inappropriate behavior, and it cannot continue.

It's up to you to halt this momentum. Join MoveOn's fight to put pressure on those who are stalling health reform. No one has the right to postpone meaningful change -- especially not someone who has fought so hard in the past to stop it.

Here are the rest of our Take Action campaigns this week:

II -- Protect Obama 

According to Ronald Kessler, a veteran investigative journalist, President Barack Obama receives around 30 death threats per day -- a 400 percent increase from those delivered to George W. Bush while he was in office. Recently, a Secret Service agent told Kessler, "We have half the number of agents we need, but requests for more agents have fallen on deaf ears at headquarters."

Meanwhile, as "birthers," "deathers" and assault-rifle-strapped town hall protesters seem to be multiplying, one fact has become glaringly clear: Obama is not adequately protected. It's time for us to tell Department of Homeland Security Chairwoman Janet Napolitano that she needs to dedicate adequate attention to this problem. Tell her to give Obama the protection he deserves. 

III -- Audit the Federal Reserve

A year after 2008's monumental financial meltdown, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is still refusing to disclose to Congress where trillions in bailout money went. These are dollars that Congress, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury have taken from American taxpayers and redistributed even as we reel from the recession's effects. Don't we have a right to know where our money went?

Audit the Fed, a self-proclaimed "transpartisan coalition for transparency," has created a petition in which it urges Congress to enact "a full audit of the Fed for the first time in its history" and "provide answers to the American people about how our money is being spent." If you want to know where your money went (and where it still might go), sign up here.

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