Cohen’s Report

Another Saturday brings the latest email “selfie” from our Ninth District Congressional Representative.

I say “selfie” because he makes a picture of himself in the most flattering light. Politicians tend to do this, but Steve Cohen does it so unabashedly it’s an embarrassment. It’s about him and his heroic deeds in D.C. and here. You have to be a diehard liberal Democrat to be so outrageously self promoting. He’s that, all right.

Today’s hymn to himself begins with Obamacare. The Democrats keep on pushing it like it was the cure for cancer. Cohen says

If you do not have health insurance coverage, you may be eligible to save money on your health care premiums in the Marketplace.

On Monday evening, I hosted a telephone town hall with Anton Gunn, the Director of External Affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to answer questions about the law and discuss the law’s benefits. During the hour-long town hall, more than 7,000 citizens of the Ninth District participated and I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with them.

Note the “may” in his sentence. Even he realizes it will raise your costs. Cohen hosted a telephone town hall because he is afraid of doing it in person, I think. He said he dealt with more than 7,000 Memphians? How is that possible for two men, a phone and an hour to do it in? He didn’t say they were all agreeable.

He says,

Many of the Marketplace website issues that have been in the news recently have been resolved. However, the Marketplace website is only one tool that you can use to sign up for coverage. If you are having trouble accessing the website, please do not hesitate to call the Marketplace Hotline at 1-800-318-2596 or visit Seedco Mid-South for in-person help. Seedco is located at 22 North Front Street (Suite 900), and they can be reached by phone at 901-528-8341.

Many more website issues have not been resolved and you are risking your information security in signing up. He refers us to the hotline, but that probably refers you to the website. It’s a dodge. Notice the Seedco reference. They are like ACORN. They are an uber liberal group that comes invades cities like a cancer cell, metastasizing and taking over our lives without being elected or requested by citizens.

Having solved our health problems, Cohen moves on to reflected glory.

As a fighter for both human and civil rights, no one was greater than Nelson Mandela. Much like Martin Luther King Jr., President Mandela had a dream for his people that fundamentally changed society for the better. And much like Abraham Lincoln, President Mandela understood the virtue of reconciliation and the value of making peace with one’s enemies for the betterment of their country. This understanding helped unify a divided people and heal the wounds of apartheid.

Wow! Mandela was better than Washington, Lincoln, King and Gandhi. Maybe Jesus, too?

Cohen continues:

After hearing of his passing, I looked at the statue of President Mandela that sits on my Capitol Hill desk with great sadness, but with many fond memories of the humility, self-sacrifice, and enduring warmth shown by one of the world’s most revered and respected people…

In the 1980’s, I joined with my former Democratic colleagues in the Tennessee State Senate in voting for sanctions against the apartheid regime. As I reflect on Mandela’s passing, I am especially proud of that vote. He was such a great leader and I remain deeply affected by his steadfast moral rectitude. I also recall his visit to Memphis in 2000, where he was awarded the National Civil Rights Museum’s International Freedom Award. As President Obama eloquently said last night: “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us—he belongs to the ages.”

Like President Obama, Cohen manages to upstage Mandela with comments about himself. Contrast that with how infrequently President Bush used “I.”

But wait! There’s more!

Today, I joined my friend Representative Keith Ellison from Minnesota in a fast to show our support for comprehensive immigration reform. Bend the Arc—a Jewish group—asked me to participate today and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee asked Congressman Ellison. You can read about our fast in today’s Commercial Appeal. Representative Ellison and I are both members of the 2006 freshman class in Congress, and we often work together to further the cause of justice. When we do, it reflects the racial progress this country has made: his Minnesota district is mostly white though he is not, and mine is mostly African American though I am not.

No comment needed here.

We find out that he has managed to squeeze a little fun out of his life devoted to working for the people. And, he got to name drop! He includes an actual selfie of him with David in this missive.

Yesterday evening, I attended a Hannukah party hosted by President Obama at the White House. While there, I met Larry David (the head writer of Seinfeld and creator of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm). I mentioned to him that of all the events I’ve been to at the White House, I was struggling to think of a Jewish person that was as revered by the people attending the event—only Sandy Koufax came to mind. He told me that was the nicest compliment he’d ever received. I’ve long been a fan of his and it was very nice to meet him.”

Wait, I almost forgot to include the obligatory slam at Republicans:

“This current Congress has so far been the least productive in history, but I hope that after the shutdown battles of the last few months, we can all come together to deal with the issues before us. We should pass a budget that averts yet another shutdown early next year, roll back the cuts that are hurting the middle class, and extend unemployment benefits and the food stamp program so that the least among us can live with dignity.”

I, for one, am glad they have been unproductive. I trumpet that! It means they haven’t been able to regulate, curtail or tax us to the extent they desire. Good for the GOP!

Cohen talks to his constituency with his faux middle class reference. Of course he wants the unemployed to enjoy benefits forever, if it resounds to his being reelected, and the poor to stay poor and dependent on food stamps – and him – too. I hardly call that living with dignity.

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