From www.post-gazette.com

See video here.

In-your-face filmmaker Michael Moore came to Pittsburgh instead of Hollywood last night to show his latest rabble-rousing documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story” to its first American audience, a spirited group of union workers energized by the AFL-CIO convention Downtown.

A last-minute change of plans and an invitation from the convention’s organizers brought Mr. Moore to the city, where he emboldened a crowd with stories of union struggles and victories, then led what he called a “march in support of single-payer health care” down Penn Avenue.

The crowd of 1,400, by organizers’ estimates, then filed into the Byham Theater, where Mr. Moore’s populist film elicited more hoots and cheers.

Critics have said “Capitalism” stands to be the Oscar-winner’s most controversial documentary yet; it not only denounces capitalism as a flawed economic system but also as one that is morally evil.

The Pittsburgh audience groaned when images of Ronald Reagan and corporate leaders flashed on the screen and cooed during the documentary’s darker moments, like when a tearful woman talks about losing to foreclosure the home she helped design and build on her family’s farm.

Speaking at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center before the premiere, Mr. Moore touched on a range of issues and lamented an economic system that, he said, puts the interests of a rich and powerful few above just about everyone else.

“The richest 1 percent have more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined,” Mr. Moore shouted.

“Take it away from them!” the crowd yelled back.

“We have legalized greed,” Mr. Moore said. “Our laws say a company has a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders to maximize profits, and if they don’t do that, charges can be brought against them.”

In the health care insurance industry, Mr. Moore said, a profit is made by denying benefits and care.

Mr. Moore also encouraged the crowd to stand behind President Barack Obama in his fight to reform the nation’s health care system, saying he hoped “President Obama can be the FDR of the 21st Century.”

“I don’t see us on the nightly news, I don’t see us packing the town hall meetings,” he said. “I see Barack Obama on his own. Who’s got his back?”

“We do!” the crowd cheered.

Mr. Moore then led rallyers, who waved signs and chanted slogans — “hey, hey, ho, ho, insurance companies have got to go,” — down Penn Avenue, as patio diners and police officers looked on.

“There’s so many workers here struggling,” said Leslie Curtis, of the California Nurses Association, who yelled into a megaphone during the march. “The labor unions really feel this single-payer message.”

Mr. Moore’s trip came a week before world and economic leaders will gather here for the G-20 summit; he said he might return during the summit, too, perhaps for another showing.

5 Comments

  1. beverly on September 15, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Michael Moore’s credibility is kaput. He talks a good game but screws it up by supporting the same corporatist politicians whom he skewers in his movies.

    Moore tells the crowd to support Obama’s fight to reform healthcare. Obama’s deform, er, reform plans are scarily similar to the failed Massachusetts health care model that even reactionary Mitt Romney is now criticizing. Employer mandates keep in place the biggest problem in US health care – having to be employed in a job that offers a good insurance plan that pays most or all of the premiums. Requiring citizens to buy health insurance leads to low and modest income folks buying the cheapest plan – cheap plans have high deductibles and cover very little. Some modest income families will make too much to qualify for the public option if there is one so they will still be up shit creek. Penalizing folks for not buying insurance will as usual screw over the lower income people whose paychecks are stretched to the max already. Further, using tax dollars to subsidize purchase of private insurance is a boon for insurance companies but a bust for tax payers – we’ll still have millions of people uninsured and using the emergency rooms as last resort health care which will increase premiums for everyone. Further still, Obamacare won’t even kick in until after the 2012 elections and will cover far fewer people than was initially touted. Why? LBJ put Medicare in place in the 60s in less than a year – without computers and fancy technology. Perhaps, Obama is protecting his re-election chances by not rolling out his sham, er, plan until after 2012?

    If Moore was more than just a fat ball of hot air, he’d be telling his fans to demand Obama and Congress vote yea for HR 676 – Medicare for All. Medicare has proven since the 60s to provide quality care in a cost effective manner. Insurance companies could still stay in business offering long term care, nursing care, accidental death, etc. In addition, Moore would take his cameras to the White House lawn to ask Obama why single payer advocates are being excluded from his health care meetings and from the debate in general – especially since Obama said all options were on the table. Why did Obama stand by and allow Max Baccus to arrest single payer advocates who tried to ask questions during his congressional hearings? Most important question to ask Obama is why do insurance and drug industry power brokers have the most seats at his reform meeting/summit tables?

    Instead of walking the walk, Moore just talks the talk. He is so far up Obama’s butt he can’t see daylight. Spare me his new movie lamblasting the evil capitalists when he continually sucks up to the same capitalists and warmongers he calls out on the big screen.



    • John Barker on September 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm

      Michael Moore isn’t some superhuman who can singlehandedly revolutionize healthcare reform. He probably couldn’t get within 5 miles of the white house lawn. He can only try to rally the troops with what he does best as he did in Pittsburg. It’s up to the troops to revolt, march on Washington, and let Congress and the President know where we stand on healthcare. Where were the troops this past week when “tens of thousands” of stupids marched to the tune of Dick Armey’s Freedom Works band and cried that insurance companies wouldn’t make a profit if healthcare reform was enacted? Give Michael Moore credit for trying, the task is mon-u-mental, every positive voice and effort is critical.

      One of the great aspects of HR676 is that insurance companies would have no role in healthcare and that includes the 20% stranglehold they have on Medicare. HR676 covers all necessary care including long term care and I assume that means nursing home care. Why should critically necessary long term care be left in the hands of insurance companies and other healthcare profiteers!!!!? No–No a thousand times no. Insurance companies will survive on automobile, property and liability insurance etc. where they can make a profit because the insured seldom makes a claim. Healthcare is not in the same league–eventually the insured makes a claim perhaps multiple claims–particularly as they age. Healthcare is the province of HR676.



    • mythmara on September 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm

      How is MM pandering to the corporations? Let’s drop the descriptive monikers (Obamacare) and talk about the end results. Fair price, no pre-existing condition issues and a non-profit option with teeth (not co-ops). How about, as a phase one, open Medicare to the 50 – 65 group. I for one am working only to qualify for health care. If I could retire another could have my job, thus lowering the unemployment rate.



  2. Allen Lomax on September 19, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    The President has millions of American’s ready and willing to cover his back. The millions of Americans would just like a leader’s back to cover. Does Moore know the difference between “single payer” and “public option”? Further confusing real health care payer reform with the White House’s efforts to maintain the status quo, is going to do nothing but help us maintain the status quo. Thanks for nothing, Mr. Moore.



  3. john on September 21, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    WE need a end to private medical insurance.You cant trust them as far as you can throw a dumbell.its to bad people have given up on hr676 How about a multimillion man march on washington.Ill buy lunch