The Stock Market and extremists seem to have become the leading indicators of our nation’s future. Lobbyists are waging a successful assault on health-care reform while wild-eyed elders and others with a grudge arrive at political meet-ups to engage in over-wrought diversions far-removed from the topics at hand. Motivated by personal fears and desires, they are invigorated by fire-breathing, right-wing fanatics and supported by every conceivable fringe element.

It was telling that, on a day when the market slowed, four of the largest health-care insurers – – Cigna, United Health, Aetna and Wellpoint – – showed significant gains on hints that the “public option” might be dropped from health-care legislation. Yet, despite that up-tick on Wall Street and Republican delight at the possible collapse of the president’s agenda, the very-elder statesman, Senator Grassley, said if he can’t get enough members of his party to support reform of any kind, he won’t sign on either. That statement proves if further proof were needed, that what the minority has in mind is simply to thwart anything the president proposes no matter what it is.