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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

HEALTH CARE REFORM AND ASTROTURFING

Over at The Swash Zone, fellow blogger, (O)CT(O)PUS, blogs about a crucial subject: Astroturfing, and the GOP. (O)CT(O)PUS describes astroturfing this way:

"Astroturfing creates the illusion of a popular and spontaneous uprising but, in fact, is a carefully orchestrated and covert operation that utilizes deception, disinformation, scare tactics, fear-mongering, and outright forgery to achieve its goals."

These same tactics were used during the recount in the 2000 election. Squads of GOP goons were hired to disrupt and ultimately stop it.

I highly recommend your reading the post to understand what is really behind the fake outrage and opposition over efforts for health care reform.

And speaking of health care reform, here's another instance of hypocrisy and fake outrage over what the Obama administration is trying to accomplish.

Rachel Maddow exposes the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, for his inane response to the administration's push to get the job done, and shows that he's another "All Hat and No Cattle" sort of politician.

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured. Perry's been in office for 9 years, and though he has the power of the governorship and the GOP majority in the Texas legislature, has done nothing to remedy the disgraceful situation.

Maddow nicely shows the country that Rick Perry, like most of the opposition to health care, is a fraud, and also a form of Asstroturf himself:

51 comments:

Ciao Baby said...

These same tactics
You call it "tactics" is American citizens want to oppose a bill that is so important? Should we just follow the leader like you sheep?
If you are in any way against this awful pan be prepared to be called dumb by the Left. They seem to think two contradictory things about successful people: First, that we are solely motivated by money and thus the government has to reign us in for the “common good” and second, that we will, once “reigned in” and making less money, continue to work as hard as we did prior to our “reigning in”. How they square that circle in their minds is anyone’s guess.

They’ll also so, oh, no one stops working because of a 3% tax hike. No, they don’t, but, when you think about it, how much does the economy usually grow per year? Yep, about 3%. All high-earners need to do is cut back on work by about 3% and “poof” almost all economic growth is gone. Yeah, I know, in Lefty “bottom-up” economics it’s all those people at the bottom who make the economy grow, even though, also in Lefty world, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”, implying that the bottom actually experiences negative growth year over year, on average. Again, I’ll leave it to them to show how they square that circle. I guess we are about to get a first-hand look at testing that hypothesis in the real world.

It’s a whole different argument when “going Galt” doesn’t mean shutting down your business and moving to some canyon, but instead means not taking on that one extra customer or seeing that extra patient or two per week.

How does the Left think we got to the top of the income hierarchy? By being dumb? We weren’t all born with the last name Hilton.
George Soros and the progressive democrats ,sheep , whose messenger will not oblige to his constitutional obligation to prove that he is an American citizen and will say anything the teleprompter tells him to say, has created legislations such as the Stimulus Bill, the Equal Pay Bill, the Global Poverty Bill, the Tobacco Bill, the Climate Change Bill, the upcoming Health Reform Bill and the UN sponsored Bill that will force Americans to pay a global tax, will bring America to a $2 trillion dollars deficit and cause this country to self distrust. How many of you are willing to give up your Medicare coverage if you’re 65 and over? How many of you are willing to give up your Vet coverage if you’re veteran? If you fall into ether of these categories, I’d read the small print in the health care plan if I were you. These are in the government sponsored health plan!
Wake up America before it’s to late if it’s not already!!.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dear Ciao Baby,

I waded through your comment, and this is where I stopped reading what you posted:

"...whose messenger will not oblige to his constitutional obligation to prove that he is an American citizen..."


If you want to write comedy, I suggest you send this to Conan O'Brien or some other comedian.

Also, just a very small suggestion:

Look up the words "reign" and "rein."

I make this suggestion in a friendly way, because I care about the English language.

Ciao Baby said...

Dear Shaw Kenawe
You said...
"I make this suggestion in a friendly way"


I say,... I didn't come here for a English or a spelling or a grammar lesson, I came here to express my opinion!

I wonder if you act that way to Lefties or to other people that AGREE with you? Or your lap Dog The Truth Dude, who miss-spelled almost every second word.
I seriously doubt that.

PS, I say this in a "friendly way'

TAO said...

Its not American citizens who are opposing the healthcare bill and stomping and snorting at these town hall meetings...its paid political hacks, such as yourself, who have taken a page from the Kristalnacht playbook and are running with it...

You just got hired yesterday and you have the talking points down to a science....you have no blog of your own, but if you did it would post, word for word, the same thing that the 75 to 85 other bloggers who work for the same company that you do, post.

For your information the median household income statistics for this country have been stagnant or have flat lined since 1997, which with the factor of inflation does amount to "negative growth year after year...."

If the economy grows 3% year after year then supply and demand would have to stop...not just the high earners working....

It takes two entities to create economic growth.....

We have tested YOUR concept via supply side economics for 20 years and guess what? It didn't work...the economy came down around the ears of the folks that you speak so highly of...

Are you at the top of the income hierachy? Did you do it the same way George Soros did? He worked for his position...

So did that other 'lefty' who goes by the name Warren Buffett....

If you buy the Ayn Rand crap then you should be DEMANDING that seniors and veterans give up their benefits rather than claiming to protect their benefits....

Career advice for you buckwheat...make your comments smaller and only post one point at a time...when you get going for too long your illogic pops up....

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ciao Baby, I noted the differenc between "reign" and "rein" because I'm guessing you will be astroturfing your message on other liberal blogs, and I just wanted you to understand that you were using the wrong word. That's all.

If you want to "express your opinion," at least get your words right so we'll know what that opinion is.

We all make mistakes.

Ciao Baby said...

TAO said...
"Its not American citizens who are opposing the healthcare bill and stomping and snorting at these town hall meetings...its paid political hacks, such as yourself, who have taken a page from the Kristalnacht playbook and are running with it.."



Heck, I thought that you lefties could do a better job than that.

That buffoon hero of yours in the While House is making so many mistakes that it's a wonder he has any rating at all. But as we are seeing now, the party is all but over.
Obama has demonstrated plenty of buffoonery in only seven months, how long do you think it’s going to take before the AMERICAN, yes I said the AMERICAN people get fed up with his hilarious plans, bill, and his other dumb-ass ideas. For example to dump the right-wing talk shows.. And all these ass-hats that he has appointed. I'll name a couple:
Sonia Sotomayor, the SCOTUS candidate is a lady who is a closet racist, and an incompetent judge on top of that. The "wise Latina" comment is a part of who she is to her core, and not a comment that people have been taking "out of context." That WAS THE CONTEXT!
Mr. Gibbs, the Obama Press Secretary. Heck, any of you lefties could do a better job than he could.
Tim Geithner, the Treasury Secretary, who blames Turbo Tax for his inability to pay his taxes. He went to a University in China, recently, to tell them that they can trust their monetary investments in the United States, that the dollar is strong, and our economy is on the rebound. Is he for real or what? Is he a comedian ? Geithner is a moron.
Oh yeah, the recession is almost over? If Obama wants us to buy that crap then he's an even bigger idiot than I thought. ... I'd call him a preening pompous buffoon. Just like his loony followers, just like YOU!
When are you guys going to stop high fiving each other over Obama’s election and realize that you just destroyed your country.
Never in my wildest nightmare did I ever imagine the shredding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, on almost a daily basis now.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ciao Baby,

The Cash for Clunkers is wildly successful, and consumer confidence is up. That's very encouraging and good news.

The housing market in some areas is also showing improvement.

The stock market has made a vast improvement over last winter's dismal plunge. Remember when certain hysterical righties were blaming Mr. Obama for that? Where are they now that the market is improving? [And yes, I understand the president has no direct influence over the market, but because we're enjoying some small improvements in the economy, perhaps people are beginning to feel more confident.]



You're doom and gloom and rightwing talking points are all over the place, stated with absolutely nothing linked to back them up.

It's just blather. And we'll take it as such.

Shaw Kenawe said...

PS.

Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed.

And your talking points about her being racist are nothing but puddingslop.

I Ain't Got No Blog said...

Sure Sotomayor will be confirmed. The fact that this poster "Ciao baby" is against her does NOT make him a racist. You Lefties seem to throw that word around whenever someone disagrees with you. Just because "Ciao baby" don't like her or want he and neither do I, that makes us racist's in your eyes? Well that's too freaken bad.
I thought his post was a rather good one.

One one man cannot take away our hard earned money. Pro-America, Pro-Christianity, Pro-Work, Pro-Democracy. The rest will see the error of their ways in Revelation.
The lefties just doesn't get it. We have to fight for their rights, and try to educate them, that what we have known, will not be theirs. The education system has been so dummied down that they just don't understand.
The Liberal Government with there leader that doesn't have a clue is trying to force our life, liberty, and the peruse of Happiness out. If you are a hard working AMERICAN like me and you are tired of the lairs in Washington, that are suppose to be standing up for us and not taking more rights away form us.
the people will revolt. Blood is better than tyranny.
Your either part of the solution or part of the problem. Make your choice now.

. Right now, the current administration has been wrong on its plan to solve the housing/foreclosure problem. It has gotten worse. It has been wrong, admittedly so by the VP, on it view of what it will take to get the economy and employment back on track, it is getting worse and the commercial real estate crash has not hit yet, projected for Spring 2010. Our relationships with North Korea, Iran and Venezuela have worsened as have those with England, France and Germany. If the President misses on healthcare, it won't matter how well he can speak, how cute his daughters are or how stylish his wife's sneakers are. It will be over. He will be as toxic to the Democrats running for re-election in 2010 as Bush was to the Republicans in 2008. Only we admitted it.

Dave Miller said...

Ciao Baby, you ask a very important question. "Should we just follow the leader like you sheep?"

I am assuming that you believe we should not.

Might I ask if you held that same opinion when millions of people chose not to agree with our past leader and blindly follow him down the path to war?

I seem to remember many conservatives believing that it was our patriotic duty to follow President Bush and the Republican led congress during the last administration.

For me, we can have significant differences on policy and whether or not whatever program is proposed will be good for the American people.

The problem for me is when people who favor the GOP side of the ledger and in the past called for near lockstep approval of Bush policies do not apply that philosophy regarding President Obama.

It is a bit inconsistent, isn't it?

So my answer to your question is this.

If you believed that liberals needed to shut up and follow the policies of the previous administration, "for the good of the country," then yes, you need to do that in this instance. Or choose to be inconsistent in your beliefs..

Christian Deleon said...

And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America, having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as "The One."

Christian Deleon said...

He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you. My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. For I shall save you with Hope and Change."

And "The One" said "We live in the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!" And the people said, "Hallelujah! Change is good!"

Then He said, "We are going to tax the rich fat-cats." And the people said "Sock it to them!" "And redistribute their wealth." And the people said, "Show us the money!" And then He said, "Redistribution of wealth is good for everybody!"

And Joe asked, "Are you kidding me? You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats?" And "The One" ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized.

One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?" And she was banished from the kingdom!

Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?" And "The One" said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!" And the people said, "Hallelujah!! We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"

Then "The One" said, "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes." And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't pay ANY taxes." So "The One" said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!" And the people said, "Hallelujah!! Show us the money!"

Then "The One" said, "I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!" And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed. And He said, "I shall mandate employer- funded health care for EVERY worker and raise the minimum wage. And I shall give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine and transportation to the clinics." And the people said, "Give me some of that!"

Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas." And the people said, "Where's my rebate check?"

Then "The One" said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!" And the people said, "Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates." So "The One" said, "Not to worry. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with ACORN and your troubles are over!"

Then He said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and guaranteed housing..." And the people said, "Hallelujah!!" And they made him King!

And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers. Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff. The banking industry was destroyed. Manufacturing slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without a means of support.

Then "The One" said, "I am 'The One' - The Messiah - and I'm here to save you! We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!" But our foreign trading partners said unto Him, "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will have to pay more." And the people said, "Wait a minute. That is unfair!!" And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by our rules!"

Christian Deleon said...

And the people cried out, "Alas, alas!! What have we done?" But yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon "The One" and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung. And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope. And the Change "The One" had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built. And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, "Give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!!" But it was too late, and their homeland was no more.

Ciao Baby said...

Dave Miller said..

The same old reply to all the questions about Obama,
"Bush" "Bush" "Bush" !

No I did NOT lock step with Bush and if you read any of my posts you'd have seen where I stated so.

So please don't give ne that Bush Did It crap.
Bush is NOT in office now. So get off it already.
It's Obama time now, Obama is screwing up America.
"Obama" "Obama" "Obama"

Can't you understand that or do you want to talk about Nixon now?

Pamela D. Hart said...

Yes, the housing market has seen a little improvement, as has the economy. What ticks me off is that we see those results with very little of the stimulus money being spent. Our economy will right itself without spending billions. I say don’t spend the rest of the stimulus, because obviously, we don’t need to. As far as cash for clunkers is concerned, yes it was a success. However, having been in the car business for 25 years, those dealers will be hurting again once the program is over. Those salesmen have those commission checks already spent, believe me, I’ve seen it time and time again. So, next month when sales are slower than molasses in winter, what are they going to do? I think it’s great, don’t get me wrong, that finally a government program worked, but yet, they didn’t calculate the amount correctly. Which leads me to believe they have the price tag for health care wrong, too. I think it’s way under estimated.

As far as the topic of this post. I think it’s terrible when big corporations and lobbyists use the little people for their own purpose. And BOTH sides do this. George Soros and his moveon.org group has done it, too. It serves no purpose but to intimidate. The health care issue is way TOO important for people to be using scripts and acting like little children screaming and yelling. Nothing will get accomplished that way. We need to have round table discussions with our representatives. We need to let our reps know how we feel and get them to tell us what they intend to do about our concerns and give us truthful answers. This can only be done when ALL of us act like mature adults.

JohnC said...

I Ain't got no blog:

Can you point out where Shaw states that Ciao Baby is a racist?

Didn't think so...

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Shaw, TAO, and Dave,

These folks are called "Freepers." Like the Town Hall hooligans, their job is to troll liberal blogs, disrupt conversations, and harass all who comment.

Most of all, their job is to waste your time, and that is exactly what Ciao Baby accomplishes when he goads you into writing responses to his drivel.

My recommendation: Either delete or ignore, but don't waste your time. Not worth it.

Imagine how much you CAN accomplish if you spent your time on more profitable pursuits.

I Ain't Got No Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TAO said...

Octopus,

I have a tremendous respect for you and I do consider you a friend and I realize that your advice makes alot of sense BUT I cannot help but wonder, as a student of history, what would have happened in Germany if decent Germans had not stood idly by and paid no attention to the brownshirts in the streets during the 1920's?

I realize this is totally off topic so we might have to explore this somewhere else....

dmarks said...

"The Cash for Clunkers is wildly successful, and consumer confidence is up. That's very encouraging and good news."

It's a triumph of consumerism, really. Digging a deeper debt-hole and destroying perfectly good cars (real "clunkers" can't be turned in).

But it could have been worse: the "cash for clunkers" bill allows purchases from any car company, not just the Big 3. That's good. Companies like Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai deserve to be rewarded and included (for building superior products and increasing the numbers of American workers they employ).

I Ain't Got No Blog said...

dmarks said...

"The Cash for Clunkers is wildly successful, and consumer confidence is up. That's very encouraging and good news.

The businesses here are being crushed by bad trade decisions that put our own companies at a disadvantage.. the only thing it has been accomplishing is a lower standard of living for working Americans.
Millions and millions of people drive cars to work every day. Few people have to opportunity to be without a vehicle. If these companies can’t find a way to make money in this environment, they really deserve to fail. We have already given them billions and billions of dollars, why do we need to continue to give them money?
Great!~ Another fast way to bankrupt this country. Every little bit helps.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Tao: "what would have happened in Germany if decent Germans had not stood idly by and paid no attention to the brownshirts in the streets during the 1920's?"

I would hardly say I am standing by idly ... letting the brownshirts take over. Why bother having a hissy with a brownshirt? You will neither change their minds nor convert them nor accomplish anything. A waste of time! But you can expose their tactics and their hypocrisies, as I started to do in my "astroturf" post.

Sometimes, when I am awake at night, I think of how pop culture pushes the boundaries of taste and decorum further into the wilderness, and wonder about the tipping point beyond which there is no return, like those who cross an abyss and sink forever into sociopathy, the point where “the falcon can longer hear the falconer.”

When my daughters were growing up, I taught them this: Freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. Responsibility earns freedom, not the reverse. I am afraid we are reaching a tipping point where we lose both.

Spend your time wisely, my friend. You will need to.

dmarks said...

I Aint: "The businesses here are being crushed by bad trade decisions that put our own companies at a disadvantage.. "

It's not bad trade decisions. Decisions to remove tariffs and other barriers are very good. Or basically I do not see that it is "bad" to let Americans choose to buy the best cars that meet their needs. The real culprit with the Big 3 is their own terrible management decisions. Chrysler, for example, is dead last in quality for cars sold in America, and their quality is actually getting worse.

"the only thing it has been accomplishing is a lower standard of living for working Americans."

It's a higher standard, really, when artificial trade restrictions are removed and people are able to buy the best products. And they save money when they aren't forced to repair shoddy cars over and over again.

Workers would not be served well to be forced to drive only shoddy Chevy's and Dodges that break down on the way to the workplace.

Arthurstone said...

Hey. It used to be the Unions fault.

Progress!

Speaking of buying the 'best products' at the 'best prices' here's a reading suggestion:

http://www.amazon.com/Cheap-High-Cost-Discount-Culture/dp/159420215X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

dmarks said...

Arthur: About that book, I've seen plenty of such arguments for people to be willingly ripped off by price-gougers. Whatever the cost of "low prices", the price of overcharging is worse. I don't buy the argument that it is good to be ripped off.

And the unions? Well, there is some blame there. But a lot of it is management caving to them.

TAO said...

Octopus, you are absolutely correct. Freedom and Responsibility are just different sides of the same coin...

Its no different then what I tell my supervisors about the 'cost' of a promotion and the obiligation it entails...

It is very easy to sit behind a keyboard all day and bang away whatever crap you want to and then shrug off your responsibility for honesty...

I love to use a spin off about if a tree falls in the woods...and it goes like this, "if you come across alot of money unguarded and unclaimed is it stealing if you took it?"

Do we have an obiligation to speak the truth even when we claim to be in our blog living rooms and typing on a keyboard?"

TRUTH 101 said...

Nobody has more respect for TAO than I do. But you know, I think it's for the best I don't work for him. When he asked about the tree falling in the forest my reply would be "WTF does that have to do with tshirts?"

Then I would either be fired or assigned scrubbing toilets.

Eliminate Violent Righties said...

The brown shirts would disrupt a town hall meeting, then attack and beat up the attendees out in the street after the meeting was broke up by them.

Have not seen the beatings yet, but these same extremist shoot abortion doctors, they have proven their conviction to use violence.

The right has no problem using violence. They have to use violence, they are in a small minority.

The shout downs in those health care meetings this weekend, was scripted by a health care lobbyist.

When the left decides to use violence against violence, the Civil War is on.

dmarks said...

Eliminate Nonexistent Threats said: "Have not seen the beatings yet, but these same extremist shoot abortion doctors"

Yes. of course they do. They also shot J.R. Ewing.

TAO said...

No Truth, THEN I would have to explain to you why it has EVERYTHING to do with t shirts....

TRUTH 101 said...

I still have a feeling I would end up scrubbing toilets.

"Joe, if a tree fell on a toilet, guess who has to go clean it up."

Arthurstone said...

dmarks wrote:

'Whatever the cost of "low prices", the price of overcharging is worse. I don't buy the argument that it is good to be ripped off.'

A bit of a false argument actually. The alternative to the cheapest possible price is rarely 'ripped off'. More often higher prices often ensures a a higher quality, more durable (or sustainable) product. In fact it is demonstrated time and time again that the 'cost' of low prices (in terms of job loss, environmental degradation, workplace abuse and unsafe working conditions) rarely figures into the equation. The true cost of an item is only partly reflected by it's purchase price.

Arthurstone said...

Ciao Baby posed an excellent question.

'Should we just follow the leader like you sheep?'

Substitute 'a' for 'the' and the answer is a resounding yes.

Accepting our government charging a trillion or two on the nation's credit card for the costs of Middle Eastern military adventurism (and it's ancillary expenses in medical care, pensions, debt service, etc.) with nary a bleat strikes me as the most sheep-like behavior possible.

Gordon said...

Well, it's not hard to find a definition of astroturfing, since the president's chief strategy adviser, David Axelrod, is considered a master of it. Guess this is just another case of an ethically-challenged top adviser to the Most Honest And Transparent Administration Evah.

Beyond that, do you or your sainted talk-show host actually have any evidence of astroturfing?
No? Perhaps y'all should put up, or quit slandering the thousands of Americans who are rightly pissed off by the Democrats' attempts to sneak in single-payer health rationing on the sly.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Gordon,

Health care
FreedomWorks, which was one of the lobbying groups involved in orchestrated the anti-Obama "tea parties" on April 15, 2009, in summer of 2009 began pursuing an aggressive strategy to create the image of mass public opposition to health care and clean energy reform at Congressmembers' town-hall meetings in their districts. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website "Tea Party Patriots," describes how members should infiltrate town hall meetings and harass and intimidate Democratic members of Congress:

Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put tIle Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up ... You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation. Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early. If he blames Bush for something or offers other excuses -- call him on it, yell back and have someone else follow-up with a shout-out ... The goal is to rattle him ..." [2]
[edit]Non-profit for hire?
"Speaking as the co-chairman of FreedomWorks" on CNBC in December 2004, Armey "spoke glowingly of 'Rx Outreach,' a national mail order program for low-income people that had just been launched by Express Scripts Inc., a pharmacy benefit management firm based in Maryland Heights, Mo." At the time, FreedomWorks "had been working with Express Scripts' public relations firm, and a week later issued a news release praising Rx Outreach. Now, Express Scripts says it plans to donate money to Armey's group, though it won't say how much or when." [8]

"Critics say the arrangement could call into question FreedomWorks' tax-exempt status because it appears that the group was a 'mouthpiece' for hire," wrote the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which noted that assertion was "sharply disputed by FreedomWorks." Bill Allison of the Center for Public Integrity said, "It's rare to see someone pushing a company this directly. It does look like it's more of a commercial for this company than a discussion of policy." Law professor Frances Hill noted that "corporate contributions to nonprofits are not supposed to benefit the donor." Hill added, "What it begins to look like is that the organization is operating for the private benefit of the company." [9]

Source

Shaw Kenawe said...

And this:

townhall meeting disruptions being orchestrated by dick armey and fox news on behalf of his corporate clients.

ThinkProgress reported last week that corporate lobbyists are helping to orchestrate the anti-Obama tea party protests. These lobbying-run front groups, along with promotion help from Fox News, are organizing the tea parties by calling right-wing activists and asking them to organize. They are also coordinating conference calls among activists, writing press releases, providing sign ideas, building websites supporting the protests, and distributing talking points so that the protesters can stay on message.

Today, FreedomWork’s Adam Brandon responded to the criticism that its efforts to organize these anti-Obama protests are ‘astroturf,’ saying that the organization’s work in coordinating and planning the events would be akin to “MoveOn’s model.” However, MoveOn is not run by corporate lobbyists and is funded by actual grassroots activists. On the other hand, the leader of FreedomWorks, Dick Armey, who is ranked as one of DC’s top “hired guns,” is a corporate lobbyist with a history of directing FreedomWorks to support the goals of his lobbying clients. For example:

– Armey’s FreedomWorks is actively organizing against health care reform. Indeed, Armey’s lobbying firm represents pharmaceutical companies, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, that oppose comparative effectiveness research in the health reform plan because such a program may cut into revenue for branded drugs.

– Armey’s lobbying firm represents the trade group for the life insurance industry. Indeed, FreedomWorks mobilizes its members for deregulated life insurance reform.

– Currently, FreedomWorks is focusing their energy activism on supporting the status quo reliance on fossil fuels. In addition to working for various domestic oil companies with a vested interest in opposing change, Armey’s lobbying firm represents Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE, on energy related issues such as maintaining the U.S.-UAE relationship where “U.S companies have played major roles in the development of UAE energy resources, which represent about 10 percent of global oil reserves.”

– In 2006, Armey’s lobbying firm represented the Senado de Republica (Mexican Senate) on “enhancing U.S.-Mexico relations,” and specifically on immigration policy. Curiously, during the same period, Armey’s Freedom Works stood out as one of the few right wing organizations to boldly support comprehensive immigration reform.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal exposed FreedomWorks for building “amateur-looking” websites to promote the lobbying interests of Armey.

FreedomWorks represents a top-down, corporate-friendly approach that has been the norm for conservative organizations for years. As Obama prepares to push to close corporate tax loopholes, reform health care, and transition to a clean energy economy, we can expect more corporate lobbyists to create astroturf protests to oppose change.

Update Armey's FreedomWorks gave Fox News the following statement today, acknowledging their role in organizing the movement:

We'd like to say we are one of the main driving forces, but we are not THE driving force behind the protests. We're mainly helping activists get in touch with each other.



...this is called "admitting it without admitting it".

Shaw Kenawe said...

Source:

http://www.politicalgroove.com/politics/16421-townhall-meeting-disruptions-being-orchestrated-dick-armey-fox-news.html

dmarks said...

Arthur: The cost of military adventurism has been $0. Since there has been none. Next subject...

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Shaw, good job on the research. There is certainly much material here for another post, and if you continue to write on this subject, please consider a cross-post at the Zone. You have a set of keys ...

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

P.S. I forgot to say, Spocko visited tonight and made a good point: The news media always fail to mention who are the corporate sponsors behind these tactics.

Gordon said...

Ah. So there's an organized group that's helping folks who don't want their health care system destroyed! OMG! Dick Armey and Fox News!

Except that you don't really have any evidence that Fox News does anything but report the protests.

Nor have you been able to link any protesters to the supposed astroturfing.

Meanwhile President Obama's well-funded pressure groups are leaning on Democrats in Congress who aren't inclined to commit political suicide by voting for taxpayer-funded abortions, suicide counseling for the elderly, and of course, the billions that are hidden in the bill for "community organizing."

Geez, Shaw, you know this thing is a travesty, and the effort to ram it through before anyone could even read it smacks of totalitarianism.

Yet you're out here parroting the party line that anyone who opposes it is a corporate shill. Don't you ever get tired of them using you this way?

You're smarter than this. They promised you a better way, and instead they're giving you machine politics at its worst.

Shaw Kenawe said...

GORDON SAID: "Geez, Shaw, you know this thing is a travesty, and the effort to ram it through before anyone could even read it smacks of totalitarianism."

Ram it through? For over 60 years the insurance industry and the members of Congress who receive thousands of dollars from it have thwarted every effort for a national health care program. OVER SIXTY YEARS!

The ramming that you object to is being performed by the lobbyists, and fake grass roots thugs who show up at town hall meetings where Congressional representative hope to dialog with Americans over how best to accomplish this long overdue plan.

Instead, representatives are shouted down by minions of the insurance lobbyists and no one is heard.

I'm surprised that someone as smart as you are have fallen for these Prussion tactics and believe they're sincere expressions of frustration.

Sure there are people who have concerns about how a national health care system will be implemented and how it will affect them. But those are not the people showing up in these town halls.

People who have real concerns wouldn't sabotage a forum where they could be addressed.

The object of these thugs is to SHUT DOWN ALL DISCUSSIONS AND DISRUPT FREE AND OPEN DIALOG.

IOW, they act like hooligans and agent provocateurs, not concerned American citizens.

Shaw Kenawe said...

And this:

Last night, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) hosted a rowdy town hall meeting to discuss health care reform. Fox’s local Houston affiliate reporter, Duarte Geraldino, reported that he talked to the participants and found that “some attendees admit they don’t live in the district.” How did they get there? Geraldino noted “an internet campaign” by far right activists urging their allies to attend and heckle Democratic Representatives. Geraldino then aired a clip showing one participant acting disrespectfully towards Rep. Green.

During the town hall, one conservative activist turns to his fellow attendees and asks them to raise their hands if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Almost all the hands shot up. Rep Green quickly turned the question on the audience and asked, “How many of you have Medicare?” Nearly half the attendees raised their hands, failing to note the irony.

At another point, a small business owner who supported health reform asks the audience how many people in this room “do not have health insurance of some kind.” Only one hand seemed to be raised. “I think the people who are objecting,” she noted, “are the people who have insurance.”

Source

dmarks said...

Shaw said: "The ramming that you object to is being performed by the lobbyists, and fake grass roots thugs who show up at town hall meetings where Congressional representative hope to dialog with Americans over how best to accomplish this long overdue plan."

I wonder, did you use the same kind of ire to refer to the "thugs" who tried to disrupt George W. Bush's campaign appearances during the 2004 campaign? Or the "thugs" on the picket lines when there are labor disputes who shout insults at and block the passage of workers?

This outrage from the left concerning disruptive protesters is a new phenomenon.

So, do you now support "Free Speech Zones" to protect the freedom-of-assembly rights of those organizing the town hall meetings?

Shaw Kenawe said...

dmarks,

You link to nothing in your claims.

Links, please.

Gordon said...

Shaw, the reason the people who have Medicare raised their hands is that they have no alternative, other than fee-for-service. You simply cannot buy an insurance policy if you're Medicare-eligible. The only thing you can buy is a supplemental policy to provide coverage in excess.

And why is it a surprise that the people who have insurance don't want it screwed up? The president has said, over and over, that if someone likes their current policy, they can keep it. Yet that's not what the legislation allows, and he knows it. He's being deceptive, and the truth is spreading despite his and others' efforts to ram this through before anyone could read it.

If it's such a wonderful plan, why does the legislation exempt labor unions? Don't they deserve this bundle of gold? Why does it exclude federal employees, specifically members of Congress and their staff? The Democrats have explicitly rejected amendments that would make them subject to the new scheme.

Hypocrites.

Arthurstone said...

Gordon typed:

'If it's such a wonderful plan, why does the legislation exempt labor unions?'

Really?

What 'plan' are you referring to?

Labor across the entire spectrum is onboard with health care reform.

http://www.aflcio.org/issues/healthcare/survey/2009results.cfm

Gordon said...

Geez, Arthurstone, of course Labor is on board. Imagine all the public sector jobs this plan would create, all of which Big Labor will get to tap for dues.

As for the exemption, labor unions which have health care as part of their contract are exempted from the requirements. These requirements will force nearly all employers to accept the "public option" within five years.

Just like Congress, they want to force everyone except themselves to line up and wait for care.

Arthurstone said...

I'm dying to know what you're talking about Gordon.

Which 'plan' 'exempts' Labor Unions?

Everything I read indicates Labor is onboard health care reform.

Please illuminate me.

Gordon said...

One more time, Arthurstone. Pay attention.

Big Labor wants public health care because they will be able to unionize the workers. This will include doctors and administrative staff, which are not now union for the most part.

More members = more dues, and bargaining power.

HOWEVER--the legislation currently under consideration specifically exempts union health care contracts from the penalties/requirements that will force most employers to dump their employees into the "public option."

In other words, the unions want government health care for everyone EXCEPT union members. They get to keep their private health care.

Congress, of course, exempts themselves from having to take the public option also.

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