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View Diary: Dingell faces the teabaggers: One year later (PHOTOS) (83 comments)

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  •  No investigation (9+ / 0-)

    but plenty of proof of astroturfers encouraging disruption of town halls:

    National groups such as the newly formed Tea Party Patriots and the more established FreedomWorks, led by former House majority leader Dick Armey, say the anger is spontaneous, but acknowledge they're trying to channel it into a nationwide movement. The FreedomWorks website offers an August congressional recess kit complete with talking points, suggested questions for lawmakers and a draft letter to the editor.

    How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

    by skohayes on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 07:24:22 AM PDT

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    •  And Koch Industries: (4+ / 0-)

      After orchestrating and funding the so-called Tea Parties movement, Americans for Prosperity — a nationwide front group founded and funded by the right-wing polluter Koch Industries — is launching an ad campaign characterizing President Obama’s effort to reform the health care system as a government take-over that will ration care and care and deny treatments.
      Now, operating under the name Patients United Now, Americans for Prosperity — which is mostly funded by large multinational corporations — is masquerading as an organic grassroots movement outraged over the Presidents health care proposals:

      We are people just like you. We went to D.C. with questions about "reform"— because we all favor policies which keep insurance costs down and help those patients with pre-existing conditions get coverage. Buying "care insurance" should be like buying car insurance: flexible, transparent and simple. We support health care for the poor through Medicaid.

      But what we found SHOCKED US: Radical solutions. Discussions behind closed doors. Patients like us NOT included, just big companies, lobbyists, unions and politicians.

      For many in D.C. cutting costs means CUTTING CARE—-your care.

      The effort provides cover or ‘grassroots clout’ for conservative politicians and activists to oppose the President’s health care initiative. But this collection of trumped-up charges, outright lies and complete fabrications makes little headway in critiquing the President’s actual proposal. Because just like all other peddlers of the "government take-over" critique — Frank Luntz, Conservatives for Patients Rights, Betsy McCaughey, and Sally Pipes — the goal is to define Obama’s proposal in their terms rather than to engage in a debate about health care or offer real solutions to the crisis. As Frank Luntz admitted to the New York Times, "we don’t know what he is proposing. We want to avoid ‘a Washington takeover.’" (http://)


      The lobbyist-run groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which orchestrated the anti-Obama tea parties earlier this year, are now pursuing an aggressive strategy to create an image of mass public opposition to health care and clean energy reform. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website Tea Party Patriots, details how members should be infiltrating town halls and harassing Democratic members of Congress:

      – Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: "Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington."
      – Be Disruptive Early And Often: "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."
      – Try To "Rattle Him," Not Have An Intelligent Debate: "The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions."

      The memo above also resembles the talking points being distributed by FreedomWorks for pushing an anti-health reform assault all summer. Patients United, a front group maintained by Americans for Prosperity, is currently busing people all over the country for more protests against Democratic members. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the NRCC, has endorsed the strategy, telling the Politico the days of civil town halls are now "over."

      Meanwhile, AHIP, the trade group and lobbying juggernaut representing the health insurance industry is sending staffers to monitor town halls and other right-wing front groups are stepping up their ad campaign to smear reform efforts. The strategy for defeating reform — recently outlined by an influential lobbyist to the Hill newspaper as "delay" then "kill" — is becoming apparent. By delaying a vote until after the August recess, lobbyists are now seizing upon recess town halls as opportunities to ambush lawmakers and fool them into believing there is wide opposition to reform. (Source)

      "Separate but equal" isn't. Anyone kept involuntarily separate can't possibly be considered "equal."

      by 1BQ on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:59:47 AM PDT

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