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This is how the Swifties and USA Next are attacking the AARP:

(Ad running on the American Spectator site.)

Yup, they hate our troops and love gays. This is how they plan on attacking the AARP in their efforts to dismantle social security.

Self-parody at its finest.

Funny thing is, you click on the ad, and it just goes to the USA Next homepage. No effort to even argue the case that the AARP is anti-troop and pro-gay marriage.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:49 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Amazing (none)
    How many people are going to believe it?

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:45:40 PM PST

    •  Unfortunately maybe a lot (3.66)
      The bigger the smear, the more people are willing to believe there might be *something to it...
      •  Ah, the GOP's repressed homo-eroticism ! (4.00)

        We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. -Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)

        by Troutfishing on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:21:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eh heh. Eh hehe. (none)
          Nice. That goes so many places, most of which are so very wrong.

          There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

          by Sandals on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:28:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  God... (none)
            They really have a low opinion of Americans, don't they?  It's like they think we're all Homer Simpson.
            •  Help the seniors...visit their message boards (4.00)
              I have just come from the AARP message boards, where there are a couple of threads regarding this outrage.

              I suggest that some of us Kossacks visit those boards (at least the "Legislation & Elections" one), and share our knowledge with the seniors.

              Here's a link to those boards:  AARP boards .

              What have you done today to take Bush and the Bushies down?

              by JTML on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:42:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hee! I just went there. (4.00)
                It doesn't sound like they need a whole lot of help figuring this one out. Here's a typical comment.
                These people are shameless.  There is no moral stand for such blatant attacks.

                They are not even pretending to be nice guys, anymore.

                They announced it publicly, the gall of the dishonest knows no bounds. They must think we are very dumb, they are counting on it. The evangelicals have given the administration a false sense of security, and exagerated self importance.

                Nobody had a single good word for Bush over there, in any of the threads I visited.

                Massacre is not a family value.

                by Canadian Reader on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:51:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Woo Hooo!!! (none)
                  Went over there and the place is lit up! An enterprising entrepreneur could make a fortune on torches and pitchforks. The first ten topics on their message boards are:

                  AARP - Bush STABBED You in the Back
                  Is social security really broken?
                  Social Security Reform
                  AARP be honest
                  AARP smear campaign
                  Swift boat to attack AARP and SS
                  Social Security Bankrupt 2052
                  Good article in today's WSJ

                  He really is a uniter not a divider!


                  The present administration is rolling back the Great Society, the New Deal, the Enlightenment, and the Renaissance.

                  by JohnInWestland on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:08:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  KEEP BACKSTABBING YOUR BASE! (none)
                    i think this is a good thing....the ridiculousness of these ads is amazing!

                    the more they attack their base, the worse his ratings & the better 2006 will look for us.

                    this is a good thing....keep encouranging them to shoot themselves in the foot....

                    the more they unfairly attack their base, the more that base will realize how unfair the attacks on kerry were.....

                •  No way they roll out this message to the masses... (4.00)
                  ...via TV, radio, or print.

                  First, let's remember...THIS GROUP IS THE "GREATEST GENERATION" (apologies to Brokaw).  Call them anti-troops?  Uh uh.  Not me, and not anyone with a shred of common sense...not to mention respect or diginity.  (Not that any semblance of the latter two are even remotely on the table here, granted).

                  Online, they can get away with it...lower composition of those 55 or above, most will never see the image posted.  Not so in the other channels.

                  Overreaching is the new meme.  I'm split on whether we hammer it and get some victories under our collective belts, or simply give them more rope.  

                  It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. - Robert F. Kennedy

                  by rygriffin333 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:15:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Amen, that's your frame! (3.66)
                    The GOP calling the "greatest generation" a bunch of America-hating, troop-hating, queers?

                    Not that there's anything wrong with that last one. There're plenty of GLBT people who are elderly--simple fact of life. But libel is as libel does.

                    That's definitely the frame though: "GOP attacks 'greatest generation', impugnes their honor, and calls them un-American". I know we in the USA tend not to have a whole lot of respect for our elders--but wow.

                    Strike back! Don't let the GOP's cold, cruel claw steal the honor of our grandparents!

                    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

                    by Shapeshifter on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:41:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The anti-AARP message (none)
                    will be dealt with in the next AARP newsletter. I'll bet. I don't know how many people currently belong to AARP but it is a multitude. First Social Security and now this. The retirees of this nation are going to be pissed if not already so. Just because people have gotten older doesn't mean they are anywhere near being stupid. In fact, they are probably smarter than average. How do you think people live to be retirees? It takes brains and good common sense. Most of the stupid people don't live long enough to reach retirement.

                    I'm not sure but I believe that the eligibility age to join AARP is only 55. If so, that makes a large percentage of the "Boomers" eligible. The neo-con Republicans have bitten off more than they can chew by doing this. The most patriotic, dedicated and true citizens are retirees and members of AARP. They can get very active when the government is working against them. I mean, we are talking about the parents of congressmen, senators and the Resident.

                    BTW, has anyone noticed how chummy daddy Bush and Bill Clinton have gotten recently? I think they are working on a way to get W. away from the WH.
                    GHWB's kid Dubya has been trouble for his dad all his life and Dubya ain't slowing down.
                    Maybe daddy has decided to adopt Bill Clinton? How can it hurt GHWB beyond what Dubya is doing for the family name?

                    Who's responsible for this mess?

                    by Skylor on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:18:24 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not a choice (none)
                    >>>Overreaching is the new meme.  I'm split on whether we hammer it and get some victories under our collective belts, or simply give them more rope.<<<

                    We've given them enough rope over the past umpty years to hang the entire GOP leadership, and it doesn't work.  The vast majority of Americans get their news strictly from the mainstream media -- and of that, mostly TV news or from secondhand conversations with someone else who watched the news the night before -- and the MSM consistently refuses to cover the GOP's own malfeasances.  The only thing the MSM is interested is scandal.  WE are the ones who have to make their crimes and misdemeanors into media scandals.  It worked to an extent with SpankBoy Gannon; that little peccadillo prepared the ground, so to speak.  (It's flaming out partially because there's no one in the White House to connect GG to; how far would the Lewinsky scandal have gotten if the news was, "Monica's having sex with someone in the WH?"  If we want to make GG front-oage headlines, we need to find out who he's topping and spread that name all over the news.)

                    You don't win a fight if you're fighting by Marquis of Queensbury rules and your opponent is doping your drinks, paying off your manager, and hammering you with a billyclub.  It's time to even the playing field, and if that means bringing our own clubs to the fight, so be it.

                    To extend the sports metaphor (as annoying and inaccurate as such metaphors can be), we've been playing as if we expect the referees -- in this case the mainstream media -- to blow the whistle on the Republicans and make them play by the rules.  It isn't happening.  We need to stop thinking of this in terms of tiddlywinks and start thinking "Rollerball."

                    Hunter was right, politics is a blood sport.  Let's start drawing some of theirs for a change.

                •  They need to look in the mirror... (none)
                  because as a cross section of the public, you can bet your boots that they voted in the majority for BUSH.

                  And they were allll gung ho for the war, they're all part of the WWII and Viet Nam war generation.

                  Rubbing their nose in it now makes no sense, but again...they should all take a long hard look in the mirror.

                  They are just as responsible for the coming SS debacle (meaning that it WILL be changed in some manner now) as any of us.

                  •  actually (none)
                    I think they were pretty much AGAINST the war, if not real vocal about it. Most of the retirees I know (both military and regular) saw no reason for this Iraq debacle, immediately compared it to Vietnam, and while they support the TROOPS, they don't necessarily agree with Bush.

                    And I can't think of any Vietnam vet that I know of that supported it. My friend worked at a vet center, she didn't know any either.

                    Nor did my husband, most of his friends (and they're pretty conservative people), my son (navy vet), or most of my coworkers.

                    I think all the polls are crap, but that's beside the point.

              •  Yesterday (none)
                I saw this latest outrage in the NYTimes and I immediately went to my computer and joined AARP.

                NOT cause I am a huge AARP fan but to stick my tongue out at the stupid Swift Boat Liars PR people.

                THEy want to "peel off" a million AARP supporters. Therefore I joined AARP. Pretty simple.

                But naturally when I posted that HERE, I got a few pissy replies about how AARP is bad. Fuck that! I didn't join cause I'm in love with AARP, I joined in reaction to the Repug smear.

                Maybe now that the great and wonderful Kos has spoken you guys will be able to see the point.

            •  I would like to state (none)
              That your statement does not give credit to Homer Simpson. They have nothing on there about doughnuts, so nothing should concern the fine American.

              Some men see things as they are and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask, Why Not? ~Robert F. Kennedy

              by Southern Liberal on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:49:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  funny, cause my first thought was... (none)
              of that simpsons episode where smithers says to burns, 'i hope you're happy, you've vanquished all your enemies, the elementary school, the local tavern, the old folks' home.'  sad thing is i wouldn't be ALL THAT shocked if Bush unveiled a giant apparatus to block out the sun.

              this [expletive deleted] is exhausting...too exhausting to even curse at it...

          •  The question is... (none)
            Did the guys meet on one of Gannon's sites?

            What have you done today to take Bush and the Bushies down?

            by JTML on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:45:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Image manipulation (none)
            You have to be very careful what you put out there. It can come back to haunt you. That's a nice manipulation of the original image.
        •  GOP's gay obsession (4.00)
          Lately I can't look at a GOP website or ad campaign without seeing some kind of gay sex.
        •  asdf (none)
          Dubya and his codpiece on the aircraft carrier
        •  Sorry...I just couldn't resist (4.00)
        •  Think he's hawt? (none)
          Then I have some websites for you....

          And I heard from this guy at the White House that he was only $1200 for a weekend....

      •  last time I heard.. (none)
        Last time I heard, the WH had NOTHING to do with gay folks - that's why they didn't mind a gay prostitute in the press room. Right??

        What hypocritical slime.

      •  There is no way this is serious (none)
        Is it?

        I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

        by Volvo Liberal on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:50:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wasn't it called... (none)
        The "Big Lie" technique? The theory that if you tell a totally outrageous, obviously false, completely self-contradictory lie people will believe it?

        The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

        by Shapeshifter on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:53:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Karl Rove... (none)
          is a student of Machiavelli and Josef Goebbels.  The "big lie" technique has to be played properly.  Not just any outrageous lie will work, it has to be at least marginally believable ("Hillary caught porking mutant alien rutabagas!" no; "Hillary caught porking Vince Foster!" yes), and the timing has to be precise.
      •  Makes me wonder who the real audience is (none)
        It might be that they are priming for a long term - 10 year+ attack on AARP to kill it, just like the unions, socialists, and civil rights organizations were knocked down.

        The target audience might not be people in their 50s, but people in their 30s and 40s.

        •  UPDATE: New York Times article (none)
          OK, we have an article in the New York Times on this, which supplies additional information:  the article .

          The United Seniors Association is a wannabe competitor to AARP (USA Next, they say), currently led by a former Focus on the Family executive named Charles W. Jarvis.

          What have you done today to take Bush and the Bushies down?

          by JTML on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 03:57:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  UPDATE: Quote from article (none)
            The group was started by Richard Viguerie.

            They are so happy about the New York Times article that the whole thing has been posted on the USA Next site.

            The Times reporter mentions that Jarvis had a patronage job with the Reagan administration, but not that he began by working for Sen. Chuck Grassley.

            Their stated goal:  

            "Mr. Jarvis said the group's goal is to peel off one million members from AARP, by presenting itself as a conservative, free-market alternative. He says USA Next surveys show that more than 37 percent of AARP members call themselves Republicans."

            What have you done today to take Bush and the Bushies down?

            by JTML on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 04:06:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  they've been a competitor (none)
            for years. They haven't pulled many (if any) seniors from AARP because they don't give them ANYTHING.

            They don't have any pull to do so. No members, no clout. AARP -- 55 mil members = lots of clout.

            AARP offers insurance (say what you want, older people still need insurance and often they don't have many choices), discounts on travel, organized trips (good if you're older and single and don't want to travel alone), tax assistance, etc.

            What does USANext offer? Not a hell of a lot.

        •  My 2 cents.. (none)
          ...says the original image was probably aimed at older voters than that, and trying to smear the AARP  with the octagenarian set - folks who are likely to have served or have relatives who served in WWII and/or Korea, and be less comfortable with public recognition of homosexuality.

            Certainly it doesn't appear from the various links posted that web-savvy seniors are as dumb as they think, but then propaganda isn't supposed to appeal to the highest common denominator.

          •  I can't believe (none)
            that they believe that a retired vet is gonna look aroung at all his retired friends (AARP members or not) and really believe that they are pro same-sex marriage!  These are baseball-and-apple-pie Americans...who's gonna really believe that 75-year old Granddad and 80-year old Auntie Grace are out there "pushing the gay agenda"?  It's flabbergasting.
            I mean, what the FUCK!  And I'm not even a cussing person!

            The great tragedy of science? The slaying of a beautiful hypothosis by an ugly fact. - Thomas Huxley

            by eunichorn on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 08:45:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Drawing Attention (none)
              The affect (some could say the whole purpose) of this ad is to draw attention to USA Next.  Just like the whole Sponge Bob thing was designed to draw attention to James Dobson and Focus on the Family.  Remember how he was able to get his point of view out there when he was asked to appear on just about every "news" show, and millions visited his web-site because of it.

              Just think of all the people that are shocked and awed into clicking on the ad out of curiosity and end up at the USA Next web site.  Whether they believe it or not or think it's totally outrageous they end up on the USA Next web site.  Not that any of us on the left would believe the crap on USA Next but remember where the ad was placed.  A bunch of everyday "conservatives" pop into the American Spectator web site, so now they know there's a Senior Citizens group out there (other than AARP) that shares their views.    

              I believe someone mentioned in an earlier post that they may be looking long-term in an effort to totally bring down the AARP.  That their focus is not on those already in AARP but those who are younger.  If they can successfully taint the AARP and draw younger people to their group then they've succeeded.


    •  No Way this could be serious (none)
      Must be a joke or they are insane
      •  That what John Kerry /Mary Beth Cahill thought too (4.00)
        on the Swiftboat vets ads

        and now look where they are.

        •  interesting articles on The Spectator (4.00)

          So while that ad seems weirdly out of context, I clicked on it to see if there would be any explanation.  What I found was more disturbing.  Links to two articles that talk about the behind-the-scenes powerplay of the "establishment Dems" (read Pelosi...again) and Howard Dean.  

          Check them out here:

          NANCY'S BOY



          Anyone have any word or thoughts on the veracity of these articles?  If they are true, what can we do to help Dean?

          On a side note, it is increasingly frustrating that not only do we have to fight the Radical Right, but also that we have to fight our own goddamn party, every step of the way...

          •  Demzilla article (4.00)
            I read that too. It really irks me to read that Pelosi and Reid are doing things to undercut Dean from the start. Reid has generally risen in my estimation since becoming minority leader, and Pelosi has been dropping like a rock (and she better watch it, I live in her district  Well, if this is true, I'm going to give money to the DNC in support of Dean, and I'm going to stiff the DCCC and the DSCC.  And I urge others to do the same, for a year or so.  We can target specific races with our money.

            In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

            by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:32:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Careful (4.00)
            This is the American Spectator you are talking about. They had lots of articles about what Clinton was supposedly doing and most of it was false. Don't trust them. Reid and Pelosi may have been leery of Dean, but they will come around. Patience.

            Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein

            by DrSpike on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:46:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly (4.00)
              Let's consider the source.  Regular phrasing like "Dean is steamed" and "Dean is privately fuming" makes me very, very suspicious, not to mention the implication that  a "Dean staffer" would talk to the Spectator in such a supposedly candid fashion.  Let's proceed with caution.
              •  In their dreams... (4.00)
                I'm a bit handicapped in discussing this, since I don't listen to conservative talk radio, but I have gotten the impression (through face-to-face contact with a couple people who unfortunately do) that those people are doing EVERYTHING they can to attack the confidence of Democrats in our new leadership team.

                So don't "proceed with caution", just discard those tales as more freeper wet dreams.

                What have you done today to take Bush and the Bushies down?

                by JTML on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:53:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Consider the source (none)
                Agree. Repugs don't go around worrying about what the left thinks of them. If Reid and Pelosi do act up, we have to deal with them and support Dean. The list won't do them any good if people donate to the DNC.
              •  Take some strategy from Dean (none)
                "I don't respond to blind quotes."
                •  Indeed (none)
                  It's also useful to note that The Spectator's spin is so intense that it's about as valid a political news source as The National Enquirer. And it's certainly not a valid source for insight into Democratic intra-party politics.

                  "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

                  by colleen on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 07:52:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Will Rogers (4.00)
            An outstanding American and comedian during the Great Depression of the '30's said that he wasn't a member of any "Organized Political Party" he was a Democrat!

            That drew a great laugh, at the time, and its still largely true because we-as Democrats-pride ourselves on being individualist's first!

            However, in my opinion, it is time to rethink this thing and begin backing our own and stop eating our young if we ever hope to regain Democracy in OUR NATION.

            •  Support every Tom, Dick, and Harry? (none)
                There are Dems and then there are Dems.  I have certainly met one or two that I'd rather not support because they are too wacky, even for me.  There are others who are too cozy with people I vehemently disagree our esteemed Mr. Lieberman.  I certainly agree that we must support our candidates, but disagree that every dem politician deserves that support.

              The great tragedy of science? The slaying of a beautiful hypothosis by an ugly fact. - Thomas Huxley

              by eunichorn on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:02:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  American Spectator: a far right-wing publication (4.00)
            The publisher is Alfred Regnery, of Regnery Publishing, the legendary publishing house for right-wing pundits such as Newt Gingrich, Anne Coulter, Pat Buchanon, Dennis Hastert, David Horowitz, G. Gordon Liddy, Michelle Malkin, Oliver North, John O'Neill,and many, many others. David Brock goes into great detail about Regnery in his book The Republican Noise Machine.

            These folks do not have your best interest, or the best interest of the Democratic Party at heart. I suggest thinking the opposite of what they say about Dean, Pelosi and Reid.

            If you need any other evidence about the American Spectator, check out their advertisements, including one for the recent CPAC hatefest. These folks are not our friends.  

          •  "Let's you and him fight" (none)
            These kind of stories are specifically designed to get Democrats fighting with each other. Don't go along with the scam.

            Ancient Chinese curse: May you live in Interesting Times

            by Chris Andersen on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:56:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Phone campaigns seem to work. (none)
            Who do we call?
          •  Ignore it (none)
            It's a right-wing magazine, so it's safe to assume that anything there that reflects badly on the Democrats is either a lie or badly distorted.
          •  Demzilla Dean Debate (none)
            Obviously this is the repugs divide and conquer strategy. There are so few sources in the story, only Faux Nooz would air it.

            "Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth ever afterward resumes its liberty." -- Walt Whitman

            by hipsterdufus on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:37:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Don't under estimate a simple message (none)
      •  it's a plant! (4.00)
         every liberal blogger that clicks on the ad will have their brains sucked out by karl rove. right thru their keyboard.

        "....a relative newbie (user ID in the 18,000 range).. "

        by Miss Devore on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:14:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ok seriously... (4.00)
      I thought they were kidding...

      But now they republicans are turning into 14 year old bullies...

      If you try to show how they are wrong...

      They turn around and start calling you gay...


      •  I know you are, but what am I? (4.00)
        Nah nahnah, nah nah nah.
        •  Well let's see... (3.80)
          If I were a response would be...

          You troop-hating, gay-incest loving, monkey-spawned,  fetus eating surrender monkey!!!!

          And since I'm a response is...

          GROW UP!!!

          •  Not "Grow up!" (none)
            but "Fuck off!" accompanied by a right cross to the bridge of the nose.  Ever noticed that when you fight a Republican straight up, he/she/it scurries off squealing for mommy and threatening lawsuits?  (OK, almost all of them.)

            Fuck the high road, and fuck being the "grown-up" in the debate.  It's time for a political beatdown in this country.

      •  14 is being generous..... (4.00)
      •  Beavis and Butthead politics (4.00)
        Stupid puerile insults and pre-logical thinking have always had a prominent place in right-wing political movements, as our current iteration has shown.  It appears that there's nothing left in the wingnut quiver aside from these little darts of infantile sarcasm.

        You can never be too rich, too thin, or too cynical.

        by Dallasdoc on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:12:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ever notice? (none)
          Duhbya laughs like Beavis and Butthead.
        •  Ref to my above post (none)
          I'm not suggesting that we get into a teenage brawl with these guys, but instead of snooty indignation from on high, we need to go toe-to-toe with them, armed with righteous indignation and the willingness to KICK THEIR ASSES SQUARE if need be.

          Imagine the reaction if, after Rush told his TV audience that "Chelsea was the White House dog," he would have had an impromptu visit from outraged father Bill: "I understand you've called my daughter, my precious angel, the apple of my eye, a dog.  Here's your chance to either apologize or have the shit kicked out of you in front of your entire TV audience.  Take your pick."

          He could have won the next forty elections with a few reactions like those.

      •  How dare you! (none)
        As a 14 year old I am deeply offended.

        I think they are more like 4 year olds who can't understand that people might see things differently then they do, and they throw a tantrum.

        Part of the next liberal generation

        by Diego on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:25:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  None, I hope. (4.00)
      Notice how the Fitness ad on the left hand side of the American Spectator site looks a LOT like Gannon. I'm just saying, hmmm.
    •  Old people are the enemy! (3.80)
      "The last thing we want is for our old age homes to be hiding a mushroom cloud."

      I mean, come on!!!!! Are people really gonna believe their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents hate soldiers and love gay marriage, AND that makes them hate America?

      They freakin' BUILT America.

      The people at American Spectator either need less LSD in the Kool-Aid, or more MDMA.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:13:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ya know... (none)
        That is quite right..and quite hilarious...or sad...what these people will do
      •  How would have thunk (4.00)
        That all those WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Era vets secretly closet queens using Social Security reform to advance the Homosexual Agenda.

        Maybe Gannon will cover the story.

        A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth-Lenin

      •  This sure isn't going to convinve the elderly. (4.00)
        They did believe that AARP had sold them out to the drug companies and the HMOs, but they won't believe this.  

        It is ironic.  This ad seems aimed at the elderly, who will never believe it, when they should be aiming at the young (for whom this isn't going to be so scary).  But Bush's policies are so anti-young people, maybe they have given up, are just totally clueless where the young are concerned.

        We should start an ad campaign (Gangs of Grannies For Truth) that says the Club For Growth wants old people to eat dog food and young people to be crippled by debt.  ("They want it all for themselves!") Do some punchy graphics and pictures.  Get them at their own game.

        If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

        by Mimikatz on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:32:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The ad isn't aimed at the elderly. (4.00)
          It's aimed at the Bush core audience - gay-hating males of age 30 to 50.
          •  I think this ad is the (none)
            Ground work for the 2006 election.. they are framing anything that opposes the white house as Military hating/ gay loving...  hence .. all democrats running for election in 2006
            •  Same as It Ever Was /Stop Making Nonesense (none)
              Hitler said complex messages don't work, they just confuse people.  Hitler was tribal -- direct and crude.  With the Depression raging, he mobilized fear, anger and hatred against traditional scapegoats -- jews, bolsheviks, intellectuals and modern artists.  This  approach gained the Nazis momemtum and power in the 1932 and 1933 elections.

              Sound familiar?  The Republicans are singing an old and dangerous song.  They're singing like they learned from the master and their production values are higher.

              We must take this crude scapegoating very seriously. As Jackson Browne said:  Don't think it can't happen just because it hasn't happened yet.

              This aggression will not stand, man

              by kaleidescope on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:51:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  many of the elderly are gay (4.00)
          and/ or have gay kids or grandkids
          ad is really stupid.
           Rove et al. must  have convinced themselves they really did win the election by gay bashing instead of having to steal it despite all their gay-bashing.

          help is on the way!

          by Errol on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:32:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Looking at the Spectator ad . . . (none)
        maybe it's just as well that lots of senior citizens still aren't online. Actually, most seniors seeing that ad would think that it's not their AARP that the ad refers to. It's some other AARP.

        It's interesting that this ad seems to be trying to turn the elderly against the AARP instead of trying to turn younger people against it.

      •  No, old people are anti-American (4.00)
        Remember this jewel

        Each year, 2 million people who fought in the Second World War and lived through the Great Depression die. This generation has been an exeception in American history, because it has defended anti-American policies.  They voted for the creation of the welfare state and obligatory military service. They are the base of the Democratic Party. And they are dying. And, at the same time, all the time more Americans have stocks. That makes them defend the interests of business, because it is their own interest. Because of that, it's impossible to bring to the fore policies of social hate, of class warfare."

        What do you bet Grover the Grinch is involved in this?  We ought to through the shit they throw right back at them.

        •  Holy Shite (none)
          That is just unreal.

          I mean - wow.

          "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

          by jbeach on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:47:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  true, and yet (none)
          I don't think the WWII generation are the gay-loving people the ad is aimed at. The Social Security war is going to be fought against Baby Boomers.

          They're so convenient: a huge cultural force that, according to the Right, destroyed America with its liberalism. Navel-gazing, selfish, me-generation types on the edge of retirement - what else would drive the far right crazy enough to sacrifice their own parents except the thought of the government paying the '60s generation a dime?

          I don't disagree with you - the elderly always end up obsolete and a burden, especially the elderly who are the legacy of FDR - but I think the real war is going to be fought against their ungrateful children.

          •  And fought *by* their ungrateful children (none)
            Bush is a boomer, after all. From the dark side of the 60's revolution. Pure blind selfishness.

            The guy who was happy to drink, drug, booze and probably philander, but thought hippies should be jailed, that Nixon was a great guy, and that the Viet Nam war was a great thing - for other people his age to go and fight.

            So they're going to appeal to those conservative boomers who want other people's cake and eat it too.

            "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

            by jbeach on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:37:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Let me see if I understand correctly... (none)
          My father fought against Hitler in WWII and voted for Roosevelt, whose New Deal initiatives kept millions from starving to death or being sent to the poor house in their old age and also supported formers and educated and trained millions of others so that they could earn wages building the dams, highways, rural electrification grids, etc. that made the US a prosperous place. Therefore my father was anti-American.  

          So that means that the people defending Hitler were the ones supporting America.

        •  And the generation before... (none)
          And the people who remember how we got into the Depression have all died off, so it is necessary for them to raise a new generation from the young today, as they are rapidly doing.

          Plus ca change, plus cela meme chose--they never seem to learn or are so blinded by their greed
          and/or need for power to run the world as they know better.

    •  I don't think they want people to BELIEVE it (4.00)
      They just want people to click through.

      Then you read the stuff they WANT you to believe.

      (And they also get the click-through stats.)

      It IS eye-catching, but it's also kind of desperate -- like they've only got two tricks, and now they have to do them both together even to get peoples' attention.

    •  Internet Ads (4.00)
      A few things come to mind.

      First, this is clearly an attempt to recreate the Swift Boat success by coming up with an ad so outrageous that it demands coverage. It is an internet ad on a conservative website. The more we hype this, the more it gets hyped in the MSM. I think it best at this point to ignore. Once we see this ad on or go after it, but who is going to go to the American Spectator that is not already convinced? Let's not push this further into the public consciousness, but stay vigilant and be ready to pounce when necessary. Remember, the SBV aired their ad in three markets and everyone in the country saw it. Let's not help them get it out there.

      Second, to respond to your post, how many people are going to believe it? As many people downthread point out, many AARP members are Republican. These posters seem to think that because of this the ad will fail. I'm not so sure. Perhaps, as polarized as this country is, they are trying to get those Republican AARP members to question their membership and leave, much as we encouraged them to do during the Medicare debacle. If they can convince even a few people to leave, they'll hype it and claim success. They'll also use this to say that the AARP is not as influential as it once was so stop listening to them...

      Finally, this is all in the playbook and let's not kid ourselves. As soon as we're talking about Gay Marriage and Supporting the Troops we've lost the debate. Not because of these particular topics, but because we are no longer talking about Social Security. The purpose isn't to foment gay hatred and rally the base it is to CHANGE THE TOPIC and distract from the debate that THE REPUBLICANS ARE LOSING.

      Keep our eyes on the ball and keep hammering that the president's PRIVATIZATION plan is a raw deal and expose any attempt to change the subject as such and return to attacks on privatization.

      •  I nominate this for (none)
        "Best comment of the day."
      •  spectator ad (none)
        Well, the ad was just briefly shown on Keith Olberman's Countdown on MSNBC.
      •  I hope you don't (none)
        mind but I posted this comment in Kevin Drum's thread on this. I think you nailed this perfectly and I couldn't have said it better.
      •  Agreed, great post (none)
        And have a 4.

        One point I would like to make, though...and that is the fact that, in this case, the "audience" for this ad and those being attacked are not mutually exclusive.

        The Swifties were/are "conservatives".

        Kerry was/is a "liberal"

        The Swifties attacked Kerry.

        "Conservatives" are mutually exclusive to "liberals".

        Here, however, say we define the ad's target as males aged 30-50.  You might say that the ad's projected audience and the target of the ad are still exclusive, since you can't be in the AARP if you are under 50...but this would ignore the millions of Americans with fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles that are AARP members.

        Talk about an are potentially targeting an audience with an ad message that indirectly disparages them or ones they love.

        How many people were affected in this mannerr with the Swifties first round of attacks?  Kerry, his family, and his Vietnam brothers that supported him.  Not necessarily the largest voting block...the one potentially affected here is much bigger, and therefore much more powerful.

        Ergo, I can't see this being the ultimate message...but we were surprised before.

        It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. - Robert F. Kennedy

        by rygriffin333 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:33:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many AARP members have.. (none)
          sons, daughters and grandchildren in the military?? I don't think this ad is going to go over too well with them. I am an AARP member and I am offended by that ad. I am not against the military, I am against their being used to fill the pockets of Bush's corporate buddies. They shouldn't die so people who drive SUVs can get cheap gas, with Halliburton and the Oil Boys getting huge profits out of the war and the oil production. I am sure that you all read about the "privatization" of the Iraqi oil and how the US oil companies are getting great deals out of it. And when this war started, weren't we told that the Iraqi oil would pay for it?? Another Bush lie..the American taxpayer is paying the bill with no relief in sight. And as for Social Security, if they raise the salary cap to $250,000 or more, they will not only have plenty of money to pay the benefits in full, but may actually end up with a surplus. Can't those so-called economists add up numbers?? The Republicans should start thinking about just how angry the American people can get once they realize that they have been lied to and manipulated. Remember what happened to Nixon? And all he did was a little cover-up..not grand theft on a national scale. There is nothing as unforgiving as a lied-to, stolen-from "Christian". Backlash is a terrible thing and the one this administration is in the process of kicking up is going to wash the Republicans out of office for another generation or two.
      •  Are you Mary Beth Cahill? (4.00)
        The more we hype this, the more it gets hyped in the MSM. I think it best at this point to ignore.

        Because that's the advice she gave. And we see how that turned out. Kerry gave no defense. And the only message out there was the one delivered by the liars.

        Right here, right now, every AARP member should receive a mailing of this ad--all 35 million of them--with all the facts, including the attack squad's connections to Karl Rove and Bush and the open smear of the greatest generation. The phone lines into DC will melt down.

        Best of all, this could burn the Republicans in their pasty, hairy asses, as this "support our troops/gay marriage" bullshit is finally exposed once and for all.

      •  Be careful of assumptions (none)
        Ignoring this crap isn't a good idea. Remember - that's what Kerry did. Hitting their "contact us" button and letting them know the ad is absurd is a good place to start.

        Many of us didn't have to be encouraged to quit AARP over the Medicare debacle. We screamed loud and long, pelted Novelli with posts and banded together on the Web to get out the word. It may surprise you that it was a bipartisan effort. We'll scream just as loud this time. Check out the AARP message board if you'd like to see the initial response. Good for reality testing.

        Agree that keeping our eyes on the ball about privatization is smart. But we'd better not get totally distracted by this either. Seems like convenient timing that this campaign just happened to get launched when the MSM was finally paying attention to Gannongate. Typical Bushista tactics. If one thing gets too hot, change the topic!

    •  Overreach (4.00)
      This is the repugs' "McCarthy accuses the military of harboring communists" moment.  The AARP represents a huge constituency, which constituency trusts the AARP more than the repugs, and they're going to see right through this idiocy.

      If it ain't bent, fix it.

      by Michael Wolfe on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:29:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to think t hat but... (none)
        I thinik we've seen that the people in this country trust Bush and Rove more than they trust God.

        It is appalling and frightening but it appears to be true. These guys have completely taken control of the minds of most people in the U.S.

        I don't think anything they do or say won't be believed and honored by the people. As long as Bush isn't sleeping with anyone but "hit and run" Laura (who else would sleep with him or rather what else would) the majority of the people of the U.S. are happy.

        As for Rove, I think most people in this country just wish they were like him.

    •  What does this ad (none)
      have to do with Social Security?  I think people will be confused.

      I'm a member of a minority group: the reality-based community.

      by Unstable Isotope on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:49:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  CLICK ON IT (none)
      it costs 'em money every time.

      Bleed the bastards when you get the chance.

    •  Believe it? (none)
      I don't think this smear has anything to do with the AARP -- or even with the GOP attempt to wreck Social Security.

      I think it's an attempt to (a) rally the base again; (b) remind everyone who might oppose them just how savage the counter-attack will be; (c) test out a strategy for steamrolling Democrats in the Senate on Supreme Court nominations or opposition to making the tax cuts permanent.

      In that sense, this dirty campaign is designed to remind Bush's base that his opponents (whoever they are and whatever they oppose him on) were the people he painted in the campaign as shameless shills for homosexuals.  Counter-attacks will be vicious.  LBJ once asked an aide to put out a rumor that his opponent fucked goats.  "We can't say that, Lyndon.  It's not true," said the assistant.  "I know that," responded Johnson.  "But, let's make him deny it."  Look at how many of us in this thread are busy denying the charge.  If it works, we can expect to see more of it.  Why not?  It worked with the Swift Boat liars.

      It has nothing to do with the AARP.  It's the ugly face of modern politics -- all of a piece with government television clips masquerading as "news," and Armstrong Williams and Jeff Gannon masquerading as journalists.

    •  Ad is down now.... (none)
      It's gone now.  It was up last night at 1:30 AM.  
    •  Our photo was used in the anti-AARP ad (4.00)
      Dear Friends,

      My husband Steven and I recently had our photo used in a right wing conservative add against the AARP without our permission.  They basically stole the photo from The Portland Tribune's website or it was sold to them; we still have not found out how this happened.   The ad and many blogs are mentioned on the Daily KOS who brought this to light, thanks guys.

      It seems the Spectator  (a conservative Republican website) ran an ad on Monday, February 21st using our photo in an anti-AARP ad being produced by the same people who made the Swift boat Vet ads against John Kerry.

      It's an ad targeting the AARP because of their opposition to the President's social security plan.  How this relates to the images of our nuptials and an American soldier is beyond me.  This ad is being used on rightwing websites to somehow use anti-gay bigotry and blind patriotism to rally people against the AARP and, by extension, against preserving Social Security.

      I have placed a copy of the ad on my personal website for you to see since it has been taken of the Spectator's website.  We are in no way indorsing the ad but want you to see the lengths they will go to misinform and misrepresent truth to the American people.

      We are so outraged by this, we've put together a online fundraising team and we are asking you to join -- help me raise as much money from friends and "family" as I can in order to help the Democratic Party.   We must put a stop to this right wing agenda and media campaign.

      Join our team!

      Thank you, and let's make a difference!

      Rick Raymen (a.k.a. Ricky Monet)
      Steven Hansen

  •  Possible line of reasoning (none)
    I can think of two ways they'll justify this in future ads and stuff ...

    • AARP has aligned with Richard Gere on some PR. Gere, as we know, loves Saddam and hates America.

    • AARP has come out against some Bush judicial nominees. By implication, they support liberal fag-loving activist judges.
    •  Who knew??? (4.00)
      John F Kerry and AARP are the same person. No, I had never seen them in the same place at the same time. But still, who knew???
      •  and what does AARP stand for anyway? (none)
        We know what they TELL us it's an acronym for, but do you believe them? ;-)

        Do they realize that there are probably more AARP members than registered Rethugs or Democrats? ANd that just about EVERYBODY knows members, not to mention senior centers and other groups affiliated with them.

        They have truly gone bonkers. Finally.

  •  asdf (none)
    I just read this on Josh's site - how fucking slimy can these Republicans be.

    Fucking amazing...

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds - Albert Einstein. THINK fast - talk SLOW

    by GregNYC on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:47:02 PM PST

  •  maybe the same % that still believes (4.00)
    that there were WMD in Iraq and that Saddam was connected to 9/11
    •  That's the problem... (none)
      ...People will believe anything. Many will be lieve this. For those who think this is just too ridiculous and will backfire, that will not happen by itself. No matter how absurd this is, it must be aggressively counterd.

      I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. - Hunter S. Thompson

      by KingOneEye on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:17:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Voice Your Opinion (none)
      Time: Special edition, 9/11/01

      AARP? Not For Me!
      From bogus surveys designed to promote a hidden liberal agenda to actively promoting liberal causes like gay marriage, the AARP has become one of America's most active liberal lobbies -- at the expense of seniors and their families. As a result, more and more Americans are standing up to the AARP and saying "enough is enough!" Join the growing grassroots movement and voice your opinion on the AARP!

      Click here to voice your opinion today!

      Wayne B from Smithtown Says:
      Their magazine is full of liberal propagander, making it obvious they have a selfish agenda.

      Voice Your Opinion

      ¯|¯ª¤SBª¯|¯  Are you ready for Osama's next tape?

      by taosbat on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:53:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anti AARP (none)
        I posted to this site about "why the AARP isn't for me" by informing them that I quit my membership when the AARP pandered to Bush and his ridiculous prescription drug plan which was nothing more than a boondoggle for W's pharmaceutical company friends and did nothing for needy seniors.  

        I added that I would consider rejoining now that they seemed to have gotten the courage to go up against the President's ridiculous plans to gut Social Security for the benefit of his Wall Street buddies.  

        Think they'll all appreciate my post?  

  •  Can you say "backfire"? (4.00)
    Wait 'til all those millions of card carrying AARP members get a load of this one.
    •  This is my feeling, as well (3.86)
      This isn't some unknown political candidate we're talking about.  This is the AARP.  They've been around for a long time, and I think most people know they're not anti-troops or pro-gay marriage.  In fact, I would imagine they have had very little to say about either, except on veteran's issues.

      In my opinion, the right wing is over-reaching on this one, and it's going to cost them.  The "gay marriage" hysteria never gave them all that much of an advantage anyway, and this time, they've cried wolf one time too many.

      Talk about over the top...

      Oh, and this has been sent on to the New York Times as well, per Joe Conason's recommendation.

      •  this is the wrong group to piss off (3.90)
        The ones who vote. This would be a very good time for the AARP to fire up some mailings to its members encouraging them to get in touch with all those Republican Members of Congress carrying BushCo's water on SS reform. Luckily the AARP knows very well how to do this.
        •  Wow. (4.00)
          Pretty risky for them...considering I'm sure some AARP'ers are Republicans (anyone know a %?)

          Also risky timing with Gannongate not yet "sewn up " by them...

          ...or do they  believe it is sewn  up?

          "Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone."--Thomas Jefferson

          by hopesprings on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:08:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  AARP (4.00)
          No shit. The AARP is also one of the biggest, best-funded lobbies in DC. They aren't exactly picking on small fry which can't fight back here. I predict AARP fundraising will spike big-time.

          And maybe those wankers will learn a thing or two about siding with Bush on that Medicare abomination.

        •  GOP accuses AARP members of traitors (none)
          Backfire!!!  This is exactly what I thought.

          There is a very fine line here that can change the dynamics of this ad to an attack against millions of  conservative and veteran AARP members.

          It's just a matter of giving it the right spin.

          Los Blogueros Faith-based Alternative Surrealism from Washington, DC

          by chechecule on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:10:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  No doubt. (4.00)
      It seems to me that really pissing off 50 million or so people with no jobs doesn't make a lot of sense.  Especially with something as stupid as this, it has nothing to do with social security!  AARP and Gay Marriage?!?

      This had better backfire our our country is in even worse shape than I though.

      Resistance is NOT futile.

      by Dperl99 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:59:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Counter (4.00)
      AARP might defend themselves, but it is going to take them some time to figure out what to say.

      The a-holes who came up with this un-American smear campaign have had some time to figure out their plan, and they are probably a couple of steps ahead of AARP. Already seniors are probably getting their first taste of the campaign through the typical Depublican spams and from word of mouth.

      AARP can contact its members and explain why the ad is wrong, but that ain't gonna do the trick.  The cockroaches who did this need to be outed, put into plain view for everyone to see and then tarred and feathered.  Then these a-holes need to be linked to the folks who are obviously behind it and who benefit the most from these lies - The White House.

      In the near future, outfits like MoveOn and BlogPac need to come up with counter campaigns - some ads that explain what is wrong with Social Security and how to really fix it, and some ads that explain that the folks who sponsor these un-American ads are Grade A dipshits.  But not in that language.

      •  actually (none)
        I think EXACTLY that language. Let's quit beating around the bush and beat UP the Bushes.

        Don't be nice. Be blunt. Be honest. Be tough -- and speak the truth.

        They're coming for you, and you and you, and your parents, and your dog. They'll take your money, leave you destitute, swindle you, and lock you up when you say anything.

        And we need to stop them. NOW.

        •  Depends on who you're talking to. (none)
          If you want to convince grandmothers, don't call anyone a dipshit. Blunt language may be fine, depending on the grandmother. "Wash your mouth out with soap" language... not so much. Unless, of course, you want them to be thinking more about the bad word you used than about what you're saying.

          It's a generational thing, I think.

          Massacre is not a family value.

          by Canadian Reader on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:39:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  so true. destined to ensure (none)
      aarp comes to mean americans against the republican party. pigeons coming home to roost.

      We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

      by yankeedoodler on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:43:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Damn Straight (none)
      I can't wait to tell my dad how he supports them gays and hates the troops.  He'll take that real well, I'm sure.

      I can't wait until the Rapture! -- FREE STUFF! --EVERYWHERE!

      by God loves goats on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:06:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And gay troops make AARPers' (none)

     heads explode.  And they drown little baby  kittens.  Those dastardly old people!


    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

    by BenGoshi on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:47:57 PM PST

  •  C'mon, there's gotta be room... (4.00)
    ...for at least a couple more of the standard GOP boogeymen on there.  What -- no Michael Moore??  No Hilary Clinton?? No Jesse Jackson???

    These guys must be losing their touch...

    "...your grasp has exceded your reach/ And you put all your faith in a figure of speech..." -- Warren Zevon

    by Roddy McCorley on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:47:58 PM PST

  •  And to think . . . (4.00)
    my parents already burned their AARP card.  Now they're going to have to join up again.

    Now, if the AARP would actually be anti-war and pro-gay marriage, I might have to join.

  •  AARP should sue these bastards (4.00)
    this is libel, slander, whatever you want to call it.  The AARP doesn't even deal with foreign policy or marriage.  This is all lies, distortion and destruction of character in a overtly and out-right malicious way.  They are doing this on purpose.

    Calling all trial lawyers!!!!

  •  Desperation, pure and simple (4.00)
    Bush's Social Security "reform" failed on the merits. So they resort to this.

    In politics, sometimes the jackasses are on your side.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:48:15 PM PST

  •  Typical (4.00)
    Like the campaign in WV last year with flyers that if the Democrats win, all Bibles would be banned.  Nothing else, no justification.  

    Unfortunately, as ridiculous as this sounds, this will impact with some people.

    However, in this case I think it is so out there, it will have limited impact.

    If it were in the middle of a political campaign and referred to a specific candidate it would have more power.

    Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

    by JAPA21 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:49:15 PM PST

    •  RE: Impact (none)
      However, in this case I think it is so out there, it will have limited impact.

      It also helps that it's running in The American Spectator, which is mainly read by the GOP tastemakers and their field commanders, not the "levies", much less ordinary Americans.  

      We can get to mocking this ad immediately -- and Imp's lampoon of it is brilliant.  (I also like the idea of a "Bush Agenda" ad with a Red X over a pic of a sweet little old grandma and a green check mark over a pic of Gannon/Guckert.  Or maybe one of the pics of grinning US torturers at Abu Ghraib, posing with the corpse of the man they murdered.)

  •  Someone send this to Andrew Sullivan. (4.00)
  •  Isnt the AARP well (4.00)
    respected by the nations elderly?  Could this be a good thing? in that, a large group of dems and republicans will finally see how ridiculous the Thugs really are.

    I guess we just need to get the word out that this is conected to the Republican party.

    •  Yep (4.00)
      This is just the sort of thing that could start making the public much more cynical about the topic of gay marriage as a political cudgel.

      Thanks, USA-Next (same as USA-Previous, really).

    •  AARP respected? (4.00)
      Is the AARP respected by the nation'a elderly. Well, it's just a little complicated. As a card carrying elder, I read the AARP magazine, and there are always letters decrying the magazine's attempts to be interesting and modern. Articles on interesting people who happen to be over 50, love and sex in later years, I seem to remember articles about Richard Gere and Jane Fonda. Anyhow, there is a group of the elderly who aren't happy about the magazine.
         Then there is a big group of older folks who were hopping mad that AARP supported the administration's prescription drug program. I think this is a different group than the culture-warriors.
          I think "the elderly" -- not a monolithic group by the way -- haven't quite digested the AARP's position against the President's social security proposals. I think most will tend to agree with AARP on this, having watched their private investments tank over the last few years. But there's no doubt in my mind that the GOP is targeting the AARP because of their stand on social security. It's very important to support the AARP on this issue, but I'm not sure making a fuss about this ad would be effective. Maybe LTEs and such like.

      i thought we left breadcrumbs...

      •  you're right (none)
        there's not one 'elderly' -- there are distinct groups.

        The over 50/under 70 crowd, who tend to be NOT WWII vets, bu Korean/Vietnam vets who had a completely different experience. THey're a lot more active, probably still working, may have kids in college, etc. Basically boomers, not what most people think of as 'elderly'.

        Then there's the over 70 crowd -- and that's who they're targeting this at. However, those people aren't morons, and they don't always take everything at face value either -- and they've got the time to check it out. They will do what someone else said -- think it's some OTHER AARP, not theirs.

        And to be really blunt -- this is not the AARP's issue in any way, shape or form. Why they even ran this ad is a complete mystery.

        •  fascism (none)
          And they also remember the results of fascism. Undoubtedly, it's very difficult for them get their minds around the idea that they themselves, AMERICANS, are now experiencing first-hand what the atmosphere was like in Germany in the '30s. Once it does though the small surviving cohort of 80+s all by themselves will rip bu$hco into tiny little shreds.

          I would suggest that they demand the showdown be with Bush and be in public, and with every network camera trained on the spectacle.

          •  I'd love to watch that... (none)
            WW2 vets and others who lived through that era have seen the real, honest-to-God face of fascism. They, unlike any of us younguns (at least, i'm young comparatively) have first-hand experience with this same type of stuff before. At least, that's assuming they see the Bush administration similar to how i see it--probably not likely, but they might notice the same similarities.

            And Bush compared to the people who beat Hitler? Even Karl Rove would find that a hard battle to salvage.

            We can hope...

            The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

            by Shapeshifter on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:41:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think the ad is a trial balloon (none)
          Note that it's not running in any mainstream publication -- just the archconservative (and highly unprofitable, therefore heavily subsidized) American Spectator.

          They don't dare run it anywhere else just yet.

          This gives us the chance to skewer it to hell and back -- and to explain to America the following:  

          "This anti-AARP ad ran in a 'respectable' conservative magazine, The American Spectator.  It's intended to make you doubt AARP's word on Social Security -- but since they know that AARP is right and they are wrong, they have to distract you with pictures that have nothing to do with Social Security."

          Or, if you're talking to the younger crowd:

          "Why are these bozos using The Wookie Defense to attack AARP?  This ad has nothing to do with Social Security, and everything to do with showing how crass the privatizers and their gunsels are."

      •  My Parents WERE both members of AARP (none)
        Until last year when they stabbed their members in the back with that whole Bush/Drug Company thang.  AARP has gone native.
    •  And (none)
      and tied to the Witless Veterans for Fools.
  •  This is disgusting (3.87)
    I didn't think Rove and Bush could get any lower than the swiftboat liars, but this crap disproves that belief.

    Bush, Cheney and Rove should go back to the slimey swamp they crawled out of. It is almost as if these guys aren't real human beings. They are like the sociopaths who are missing normal pieces the rest of us have.

    •  Awhile ago I stopped believing (4.00)
      There's a bottom floor for these people.

      How much will you lose with Bush's Social Security plan? Click to find out.

      by Goldfish on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:57:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting... (none)
      What do you suppose a brain scan of Bush and Rove would look like. Perhaps we could preserve their brains in jars. The sooner the better!

      I am not a crook!

      •  I'd like to see (3.66)
        a psychological profile. I think there is, in Scott Peck's book: People of the Lie an examination of group evil that our present administration fits like a glove.

        I also think that many people believe everything they see and hear as a result of brainwashing, so I view this ad as very serious indeed and second the wish for the AARP to sue.

        A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

        by Little Red Hen on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:09:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right Wing and Projection (4.00)
          Many times I have said that the key to understanding Right wingers is projection.  I got that idea from "People of the Lie."   He has a fascinating series of portraits of people who go to incredible psychological extremes because they can't come to terms with some feelings or part of themselves, something that doesn't measure up to what they think they should be.  Homophobic men with feelings toward men they can't handle are a classic example.  It fits very tightly with Lakoff's "strict father" portrait of hard right people.  But I also think there may be something else here, especially with Rove.  Some little chuckle that he thinks he is getting away with more than people know.  

          Bush is different.  See below.

          If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

          by Mimikatz on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:47:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  People of the Lie (none)
            That book has come to my mind often when thinking about Bush & Co.  Particularly the idea that lying and total self-centeredness are distinguishing characteristics of evil.
      •  bush & cheney brain scan (none)
        filed here
    •  Bush and Gays (none)
      Twice recently (once in Kevin Drum and second in these pages) I have seen long-time friends of Bush quoted as saying that he really doesn't like slurring gay people and going after them (as distinct from opposing gays getting the same kind of marriage, which Dean and Kerry didn't support either).  I find this intriguing, and actually find it believable, since he has similar views on immigrants--he won't use them as a punching bag, like Pete Wildson did.

      Wonder what his views on this campaign are.

      If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

      by Mimikatz on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:39:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Hope... (4.00)
    I hope the AARP remembers this the next time they contemplate getting in bed with this administration.  Does this suck?  yeah  Do I particularly care?  not really

    "If you aren't completely appalled, then you haven't been paying attention." November 2004 Update: You obviously haven't been paying attention.

    by Savage on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:50:06 PM PST

  •  I don't get it (4.00)
    Isn't practically every American over age 50 a member of AARP?  Like my very Republican mom?  I can't see people falling for this.  Maybe I'm naive.
    •  49 1/2 (4.00)
      I don't know, I've heard rumors that some of those AARPers are really only 49 1/2, and only got to retire due to their political connections. Where as commander Bush bravely dodged even having a life, thus saving himself for historic leadership against the American Al-Quaida of Retired People.
    •  Well, Tex (4.00)
      I'm 51 and there ain't no way in hell that my brain is over 25.  The thought of cruising on a Greyhound castoff and getting 10% off at an Econoplotz with a troop of grey, farting, synthetic-clad yingyangs makes my testicles shrink - whomp, there it is!  And that's about the only benefit you get from AARP as I understand it.

      1. Turning into an asshole isn't compulsory at age 50.

      2. If you're lucky, you'll get there someday, too.  If.

      "No. I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK."

      by moltar on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:22:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup - gotta be 50 to join... (4.00)
      I just got my card last week.  I'm now officially "elderly".  And for the life of me, I can't figure out how that happened!
    •  Good Marketing Opportunity (none)
      If half the members of AARP are "conservatives," then USA Next has opportunity to carve out a nice market for themsleves if they can get people to switch to them -- though it's unclear that they DO anything other than support President Bush.

      When all else fails...panic

      by David in Burbank on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:23:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  yeah, that's my mom (4.00)
    75 year old white Southerner, hasn't voted Dem since LBJ, and an AARP member who loves gays and hates the military.
    •  And My Grandmother! (4.00)
      Until now, I'd spent quite a few years under the impression that the AARP lobbied for elderly Americans and retirees, but boy was I wrong! I thought that my 79-year-old Grandmother chose to be an AARP member because it was in her own best interests, but now I realize she's been nothing but a troop-hating fag hag all along!

      Grandma, if you see this comment, I am so, so sorry.

      Visit the PagodaBlog for hackneyed totally original political and philosophic commentary.

      by Juppon Gatana on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:08:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Grrrrr (4.00)
    When I think I cannot get surprised or outraged anymore and I have seen everything. They do this. What a bunch of invertibrates. You know I am no longer outraged, this is a joke right? Who is going to respond to this. If I were the dems I would be showing this everywhere and laughing at it.

    Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein

    by DrSpike on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:50:58 PM PST

  •  Maybe some bushites will see how (none)
    a kiss is more positive than a soldier. It may have a reverse effect. One can dream...
  •  These people are sick,,. (none)
    But, if they are going to run these ads should'nt they replace the "gay" photo with their own Jimmy Jeff Guckert.  I understand he has some nice photos they can use.

    Seriously, how can we put an end to the madness?

  •  They kick puppies too... (none)
    I heard stories that old people were celebrating after 9/11, waiving their canes around their head and whooping it up on their Rascals.
  •  LOL. Oh, I can't wait too see this fight. (4.00)
    They're going up against one of the most powerful -- and most active -- interest groups working in America today. And starting out by calling them anti-American and gay-loving?

    It's like George W. Bush isn't just determined to touch the third rail of American politics -- he's pulled his pants down and is taking a whiz on it.

    •  Actually (4.00)
      Peeing on an electrified train rail is very, very unlikely to cause electrocution (read: almost impossible).

      What Bush is doing really resembles pulling down his pants and trying to hump the third rail. Now there's an image I'd like to burn out of my brain.

      How much will you lose with Bush's Social Security plan? Click to find out.

      by Goldfish on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:01:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, no (4.00)
        I can testify that peeing on an electric fence can give you a shock. (Dont ask, I was young and wanted to see if the rumors were true.)

        And, extrapolating from that, the same thing should happen for a third rail on a transit line. Electrolyte-waste in the urine conducts electricity quite well up to the source from where it came. And from there, the body's ion-channel served nerve system takes the electricity down to one's feet.

        Pattern is his who can see beyond shape: Life is his who can tell beyond words.

        by cnflght on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:09:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! (4.00)
        What Bush is doing really resembles pulling down his pants and trying to hump the third rail. Now there's an image I'd like to burn out of my brain.

        You sick bastard. Thank you for providing my nightmares for tonight! :)

    •  I'm *really* sorry for the spelling in that post, (none)
      I'm still laughing too hard.
  •  this ad will not have (none)
    the desired effect. Even by the standards of smear propaganda, this ad is not really effective: it will untimately confuse more people than it will anger. I would not waste a lot of energy with this: it's not going to go anywhere.
    •  Actually (4.00)
      I think we want it to go somewhere.  It's so over-the-top that it will backfire.
      •  Another interpretation (none)
        It's repulsive to me to not support our troops, and I think the "X" through the soldier represents that. But is it equally repulsive to show two men kissing? I'm trying to read through the comments here, and I get a feeling that folks are just a wee bit too squeemish at the thought of two men kissing. Not that this isn't a lie about the AARP. I just have a hard time with the two men kissing being interpreted as something horrible -- not by the other side, which is to be expected --but by us.
        •  Two men kissing (none)
          isn't repulsive . . . but the issue of gay marriage on the ballot of so many states made it possible for Bushie to supposedly win the election . . . it's that they are trying to wrap SS in this issue hoping it will bring out the masses in favor of privatization . . . that's what's repulsive!


          by jhewett on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:46:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that what... (none)
        ...the Kerry campaign said about the SBVfTL ads?

        The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

        by Shapeshifter on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:08:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're right (none)
      There's no narrative there. The equation of AARP and anti-military just doesn't make sense. So how is it going to change the "character" of AARP?
    •  Sure it will (4.00)
      Keep in mind where it's being advertised. I doubt this is a campaign that they'll run on CNN. It's merely to raise money from the knuckle-dragging faithful that'll buy an argument like "Real men support Social Security privatization; you're not a fag are you?"

      --- If I were employed, my opinions would be my own and not my employer's.

      by Aexia on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:46:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course... (none)
        ...we can distribute this message to other markets, whose eyes this wasn't meant for.

        "This is how the GOP attacks its opposition", and the ad--they'll wish they never made the piece, if we use it right.

        Treating people just like pawns in chess, wait til their judgment day comes

        by Alioth on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:39:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  OMFG (4.00)
    how absolutely pathetic. if this is all they've got, i wouldn't be too worried if i were at AARP.

    it's amazing when you think about it. how these folks can be patently offensive, thoroughly irrelevant and totally fucking clueless all at the same time.

    Left Is Port, Right Is Starboard.

    by lipris on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:52:12 PM PST

  •  Quick Question. (4.00)

      Is that pic on the right Ralph Reed and Rick Santorum?  


    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

    by BenGoshi on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:52:23 PM PST

    •  It was Ricky's idea! (4.00)
      Santorum Hates Gay Marriage
      Santorum Hates Social Security

      If you are in Philadelphia tomorrow, you can tell Santorum just how much you appreciate his dirty work:
      9:30 am at the Drexel Campus
      32nd & Chestnut

      If you sign in now at Drexel, you can tell him in person. Otherwiser, you can protest outside with us:

  •  Hmmm... (4.00)
    I'm not decided about the social security issue, yet—I need to learn a lot more before I feel qualified to make that judgement.

    But if this is the way they're going to go about trying to convince me, then they might as well just forget it.  I'm disgusted and angered by this advertisement—so much so that I can't even begin to respond to its despicable nature.

    What am I doing on DailyKos? I'm Running for the Right...

    by RFTR on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:52:29 PM PST

    •  You haven't decided about Social Security!!!??? (4.00)
      Read this:

      The pessimistic prediction by Social Security trustees puts the possible shortfall in Social Security at 3.7 trillion dollars 75 years from now. (Bush's 10 trillion dollar estimate is so absurd it would be laughed out of accounting 101, mainly because it extrapolates until infinity.)

      According to Alan Greenspan, Bush wants to borrow 4.5 trillion dollars over the next 20 years to "save" Social Security (Paul Krugman and the CBO puts the total at 15 trillion over 40 years.)* Think about how this money might be better used to fix a real crisis, which is the explosion in health care costs, with 45 million Americans lacking basic health care coverage. And yet Bush wants to use this borrowed money to "fix" something that isn't even broken. Wake up people!

      It doesn't take a genius to "solve" every potential debt by borrowing more money than you already owe! Think about how stupid this is. A guy walks into a bar and says: "I might possibly have a debt of 3.7 trillion dollars 75 years from now. What am I supposed to do?" Bartender Bush says: "I suggest you borrow 15 trillion dollars over the next 40 years and your problem will be completely solved!"

      Maybe this kind of bogus Harvard Business school math worked at places like Arbusto, Harken Energy and Enron, but any grade school kid can see right through this phony shell game.

      Just like common carnival hucksters, Bush and company are counting on greed and a sucker being born every minute to sell their bogus plan.



      •  Problem is (2.00)
        I do think that private investment accounts are the natural progression of things, and would be more effective at providing for retirement if allowed to supplement the current form of social security.

        I agree with the goal, and the motivation of the Bush plan—I'm just not sure that I agree with the Bush plan itself yet.

        What am I doing on DailyKos? I'm Running for the Right...

        by RFTR on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:59:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  duh (3.83)
          How many times does one need to point out the simple fact that private investment accounts ALREADY exist...IRAs, 401Ks, 457s, and money market choices up the ying yang?  And thanks to ENRON and ilk, just look how effective those have been as supplements.  Yeah...we know who they're REALLY supplementing!
        •  Well (3.33)
          I would argue that private retirement accounts pre-date Social Security, so if anything we're going backwards.

          But for the record, when FDR originally discussed creating Social Security, he promoted the idea of voluntary private accounts alongside SS (not as part of it).  

          I have no problem with people investing for their retirement.  Just don't mess with the guaranteed benefits of SS.  Too many people would be in poverty without it.

          •  Don't pass that FDR right wing lie here (2.50)
            Don't pass along that right-wing lie about what FDR said. At least not in this forum, where people actually think about issues instead of eating pre-digested pablum from Rove and company.
            •  Re-read what I said, please (3.60)
              The right-wing lie is that FDR promoted the eventual replacement of Social Security with private accounts.  That's not what he said, and it's not what I said.

              I said FDR originally proposed that people's retirement should be taken care of using a) Social Security (defined benefit government program) and b) whatever supplemental private accounts people would want to have.


            •  No, it's not made up (4.00)
              I saw Keith Olberman's interview with FDR's grandson, who is highly placed in Social Security Admin, where they took apart Brit Hume's "creative re-construction" of FDR's original statement on what SS could and should be.  He did include private investment in a small way at the beginning, with the hope that it would grow bigger.

              The whole point about SS was that it would be rock-solid, 100% govt-backed investments of the highest grade, so no swindlers could fast-talk the oldsters into make money quick schemes.  And of course, they're running things now.

              "No. I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK."

              by moltar on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:29:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  You have this already (3.80)
          There already is an effective way to privately supplement Social Security -- IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts).  You can open one right now.  

          The goal and motivation of the Bush Plan is to dismantle and destroy Social Security.

        •  key word (4.00)

          but that's not the Bush plan or the motivation for it and the sooner you and those reasonable conservative folks like you see this administration for what it is, the better.

          they are not trying to "fix" or "rescue" or "supplement" or "improve" social security - they are trying to destroy it - some of them even admit it.  

          I truly fear for the future of our nation, and part of my fear is that otherwise reasonable people like yourself keep giving this administration the benefit of the doubt.

          We can disagree on policy. You strike me as a reasonable person who studies issues, but  what about the administration has ever been "conservative?"

          Secret Legal Arguments.

          I mean really.
           It is a orgy of wretched Imperial excess.  They've taken profiteering and slash and burn politics to new levels. It is using both the theocrats and the conservatives in ways that would be funny if not so dangerous to our nation and our world.

          Just as I feel a great responsibility, as a Christian - to stand up to  Dobson and Falwell's misuse of religion - I think anyone who calls themselves a true conservative should be on the freaking front lines against this monstrosity - not "running to the right"

          there will be time for that later - right now our way of life truly is threatened - and it's by the guy you voted for.

          I appreciate you posting here RFTR. I appreciate your sincerity.  I hope your eyes are opening to the monster you've helped create.

          At long last, sir, they have no decency.

          I support Soulforce - seeking Justice for God's GLBT children. Please join us.

          by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:14:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Try to pay attention (none)
          There's nothing wrong with Social Security.  You know that, right?
        •  Do the math! (4.00)
          2005 max 401k contribution: $14,000
          2005 max Roth IRA contribution: $4,000
          2005 projected median income: $58,000

          You can save almost 1/3 of the median income tax-free today, IN ADDITION TO SOCIAL SECURITY.

          But you already knew that...

          Sources: Amex HUD (pdf)

          I would have expected better trolling from a Yalie. ;) Go Big Red!

          •  But at $58,000.00... (none)
   will not eat well if you do.  That, my friend, is the rub.
            •  you won't eat (none)
              at all. Not if you want someplace to live. And heat.
            •  Actually ... (none)
              It is more of a matter of what you choose to spend your earnings on.

              For example I make only a little more than $58000/year myself and I live in a fairly expensive city (Seattle) yet I'm managing to save nearly 45% of my pre-tax income.

              I manage to eat pretty well too. I also manage to give a fair (3-5% of gross income) amount in political donations and to charity.

              On the other hand I'm single with no kids. I'm happy with my beater car, my modest apartment in a modest neighborhood, I bike to work instead of paying for a gym membership, and I don't have cable or a sat dish.

            •  you can't live on 58,000? (none)
              then you are clueless if you ask me
              Here are my earnings from my SSI report. I no longer live in the States but from the 90's
              90-19,004/ 91-19,677/ 92- 12,531/ 93-4,328/ 94-5,587/ 95-10,891/ 96- 8,156/ 97-11,699/ 98-12,640

              Not only did I eat well throughout the decade but I also: bicycled across North America, traveled extensively in Mexico for two months, completed a BA degree/ studied abroad in Ecuador/ and climbed and skied all over north America. '97 was good year for skiing, went to Vail, Winterpark, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Whistler/Blackcomb, and Tahoo in addition to local Oregon mountains. All on 11 grand. Priorities. Barely scraping by on 60 G's a year? bwahahahahahha what fricking loser.

              •  oh please (none)
                And how much money did mommy and daddy float your way? You sound like a trustafarian to me.
                •  i wish (none)
                  none. I'm 42 fuckhead. I've been on my own since I was 20. I've worked since I was 14 when I was picking corn on a local farm. Now I'm in Japan and I make about 25 grand a year. In the six years I've been here I have saved roughly 7,000 a year or nearly 30% of my wages. If you can't live on 58000 and save boatloads you are a clueless greedhead. My father was a college professor and died of alcholism some years ago. He left me nothing but my mom lives on his and her pension. There are no trusts, nothing to fall back on for me. I've put up with the bitching and moaning of people like you all my life. crying and whining about how they can't make it on 5 times my pay. Fuck you. You deserve Bush. America deserves  Bush. Even the "liberals" are materialistic greedhead fuck ups. The ultimate losers. If you can't make it in America, you might as well just blow your brains out. You don't even realize how easy you have it. Most, and I mean most, of the world is eating dogshit and barely getting by. You have the chance to experience aspects of the human experience that most don't even dream about yet you saddle yourself with senseless debt on oversized houses, oversized cars, oversized families and oversized bellies, and then whine about how you're barely making it. You don't even know. You should be flat out ashamed that you bitched about your 58,000 being paltry. You don't even know.
                  •  Picking corn! (none)
                    In the winter! Uphill! BOTH WAYS!

                    Just because you swing it around doesn't mean anyone cares how big you think it is.

                    Lots of people scrabbled their way to greatness.

                    Why not help them out a bit, so it takes 10 years instead of 50?

              •  and luckily (none)
                you don't have kids or a spouse, own a house, or ever get sick.

                Try one. Any one. Better yet, try 2. And then add college tuition and/or loans, a few bouts of unemployment, and/or an accident.

                Still eating?

        •  You can't increase savings (4.00)
          By borrowing the money to fund the savings.

          You cannot pay the same level of benefits by withdrawing a substantial part of the money going into paying benefits.

          Keeping Social Security as a guaranteed, minimum benefit for everyone is very important.  Everyone who lives longer than the average gets more out of Social Security than they put in.  You can never outlive Social Security, unlike private savings.  If you die early, you won't care--you won't need the money.

          That said, it is very important to save on your own, to the maximum you can.  But do it truly on your own, not with the government telling you what and how much you can save, and what you have to do with it, as in the Bush plan.


          If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

          by Mimikatz on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:57:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  what IS the goal (4.00)
          of Bush's plan, in your opinion?

          Most of the folks here understand that the goal of his "plan" (which of course doesn't exist) is to destroy SSInsurance and replace it with private accounts, which will line the pockets of the Wall Street brokerage industry.

          If YOUR goal is to shore up SSI so that it doesn't exceed the trust fund, there are simple ways to do that that don't involve destroying SSI and running up the deficit.

          If YOUR goal is to make additional private retirement accounts more accessible, then there are simple ways to do that as well that have nothing to do with SSI.

          If you believe that Bush only wants to "supplement" SSI with private accounts, then you're deluding yourself.  You need to open your eyes.  I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, since you assert that you are trying to engage in a reasonable dialogue.

          There is NO scenario under which destroying SSI, which will be the result of private accounts replacing it, is "reasonable"

        •  There are already (none)
          many private retirement accounts available.  It would be a lot cheaper to strengthen and promote them.  In the order of funding crises, the general fund, followed by Medicare are much, much bigger crises.  We have many years before we even have to address funding shortfalls in SS.

          I'm a member of a minority group: the reality-based community.

          by Unstable Isotope on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:17:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  or better yet (none)
            offer matching funds for those over 50 who open an IRA/401k whose employers don't and who make less than a certain amount. Gradually extend it to everybody.

            That would boost the savings amount, cost less, and provide more of a cushion for those who need it most.

  •  That is too funny (4.00)
    I cannot even take that ad the least bit seriously.  How can anyone look at that ad and not laugh at the sheer clumsiness of it?  

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by johnny rotten on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:52:45 PM PST

    •  Well, now.. (4.00)
      As longtime denizens of the Internets, surely we all know by now that all online arguments can be reduced to their purest essence thusly:

      OMG d00d U R TEH GHEY!!!111

      Sometimes I think the GOP's chief adman is just JeffK with a spellcheck.

    •  Careful Johnny! (none)
      Kerry made the same mistake.  Try not to repeat it.

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:31:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unbelievable (4.00)
    Those of us who DO carry AARP cards are not amused.  Who are these weasels?  Who are these egg-sucking dogs?  Since WHEN did a difference of opinion in our nation open one to a charge of treason?  Isn't that what the ad suggests?   Isn't it?  Can anyone else tell me what the message is?

    I honestly thought I had seen the bottom of the barrel.  Why do they care so much?  What is it about Social Security that drives wing-nuts so crazy?  I truly do not get it.  All that I can say is that I hope that Social Security truly is the "third rail" of American politics, and this is finally the straw that breaks the camels back, and the American people rise up and shake off these ticks.

  •  Amazing (4.00)
    And Art Linkletter is the spokesperson for this USA Next group - he should be fucking ashamed.

    I hope anyone who felt any bit of sympathy for exposing Jeff Gannon quickly realizes what we are up against with these slime ball Karl Rovian ex-Swift boat assholes.

    I'm done being nice - these assholes need to be taken down any way possible!

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds - Albert Einstein. THINK fast - talk SLOW

    by GregNYC on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:53:49 PM PST

    •  Re: Linkletter (4.00)
      Republicans say the darndest things!

      In politics, sometimes the jackasses are on your side.

      by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:56:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Too bad (4.00)
      Because he's supported various worthy causes over the years, including suicide counseling (his daughter took her own life) and Alzheimer's Disease research.
    •  Ol' Art (4.00)
      is well-known for his support of right-wing causes. He's one of the enemy, folks.

      (One of his daughters committed suicide while on an acid trip.  Rumor has it that her fascist dad was a contributing factor.)

      Bush denies presidential timber.

      by Lumiere on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:40:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  take him down (none)
      Linkletter may be a right wing ass but he has a public persona that is not generally regarded as such.

      This add and his name should be forever tied together and he should be asked publicly to endorse
      or refute it.

      As he said on their website:

      There's no end to groups out there vying for your support and mine. As you might guess, I'm careful in choosing those with whom I associate my name. After all, two of the most important things we possess are our reputation and our integrity. Therefore, we need to support organizations that create measurable, positive impact for this generation and, hopefully, the next ones.

      That's not flying, that's falling with style - Woody

      by pvjeff on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:24:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Issues with Art Linkletter (none)
        He is 92 - great for him, but not necessarily cutting edge even for AARP folks

        He is a multimillionaire, as well as actuary- wise not exactly the prime target

        Also, he was born in Canada - is he a US citizen?

        •  not a financial target (4.00)
          but target his reputation. He's listed with Sterling International Speakers as a humourist (taking in $15,000 per speech) and an inspirational speaker.

          His name should help take this add out of the obscurity of the American Spectator and put it on the evening news with the question to him, "You endorse this type of political discourse?"

          That's not flying, that's falling with style - Woody

          by pvjeff on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:54:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Jesus (4.00)
    All other obvious points aside, I love/loathe how they miss that the two categories are not mutually exclusive (see, e.g. James D. "Jef the Bulldog Gannon" Guckert, soldier and homosexual).

    Man my country (or a certain segment of its population, more accurately) is seriously embarrassing.

    John "Death Squad" Negroponte, Supporter ofTerrorist Insurgents.

    by MRL on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:54:34 PM PST

    •  In other words . . . (4.00)

       . . . that the two newlyweds on the right side of the pic could be a couple of Nat'l Guardsmen about to be deployed to Iraq -- one to walk point with a squad through Fallujah, the other to join a team that'll try to locate and disarm or destroy IEDs before they can kill or maim American kids -- is utterly lost on the USA Next people.  

        Oh, and the soldier on the left, he's gay, too.  Well, he could be.


      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

      by BenGoshi on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:18:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look closely: homecoming. (4.00)
      Look at the pic.  The soldier is the same guy on the right in the couple.  
      He leaves Bush's Iraq rathole and comes home to a nice Boston wedding with a hot boyfriend.

      Poor Repubs - they created a nice homecoming narrative that just may backfire on them if anyone looks closely at the photos.  

  •  Social Security and Gays? (4.00)
    Are the conservatives trying to ban Gays from receiving Social Security?  

    I am not shocked any more on how low conservative will go to demagogue their opponent, rather than debate the issue on the facts.  

    mmm, I know the reason, the facts have nothing to do with Conservatism of the GOP.  

    "Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive. And don't ever apologize for anything." --President Truman

    by Eloy on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:54:45 PM PST

  •  I think this will backfire (none)
    That ad is just too absurd to be taken seriously.
    •  I agree (none)
      but I don't even think it will register long enough to backfire: it's a little blip in the white noise machine. It's possible more people on dkos will see it on this diary then will see it out in the wide world. It might even not be widely circulated, for all we know. I'm certainly not worried about it: Social Security PR is less important anyway, compared with the SS debate in the House and Senate. I think Bush is NOT going to get his SS wishes after all.
      •  Free publicity (4.00)
        You may be right about the shelf life of the ad, but there's alot we can do to extend that. Remember, the original swift boat liars' ad buy was relatively small, $500K I think.  They got the ad played over and over again on news programs, however -- free publicity through controversy.  It might be worth doing the same here, just to embarass these pindicks.

        Oh, I just picked up a copy of Tom Brokaw's book, "The Greatest Generation:  Manbuggers"

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:07:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep (4.00)
          This has been sent to the New York Times as well as the AARP's PR office.  I think (and hope) that this ad will stick around long enough to burn its creators, and the GOP in general (who have been using gay marriage to win elections).
        •  well obviously (none)
          the Swift Boat ad controversy did not help our cause.

          I think this ad is different, but I think it's actually best to just ignore it.

          I mean it would be funny on the Daily Show or something, but in general I would like to see energy put elsewhere....we have our hands full right now and I think this ad will turn out to be a non-starter.

          This is the kind of diary that gets a lot of posts on dkos, b/c it's such an easy target (the ad is not even really effective if you think about it), but there are more important diaries elsewhere.....

          •  Hell no, this is golden (4.00)
            We get to kill so many birds with just 1 stone thanks to this if we are aggressive

            Point out the homophobia.
            Point out that the Reps dont heart the troops, esp THE GREATEST GENERATION
            point out they can only smear to try and win a debate they cant win on the facts.

            this is the best thing they could have done for us. I say nail em with it.

            Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

            by Pounder on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:11:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (none)
              We should get this ad distributed to as many news outlets as possible.

              The storyline is "this is what the GOP thinks of AARP members".  They are traitors and "pro-gay marriage".

              I would love to see the reaction of the membership to this.

              Los Blogueros Faith-based Alternative Surrealism from Washington, DC

              by chechecule on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:38:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Now are they the Gayest Generation? (none)
          just a question.
        •  Cost $400k (none)
          Final value, $40,000,000. I'd kill for that kind of return on an investement.
        •  We are in the ad and agree (none)
          We were very angry when we saw this ad and we want to change that anger into a positive enrgy for a change.

          We did not ask for this fame but it has made us want to use it to fight these guys.

          Please contribute to the DNC through our new link and together we can and will fight back.

          Rick & Steven

  •  You know... (4.00)
    There are a lot more gay senior citizens, than senior citizens who are active-duty military.

    Why aren't we running ads thrashing their right-wing  ideological agenda?


    The world angers and confuses me.

    Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.

    by JimTXDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:55:14 PM PST

    •  Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer (4.00)
      LOL, reminds me of classic Phil Hartman, back when SNL was sometimes funny:

      "I'm just a caveman.  ... Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or whatever..."

  •  Wow (4.00)
    I really thought this was a joke. Self-parody indeed.  

    I'm so glad Bush wants to make Social Security more faith-based -Roseanne Barr

    by jj32 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:55:30 PM PST

  •  Less killin', more lovin'? (4.00)
    Is there a downside to this?

    "Truth is my god, and Justice his bride."

    by JamesC on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:55:34 PM PST

  •  AARP is anti-soldier pro gay (4.00)
    Our Dear Leader supports the troops, and is against gay marriage.  The AARP opposes his Social Security elimination plan.  Ergo, the AARP is anti-soldier and pro-gay.  The logic is incontravertible.
  •  My parents... (4.00)
    ...hate our troops and love gays? They're gonna be surprised to find out about that!

    Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

    by Earl on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:56:31 PM PST

  •  There should be an ad against... (4.00)
    these fascists.

    Red X out the Constitution.

    Green check on stormtroopers.

  •  Can this be countered? (4.00)
    with, let's say, a Flash animation that shows a GOP talking head (in best Terry Gilliam style) flapping its gums to a word belloon that fills with just the word LIES repeated over and over again. LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES.

    And caption it, "Right now, at this very minute, as you read this, the Republican Party is lying to you. Click here for more information."

    Hey, if they can do it, we should be able to too.

  •  USA Next... (none)
    ...might want to ask for their money back.
  •  are you kidding me? (4.00)
    this is beyond a farce.

    oh, by the way- gannon's sexuality is now back in play, if every opposition to any program of bush's is claimed to be part of a "homosexual agenda"

    where is howie kurtz on this?

    stpid question, i know.

  •  We will do anything (3.66)
    Just don't show any pictures of men kissing.  

    We will kill anyone.  We give you our retirement.  Just don't show any pictues of men kissing.  I can't think about men kissing.  Make a law no men should kiss if they like each other.

    Bush kissed Lieberman....but that was different....that was the kiss of death.  So that was ok....Just can't see men kissing if they like each other.

    Troops don't kiss they kill and get killed.  That is Ok.

  •  We Surrender (4.00)
    You know-

    I have thought for some time that one possible Dem strategy may be - in response to something JUST LIKE this that so bends the truth...


    Stage a walkout of all Dems in Congress and sit the session out- give the Rs complete responsibility for enacting their agenda.  Period.  I don't care if we lose seats in the process.

    Because god damn it- this is utterly ridiculous.

    PS  You know, the other alternative - is start producing our own ads just as ridiculous- so which is it gonna be- DNC?

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:58:42 PM PST

  •  USA Next: Give "Passion" Best Picture (4.00)
    Check this out.

    Here's what USA Next wants its members to TAKE ACTION! on:

    • Support Mel Gibson's "The Passion" (And this has what to do with a seniors organization?
    • Stop Government Funding of AARP
    • Don't let the government regulate vitamins
    That's it. They want you to support "The Passion" and attack AARP. Social Security? Medicare? Pensions? Who cares! Everyone knows that seniors really care about attacking AARP and seeing "The Passion."
    •  That 'vitamin' thing (none)
      USA-Next has been shilling for the pharmeceutical industry for the last four years or so.  The thing is, they've gotten big money from Big Pharma to do it, and forgot to disclose that fact in their ads and to their members.
  •  I can't even (4.00)
    imagine this kind of linkage in my wildest dreams. What the hell are they saying? If you're an AARP member you don't support the troops? And what the hell does that mean anyway?
    AARP members are gay? Wow, a whole bunch of bluehairs will be mighty surprised.
    This had to be one of the most ridiculous concepts I've ever seen in my whole life. Outrage isn't enough, logic fails.  It's clear they hate AARP and that needs to be hung around their fascist little pencil necks.
    They have completely lost it.

    "One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal." Bill Moyers

    by Lahdee on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:59:31 PM PST

  •  I'm gonna go out on a limb (4.00)
    and assume that the AARP has a fairly large number of Veterans amongst its ranks.

    Bad idea, jackholes.

    This is the ridiculous culmination of the "Y'er fer Dubya or yer aginst the troops" "mind"set of the knuckledragging wingnuts.

    Fucking morons.

    •  Watch out... (none)
      ...or you're going to be sued by the fucking morons of the world for defamation--you did put them in the same category with the Neothugs.

      (Just kidding.  My only complaint about your comment is that you beat me to it--I think "fucking morons" is the perfect description for any group that would run such a hateful, inaccurate, and (hopefully) self-defeating ad.)

  •  A Classic Rovian Attack (3.83)
    Remember, this is what Karl Rove and his minions do best. Take the opposition's strongest points, and debase them.  AARP's strongest point is it's long reputation of advocacy for senior citizens.  Now people will think that they are troop hating gay lovers.

    Just think, who would have thought that anyone would believe that a three time purple heart winning war hero could be portrayed as a lying coward?

    Another Brian Schweitzer Deanocrat

    by Ed in Montana on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:00:01 PM PST

  •  the fact that art linkletter is their (none)
    main spokesperson tells you how much substance is behind this 'movement.'  If we're smart, we should tie these people around the necks of 'moderate' GOPers Snowe and Chafee and let them take the lead on shouting these idiots down (or they can watch their poll numbers plumit).  

    "no one likes missionaries with bayonets" -- Robespierre

    by Dont Tread on Me on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:00:47 PM PST

  •  Did they get photographer releases? (4.00)
    It would be interesting to know if those men in the photos as well as the photographers have given their approval for their images to be used in this despicable campaign. Probably not, and if not, the advertiser should be taken to task for it.
  •  AARP: Make love, not war! (none)
    That's how I read it, at least.
    •  Great minds, Drew ... (none)
      not only think alike, but simultaneously  :)
    •  Absolutely (none)
      Somewhere above I made the same point - this Social Security war is about liberal baby boomers, not the greatest generation. What does it mean that baby boomers are on the edge of retirement? Start with the fact that they'll have time on their hands and money to spare. That's what is freaking the conservatives out.

      I'm not even sure BushCo cares if SS reforms happen or not. Victory to them may mean a major and permanent sea-change in how aging boomers are perceived. If their generational war succeeds, it will affect policy in many ways from here on out. There's nothing BushCo fears more than an active, liberal-leaning, and financially secure aging population.

    Basically USANEXT is trying to frame AARP as some kind of left-wing radical group that represents the liberal fringe and not mainstream America. This is insane, of course, because it's ludicrous to think that you can get cheap coffee at McDonald's on Tuesdays and be a part of the vast liberal conspiracy all in one easy membership. I mean, that's TOO good of a deal.

    Someone should make a USANEXT ad generator with various imagery of conservative wedge issues on one side, and various depictions of the radical liberal-homosexual-"blame-america-first"-Michael Moore-secularist agenda crowd to the other side. With big colorful checkmarks and 'x's. AARP FOR HANOI JANE, AGAINST BABIES, for example.

    This is so scummy and destestable. Yet it's so amateurish that I can barely keep from laughing aloud at it.

  •  Retired Persons, right? (4.00)
    Wait a doggone minute, we're talking about the American Association of Retired Persons, right? For example, WWII and Korean War vets? Yeah, those folks are likely to be real anti-military. A bunch of nancy boys and lezbos, too.

    Jeez, I better set up a lawn chair and get me a beer, so I can watch the Swift Boat folks crash and burn. This will be better than NASCAR on a rainy day!

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:02:36 PM PST

  •  Look to history (4.00)
    I am reminded of the infamouse question that Joseph Welch asked Joe McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?"

    That is what we need to ask.  Do these people have any sense of decency?  Have we as a nation abandoned all standards of truth and fairness?

    Maybe this ad will, as Welch's comment did for McCarthy, mark the beginning of the end for these right-wing hit squads.

    •  aarp ad (none)
      my thought exactly.  This is the right's overreaching moment, like the army mccarthy hearings.  
    •  Decency (none)
      We so often hear this question and we also hear people decrying the lack of decency but what no one seems to realize is this lack of decency in the population as a whole is because there is none in our leaders.

      People do follow their leaders whether we realize it of not and if our leaders have no decency then neither will the people. Many. many polls have shown that indeed decency is on the wane in our society. People think they can do whatever they want, take whatever the want, use force if they want to get what they want, treat others any way they want, and break any laws they want.  

      People believe this because their leaders are doing it. Bush can preach "morals" but what he does is something very different and what he does is what people emulate.

      The answer is "No, our leaders no longer have any decency and, as a consequence, neither to the people".

  •  'Make love, not war' ? (none)
    Sure, why not?

    Oh .. that's not the message?


    This is a joke, right?

  •  For the first time (none)
    I can almost understand why Kerry didn't come out with both guns blazing after the first Swift Boat ad.

    Saddle up, kossacks. I'm proud of what this community has done so far, but this one deserves all our efforts. And privacy be damned. They started with their racist attacks against Maya Lin and they're not going away.

    I now have good reason to look forward to qualifying for AARP membership next week.

    "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

    by hono lulu on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:03:11 PM PST

  •  Check this out (4.00)
    I found this quote by Bill O'Reilly in the article on the USANext site called "Bill O'Reilly Spanks AARP":

    I...but that's how I got on to this story, you guys, because, as I said in the "T Points," you know, we pitched them, hey, do a story on "O'Reilly Factor for Kids" because the grandparents are going to want to buy them for their grandchildren and this and that, and they were--they weren't like, well, we'll think about. Thanks for calling, Bill. They were going no! I was like whoa! You know, what was that all about?

    WTF? Let me know if any of you can figure out what the fuck that means!

  •  I think it is funny. (4.00)
    If any one is STUPID enough to go for this, we are in worse shape than I thought.  In fact, I refused to join AARP because they supported President Donkey Breath's 290 quintillion dollar prescription drug benefit.  Hummm...Looks like I will have to reconsider....
  •  Propaganda (none)
    This reminds me of some posters used by the Nazis:

    Dialog macht Sinn / Dialogue makes sense

    by DowneastDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:04:29 PM PST

  •  Jon Stewart should have to work harder (4.00)
    for material, if this ad is not just made for the Daily Show I don't know what is.

      Yep these folks are going to piss off a lot of menopausal women, and if you think PMS is ugly you haven't seen sleep deprivation from night sweats!

      As far as the Wingnuts go they were happy to use AARP to get their no drug company left behind bill through but they are as happy to see them as the AFL-CIO.

      Trouble is the AARP continues to grow with the Baby Boomers leading edge, what is this new group they propose going to do as far as advocation for the elderly.

     And in full disclosure, Lunch Lady is a menopausal, card carrying member of the AARP.

  •  So much for their high moral ground on Propagannon (4.00)'s as if they don't even realise the powder keg this whole gay-baiting has become for them.....

    It's just too stupid and crass to be believed...

    Having just written two diaries about Gays and the Republican party I think we need to hammer it home just what these people are really about...

    This stuff has to stop....

  •  Send em an email (3.66)
    There is a section asking for your comments on why you think the AARP is liberal. I accidently posted something about USANext being a facist propaganda outlet. It's sure to be filtered, but it was fun!

    I also sent them an email as Dick Cheney, congratulating them on the quality of their propaganda, stating that if I had an IQ of 72 I would have fallen for it too.

  •  This will be something to watch (4.00)
    I can't believe the bushies are now turning on the AARP AFTER they sold them a bill of goods on their phony medicare and drug benefits bill.  If they try using gay bashing in this filthy ad campaign...I say we should send every thought we have to the AARP to fight them with. That includes ads featuring the whitehouse sponsored and very GAY gannonguckert in all his glory.  I still want to know what the hell a GAY Prostitute who specializes in servcing the military was doing in the whitehouse and who let him in there to begin with.  
  •  Somebody call (none)
    Granny D. Or rather write. The address on her website is:

    Doris Haddock
     P.O. Box 492
     Dublin, New Hampshire 03444

    "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

    by hono lulu on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:07:20 PM PST

  •  Click Through (none)
    Just keep in mind that clicking-through from that link continues the referrer tag as ""

    Probably no big deal, but just be aware.  They'll know that we're watching, and that's probably a good thing.

  •  Quick, while I still have a kickass counter... (4.00)
    Does anyone have a color photo of an aged veteran, preferably WWII? It's got to be approved by the vet or royalty-free.

    I'm thinking we can make a counter to this ad, with the "Real USA Next Agenda", with the happy gay folks replaced with another gay guy.

    Amateurs talk strategery, professionals talk logistics

    by Young Freud on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:07:39 PM PST

  •  Unfit to Age ? (none)
    how in the world is this going ot play ? LOL

    I bet a good % of AARP are Republicans !

    This is a fight i am desperate to watch, is it on HBO or PPV ? I want tickets.

    the oldies are going to kick some serious ass on this LOL.


    Time for everyone to show FAKE outrage over this. It's beyond outrageous, it's just plain fucking stooopid.

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:08:32 PM PST

  •  Will this sort of ad work? (none)
    It seems too absurd(and too unrelated to the issue, Social Security) to work. But the Other Side has a much better track record in political warfare than us.

    It might be just a feint; sort of a heads up to the AARP, saying this is how dirty the fight will be if you don't play ball.

  •  Great! More money for these slobs! (3.50)
    The Republican party has officially reached "fat fuck bitching from the sofa with spaghetti stains on his t-shirt" status. They're not even trying.
  •  Damn... (4.00)
    It is hard to believe this is real.  I can't believe the extent to which the right tries to use gays for propaganda.  In particular this contrast of evil gays on one side vs. butch patriotic soldiers on the other seems to be a fav.  The only good thing is the more they use this imagery the less emotional impact it will can only push the same emotional buttons so many times until you get increasingly diminishing returns.
    •  From Gore Vidal... (4.00)
      This is a quote from memory, from the time of Anita Bryant's little crusade in the mid 1970's, found in Rolling Stone:  "The right needs these witch hunts. They really believe the fags are going to break into toilets and piss on lovely virgins."

      I'll only vouch for the accuracy of the gist. But I'm reasonably sure that's close to the quote.

      "...your grasp has exceded your reach/ And you put all your faith in a figure of speech..." -- Warren Zevon

      by Roddy McCorley on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:21:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pardon my redundancy (but I'm a clown ;0)) (4.00)
    It's not as if AARP, in recent history, is some bastion of anti-Bush philosophy.  AARP was one of many culprits responsible for holding the nose and signing off on the putrid autumn 2003, Medicare Bill (they lost a significant amount of members, as a consequence)

    More re: Attacks on seemingly unlikely parties (hint, this is truly when the shit gets bad:)

    Bush team plays hardball with both friends and foes
    Sunday, March 23, 2003
    By Dana Milbank and Jim VandeHei, The Washington Post


    Although all administrations use political muscle on the opposition, GOP lawmakers and lobbyists say the Bush administration's tactics on friends and allies have been uniquely fierce and vindictive. At home as well as abroad, the Bush White House has calculated that it can overcome adversaries if it tolerates no dissent from its friends.


    Often, companies and their lobbyists endorse ideas they privately oppose or question, according to several longtime Republican lobbyists. The fear is that Bush will either freeze them out of key meetings or hold a grudge that might deprive them of help in other areas. When the Electronics Industry Association declined to back Bush's dividend tax cut, it was frozen out when the White House called its "friends" in the industry to discuss the tax cut, according to White House and business sources.

    Learning to shut up


    The forms of pressure -- exclusions from White House guest lists, a loss of access to key Bush aides, calls to dissenters' superiors, veiled threats saying the White House has noted the transgression or even shouted accusations -- convey the same message. Grover Norquist, a conservative activist who enforces loyalty for the White House, puts it this way: "If I bitch, guess what? I get coal in my socks."


    More than a dozen members of Congress interviewed for this article said support for Bush's economic plan is weaker than the public might realize because lawmakers don't want to challenge the president publicly.


    Foley, who opposed Bush on a free-trade vote, knows the consequences. When Bush senior adviser Karl Rove recently encouraged Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez to run for the Senate from Florida -- the same seat Foley seeks -- many on Capitol Hill suspected it was Bush's revenge on Foley. Foley, in an interview, said he was worried he might get the "Pawlenty" treatment, a reference to last year's Minnesota Senate race, in which the Bush White House pushed out Tim Pawlenty, the GOP majority leader in the Minnesota house, to clear the way for handpicked candidate Norm Coleman.

    A year ago, Michael Parker was forced to resign as head of the Army Corps of Engineers after he publicly questioned Bush budget cuts. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and economic aide Lawrence Lindsey were forced out after making remarks at odds with official policy. And John J. DiIulio Jr., a former Bush aide who criticized Rove, retracted the accusation by repeating the same words Fleischer used to denounce it.

    Some White House tactics have become lore. After Sen. James Jeffords, I-Vt., opposed Bush's first tax cut, White House slights and threats to cut his pet programs drove Jeffords from the GOP. Last year, after Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., voiced concern about Bush's immigration policy, Rove told him to never again "darken the door" of the White House. And there was the case of Rep. Charles Whitlow Norwood Jr., Ga., leader of a group of moderate Republicans who opposed the White House on HMO patient protections. Under intense pressure from the White House, Norwood broke his promise to his colleagues, striking and announcing a deal with Bush without consulting them.

    Revenge on the governors


    Eager to send a message to the National Governors Association to reflect a GOP majority, the White House for the first time excluded Raymond Scheppach, the association's executive director, from February's governors' annual dinner at the White House. Encouraged by the administration and its allies, a few Republican governors -- including the president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- threatened to stop dues payments or quit the group. After a bipartisan governor's association committee drafted a statement seeking more federal money for the states, the White House let its displeasure be known to the governors, and Republicans arrived at the meeting last month demanding the rejection of the "partisan" statement.

    Conservative interest groups get similar pressure. When the free-market Club for Growth sent a public letter to the White House to protest White House intervention in GOP primaries for "liberal-leaning Republicans," the group's president, Stephen Moore, picked up the phone at a friend's one evening to receive a screaming tirade from Rove, who had tracked him down. On another occasion when Moore objected to a Bush policy, Rove called Richard Gilder, Club for Growth's chairman and a major contributor, to protest.


    Leaders of three other conservative groups report that their objections to Bush policies have been followed by snubs and, in at least one case, phone calls suggesting the replacement of a critical scholar. Corporations are coming under increasing pressure not just to back Bush but to hire his allies to represent them in meetings with Republicans. As part of the "K Street Project," top GOP officials, lawmakers and lobbyists track the political affiliation and contributions of people seeking lobbying jobs.


    On the Bush tax cut, a senior GOP leadership official said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., is aware that opposition runs much wider than publicly acknowledged. But Hastert has called in members to lecture them about taking stands against the party, according to GOP aides, and has changed rules to make it easier for leaders to punish wayward members.

    What an excellent day for an Exorcism.... Social Security THERE IS NO CRISIS!

    by DianeL on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:10:25 PM PST

  •  Uh (none)
    Isn't AARP concerned with senior citizens?

    Since when have they been in the war and marriage field?

  •  Don't Be Surprised By How Outrageous It Is (4.00)
    Remember, this ad campaign is being orchestrated by the same advertising and media consultants who made the oh-so-subtle-and-honest Swift Boat Veterans for Truth advertising campaign.

    This is just so far over the line of reason, though, I don't see how anyone can take it seriously.

    Visit the PagodaBlog for hackneyed totally original political and philosophic commentary.

    by Juppon Gatana on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:11:38 PM PST

    •  Hmmm (none)
      Hadn't thought of the connection but the absurdity of the ad makes more sense now. The swift liars paid $400,000 for their first ad and got $40,000,000 worth of value out of it through all of the SCLM playing of it. The more outrageous the ad, the more it gets free play.
  •  Joseph Welch comes to mind (none)
    When confonting Joseph McCarthy, Welch (a lawyer) said:

    "At long last, sir, have you no shame?"

  •  now I see why they call it 'branding' (none)
    if this works, if people fall for it, or even go along with it... my god, I can't even think how to finish the sentence.

    "God help the political system in which a thoroughly addled sovereign is faced with a real crisis." Anatole Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Peace

    by Tulip on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:14:48 PM PST

  •  Oh right... (none)
    ...the AARP doesn't support our troops

    but loves gays

    Got it.

    "You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things." - GW, June 4, 2003

    by weirdmusic657 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:15:20 PM PST

    •  And George Bush is a leader... (none)
      ...unlike any seen since Ghandi and Churchill.  Right...
    •  the AARP is a tiny-bit pro-gay, but not anti-troop (none)
      Well, the only use of "Gay" from your search of the AARP is as a woman's first name--

      however, they did have these discussions of a joint project with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) which purportedly has "member organizations" representing gays and lesbians.  

  •  Somehow (3.66)
    "Swiftboat Veterans for Social Security Privatization" just doesn't seem to roll off the tongue quite as easily as "Swiftboat Veterans for Truth."

    Note to Swifties: You take the low road. I, for one, will be there waiting for you.

    "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for."

    by DriftawayNH on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:16:18 PM PST

  •  New entry for my 12 step diary. (none)
    Hi, I'm the AARP. Hi AARP. Last year I sold my soul for the extra money that would come into my group through drug sales. idiots, jeebus  I was roundly praised by the GOP. This year I realized that the GOP doesn't give a damn bout my group and they want to dismantle Social Security. Now I'm a homo loving, troop hating anti American group. What'd you expect? Haven't you watched these guys long enough?

    link for sharing in diary.

  •  Is it just me... (3.75)
    ...or is that soldier looking right at the gay couple?  He looks a little... envious.  Of course, I could be wrong...

    "...your grasp has exceded your reach/ And you put all your faith in a figure of speech..." -- Warren Zevon

    by Roddy McCorley on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:16:18 PM PST

  •  If Howard Dean has any balls (4.00)
    Which we know he does, he would make this ad a powerpoint presentation and come to the defense of the aarp in a counter attack against these fucking bastards.

    I mean fuck these children know NO SHAME!

  •  It's perfect. (none)
    It's so irrational that it could actually work.

    "But Democrats mustn't give up the fight. What's at stake isn't just the fate of their party, but the fate of America as we know it."-Paul Krugman

    by theprogressivemiddle on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:19:31 PM PST

  •  Prediction (none)
    This ad will be gone within one week.

    It is just TOO outrageous.

  •  What's NEXTusa. Who is behind it? (3.66)
    In looking over several articles about these slim mongers who are doing this, everyone comments that this is a Karl Rove operation.

    It is all speculation, but it smells like KR.  

    The interesting point of all this is who is putting out the letters.  The company that is doing the mailing, not NEXTusa, who are these people, who are their clients.  Are the principles in any way connect with Bruce and Bobby Eberle.  We need to start connecting the dots.  I'm sure they are all related in some way.  

    Someone needs to do a GOPUSA geneology chart with names and organizations, uncover these connections to show the "web" of lies and media manuplation. I know its there.  

    I'm guessing these boys all know each other.  Where does their money come from.  Who are the donars, how many times have these names appeared at GOP functions.

    It is time to connect the dots.

  •  Defamation (none)
    I think they have a claim for defamation (I say this as a second-year law student who has no authority to give legal advice but who has taken a class on defamation).
  •  It's nice (4.00)
    It's nice to see one of our brave soldiers finally found lasting, monogamous love.
  •  Wow (4.00)
    This is my first comment on dailykos.

    I saw this image and I immediately thought, HA HA blogger satire.  I can't believe its real.

    How absurd can this get?  If we're not already there, we're going to see every liberal to moderate group linked to everything else.

    against TORT reform = hate our troops

    simplyfing the tax code by making it more progressive = pornography on PBS

    America tsunami relief = welfare reform

    Gay civil unions = estate tax repeal

    I'm just typing off the top of my head.  But if you got 12-sided dice D&D style and listed 12 interest groups and 12 conservative goals on each, gave it a roll, the random combinations you get will probably all be actual Republican strategies in a playbook somewhere.  As long as they control the message center and distribution they will probably get away with all but the most loony proclamations.

  •  Wuh? Dumped gay soldier is jealous his ex married? (none)
    Not sure about the smear here ...

    Is it that the AARP's yentas for gays are screwing over gay troops by finding their boyfriends at home new partners?

    Or is the purpose of the ad to thin out SS rolls by making seniors die laughing? (I can't wait to run this one past my Grams.)

    This machine fights fascism - motto on Woody Guthrie's guitar

    by Peanut on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:23:05 PM PST

  •  I had been delaying my AARP renewal (4.00)
    because of AARPs support of the Medical bill.

    I just wrote a check for 12.50 and put it in the mail.

    L'Audace, L'Audace, Toujours L'Audace" "Audacity, Audacity, always with Audacity" (Georges Jacques Danton)

    by ParaHammer on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:23:06 PM PST

  •  Voting for gay marriage (none)
    Now that we're on this AARP smear discussion (the smear of "they're against the troops and FOR gay marriage") - we need to have a discussion about why people feel that being "for gay marriage" is a smear.

    I have a feeling that this is going to become an issue for the DNC, its new chair, and its gay supporters in the next week or so.  

    Just a feeling.

    We must not let them bust our reformist groove. (k9disc) NY-25

    by NYCO on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:23:21 PM PST

    •  Why the ad is objectionable (none)
      NYCO, you make a good point with your query about "why people feel that being 'for gay marriage' is a smear."

      I support the right of people to marry, whether they belong to an opposite-sex or same-sex couple. I also oppose the war in Iraq. If somebody wants to accuse me of supporting same-sex marriage, or opposing the war--go for it. It is completely true.

      One problem with the ad is that it suggests that the reason that AARP opposes privatization is because AARP support gay marriage and, in some completely undefined way, doesn't support the military.

      In fact, AARP opposes privatization of Social Security because it is bad for Social Security, and bad for anybody who is affected by the privatization--which is everybody, retired and pre-retired alike.

      AARP is a huge organization, with a membership that reflects the diversity of the United States. As far as I'm aware, AARP hasn't taken a position on the marriage issue. I think it is safe to assume that members have different opinions on this issue, and on the merits of the war in Iraq as well.

      If AARP has not taken a position on these two issues, then it is wrong to imply that they have done so, and even more wrong to imply that it is their position on these issues that causes them to oppose privatization of Social Security.

      It isn't a question of what is the right position to take on these issues--it is whether the creators of the ad have fairly characterized the views of those they seek to attack. In my opinion, they have not done so.

      I agree with the others who commented in this thread that the Republicans should deal, fairly and squarely, with the arguments raised about Social Security, and not drag in completely unrelated matters.

  •  Irony runs deep (none)
    Seems like unfortunate timing to claim the blue-hairs of the AARP are clamoring for gay marriage, seeing as how everybody's still talking about how Bush snuck his bitch "Jeff Gannon" into the White House under the noses of the Secret Service.

    I wonder is the "soldier" in the ad is one of "Jeff's" stable of military porn artistes? Is he about to take off his pants for Bush and Rove? Is that Rove and "Jeff" smooching?

  •  I thought Repugs were courting AARP? (4.00)
    But I guess it's more like this:

    Republicans to the Elderly: Look Dad, you're old now. And old people are useless.

    Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:24:20 PM PST

  •  Parody (none)
    I seriously thought that was a parody the second I looked at it. You have got to be kidding me! How do they think this is going to work?

    Oh yeah, they'll have the "liberal media" to back them up...

  •  Just for shits and giggles (4.00)
    Let's try an experiment, let's come up with an incendiary ad, say something with an X through a wounded vet, and a check mark over a KKK rally, and attach it to some group associated with republican causes, and put the title, <___, the real agenda>

    Any groups that might be in need of agenda exposure?

  •  This is evil (none)
    This is on the level of Michael Savage trashing the League of Women Voters.
  •  Here we go again... (3.00)
    Yet another Big Distraction.  The news was getting too hot for Rove and Co.  They needed something drastic to get everyone bothered and redirected.  Here it is.  Don't let it get you off task.  
  •  All that I can figure is that (4.00)
    the AARP opposed that anti-gay marriage referendum in Ohio (along with both of Ohio's Republican Senators) on the premise that it would hurt tourism in the state. Which, I guess, puts them right up there with Tinky-Winky in the eyes of these twits.
  •  Stock photo? (none)
    I'm guessing it would be hard to track down the actual guys in that photo, but as hastily as it looks to be put together, I bet they just pulled the picture(s) off the internet.

    If such were the case, would the people used in the photo have any legal recourse for being used in the ad?

    That is, unless that's two GOPers "posing" for that photo, but somehow I hardly think that is the case...

  •  The AARP has a Homosexual Agenda (none)
    Come with me
    And you'll be in a world of pure imagination
    Take a look and you'll see into your imagination

    We'll begin with a spin
    Traveling in a world of my creation
    What you'll see will defy explanation

    If you want to view paradise
    Simply look around and view it
    Anything you want to, do it
    You want to change the world
    There's nothing to it

    Thre is no life I know
    To compare with pure imagination
    Living there you'll be free
    If you truly wish to be

    •  So shines a good deed in a weary world. (none)
      Oompa loompa doopadee do
      I've got another puzzle for you
      Oompa loompa doopadah dee
      If you are wise you'll listen to me

      What do you get from a glut of TV?
      A pain in the neck and an IQ of 3
      Why don't you try simply reading a book?
      Are you too stubborn to take a look?

      You'll have no
      You'll have no
      You'll have no
      You'll have no
      You'll have no commercials

      Oompa loompa doopadee dah
      If you're not greedy you will go far
      You will live in happiness too
      Like the Oompa Oompa loompa doompa doopadee do

      "You can't keep the Democrats out of the White House forever!" - Sideshow Bob

  •  USA-Next info (4.00)
    Its head is Charlie Jarvis. He is a former exec VP of Focus on the Family. He was national chairman of Gary Bauer's presidential campaign until he jumped ship to Steve Forbes. At that time he said about Bush: "We can not afford to have three liberals appointed to the Supreme Court, whether by a Democrat like (Vice President) Al Gore or George W. Bush".

    I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. - Hunter S. Thompson

    by KingOneEye on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:28:34 PM PST

  •  The Real GOP Agenda (4.00)

    And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall -- Dylan

    by Rp on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:28:56 PM PST

  •  You know Judy Woodrift and (none)
    her band of blog monitors are going to report on this tomorrow.

    I mean, CNN has gotten so bad and lazy, that they can't use reporters to cover the news, they now have to cover the blogs as news, right after they come out and say how bad blogs are because there's no editorial control or oversight.

    What's next for them?  Will they start providing coverage of the Rush Limbaugh show?

  •  what's the problem? (none)
    So AARP is against unnecessary war and is for two people being in love? Damn them!!!
  •  Whoever at Bush co. paid for this (none)
    Should ask for their money back.

    How much will you lose with Bush's Social Security plan? Click to find out.

    by Goldfish on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:29:55 PM PST

  •  I'm kinda surprised the AARP (none)
    hasn't released a comment on this yet. Maybe they're just too gobsmacked to do anything yet.

    Checked their website and they seem to think today was just another day.

    Maybe tomorrow they'll realize that the Administration has decided to "Go Nukular."

    Now we need to be ready for Cheney to Cheney-up the judicial nomination process ...


    1482 the true measure of Bush's success.

  •  Take this Very Very seriously.... (3.75)
    The people behind this attack are working on two separate but interwoven agendas.

    The first is to push though privitization, the second is to destroy the AARP lobby.

    This is an attempt to kill two birds with one stone.

    I'm not wild about AARP, especially after medicare reform, but we must stand by them on this.  AARP is one of the last citizen lobbyist groups.  The GOP has undercut Unions, trial lawyers, reduced access to checks and balances of law for the average citizen and generally tilted all power to corporate interests.  The AARP is the last big holdout.

    Taking down AARP may even be the reason behing pushing so hard on this unpopulor SS reform issue.  

    •  Devious, arn't they? (none)

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:05:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Third sin (none)
      AARP has joined up with Rock the Vote to reach out to young people with the facts on Social Security.

      If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

      by Mimikatz on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:25:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More like three birds.... (none)
      The third being the constant drumbeat of the anti-gay message.  No matter how silly the context, the gays are linked in.  

      When we get the concentration camps, guess who they'll round up first?

    •  I do take this seriously (4.00)
      But these people are doomed.  It's easy to push young people around; they are easily confused about what they really want, and easily distracted by side issues.  But by the time you reach middle age, the majority of people who survive have made enough mistakes to call a con when they see it.  This has been made obvious by the already-tepid reaction to SS privatization.  I would say the right has already overspent Bush's phantom political capital.  This is going to be Hillarycare in reverse.

      I'm writing my congresspeople this week, and informing them in no uncertain terms that I will guarantee a vote and a lot of screaming against any attempt to privatize social security - and I'm going to make sure they understand that I am not confused by the phrase "personal accounts."  I'm trapped in a Red state, so they may just send me a pompous form letter, but I want to make sure they get the message that at least this one person isn't cowed by this crap.

      Pursuing this issue is a mistake.  Believe we can kick their asses on this, and don't be afraid to be bold and rude about it.  There is no quarter in this fight.  Every attempt to defuse "privatization" into "personal accounts" should be replied to curtly with "that's a lie."  Every attempt to talk up a crisis should be answered with "this crisis is 40 years off, and can be solved with some simple adjustments."  Every attempt to jerk the numbers around should be countered with the real numbers.  There is no reason to give in to this.  It's time to jerk a knot in these motherfuckers' tails.

      The correct phrase is "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." There is no crisis.

      by slippytoad on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:45:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bring on the old people (4.00)
    These Swift Boat guys don't know what they fooling with. Shoot at AARP and there will be a horde of senior citizens who will be looking for their ass - and they vote!

    It stands that the stupidity of the swift boat morons would eventually get them in trouble. Here it is!

    •  This is one (none)
      To tuck in our pocket and pull out in time for the mid-terms.

      How much will you lose with Bush's Social Security plan? Click to find out.

      by Goldfish on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:36:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sadly, (none)
      the "And they vote" power of the AARP has already effectively been made impotent during the past 3 national elections.  Votes don't matter any more, and they won't matter in 2006 unless this is the TOP of our ACTUAL agenda - despite all the crap (e.g. SocSec Privatization) the GOP throws at us to distract us from the ONE THING we have to do before 2006

      America began begins with freedom from King George's empire.

      by bribri on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:40:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ratfuckers.... (none)
    I call them that because i don't think roadkillfuckers is nasty enough.

    It's been said before, but it's appropriate again:

    I can't eat as much as I'd have to in order to vomit as much as I'd like to.

    If you're not pissed off, you're not paying attention!

    by roxtar on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:31:21 PM PST

  •  unreal.... (4.00)
    The "Swift Boat Veterans for Fabricated Stories and Hearsay" strike again.  

    This could actually be a very economical media campaign for them- all they have to do is modify the the captions, and put the next targeted group on the list up.  Keep the same pictures, just rotate the captions.  "Don't piss us off, or you'll be next!!!"

    They are looking for free press.  Same MO as last time- put their crap on a small venue and watch it spread everywhere.

  •  Is the AD still on the American Spectator Page? (none)
    I don't see it.  This has to be a parody.  It just has to be.  It would take the worst bunch of slimy, lying, cheating, dirty whoevers to do this.  Please... tell me it is a parody.
  •  Just laugh at them (4.00)
    because, really, that ad makes absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever.  Don't reprint it, just make it into a joke.  "Somehow USAnext (and what does that mean exactly, are they going to invade the USA for hiding WMD's?) thinks that the senior citizen lobby is pushing for gay marriage amongst our freedom fighting soldiers.

    "The AARP agenda is to provide for security, dignity, and opportunity for seniors of all stripes.  We're a little unclear where gay marriage for 20 something year olds fits into the AARP platform, but leave it to a bunch of fringe right wingers to attack us for something we don't even have in our platform.

    "We're more concerned with retirement issues, a social safety net, and access to healthcare and prescription drugs, good vacation planning, that long put off cruise to Europe, and maybe being able to spend some time with our grandchildren.  

    "But leave it to the crazies on the right to attack our patriotism.  Just move out of the way oldster, they seem to be saying, and you won't get hurt.  Talk about ungrateful children, these right wing fringers are the absolute topper."

  •  Holy, holy, holy, holy shit (none)
    This has just got to be some kind of joke.

    If this isn't some kind of prank against US Next, I'll begin eating through my ass and crapping out my mouth forthwith....

  •  This is the most disgusting bit of agit prop I've (none)
    ever seen and I'm familiar with about 80% of Hitler's anti semitic and pro military propaganda.

    eg. Stormtroopers; heroic, steadfast devoted to   sacrificing their lives for the Reich.

        Gay/Jew; unter menschen, vermin, enemies of decency and traiors to the Reich.

    This is straight out hate speech against the eldery. The grandparents of American citezens are now traitors because they defend the continuation of SS as a Federal program funded by a payroll tax.

    I think the AARP should sue USA Next for slander. Any judge with a brain in his head would bring the gavel down in their favour in 2 minutes flat. With oral and written slander you can put up a defence by arguing points of interpretation. Pictorial slander, especially an add this inflamatory is completely unambiguous.

    The undoing of the RW is their compulsive stupidity and literal mindedness. This is bigger even than the Gannon episode. This time they've gone too far.

    Look for this tonight as Jon Stuart's latest moment of Zen

  •  After the medicare debacle... (4.00)
    my husband decided no to join the AARP.   He just turned 50 and he's been getting ads from them, but we've been tossing them away.  The next time we get an invitation to join - he says he's going to join.  The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
  •  AARP: Respond now! (4.00)
    Don't make the mistake Kerry made of thinking that this was something he could ignore or laugh off. Hit them back HARD on this. Don't just criticize it. Make anyone who DOESN'T criticize it who should BLEED!

    Ancient Chinese curse: May you live in Interesting Times

    by Chris Andersen on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:35:54 PM PST

  •  sgt. dubya? (none)
    is it just me, or does it look like they photoshopped dubya's face onto a photo of a soldier?
  •  Risking Godwin's law (none)
    I suppose we should recall what Goebbels said about little lies and big lies.
  •  I'm guessing... (none)
    ...that the men kissing in the ad haven't given permission for their image to be used in this way.

    Lawsuit, anyone?

  •  Let's Get Active Now on This! (none)
    We should get some grassroots action going to get Bush to condemn the attacks on AARP.  
  •  What I want to see is this ad (none)
    with slightly different actors.  How about the chimp and Guckert in an intimate moment?

    Then we can all print it out and pass it around at the dentist and the veterinarian's office.

  •  I'm going to go out on a limb... (none)
    and say that gay's and troops have little to do with SS.
  •  Hurry! (none)
    for those interested a little e-book entitled: 1999 Social Security Explained by Sacks, Avram might come in handy, before the Bush crime family has it purged from the net...
  •  Running out of ideas, (none)
    aren't they?

    The less a politician amounts to, the more he loves the flag.

    by tryptamine on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:51:39 PM PST

  •  On the other hand . . . (none)
    Couldn't one read the photos in the Spectator ad as a narrative (like a photo-novella)? A young man serves in the Army, then comes home and gets married to another man. Doesn't the soldier in the first photo look like he could be part of the couple in the next one? It could be a parable about a gay American soldier. This ad undercuts itself, but in an interesting way.
  •  Oh my Gosh. . .! ! ! (4.00)
    I don't know about the rest of my fellow AARP members,but I can't quit laughing.  That is such a scream.  

    Best I can determine those of us that belong to AARP are from all over the spectrum from ultra conservative to wild granny liberals.  But I do know that the great majority who have been posting over at AARP's web site have been discussing SS for quite a while.  Plenty of heated arguments for us old gummers.  But most don't want anything done to put SS in jeopardy

    Maybe Howard Dean might want to send a "snappy" letter to AARP telling them our views and suggesting how ridiculous this ad campagn is.

    There is considerable concern over the run away deficit spending of the BushCo maniacs.

    If not now. . .When?

    by shirlstars on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:55:39 PM PST

  •  Until something grassroots gets started ... (none)
    Let's think of ways to get money to AARP now, to help them

    You can buy AARP merchandise here.

    We need to take this seriously, people. Let's give AARP a hand with cold cash, until some kind of fundraising effort can be set up.

  •  What need to argue the point? (none)
    They're liberals. Therefore they hate the military and love gays. End of argument.

    Hopefully some pepole will see learn how the right wing attack machine works from this and not fall for it.

  •  Anti-AARP ad campaign (4.00)
    Is this ad campaign going to backfire on USANext?

    I mean, how many people in this country are going to believe that the American Association of Retired People (many of whom are vets of WWII and Korea, and perhaps a few of Vietnam)are working against our current military troops?  If anything, these people are some of our troops biggest supporters.

    And this totally off the wall implied accusation that the AARP advocates for gay marriage???  Sheesh!  I'm not yet a member of AARP (and I'm still pissed at their Board's support of the new Medicare bill), but the issue of gays is NOT a part of their agenda.  I don't think they have a position on the issue.

    This ad is the most blatant piece of false advertising I've ever seen!  There are laws on the books regarding Truth in Advertising.  I hope there are some conscientious lawyers out there who will put some pressure on this USANext group under the Truth in Advertising law and demand some accountability from them.

  •  Woah (none)
    This has got to be the absolute least effective political advertisement I've ever seen.  I support both gay marriage and our troops, and I see no problem with that.
  •  I get the Pavlovian angle of the ad, (none)
    but I don't get the rest of it. Just like if a person gets shocked when they think of chocolate they will soon think chocolate is painful, and therefore avoid chocolate.  So the American people are supposed to associate gay marriage with the AARP and why?  This is really too stupid of a stretch, especially if it is just on some internet sights and it is not constantly making an appearance mutiple times a day.  I would think that those who visit the American Perspective are already thinking that way anyway.

    I also realize that this is just the beginning, but am I missing something more here?

  •  common technique (none)
    Well, they've already undermined one respected non-partisan giant of American society with incessant charges of liberal bias (the press). The AARP are small potatoes in comparison, especially with a receptive public primed to believe that any opposition to anything that Bush does reflects "liberal bias."

    Then again, I had to open a fresh browser window and start at the AS site just to make sure this wasn't a spoofed site.  It really does smell of unintentional self-parody. . .but so did the SwiftLiars.  Are we ready this time?

  •  No Ignoring This, No Laughing at It (none)
    This is war. We didn't strike back hard and fast enough in August when the Swiftboat Scum attacked John Kerry. Rove and his cohorts have to be kicked in the crotch on this, immediately. We've GOT to make this shit blow up in their faces. I'm in AARP and if they want to take up a special contribution to fight back count me in. But AARP should be able to count on you younger Kossacks, too. NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER! STRIKE BACK NOW!

    "George W. Bush is not only the worst president in American history, he is the worst man who has been President."--J. Miller

    by Yosef 52 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:01:08 PM PST

    •  That's a start (none)
      The trick to this is to realize that they are trying to minimalize and discredit.  What you did is almost like holding a mirror up to it.  Can you make the click go to something like ?

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:11:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a campaign to discredit (4.00)
    anything that AARP may say on an issue, any issue.  This is an exersize in character assassination.   The goal is to trivalize and minimize any position that AARP may take on any issue.  No matter what that position would be!

    This is a glowing example of where the right is trying to frame the argument under the umbrella of God, Guns, and Gays.  What frame do we develop to counter it?

    It would be in the best interest of AARP to scream long and loud about how unfair the administration is and into the pockets of corporate greed.  

    Perhaps AARP should go over to MoveOn or BlogPac and support some of their issue ads on Social Security.  AARP has the budget to use the mass media (and is what makes the Right afraid of them to the point of a pre-emptive strike).  Mass media buys locally that show people in the deep red states how much they really depend on Social Security and how the Bush Administration will destroy it, and their futures.  

    The goal here is not to counter their message, it's to make it sound so shrill and outlandish that NO ONE will believe it.  If Deep Red is calling their (R)epresentatives and threatening their chances of re-election, shouldn't that be attention getting?  The goal here is to destroy their message and the messengers so that any drivel that comes out of their mouths in the future will not be believed.

    Perhaps a new meme 'Bush and the Destroyers'(of the American way of life)?

    This is no longer a Social Security Issue with this group.  It is about who can discredit so that anything that is said is minimalized.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:02:05 PM PST

  •  Attacking gays (4.00)
    put the dumbest, most callous man ever to run for President in the WHite House.  They're, not surprisingly, going to use this non sequitur for every issue, regardless of whether the issue relates to gay marriage or not.  I always have been skeptical of politicians, whatever their political affiliation.  But the right has abandoned ALL semblance of decency; this type of hateful message makes it exceedingly easy to align myself with the Democratic party.  
  •  check it out (none)
    For a further dismantling of the rationale for the Iraq War check out:


  •  check it out (none)
    For a further dismantling of the rationale for the Iraq War check out:


  •  Who is their audience? (4.00)
    I can't believe that they think that this could work on a mainstream audience.  The Swift Boat ads were different, because they were not implausible on face.  If you knew nothing about John Kerry, the Swift Boat Vets sounded as credible as anyone.  But the anti-AARP ad is just plainly ridiculous.  Certainly, senior citizens, or anyone even close to retirement age, know that the AARP has nothing to do with same-sex marriage or the war in Iraq.  Maybe some people in their 20's and their 30's could be fooled, but I find this hard to believe.  

    My guess is that this is not aimed at convincing a mainstream audience.  I can imagine three other purposes:

    1.) Rallying the base - Notice that this ad appears in the American Spectator, a right-wing rag without even the faux respectability of National Review or the Weekly Standard.  The people who read this magazine will support whatever Bush wants anyway; there's no need to tear down the AARP first.  Maybe the point of advertising in the American Spectator is to raise money through an over-the-top, attention-grabbing ad.  

    2.) Good Cop, Bad Cop - Perhaps the ad is designed as a diversion, to get people outraged while the right-wingers make their actual case against the AARP with more reasonable ads.  The reasonable ads may be perceived as the "centrist" position, in contrast to those crazy right-wingers who think that the AARP hates the troops, and those equally crazy left-wingers who think that the AARP is a mainstream organization with the best interests of seniors in mind.

    3.) Get the AARP on the defensive - Most people have heard the possibly apocryphal story about one of LBJ's early races, in which he considered planting a story that his opponent fornicated with pigs, not to make people believe it, but to "make the sonofabitch deny it."  By making wild accusations, these guys might be able to force the AARP to make a statement that they don't hate the troops and don't lobby for gay marriage.  This will make people wonder if the AARP is a more liberal organization than they previously thought--after all, why would they take such accusations seriously if the accusations were completely crazy?  David Horowitz is attempting this same technique right now with his "Discover the Network" site.  (Link goes to a dKos diary, not the site itself.)  Nobody would believe that Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama are the same as Ayatollah Khomenei and Fidel Castro.  But Horowitz still gains an advantage if he can force people to explain why they aren't the same.

    The best counterattack, I think, is to expose who these people are.  Find out who is funding them.  Find out how they are connected to President Bush and his friends.  Publicize the hell out of these connections.  One problem with our response to the Swift Boat ads is that by drawing attention to them, we created a debate on the issue rather than discrediting them.  We don't even have to "respond" to these anti-AARP ads; they're ridiculous on face.  Forget about "responding"; use these ads as a weapon instead.  Use words and phrases like "desperate," "absurd," "unbalanced," "out of touch with reality," "out of touch with ordinary seniors," "shameless," "arrogant," "an insult to the intelligence of Americans," and "anti-elderly."  And above all, link it to Bush and the ideologues who are pushing him to support social security privitization.  If we do it right, there will be no room for the "good cop" to make the "reasonable" case against the AARP; the whole endeavor will be discredited.

    •  All your suggestions are wonderful! (none)
      Especially  the "don't deny it" and finding who they are and publicizing it but this is what the Democrats never seem to be able to do and who would publicize it? The mainstream media sure won't!

      They'll treat this just like the "swift boat" ads, as if they have merit! They'll all be suggesting that AARP is a far left wing commie cell organization that is trying to take over the government.

      Like it or not, most people still get most of their news from the tv and local newspapers and almost all television and most local papers are solidly conservative. (I've never seen a small town paper or even a medium or large one that wasn't right wing.)

      These are the ones who'll give credence to this kind of ad and this is what people will read and believe. Or at least that is what the Republicans are counting on, I think.

      Personally, I think it is a hoot and I don't know how anyone could believe it.

  •  Next neocon target: commie bluehairs! (4.00)
    This particular product of the Swift Boat Ministry Of Truth is just too unintentionally funny to pass up.

    In that vein, I offer our friends at USA Next some tactical advice regarding their quest to save the Christian States of America from the Great Socialist Gay Bluehair Menace.

    1. Dawn raids on selected Denny's restaurants to target all those AARP-discounted Grand Slam Breakfasts.

    2. Outlaw all sexual activity between persons over 50 years of age, unless they are fake White House reporters dressed up as soldiers.

    3. Move all those uppity retirees to their new assisted care facility in Guantanamo Bay.

    4. Deploy an army of retail brokers to defund the left by diverting AARP members' retirement savings to Halliburton stock.

    5. Transplant Dick Cheney's brain into Gannon-Guckert's body.  (Naaah.  That's just tooooo evil.)
    •  You forgot.. (none)
      The lunchtime assault on Old Country Buffet.

      Yeah - I'm being very facetious with that comment, it is to mask what is a combination of being astounded, affronted, shocked, PO'd, and askance at this move.

      My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it. - Buddy Hackett

      by kfred on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:17:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have they taken it down? (none)
    I went to the American Spectator site through the link, and I don't see the ad there.  Have they taken it down already?
  •  aarp (none)
    is this a picture of George W and Jeff Gannon when they were younger?
  •  Josh Marshall... (4.00)
    points out that Bill Bennett will be the anti-AARP spokesman.

    A suggested counter-ad:

    "Bill Bennett, well-known compulsive gambler, is an advocate of private accounts.  Looks like he hasn't overcome his gambling addiction."

    Bush denies presidential timber.

    by Lumiere on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:08:25 PM PST

    •  This is absolutely superb idea (4.00)
      USA-Next may turn out to be quite a gift for AARP and the pro-Social Security side.

      "Could there be any more appropriate symbol for privatizing Social Security than Bill Bennett, compulsive gambler?"

      •  Are They Serious? (4.00)
        I am a joined AARP when I turned 50.  I almost dropped out after the perscription drug fiasco, but decided that dropping out was not the answer, I settled for a scathing letter.  This ad is a huge disconnect for me, a 59 year old Viet Nam era vet, recently retired from 40 years of government service, and with a number of gay friends and aquaintences.  Yeah I'm a lib, so I think this is just plain stupid, but I wonder how many CONSERVATIVE AARP members are going to offended by this ad.  More than a few, I suspect.
  •  The Spawn Of Goebbels (4.00)
    These people are truly the masters of propaganda and totally and completely understand that the bigger the lie, the more effective the propaganda campaign will be.

    Without a doubt, the SCLM will stand by and not report and expose the lie and the smear, but rather will report on how effective the ad campaign is and what a genius Rove is for not only thinking about it but providing himself with enough insulation so he is not directly linked to it.

    In a way, AARP deserves it, but I also know we need AARP's help on social security.  Perhaps the next group will think twice before it goes all out to support this bunch of thugs called the Bush Administration on some future matter.  But then again, McCain didn't learn.

    I am also amazed that after all of this shit, the Democrats never see it coming and will NEVER understand that we have to go on the offensive to win.  We Democrats just stand there and get sucker punched all the time.

    I would like to write something like "Oh, I can't wait for this to backfire."  But I know it won't.  It will be effective and ALL the buzz will be about how effective it is and any talk of the truth on social security or the real issues will be lost.

    In many ways, regardless of what happens with social security, Bush has already won and people just don't see it:  HE HAS TAKEN ANY DEBATE ABOUT OR FOCUS ON THE REAL CRISIS IN HEALTH INSURANCE COMPLETELY OFF ANYONE'S RADAR SCREEN.

    •  What do you mean McCain didn't learn? (4.00)
      McCain is one of them. He's just window dressing they use when they need it to make themselves seem "moderate". McCain cares about what every one of the Republicans care about - complete power. They want total and complete power over the whole country and that is ALL they care about.

      As for the Democrats, I couldn't agree with you more but the leaders we have now seem to be intent on letting the GOP get away with whatever they want.

      I'm hoping Dean will start calling these goons to task now he's chairman. If he doesn't it's for sure no one else will.

  •  They're so hateful (4.00)
    I find it hard to believe that in this day and age, Republicans can run such hateful campaigns and win. Regardless of the fact that the ad is ridiculous, they're appealing to the worst in this country-this is a President that actively uses hate and fear, and WINS. That's what I find so disappointing.

    There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

    by SairaLV on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:16:21 PM PST

  •  I think it will work (none)
    My guess is that they are trying to scare AARP into backing-off from their opposition to SS privatization.  I really don't think AARP is going to fight the WH that hard.  All they have to do is stay out of the SS fight, and Rove pulls the ad campaign.  The cheap Spectator ad is probably all Rove needs to intimidate AARP into submission, and very few Americans will even see of these ridiculous ads.

    I hope I am wrong, that AARP has the balls to stand up to the WH.  But I would be very surprised if AARP fights back.

    •  You're not giving (4.00)
      AARP enough credit.  This is social security.  And Bush is trying to dismantle one of the best working insurance programs, private and public, in the country in order to preserve his tax cuts for the rich.  I think AARP predicted that the Bush-led GOP would engage in a frenzied, false attack against them for their posture on social security.  If AARP weren't going to truly stick with their stance, they would have capitulated early, as they did with the Medicare legislation.  

      They knew this was coming, but are standing against this administration's attempted attack on SS; kind of tells you a little something about just how important the SS insurance program is to AARP's customers...

      •  You're right, (4.00)
        I don't give AARP much credit.  I have always thought of them as a Republican organization, and I was royally pissed off when they sent me an invitation to join.  After the Medicare sellout, I have thought of AARP as the enemy.  They began and still are an insurance company, selling to seniors, and the Medicare prescription drug bill played right into their business interests.  

        Fighting the WH on SS is not going to make much money for them, so I think they were doing the right thing in trying.

        I hope you are right, that they will fight back.  We'll see.

        •  God, I hope I'm right (none)
          too.  They did totally sell out with Medicare.  But I really think that social security is simply too important to allow the proceeds of this insurance program to be stolen just as Bush has stolen and redistributed so much of our commons.
      •  Not only are they giving tax cuts to the rich... (4.00)
        those very same, very rich, also draw social security. Sooo while you or I may get about $1200/month (or less), so do the richest people in the country.

        They don't even need it and yet, they get it, which is fine if they've paid into it, but Bush wants to take it away from us so the rich get their tax cuts and what do you want to bet he finds a way for the richest to KEEP drawing regular social security, too.

        Why do we need to privitize Social Security to invest in the stock market, anyway? Anyone can invest in the stock market when ever they want.

        I have no quarrel with letting people take what they would be putting into Social Security and invest it if they are so inclined BUT when they retire they get whatever the stock has earned for them and NO Social Security. If they lose, they don't get anything. That's the risk you take in the market and if they take it then that's the way it is.

        They should not be bailed out at the expense of the rest of us. Invest, if you want, but if you choose to take that risk and lost, then you get nothing. If you win big then that's fine as long as we don't have to support you if you lose.

    •  They will (none)
      Social Security is the bottom line for AARP - they can't afford not to fight back, and they will.  I don't think they'll get nasty in response, but I think they'll fight.
  •  Scott Ritter: US attacking Iran in June (none)
    Please visit and recommend NoAlternativ's diary.

    We need to get MSM attention on this ASAP.

    Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:19:39 PM PST

    •  that would totally break the army (none)
      and the Air Force, and probably the Navy.

      Not to mention set off the mother of all oil crises, and probably trigger a financial meltdown.

      You know all that crap you got for the millennium? You might just need it if they do that.  

  •  Sent this to those jackasses (none)
    You currently have an ad on your web site promoting USA Next which has an X over a soldier and a check mark over two guys kissing.

    No only does this have absolutely nothing to do with AARP or Social Security, the USA Next site doesn't even attempt to explain the relevance of the contents of that ad to anything, or for that matter even mention it at all.

    I think that kind of advertising is counterproductive and hurtful to the true cause the group claims to espouse.  Linking privatization of social security to anti-gay advertising hurts their cause and your web site as well for agreeing to run it.  I suspect it would open both you and USA Next to a libel lawsuit from the AARP as well.  I would strongly encourage you to disavow any such material and remove it from your web site posthaste.

    BTW, you'd be surprised how many gay republicans there are.  Needless to say, publishing such ads is not going to help your market share.

  •  AARP (none)
    To me, it looks like the soldier is supposed to be better off out of uniform and getting married to another guy. Why would that be the "real" agenda to AAUP? Other groups yes, but AARP? Hard to see what the net gain is to the organization. People are going to buy this, too? Amazing.
  •  This is a democracy. If people fall for this (none)
    nonsense, then we deserve what we're getting.  

    When the fox preaches The Passion, farmer watch your geese.

    by reform dem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:25:11 PM PST

  •  Wow, just wow (4.00)
    Now I wish I HAD joined the AARP.  They pissed me off my sending me "welcome to the AARP" on my FIFTIETH birthday!!  Now, anyone with a brain knows that you don't remind someone hitting the big FIVE OH that they may be getting OLD .. it annoyed me so much!! .. and then they kept sending me one about every month for the next year.

    Finally they gave up and I no longer get them ... but I wish I had joined now so I could proudly wave my AARP card in the face of the next wingnut I run into.

    What total complete idiots.  Do they really think the American people are this stupid?  .. Er ... ARE the American people this stupid??? NO!! .... right???

  •  If the AARP backs down to that shit, (none)
    they are going to lose a ton of people.  If there's one good thing about being old, it's that you actually have time to care about your kids.
    •  They won't (none)
      AARP has watched the Bush-led GOP's horrific smear tactics in action just like everyone else in this country has seen them; they knew a smear campaign against them was coming and chose to oppose SS anyway because the insurance program is just too important to allow Bush to destroy it.  AARP won't back down.  
  •  What do we do to stop/reject this? (none)
    Can someone please give me an idea, I am outraged, and want to know what can be done.

    I am a man without a Nation, without a voice... BushsAmerica

    by Ioo on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:33:22 PM PST

  •  Really BUSH-league (4.00)
    and not too SWIFT, either.  Likely intentionally so.  These guys have read the Art of War, or play GO--they would much rather be underestimated by their opponent.  It's possible they are just going after the low hanging fruit (pun intended) but I think they are after publicity and trying to get people's curiosity piqued.

    They've succeeded in getting me piqued alright, as in quickly pissed off.  I'm an AARP member; I let AARP have my opinion on the pharma scam; I also queried their position on SS awhile ago and am comfortable with it.  

    What these idiots may have left out of their calculations is that a lot of AARPies are not isolated older folks in nursing homes--a lot of us are working folks between 50 and 55 who stand to get royally scrod by Bush's "plan" to adjust the way SS benefits are calculated (and dont have time to "make up" the difference in the stock market).  I have paid into the SS system for 30 f-ing years, and I already have plenty of exposure and risk in the stock market with my 401k money, thanks.

    For that matter, most of the older folks I have met in nursing homes (and yes I did put in time in several, both as a patient and a volunteer) are pretty damn with it, even if some of them currently vote republican.  But they like AARP also-it is a voice for folks who often feel like they are unheard (try being a patient in a nursing home if you dont believe me that you feel unheard--someday I will do a very unpleasant diary on the experience.)

    I don't happen to like either gay marriage or anti-war being a used as a slur.  Like they didnt lie brazenly enough last time???  It is TIME to do some things, like:

    -visit family and friends that you have put off visiting because they are old, boring, smelly or broke or in unpleasant places like nursing homes or hospitals.  work with them to craft letters to their representatives about SS.  Let them know you think their vote is important and you will help them get to the correct poll, and work with them with a sample ballot so they understand what the choices are.

    -if you are over 50, join AARP.  Let them know why.

    -LTE whenever possible.

    --I'm going to find out if AARP is going to set up a fund for donations to a counterfund; if so, I'm in.  If a lot of us do this we can put some reverse spin on the process.

    --support Dean.  He is the pragmatic conscience of the party and I hope he is a thorn in the Republican buttocks (seems like some of them might like that though, huh?_)

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:34:34 PM PST

  •  A possible counterad (none)
    Let's say that USA Next goes all out in its campaign against the AARP.  I think we should hit them as hard as we can, trying to discredit the whole privatization movement in the process.  Here is an attempt at a TV ad; suggestions and improvements are welcome.  The speaker should be an ordinary, white, male senior citizen, perhaps with photographs of himself as a WWII soldier subtly displayed in the background.

    The AARP believes that replacing social security benefits with risky private accounts is not in the best interests of America's seniors.  Many people in both parties, Republicans and Democrats, agree with us about the flaws of this plan.  Some of the people who are trying to impose these accounts even admit that they are motivated by ideology instead of the well-being of seniors.  Instead of making arguments in favor of their position, they have resorted to cheap name-calling, and accusations that are insulting to our intelligence. [Show the anti-AARP ad above.]  Maybe they think that senior citizens aren't smart enough to understand the issues, or that we'll roll over when someone calls us names.  I think they've misjudged us.  Oppose ideologically-driven private accounts.

    The themes are 1.) associate the USA Next ad with all advocates of social security privatization, 2.) present opposition to privatization as bipartisan, 3.) present the basic dynamic as a bunch of hucksters, motivated by crazy, untested, risky ideas, trying to take advantage of the elderly.

  •  Backup for gay marriage claim (none)
    Look for them to cite this when pressed on the gay marriage claim:
    AARP's endorsement earlier this month of the efforts of Protect Our Constitution and the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group, was an unauthorized action taken by just a handful of AARP members in Hawaii who did not consult the isles' AARP chapter president, said Lee White, director of AARP's nine-state Western region, which also includes Guam. ...

    The Human Rights Campaign political action committee ran a newspaper advertisement and a TV spot touting AARP's endorsement, but earlier this week ceased doing so at the request of AARP regional officials in Seattle.

    The ad and 30-second spot caused an uproar among isle members, as scores of complaints flooded AARP's regional and national offices in Seattle and Washington, D.C., White said. That's how regional and national officials became aware of what was happening.

    •  More backup (none)
      From 365Gay:
      The American Association of Retired People has announced its opposition to a proposed amendment to the Ohio state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.

      Voters will decide the gay marriage issue in November.

      The AARP which has some 35 million members nationwide said that if the amendment is accepted it "will have unfair and injurious consequences for many older adults."

  •  The Neocons are insane. (4.00)
    My first reaction was this must be an updated version of make "Love Not War". Those of us that qualify for membership in the AARP are the same people that stopped an unpopular war and got a Republican President thrown out of office. I think that this ad will be appearing on the AARP website in the very near future and it will not have the creators desired effect. This is the take from AARP prior to this ad appearing.

    These anti-AARP efforts are rooted in neoconservative ideology. Charles Jarvis is president USA Next and was deputy secretary for the interior in the Reagan and first Bush administrations.  The true motives of these anti-AARP efforts are clear in this quote from him:
       "They [AARP] are the boulder in the middle of the highway to personal savings accounts. We will be the dynamite that removes them."
    AARP calls your attention to these efforts because media coverage is clear about the aggressive tone of the language. We question why neoconservatives would choose these tactics.


    If you follow the link above you will find the page links to one of those Liberal merca-hatin websites named Daily Kos. The last I knew the over 50 crowd was the fastest growing segment of the Internet.

    The present administration is rolling back the Great Society, the New Deal, the Enlightenment, and the Renaissance.

    by JohnInWestland on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:36:07 PM PST

  •  I sent this story (none)
    To Bob's News Wire and low and behold it's no up there!

    I don't know if anyone else also sent this story in, but how fucking cool is that? The internet rocks!

    How much will you lose with Bush's Social Security plan? Click to find out.

    by Goldfish on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:40:26 PM PST

  •  mike krepassky's sugardaddy (4.00)
    richard viguerie founded usa-next. no surprise- it is a small, small world among the neonazis. from today's NYT:

    Formerly known as the United Seniors Association, USA Next was founded in 1991 by Richard Viguerie, a Republican pioneer and mastermind of direct mailings, who raised millions of dollars from older Americans using solicitations that sent alarming messages about Social Security. In 1992, there were allegations that the group was used as a device to enrich other companies owned by Mr. Viguerie, drawing criticism from watchdog groups and Democratic lawmakers.

    •  and... (none)
      don't forget.. Rove made his millions in Direct Mail

      see a connection???  I Do....

      •  I see lots of connections (none)
        Viguerie and Paul Weyrich were the initial dirdct mail sleaze- guys in it all along for the money. They founded the Moral Majority and brought the Moonies into the Republican Party. Interestingly, one of the first high-profile guys to die of AIDS in this country was one of their minions, Gary Dolan, who founded NCPAC (remember this came up recently as a 'net moniker they use)- let's just say Dolan wasn't Haitian. I think this cabal has an awful lot in common with each other- I think they "share each other's lives" 7 x 24, not 5 x 8.
  •  This is a friggin' joke, right? (none)
    This is so clearly, clearly over the top that I doubt they can pull this off anywhere but a conservative website.

    These guys are certifiably insane. They are about to find out that people care a whole lot more about social security than John Kerry's service record.

    Backfire ... eminent.

  •  WW2 vets shouldnt be disrespected like this (4.00)
    They fought and died for these maggots.  AARP has thousands who sacrificed in different wars and this is how men of honor are treated?  Shame on these people .

    Lifes too short when youre this good.

    by ksecus on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:47:39 PM PST

  •  Too stupid for Karl Rove? (none)
    This looks too much like a massive strategic blunder, and I don't think KR is into massive strategic blunders.

    But suppose it is an Uncle Karl's Puppet Theatre production. What's the motivation?

    If it's a Rove play, it's an attempt to redefine the AARP. Polarize it into a corner. Transform it into a Democratic lobby (via self-fulfilling perception feedback cycle, internal and external), thus destroying AARP's position as a broad-based membership advocacy organization.

    And that's a huge play.

    Rove is known to favor polarization ... but this is mad science.

  •  Boy (none)
    these people may look like the all America type on the outside but inside they are ugly, ugly, ugly, too bad America is too busy hating those that are different then understanding what used to make the US the greatest nation on the planet, on second thought maybe we never were, afterall, there is less bigotry now then in our sordid past now isn't there!
    We've got a lot of work to do but it is worth doing to change America for the better regardless of what the cons and bigots say.
  •  This is so funny I'm laughing my fool head off! (4.00)
    I've belonged to AARP ever since I turned 50 and I'm 68 now. Nothing could be farther from what AARP is.

    I'll bet that 99% of the seniors in Texas will cancel their membership, though'. ;)

    Personally, while the "swift boat" lies were a stroke of genius against Kerry this approach seems not nearly so bright used against AARP. A lot of people thought Kerry was "Massachusetts liberal" and wanted to believe anything negative about him they could find. They hated him for starting Vietnam Veterans Against the War (or were at least suspicious of him) and they were willing to think he was any kind of demon the GOP painted him.

    AARP, on the other hand, is a staid organization of seniors that even endorsed Bush prescription drug plan. It's going to be hard to make them appear to be delusional, far left, radicals who are strung out on drugs (not prescription), covertly supporting Iraqi insurgents against U. S. troops (some of whom are their grandchildren), all the while extolling gay marriage. This campaign is laughable to say the least.

    It will be interesting to see if the "mainstream", "liberal" media takes up the Republicans cry and starts questioning the patriotism of AARP and it's members (some of whom served in WWII, Korea, and even Vietnam).

  •  Yet another Bush-led GOP (4.00)
    smear campaign.  This is almost boring.  So now the trick is to (1) discredit AARP; then (2) make the SS "debate" about AARP.  How fucking stupid, how fucking transparent.  And it will only work if we give it attention and defend AARP as if the SS "debate" is really about them.  I don't think we should hype this smear campaign; it deserves zero attention and is the product of cynics and fools.

    I'd much rather focus on what (P)resident Bush meant when he told GOP legislators that he would provide them "political cover" in 2006: the machines must already be rigged and we need to figure out how to dismantle the Bush Crime Family's elections racket.  

  •  WTF (none)
    This makes no sense at all. The sad thing is, it might rally the idiot freeper base.
  •  Largest lobbying group? (none)
    I thought AARP was the biggest lobbying group in D.C.

    They only have one membership criterion too. You have to be over 55.

  •  Two things to say... (none)
    First, I haven't read all the posts here.  I haven't got back to the point that I can dive back in to the blogs that much; I'm still aching badly from November.

    Why the hell should any of us give a rat's ass about AARP?  When I saw the title of this thread, my thought was, so what?  Whose side is AARP on anyway?  AARP has been coopted by the Republicans.  How many of us cancelled our memberships last year when AARP supported Bush's crappy prescription reform?  And the chair of AARP is a doting Gingrich fan.  This is not the same organization of years ago.

    We need a new AARP.  It's time to rename the club and find a new clubhouse.  Fuck AARP.  I have a long memory.

    My second, unreleated point is about the advertisement and the uninhibited way the conservatives can just make slurs like that.  

    Bitching and moaning about it doesn't seem to make a difference.  We know it's untrue and unfair, but that was never the point.  It's the big lie.  If you repeat things like this long enough, people just get tired of trying to discriminate.

    Why don't we ever do the same thing?  I know, that may sound repulsive to you, but jeez, are we that unwilling to fight back.  The best way to discredit the constant onslaught of this kind of crap is to throw the same kind of crap back at them.  This forces people to discriminate when they consume information.  

    So AARP wants everybody to turn gay, huh?  Well, Bush wants to grind up old people and sell their bodies to dog food companies run by Halliburton.  Which is worse?  Oh?  Where is the proof for this?  Well, if they can manufacture evidence to support any kind of lie, we can too.

    I know this will not happen.  It won't happen because there is actually a coherent thread and theme to the lies of the right.  They have generals in the background, wargaming all this stuff.  We just have a big army of pissed off privates milling around.  We have nobody in charge, behind the scenes, willing to engage in the kind of ugly tactics that the conservatives use.  And so we lose, and the fact that we lose means that they must have been right all along.

  •  Counter ad (none)
    a young family is watching television. Bush is pitching his SS scheme. An adorable little girl turns to her young parents and asks, "Why is that man so mean to grandma?"
  •  Let them know what you think (none)

    I followed the ad, post a message to them

    I am a man without a Nation, without a voice... BushsAmerica

    by Ioo on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 03:57:53 PM PST

  •  USANext (4.00)
    interestingly enough, USANext posted the NYT article comparing their attack on aarp to the swifties' attack on kerry on their website... this caused me to read the NYT article a bit more closely than i did this morning... here's a couple of paragraphs taken from that article with a VERY interesting closing quote from Charlie Jarvis... as a sidenote, in rove's climb up the ladder, he considered richard viguerie a rival...

    from the NYT, 2/21/05

    "Formerly known as the United Seniors Association, USA Next was founded in 1991 by Richard Viguerie, a Republican pioneer and mastermind of direct mailings, who raised millions of dollars from older Americans using solicitations that sent alarming messages about Social Security. In 1992, there were allegations that the group was used as a device to enrich other companies owned by Mr. Viguerie, drawing criticism from watchdog groups and Democratic lawmakers.

    Mr. Jarvis, who joined the group in 2001, said he knew little about the allegations, and Mr. Viguerie could not be reached for comment. The group persevered and has grown in the years since then. The group spent years primarily working with direct mail before changing to a model that emphasized the use of heavy television and radio advertising to get its message across, fueled by millions of dollars from wealthy donors, trade associations and companies that share its views.

    Mr. Jarvis said donors have included food, nutrition, energy and pharmaceutical companies, which have given money to support various advertising campaigns.

    In previous years, and often during elections, the money was used to saturate the airwaves with advertisements. In 2002, for example, the group relied partly on money from the pharmaceutical industry to spend roughly $9 million on television commercials and mailings supporting Republican prescription drug legislation and the lawmakers who backed it.

    The group spent more money than any other interest group on House races that year, according to a study by the Wisconsin Advertising Project, and drew charges from Democrats that it was a stealth campaign by the pharmaceutical industry to support House Republicans. The group denied the allegations. Critics contended that the group was a front for corporate special interests. In a 2002 report, Public Citizen's Congress Watch denounced it, calling its leadership 'hired guns.'

    In 2003 and 2004, USA Next was again heavily represented, spending roughly $20 million, according to the group's own numbers. It sponsored more than 19,800 television and radio advertisements last year alone.

    To USA Next, the battle lines have already been drawn, and it does not shy away from comparisons to the veterans' campaign against Senator Kerry. 'It's an honor to be equated with the Swift boat guys,' Mr. Jarvis said."

  •  Laura's AARP speech missing from White House site! (4.00)
    DC Inside Scoop reports that Laura Bush's speech from the AARP convention last October is missing from the White House website!
  •  I LOVE IT (none)
    Let's post it everywhere, and make T shirts of it too!
  •  This looks ridiculous (4.00)
    This looks too over-the-top and ridiculous for anyone but total wingnuts to believe.

    At the end of the day, this is about what you can give people.

    The AARP has delievered.

    What USA Next wants to deliver isn't nearly as good what the AARP wants to give.

    Seniors, even Republicans, will stick with the AARP. There is no real bait-and-switch possible here, like there is with tax-cuts.

    Of course, if this works, anything can work.

  •  why are wingnuts (none)
    obsessed with gay people?  it's like they can't get enough of thinking about gay sex.  even gay people don't think about it as much as wingnuts apparently do.  

    & it's not the troops they support, it's militarism.  

    aarp should do an ad with a retired veteran in a wheelchair, & ask what the repubs are doing for him.  the answer is taking away his benefits, & trying to destroy social security.

    You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it. Malcolm X

    by x on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:15:44 PM PST

  •  Just had a great counter idea... (4.00)
    that I posted in hono lulu's diary on this!

    Suppose they actually go through with it, we counter with:

    "Swift Boat Veterans for Social Security"


    We counter their ads with John Kerry's former crew mates who are all Social Security age. Then, if the bad guys insist on pushing further, they do so at peril of disrespecting Veterans and therefore Our Troops!

    These guys, IMHO are real heroes, and are probably spoiling for a fight after the election! They would probably do it gratis!

    Oooooo... my mind is reeling with the posibilities.....

    The Cognitive Dissonant... "Bringing Marshmallows to the Firestorms of Freedom!"

    by Dood Abides on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:19:34 PM PST

  •  American Spectator (3.50)
    I've already called them and left a, ahem, message.  Here is the contct info for their advertising department.

    Advertising: Katherine Ruddy
    Tel: 703.807.2011, ext. 22

    Also, can we get a comment on this from Guckert, since he seems to be so offended by us even using the fact he was a gay prostitute?  Can we?  Please?

  •  From the AARP message board.. (4.00)
    oh boy, are they pissed.. :

    EXCELLENT IDEA!! They are a dispictable bunch.
    They will lie to get what Bush wants. This is so horrible
    look at all the money they will waste (thats republicans for you folks) just to get what Bush wants pushed thru.

    This is a sad day for all SENIOR AMERICANS and AARP who is trying to fight this machine on behalf OF ALL OF US SENIORS!!!!!


    Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord and if they steal from us seniors by cutting our benefits or worse than I leave them in the hands of the Lord to deal with each and every one of them and let His venegeance get them.

    The other thing you can do is to NEVER NEVER NEVER VOTE for another Repub for the rest of our life!!!!!

    For those of us Christians the repubs are not christian when they steal our benefits!! :

    Let us all use this opportinity by the lunatic right wing to sling mud at AARP for us to join together and fight back.

    Not only in forums and discussions, but in the ballot box.

    FDR - you are still my hero! :

    Here comes the first of the slime out the Fox/Rove chute.  The graphic suggests that AARP is against our soldiers in Iraq, and for gay marriage.  You can look if you want, but you might well take my word for it, and not get sick or have to disinfect your screen.  Typical smear.

    hehe, you go guys and gals. you fucked up the Germans and the Japs, time to fuck up the conservatives.

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:20:38 PM PST

  •  Urging our local group members to write LTE's (none)

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:29:40 PM PST

  •  My email (4.00)
    To Katherine Ruddy, the advertising contact for the American Spectator:

    "Ms. Ruddy,
    Please reconsider who you sell your advertising to.  This ad on your website from USA-Next is absolutely shameful.
    Do you have a mom and a dad or a brother or a sister or an aunt or uncle or friend or colleague who has benefitted from Social Security retirement or disability insurance payments?
    The members of AARP and the recipients of Social Security, both old age and disability, are Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike.  They are old and young, white and  black.  They are blue collar and white collar, they are soldiers and veterans and civilians.  They are my fellow Americans.
    This advertisement is one of the most dishonest unAmerican things I have ever seen.  Is it your aim to paint  my 86 year old mother, WWII vet, English teacher educated by the GI Bill, mother of 4, grandmother of 7 and member of AARP as a traitor to her country?  I truly do not believe this is your intention, however as my mom says, "when you lie down with dogs....".
    Would you like it if I attacked your mother in such a shabby and public way?
    Please examine your conscience before you take any more advertising money from this group.

    Am I tilting at windmills?  Maybe these people are beyond shaming....

  •  No Laughing Matter (none)
    The rightwing must be opposed and exposed every time it slanders and smears, because the Big Lie works. Demand that AARP forcefully denounce this repugnant tactic and that the MSM report on it. Contact AARP on its Web site and MSM at Art Linkletter, as a national figure, should be made to answer for the disgusting behavior of the organization for which he serves as national chairman.
  •  Contact AARP (none)
    with a link to KOS (just incase those freaks take the ad off American Spectator) and suggest that they get their lawyers looking into who placed that ad and why and then sue their freaking asses off for libel.

    "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." - JFK

    by jillian on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 04:40:01 PM PST

  •  My 70-something year old father and stepmother (none)
    are outraged that these guys think they're that gullible, bigoted or just plain stupid.

    I think this will backfire, at least among the sophistocated Senior Citizens that I know.

  •  This is horrible, but...the AARP sold its soul on (none)
    the Medicare drug benefit.  They're really not the best allies to have.  Yes -- I'm glad they're against privatization and spending money on it.  Just be careful how much you try to get in bed with them...

    I will accept this president when he accepts me as a citizen of his country.

    by nycliberal2004 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:01:34 PM PST

  •  I just wrote to my Senator . . . (3.50)
    Elizabeth Dole regarding this ad and I told her how absolutely indignant I was about this ad, which I assumed was okayed by her Party and this administration.  

    We need to wrap the Repubs and the President in this Ad. We need to make them own it!  

    If this doesn't make folks mad, I don't know what will.


    by jhewett on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:06:08 PM PST

    •  Making them own it... (4.00)
      is a good idea.  Kind of like having the Democratic party deal with tree-spiking environmentalists.  It would be nice if someone at the WH press briefing would ask:

      "Mr. President: does you support the notion that the AARP are just as liberal with respect to homosexual rights as your administration has apparently been?"

  •  Remember the Iowa Club for Growth Anti-Dean ad? (none)
    You know, the one where the annoucer:

    asks a couple leaving a barber shop what they think of Dean's "plans to raise taxes on families by $1,900 a year." The man says, "What do I think? I think Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading ...,'' and the woman continues, ``... body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont where it belongs.''

    The anti-AARP ad makes the Iowa ad look like the classic Mean Joe Green and the kid with the Jersey ad.

  •  Referrer... (none)
    you realize dkos is getting a referrer tag for this?
  •  They May Have Met Their Match (none)
    You do NOT want to fuck with seniors. I've seen these people shop.

    Dulce Bellum Inexpertis. -Erasmus

    by JDRhoades on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:37:12 PM PST

  •  Any lawyers here (none)
    Know if the couple whose image is being used can take legal action?
  •  Republican hypocrisy (none)
    Chris Lacivita, the mastermind behind Swiftboats now helping out with the attack on AARP, went from working for the NRSC under Bill Frist (remember the anti-Max Cleland ads?) to Republican consulting powerhouse DCI Group.  One of the partners at DCI is Charles Francis, an openly gay conservative Republican (see who is supposd to be a good friend of George Bush. The hypocrisy of these Republican consultants in using gay baiting as a political tool is stunning. I can accept that gays are not monolithically Democratic, but it is inexplicable how any gay Republican can associate with creeps who use homophobia to score political points.    
  •  An earlier round: medical marijuana (none)
    Six weeks ago, the noise machine went after AARP magazine editor Ed Dwyer, over his employment 30 years ago at High Times Magazine.

    This followed a press release from AARP on the results of a poll of older Americans on their attitudes regarding the laws prohibiting use of marijuana as medecine.  The poll showed 72% support.

    Expect this theme from USA Next's next ad.

    from  Conservative Truth - From Pot To Porn To AARP - by Cliff Kincaid

    It hired an admitted former drug user and dealer as an editor of its 22-million circulation magazine. He has emerged as a spokesman on the so-called "medical marijuana" issue, telling America that seniors might benefit from smoking dope.

    AARP confirmed AARP magazine editor Ed Dwyer's curious background, saying that he wrote for High Times magazine and Playboy but had also done work for "quality" publications...

    With the assistance of Jeanette McDougal of Drug Watch International, anti-drug activists Joyce Nalepka and Dee Rathbone uncovered the Dwyer connection when they read how AARP had "decided to study" the issue of "medical marijuana."...

    ...we had to wonder how many grandparents who participated in this AARP poll were aware what they were voting to support. We suspect very few have any idea. Grandparents are the most anti-drug segment of our society."

    Perhaps this is why seniors have been targeted with a poll that is being used to push dope.

    From TIME Magazine Sep. 08, 1975

    However, hip-casual Editor Ed Dwyer, 27, formerly with Coronet, draws a careful distinction. Says he: "We support the legalization of marijuana, but we never advocate the use of it. We report on its use and the interesting facts associated with altering consciousness, but we do not lead our readers into drugs. Everybody must decide by himself. It's a personal thing."

    The Republican Party: We get government off your back, and drop it on your head.

    by ben masel on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:46:13 PM PST

    •  um. didn't those just released tapes (none)
      have Bush admitting to smoking marijuana - or something like that?

      Wouldn't pointing the fickle finger of smoking dope at the AARP just boomerang back to Bush?

      •  Bush himself won't touch it. (none)
        The Dopplegangers will distinguish between W's silent sinning, and Dwyer's promotion.

        Tangent:  Check my diary from last night, on the shift in Drugwar spending priorities in the new Bush budget, from domestic enforcement towards treatment.

        The Republican Party: We get government off your back, and drop it on your head.

        by ben masel on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:13:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I had to... (4.00)

    I am a man without a Nation, without a voice... BushsAmerica

    by Ioo on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:47:07 PM PST

  •  Is it just me or... (none)
     or is the guy on the left sort of similar to Shrubya at first glance?

    Accidental? Probably not.

    Also: gay guys? SO cute. I want to be their bridesmaid. And I gave up on bridesmaiding years ago.

  •  Lets target this swiftboat jerk (4.00)
    I say if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.  This creep,Chris Lacivita, should be targeted and exposed.  Lets show Lacivita that what goes around comes around.

    Lifes too short when youre this good.

    by ksecus on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:58:02 PM PST

  •  What Happened to the Ad (none)
    Does anyone have a link to the Google cache.  The ad has disappeared from the American Spectator website.

    Methinks this was a Rovian buzz generator, not a serious ad.  Now everyone will hear the talking points.  It looks like the Swifties punked the American Spectator.

    The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

    by TarheelDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:58:05 PM PST

    •  It will be back (none)
      I have a few sites where people played for ads.

      Most of those ads are paid for by the impression. With all of us going to have a look, we may have used up all the impressions!

      Some buy 1000 a day, some buy 1000 period.

      Like I said, It will be back

      But we did cost them money!

      I am a man without a Nation, without a voice... BushsAmerica

      by Ioo on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:13:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why dont Kerry sue SBVT (none)
    He should sue them for libel and defamation.

    find your local dem group link:

    by timber on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 05:59:49 PM PST

  •  Shameless Plug (none)
    My latest diary has a quick and easy action on this issue.

  •  My grandmother (4.00)
    is 78 years old and incredibly computer savvy to boot.  She saw this this evening and sent an email to me saying:

    "I am in tears over this.  I can't believe that I voted for Bush.  What was I thinking??"

    Indeed, what were alot of people thinking.

    btw - my probation period is almost up here and I can then post my first diary!  whoo hoo!

    A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law. -Benjamin Franklin

    by allentownboy on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:02:51 PM PST

  •  Brilliant (none)
    Great Work....!
  •  swift boat/aarp (4.00)
    I'm beginning to think that all would-be humorist bloggers who parody the right need to give up and just tell us what they're up to. It is no longer possible to parody these crackers.
  •  Outrageous (none)
    I thought I could not be shocked any more by the brazen right-wing but this ad made my jaw drop. I want all Democrats, all progressives, anyone with a drop of conscience to hit back at these people and hard.  Take maybe 24 hours to come up with the best approach and blast them, Harry Reid & Howard Dean and whoever else.
  •  Can somebody please explain to me (none)
    how their gay bashing ad is supposed to tie into privatizing social security?  I don't get it.   I think it's going to backfire on them big time because it makes no sense.
  •  Did you check this site? (none)
      This is the site that the ad on A.S. links to... - Use It to contact your local, state and national politicians. Also use it to contact local and national media.

    by kevin22262 on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:29:37 PM PST

  •  This could be good (none)
    It is so over the top that people who thought the Swift boat nonsense was for real could get a wake call on this.

    If stupidity got us into this mess then why can't it get us out? - Will Rogers

    by Semental on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:36:46 PM PST

  •  logan's run (none)
    was a movie in the early 70's. it was a sci-fi story where people were terminated at 30 years old because the world population couldn't take them. or something.  Maybe that's the eventual GOP agenda.
  •  Of course thinking people (none)
    may just realize that troop guy could be gay. Ha! bet they never thought about that.

    And let's not let them forget Lyn Cheney does the same thing as the two gay guys; only behind closed doors.

  •  Remember the Swifties tactic (none)
    is to run as few but as inflammatory ads as possible to register with the MSM - and let the media run with it from there.

    So AARP needs to answer fast - and loud.

  •  I agree with AARP (none)
    No to illegal wars!

    Yes to Gay Marraige!

    What's the problem with this ad?  I agree with it!

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin

    by TheCrimsonKid on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 06:50:45 PM PST

  •  I hate these people (none)
    From my blog: for more visit

    You know, I'm a moderate guy, an independent, damn proud of it. But I gotta tell you, the people behind the Swift Boat campaign have taken my hatred and raised it. Just answer this question for me, someone, anyone: How in the living hell can you be so cracked out of your everloving mind as to say that the AARP is for gay marraige and against the soldiers?

    I support gay marraige, but the country still has a hard time accepting it, and so once again gay-baiting is being used, with the additional caveat that the AARP hates our troops.

    For fuck's sake [excuse the language, but my professionalism has been overcome], why do these right-wingnuts find it alright to degrade and humiliate people to win elections or issue debates? They NEVER win on the fucking merits, it's all about sliming the other side, being as vile and nasty as possible, and then standing there like fucking hypocrites and claiming that God is on their side. Yeah, God really loves assholes like you. He has a soft spot in His heart for those who slime, and cheat, and lie, and use Him as a political tool.

    I can't take this anymore. How can you trash the AARP? How can you sit there and use the two biggest extremes for most Americans, and feel good about yourselves? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?!?! It's nothing more than a temporal power trip, and I hope I'm there to see these people, quite literally, go straight to hell. It is assholes like these people that have been the ruin of civilized discourse between the party.

  •  Jeez, Guys WAKE DA FUCK UP (none)
    The (formerly) Grand Old Party (or at least those who masquerade as us today)are gonna roll over AARP on this.  It's all about choking off support for AARP and sladering it so that those in their mid-40's throw the "Age 50" letter you get on your 50th birthday in the trash.

    It's targeted, it's intended, and it's gonna work unless you guys start getting your shit together.

    You trot out guys like Bob Shrum to run your presidential campaigns; you got Al Franken (nice mid-Western sounding name, eh? And a Harvard guy, to boot) as the centerpiece of your nascient radio network; you lay on real media stars like Harry "No Doz" Reid and Barbara "I can't believe her eyeballs don't just pop out of her sockets from all the plastic surgery" Boxer to do your public rebuttals.

    I fell all over myself WARNING the Kerry campaign that they needed to knock down the Swifties, and was ignored; "they had it covered".  Like the DNC, they had one too many 28 year old Ivy League dilletante and not enough state college street fighters.

    When the FUCK is the Democratic Party gonna wake up?  You're losing the propoganda war and your PR guys couldn't sell snowcones in the Sahara. The White House is vicious; they attack all the time - and they do it savagely.  And their best guy at it doesn't even have a degree!

    So WAKE DA FUCK UP, put your Ivy League types up on the Hill working on legislation, and leave the rough and tumble to guys who KNOW how to fight back at these bastards the same way they come at you.

    "The beginning of thought is in disagreement -- not only with others but also with ourselves." - Eric Hoffer

    by Thinking Republican on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:04:27 PM PST

  •  I'm so gdddam mad at ... (none) Democrats for letting them roll you like this, I could spit.

    "The beginning of thought is in disagreement -- not only with others but also with ourselves." - Eric Hoffer

    by Thinking Republican on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:05:39 PM PST

  •  Right-Wing Media Aiding Anti-AARP (none)
    LaCivita and the SBVT were aided in their smear campaign of John Kerry by the right-wing media, which gleefully and freely spread their lies.

    And USA Next can figure on the same help. Already today, one-time drug-czar and former education and now right-wing radio yapper Bill Bennett and his guest, National Review Editor Rich Lowry, were bashing the AARP with reckless abandon. More at

  •  Will the Swifties next book... (none)
    be titled, "Grandpa: Unfit to eat" ?

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:10:08 PM PST

  •  I have just written my congresswoman (none)
    I have posted the following on Anne Northup's site (KY).

    I am writing to you to express my unequivocal opposition to the privatization of Social Security.

    Call it "private accounts."  Call it "personal accounts."  Whatever it's going to be called, I do not believe that a) there is an immediate crisis, or b) it can be solved by running a 2 trillion dollar debt.

    I have recently begun seeing some extremely disturbing ads run by a pro-privatization groups attempting to poison the well by casting aspersions on the agenda of groups such as the AARP regarding this issue.  The advertisement appears to infer that the AARP is anti-military and promoting homosexuality.  What this can possibly have to do with their position on Social Security is beyond my understanding, but it does seem to convince me that the argument of the USA First group is too weak to stand on its own.  I find it upsetting that the debate on this topic has rapidly reached the level where people are engaging in ad-hominem smears instead of discussing the facts.

    If there is to be a plan to deal with the Social Security shortfall, it must be grounded in reality.  It must include an acknowledgement that we cannot run an endless national debt, and that at some point real sacrifices must be made in order regain our fiscal balance.  I do not think it is fair to dump the burden of one generation's excesses on my children, and I will not sit quietly while this is done to them.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    I have also gone to USA First's website.  You can post comments that you're sick of AARP's "liberal" tactics.  I unfortunately did not save the exact text of what I put there, but the gist of it was:

    I see that your argument regarding the AARP's stance on social security is too weak to stand on its own.  This is why you have resorted to an ad-hominem slur to distort the issue.

    This is going to backfire in your face.  If you have an argument explaining why we must run a 2 trillion dollar debt and slag off our elderly citizens, make it.  Otherwise take your phony foundation and shut up.

    I believe they will probably filter every comment they get, and certainly have no intention of posting mine.  But it would be interesting to see if they shut the site down if say, the entire population of DailyKos turned up to post.  It is time to make these people hear the voice of reasonable opposition.

    The correct phrase is "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." There is no crisis.

    by slippytoad on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:31:16 PM PST

    •  More . . . (none)
      I have completed bitching at my representatives regarding this issue.  I think that one of the best ways to shout this thing down is to feed it back to the Conservative representatives.  If they don't want to have this disgusting hot potato dropped in their laps, they'd better run from it as far as possible.

      I am going to from now on openly bitch when I see misleading, distorted, or simply reprehensible advertising tactics like this, and I am going to complain right to my three conservative reps about it.  I want to see if this translates into them going back to their buddies and saying "hey look, this is blowing back on us."  Let them protest their innocence all they like.  Let them complain that this isn't the argument they are making.  I don't care.  There are two sides to every issue, and I want them to understand that their job is to view my side.

      The correct phrase is "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." There is no crisis.

      by slippytoad on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:50:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  need to join AARP (none)
    When the AARP helped Bush I said I would not join the AARP well this crap from Roves swifties has changed my mind I'm going to join now and I have some friends who are not members now but I'm going to try to get them to join also.If you know anyone who can join the AARP try to get them to become members. I was surprised that it's only 12 an some odd cents dollars to join for a year
    •  Gave up my membership (none)
      when the medicare bill came along. It's time to forget that shit and get over it. I see this as the best opportunity we have had in a long time. Most seniors will become energized if they think they are under attack and this is a good time to form alliances.
  •  PHOTO CAPTION: (none)
    underneath the two men kissing, next to the soldier, should read:

    "it's better to throw rice than grenades!"

  •  So I presume (none)
    this type of Super Crap will be mailed to select individuals. And maybe a little e-mail campaingn.

    Is it Bob Novak's son who is behind this marketing strategy from USA NEXT!

    Sadly these people bring out the worst in me! My blood boils in anger when I see theses slimebuckets at work. And that is what they want. More division. Wedge, inflame, divide and conquer!


    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 07:48:58 PM PST

  •  Bill Bennett......??? (4.00)
    As some one already associated in the public mind with having a gambling addiction he seems an odd choice.  I'd have thought given his track record that his making him the public face of the Bush plan leaves the whole thing open to riducle....


    "Bill Bennett gambled away $8 million on slot machines - now he wants us to gamble with our retirement...."


    "Don't put your future at risk - Just say NO"

    (You get the idea)

  •  Republicans attack veterans and elderly (none)
    My parents, every one of my uncles, all are war veterans and each one of them is married to a nonveteran, each is also a member of the AARP.  One can only hope that this will backfire on them big time.  In each city and small town across the United States, there should be billboards put up and signs at hospitals, and news headlines, saying that the Republicans are attacking Veterans and the Elderly.  Thats how you get the word out.  You can mail your members but it takes a public outcry to get the message to everyone.  
    The AARP has the network to do that kind of media blitz, they need to use it.  Put the fight in the republicans back yard.
  •  First They Came for the Jews..For those who forget (none)
    First They Came for the Jews....For those who forget history

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

    Pastor Martin Niemöller

    The right is now attacking the AARP because the AARP will not support the Bush Social Security FUBAR solution.

    I remember when the AARP supported the Medicare 'solution' Bush passed through congress at gun point. A Bill filled with lies and misinformation. It had a price tag of $400 Billion yet insiders knew it would cost $725 Billion but were forced to keep silent under threat of termination. Congressman were threatened with political murder and strong arm tactics if they did not vote for the Bill. The time limit for closing the Congressional vote was extended until after enough votes were secured.

    These tactics will destroy the Republican party and all who support it. The press should remember what occurred 25 years ago, during the Nixon administration. It was called Watergate. It was called telling the truth. It was called being a voice of truth. It is time to speak out while there is still time to do so.

    Time will tell all the Truth.


  •  remake Soylent Green (none)
     Someone needs to remake Soylent Green
  •  Strange bedfellows (none)
    I can't believe they would want to ally such disparate groups.  Now the troop-haters and gay couples will buy into the dangerous, potent octagenarian agenda.  That formidable hydra is sure to keep red staters awake at night.

    Come on.  I mean...come on.

    Why not relax with a cold, refreshing The Good Reverend

    by RevBrian on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:48:01 PM PST

  •  This is Rove's version of (none)
    Divide and Conquer. To me, this is more than a slap at AARP as a whole.  I think the main goal here is to shame the faithful Republicans within the AARP, which I think I read they believe is a full 35% of the association, to jump ship.  Dis-associate now or be branded unpatriotic and gay loving.

    The question now is, will it do that, or will it backfire big time?  I'm betting on backfire.

    Personally, I think Karl is slipping with this particular ad. It's so unimaginative.  It consists of over used dividing points.  It doesn't even attack them on the issue itself.  This is just a reworked campaign smear tactic.  In fact it looks almost identical to the ad they sent out to their christian base to smear Kerry.  Tsk, tsk, tsk, Karl.  It must be hard trying to move into a new office and get into the rythm of that promotion you got on top of fighting for your masters agenda.  I almost feel sorry for you.  On, second thought, no I don't.  I actually love how foolish you look, right now.  

  •  Why nto attack the AARP as interested in seniors (none)
    above the country? Say something like we need to cut benefits for the country's sake and that the AARP only cares about senior citizens, not the country as a whole. The AARP has absolutely nothing to do with gays or foreign policy. For a smear to work, it needs to be plausibe. The SBVFT didn't say John Kerry was surfing in San Diego because it would have been so far-feached. They just took the most outrageous but plausible lie. This is just bull-shit.
  •  Ha (none)
    I'm against military intervention and pro gay rights, does that mean I'm ready for the AARP?

    Great campaign so far, boys.  

  •  Grandma say it aint so! (none)
    When I woke up this morning I found out that my Grandma was arrested for protesting our troops in Iraq her sign proclaimed "All G.I.s are GRANDMA KILLERS!". Then I found out my Grandfather ran off with my Grandfather and Married in Vegas!
    Oh No!! Its that old folks group they joined to get The Presidents discount drug cards isn't it.
    Damn those Liberals!
  •  Let me tell ya (none)
    they've picked a battle they can't fricking win.

    This battle is going to be a barn-burner and fun to watch unfold.

    The AARP got noodled on the Medicare drug plan, and won't be fooled again.

    The checkbooks are flying on this one.

  •  my response (none)
    You can send the nice people at USA Next a comment here.

    Here's mine (warning--I was a suffering from some bad 'progressive-Christian-self-righteousness' when I wrote this):

    I am NOT impressed by your ill-conceived, bigoted ad (the two-part 'AARP hates the troops, loves the gays').

    First of all, pray tell, what are your sources?  Because I certainly can't find anything remotely near these lines.  

    Second, if the only way you can get people to come to your site is by fueling anti-gay bigotry, then may God forgive you for your abusive panderings to the worst in human nature.  

    Congratulations--this group is clearly the living embodiment of conservative, moral values (once we get away from "compassion," "fairness," "love,"or "Christian" of course).


    I stand with Howard.

    by obietom on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:50:48 PM PST

  •  TMP reader finds more ads in the wings? (none)
    Just saw this on Josh Marshall's TPM blog. A smart reader, seeing the name of the file of anti-AARP ad on American Spectator went looking for more:



    ad6, a flash poll

    You can make anything look good if you can write billions of dollars of hot checks. --Ross Perot

    by lanshark on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:58:25 PM PST

    •  Ijust saw this too (none)
      instead of having it buried down here at number 600 and something, I would suggest you create a new diary (with credit to Talking Points Memo, of course) . Add the stuff about these guys constantly changing their names, etc.
  •  Let's look at it this way (none)
    If they have to make the absurd claim that the AARP is supporting gay marriage and opposing the troops by opposing Bush's SS plan what does that say about thier argument?  They were able to slander Kerry with lies, but at least if you were to believe them thier arguments had some relevency on the surface, but here they're trying to use a similar slanderous tactic, but the connection is so utterly non-existent that I have a hard time believing that anyone will be swayed by that ad campaign.  On another note, this is extremely dissapointing.  Has our national discourse really been reduced to this bull shit?

    "When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it."-Clarence Darrow

    by cwech on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:11:21 PM PST

  •  Here's What I Did: (none)
    I sent a note to America Next at their site... real innocent-like... asking why they would attack AARP, since they only stick up FOR seniors, not against them... and I pointed out that just about everything the Bush Administration says scares this over-50-person a lot more than anything I've ever heard from AARP... stuff like that...   I will be interested to see if they respond.

    I figure the SpongeBob thing fizzled, so this is the next outrageous tack... sorta like during the November campaign... it seemed like they (Rove et al) tried this and that until some outrageous spin worked...

    I almost quit AARP with the drug issue, but I decided to wait-and-see.  I see reasons to continue my membership at this point.  But I want to point out to all the kids who assume AARP members are Korean "War" era vets or older, that I was born in 1952 so I'm barely AARP material.  I'm even on the young side in relation to Vietnam era vets.  So please, all you 20-somethings or younger, don't date me more than I already am.  (and I do NOT have blue hair!)

    •  Fight Back (none)
      Sending a response to the NextUSA site is a great idea. They're flooded with responses. But don't stop there. Call or e-mail your senators and representative and tell them what you think of this campaign (especially if they're repugs). Then send this link to your e-mail friends/groups and ask them to do likewise. Then get on the DNC site (Dean wants our input) and tell them to take this on immediately. Kerry made a fatal error in allowing the Swiftboat smear to get out of hand.
  •  I meant USA Next (none)
    I can't keep these names quasi-patriotic names straight...
  •  American manhood (none)
    It looks like they may have used the same actor to play both the soldier and the gay man on the right. To put it mildly, the ad is repulsive.
  •  The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity (none)

    This monograph is completely unanswerable by the fascist thugs (and I use the word "monograph" pointedly).

  •  Great recruiting tool (none)
    For AARP, anyway.

    Never had much of an interest in the organization, but if sleazeoids like these are worried about it, I'm joining up.

    I don't think hiring Chris La Civita is much of a credibility enhancer either.  

  •  the GOP has become Count Floyd (4.00)
    on the old SCTV- "tonight we have a very scary feature for you kids- it's got- whooooo- gay men kissing-whoooo- very scary- doesn't it make your skin crawl-they're all kissing on each other and stuff- whoooo- scary-gives me the willies.....oh hell, start the movie...".

    A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free people.

    by faugh a ballagh on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 01:33:46 AM PST

  •  My two cents... (none)
    USA Next is saying that AARP is against soldiers and for homosexuals? I came across this a couple of days ago, I apologize for the length. Really who do you think is against the soldiers? Have they looked to this Whitehouse?

    White House Turns Tables On Former American POWs

    Gulf War pilots tortured by Iraqis fight the Bush administration in trying to collect compensation.

    By David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer

    WASHINGTON -- The latest chapter in the legal history of torture is being written by American pilots who were beaten and abused by Iraqis during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. And it has taken a strange twist.

    The Bush administration is fighting the former prisoners of war in court, trying to prevent them from collecting nearly $1 billion from Iraq that a federal judge awarded them as compensation for their torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein's regime.

    The rationale: Today's Iraqis are good guys, and they need the money.

    The case abounds with ironies. It pits the U.S. government squarely against its own war heroes and the Geneva Convention.

    Many of the pilots were tortured in the same Iraqi prison, Abu Ghraib, where American soldiers abused Iraqis 15 months ago. Those Iraqi victims, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said, deserve compensation from the United States.

    But the American victims of Iraqi torturers are not entitled to similar payments from Iraq, the U.S. government says.

    "It seems so strange to have our own country fighting us on this," said retired Air Force Col. David W. Eberly, the senior officer among the former POWs.

    The case, now being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, tests whether "state sponsors of terrorism" can be sued in the U.S. courts for torture, murder or hostage-taking. The court is expected to decide in the next two months whether to hear the appeal.

    Congress opened the door to such claims in 1996, when it lifted the shield of sovereign immunity -- which basically prohibits lawsuits against foreign governments -- for any nation that supports terrorism. At that time, Iraq was one of seven nations identified by the State Department as sponsoring terrorist activity. The 17 Gulf War POWs looked to have a very strong case when they first filed suit in 2002. They had been undeniably tortured by a tyrannical regime, one that had $1.7 billion of its assets frozen by the U.S. government.

    The picture changed, however, when the United States invaded Iraq and toppled Hussein from power nearly two years ago. On July 21, 2003, two weeks after the Gulf War POWs won their court case in U.S. District Court, the Bush administration intervened to argue that their claims should be dismissed.

    "No amount of money can truly compensate these brave men and women for the suffering that they went through at the hands of this very brutal regime and at the hands of Saddam Hussein," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told reporters when asked about the case in November 2003.

    Government lawyers have insisted, literally, on "no amount of money" going to the Gulf War POWs. "These resources are required for the urgent national security needs of rebuilding Iraq," McClellan said.

    The case also tests a key provision of the Geneva Convention, the international law that governs the treatment of prisoners of war. The United States and other signers pledged never to "absolve" a state of "any liability" for the torture of POWs.

    Former military lawyers and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have been among those who have urged the Supreme Court to take up the case and to strengthen the law against torturers and tyrannical regimes.

    "Our government is on the wrong side of this issue," said Jeffrey F. Addicott, a former Army lawyer and director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University in San Antonio. "A lot of Americans would scratch their heads and ask why is our government taking the side of Iraq against our POWs."

    The POWs' journey through the court system began with the events of Jan. 17, 1991 -- the first day of the Gulf War. In response to Hussein's invasion of Kuwait five months earlier, the United States, as head of a United Nations coalition, launched an air attack on Iraq, determined to drive Iraqi forces from the oil-rich Gulf state. On the first day of the fighting, a jet piloted by Marine Corps Lt. Col. Clifford Acree was downed over Iraq by a surface-to-air missile. He suffered a neck injury ejecting from the plane and was soon taken prisoner by the Iraqis. Blindfolded and handcuffed, he was beaten until he lost consciousness. His nose was broken, his skull was fractured, and he was threatened with having his fingers cut off. He lost 30 pounds during his 47 days of captivity.

    Eberly was shot down two days later and lost 45 pounds during his ordeal. He and several other U.S. service members were near starvation when they were freed. Other POWs had their eardrums ruptured and were urinated on during their captivity at Abu Ghraib.

    All the while, their families thought they were dead because the Iraqis did not notify the U.S. government of their capture.

    In April 2002, the Washington law firm of Steptoe & Johnson filed suit on behalf of the 17 former POWs and 37 of their family members. The suit, Acree vs. Republic of Iraq, sought monetary damages for the "acts of torture committed against them and for pain, suffering and severe mental distress of their families."

    Usually, foreign states have a sovereign immunity that shields them from being sued. But in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996, Congress authorized U.S. courts to award "money damages ... against a foreign state for personal injury or death that was caused by an act of torture, extrajudicial killing, aircraft sabotage [or] hostage taking."

    This provision was "designed to hold terrorist nations accountable for the torture of Americans and to deter rogue nations from engaging in such actions in the future," Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and George Allen (R-Va.) said last year in a letter to Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft that urged him to support the POWs' claim.

    The case came before U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts. There was no trial; Hussein's regime ignored the suit, and the U.S. State Department chose to take no part in the case.

    On July 7, 2003, the judge handed down a long opinion that described the abuse suffered by the Gulf War POWs, and he awarded them $653 million in compensatory damages. He also assessed $306 million in punitive damages against Iraq. Lawyers for the POWs asked him to put a hold on some of Iraq's frozen assets.

    No sooner had the POWs celebrated their victory than they came up against a new roadblock: Bush administration lawyers argued that the case should be thrown out of court on the grounds that Bush had voided any such claims against Iraq, which was now under U.S. occupation. The administration lawyers based their argument on language in an emergency bill, passed shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, approving the expenditure of $80 billion for military operations and reconstruction efforts. One clause in the legislation authorized the president to suspend the sanctions against Iraq that had been imposed as punishment for the invasion of Kuwait more than a decade earlier.

    The president's lawyers said this clause also allowed Bush to remove Iraq from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism and to set aside pending monetary judgments against Iraq.

    When the POWs' case went before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,, the three-judge panel ruled unanimously for the Bush administration and threw out the lawsuit.

    "The United States possesses weighty foreign policy interests that are clearly threatened by the entry of judgment for [the POWs] in this case," the appeals court said.

    The administration also succeeding in killing a congressional resolution supporting the POWs' suit. "U.S. courts no longer have jurisdiction to hear cases such as those filed by the Gulf War POWs," then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said in a letter to lawmakers. "Moreover, the president has ordered the vesting of blocked Iraqi assets for use by the Iraqi people and for reconstruction."

    Already frustrated by the turn of events, the former POWs were startled when Rumsfeld said he favored awarding compensation to the Iraqi prisoners who were abused by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib.

    "I am seeking a way to provide appropriate compensation to those detainees who suffered grievous and brutal abuse and cruelty at the hands of a few members of the U.S. military. It is the right thing to do," Rumsfeld told a Senate committee last year.

    By contrast, the government's lawyers have refused to even discuss a settlement in the POWs' case, say lawyers for the Gulf War veterans. "They were willing to settle this for pennies on the dollar," said Addicott, the former Army lawyer.

    The last hope for the POWs rests with the Supreme Court. Their lawyers petitioned the high court last month to hear the case. Significantly, it has been renamed Acree vs. Iraq and the United States.

    The POWs say the justices should decide the "important and recurring question [of] whether U.S. citizens who are victims of state-sponsored terrorism [may] seek redress against terrorist states in federal court."

    This week, Justice Department lawyers are expected to file a brief urging the court to turn away the appeal.

  •  Gray Panthers (none)
    My local Gray Panthers is "age and youth in action"  I went to my first meeting recently and my 41 year old self was the one "youth" but their issues (from what I gather) are definitely MY issues (universal health care, peace, public ed., gay rights, etc etc). Please check them out. There is much to be learned from these people....and they need younger members to keep 'em going.
  •   AARP and the rest of us (none)
    First, Karl Rove is linking AARP to their opposition to the same sex legislation in Ohio.  AARP's position was that the legislation could have an impact on unmarried seniors who wanted to visit their partner in the hospital, etc.  Again, we just don't know the Rovian frame which is why the ad comes off as weird to us - unlike the loony wingers who will be getting their marching orders from hilly billy heroin Rush - and they will start calling CSPAN, writing letters, etc.

    Second, we need to go on the offensive since this ad will shortly be VERY effective since we'll be bombing Iran soon.  See Scott Ritter's comments: Ritter on Bush BombingTo say the least, Rove knows this and it has to be part of the plan.  BTW, Gunkert/Gannon probably does too -- I keep wondering who Karl will find to replace him in the WH pool? Or as Robin Williams said -- the whole thing "gives new meaning to the word man date."

    Third, WHEN WILL WE GO ON THE OFFENSIVE?  We need to start hammering away at the Repug meme on Social Security.  We need to start holding OUR OWN TOWN HALL MEETINGS and begin to organize against the Repukes at the grass roots level.  Look at K-9's diary - put that up - I say we get her to narrate the diary so that it can run on every power point session we do - then explicate the Repugs meme "Screw Grandma!" WE NEED TO RUN OUR OWN MEME Social Security is about the American family: Each generation protecting the next.

    IMHO, we can defeat them if we out organize them and attack - attack -- attack..............but the real question is -- DO WE HAVE THE GUTS, WILL AND DESIRE,to defeat Karl the Puke?

  •  motherfuckers (none)
    These assholes are going to hell.  Fuck them all... the repressed homoeroticism of Republicans is obvious.

    "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

    by wintersnowman on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 06:06:23 AM PST

  •  Jump. The. Shark. n/a (none)
  •  astounding to me that USA Next (none)
    would be so stupid as to assail one of the most contiguous and participatory voting demographics (seniors) in the country but, hey, if the other side wants to alienate potential supporters who am I to argue? This could be a watershed moment for Dean's DNC to show - by glaring contrast - how reasoned and magnanimous the Democrats can be.

    Patriotism (and gay-bashing) are the last refuge the scoundrel

    Samuel Johnson

  •  Who in Congress are AARP members? (none)
    How many Republicans are members, and can they be shamed or smeared into denouncing this?  My Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison certainly fits the age criterion, and I imagine that John Cornyn does, too.  Other Congresscritters?

    Were all the Rep. members warned ahead of time to cancel their membership?

    I'm not sure where to go with this, but it's in the same category as getting Laura Bush's address to AARP last year out there to remind everyone of who the membership really are.

  •  L.Ron Hubbard is involved here (none)
    I will go to my grave believing tha tScientology started as a bet between Hubbard and Arthur Clarke and I'm pretty sure someone's made a bet that they could produce a ridiculous ad like this and get it taken seriously.

    If you're on the other side, you really need to look at this ad and ask if you are happy this is the image not only that your side has, but that they actively seek to project.


    I knew Ted Hitler. Ted Hitler was a friend of mine. Ted Hitler ate my panda. You're no Ted Hitler.

    by nightsweat on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 07:39:15 AM PST

  •  Laura Bush's AARP speech lost (none)
    can anyone find it?  Seems that she's contradicting dear hubby:

  •  ACTION!!!!!!! (none)
    enough invective ACT. This is obscene. Call for action. 1) everybody write today to AARP and demand they take action, a law suit or something, defamation of character 2) Bombard and blitz your Congressional representative deamndign an investigation. 3) bombard the White House and demand they stop such filfth. I am a senior and have played by the rules all my life and I shall not in the last phase of my life be villified l;ike this. This has nothing to do with whether you are a senior, a membrer of AAR, or drawing the social security you have paid into all your life. This is about pure obscenity and cannot be allowed. What do they want us to do, go away, like the Bushmen of the Kalahari and die under a BUSH!!!!!!! No way. Not in my lifetime. Quit whining and swarm.
  •  AARP email reply (none)
    I sent 3 queries to AARP yesterday, two times clicking on "Social Security" in the subject menu, once on "Grassroots efforts." Here's what you get in  an auto-reply for "Social Security":

    Thank you for contacting AARP regarding the issue of Social Security.
      We appreciate hearing from you.

    You are receiving this automatically generated response due to the
    overwhelming number of communications we are receiving regarding
    proposals to divert Social Security payroll taxes to private
    accounts.  These proposals are sometimes called Social Security
    “privatization,” which means that parts of the current public program
    are moved to private management.

    If your inquiry has nothing to do with the issue of Social Security
    private accounts, we would like to apologize to you for this
    automatic response.  Referral sources are listed at the end of this
    email to assist you with specific Social Security issues.

    While Social Security is strong now and in no danger of going broke,
    it is true that the program needs some changes so it will always be
    able to pay full benefits for all generations of Americans, today and
    tomorrow. The changes needed don't have to be drastic, and the
    guarantee Social Security provides is one worth strengthening, not
    replacing. The longer we wait to do this, the more difficult the
    steps we will have to take.

    At AARP, we have a number of good ideas on how to make the
    adjustments needed and would be glad to share them with you.

    Visit our website at for up-to-date
    information and helpful resources on this very important issue.
    ...and some more blah-blah-blah.

    Auto answer to "Grassroots efforts" query:

    Thank you for your recent communication.  Your concerns are very
    important to us at AARP.  Please be assured that we will prepare a
    response for you as quickly as possible.

    Please do not reply to this message.  This email address is not
    monitored for responses.

    You may update your membership information or request and print a
    membership card online by visiting the Your Membership area of our
    Web site at

    Additionally, all of your Member Benefits and Services are available
    by visiting the Member Services and Discounts area of the Web site at

    It has been our pleasure to assist you.

  •  Well, let's see (none)
    I'm at work, so I can't read all the posts.  Apologies if I'm repeating but . . .

    AARP members are very likely to be veterans or families of veterans.  

    They are as likely as non members to have family members currently in the military, even in Iraq.

    They are playing with fire implying that AARP doesn't support the troops.

  •  A wedge, to drive the AARP apart from progressive (none)
    I'm wondering if this might be an intentional drive, to keep seniors from identifying with other progressive causes.

    By attacking seniors as aggressively liberal, maybe they hope to cause seniors to react defensively, and demonstrate that they're not a bunch of 'wacky liberals', by a) leaving the AARP and b) supporting Bush as he eviscerates SS.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 10:38:06 AM PST

  •  Why are democrats such wimps? (none)
    Why can't democrats ever go hard core? Take the ultimate bruiser of the bush administration: Donald Rumsfeld, he'd just as soon give you the finger as shake your hand :

    and what about the press? Do they ever expose things like this or hold people accountable? no, they're too busy nominating Condolezza Rice for a Nobel Peace Prize:

    When will democrats wake up?

  •  So for the GOP Gays have become the commies (none)
    "Are you now? Or have you every been? ... A Gay"

    Where does the hate come from?

    Repression. Repression leads to self-loathing. Self-Loathing leads to hate.

    Jeff Gannon is more than just a propaganda story, it is more than a security breach story. It is the story of a gay man who might not consider himself gay. His belief system has taught him to view his own natural urges as evil. So after years of repression, the guilt turns to self hatred. Gannon had no problem writing homophobic articles for Talon News... perhaps because he is homophobic himself.

    In efforts to bring "morality" to the world the right wing has damaged the health, psyche, and spirit of hundreds of thousands of people. Take the former governor of New Jersey. He fought with who he was. Society and the church taught him that who he was was wrong and a choice. To prove to himself he did not want to make such a "choice" he, like many others, visited the strip clubs, had many a female partner, and, eventually, a wife. How could he be gay, he thought. But he was, and it brought down his career and his marriage. The Church which supposedly represents a philosopher who preached love and understanding had force a man to deny his natural state and in so doing damaged not only this man, but so many others in his life.

    Repression leads to the hatred. Men so insecure in their own selves they perceive "attacks." If you are born straight you made a "choice" to be straight... bully for you. It is yet another way for a shallow and empty soul to feel better about themselves. If you weren't born straight and are taught it is your choice, it is because you are being attacked by "homosexual" messages, images... the "gay" agenda. This is the hate. Insecurity and repression. In fear and revulsion you run further to the right. Twisted morality creates future twisted followers.

    People living in the closet, making the jokes about gays, participating in taunts or even attacks against gays, and then running out to a male prostitute is what the "moral" right wants. Think of the lives lost. Think how each paid "exchange" chips away at the spirits of both men. Now picture a place where what you are is accepted. You never hide. You don't turn to violence and self-loathing. Stable relationships are easier to maintain. Depression, suicide, and substance abuse from the fear and confusion fade away. I guess such a scenario is just not "moral."

    How many families have been destroyed because a farther and mother rejects a son or daughter for their strength at being able to live as who they are. A society that hates you, a family that rejects you. No wonder many gays are depressed. To be who you are in that scenario shows incredible strength. So many have that strength, have found happiness, and seeing that strength probably just feeds the anger of the homophobes all the more... because they perceive themselves as so very weak.

  •  Our photo was used in the anti-AARP ad (none)
    Dear Friends,

    My husband Steven and I recently had our photo used in a right wing conservative add against the AARP without our permission.  They basically stole the photo from The Portland Tribune's website or it was sold to them; we still have not found out how this happened.   The ad and many blogs are mentioned on the Daily KOS who brought this to light, thanks guys.

    It seems the Spectator  (a conservative Republican website) ran an ad on Monday, February 21st using our photo in an anti-AARP ad being produced by the same people who made the Swift boat Vet ads against John Kerry.

    It's an ad targeting the AARP because of their opposition to the President's social security plan.  How this relates to the images of our nuptials and an American soldier is beyond me.  This ad is being used on rightwing websites to somehow use anti-gay bigotry and blind patriotism to rally people against the AARP and, by extension, against preserving Social Security.

    I have placed a copy of the ad on my personal website for you to see since it has been taken of the Spectator's website.  We are in no way indorsing the ad but want you to see the lengths they will go to misinform and misrepresent truth to the American people.

    We are so outraged by this, we've put together a online fundraising team and we are asking you to join -- help me raise as much money from friends and "family" as I can in order to help the Democratic Party.   We must put a stop to this right wing agenda and media campaign.

    Join our team!

    Thank you, and let's make a difference!

    Rick Raymen (a.k.a. Ricky Monet)
    Steven Hansen

  •  My contributions (none)
    Here's one that I came up with and here's three more.
  •  Somebody help me understand (none)
    this thing.  It is so blatently stupid; however, I know that Rove et al are not stupid.  What on earth is going on?  Is it possible that they are rolling this thing out in order to distract from the Guckert/Gannon thing?  Is anything else going on that could cause the foundation of the Bush Administration to be so threatened that they would open something this idiotic up in order to capture everyone's attention?

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