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"Astroturf" Disruptions: What Is The Point?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatsFanInVa, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Since the GOP has dispatched brownshirts (look! I can do it too!) to make discussion of the health care bill impossible in town hall meetings across this great nation (only in Democratic districts, oddly enough,) what would the ordinary independent think of the "counter-argument," such as it is?

    There's been quite a bit of footage of this idiocy aired on the news channels, and I -- as a pro-healthcare guy -- naturally think it is what it looks like: A bunch of know-nothings who don't want to know, and don't want anybody else to know.

    If I'm granny and I wonder what the REAL impact of this bill is on my care, and even if they've stoked a slight fear of the "Logan's Run" rhetoric, what do I think if they send so clear a signal that they're actually against public knowledge of what's in the bill?

    If I'm a guy in the middle of life, and I want to know about the fiscal impact, what do I think if they make it impossible to ask my questions?

    If I'm part of the great muddled middle, and I am just curious about this health thingie, what do I think of the tactic of disruption instead of debate? What has the country ultimately thought of it after, say, the late 60s?

    The actual tactic is clear: make debate impossible.

    But what is the tactic meant to accomplish? One of the memos from the Insurance Company shills says to make sure you "move to the front," to "create the illusion that the majority of the room agrees with you."

    Is that the idea -- to pretend that the Insurance industry and their positions are wildly popular, and that our elected representatives will feel the electoral backlash if the vote in a way contrary to their interests?

    I did hear about the threats against SEIU from some of these crackpots; is it in fact to encourage more crackpots to decide their second amendment rights include death threats or assassination attempts against the present administration and its supporters?

    Is the net outcome of this supposed to be nothing more than the pure value of polarization and hate?

    I'd love to hear what we all think the thought process here is. I doubt very seriously it's meant to win hearts and minds.

    Operators are standing by.

    PFnV
  2. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Democrats, War Protesters, Abortion Rights People, Hippies, Left Wing "Pie Throwers", Marches On Washington etc etc they have all been doing it for years, now suddenly a bunch of old grey haired White Americans get out of their Rocking Chairs to exercise their Constitutional Rights and they are somehow branded as "disruptors, traitors, mobs, and gangsters" (LOL)

    What these people are doing is They Are Acting Like left Wing Democrats and that has the White House sh!tting their pants.

    If they have one of these meetings on my Island I'm going to attend it and if one of those two closet democrats are there Collins/Snowe I'm going to throw my f-cking Cane at them.
  3. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    That's ok, because you're old enough to have access to universal healthcare the government will just give you another cane.
  4. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, most of the astroturfers have no stake in the thing they're protesting, since they are covered by medicare, not private insurance.

    Oh, the delicious irony of throngs of government-insured people shouting down the "impingement" of government in health care!

    PFnV
  5. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ---- JAG ----- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey


    You do know that both sides are using astroturfers at these events ... right?
  6. alvinnf

    alvinnf Rookie

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    Democrats can't handle any dissent. It was ok to use the media against each and every move of the Bush administration. They can dish it out, but they can't take it. Oh I know, these events are being marred by a collective movement of the far right. How about people are willing to speak up when government attempts to take over their freedom of choice.
  7. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Neo Lib Protest = Very Good, freedom, hooray.
    Neo Con Protest= Very Bad, how dare they?

    DIRTY ROTTEN OLD WHITE PEOPLE PICKING ON OUR WONDERFUL PRINCE BARACK
  8. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    Actually they have a very real stake in the discussion. There is a real fear among those covered by Medicare that since it is one of the more costly and expensive parts of the health care system, it will be among the first to see cuts if/when universal coverage and the health care reform is enacted.
    Picture this scenario,the bill is passed and signed into law. After the first year or two costs balloon and action needs to be taken to rein in the overruns (see France now for example). It is not unrealistic to expect that retirees and the elderly will have to bear some of the cutbacks in whatever form. Have there been scare tactics? Absolutely ,but on both sides.
    One other thing to consider is that the elderly vote in high numbers, disproportionate to their proportion of the population so they definitely have the ears of the politicians.
  9. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Of course as a government employee you tooo have no stake in the debate since you are exempt from the progeam....oh the irony indeed. :rolleyes:

    Nice you have avoid the threads with any content about this mess.
  10. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    These town hall disruptions started with the birther movement, and obviously spilled over into the health care debate. "Brown shirts" came to mind weeks ago, the brown shirts used the same exact tactics physical and verabal intimidation, disruption of meetings and eventually Kristal Naucht. Now it seems that the left has decided to fight fire with fire. From what i've read and heard the reason for the disruptions is to buy time, and further obfuscat .
    What ever the reason its undemocratic, and un American to disrupt and block debate.

    Whats so ironic is that the second amendment protects their right to try and halt free speech.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  11. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disruption:
    The left wing has been doing it for years and they have been praised for doing it by the very people who now condem "the other side"

    :bricks:
  12. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think there are a lot of motivations:
    - There are those still suffering the sting of defeat
    - There are those caught up in irrational fears of Obama or liberalism
    - There are those who believe this is good for the Republican Party
    - There are those who think something needs to be done before America fails completely
    - and there are those who really are defensive about their health insurance

    Their motives are all slightly different, but mostly skew towards helping the Republican establishment, not the Party. But, the big beneficiary is Fox News, which has seen growing viewership while Republican Party popularity continues to sink.

    Nonetheless, this unattractive group of allies has generated more disgust than support at least among independents, who continue to rate the Republican Party well below the Democratic Party. Their current methods can lead to only two results: building up an army of angry people who can do more serious harm or utter failure, but there's no way it will get them popular support.

    I think Rush, Beck, and Fox News badly want that army of angry white men. I think it would be enormously profitable for them, in terms of their ego and their wealth. I don't think they'll get it, though. Even the most extreme right wingers here in this forum do not seem enthusiastic about their tactics.

    One suggestion I read in Democratic Underground is that liberals should set up tables where attendees can sign away their Medicare rights to show their opposition to national health care. I thought that was a clever idea.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  13. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    True but it would behoove you to remember the lessons of 1993 and 1994 when another Democratic President in the wake of a decisive election( a Republican party in disarray) tried to ram through health care reform. By the next year, the Republicans sensing a national anger picked up about 50-60 seats in the House and recaptured both chambers for the first time since the Great Depression. It would be foolish to think that this is a limited anger. Remember that 85% of the American public has health insurance and the vast majority are satisfied with it. Rather than concentrating on getting the other 15% coverage, by affecting everyone, there naturally is fear and suspicion at the unknown and at parts of the bill that look 'questionable'.
    Taken with a cap and trade that was passed without full examination (300 pages of amendments were added at the last minute in the middle of the night.)it is understandable why people are angry and protective.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  14. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I do not have a "public option" insurer, so this makes no sense. I have a private insurance company just like you... so how does the fact that I work for the government come into it? If you work for let's say Intel, and Intel has an insurance plan (or a number of plans to choose from,) you are in precisely the same position as me. Or for that matter, if you work for your local K-Mart, and they actually have health insurance available (just from observation, a much more likely possibility.)
  15. patsfan13

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    As a government employee you won't be foreced into a public plan like we will when our employers drop our insurance.

    Yourefuse to del with this, you are being dishonest, since we know you are not stupid.
  16. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And 50% are in favor of health reform, versus 45% opposed. Beyond that fact, health care is like unemployment: the more you know a friend, or a friend of a friend, who is dropped from insurance, denied coverage, loses insurance when he loses his job, loses his insurance when the company goes bankrupt, etc. etc. etc., the more you will favor (or downright need) health care reform.

    The present bill does not penalize these older ladies and gentlemen, but I hear all about their "legitimate" and "natural" fears.

    Well, okay. I understand that if we hold the insurance companies to account, there is a "natural" fear that we'll somehow round up old people and put them before the "death panel." :rolleyes: This despite the fact that Medicare is not even discussed in the bill.

    Okie dokie. Question: Since the young overwhelmingly favor this reform package, think about the opportunity the middle-age throw away.

    an insurance pool is only functional insofar as risk is distributed. We have one that refuses to insure the sick or the bad risks, and in which the young and healthy do not particularly like to participate, at present.

    Since the young are disproportionately in favor of more equitable insurance, that is, are willing to join the risk pool even though they are at lower risk, I have a "rational" fear that they will become jaded if health care is once again denied the public. I also "rationally" fear that in the wake of a health care reform failure, the bills for the old -- medicare -- will just seem like too much in 4 or 8 years. I "rationally" fear that doing nothing not only results in "death panels," but actually has a mechanism by which we arrive there: the monumental expense of running a system as a whole without the input of the younger workers over on the private health care end. I "rationally" fear that we will just stop covering anything of value in medicare.

    Sure, that sounds good. Now I suppose my role is to go with 20 friends and shout "HEALTH OR DIE! HEALTH OR DIE!" at every Republican town hall. Or more to the point, that I send around e-mails to the local gray panthers who lean leftward.

    A fear is only a rational fear if it can be supported within the actual legislation one fears. What is the support? That you have coverage, once every 5 years, if you want to discuss end-of-life arrangements such as living wills. That becomes "death panels."

    We've got a month, insurance shills. You have a month to state your case, such as it is. The clock is ticking.

    Thus far you've said, no, shouted absolutely nothing, and shouted it at the tops of your lungs, intending to not have the debate.

    Well, as everything, the effect on the fringes is not that important. The effect on the Center is very important.

    If we get health care reform worthy of that phrase, the right will be running very, very scared: not of "socialism," but of the success of this administration, and the sure knowledge that most Americans' impressions of our health system will be of a vastly improved system (only the "gold plated" care will be dented... which is not what most Americans have.)

    The challenges we're looking at are big, whether we're talking the economy (which has been a must-fix left by the last tenant,) health care, or in the future -- whether by Obama or the next guy -- medicare and social security. The bills are coming due from this 30 year orgy of Friedman/Laffer/Greenspanism.... i.e., deregulation as some sort of idolatrous god. Oh and while we're at it, it may be worth mentioning the longest and most costly war in american history.

    Am I against dissent? On the contrary, I value it. It's especially valuable when a competing idea is offered... it may give me pause, were the Republicans, their masters in big business, or their shills here or in town hall meetings ever to offer such a thing as a new idea.

    This mob attack is symptomatic, in this case, not of a phantom "repression" by the party in power, but of a bankruptcy of ideas in the face of change by those who face no such deficit.

    And yes, it does remind me of the Dems in the late 70s. The reforms the Dems embraced had outstripped the country, which went running like a bunch of scared little *****es to the fearful reagan end of their spectrum. Well, that's the country's perogative... but many of the Reaganites are dead, and the rest have had second thoughts about the big-hearted, always-right, infallible free market buddies who are going to trickle down their wealth to the masses. They're trickling all right, but that ain't wealth, and we're all now painfully aware of this fact.

    Now the country's caught up to the idea of a social safety net, not coincidentally just as everybody and their brother knows somebody who is served by one.... or saved by one. All those federal dollars the grandstanding govs fight against and squawk about... and then accept; all those extensions to unemployment benefits, in dire times; all those plants that don't close for auto workers and suppliers.... people, even those whose plants or companies have closed, see a government that cares, a government that does all it can to lessen that pain.

    Is the calculation really that "most" people hate the government for trying to keep people employed and healthy?

    Is the calculation really that "most" people are convinced they "should" hate the government, based on this priority to serve the public wellbeing rather than big business???

    2010 will be interesting. Namecalling ("socialist" seems to have lost its lustre, so now it's "nazi," nonsensical as it would seem) can only go so far. I think we just saw that in 08... The bloom is off the rose for the administration, but the damn GOP looks intent on putting the bloom back on it.

    The tactics here just seem unfathomable, outside of the specific interests of the insurance lobby (do something that makes you look dumb for the money, spend the money on the ads, win the election...) It sure ain't "making friends and influencing people.")
  17. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Of course the majority are against Obamacare....we know gov employees and congress pols and their staffs don't want to live under Obamacare.
  18. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    Then you haven't read my postings because I've stated repeatedly two things that are needed, actually three that would help reduce costs.
    1) Require insurance companies to enroll all people regardless of pre-existing conditions, leveling the field
    2) Allow insurance companies to write policies across state lines increasing competition. Look what happened to internet access costs with competition.
    3) Tort reform which is never mentioned in the reform bill,not once on any of the 1100 pages.
    I think I've been restrained and calm in this debate especially a few back and forths I had with Patters yesterday.
    Perhaps you've mistaken me for someone else...
  19. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Rookie

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    You know that would speak volumes if as a group they said they would relinquish their cushy comprehensive plan for the new one being proposed. Isn't it true that they get free health insurance as a benefit while in office and it continues on that way even after they retire?

    These loud mouth hypocrites have no business telling me their views on what regular Americans health insurance should be like. How dare they? That makes me bitter and I don't need any fringe right wing group or insurance company to rile me up about that.
    You see libs, some people can actually think on their own. Do not marginalize me.

    Seriously I’m not smart enough to know what the outcome of government health care will be. All I know is that everyone in congress that thinks they do know what’s best for us better be damned willing to give up their golden plans(that we pay for BTW) and walk in the same shoes they want us to walk in. It's easy to be a "do gooder" when you have nothing to lose I guess.:mad:
  20. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  21. PatsFanInVa

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    A thousand pardons, Philly, that was a collective "you."

    I see you are fond of 3 proposals, at least 2 of which I have heard reference to as having been considered.

    I will say that cross-state insurance portability being touted as the cost solution seems rather anemic, since a local area the size of a city is your de facto market for 90% of care. I can buy your insurance from Kansas, fine, but if my doctor doesn't take it, I'm SOL.

    In fact, many large insurers are geographically available in my area. My employer happens to have contracts with three. If my employer has a contract with one only, with a public option that insurer still faces competition. The idea that my neighbor can now choose from a company in Kansas, because his employer likes that company in Kansas, may be appealing to his employer, but not to him. He still has 2 choices: Kansas Insurance Company, or a new job.

    So the competition this would encourage is a competition for better deals with the employer, not necessarily better care for his employees. It also does not address the uninsured, unless you really envision cost cuts based on the difference across state lines as resulting in savings to the self-employed SOL individual, who will suddenly be able to afford self-insurance based on his own risk factors, sans a larger risk pool and the buying power thereof.

    A final note on the cross-state "silver bullet": Insurance companies are regulated state by state. Each has its own standards. One outcome is that the state with the least stringent rules on insurance company structure would become the de facto home of all insurance companies, just as an enormous volume of credit card business is based in Delaware, which has favorable arrangements for all business, but credit card issuers in particular. In the insurance industry, one odious requirement (from the insurer's point of view,) is a given capitalization model, to ensure that the insurer is actually good for what it owes. So we race to the bottom of capitalization models, and create the next AIG, only this time in health claims. (Oh sorry, no, now YOU owe 300,000 bucks; we're bankrupt.)

    Tort reform would be a relevant addendum, were the increase in medical costs due to an increase in doctors' bills. It is not. My wife works in a doctor's office, and every year the final bill is higher, the doctor's take is lower, and you tell me where the remainder goes. Yep. The insurer. The claim that such hikes in the industry rates is necessary is belied by their consistently quite healthy profit statements. Tort reform is a favorite stalking horse of an industry which is, in fact, arrayed against the medical profession -- because it is composed not of medical practitioners, but of insurance salesmen.

    Here's a 2004 study on malpractice payouts; they totaled $2.3 billion. The same link discusses the average verdict, which is $146,000. Whatever you think of this amount, it is certainly very different from the imaginary numbers we all walk around with when we say "the problem is malpractice suits." Again, the number is relatively flat from 91-04; in real (inflation-adjusted) terms, the number has declined. In fact, if they've doubled since 2004, they would have remained flat since 1991 adjusted for inflation.

    http://www.citizen.org/documents/Malpracticeanalysis_final.pdf

    A comparison number, to get you an idea of how big the bucket is compared to a $2.3 billion malpractice drip: We spend $1.7 trillion annually on health care as a nation (I have read much higher numbers, but we'll use this one, since it's on the low end.)

    Wellness Pays Off

    So if the total cost to the system for malpractice insurance is more than whatever that number is today, I doubt very seriously it's the primary driver of our health crisis. If, on the other hand, insurance companies charge 23 billion to insure against 2.3 billion in payouts (hey, a guy's gotta eat, right?), well then, that begins to register on the scale we're talking about.

    So the idea that the malpractice payouts are the problem with the system is about like the idea that "pork" of $17 billion is the problem in a budget of hundreds over one trillion.

    As for your first suggestion -- no denial for coverage -- I like it, but you would have to stipulate some details of this innovation. Yes, you presently can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, and let's say under your first item, the insurance companies could not do so. Lovely. Now, if I'm XYZ Insurance Company, I say, fine, you represent 10 times the statistical cost risk of the guy I'm charging 500 a month for. Your premium is $5,000 per month.

    Would your recommendation come with a government-set schedule of premiums?

    I know what the reactions on this board would be, not to mention on Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, where you're a nazi for saving an auto company or a socialist for talking about the top marginal income tax rate... but it's an interesting idea if you can iron out the details. I think if said rule is not buried in whichever of the bills you're thinking of when you say "the bill,"

    I am glad to discuss these ideas, obviously... the question, however, is why our "gray panthers" aren't attempting to ask their congressmen to consider such measures. Of course the answer is they don't really care. They're not interested in the issues, they're interested in trying to damage the agenda as it stands, not to form the agenda going forward.

    That's what you do in a real town hall meeting.

    Shut down that channel -- as the shills have done in some cases -- and such discussions, insofar as they haven't happened in congress, won't start happening just because we talk about them on patsfans.com.

    PFnV
  22. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Find it interesting that Harry Boy would start the discussion about the gray haired folks, in reality we will benefit most from this benefit as we will loose the "donut hole" and probably have better coverage.. unfortunately many of them are responding to the hysteria of the right, my neighbour is 89 and was talking to him the other day.. he was lamenting that he would loose his medicare under this bill.. he as many others are responding to the lies of the right..

    without regard here is an email received from AARP the other day.. although they are not endorsing the bill.. sounds as though they are leaning this way..


  23. patsfan13

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    This of course doesn't factor in the cost of practicing defensive medicine, ordering unneeded test to protect against malpractice claims.


    BTW if you check the J Tapper entry at abc.com the CBO has said that preventive care will produce NO savings.....So more BS from the Administration debunked.
  24. patsfan13

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    Nice to see you ignoring the limits on quotes to 4 sentences.

    BAck to the issue of astroturf organizing, I always find it fun when the left accuses the right of doing what it is doing at the same time:


    http://www.redstate.com/[url] [q...o rally the troops, astroturf support indeed.
  25. State

    State Rookie

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    National Review's Rich Lowry:
    In Pursuit of a Silent Majority by Rich Lowry on National Review Online
  26. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ---- JAG ----- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Obama astroturfers with their converted lawn signs from his election ... :rofl:

    [​IMG]

    The Obama astroturfers had well made signs ... nicely done.

    [​IMG]

    These are the anti health care people with their home made signs.
    So which group is the astroturfers?

    [​IMG]

    Can you find the swastikas in this group of people?
    [​IMG]

    Or maybe they are in here:

    [​IMG]

    Do you think these guys made these pro Obama signs ... :rofl:
    [​IMG]
  27. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ---- JAG ----- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Here's a swastika lady blocking bullhorn dude ... see the script in his hand ... :rofl:
    He's from Organizing for America ... http://www.barackobama.com


    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  28. PatsFanInVa

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    Wow... we must now have a sampling of the entirety of pro- and anti- health care crowds.

    Now: since both these crowds are outdoors (unless blocking access to a public meeting/debate setting,) what's at issue is whether their respective tactics are to advocate a point of view, or to shout down the "other side."

    When the respective advocates are within a public discussion setting, why is it we have only seen the astroturfers shouting down discussion and debate, by explicit orders from their overlords in The Party? I bet there's a directive... "Do not get signs printed up... write hand-scrawled screeds on posterboard... then move to the front to overrepresent your significance, and shout down any attempt to answer..."

    Okay, so they're not so good with the computer-machine. Poor presentation does not a spontaneous uprising make.

    But thanks for playing.

    PFnV
  29. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ---- JAG ----- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Ahhh PFnV ... you've become a spinmaster in your old age.
    My common sense tells me there's shouting and polite free speech from both camps. Your mind is being swayed by the media who are making money portraying the shouters vs the polite free speech people.

    Thanks for playing as you say. This guy has been on this planet long enough to know that public forums are almost never if ever innocent.

    Then again ... what if the left had shouted back in 2003?
    I think we need the shouters because they get the media attention ... even if they're wrong i think they serve the process well. Even Obama himself calls for attack when he is organizing ... come on now PF ... you know the game to well to be falling for this media ploy.

    Here we see a gentle democrat politely attacking a republican sign ... :rofl:
    Are those real pearls on that lady's neck ... she must be one of the just got re-taxed people. :rofl:
    Check out the lady in the gray hair are those fangs from the left or right, maybe Orly's cousin???

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  30. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I see the hope & change folks have professional signs and the disruptors have homemade signs, astroturf anyone?

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