Morning Briefing for August 7, 2009

FOR AUGUST 7, 2009

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1. AARP Officially Endorses H.R. 3200, the Democrats’ Healthcare Overhaul

The AARP has finally come out and endorsed H.R. 3200, the Democrats’ healthcare overhaul, more commonly called “Obamacare.”

Despite its non-partisan, non-profit status, AARP has decided to go all in championing Obamacare.

It started a couple of weeks ago when the AARP held a townhall forum with Barack Obama to promote Obamacare. The carefully screened audience asked not very probing and probably pre-screened questions to assure Obamacare was framed in the most attractive veneer.

AARP’s support of Obamacare grew to holding events across the country with senior citizens, some of which didn’t turn out so well. At this AARP event we hear the AARP representatives defending H.R. 3200 and trying to combat “myths” about the plan.

From there, AARP has taken to showing up with Democrat members of Congress at Townhall events to answer seniors’ questions and preach to them the value of H.R. 3200 and Obamacare.

If that wasn’t enough, AARP has started an aggressive email campaign championing H.R. 3200 and Obama. It corresponds to this website.

The AARP website strikes down all the facts about Obamacare by calling them “myths.” The AARP’s facts go so far as to include the “public option” in H.R. 3200 noting, “the so-called “public plan” option would seek to give American consumers another choice if they can’t find affordable, quality coverage in the private insurance market.”

The corresponding email campaign says one of the myths is that the healthcare plan promotes “euthanasia”, which it objectively does — as even members of Congress say in unguarded moments. In fact, AARP’s “myth” list is very similar to other “myth” lists created by partisan Democrat groups, including Barack Obama’s own Organizing For America.

The AARP does not actually use the term “endorsement.” It can’t. It would lose its non-profit status if it did use the word “endorse”. But it has done so. The AARP claims it is just educating the public, but 100% of the education is in favor of the Democrats’ healthcare plan. There is no mention of alternate healthcare plans such as those being offered by Republicans on AARP’s website except in ancillary areas. And all the plans except H.R. 3200 are treated negatively.

The AARP has endorsed Obamacare and is actively campaigning for Obamacare. The organization is just too chicken to use the word “endorse.”

Does the AARP’s members know about the endorsement of a healthcare plan that requires seniors to get instruction every five years on assisted suicide — a fact the AARP calls a “myth”?

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2. James Carville’s New Poll is so Bad For Democrats He Doesn’t Want You to Know it Exists

Democracy Corps is James Carville and Stan Greenberg’s pet polling organization that always, without fail, issues polling picked up by the media highlighting how Republicans are screwed and Democrats are ever victorious.

Brian Faughnan notes a series of typical headlines from Democracy Corps announcing their polls:

  • Don’t Believe the Hype: Support for Health Care Reform is Still Fundamentally Strong
  • New Survey Shows Cheney, Sotomayor Debates Threaten to Further Isolate GOP
  • Obama Closes the Democrats’ Historical National Security Gap
  • Americans See a Lot to Appreciate in Obama’s First 100 Days
  • As Specter Leaves the GOP, New Surveys Show Republicans in Disarray

Democracy Corps has a new poll out this week. There is some curiosity to the polling. Unlike their other polls that they usher out with great fanfare, this poll was released with no announcement, no fanfare, and no media roll out.


Because the polling shows the Democrats are in a world of self-inflicted hurt.

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3. The AFL-CIO and HCAN Plan Townhall Counterattack

Liberals have been rattled by the effectiveness of anti-Obamacare protests. We must not relent because we have some momentum. There is plenty of time left in this battle and the Left wing activists are about to launch an organized counterattack.

‘Health Care For America Now’ released a memo on August 4th entitled – Responding To Right Wing Attacks. The AFL-CIO announced that is joining their effort and is urging other unions to join as well. They are planning a thirty day counterattack at townhall meetings to disrupt “tea-bagger” efforts. There is little doubt the unions are being mobilized to intimidate and harass.

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4. Kathy Castor Event In Tampa Ends With SEIU Pushing Out Voters

Early reports coming in from Florida indicate a hastily scheduled townhall with Kathy Castor (D-FL) ended badly, as predicted, because of SEIU thugs.

The event was conveniently held in a forum where only 250 people could fit. 1000 people showed up. SEIU members were given reserved seating that took up at least half of the 250 seats. As people came in who visibly oppose the Democrats healthcare plan, SEIU members barred access to the room.

According to local media, “Some say they were barred because they are against President Barack Obama’s agenda to change the current health insurance system.”

Democrat event organizers slammed one senior citizen into the wall as he and his wife tried to enter. The couple were opposed to Obamacare and made it known.

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5. The Real Mob

The AFL-CIO is going all-in on the healthcare debate. Their plan, in their own words, is to “organize major union participation in Congressional Town Hall meetings.” Unlike the spontaneous rejection of socialism springing from our grassroots, Big Labor plans to service their symbiotes in government by putting up money, transportation, and talking points in order to influence the healthcare debate and, ultimately, shut you up.

There’s a word for that. I can’t think of it. Rhymes with mastro murfing I think.

Of course, also unlike the senior citizens Obamacare proponents happily smear as an unruly mob, big labor is absolutely ready to use intimidation and scare tactics to get their way. Hey, it’s what they do.

You may be wondering, though, whether they may have a good point. After all, if the unions exist for the purpose of advocating for the rights of workers, couldn’t their support of Obamacare be seen as part of that mandate? Um, could you please stop laughing? I’m going somewhere with this!

So OK, let’s have a look at just how well Big Labor takes care of “the little people” then, shall we?

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6. The So-Called Astroturf Is Locally Grown Grassroots

If the Democrats were honest about all the protests over healthcare, they would have to admit they are being outmaneuvered with their own tactics. That is why they are accusing protestors at townhalls of being astroturf. They are so used to planting anti-war protestors at events and using union thugs, they have never seen actual middle class working people take time off from their jobs to protest.

Here’s a clue for them — it is not lobbyist backed astroturf. It is not AFP and FreedomWorks hired guns showing up. The networks they have are actually not large enough to make it all happen.

What the Democrats are experiencing is the power of local radio. I’m getting asked by lots of people, “Okay, seriously, how are people finding out about these events and showing up?” Look no further than 97.1 FM in St. Louis. The morning guys there have been pushing people to take on Russ Carnahan over Cash for Clunkers and healthcare.

In Florida, it’s places like WCOA in Pensacoloa where my good friend Ron Frasier works. Lee Rogers at KSFO both on air and online has information on all the local townhalls and which congressmen to call.

It’s all being done on local radio, flying under the radar of the D.C. hacks at the DNC. That’s the real power here. It’s power the DNC and the left do not have. That’s why the left is going after Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, and the healthcare industry, while themselves relying on real thugs from the SEIU and AFL-CIO to threaten and intimidate the middle class workers taking time off to oppose Obamacare.

The real astroturf here is the left relying on unions and MoveOn.org to drum up sentiment against the middle class workers opposed to healthcare. The polls show a majority of Americans oppose Obamacare. The protests are real and local talk radio is giving voice and aid to the opposition.

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7. Obama And The Joker Poster, Or Why You’re A Racist

Sometimes, indeed most of the time, a cigar is just a cigar.

So it is with the poster now gracing the walls of various buildings in Los Angeles showing Barack Obama made up to resemble Heath Ledger’s “Joker” in “The Dark Knight” with the tagline: socialist.

To a rational person the implications are pretty clear. First, that Obama played the role of The Joker in the 2008 Democrat primary and the general election by fooling a substantial number of Americans into believing he would not do all those things he had supported before starting his presidential run. Second, that Obama’s policies are socialist.

Now one could take exception to the use of The Joker imagery here. The Joker, as far as I know, was never elected president, though a credible case can be made for saying that he served two terms beginning in 1993, and one could say that the way Obama was able to convince people that he really didn’t adhere to his own previously stated positions is much closer to the example of Adolph Hitler and “Mein Kampf” than it is to any part of the The Joker’s history. It is also hard to believe that anyone could object to the labeling of Obama’s politics, now or when he was a “community organizer,” as socialist and do so with a straight face while reading a dictionary.

What one really can’t do with a straight face is to label this poster as racist.

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8. Democratic Congressman Fears ‘Ambush’ by ‘Brown Shirt’ ‘Extremists’

For fear of being ‘ambushed’ by Republican “lynch-mobs,” Democratic Congressman Brian Baird (WA-3) said he refuses to hold in-person town hall meetings over the summer’s month-long Congressional recess.

Citing the G.O.P.’s “Brown Shirt tactics” as the impetus for his decision, Baird told the Columbian he will instead host a telephone town hall, thereby lessening the ability for “extremists”—which ostensibly is anyone expressing legitimate dissent—to “shout and make YouTube videos.”

Baird’s aggressive, albeit obtuse, rhetoric is the newest installment in the Republican and Democratic parties’ debate as to the nature of the protesters – organic reactions versus highly-orchestrated mobs of extremists.

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9. Have you bought Michelle Malkin’s book yet?

I’m sure you’ve seen Matt Lauer lose his cool interviewing Michelle Malkin.

And if you want a really fun time, watch Michelle dominate the nags at the View. Poor old Joy Behar was left swallowing her spittle.

Michelle’s book is now #1 on the New York Times list, which is sending the left into a frenzy of antagonism.

I’ve read it. It’s awesome. And I don’t just say that because Regnery published it. It’s a great read. I gave away several free copies at the RedState Gathering and my dad has “borrowed” my copy.

Get your own copy here.

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