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O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Astroturf, the plastic grass with no roots

Well, it's time for the astroturf industry to get moving again. Nope, I'm not talking about drought solutions for those whose world view doesn't allow grass to be anything but green. I'm talking about the political right's false grass roots movements.

Patients United Now is the latest front group for American's for Prosperity, here's a SourceWatch article on them and a WonkRoom article. They're one of the major backers for the so called "Tea-Parties" (sorry, Steve, yeah, it's not as much a grass roots movement as you think, sorry about that, you were being used). For those of you who don't want to read the whole article, they're your basic, pro-tobacco, Global Warming is all fake science, no taxes (at least for the rich) and has lots of ties to the Koch Industries (SourceWatch article on them). You should probably read that Koch article. Patients United Now likes to say they support "real health care reform," but I dare you to find their actual policy on reform. I looked on their site for a half hour and only could find "ZOMG! They're going to give us Canadian Health Care and we's all gonna die" rhetoric. Typical conservative action, say you're one of the little people and then institute a Fear Uncertainty and Doubt attack. Oh, and lie. Set up a strawman and knock him down. My guess is next week they'll have a two page policy statement they'll say is their "legislation" but is basically talking points expanded into sentences.

Here's an article taking apart PUN's ad. It's not much more than what we've said here. Rationing is already happening. If you don't have the money, you're at the bottom. And call up your doctor and ask for an appointment. How long is it until you can get in? Don't want a bureaucrat standing between you and your doctor? You already have one with your insurance. And I think I've discussed payment issues before. It's the same scare tactics of fifteen years ago. And they want the same solution, the one we've had for fifteen years. How's that working out for us? We have the highest costs and the lowest care (high infant mortality, shorter life spans, lower recovery rates) than most of the industrialized world. We only lead with how much we pay per capita.

"We are people just like you," PUN says. Well, no, I'm not a multinational corporation or a millionaire. I'm not hiding my funding behind a 5013 organization. so you're not like me. I don't sit on a board made up of industry heads from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Philip Morris, Pfizer, and ExxonMobile.

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