Patterico's Pontifications


White House Astroturfing

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 12:23 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Instapundit links to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, where they have uncovered some White House Astroturfing:

“We just received this Letter to the Editor submitted by a Tennessee resident. It’s deadwood spam; turf mail. Google various parts of it and you’ll get the White House Web site, AARP, the American Chronicle, Democratic Women of Clifton and Oh, and you’ll also get”

The owner of MarketingOfCampaignEmails appears to be a big fan of Organizing for America, health care reform, Democrats, Barack Obama … and video games.


45 Responses to “White House Astroturfing”

  1. this is both unexpected and unprecedented.

    (the media isn’t supposed to check things like that!)

    Ellie Light (fb8750)

  2. Maybe the only way to get people to support Demcare is to pay them. It seems it’s the only way to get trolls on the internet to defend it.

    I just want to know how much Axelrod is paying them. Does he pay more than minimum wage for trolls that come up with intelligent and witty comments? If so, how come all we ever find are the minimum wage comments?

    MU789 (d20b17)

  3. MU789, you really think the trolls or Axelrod will truthfully tell you ANYTHING, let alone who gets paid what?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  4. So did we ever resolve whether giving people a sample email and tools to send it constituted “Astroturfing”?

    imdw (2b5cca)

  5. I don’t know imdw. Did you ever get that straightened out? Or are you doing it for free?

    Eric Blair (fecec9)

  6. Momma always said, “Astroturf is as Astroturf does.”

    Corwin (ea9428)

  7. #6 Corwin: :)

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  8. imdw, as a group, we have never determined when you ever told the truth, therefore we haven’t resolved if you are astroturf or just the village idiot looking for his village.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  9. I’ll take their money.
    But, they need to be forewarned:
    I use Unruh Rules….

    “If you can’t take their money, drink their whiskey, and screw their women, and still vote against them, you shouldn’t be in politics.”

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b509d)

  10. What’s wrong with a little spontaneous mass produced outpouring of support for the Kenyan Usurper to lift his sagging poll numbers?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  11. Would it be worth the time to infiltrate this and get proof that its being directed by the WH?

    thatguy (2bda65)

  12. Let them turf all they want. This is the how a movement starts. Unscripted, principled, grassroots.

    Ain’t it cool?!

    Matador (176445)

  13. Matador – let’s hope many more professionals post similar signs.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  14. How dare that doctor exercise his right of free speech – must be a racist teabagger.

    Dmac (21311c)

  15. Any letter dealing with politics that a newspaper gets e-mailed, especially one that comes from outside its main circulation area, should be Google and/or Nexus searched for key talking points that may have already shown up in other form letters in other papers or on other websites. It would take, at best, 2-3 minutes to do, and in an era where if you don’t do it, other people will, can save a lot of embarrassment as what happened when the Cleveland Plain-Dealer exposed the earlier Astroturfing effort this year.

    John (d4490d)

  16. I don’t believe the trolls here are paid. They are the best known names on this site and if you calculated the percentage of comments that are by, about, or in response to them I think they would put any of the other regulars in the shade. This may not get them respect here but who cares? This is one of the top sites in the country if I recall and that degree of disruption of a prominent conservative site has to be worth some status and recognition in the circles these trolls inhabit.

    Imagine if one of the regulars here was able to dominate the comment sections and disrupt discussions at Kos or Huff as much as the trolls do here. I think they would be well known to us.

    Machinist (9780ec)

  17. Many of the regulars here are banned at the LW sites.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b509d)

  18. I realize that. My point is that they have strong incentives to derail the discussions here. It is not the host that gives them that power but the other commenters who dance to their tune.

    Machinist (9780ec)

  19. You won’t catch any trolls at LGF – the Dear Leader Fuhrer Chairman boss man would never allow it.

    Jeffrey Wells banned anyone that didn’t agree with him a few years ago too. There is a deep love for censorship on the part of some libs. That’s why I like the trolls that come here and prevent Patterico from become a big echo chamber.

    MU789 (d20b17)

  20. I was even banned @ LFG. Oh, wait, everyone but Excitable Andy and that trout-feller is banned there. Never mind.

    Old Coot (9e58d8)

  21. I tend to think that if you post at LGF and you have not been banned, that it reduces my respect for you. i mean you have to pretty much fellate the man not to be banned.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  22. “Ain’t it cool?!”

    If you’ve ever worked with doctors you’d realize how prone they are to tantrums.

    imdw (e6c812)

  23. I wouldn’t know about doctors and tantrums. I do know about mindless partisan trolls.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  24. If you’ve ever worked with doctors you’d realize how prone they are to tantrums.
    Comment by imdw — 4/2/2010 @ 11:15 am


    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  25. I tend to think that if you post at LGF and you have not been banned, that it reduces my respect for you.

    Would someone that is not banned at LGF ever admit it much less brag about it? What is the opposite of a badge of honor?

    MU789 (d20b17)

  26. 25, being imdw.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  27. Doctors are prone to tantrums? Did we just get treated to Obama’s next excuse for failure?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  28. What is the opposite of a badge of honor?

    A yellow stripe!

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b509d)

  29. Well, SPQR, we do know that they like to cut off body parts just for the money. Remember that famous Obama quote?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  30. After the Korean War, all doctors were made in Major Burns’ image. It’s a known fact.

    John Hitchcock (f21e43)

  31. Doctors are prone to tantrums?

    Most aren’t, except for the hacks that Obama set up as stage props in white coats for the inaugural push for his excellent health care adventure.

    Dmac (21311c)

  32. Nancy Pelosi’s statement about passing the bill in order to find out what’s in it is continuing to come true. Here’s a gem of retroactive regulation of the mining and insurance industry:

    “Provisions in the law include changes to the federal Black Lung Benefits Act, making it easier for coal miners and their survivors to tap workers comp benefits, and new fees imposed on pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers that could get passed on to employers.

    Section 1556 of the law President Obama signed last week repeals Black Lung Benefits Act reforms adopted in 1981, according to the PCIAA.

    The federal act mandates benefit levels for coal miners. The 1981 reforms eliminated presumptions in the act that miner disabilities and deaths stemmed from pneumoconiosis, known as black lung.

    Now the law creates a presumption that a mine worker with 15 years of service who contracted a lung disease contracted it on the job, said Thomas Morelli, president of the global marine and energy unit for Chartis Inc. in New York.

    Observers expect it will be difficult for mine employers to argue that any lung ailment is caused by factors other than work, such as years of smoking.

    The provision is particularly troublesome for insurers because it applies retroactively to claims filed after Jan. 1, 2005, said Roger Fries, president and CEO of Lexington, Ky.-based workers comp insurer Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance.

    Insurers across Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, West Virginia and southern Illinois did not price policies sold in the past few years to account for the reopening of coal-related claims, Mr. Fries said.

    “You just can’t open those and pretend they are not going to cost you money,” Mr. Fries said. KEMI estimates it will have to immediately move about $30 million out of surplus to reserve for new claims and the reopening of older claims, Mr. Fries said.

    “For our company, that is a pretty big shock,” Mr. Fries added.

    Cost estimates for expanding black lung benefits are extremely broad, ranging from several hundred million dollars to $1 billion, said Mr. Morelli of Chartis. “It’s very difficult to put an aggregate number on what we think this is going to cost the industry because a lot is unknown about how it’s going to play out over time.”

    But more black lung claims likely will be filed and approved, Mr. Morelli said.

    “You can (foresee) rate increases as a result,” added Mr. Morelli. Chartis is one of the nation’s largest providers of workers comp insurance for coal mines.”

    It makes it a little tough for businesses to plan when regulators change the rules retroactively. California did that with auto insurance and Florida did it with some other line as well.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  33. What they can’t control directly, they’ll bankrupt.
    When the reality sets in, it will probably get really ugly.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b509d)

  34. The opposite of a badge of honour ? How about a white stain on a blue dress ?

    Or Ear Leader’s preferred versatile one-finger-salute ?

    Stashiu3 #24 – in fairness to our trollito and as someone whose spouse has been known to show the characteristics of the MDeity from time to time, I am obliged to point out that MDs are human, too – and we are *all* subject to one form of tantrum or another when sufficiently provoked … in its own way, Ear Leader’s preferred versatile one-finger-salute is a tantrum, merely toned down to barely-plausible deniability …

    Again, my personal view is that as long as said Doctor’s outcomes are sufficiently good, he (or she) can throw all the tantrums he (or she) cares to throw … the problem with the Major Burns character was that he wasn’t anywhere near good enough a doctor to have earned that respect …

    Sounds like we should feel sorry for imdw, if his only experiences with doctors are with doctors who throw tantrums …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  35. Comment by Alasdair — 4/2/2010 @ 2:58 pm

    Doctors are no more or less prone than anyone else Alasdair. Hence: Bullshit.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  36. Maybe if you didn’t regulate their profession into oblivion they wouldn’t have tantrums so much (tantrums in your imagination)

    dustin (b54cdc)

  37. Because my ex is a nurse and works as a hospital administrator, we know a lot of doctors of all ages. Guess what? They run the gamut just like any other group of people.

    Who’d a thunk it? A lib anoints an entire profession with the same characteristics.

    MU789 (d20b17)

  38. imdw is nurse?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  39. nah daley, it’s like that guy on Scrubs with the mop that thinks he’s a doctor.

    matador (176445)

  40. matador – As long as imdw picks up the dumb end of the broom, that’s cool.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  41. Besides, Stashiu3, I don’t think Tiny Troll meant that doctors throw tantrums. He was just snarking in response, in Defense of his Sacred D. That’s all.

    If someone here had written something bad about MDs, he would have defended them.

    That’s just how he rolls.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  42. You all forgot to mention the trial lawyers. This will be bigger than asbestos.

    Hazy (996c34)

  43. I wondet where that you came from? I put up Hazy (a play on my last name), and it came out you?

    Hazy (996c34)

  44. Eric – That’s the patellar oppositional troll reflex.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  45. If you’ve ever worked with doctors you’d realize how prone they are to tantrums.
    Comment by imdw — 4/2/2010 @ 11:15 am

    — If you’ve ever read the posts by imdw you’d realize how prone he is to non sequiturs.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Icy Texan (02cc95)

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