Weekly Pulse: Mob Scene

This week’s edition of the Weekly Pulse is shorter than usual. Our team is getting ready for the fourth annual Netroots Nation blogger conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Esther Kaplan, editor of the Nation Investigative Fund,
and I are conducting an investigative reporting workshop on Saturday
from 1:30-4:15 p.m. Join us and help expose the corporate roots of the Teabagger/Town hall mob movement.

Here’s the latest news on the healthcare front: Republicans and
their allies are pressuring Democratic healthcare reformers at townhall
meetings around the country. Addie Stan has a blockbuster piece in
AlterNet that exposes the network of corporate funders and lobbyists behind the mobs.

The Progressive’s Ruth Conniff explains the mobs’ marching
orders, as spelled out in a memo by Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer for the
Tea Party Patriots, an anti-reform group with ties to former Republican
Rep. Dick Armey’s pressure group Freedom Works.
MacGuffie instructs town hall protesters to shout at lawmakers and
attempt to throw them off their game as they try to make the case for
health care reform. So much for reasoned discussion.

As I reported in In These Times, the teabaggers are trying to scapegoat organized labor
as the instigators of confrontations at town hall meetings. On August
6, a scuffle broke out in front of a town hall meeting in St. Louis.
The below video clip shows the last 10 seconds of a scuffle in which a
man in an SEIU t-shirt lies prostrate on the ground. A 38-year-old
conservative activist claims to have been severely beaten, but the
video shows him apparently uninjured, darting around to different cops
and trying to convince them that he was attacked. The man’s lawyer
claims that he saw his client get punched in the face and kicked in the
head by SEIU members.

A spokesman for the St. Louis County police told me that the police
hadn’t reviewed the video because nobody had submitted it to them,
despite a call to the public to turn over evidence for the
investigation. The fact that the videographer hasn’t turned over the
video kind of makes you wonder if the teabaggers really take the
“evidence” as seriously as they claim.

How’s this for irony? According to Talking Points Memo, the activist was asking for money to pay his hospital bills because he’s uninsured.

Finally, Jodi Jacobson of RH Reality Check reports that Kansas Now is calling upon AG Eric Holder to restore the Federal Marshall security detail
of prominent late-term abortion provider Dr. Leroy Carhart, a friend
and colleague of the late Dr. George Tiller. Carhart was placed under
protection after Tiller was shot. But the feds didn’t even wait for the
trial of Tiller’s alleged assassin to wrap before pulling Carhart’s
detail. Now he’s on his own, just as the alleged killer’s links to a
broader coalition of violent anti-choicers are coming to light.


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  • stefanr

    I do not know which is the sadder situation, the depth that the Republican Party has sunk to in order to torpedo President Obama or the people that believe the spite filled, venomous oratory spewed about by the various paid liars.
    There are none so blind that believe "truths" that directly contradict each other. I have seen the truth of how deep the Republican party and, to a point, the Democratic party have sunken. They are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Corporatism that rules the day. We the people must hold our elected representatives accountable to us and not to the profit margins of big business.
    The paradigm that I cannot comprehend is how much of the Christian religious establishment can follow along blithely behind standard bearers that preach exactly the opposite of Jeshua, Jesus or whatever name you want to give to the purported founder of Christianity.
    This is a sad time in the human experiment and I can only hope that we wake up and see the men behind the curtain. We have been taught to believe, but not how to discern.
    Knowledge is merely data. Wisdom is knowledge incorporated into a coherent and cohesive logos that holds together under scrutiny or adapts when given new information.
    May our actions be wise without using any cash till payday.

  • invalid-0

    It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people (honestly where can they go with a pre-condition). And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

    How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a “lynch mob” advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types AKA “screamers” are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.