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Watch Matt Kibbe discuss health care reform on the Aug. 14 edition of ABC's Top Line:
On Saturday and Sunday, the Obama Adminstration was backing away from a “public option”. By Tuesday, they were in full-scale retreat.
The Smart Solutions Town Hall Meeting (The Town Hall Meeting for the Rest of Us) Wednesday, August 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Salem First Baptist Church 395 Marion St NE, Salem Do you feel there has to be other alternatives and solutions to health care reform than just the massive spending and government takeover proposed by President Obama and the Democrats?
"Town hall meetings stir more conservatives to action" USA Today--August 19, 2009 By Kathy Kiely and John Fritze
Amid White House concerns that it’s losing the message war on both its left and right fronts, President Obama on Thursday tried to rally his grass-roots army to regain momentum and redefine the battle for health care reform. In a conference call with Organizing For America activists, the 13-million-strong grass-roots wing of his machine, Obama told supporters they must battle misinformation being spread by opponents of his plan, such as claims that the bills in Congress would cover illegal immigrants or amount to a government takeover of health care. “Now, come on. We can have a real debate because health care’s hard and there are some legitimate issues out there that have to be sorted through and worked on,” Obama said. “The best ambassadors for true information, factual information is all of you. You have more credibility than anybody on television when it comes to your family members and your friends and your neighbors and that’s why you being involved is so important,” Obama told supporters. For many Democratic activists, Tuesday call raised the question: What took the White House so long? “I have no explanation for this,” said Joe Trippi, a supporter of the Obama plan and grass-roots activism expert. “I cannot figure out why they didn’t start the mobilization effort earlier and why it does appear that the right got the jump on it.” Conservative attacks about rationing and “death panels," however, are only half of the White House’s problems. In recent days, Obama’s own liberal base — and their powerful talk-show host allies — have opened a new front by attempting to define health care reform as the creation of a government-run insurance program. Without a so-called "public option," it’s not real reform, they argue — even as White House officials have said that while a public plan is "the preferred option," its not "the essential element" of a successful plan. The dual fronts have left the normally silver-tongued Obama administration nearly stuttering with frustration. Asked about if the White House had failed to effectively galvanize its base, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Wednesday opened his answer with: “Well, again, I'd — I think I would dispute the beginning characterization. I think, again, particularly at the events that you saw the president do, I don't — I don't think you noticed a lack of support for providing health care reform among those that were outside of the president's events,” he said. This isn’t the first time that the Obama machine has been ambushed in a message war by the opposition. In the administration’s earliest debate over a stimulus bill, the White House messaging machine seemed to be humming along — until the Republicans found a wayward provision related to abortions and used their own powerful talk show host allies to begin driving down public support for the economic recovery package. In that case, the president managed to slug his way through the rough patch and go on to win. The White House now needs a similar turnaround to preserve his chief domestic policy — and his supporters are anxiously awaiting the plan. Ahead of the call, Organizing for America’s Pennsylvania Director Elizabeth Lucas said she hoped to hear the president’s take on the situation and to “talk about some strategy.” It’s not that Obama’s grass-roots army has been standing idle. Jeremy Bird, the organization’s deputy national director, can tick off a host of behind-the-scenes accomplishments: More than 1.5 million people have taken more than 3 million actions — including canvassing, phone banking and hosting local events — to promote the president’s plan.
Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs called out yours truly--"Dick Armey's group"--in his August 17 press conference:You can view the entire transcript here.
The memo urging citizens to vigorously challenge members of Congress at town hall forums this summer caught fire on the Internet and, before long, was shaping the roiling, and often rowdy, health care debate. On Wednesday, the Connecticut man behind the memo, a slight figure in a gray suit with a scholarly air and a thick Queens accent, stood on the steps of the state Capitol to "set the record straight" about the three-page manifesto that has thrust him into the national spotlight and, he says, earned him the scorn of the Democratic establishment and liberal pundits. Robert MacGuffie of Fairfield chastised critics who say he is nothing more than a front for a well-funded effort by corporate interests to derail the Obama administration's health care overhaul. "Two weeks ago, my small group, Right Principles — and me in particular — were picked out of thousands of similar such groups by very powerful people in both the media and in the Democratic National Committee to be slanderously portrayed as a tool in the pay of a vast corporate conspiracy to manufacture town hall outrage at the president's health care plan," MacGuffie said. "The most powerful political party on Earth has taken this baseless lie and used it as a political attack ad against those who are simply tired of ... being ignored," he added. MacGuffie's memo has become a fault line in the debate over health care reform, with critics saying it has created an atmosphere that encourages shouting and squelches debate. Democratic officials have used the memo in a video decrying what they say is a "mob" of angry citizens whose opposition to health care reform is being funded by industry groups and wealthy individuals. " Republicans and their allied groups are increasingly desperate," said Michael Czin, a spokesman for the DNC. "After losing consecutive elections and major policy fights, they are inciting a small number of rabid right wingers funded by K Street lobbyists and special interests to disrupt thoughtful, honest discussions about the future of health insurance reform in America." Critics contend MacGuffie has ties to FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. MacGuffie has a page on the Tea Party Patriots website, though he hasn't posted anything there in months, which lists FreedomWorks as a partner, but MacGuffie dismissed any link. "If I am in the pay of, or even connected with FreedomWorks, or the pharmaceutical industry, or any other lobby, prove it," he said. MacGuffie, who is 58, says he is simply an "unapologetic American" deeply concerned about the direction of his country and frustrated by what he views as arrogant and out-of-touch political leaders. "We the people are tired of complaining to a congressperson ... then receiving a form letter from that congressperson thanking us for our support," he said. He denounced "course or abusive language [and] the display of offensive imagery" at public forums but encouraged citizens to speak out, despite being "disparaged as an angry mob." MacGuffie, the married father of a 13-year-old son, formed Right Principles ( www.rightprinciples.com) with four like-minded acquaintances shortly after the 2008 election. The group's political action committee has taken in a little more than $5,000, MacGuffie said. It has an e-mail list of about 1,000 names and 459 members on Facebook. A Libertarian, MacGuffie says he has never voted for a Republican or Democratic candidate in a federal election. He graduated from Queens College, where he frequently debated his liberal professors, and has a master's degree in business from New York University. He thought about becoming a history professor but instead went to work in the finance and insurance industries. He is now a partner in a small insurance agency, one that sells commercial property and casualty insurance, he quickly pointed out — not health coverage. He said he has always followed politics and read a great deal but has never been in the thick of a political firestorm before. "If I can contribute to the national dialogue, I'm happy to do that," he said. "It's America — you have to stand up for what you believe in."
Even some of those who have bought into the hoax of man-made global warming are calling the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill what it is: A complete debacle full of pork and redistribution of wealth that stands no chance of making a measurable change in climate. The latest attack on the bill comes from former Senator Tim Wirth (D-CO), a true believer in cap-and-trade in principle but an opponent of the bill passed by the House.
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey is organizing a march on Washington against the Obama administration’s healthcare plan that he hopes will finally finish off the Democratic push for socialized medicine. The march, organized by Armey’s political group FreedomWorks, is scheduled for Sept. 12 and is already generating hundreds of thousands of responses, the Texas Republican tells Newsmax.TV. The group isn’t providing transportation, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Get ready to see a whole lot more of former Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas).