Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August 25 Moran/Dean Healthcare Reston VA Townhall Observations

>"What follows are the observations of one of 40% of attendees who opposes Obamacare. Thank you all for such an excellent showing, despite an all-out attempt by socialized healthcare advocates!


Town Hall Log


The Town Hall hosted by Jim Moran (D, VA) and Howard Dean on Tuesday, 8/25/2009, was a gross charade of propaganda. I’m a young entrepreneur, working 80 hour weeks for two jobs – one for a startup company that is still trying to make it and has no profits, the other to pay my bills. With an education in biomedical engineering from a top-20 college of engineering, I have some very poignant insights to offer our leaders on the healthcare topic. I sacrificed almost 3 weeks of my duty to my fellow work-horses to research fundamental issues with healthcare that no one is talking about because the REAL topics are politically inflammatory.


Howard Dean and Moran even admitted in the meeting that Tort Reform was ‘too contentious to pass the judiciary committee’ and that it would have to be done in a separate measure. Curiously enough, neither Dean nor Moran mentioned English Rule at all in regards to Tort Reform. When I pinned down Moran after the town hall meeting, he told me personally that he would support English Rule.


I don’t believe him. I believe he was disingenuous in the way that he brushed me off, even after I handed him dozens of pages of critical charts and information that should be taken into consideration for the benefit of all Americans. I want him to declare his support for English Rule on the record (among many other things that I discuss in my whitepaper).


Now, I believe it is my duty to my Country and future employees because the politicians have turned the debate into an emotional shell game that’s focused on subjectivity and ideology rather than facts and hard principles. They play on the guilt, envy, and fear of the public on both sides to herd them into a support-caucus. This manipulation is grossly immoral, but expected from the status-quo Washington political machine.


My greatest takeaway from the Town Hall was having the pleasure to meet Griff Jenkins in person, and also observing in person what is so dysfunctional about the way that the political machine and partisan constituents operate.


What we experienced at Moran’s Town Hall was less than productive:


1. Filibuster or Incompetence? Jim Moran said that he would only speak for 30 minutes and that he would take questions for 90 minutes. Instead, his prepared presentation lasted for nearly an hour, yet he did not stay overtime to take more questions. In addition, he admitted that he was nervous about the question-answering session – betraying his motivation to filibuster with his canned presentation that ran so long. Only one of two possibilities – either it was an intentional filibuster, or he is incompetent from failing to stay within his time budgets and making a presentation that was poorly planned.


2. Salesmen routine trumps seeking insight from votersIn typical, party-politics, sock-puppet fashion, both Moran and Dean simply regurgitated the talking points of the Democrat party. His presentation was loaded with Democrat talking points and provided zero educational value because they did not focus on root causes of the healthcare struggles. There were even blatant distortions when he proselytized the Democrat version of what is “Myth” versus “Fact.” I immediately felt like I was watching two salesmen on stage, rather than noble and intelligent statesmen. We went away feeling like we just took a trip to a used car dealership rather than a serious civics forum.


3. Our representative proved to be uninformedThere were many times when Moran lacked the knowledge to answer certain questions and he deferred to Howard Dean in his stead. I have sacrificed much of my own time without being paid for it, so this was highly offensive. A man who we pay exorbitant tax money was less informed than some citizens. What are we paying him for? What is he doing on our dollar? If Moran spent more time studying the real aspects of the issue and less time memorizing the Democrat talking points, he would make a true statesman out of himself.


4. Obama’s employees fraudulently manufacture false support (Astroturfing)The following prominent Democrats accused citizen-opponents of disingenuous dissent, manufactured dissent, or conspiratorial organization by insurance companies (Astroturf): Barbara Boxer (8/4/09), Brad Woodhouse (8/4/09), Nancy Pelosi (8/5/09), Robert Gibbs (8/5/09), Nancy Pelosi & Steny Hoyer (8/10/09), John Dingell (8/10/09), Baron Hill (8/11/09), Bill Burton (8/12/09), Harry Reid (8/13/09), Arlen Specter (8/17/09), Maxine Waters (8/24/09), Howard Dean (8/24/09).Without any hard evidence of conspiracy, these Democrats impugned passionate and concerned citizenry to attempt to discredit them using the following propaganda techniques: Black-and-white fallacy, common man, demonizing the enemy, half-truth, labeling, name-calling, scapegoating, and quotes out of context. Unfortunately, the Jim Moran town hall has uncovered the first provable evidence of real conspiracy and astroturfing – only the Obama organization is the guilty party, caught red-handed.The following image shows Jim Moran’s official advertisement for the event, which indicates clearly that this event was only intended for “Virginia 8th District Residents” and in his motivation he claims that he wants to “hear from 8th District constituents”:





In addition, Jim Moran posted signs at each entrance which indicated that the event was intended for Virginia 8th District residents. I became suspicious of Moran’s civil procedures even before the event began. Jim Moran’s volunteer “security” was from the “Elevator Employee’s Union”. We asked them, “how will you enforce Moran’s rule for this event that is ‘for 8th District only’?” They responded that they wouldn’t be enforcing it. Next, the professionally-dressed Moran staffers were asked the same questions, and responded in the same way. Although Moran claimed at the beginning of the forum that 8th District residents would receive priority in the questioning, he lied again, because he implemented no measures to affect that promise. Questions were thrown into boxes from anyone who was let into the school.Reporter Griff Jenkins observed that support at this Town Hall was 60% in support of Obamacare, and 40% against. We reflect that observation. Here’s the kicker though – Obama’s support was manufactured and ‘Astroturfed’, whereas the opposition had no directives (as was evidenced by the diversity and disorganization of the opposition). By contrast, the Obama supporters moved in unison, with identical signs, with identical voices of ‘yes we can’, and with identical shouting points. How did Moran, Dean, and Obama manufacture this support? Easy, they used Obama’s very own digital network to turn out non-8th District residents in violation of the rules postulated by Moran online:


From: Brandyn Keating, VA.BarackObama.com [mailto:info@barackobama.com]
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009
Subject: Tomorrow: Show your support in Reston
I wanted to send you an urgent invitation to an important town hall with Rep. Jim Moran this Tuesday, August 25th.

He'll be talking to constituents and gathering feedback. Whether you ask a question or show your support with a sign, attending this town hall is a powerful way to show where you stand and thank those in Congress who are fighting for reform.

I hope you can join us. Here are the details:
What: Town Hall with
Rep. Jim Moran

Where: South Lakes High School Auditorium
11400 South Lakes Drive
Reston, VA 20191

When: Tuesday, August 25th
Arrival Time: 5:00 p.m.
Start Time: 7:00 p.m.

Please arrive as early as possible to the town hall, and make sure that the most powerful voices in this debate are those calling for real reform, not angrily clamoring for the status quo.

RSVP here:
Thanks,
Brandyn

Brandyn Keating
Virginia State Director
Organizing for America

P.S. -- Before the event, please print off a flyer to display and make sure that your support is visible.


Now that’s Astroturf! Change we can believe in? Facts say, nope! Just dirty politics, and manufactured support-caucuses as usual. Obama is Organizing for America? Nope, just Astroturfing for partisan politics. Question: can politicians be sued for false advertising?
2. Bad questions. Were they cherry-picked by Moran?
This part is speculation, but I am positioned to believe that Moran cherry-picked the questions. Instead of simply calling on people, he made people put their questions into three boxes prior to the town hall. There was one box for questions that supported Obamacare, one for those that opposed, and one for undecided. As an independent, my question went into the undecided box. But from the poor quality of the questions, and the previously mentioned behavior and manipulations of Moran, I am inclined to believe that Moran’s staff filtered through the boxes prior to the beginning of questioning around 7:52 PM. I am inclined to believe that they allowed questions that were not very technical, and not too tough so that the uninformed Democrat politicians would not have to look foolish. Every question except for two were completely based on emotions, hearsay, personal stories, and other items of subjectivity which only required the politicians to respond in terms of belief and subjectivity. All but two questions were immensely uninformed and did not cut to real issues. For all of these reasons, I am inclined to believe that Moran’s staff triaged the questions prior to handing the boxes to Moran almost an hour later, so that the citizenry would not look more informed and intelligent than the politicians.
3. $2.35 Trillion in spending and a massive overhaul? Moran and Dean don’t care, it doesn’t affect themOne of the most appalling things was the elitist and arrogant demeanor that Moran and Dean held throughout the Town Hall. At one point, when Obama-followers and the opposition began screaming at each other (while independents looked on with disgust) – Dean and Moran actually smiled and reveled with glee. The only times they showed disappointment, exertion, and stress was when their opposition spoke up against them with no counter.This was a crucial observation. As an independent thinker and leader, my reaction to the volley of emotional banter was disgust, pity, and sorrow – for so many fellow citizens to be engaged in an ideological and uncivil activity. But the politicians? They love it. They don’t see themselves as part of the warring gaggle that they inspire, laugh at, and smile at. They are not gravely concerned when citizens are acting on faith and bandwagon, rather than civility and rationale.This made the distribution of George Washington’s rules for civility even more offensive – to see both of these Obama-marionettes on the stage, smiling and reveling in the incivility they claimed to decry.What’s worse is that this action made it clear – they don’t care about what this does to the middle and lower classes. They know it will never affect them and their families, and are comfortable in their privileged status. Anyone who appreciated the gravity of their decisions would never be able to revel in irrational handling of the topic by those who it will impact.
Conclusion

Truth be told, this was a rewarding experience. But not from anything that Moran did. It was rewarding to get a first-hand view of how dysfunctional our politicians are. At any point, Moran and Dean could have turned around the tenor of this forum. But that would have required independent thinking, and empathy for all parties.

If I had the authority of Moran, I would have satisfied the crowd by:

1. Dismissing Howard Dean at 9 PM
2. Apologizing for not sticking to the 90 minutes of questioning that I promised
3. Offering to answer enough questions to make up the time difference, until 9:22 PM
4. Telling my supporters, that I have spent 52 minutes espousing the merits of the bill, and that I would only be seeking questions from undecided or dissenting opinions
5. Requiring questions to come only from the 8th District residents as I promised in the beginning of my presentation
6. Apologizing for my need to continue business and leave, but offering my staffers to stay behind until 11 PM to take the remaining questions, and promising that I will watch the video later so that I could hear more voices of my constituents, and promising them an email reply to their question from my own hand
I took a survey of about 400 people on my social networks. I asked them whether or not they were attending healthcare town halls, and the reason why. 92% responded that they were not attending and the reason they gave was that they don’t believe their voice would do anything. It made me sad to see my fellow citizens with such cynicism and hopelessness for their own freedom and importance. Unfortunately, Moran and Dean proved the cynics to be correct, and proved my hard work, faith, and trust to be incorrect.

People need to take this very seriously. I chose to side with the pursuit of truth rather than a political party. It allowed me to author a 30+ page whitepaper on the topic, from the mind of a biomedical engineer. Unfortunately, none of these helpful analyses will reach a politicians’ ears. Moran and Dean are not fit for leadership. If they had sought real diversity of thought, they might have accessed some very helpful insight from constituents. As it turns out, they were just interested in pitching the party line. There is no change. There is no civil discourse. Our leaders will not allow for it.

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