HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014 11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014 12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015 01/01/2015 - 02/01/2015 02/01/2015 - 03/01/2015 03/01/2015 - 04/01/2015 04/01/2015 - 05/01/2015 05/01/2015 - 06/01/2015 06/01/2015 - 07/01/2015 07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015 08/01/2015 - 09/01/2015 09/01/2015 - 10/01/2015 10/01/2015 - 11/01/2015 11/01/2015 - 12/01/2015 12/01/2015 - 01/01/2016 01/01/2016 - 02/01/2016 02/01/2016 - 03/01/2016 03/01/2016 - 04/01/2016 04/01/2016 - 05/01/2016 05/01/2016 - 06/01/2016 06/01/2016 - 07/01/2016 07/01/2016 - 08/01/2016 08/01/2016 - 09/01/2016 09/01/2016 - 10/01/2016 10/01/2016 - 11/01/2016 11/01/2016 - 12/01/2016 12/01/2016 - 01/01/2017 01/01/2017 - 02/01/2017 02/01/2017 - 03/01/2017 03/01/2017 - 04/01/2017 04/01/2017 - 05/01/2017 05/01/2017 - 06/01/2017 06/01/2017 - 07/01/2017 07/01/2017 - 08/01/2017


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Saturday, April 01, 2017

 
Are you arguing about heathcare with a sockpuppet?


by Spocko

Sheri Lewis and Lamb Chop, a good sock puppet

I was out-of-town* away from electronic communications last week, when I got home I heard and read about the successes of all my various activist friends in the healthcare front. Good job folks!

To catch up I listened to Sam Seder and Digby for an analysis of the whole situation. The conversation started before the vote to repeal Obamacare happened, and ended right after they heard it failed.

As a time-traveling Vulcan I know how this will end, but for the rest of you it is good to hear Digby and Sam giving the correct analysis, which is, "Okay we beat this back. Now they will work to sabotage the rest." Digby and Sam also talk about how Trump and Ryan will work to sabotage the ACA. Because you know they will, but what specifically will they sabotage?

Here is what to expect, stories about:
  • ObamaCare fraud committed by PATIENTS (which is the rarest kind, but fits their bias of brown people getting something for nothing.)
  • "Ill-eagles" getting FREE healthcare
  • High premium costs for users (this one is legit, but came about because of the end of subsidies, something that could be remedied.)
  • Insurance companies leaving states with the BS reason that, "ObamaCare's a disaster" (the real reason, not enough fed and state money to make barrels of money--only buckets.) 
So where are we going to see these stories? The usually places, but this time they will also pop up in your own self-selected, online world. In fact, it probably already has.

Example: When I returned I read a story from NBC's Lester Holt on Facebook. It was shared by a friend. I was going to start replying to one of the commenters I knew. He was using a flawed premise with an Ayn Randian worldview. But since he does respond to facts and proof I did some research first. That's when I found dozens of "people" making the same type of comments.

Now this happens a lot when people are exposed to a steady diet of right-wing crap, but I noticed something different about these comments. The commenters were all pushing ideas that specifically benefited healthcare insurance companies. More research revealed 100's of similar accounts, making the same kind of comments, spread out over 5 months in the comments sections of various publications and websites. I had stumbled across a sockpuppet campaign for the healthcare insurance companies.

Woman posing in front
of future sockpuppet army

Good Sock Puppet = Lamb Chop

Following Citizens United one voice no longer represents just one vote. 100's of thousands of "voices" can now represent a handful of people. People think it will be easy to spot and ignore sockpuppets. Not so fast folks, this isn't the easily spotted sock puppet Lamb Chop.

In my case the story was a real one from NBC and it was shared by a real friend. In the comments real people were discussing it, sincerely. I didn't recognize all of the people discussing this, but I thought they must be friends of friends. I was going to engage, but first I looked up one person I was going to respond to. She was from San Antonio, had a military background and was a Republican. Okay, I know people like that, and it made sense she would say these things. But for some reason I decided to look a level down, that's when I found out she was a construct. An avatar. A sockpuppet.
"These sockpuppets don't have any real impact. Besides, they only influence stupid people. Serious people spot them and ignore them."
--Savvy McSavvyington [He ignored the impact of talk radio too.]
First, do not dismiss sockpuppets as inconsequential
These sockpuppets can influence others, who then make the same points. These messages come via a channel that they trust, making them more powerful. Sockpuppets can be subtle, they don't have to start ideas to influence, just reinforce those of real voices.

Facebook provides an excellent way to inject these ideas into self-isolating, self-reinforcing sub-groups. (You know those strange requests to be friends with someone you don't really know, but has one mutual friend? That's how they get into these groups.) The people in these groups then spread these ideas to people who wouldn't normally see them, like friends and family.



BTW, Homeland just included a storyline about sockpuppets. It was filled with lots of exposition about it and all the laws that were being broken--if it came from within the government. But these healthcare insurance sockpuppets aren't coming from governments. They are coming from private companies, who keep their clients' identities private.
These healthcare insurance companies spend millions to keep the spice money flowing. I know this not from my time traveling, but from listening to the actual financial conference calls of health insurance companies, reading the required reports of public drug companies and talking to insurance experts like my friend Wendell Potter. (I'm looking forward to his new non-profit, Tarbell, investigating this.)
There is public information that these healthcare insurance companies all got assurances from Republicans that they were going to get at least 18 months where nothing would impact their positive cash flow. This includes guarantees of no cuts in drug profits. And they got what they wanted.

The truth is out there, it's just not tweeted.


Newly created sock puppets ready to decieve.
Will they push healthcare insurance company
propaganda, or climate change denial? 

What this means is that healthcare insurance companies were allies in keeping the ACA going. Especially the parts that kept money flowing to them.

Now they will pivot to figuring out ways to "improve the ACA" and by improve I mean get rid of anything that costs them money. They will hire the usual paid protesters (aka lobbyists) to bring back lifetime caps and to kick people with pre-existing conditions out of the insurance pool. They will frame this as "relief" from the horrible regulations of Obamacare. They will claim it is bankrupting them so they have to leave states and exchanges (specifically the ones that aren't subsidized.) Then, in the next quarterly conference call, they will tell investors the steady infusion of government cash will not stop and profits are steady.

The push to "fix" the parts of ACA that COSTS healthcare insurance companies money will happen out of the headlines and at super PAC fundraisers. Now that Trump, Ryan and the Freedom Cactus did us a favor by bringing the benefits of ACA to the surface, the healthcare insurance lobbyists will hire firms to push the parts of Obamacare they reluctantly accepted, like removal of lifetime caps and being forced to accept people with pre-existing conditions. They will also employ an army of sockpuppets.

Coming next. "Exposing Sockpuppets."

Spocko, Creative Commons Attribution and sharealike license
Desert Cactus from *Anza Borrego
 during super bloom.  
Not to be confused 
with the Freedom Cactus.