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nellie On February - 17 - 2010

Those of us who post at other sites (HP, Raw Story, McClatchy, The Hill) are all too familiar with the infiltration of Talking Point Trolls. They’re everywhere, posting inaccurate right wing propaganda, disrupting threads, shouting “prove it!” whenever anyone tries to correct their lies. Even more disturbing, a lot of these posts are coordinated sponsored efforts rather than the sincere concerns of individuals.

Here are a few articles about the astroturf nature of troll activity on the web:

The Low Spark of Well-Heeled Trolls
Wal-Mart’s Hidden Cashroots Advocacy Exposed in Chicago
Trolling for Dollars
Advantage Consultants
Exposing Heritage Foundation and AEI Lies on Health Care Reform

A lot of people who post here — myself included — spend a lot of time answering these folks, trying to set the record straight wherever we might come across corporate talking points, trying to get discussion threads back on track, trying to get the facts out there.

It occurred to me that one of the things we might do at POV is stock up on progressive talking points — make a library of them — that are available to people for posting on other sites. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to carpet bomb sites all over the net with the TRUTH — to see the TRUTH become the leading talking points.

This could be something we do on a very casual level. For example:

  • whenever we write a really good response elsewhere, we can cut and paste it here for others to use
  • if we come across an important factoid that the msm is ignoring, add it to our “library”
  • if we already have links, graphs, or written arguments saved for our own use that we don’t mind sharing

These would be comments that we post with the understanding that they will be copied and pasted elsewhere.

As an example, here is a comment posted by escribacat in the Time Out section. I would ask permission to grab this and add it to our Troll Buster Library:

Interesting chart showing the rate of job losses under Bush and Obama, from Organizing for America:



I can recall so many comments that would be excellent for our catalog. It just remains to figure out how to organize it. I’m thinking about that now. But I wanted to throw the idea out there to see what people think.

Click here to go to the Troll Busters! Home Page

85 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. AuntieChrist says:

    From Think Progress

    Stimulating Hypocrisy: 111 Lawmakers Block Recovery While Taking Credit For Its Success


  2. SueInCa says:

    I have an email with alot of talking points I keep so I don’t have to bookmark or search the web all the time. I am more than happy to supply them. Just let me know where.

  3. Chernynkaya says:

    CNN Fact Check: Is the President keeping his promises on stimulus?


    The conclusion is YES!

    One year ago today, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Investment Act. He called it “the most sweeping economic recovery package in our history” at a time when many feared the United States was on the brink of another depression.
    To mark the anniversary, the president is launching something of a media blitz, dispatching Cabinet members across the country to share stimulus success stories and counter critics’ accounts of stimulus shortcomings and waste. To help you weigh the stimulus progress, or lack thereof, the CNN Fact Desk thought it would be helpful to look back at what the stimulus was supposed to do in the first place.
    Fact Check: What did President Obama promise the $862 billion stimulus plan would achieve when he signed it into law one year ago?

  4. Chernynkaya says:

    Here’s a thought:

    I just visited Blogspot and did a search on Progressive blogs. Ecstatic!

    How about I compile a few dozen and then we look at them with the idea of writing them saying we will link to them from PlanetPOV if they will do the same? (Even if we do anyway.)

    I used to do this as a cancer patient advocate-- go to the other advocacy sites and offer to link if they did. Most want to!

  5. AdLib says:

    Wanted to quote this here so it will be added:

    bitohistory says:
    02/17/2010 at 9:13 AM (Edit)

    ❗ 111 GOP members praising the stimulus bill after voting against it ❗

    Think Progress has done a great job collecting the names and projects of these

  6. Blues Tiger says:

    Here is one that is pretty effective… I think I posted it before for Javaz…

    Since Truman was elected in 1948, 53.2 million new jobs were created during the 24 years when Democrats held The White House, and 38.3 million were created during the 36 years of Republican administrations. Check it out for yourself:

    Millions of Jobs Added
    Truman 1949 -1952 5.2
    Eisenhower 1953 -- 1956 2.7
    Eisenhower 1957 -- 1960 0.8
    Kennedy/Johnson 1961 -- 1964 5.7
    Johnson 1965 -- 1968 9.8
    Nixon 1969 -- 1972 6.1
    Nixon/Ford 1972 -- 1976 5.2
    Carter 1977 -- 1980 10.4
    Reagan 1981 -- 1984 5.2
    Reagan 1985 -- 1988 10.8
    Bush 1989 -- 1992 2.5
    Clinton 1993 -- 1996 11.6
    Clinton 1997 -- 2000 11.5
    Bush 2001 -- 2004 (0.1)
    Bush 2005 -- 2008 5.1

  7. Chernynkaya says:

    Should I put all my categorized bookmarked articles here? I don’t mind--it’s easy-- but it’s EXTENSIVE! Just checking before I do it.

    • nellie says:

      Sure, go ahead, Cher.

      I’m setting up the Troll Busters corner of PPOV today, and I’ll move everything posted here to that area.

      Unless you would rather wait until it’s all set up.

      It’s up to you. 🙂

      Can’t wait to see those links. I know they’re going to be good.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Bookmarked articles for HP Arguments: ( Please feel free to delete any too old or otherwise deemed irrelevant.)

        NOTE FROM ADLIB: Cher, at your request I deleted the list in this comment but since there are many responses that would go with it if it was deleted, I’m leaving it up and just linking to your temporary article with all the data and links that you listed here. So, to view this amazing and comprehensive list, click the link below:


        • choicelady says:

          WOW! These are wonderful!

          May I add under the religion part as well as health:
          From a progressive point of view:

          Faithfulreform.org -- has a great Vision statement and a PDF delineating the House and Senate bill viewed through a moral prism. Both are on the main page.

          Check out California Council of Churches and California Church IMPACT on FACEBOOK for essays and alerts on various state and federal issues.

          For critiques of the religious right:

          Check out Jeff Sharlet’s articles on The Family in Harper’s. “Through a Glass Darkly” is December, 2006 and a chapter in his book on The Family.

        • escribacat says:

          Holy Moly!!!

          • Chernynkaya says:

            HAHAHAH! But seriously, many are obsolete and/or redundant. I figure if even a third are still useful, it’s a start. Oh, and that’s “Holy Guacamole!” 😆

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Nellie, or Adlib-- These are all links in my word doc, but not here. Any suggestions?

          • AdLib says:

            Cher, send me the Word file and I will be able to post them with the links.

            Email me at: [email protected]

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Adlib-- I was hasty! Can you please delete this post, and then you’ll have all the urls? I am so sorry to be such a computer ‘tard!

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Nellie, can I make these bookmarks into a temporary post in Speaker’s Corner? That way, it can be deleted once the source codes are here on Planet POV. It seems easier than View Source for each article, no?

            • nellie says:

              I don’t mean view source for each article — I mean view the source code for the entire page.

              But if you can save the bookmark links, that’s virtually the same thing. If you post here, I can pick up the urls.

            • nellie says:

              Terrific — thanks AdLib!

            • AdLib says:

              No need to do that unless you want to, you can copy Cher’s links in her new article directly into your article and they will retain their hyperlinks.

          • nellie says:

            Cher, you need to do a View Source — that should give you the html address.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              OMG, Nellie! Does that mean I must click on each article and C&P? Let me try something else…

            • nellie says:


              This list looks awesome!

            • nellie says:

              No — if you’re in word, you should be able to view the source of the page.

              Or, save the document as a web page, then open the page in your browser, go to VIEW and select VIEW SOURCE — you should get all the link addresses.

    • AdLib says:

      I have a very basic philosophy when it comes to blind followers.

      They didn’t use reason to become a follower so you can’t use reason to convince them out of being one.

      Such people NEED to believe what they do and follow who they do, for emotional and psychological reasons. They can’t be talked out of an emotional need. You just have to accept that they are lost causes and focus on those who aren’t.

    • BigDogMom says:

      Tiger my newest move when dealing with Trolls is to throw their right wing talking point or blanket statement back at them with a question such as “How would you handle it, what policies would you like to see?” or “Where would you cut to reduce the deficit, subsidies, entitlements?” Seems to make them stop and think, or just leave….

  8. nellie says:

    Okay, I’m going to experiment with e’cat’s Jobs comment, just to see how this might work….

    More later ….

  9. PatsyT says:

    Fantastic, I have thought of this many times.
    They may have corporate funds buying these trolls and marketing this dribble

    but we have

    REAL Passion
    Serious Concern
    Actual Facts

    and I must add…..

    Humor, quick wit and great taste in music!

    Ever notice how Trolls stink in the music and joke department?

    • AdLib says:

      Minds need to be able to create thoughts to make jokes, music and art.

      Trolls faced with creative thinking is like bulimics faced with an all-you-can-eat buffet.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Blue Tiger, this is a keeper! This beats the quote that I liked from the NYT op-ed that nellie posted yesterday:

          • bitohistory says:

            💡 Someone needs to write a post for the humor section called “Best Jokes On The Planet” and everyone can add to it in the comments section

            • BigDogMom says:

              Bito -- Sarah Palin One Liners:

              I can’t comment on the Kyoto Accord as I’ve only ever seen the Honda.

              I wouldn’t want to go over to Kabul. I’m perfectly happy with my DirectTV.

              I think that the drop in the price of stock is a good thing, as now people will be able to make their soups cheaper.

              I’ve got a four month old, I’m about to be a grandmother, and I have to change McCain’s diapers too?

              I told John McCain I don’t know how to deal with the nasty rumors about me on the internet! John replied “what’s the internet?”

              I think Dion should win the Canadian election because I loved her Vegas show.

              I’m against free trade. I think other countries should pay for our products.

              I believe illegal aliens should be deported and their flying saucers impounded.


            • BigDogMom says:

              bito, there are tons of them out there, some pretty raunchy or about her kids, I tend to stay away from those…

              Last week I happened upon a Palin thread on the Mudflats, where there was a game of “Name Sarah’s next kid” going on in the comments section, I never laughed so hard in my life…I’ll try to find it, I think you will like it.

            • bitohistory says:

              BDM, those are good and so is that site.

        • PatsyT says:

          Blues Tiger,
          Hilarious !! and SO TRUE !!!
          Can we start a joke section ?

          • bitohistory says:

            There is a humor section. All you joke tellers need to use it. I can’t tell a joke but I do love a good laugh.

            • AdLib says:

              Indeed, people click on Humor (under the Arts & Entertainment category) and you will find many posts that should give them a smile or two!

        • nellie says:

          That’s wonderful.

          I can just see McCain now, wandering up to the fencepost with a turtle….

    • Khirad says:

      Ever notice how Trolls stink in the music and joke department?

      Just the personality department altogether. LOL

      {Yes, that ‘LOL’ was put there purposefully}

  10. escribacat says:

    This is a fantastic idea, Nellie. I’ve still got that list of accomplishments that Hume Skeptic posted…but it’s out of date by now. I can definitely come up with some stuff for this and I would definitely use it — a lot!

  11. bitohistory says:

    Should we all post our top 5-10 links to share with each other? While I think this is a great idea, I am unclear on how do this. Help!!??

  12. AdLib says:

    Excellent, Nellie! This is the kind of thing we can do as a concerned community, collaborate to create resources that can help many of our colleagues and knock down the BS.

    With you on this!

    • nellie says:

      Thanks, AdLib.

      Now to figure out how to make it easy. 🙂

      • Chernynkaya says:

        We should begin by each of us posting our responses and links by topic here I think. For example:




        After that’s done, each of us can be assigned a topic, (eg, Stimulus or Jobs) and we can go through the thread and C& P all comments related to our assigned topic. We can paste them into a post of our own and then any subsequent comments on that topic will become part of the thread. At some point, they become archived.

        Does that make sense?

  13. BigDogMom says:

    nellie sounds like a good idea, like Khirad I have so many links and docs. saved that it takes me forever to retrieve them.

    And yes, Khirad, one can become a link hoarder, my list of bookmarked items is quite a long one, too scared to delete, because you never know when you are going to need it! 😡

  14. Khirad says:

    It’s a bit sad really. For my core issues, I’ve got word documents with quotes and passages and links galore in my arsenal ready to go -- though so long and disorganized more trouble than a quick google sometimes.

    However; on other issues, I am woefully unarmored. I end up bookmarking a few I pick up from other posters, then delete them from my bookmarks after not using them, needing them again when I least expect it (could make one become a link hoarder!).

    I think this is a fabulous idea, and just what is needed. If we are to live up to any reputation of being a liberal cabal of any caliber we must stock up an armory, get coordinated, and deploy for counterattack!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Nellie, I LOVE this idea! When I posted at HP I always would first write any substantial response in Word first, in case it went pending or was scrubbed. That way, I could post it again with misspellings or somewhere else. I kept many of those. I also bookmarked any references that I could quickly go to, to refute troll lies. I would be happy to add what I have--It’s extensive. (I was really serious about posting there for a while, until I burnt out!)

      (I just read Khirad’s comment and it seems we both did the same thing. What a couple of obsessives we are! 🙂 )

      • nellie says:

        Move over, fellow obsessives! 😈 I did the same thing when I was posting at HP as nellie. When you write something that actually has facts and back up and you spend time on research and composition, there’s nothing more frustrating than hitting the submit button only to have your comment float off into the ether.

        After that happened a couple of times, I started emailing my comments to myself before posting. That way I always had them when I wanted them.

        • escribacat says:

          Nellie, et al, My solution to the HP Pending Hell was to give up posting long well-considered posts and stick to quips. It always seemed like the more time I spent on a post, the more likely it was to disappear. Now when we put together this library….. 😆

          • Chernynkaya says:

            E’cat, i also found that as i became a regular and got more fans, I never went to pending or was scrubbed! (Except on VERY heavily moderated threads or any thread Arianna wrote.)

            • nellie says:

              I had a fair amount of fans, but a lot of my comments went into the air. I’m convinced there was a particular moderator who didn’t like my pov, because often I would wait for a few hours, post the same comment again to the same article, and it would go through.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              I think that’s what happened Nellie. Every so often, I’d get a stupid mod too.

          • nellie says:

            That’s the way I post now — I am a Drive By Poster.

            But, as you say, once we have our library ….. 😈

  15. stealthgurl007 says:

    I agree with ibkozi

  16. ibkozi says:

    Great Idea!

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