Just days after Barack Obama admonished Republicans for paying exclusive attention to GOP pollster/”message guru” Frank Luntz’s push-polly memos about how to kill each piece of major Democratic legislation, Frank Luntz has produced a push-polly memo about how to kill the latest piece of major Democratic legislation, which Republicans will pay exclusive attention to. From now on, we should all record usages of these comically hackneyed (and embarrassingly effective!) “words to use” by paper cuts to the wrist, the jaded liberal’s preferred system of score-keeping. You should probably tack “9/11” and “n***er” onto this list, too; don’t know why they’re not on here. Asleep at the wheel, Luntz?

There’s enough offensive Reaganite propaganda in here to make even General Pinochet blush, bless his carcass. One example:

It’s true. On some random morning around 2001, tens or hundreds of millions of average Americans woke up and decided, for no apparent reason and with no incentive, to take out loans on things they couldn’t afford and hopefully destroy the world several years later. Who were lenders with no intention of keeping any loans on their books supposed to turn to for protection, in the face of this black Mexican army of homosexuals?

Man, compared to some watered-down but helpful Democratic bill with certain inevitable loopholes, we’d rather just have another global financial crisis, any day of the week.

[Huffington Post]

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  1. Yep, I certainly don’t want any bureaucrats, fine print or lack of transparency interfering in the normally hassle-free, easy-to-comprehend relationship with my bank.

    They do already have code for the n-word on the poll below – that’s who they mean by blaming “individuals who took out loans they could not afford.” But hey, why should we be mean to our giant corporations when we could instead shift the blame to their powerless victims?

  2. You know, we’re not going to avoid the unintended consequences of unlimited regulatory powers until the special interests stop using bloated bureaucracies and their government failures and incompetence (not to mention red tape and the big bank bailout bill!) to prove, once again, that the devil is in the details. We can’t help small businesses without transparency and oversight, and stopping wasteful Washington spending through accountability, and the hard-working taxpayers never again want to seeanother Washington agency unless it’s going to help small businesses!

    How’d I do?

  3. Come on, Jim, there is “message testing” and there is “push polling.” Luntz wants to find messages that really work, so he wouldn’t push-poll, he really wants to know how people respond.

  4. Always with the Black Mexican Homosexuals! It’s that pernicious BMH agenda that’s destroying America, them and the Muslin Dwarf Transgenders and the Zoroastrian Aqua League of Paraplegic Empaths. Take it back!

  5. If the Republicans really wanted to be smart about this, when they attack bureaucrats as wasteful and useless, they could also add that they themselves will personally transfer all the work of these evil government bureaus to their own Senate and House offices, and do all the work from there. Solutions!

  6. Oh, and instead of “unlimited regulatory powers” they could call for “no more regulation of anyone,” like they used to, which is why we’re in all these messes.

  7. In a sane world, where journalists actually gave a fuck about informing a national dialogue, sending out your list of explicitly and intentionally loaded terminology would be stupid because it would alert reporters to words they should avoid. In our world, it’s a great idea because journalists will report this as “the evolving narrative” (WINNING THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE in Politico-speak), shove everything into this framework, and harnessing the magic of postmodernity, will actually legitimize the terminology, turning the “narrative” into reality.

    I need a nap.

  8. I like to say the word iteration and look for opportunities to work it into my conversation. I like to say skill sets and stakeholders, also. We’ve discussed this before.

  9. As suggested, of course it will work. Know why?

    Because the American public is largely a bunch of self-destructively uneducable dumbfucks, that’s why. And, you can take that to the unregulated banks.

  10. I don’t want to be a douche, but, well, the addicts did buy the drugs that the dealers were selling. You do have to assume, that people in business, will not, not ever, turn away business. That if I am a mortgage broker, and I am only going to originate the loan, and don’t have to bear the risk once I sell the paper, you have to assume that I am going to lie cheat and steal, in order to help the borrowers to lie, cheat, steal, and commit loan fraud, and the big bank that buys the paper is going to lie, cheat and steal, to bundle the bad paper with other bad paper and call it a “security” and convince some other asshole to buy it, thus passing that risk further along, and that that purchaser is going to come up with some way to “Insure” that bad paper, with a credit default swap, and thus pass that risk further along, and its like musical chairs, its only the one holding the hot potato when the music stops who gets mauled.

    By which I am saying that the question, and the choice of answers, is only objectionable in that it suggests any one group is either more or less at fault, the borrowers were assholes, the lenders were assholes, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and Gramm, and Leach, and Bliley, and everyone who voted for it, and that fucking asshole new democrat fuckhead Bill Clinton who signed it, were all assholes, which is a way of saying the government was also equally at fault.

    And just so you all know, the economic crisis was caused by the Bush Administration forcing banks to loan 98% of all their assets to approximately 437 low income blacks, who, being shiftless and irresponsible, quit going to work as soon as they had a warm place to shit, and they toook down Lehman, the blacks and the no-good government forcing the banks to loan money to the blacks. Rush Limbaugh told me this and he is never wrong.

  11. [re=505445]V572625694[/re]: Well done. But, do you have the innate viciousness to use
    Newt Gingrich’s key control words? Try it, its fun.

    abuse of power
    anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs
    “compassion” is not enough
    criminal rights
    failure (fail)
    permissive attitude
    punish (poor …)
    red tape
    status quo
    urgent (cy)

  12. When Obama wins reelection in 2012 by vast margins due to his calls to round up every villain of the past 20 years and force them to work in FEMA built ACORN slave labor camps, Luntz will be rounded up and given the job as camp toilet cleaner.

  13. [re=505460]doxastic[/re]: Agree. In the insane world, the USA Press is so stupid that they will actually pick up on these nifty memes and work them into every story about financial reform.

  14. [re=505467]Extemporanus[/re]: I think it’s a reference to the nightmare years of the mid-30s to 1980, during which the inflation-adjusted income of the peons (middle-class and poors) kept rising and the gap between them and the righteous aristocrats kept getting smaller.

    But yeah, I especially like the buzzword “enforcement of existing laws” when this problem came about in large part because they repealed the once-existing laws.

  15. [re=505478]Come here a minute[/re]: For a second there, I thought you wrote “when Douthat and Breitbart MATE.” Well, they are both obvious closet cases, but now I’m stuck with that image.

  16. [re=505449]your secret boyfriend[/re]: Today, we are all Muslin Dwarf Transgendered members of the the Zoroastrian Aqua League of Paraplegic Empaths. Also. As well.

  17. [re=505447]Prommie[/re]: The choices are loaded. If you really wanted to message-test, you’d be trying to isolate a variable. The choices would be “Individuals who defaulted on mortgages” or even just “individuals.” Or you could go the other direction and give a warrant for why Washington and Wall Street also acted against better knowledge: “Washington politicians who cheered on the housing bubble” “Wall Street executives who took extreme risks.” As it is, one is based on the assertion of a bad act, while the others are not–and Luntz knows this.

  18. “Government failures and imcompetence” => sip of beer
    “Bloated bureacracy” => 2 sips of beer
    “Hard Working Taxpayers” => chug your beer
    “Devil is in the Details” => shot of vodka
    “Let’s help Small Businesses” => kiss the person to your right
    “Unlimited Regulatory Powers” => take off one article of clothing


  19. “Bloated bureaucrats”? Not quite, Luntzie. Try “Bloviating bloated Botswanan-boybuttsecksing bamboozled brillo-padded balderdashing bureaucrat.”

    /Fixed, for starters.

  20. [re=505468]Ducksworthy[/re]: Steele: Look Wolf, the average American on Main Street wants accountability. The devil is in the details: they don’t want to wake up one day and find, because of some fine print, that they’ve been sold a semen-encrusted snowmobile suit.

  21. Let’s talk for a minute about America’s “Financial Crisis.” Like, why is financial crisis in quotation marks, as though a person is condescending to a child?

    Honey, this “boogeyman” of whom you speak is only a figment of your imagination — or possibly the inevitable consequence of you recklessly persuading Congress to deregulate the finance industry so that you could take out a loan you didn’t understand to buy a house you couldn’t afford.

    And yes, it’s true that you used to be able to trust that a loan was what the guy fom the bank said it was. But that was due to Big Brother “helping” you with “consumer protection” — when in reality he was just keeping you down by not making you aware of the creative new instruments major speculators were innovating upon the market.

    And while this bold new market requires you to be more aware of the risks involved — unless you’re a banker, in which case we find it funny when they tell us nobody understands what derivatives are — really this is so much better than government “safeguards” that keep you down in that little affordable bungalow.

    You might say that this isn’t “fair.” But then you were the one clamoring for this deregulation, ween’t you? Don’t look so indignant — we already went over your careless behavior in paragrah one. And after we accept your apology I think we can all be friends again.

  22. [re=505486]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: Best opening line of any biographical documentary I ever saw “Born in Zanzibar to Zoroastrian Persian parents, . . . ”

    I mean, you have to want to know, who the fuck is this?

    Freddie Mercury

  23. [re=505453]Radiotherapy[/re]: Sorry; but I have gotten pretty good at the “spot the hidden code for the N-word (or F-word, as the case may be) in Republican statements” game.

  24. [re=505485]JMP[/re]: And now I’m stuck with that image too, along with the image of their offspring’s inevitable neckbeard.

    I wish I could wash my mind’s eye out with soap. I wish soap strong enough existed.

  25. I went to high school with Frank Luntz–he was in my sister’s grade, two years ahead of me. However much your cliche of a Republican asshole is some guy in high school who couldn’t possibly get a date getting his revenge on the world–it is one hundred times true in the case of Frank Luntz.

  26. I never understand this. If you lend me money without asking me if I have a job or how I plan to pay you back or anything like that, in that situation, why am *I* the one who’s irresponsible in that situation?

  27. [re=505465]Prommie[/re]: lie, cheat and steal, to bundle the bad paper with other bad paper and call it a “security” and convince some other asshole…

    However, that “other Asshole” turns out to be the crowned princes of Saudi Arabia so…fuck them.
    9/11 Nevah forget!!!!

    The other way to look at this is 64% of the people have not bought into the Republican BS so for the conservatives….messaging fail.

  28. [re=505475]thesheriffisnear[/re]: I never realized so many words suck. Great list, and it doesn’t even include the usuals like — christian nation, Constitution, the flag, founding fathers, freedom,, patriotism, Reagan, blah-blah-blah, eeeteeeceee.

  29. [re=505507]Bearbloke[/re]: You know, you’re right, it does make more senseauf deutsch:

    Wissen Sie, wir gehen nicht auf die unbeabsichtigten Folgen der unbegrenzten Regulierungsbefugnisse bis die besonderen Interessen nicht mehr verwenden aufgeblähte Bürokratien und ihrer Regierung Versäumnisse und Inkompetenz (nicht zu Bürokratie und die große Bankenrettungspaket Rechnung zu erwähnen!) Zu beweisen, noch einmal zu vermeiden , daß der Teufel steckt im Detail. Wir können nicht helfen kleinen Unternehmen, ohne Transparenz und Kontrolle und Stoppen Washington verschwenderischen Ausgaben über die Rechenschaftspflicht und die hart arbeitenden Steuerzahler will nie wieder nach Washington Agentur seeanother es sei denn, wird es sich auf kleine Unternehmen zu helfen!

  30. [re=505511]bitchincamaro[/re]: That reminds me how much this sometimes makes me wonder what would happen if some people brought in real class warfare, like in the French Revolution. Merrill Lynch’s CEO’s office is probably pretty high up, you know.

  31. [re=505491]snideinplainsight[/re]: I think maybe we’d be better off if the press were forced to do drinking games while interviewing politicians so after their fourth or fifth day of violently puking all over Wolf Blitzer, they’d suddenly add 2 and 2 together and realize the amount of inspid bullshit pablum they’re fed on a daily basis

  32. Weird how the longest, most explanative, and biased answer not worded at all like the other two possible responses got the highest percentage (though still within 2 to 6% of the other 2 choices).

    Here’s the same poll again, but with different wording:

    Which statement do you most agree with?

    Wall Street based lenders who told consumers they could afford more than they actually could.

    Individual borrowers are mostly to blame.

    Washington is mostly to blame.


    Which statement do you most agree with?

    Washington politicians who deregulated financial institutions thus legalizing toxic debt and credit swapping practices.

    Wall street is mostly to blame.

    Individual borrowers are mostly to blame.


    Which statement do you most agree with?

    Conservative pundits’ and pollsters’ only motivation is to exploit political differences to make a buck regardless of how just the policy or candidate they support may be.

    The color green.

    The number 7.

  33. I am Frank Luntz’ hairpiece and I would like to go on the record to say that I am in every way opposed to what Frank does. In fact, on several occasions, in a stiff DC wind — which occur quite often around here, especially wafting down from Capitol Hill — I have valiantly tried to separate myself from Frank’s skull. Easier said than done. He tapes me down. Yes, that’s right – with duct tape! It’s humiliating. The shame I bear for being faux hair on Frank’s head is staggering. And all I can do is wilt beneath its crushing weight. Pray for me!

  34. Today we are all hardworking taxpayers with homes that we can’t afford and mortgage payments we can’t make because of the bloated bureaucracy and their thirst for unlimited regulatory powers when enforcement of existing laws would have provided accountability. Let’s help small business by eliminating the fine print, cutting the red tape and closing the lobbyist loopholes and never again pass a big bank bailout bill because after all, the devil is in the details.

  35. [re=505461]thesheriffisnear[/re]: OK, on that subject I now “reach out” and try to “besmirch” others. Where as before I would shoot them an email or call on the phone, and then say mean nasty comments behind their back.
    Watch out though, “reach out” really works well. For instance if the boss says reach out to a customer I can interpret that in the way most beneficial for me, thus my trips of 35 miles to “reach out” to the smoking hot office manager that I used to just call on the phone!

  36. [re=505524]JMP[/re]: Conincedentally, I stood on a 20th floor balcony not 3 weeks ago with a guy who most likely was at the financial switch with M-L during the height of the great housing heist, and I did not throw him over, regretfully. Defenestration: FAIL!

  37. My favorite part of the document is this graph,

    “Which of the following, if true, would concern you most about the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency?”
    on page 9.

    Which of the following, if true, would disgust you most about the personal grooming habits of Frank Luntz:
    Pick any 3.
    Incomplete polls will be discarded.

    Combs hair with Ham Sandwich 47%
    Owns 2 pair of pants 35%
    Has never bought his own shoes 45%
    Wipes mouth on Shirt sleeves 56%
    Wipes mouth on tie 32%
    Chews on toenails 65%
    Douses self with Axe body wash 98%
    Changes Socks every 3 weeks 76%
    Turns T-shirt inside out every other week. 85%

    Well it’s clear that the use of Axe Body Wash and that he turns his t-shirts inside out every other week is what disgusts Americans most about Frank Luntz.

  38. I think I shall construct a Bingo Card using the, “Words to Use” page and play Republican Talking Points Bingo when I watch Fox.

  39. Robots
    Property rights
    Sound science
    Contract from America
    Wall Street Jews
    Medical Malpractice Reform

  40. [re=505460]doxastic[/re]: It’s far easier to write stories about “process” and the “horse-race” of politics. It’s a pain in the ass to actually research “facts”, besides, saying that a republican is lying will get you piles of hate mail from people who write their own facts. That’s why our political reporting has less informational value than the National Enquirer.

    At least with the National Enquirer, you can be pretty sure when they say that “A” is banging “B”, that there’s some actual wick-dipping going on. The Enquirer (after getting their asses handed to them a few times in the 80’s ) double checks their facts pretty well. Our self-important Fourth Estate just runs with “Anonymous sources say”.

  41. [re=505600]One Yield Regular[/re]: The party of Lincoln, you say? Well, this changes everything! Lincoln, friend of the black man, pro-big government, anti-states rights, lover of books, gay as a rainbow. Sign me up as a republican please!

  42. Actually, the whole plot was conceived decades ago by Obama’s communist grandmother,
    who secretly plotted to have her unborn child outside Hawaii just so it would cause controversy right after he got elected president.

    But it was long before that, just after the eighties turned into the nineties and started to get profitable, that she had hypnotised thousands of Americans struggling and working hard to try and join the middle class, into going out and making those bad loans.

    Please, keep your delusions in the proper order.

  43. Are the hard-working taxpayers the same as the irresponsible ones who allegedly took out loans an bankrupted the economy, or are those *different* working class stiffs? I love how the elites in this country constantly manage to keep the working class in check by pitting them against each other and insinuating that the real freeloaders are somehow at the bottom rather than the top of the economic ladder. Ah, the good ol’ GOP.

    Also, Unintended Consequences? Call Gordon Freeman.

  44. I have a couple of thoughts about frank luntz and what he does. First off, frank luntz’s MO is to take anything conservatives don’t support and use pathological language to re-inforce wingnuts already insane views (it’s the gubmints fault, minorities, the ghey and muzzlins). Anything they agree with is also placed into pathological language to engender a pavolvian response (freedom, prosperity). Of course the wealthy seeking to make mad money from luntz’s words laugh behind the nutters backs, “we pulled it off again and not only will they support it, they’ll viciously attack anyone who criticizes it!”.

    What’s doubly interesting is frank luntz’s words are packaged together with classic authoritarian phrasing and rife with double meanings. In other words, they are words which speak to exactly how republicans think; which also explains why people such as yourselves (myself included) ridicule these very words, they don’t strike a chord with us whatsoever. Isn’t it amazing that the people who speak these words are so divisive? this is essentially the clash of worlds and could possibly lead to something worse: authoritarians vs. non-authoritarians. In fact, if you check every authoritarian regime, they use identical words and phrases to luntz.

    Anyway, now that I’ve offloaded some reflections, time for some snark before I go. Has anyone ever noticed that frank luntz with his wormy lips and chubby cheeks always looks like he’s in the middle of consuming a prairie dog at all times or is just me?

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