A reporters' conference call began earlier than scheduled this morning thanks to the several Democratic senators hosting it, who were overheard talking tactics before realizing that some reporters were already on the line. They weren't discussing anything very secretive, but they were coordinating adjective selections. It's all rigged!

Walking mouth Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democrats' go-to message guy nowadays, gave instructions for the call to his colleagues Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper and Richard Blumenthal. Schumer, according to the New York Times, "told them to portray John Boehner of Ohio, the Speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme." In Schumer's words, "I always use the word extreme... That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week."

If you're a Democrat, this should make you feel slightly better. Senate Democrats are coordinating and pushing sharp, agreed-upon messages, after two years of (what seemed like) general confusion, splintering and flopping around. It's important to be organized before an apocalypse, so you can just blame it on other people after everyone's dead.

[Image via AP]