Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday morning quick hits

Got Propaganda? Media Matters has done that thing they do, and compiled and analyzed the data points on the Pentagon's program of manipulating public opinion using retired military officers as willing propaganda tools to cram Bush's pet war down the throats of the American sheeple. They found that between early 2002 and and the point at which Bob Gates terminated the propaganda efforts in recent days, these retired officers parroted the party line on network and cable news shows over 4500 times. (A spreadsheet listing each of the analysts' appearances documented by Media Matters is available here.)

As we now know, many of these retired officers were employed by defense contractors and granted undue access to Donald Rumsfeld and the procurement process. There are twenty retired officers and twenty wiki pages just screaming for a line to be added: His reputation has suffered since being exposed in a New York Times article on April 20, 2008 as a Pentagon propagandist who was willing to be used by the Bush administration to sell the invasion of Iraq in exchange for access.

Rove still refuses to testify under oath in the Don Siegelman case. He has offered to talk to the members of the House Judiciary Committee "privately and off the record," but that option doesn't establish a clear record as such a meeting would lack a transcript. Rove's refusal to appear before Congress in this matter, which cost a man his freedom for political reasons, is the latest assertion of executive overreach to undercut the congress and establish the presidency as a unitary, all-powerful office.

It doesn't get any better than this...you know how the republicans rolled out their rebranding effort yesterday, with the catchy theme "The Change You Deserve," and you thought that sounded strangely familiar? It's because it is the advertising tagline of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals anti-depressant Effexor. How staggeringly appropriate, given the depressing landscape the republicans face this fall.

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