...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
      ( 3:21 PM )
Shocked...Shocked That Bush Lied...

This is one of those too-much-to-blog-about days. There's just so much crap coming out of the White House that it's hard to stem the tide of revulsion that propels me once again to post today (that, and the fact that my boss is out so I have some extra time on my hands!).

The Guardian reports today that the administration is committing fraud on the American public with its new Medicare ads. Shocker, I know.

TV news reports in America that showed President
George Bush getting a standing ovation from potential
voters have been exposed as fake, it has emerged.

The US government admitted it paid actors to pose as
journalists in video news releases sent to TV stations
intending to convey support for new laws about
health benefits.

Investigators are examining the film segments, in
which actors pretending to be journalists praise the
benefits of the new law passed last year by President
Bush, to see if they could be construed as propaganda.

Propaganda from the Bush administration? No! It can't be! It has to be the nasty Brits who made this up for their no-good rag, right? Nope, even the NY Times is a little interested in the story, but adds another twist:

An Orwellian taint is emerging in the Bush administration's
big victory last year in wringing the Medicare prescription
drug subsidy from a balky Congress. The plan is being
sold to the public through propagandistic ads disguised
as TV news reports, and it turns out the government's
top Medicare actuary was muzzled by superiors during
the debate about the program's price tag.

Richard Foster, one of the government's foremost
Medicare experts, says he was ordered not to provide
requested information to Congress last fall when
doubts were being raised about the drug benefit's cost.
The administration denies this, but a ranking former
official has confirmed Mr. Foster's story.

While I think saying there is an "Orwellian taint" on this administration is somewhat like saying "oranges are orange" (come on, NY Times, you just figured out the Orwellian thing?), the Times is actually bringing to light another of the administration's lies and manipulations - so we can be grateful for the larger context of the story and forget that the NY Times is so far behind on honest reporting about this administration that Orwell himself may have actually reincarnated due to so much spinning in his grave the last 3 years.

Will people pay attention to yet another one of Bush's evil acts of cowardice in governing? One guesses not. But there's always hope. The Times, at least, seems to think the story has legs.

This sleight of hand only deepens doubts about White
House credibility on a complex issue. The public deserves
straightforward information about the changes in
Medicare, and federal agencies should not be engaging
in political spin. This is no way to run a democracy
nourished by information and taxpayers' money.

Here's my impression of the NY Times editorial board waking up after 3 years of Rip Van Winkel - like napping on the job:

"Hey! The President lied and cheated us into an unfair and costly medicare bill that won't even do what he said it would do! ... Wait a minute, he lied about the war too! ..... D'oh!" (slap on forehead).

Welcome to the real (frightening) world, guys.

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