Kerry Measure To End Wartime Propaganda Becomes Law

During the Iraq war the Bush administration has utilized propaganda campaigns to support the war which were made to appear like objective news. John Kerry introduced legislation to prohibit this and the bill was signed into law today. From a press release from Kerry’s office:

Sen. John Kerry today announced that President Bush signed into law Kerry’s legislation to prohibit the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) from funding propaganda. The measure was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2009.

“With confidence in Washington at an all-time low, the American people should not have to wonder whether the ‘non-partisan, expert’ analysis they see on television might have been shaped by a government propaganda campaign,” said Sen. Kerry. “It’s essential to make sure the public’s money isn’t used for propaganda campaigns that undermine the public trust.”

In April, Sen. Kerry called for an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) into the DOD’s covert efforts to cultivate military analysts with distinguished service records to produce favorable press coverage of the Bush Administration’s wartime policies in Iraq and elsewhere.

Gossip Girl Ad for Obama–Help Parents Resist Peer Pressure to Vote for McCain


Recently I posted a video by Sarah Silverman which encourages people to schlepp to Florida to get their grandparents to vote for Obama. The cast of Gossip Girl has made a commercial for MoveOn which has kids make sure their parents are voting for Obama. The ad is a take off on antidrug public service announcements that target teens and their risky behavior. In this case the ad warns about preventing risky behavior by parents–voting for John McCain. More at The Trail and at The Partnership for a McCain-Free White House. The latter site includes ten warning signs that your parents might be at risk of voting for John McCain:

  1. Prefacing every sentence with “Lemme give you a little straight talk.”
  2. Arguing that it’s crucially important for a president to be erratic and unstable.
  3. Referring to the past 8 years of American history as “The Golden Age.”
  4. Saying things like, “Sarah Palin is a reasonable choice as VP.”
  5. Having trouble making eye contact.
  6. Wandering and pacing aimlessly.
  7. Disparaging Spain for no apparent reason.
  8. Delusionally believing all people they meet are “[their] friends”—even though most people are kinda creeped out by them.
  9. Being unable to accurately count the number of homes they own, cars they drive, or years the United States should remain in Iraq.
  10. Putting a McCain-Palin yard sign in the front lawn.

Should parents show any of these warning signs, there is a guide to having the talk with parents.

The Ironic Associations of John McCain

One disappointing aspect of this year’s campaign is that, rather than campaigning on the actual issues, John McCain has decided to run a dishonest Rove-style campaign. His campaign is primarily based upon smears rather than issues, and when he does discuss issues he frequently distorts Obama’s views to engage in straw man attacks. McCain’s smears against Obama are based upon misinformation, often concentrating on attacks not on Obama himself but on people he has had any type of association with, regardless of how trivial.

The irony to this line of attack is not only that John McCain has had far more meaningful associations with extremists (here and here), but that McCain has had associations with some of the same people he has attacked Obama for having associated with. Yesterday Marc Ambinder wrote of an association between McCain and Acorn. Today Andrew Sullivan finds an interesting connection between McCain and William Ayers:

Republican machers Walter and Leonora Annenberg gave the former terrorist $50 million. They also gave money to Rick Santorum, Strom Thurmond and Mitt Romney. Annenberg was Nixon’s ambassador to Britain. If Obama is “palling around with terrorists,” the Republican Annenbergs are funding them.

Yesterday, the McCain campaign put out a press release boasting that Leonore Annenberg had just endorsed him for president. Why is McCain happy to accept the endorsement of a funder of terrorism?

Obama is directly referring to the Ayers connection in a new radio ad:

“Bill Ayers is a professor of education who once served with Obama on a school reform board, a board funded by conservative Republicans tied to McCain,” says the ad’s narrator. “When Ayers committed crimes in the ’60s, Obama was 8 years old. Obama condemned those despicable acts. Ayers has had no role in Obama’s campaign, and will have no role in his administration.”

“And John McCain? With no plan to fix our economy, smears are all he has left,” says the narrator.

Life on Mars Pilot Episode

  • In SciFi Weekend I mentioned the premiere of Life on Mars. If anyone missed it, the first episode of the series is posted above.