By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

  1. Welcome to the 12ozProphet Forum...
    You are currently logged out and viewing our forum as a guest which only allows limited access to our discussions, photos and other forum features. If you are a 12ozProphet Member please login to get the full experience.

    If you are not a 12ozProphet Member, please take a moment to register to gain full access to our website and all of its features. As a 12ozProphet Member you will be able to post comments, start discussions, communicate privately with other members and access members-only content. Registration is fast, simple and free, so join today and be a part of the largest and longest running Graffiti, Art, Style & Culture forum online.

    Please note, if you are a 12ozProphet Member and are locked out of your account, you can recover your account using the 'lost password' link in the login form. If you no longer have access to the email you registered with, please email us at [email protected] and we'll help you recover your account. Welcome to the 12ozProphet Forum (and don't forget to follow @12ozprophet in Instagram)!


Discussion in 'News' started by KING BLING, Feb 2, 2005.


    KING BLING Guest

    I finally decided we need a thread for this topic, or at least a place for me to record the continuing revelations that are coming out every week...


    Bush administration violated two federal laws through part of its publicity campaign to promote changes in Medicare intended to help older Americans afford prescription drugs, the investigative arm of Congress said yesterday.

    The General Accounting Office concluded that the Department of Health and Human Services illegally spent federal money on what amounted to covert propaganda by producing videos about the Medicare changes that were made to look like news reports. Portions of the videos, which have been aired by 40 television stations around the country, do not make it clear that the announcers were paid by HHS and were not real reporters.

    The finding adds fuel to partisan criticism of the new law, which creates drug coverage and a larger role for private health companies in Medicare, in the biggest expansion yet of the program that provides health insurance to 40 million elderly and disabled people.

    For months, Democrats have been assailing the substance of the law, saying it provides too little help to Medicare patients and too much money to pharmaceutical and managed-care companies. And now that it is beginning to take effect, Democratic lawmakers complain about the way the administration is promoting it. They have also accused President Bush's aides of concealing the true cost of the legislation while it was being debated last year.

    In this instance, however, the GAO's legal opinion was not prompted by Democratic complaints. GAO officials said yesterday that they had decided on their own to examine the legality of the videos, after receiving the tapes this spring from HHS as part of a separate review of advertisements the administration had produced about the Medicare law.

    The 16-page legal opinion says that HHS's "video news releases" violated a statute that forbids the use of federal money for propaganda, as well as the Antideficiency Act, which covers the unauthorized use of federal funds.

    The finding does not carry legal force, because the GAO acts as an adviser to Congress. House and Senate Democrats immediately vowed to try to extract a refund of the $44,000 that the administration had spent for the three videos, two in English and one in Spanish. And they made it clear they would use the finding to try to further discredit the law, which surveys suggest is opposed by most voters.

    Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said he is preparing a bill that would require Bush's presidential campaign to reimburse the money.

    Administration officials contended they had not erred with the videos, and they predicted that the GAO findings will have no effect on their efforts to implement the Medicare changes -- or on public sentiment. "That's an opinion of the GAO. We don't agree," said Bill Pierce, an HHS spokesman. Pierce said video news releases "are everywhere" in corporate public relations and in the public affairs work of federal agencies.

    Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry (Mass.) called the videos "another example of how this White House has misrepresented its Medicare plan."

    Two weeks ago, the Congressional Research Service concluded that the administration potentially violated the law in a related matter, in which the Medicare program's chief actuary has said he was threatened with firing a year ago if he shared with Congress cost estimates that the Medicare legislation would be a third more expensive than the $400 billion Bush said it would cost.

    The House ethics panel, meanwhile, is investigating whether Republican leaders attempted to bribe or coerce a GOP House member to vote for the bill before it passed by a few votes before dawn after the longest roll call in House history.

    The GAO objected to one part of the videos that were sent to TV stations this year. Each of the videos consists of three sections: video clips, information about the Medicare law and a segment called a "story package," which appears to be a news report. It is that last part that the GAO found illegal.

    The English-language version of the story package concludes with a woman saying, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting." The Spanish version has the same ending but shows a man who identifies himself as Alberto Garcia.

    Pierce said the videos are not misleading because television stations know they had been produced by the government and because the stations are free to combine parts of the government-produced material with original reporting.

    But the GAO decision said the story packages ran afoul of the law forbidding federal spending on covert propaganda because "in each news report, the content was attributed to an individual purporting to be a reporter but actually hired by an HHS subcontractor."

    KING BLING Guest

    Posted previously:



    And a new twist, give legitimate press passes to the equivalent of Kabar with mod powers...


    White House-friendly reporter under scrutiny

    By Charlie Savage and Alan Wirzbicki / Boston Globe

    WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration has provided White House media credentials to a man who has virtually no journalistic background, asks softball questions to the president and his spokesman in the midst of contentious news conferences, and routinely reprints long passages verbatim from official press releases as original news articles on his website.

    Jeff Gannon calls himself the White House correspondent for TalonNews.com, a website that says it is "committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news coverage to our readers." It is operated by a Texas-based Republican Party delegate and political activist who also runs GOPUSA.com, a website that touts itself as "bringing the conservative message to America."

    Called on last week by President Bush at a press conference, Gannon attacked Democratic Senate leaders and called them "divorced from reality." During the presidential campaign, when called on by Press Secretary Scott McClellan, Gannon linked Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, to Jane Fonda and questioned why anyone would dispute Bush's National Guard service.

    Now, the question of how Gannon gets into White House press conferences is coming under intense scrutiny from critics who contend that Gannon is not a journalist but rather a White House tool to soften media coverage of Bush. The issue was raised by a media watchdog group and picked up by Internet bloggers, who linked Gannon's presence in White House briefings to recent controversies over whether the administration manipulates the flow of information to the public.

    These include the disclosure that the Education Department secretly paid columnist Armstrong Williams to promote its education policy and the administration's practice of sending out video press releases about its policies that purport to be "news stories" by fake journalists.

    McClellan said Gannon has not been issued -- nor requested -- a regular "hard pass" to the White House, and instead has come in for the past two years on daily passes. Daily passes, he said, may be issued to anyone who writes for an organization that publishes regularly and who is cleared to enter the building.

    He said other reporters and political commentators from lesser-known newsletters and from across the political spectrum also attend briefings, though he could not recall any Internet bloggers. McClellan said it is not the White House's role to decide who is and who is not a real journalist and dismissed any notion of conspiracy.

    Nonetheless, transcripts of White House briefings indicate that McClellan often calls on Gannon and that the press secretary -- and the president -- have found relief in a question from Gannon after critical lines of questioning from mainstream news organizations.

    When Bush called on Gannon near the end of his nationally televised Jan. 26 news conference, he had just been questioned about Williams and the Education Department funds, an embarrassment to the administration. Gannon's question was different.

    "Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the US economy," Gannon said. "[Minority Leader] Harry Reid was talking about soup lines, and Hillary Clinton was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet, in the same breath, they say that Social Security is rock solid and there's no crisis there. How are you going to work -- you said you're going to reach out to these people -- how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?"

    As it turned out, Reid had never talked about soup lines. That was a phrase attributed to him in satire by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show.

    Last year, during the presidential campaign, Gannon's comments could be even more pointed. In a Feb. 10, 2004, briefing with McClellan, for example, Gannon rose to deliver the following:

    "Since there have been so many questions about what the president was doing over 30 years ago, what is it that he did after his honorable discharge from the National Guard? Did he make speeches alongside Jane Fonda, denouncing America's racist war in Vietnam? Did he testify before Congress that American troops committed war crimes in Vietnam? And did he throw somebody else's medals at the White House to protest a war America was still fighting?"

    David Brock, the former investigative journalist who made his name revealing aspects of former President Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs, said he was watching last week's press conference on television and the "soup lines" question sparked his interest because it "struck me as so extremely biased." Brock asked his media watchdog group, Media Matters for America, to look into Talon News.

    It quickly discovered two things, he said. First, both Talon and the political organization GOP USA were run by a Texas Republican activist and party delegate named Bobby Eberle. Second, many of the reports Gannon filed for Talon News "appeared to be lifted verbatim from various White House and Republican political committee documents."

    Eberle did not return phone calls yesterday, and Gannon declined to comment. He did reply to Brock's group on his personal blog: "In many cases I have liberally used the verbiage provided on key aspects of the issue because it is the precise expression of where the White House stands -- free of any 'spin.' It's the ultimate in journalistic honesty -- unvarnished and unfiltered. If only others would be as forthcoming."
  3. fermentor666

    fermentor666 Veteran Member

    Joined: Sep 27, 2003 Messages: 8,152 Likes Received: 15
    I don't have time to read this now because I have to play video games, but here's a little Propaghandi to get the juices flowing.


    Three choices. one bullet. one trigger. guess who gets to pull it.
    One leader. a thousand slaves.
    For every throne there’s a thousand graves.
    You’re all the same. just part of their machine.
    Perpetuate their dream.
    They subsidize your nightclubs and they subsidize your malls.
    They herd and brand the masses within painted prison walls.
    ’til your freedom of assembly becomes the missiles they create.
    Or just mass delusion dancing to this music that you fucking hate.
    But I’m not the same. I’m not part of your fucking machine.
    I’ll jeopardize their dream.
    I’d rather be imprisoned in a george orwell-ian world
    Than your pacified society of happy boys and girls.
    I’d rather know my enemies and let you know the same.
    Whose windows to smash and whose tires to slash
    And where to point the fucking blame.
    One future. two choices. oppose them or let them destroy us.

    KING BLING Guest


    Feb. 9, 2005 -- Marian Kester Coombs is a woman who believes America has become a "den of iniquity" thanks to "its efforts to accommodate minorities."
    White men should "run, not walk" to wed "racially conscious" white women and avoid being out-bred by non-whites. Latinos are "rising to take this country away from those who made it," the "Euroamericans." Muslims are "human hyenas" who "smell blood" and are "closing in" on their "weakened prey," meaning "the white race." Blacks, Coombs sneers, are "saintly victims who can do no wrong." Black solidarity and non-white immigration are imposing "racial revolution and decomposition" in America.

    M O R E
  5. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    And the shit gets thick
  6. PaperbackWriter

    PaperbackWriter Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 13, 2001 Messages: 1,618 Likes Received: 0
    and "Jeff Gannon" is a pseudonym! Yet he still got those daily passes....lobbing the softballs at Scotty at the press conferences, direct quotes from G.O.P. documents...

    This guy has definitely been somewhat of a 'flavor of the month' in the smoking gun-type progressive sites

    His credentials are questionable at best, having a journalistic background that is hardly comprehensive as far as educational experience.

    Reppin TalonNews for fuck's sakes! that shit is miniscule...
  7. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5
    "This would be the same "Jeff Gannon" who was subpoenaed in connection with the Plame investigation because he somehow obtained a copy of a purported State Dept. document which said that Ms. Plame had a hand in arranging the assignment to Niger for her husband (an allegation -- and document -- denied by the CIA). "


    KING BLING Guest

    An old article:
    Is Killing Part of Pentagon Press Policy?

    A newer one:

    Selling the Social Security Scare
    A "fix" that won’t solve a "crisis" that doesn’t exist

    Extra! January/February 2005

    By Seth Ackerman

    George W. Bush has announced that Social Security privatization will be one of the top priorities in his second term. Luckily for him, much of the media have already bought into the key premise on which his policy is based: the erroneous notion that Social Security is about to go bust.

    Scaring the public about the solvency of Social Security has been a major goal of Wall Street financial services companies and their conservative think-tank allies, both of whom favor privatizing the system. A few years ago, William Shipman, a privatization advocate at State Street Global Advisors—one of the leading Wall Street companies that stand to benefit from the policy—described the difficult process of changing public opinion on Social Security (The Nation, 2/8/99):

    First we had the question of whether or not the system is in serious trouble. That took a while. Then it was, should Social Security rely on the markets? That took a while, but there was an extraordinary shift about two years ago, and now everyone is talking about investing in the markets for Social Security.

    Despite the dot-com crash of 2000, which should have made people more wary of entrusting Social Security to the stock market, recent coverage shows that Shipman had good reason to celebrate his success. Journalist after journalist has accepted the spurious idea that Social Security faces a crisis:

    • A recent New York Times article (11/28/04) claimed that the program is "about to come under intense financial strain from the aging of the Baby Boom generation and the increase in life expectancies."

    • USA Today (11/24/04), in explaining Bush’s rationale for privatization, referred unquestioningly to "Social Security's impending insolvency."

    • The Washington Post (11/5/04) asserted that the program's financial situation "will force future tax rates up alarmingly unless preparations are made now."

    • "No one would deny that Social Security is headed for a major crisis," declared NPR's Scott Simon (Weekend Edition, 12/4/04). "The crash in a sense has already begun because thanks to the Baby Boom, there are fewer Americans paying into the system."

    All of these claims are simply wrong. The Social Security Administration predicts the program will be able to fully pay all promised benefits through 2042, when most Baby Boomers will be dead—even using pessimistic assumptions about future economic growth. Annual productivity growth is forecast by SSA at only 1.6 percent through 2078; in the years 1913–1990 (including the Great Depression), it grew by about 2.3 percent, a rate that would more than wipe out any future shortfall (2004 Social Security Trustees' Report; The World Economy, OECD, 2001).

    Even if the economy grows as slowly as these pessimistic predictions suggest, Social Security will still be able to pay higher inflation-adjusted benefits after 2042 than at present, since future retirees are scheduled to receive much higher benefits than those of current recipients. And retaining full promised benefits—again, under pessimistic assumptions—would require a payroll-tax increase, decades from now, of less than 2 percentage points—a smaller increase than similar ones enacted in the 1950s, '60s and '80s ("Basic Facts on Social Security," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 11/04).

    Even if Social Security did face a "crisis" that threatened to reduce benefits, Bush's plan doesn't represent a "fix" for that problem. While Bush pointedly promises no cuts only for retirees or near-retirees, his plan will result in a 30 percent cut in guaranteed benefits for today's 25-year-old workers—and private accounts would likely make up less than half the loss, according to calculations by the Center for Economic and Policy Research ("Basic Facts on Social Security," 11/04).

    Yet journalists have repeatedly asserted that Bush's plan is intended to fix the projected benefit shortfall—even though it doesn't even claim to do that—and credited Bush with political bravery for proposing this non-solution to a non-problem. "Social Security has enough money now," said CNN's Kathleen Hays (11/4/04), "but if nothing changes, the government will start cutting benefits by 2042. That's why President Bush is charging ahead to touch what has long been known as the third rail of politics."

    Likewise, Time’s Daniel Kadlec wrote (11/22/04): "In a bold admission, Bush warned that 'there are going to be costs.' No other president or candidate for the office has been willing to say it so plainly and then tackle the issue head on—even though Social Security's looming insolvency has been apparent for decades."

    Conservatives have been pushing for Social Security privatization ever since the program was created. In 1964, Barry Goldwater proposed "that Social Security be made voluntary"—even though no one perceived a "crisis" in the system then (Perlstein, Before the Storm). Today, Bush has settled on a political strategy of claiming there is a Social Security "crisis" for which there is no evidence, and that his plan is the solution—even though it would endanger rather than secure workers' financial futures.
  9. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2

    KING BLING Guest


    The California Legislature's attorneys doubt the Schwarzenegger administration had the authority to put out a series of videos shaped as television news stories to promote its policies on worker meal breaks, teacher pay and nurse staffing levels.

    KING BLING Guest

    Once again my friends...and what's really amazing is I don't read many lefty articles online. The majority of this is from CNN.


    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Government Accountability Office plans to investigate payments from the Bush administration to syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher, a GAO spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

    Bush does not "support" this practice, ahem...

    The group also released a investigative report prepared by Democratic committee staff that found the Bush administration spent more than $88 million on contracts with public relations agencies in 2004, a 128 percent increase from 2000.

    "While not all public relations spending is illegal or inappropriate, this rapid rise in public relations contracts at a time of growing budget deficits raises questions about the priorities of the administration," the report said.

    The report found that more than 40 percent of public relations contracts issued in 2004 -- worth $37 million -- were awarded "without full and open competition," compared with less than 20 percent of such contracts during the last year of the Clinton administration.

    The report found that over the past four years a single agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, spent more than $94 million on contracts with public relations agencies.

    KING BLING Guest


    Jeb Bush Pays Reporter $100,000

    At the same time one of Florida's most visible television reporters brought the news to viewers around the state, he earned hundreds of thousands of dollars on the side from the government agencies he covered.
    Mike Vasilinda, a 30-year veteran of the Tallahassee press corps, does public relations work and provides film editing services to more than a dozen state agencies.

    His Tallahassee company, Mike Vasilinda Productions Inc., has earned more than $100,000 over the past four years through contracts with Gov. Jeb Bush's office, the Secretary of State, the Department of Education and other government entities that are routinely part of Vasilinda's stories.


    Meanwhile, the freelance reporter's stories continued to air on CNN and most Florida NBC stations, including WFLA-Channel 8 in Tampa.


    KING BLING Guest

    I was at a bar and Fox news was on last night, but muted. Some author of some "the Millionaires brian" book was being interviewed. On the screen it had:

    A Millionair thinks "I create my life"

    A poor person thinks "My life happened to me"


    "Poor people resent rich people"

    "Rich people look up to rich people"

    ...I was laughing and looking around, no one seemed to notice. Poor people apparently aren't responcible and are selfishly jealous of those who are...

    KING BLING Guest


    NY Times distorted weight of "conservatives' anger" in Schiavo case

    by linking the Schiavo case with future judicial nomination fights, Stohlberg set up the case as a conflict between conservatives -- angry at a federal judiciary run amok and prepared to push for like-minded judicial nominees -- and liberals defending a liberal judiciary. But these purportedly angry conservatives are angry with a conservative federal judiciary
  15. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2