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T-Boone Pickens and the Truth about All that Drilling

T. Boone PickensThe home page of T. Boone Pickens' "Pickens Plan" is emblematic of the oil industry's aggressive push to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale basin. The page greets visitors with the blaring headline, "WE MUST BREAK AMERICA'S ADDICTION TO FOREIGN OIL. The Pickens Plan will do it, but we need your help."

In the age of the perpetual War on terrorism, politicians, pundits and other U.S. demagogues have successfully used fear as a bargaining chip. Fear-mongering is a method of Orwellian thought control. In this example, Pickens equates foreign oil with evil, similar to the Bush Administration's Orewellian logic regarding American's position in the world: "You're either with us, or you're with the enemy." Bush put forth a false paradigm of absolute good versus absolute evil. The Bush Administration used fear as a political tool after 9/11 to march the country into war, and convince citizens that we need to permit domestic spying to keep us safe domestically. (Think Patriot Act). Fear also led to the heinous crimes committed at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib Detention Centers.

The Newest Hasbara Group in Town: the Emergency Committee for Israel

There's a new player in the game that is pro-Israel lobby hasbara in the United States: The Emergency Committee for Israel, which is running an ad attacking House Representative Joe Sestak for his positions on Israel.

The Committee has arisen just in time for the 2010 mid-term elections campaign season, and right in the middle of what have been, albeit weak and mostly a public relations stunt, a push for peace talks, mediated by the Obama Administration, between the Benjamin Netanyahu-lead Likud coalition of the Israeli government, and the Palestinians. Even the facade of Obama pushing for negotiations for a two-state solution and holding both sides of the conflict accountable, though, is too much for this new committee, which explains why it has arisen from the dust.

"Toning Shoes" or Phony Shoes?

Reebok Shape-upsThose roly-poly sneakers you are seeing everywhere -- with rounded soles like a rocking chair -- are marketed by manufacturers like Skechers, Reebok, Avia and New Balance with claims that they promote healthy weight loss, improve posture, fight cellulite, reduce knee joint stress and improve the shape of wearers' thighs and buttocks.

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Sex and the City 2: More Hype, Less Appeal

Sex and the City 2 Thong UnderwearCritics are saying that the new movie Sex and the City 2 may have jumped the shark, if not with it's plot, then with its endless commercial tie-ins, gratuitous product placement and the amount of sheer hype tied to the show.

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Corn Ethanol Industry Trying to Butter Up Congress, Public

corn ethanolJust as Congress is set to begin debating ethanol-related subsidies, Growth Energy, a lobbying group for the ethanol industry, is starting a $2.5 million, 6-month national television ad campaign aimed at defending ethanol, and portraying it a way to break the country's addiction to foreign oil.

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DNC Co-Opting Conservatives' "Hands off My Health Care" Slogan

handsoffThe Democratic National Committee is launching a radio ad campaign co-opting the conservatives' slogan "Hands off My Health Care!" The ads warn voters that the consumer protections conferred upon them in the newly-passed health care reform bill will be stripped away if they vote Republicans into office.

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Gaga for Product Placement

Lady Gaga with Miracle WhipLady Gaga is raising eyebrows with her latest racy music video, Telephone, but this time it's not because of the overt sexuality, the wacky costumes or even the fact that her co-star is Beyonce'. What's grabbing attention is the video's flagrant product placement.

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