Politics

Pill Pushers Avoid Advertising Restrictions

Congress has jettisoned proposed amendments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) legislation that would have expanded the agency's powers over drug industry direct-to-consumer advertising campaigns promoting prescription drugs.

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Framing the War on Terror

The Gallup polling organization marked the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by publishing a thoughtful analysis challenging the assumption that "religious fanaticism fuels extremism and therefore replacing Muslims' worldview with Western liberalism is the path to victory against terrorism. ... As a starting point, Muslims do not hold a monopoly on extremist views.

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Bush's Surgeon General of Industry-Friendly Spin

dandelion"White House officials viewed former surgeon general Richard H. Carmona as a public relations tool, pushing him to make political appearances and promote the Bush administration's agenda while he was in office, according to a series of executive branch e-mails released yesterday by Sen.

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The Pro-War Lobby's Latest Addition is Freedom's Watch

The business of pro-war propaganda is booming as "Freedom's Watch" joins Vets for Freedom, Move America Forward and other pro-war advocates for a stepped up war in Iraq in line with the Bush/Cheney Global War on Terror.

Ari Fleischer, former White House PR flack who jumped ship into the private sector shortly after the 2003 US invasion, is the public face and a founding board member of Freedom's Watch, which is being rolled out this week with emotional advertisements featuring wounded veterans imploring Americans to keep the money flowing for the occupation.

One such advertisement is up on YouTube. Once again the war in Iraq is being falsely linked to and justified by the terror attacks of 9/11, one of the Bush Administration's Big Lies that was was used to mislead America into war. In the Freedom's Watch advertisment on YouTube a war vet with prosthetic legs beseeches:

Iraq: The "Gift" That Keeps On Bleeding

Shortly after the November 2006 election the Democracy Alliance, an exclusive group of about 100 Democratic Party millionaire activists, met in Miami, Florida. Members and their guests heard their keynote speaker and liberal legend Mario Cuomo analyze the Democratic Party in the wake of its stunning electoral victories that had given Democrats control of the US Congress. Cuomo criticized the Democratic Party for lacking vision, big ideas and a winning political argument. His recipe for future Democratic victories was simple: "You seize the biggest idea you can, the biggest idea you can understand. And this is what moves elections."

Cuomo then dared to voice an inconvenient truth: "Now it's 2006 and we're all rejoicing. Why? Because of Iraq. A GIFT. A gift to the Democrats. A lot of whom voted for the war anyway." The former New York governor challenged his partisan audience, "If Iraq is not an issue, then what issues do we have to talk about? … Where does that leave you? It leaves you in the same position you were in in 2004 – without an issue. Because you have no big idea."

The Untold Story of How & Why Philip Morris is Pushing for FDA Regulation

Congrats Philip MorrisIt may seem incongruous to the average person why Philip Morris (PM) would back legislation to restrict its business, yet that is what PM seems to be is doing by supporting S. 625, the "Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act," the bill that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products. After all, PM has a corporate mandate to increase profits for its shareholders, so PM would not support this legislation if it wasn't going to benefit its bottom line, and it is practically an axiom in public health that whatever benefits PM's bottom line is going to be bad for public health. That's what makes this bill especially troubling to people who study tobacco industry documents; it is clear that PM had a hand in crafting it. That alone sounds like a lot, but PM's efforts to enact it are clearly delivering the company a hefty side-benefit of causing dissent within the tobacco control community over its passage.

American Legion and VFW Launch Pro-War Lobby & PR Campaigns

The Boston Globe reports "the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation's oldest and most influential veterans' organizations, have broken their relative silence on the merits of the Iraq war, joining some of the staunchest war supporters to lobby Congress and the public...

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