U.S. Government

Don't Scrutinize the Pentagon

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is pushing a series of sweeping proposals that would weaken congressional oversight of the Pentagon. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Pentagon officials also are drafting proposals to ban strikes by contract workers, eliminate federal personnel rules protecting civilian workers at the Pentagon and bypass environmentalists in Congress. Some proposals are more provocative. They include allowing the Pentagon to send its initiatives directly to Capitol Hill before other agencies could review them.


Bush Zips Whistleblowers' Lips

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy in warning that the Bush Administration's proposed new cabinet-level Homeland Security Department threatens long-standing American freedoms while eliminating legal safeguards necessary to keep the agency open and accountable to the public.


Ad Council, Born in War Propaganda, Flacks For Freedom

The target="_blank">Ad Council, a non-profit advertising company funded by corporations, is launching an advertising "campaign for freedom" in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US. The New York Times notes that the Ad Council was launched in 1942 to propagandize for the US war effort. A Stay Free magazine interview with professor Inger Stole notes that the Ad Council bragged then it would


War Propaganda as a Video Game

"Hollywood is churning out one war flic after another," notes Bill Berkovitz. "VH-1 recently premiered 'Military Diaries,' a first person POV series on life in the military; Country-Western stars are popularizing 'kick ass' patriotic songs; Iran/Contragate figure, Oliver North, is hosting 'War Stories' on the Fox News Channel. Welcome to America's escalating militarization -- designed by the Bush administration, in cahoots with defense contractors, and aided and abetted by America's culture mavens." Now the U.S.


Hitting the Trifecta

Shortly after George W. Bush was selected president, the Onion joked that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is over." Now Bush is making the same joke himself and using it as an excuse for breaking his campaign pledge to avoid defecit spending. "You know, when I was running for president, in Chicago, somebody said, would you ever have deficit spending?" Bush says. "I said, only if we were at war, or only if we had a recession, or only if we had a national emergency.


CDC Promotes Physically Active Kids

The Centers for Disease Control launch a $125 million advertising and PR campaign to encourage children to be more physically active. In an apparent effort to counter the dramatic increase in childhood obesity, the CDC begins airing paid advertising on TV and radio aimed at 9-to-13-year-olds. According to Ad Age, CDC decided to focus specifically on increasing physical activity and to not address another factor that contributes to childhood obesity, diet. The Publicis Group's Saatchi & Saatchi created the 15-second spot.



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