more news from the WTF desk…

now playing: crosby, stills and nash, “helplessly hoping”

OK.

we can get over janet’s nipple ring now, folks.

If you want to be pissed at CBS, be pissed at them for this:

(excerpted from an email alert sent by moveon.org)

We didn’t think the hypocrisy at CBS headquarters could get any worse. But it just did.

As you know, CBS refused to run MoveOn Voter Fund’s “Child’s Pay” ad — perhaps the most tasteful and uncontroversial advocacy ad in history — during the Super Bowl. CBS executives claimed they had a blanket policy against all so-called “issue” ads.

Yesterday, we learned that the network plans to broadcast an ad promoting the Bush Medicare prescription drug law. This is part of a $13 million taxpayer-financed TV campaign to take the heat off the White House for pushing through a drug plan that benefits drug companies and insurance companies more than Medicare recipients.

The White House ad features the tagline “Same Medicare. More Benefits.” But a report by Consumers Union last month said that most people covered by Medicare will wind up spending more for prescription drugs, as a result of the provisions in the law which favor drug companies. According to the Washington Post, the campaign is intended “to counteract Democratic criticism that changes to the (Medicare) program will harm older Americans.”

If that isn’t a controversial issue ad, we don’t know what is.

There’s another issue involved here that needs to be taken very seriously: if Bush’s Medicare ad is intended to function as a campaign ad (and that clearly appears to be the case) then this may constitute a criminal election law violation. In fact, the ad company which made the ad which will air on CBS also works for the Bush/Cheney re-election committee. We’ve put in a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Health and Human Services to begin the process of establishing the facts in this case.

(end excerpt)

now, i should also point out that in light of all this, moveon.org submitted their own medicare ad which takes a more honest look at the legislation, but – oddly enough – haven’t heard from CBS with regard to whether they’ll run it or not.

nothin’ like a healthy helping of hypocrisy for breakfast…Dubya and company are spending our taxpayer dollars, and widening the deficit as a result, in order to brainwash you and i into thinking that their medicare bill was something other than a gift to the glaxo/wellcomes and the smithklines of america.

i linked to this once before, but (with apologies to moby), reprinted for your perusal: an accounting of how the medicare legislation was shoved up our asses in the first place, by someone who was there:

HOUSE REPUBLICANS BEND THE RULES, PRESS FOR VOTES DURING WEE HOURS TO ESCAPE THE LIGHT OF ACCOUNTABILITY

Ohio Congressman Sherrod Brown

Never before has the House of Representatives operated in such secrecy:

At 2:54 a.m. on a Friday in March, the House cut veterans benefits by three votes.

At 2:39 a.m. on a Friday in April, the House slashed education and health care by five votes.

At 1:56 a.m. on a Friday in May, the House passed the Leave No Millionaire Behind tax-cut bill by a handful of votes.

At 2:33 a.m. on a Friday in June, the House passed the Medicare privatization and prescription drug bill by one vote.

At 12:57 a.m. on a Friday in July, the House eviscerated Head Start by one vote.

And then, after returning from summer recess, at 12:12 a.m. on a Friday in October, the House voted $87 billion for Iraq.

Always in the middle of the night. Always after the press had passed their deadlines. Always after the American people had turned off the news and gone to bed.

What did the public see? At best, Americans read a small story with a brief explanation of the bill and the vote count in Saturday’s papers.

But what did the public miss? They didn’t see the House votes, which normally take no more than 20 minutes, dragging on for as long as an hour as members of the Republican leadership trolled for enough votes to cobble together a majority.

They didn’t see GOP leaders stalking the floor for whoever was not in line.
They didn’t see Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Tom DeLay coerce enough Republican members into switching their votes to produce the desired result.

In other words, they didn’t see the subversion of democracy.

And late last month, they did it again. The most sweeping changes to Medicare in its 38-year history were forced through the House at 5:55 on a Saturday morning.

The debate started at midnight. The roll call began at 3:00 a.m. Most of us voted within the typical 20 minutes. Normally, the speaker would have gaveled the vote closed. But not this time; the Republican-driven bill was losing.

By 4 a.m., the bill had been defeated 216-218, with only one member, Democrat David Wu, not voting. Still, the speaker refused to gavel the vote closed.

Then the assault began.

Hastert, DeLay, Republican Whip Roy Blount, Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin – all searched the floor for stray Republicans to bully.

I watched them surround Cincinnati’s Steve Chabot, trying first a carrot, then a stick; but he remained defiant. Next, they aimed at retiring Michigan congressman Nick Smith, whose son is running to succeed him.
They promised support if he changed his vote to yes and threatened his son’s future if he refused. He stood his ground.

Many of the two dozen Republicans who voted against the bill had fled the floor. One Republican hid in the Democratic cloakroom.

By 4:30, the browbeating had moved into the Republican cloakroom, out of sight of C-SPAN cameras and the insomniac public.
Republican leaders woke President George W. Bush, and a White House aide passed a cell phone from one recalcitrant member to another in the cloakroom.

At 5:55, two hours and 55 minutes after the roll call had begun – twice as long as any previous vote in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives – two obscure western Republicans emerged from the cloakroom.
They walked, ashen and cowed, down the aisle to the front of the chamber, scrawled their names and district numbers on green cards to change their votes and surrendered the cards to the clerk.

The speaker gaveled the vote closed;
Medicare privatization had passed.

You can do a lot in the middle of the night, under the cover of darkness.

—————————————————

I often wonder what it would take to piss off the average, Joe Six-Pack, Reality Show-watching, SUV-drivin’ citizen enough to want to get involved in their government and be a part of fixing shit like this.

Fact is, I still do.

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