ODE TO OBAMACARE
A $200 million federal public relations campaign to trumpet health care reform? Alas. A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the Department of Health and Human Services by Judicial Watch reveals that the agency conducted a “massive taxpayer-funded multimedia campaign designed to promote the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and other HHS policy initiatives.” The documents show the agency requested up to $200 million for its multimedia, multicultural outreach with such high-profile agencies as the Ogilvy Group. See the details here: www.judicialwatch.org.
“These records prove the administration is using taxpayer dollars to manipulate public opinion. It also appears the Obama administration is trying to get a leg up in the re-election campaign by targeting key Obama constituencies with positive and misleading messages about the presidents ‘signature’ policy initiative,” says Tom Fitton, president of the watchdog group.
IN A WORD
Ridiculous, disgusting, frustrating, messy, disappointing, stupid, bull [expletive], poor, terrible, childish, fair, horrible, idiotic, stinks, chaotic, confusing, pathetic, political, slow, sucks.
In order, the top 20 words voluntarily cited by Americans to describe budget negotiations to avert a government shutdown, from a Pew Research Center for the People & the Press/Washington Post survey of 1,004 adults conducted April 7 to 10. Only 3 percent of the respondents gave a positive response to the cliffhanger talks.
It’s happy time in George Allen country: Mr. Allen reveals he raised more than $1.5 million in less than 10 weeks for his U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia - receiving support from fans in every single county of the Old Dominion. His war chest now has $1.25 million cash-on-hand, and it’s left him “encouraged and humbled,” the former governor says.
“Its clear the people of Virginia are tired of being ignored by Washington,” he adds. “Our race will be hard fought and very likely determine control of the U.S. Senate and the direction of our country.”
“In my view, the Huffington Posts bloggers have essentially been turned into modern-day slaves on Arianna Huffingtons plantation. We are going to make Arianna Huffington a pariah in the progressive community. No one will blog for her. Shell never be invited to speak. We will picket her home. Were going to make it clear that, until you do justice here, your life is going to be a living hell.”
(Blogger Jonathan Tasini, on announcing he filed a $105 million class action lawsuit against AOL and Ms. Huffington for their failure to pay many of the 9,000 contributors to the site.)
THE ROYAL TREATMENT
The entire planet is bracing for endless, mawkish press coverage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding; perhaps the couple really prefers a modest little ceremony in some wee kirk, with tea and cakes afterward. Or not. The greater question is whether Americans actually care that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were not invited to the behemoth affair on April 30.
Yes, it could be seen as an intentional slight, a melancholy symbol of eroded alliances. Or not. Maybe the bride and groom just don’t want the added burden of a presidential entourage. Or not.