from the ministry of information

Over the course of the past few weeks, we learned that the Bush administration has made it a practice to pay columnists for their enthusiastic support of the neo-conservative agenda. As this practice was impossible to defend, Bush said that he’d see to it that it was stopped. In spite of his promise, Senators Kennedy and Lautenberg, however, have proposed what they’re calling the Stop Government Propaganda Act. I haven’t read it yet, but I’d think, at least judging from the name, that it would be hard fight for the Democrats to lose. (And, even if they don’t get the votes of some Republicans, they get the opportunity to run against people in ’06 who voted FOR propaganda.)

While we’re on the subject of the administration using suspect methods to sell us on legislation that we wouldn’t otherwise support, it’s worth noting that this president has spent more of our tax money on PR firms than any other administration in history. Here’s a clip from a recent USA Today story:

The Bush administration has more than doubled its spending on outside contracts with public relations firms during the past four years, according to an analysis of federal procurement data by congressional Democrats.

The administration spent at least $88 million in fiscal 2004 on contracts with major public relations firms, the analysis found, compared with $37 million in 2001, Bush’s first year in office. In all, the administration spent $250 million on public relations contracts during its first term, compared with $128 million spent for President Clinton between 1997 and 2000.

How much do you want to bet that there will be an ad during the Super Bowl about why we desperately need to dismantle Social Security before it kills us? (I’m picturing a giant Social Security monster stomping on the elderly like Godzilla.)

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