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I haven't seen many people online talking about a new GAO report that Rep. Henry Waxman, Rep. George Miller, Rep. Elijah Cummings and I released yesterday, so I wanted to draw your attention to it. I'll say it again, $1.6 billion. You can do a lot of good with that kind of money -- support the rebuilding of our Gulf Coast, invest in medical research, increase scholarship and student loan programs, even pay down the deficit.

But the Bush Administration has other priorities.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) has discovered that the Bush Administration has spent more than $1.6 billion in tax payer dollars on PR and advertising in a two and a half year span. Instead of using that money to improve our schools, pay for books or classroom supplies or teachers' salaries, the Bush Administration used it for propaganda to promote No Child Left Behind. Instead of using it to support families suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, that money was used to advertise "marriage-related research initiatives." Instead of buying equipment for the nation's first responders, it was used to promote "the Army's strategic perspective in the Global War on Terrorism." And instead of lowering prescription drug costs, that money paid for a FDA contract to warn the public of the consequences and potential danger of importing prescription drugs from other nations.

And the GAO's report just scratches the surface. The GAO surveyed only seven of the 15 cabinet-level departments, relied on self-reported information from the agencies, and did not include subcontracts, task orders on existing contracts, or public relations work done by government employees.

The truth is, no amount of money will successfully sell the Bush Administration's failed policies, from the war in Iraq, to its disastrous energy policy, to its confusing Medicare prescription drug bill. But $1.6 billion dollars?

Originally posted to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:08 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This should be illegal (3.94)
    But not much is going to change until we take back the House and/or Senate. Thanks, and keep plugging!
    •  Faith in the democratic party is shrinking (1.37)
      I am speaking about Paul Hackett being forced out of the Senate race by democrats.  I have been a lifelong supporter of the democrats, but feel they are no longer responsive to us.
      •  Please, could we not make this (3.84)
        diary about Paul Hackett? There are so many other diaries on it.

        Visit my blog Penndit. Media, politics, campaigns, and political communications.

        by Newsie8200 on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:21:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  THANK you! (4.00)
          I understand why Hackett supporters are upset, I liked him myself, but please, we are not Republicans and we can think about more than one thing at once. This is an important update about a scandal I hadn't actually heard of before, and I appreciate Rep. Pelosi and her staff taking the time to let us know about it.

          I really doubt Rep. Pelosi has any special insight into a Senate primary in Ohio, so let's just talk about that mess in one of the at-least-three threads specifically about it, OK?

      •  Such a lifelong supporter (4.00)
        And your first comment here is that?

        Color me skeptical ...

        PubliusTV: A Collaborative Media Network

        by BriVT on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:30:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  no, I am a lifelong supporter (2.87)
          the Dems voting against the Alito filibuster really angered me also. I was a Jackson delegate in 84 in Texas. So doubt what you want, I want Chairman Pelosi to know there are democrats out here who are not happy with the midstream democrats.
          •  Fine (4.00)
            And Pelosi would have something to do with Hackett, how?

            Look, if your first contribution to a community is a negative sling against "democrats," you should expect skepticism. It's known that GOP folks come on these boards, pretend to be Democrats, and sow dissent and division. So ... I'll assume you're telling the truth and just offer that in the spirit of friendly advice.

            PubliusTV: A Collaborative Media Network

            by BriVT on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:47:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry but (none)
              I understand your sentiments but I too am a life long Ohio Dem, have been very active and the Hackett affair really bothers me.  Waxman by all accounts played a role in it.    

              We'll get over it but understand what happend today is pretty bad.

              -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

              by calebfaux on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:30:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  not my point (4.00)
                I take no particular position on L'Affaire Hackett. As a Dean supporter from way back, I can certainly understand the anger. However ... well, I'm not going to even get into the whole thing. My point was to call out one particular person who inserted a divisive post in an unrelated diary as his/her very first comment. That's not a very, um, reassuring introduction ...

                PubliusTV: A Collaborative Media Network

                by BriVT on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:57:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Cult of personality? (4.00)
            This outrage over the Hackett withdrawal seems excessive to me.
            •  Gary Hart on Hackett and the Democratic Party: (4.00)
              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

              Based on news reports alone and knowing nothing (thank goodness) about behind-the-scenes politics, the pressure brought on Paul Hackett, the bold Iraqi veteran, to abandon his campaign for the U.S. Senate from Ohio is deplorable.

              This is simply old politics at its worst. There is a party which hand-picks its candidates, decides who can and cannot run, directs money to the favorite candidate, and dictate terms. Up till now, that party has been the Republican party.

              Now, it seems, my Democratic party is once again imitating the Republican party in a desperate effort to regain power. With the McGovern democratic reforms in the early 1970s, political bosses were diminished and grassroots voters were elevated. The theme was, Let the people decide.

              Telling Paul Hackett that he cannot run for the Senate, and purportedly calling contributers to dry up his funds, is the worse kind of old politics. It will drive voters away from the supposedly "open" party, the Democrats, and further add to public cynicism about how politics in America is played in the early 21st century.

              Shame on us.

              I don't think this is completely off topic ... look at the big picture - how can the Democratics become an effective, inspiring opposition party if they continually mimic Republicans and remain "Republican-lite"?  Sure, the Republicans are miscreants: this PR bill is just the latest outrage.  But if the Democrats operate similarly, what real choice do voters have?  

              May all beings be free from fear.

              by shakti on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:02:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Dems are shameful! (2.50)
              I hope the outrage about Hackett just gets stronger. It is shameful for the Democrats to push out someone like Hackett by telling his donors to stop donating to his campaign. I have called on moveon.org and Air America to start a campaign for Hackett, asking members to make pledges to Hackett's campaign if we will jump back in the race. We liberals need to let all progressive candidates know that they don't need the DNC or the DLC to get money or get elected.
              •  Shameful? DLC? Huh? (none)
                Sherod Brown is one of the most progressive members of the House -- and he is certainly not the DLC candidate for OH-Sen.  I suggested "cult of personality" here because the evaluation of Hackett does not appear to reflect his positions or ideology.
                •  I don't think it's apporpriate for dems like.. (none)
                  Waxman to ask Hacketts' donors to stop donating to his campaign. Brown is a good candidate and the Dems should have left it up to the voters to vote for Hackett or Brown. The fact that the Dems made an effort to puch a fellow Dem out of a race is why people are upset.
              •  This is not another Hackett diary! (4.00)
                Please stick to the topic.

                Rep. Pelosi, I read about this a few days ago, but sadly, I admit, my attention was swayed by other matters mainly l'affaire Cheney and Noe's indictment. This is very important nontheless and I thank you for bringing to light once more.

                The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.--Winston Churchill

                by Sunqueen212 on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 08:39:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Pardon me (none)
              but maybe that's why Dems in Mass don't understand why the Dems keep losing.  Hackett is a major loss and its not a personality cult thing - its that Hackett somehow knew the way to touch the nerves of a broad cross section - one we'll have to win if the Dems are ever going to be more that sideline players as they are now.

              -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

              by calebfaux on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:49:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I wouldn't know Hackett (none)
              If I tripped over him on the way to the polls, but I think Schumer's behavior was outrageous.  If I'm not actually outraged, it's just because it's exactly the kind of behavior I've come to expect from the Democratic Party.
            •  Ya, you hit it on the head (none)
              I like Paul Hackett, I really do. But it's his force of personality that a lot of us are equating  with progressive values, apparently without a lot of qualifications - attacking Sherrod Brown and other progressives.

              I'm not saying Hackett does not share in many of these values, but quite frankly, I have seen his 'mission statement' and I'm not all that sure he is where I am on a lot of issues  I consider important to me - he is an unknown on a lot of issues.  

              The reason Paul stands out is partially his service record, but more importantly, his strong, strident and uncompromising tone. I like that. But that's personality; when it comes time to vote on the Floor of the Senate {or House} it means little.

              Tone may help get you elected, but it can backfire easily.

              "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

              by shpilk on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 08:23:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I feel that there are always issues (none)
            which go against some mainstream sentiments, as well as special ones for each of us.

            Which is no reason to abandon the only party capable of being influenced to make more of the changes we need.  At least, not right now.

            This diary is an example of a focus most of us can get behind, and the Hackett issue is really one beyond what good we can do, and more about personalities, candidate strategies and just general infighting that ALWAYS occurs in political parties, I'm afraid.

            Critique is great, but I am less supportive of generalized defeatism.  Costructive work and insight is most praise-worthy, IMHO.  Especially at a time when the Republican force is so overwhelmingly institutionalized against our usual mixture of the Democratic party - and, even people of the world, overall.

      •  rating explained. (3.43)
        I gave you a 0 because I feel you were off topic and trying to stir up controversy (trolling). You claim the party does not represent us, but this diary is proof of how the House Leader IS representing us. I agreed with everything she said and implied.
        •  your zero is inappropriate (2.75)
          Many Kossacks, as well as veteran good guys like Gary Hart, were distressed about the way Hackett was treated.  Yes, it was an off-topic comment, so a low rating might have been appropriate.  But a zero?  Those should be reserved for more egregious offenses.
          •  Community Standards (4.00)
            For what it's worth, some of us REALLY dislike having every single thread about dozens of different, valuable topics all be immediately hijacked to be about the same Senate race. It sounds like Schumer and the DSCC guys may have acted badly; but it doesn't have ANYTHING to do with this diary and there are several other currently active threads specifically about the Hackett affair.

            It's like the people who go around posting diatribes about Diebold in completely irrelevant places. It's really making it harder to glean relevant information from this site than it used to be. I'm glad somebody is going around giving aggressively off-topic cross-posted messages 0's.

          •  Note first "O" comes from Kos ... (none)
            After adding my "0" to try to knock it down (still not enough), I decided to see who was in the mix for ratings.  Noted that Kos gave this a "0".  Interesting for many reasons, but that is a pretty strong statement to me about what is or isn't ratings abuse ...

            9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

            by besieged by bush on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:53:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You are Guilty of Ratings Abuse (none)
          But I won't give you a zero for it.

          Try using ones for seriously unproductive comments.

          This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

          by Mr X on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 04:00:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i don't think so (none)
            b/c it's an attempt to hide this thread - which IS off-topic.

            i'm not sure how low you have to be to be hidden.  anyone know?

            i also think that the upthread comment is relevant.  this is the person first post & being from Texas i notice Texans & it's a devicive post on a very important topic.

            are we going to get distracted?  the OH race is worthy of a discussion.  so let's discuss this in another diary that relates to that.

            the Repubs (smartly) have been inflaming the progressive blogs today & will continue to do so till it we stop biting.  it's a good strategy.  so let's be aware of it.  

            the post is suspicious but whatever its legitimacy, it's completely off-topic.

            that's all.  they 0's aren't personal.  only to hide the thread.  perhaps another way should be coded?

            •  Jesus H. Christ.. (none)
              this is hilarious.  I kept scrolling down expecting to find some comments about the topic, but alas no.  One person posts about Hackett and then the whole thing goes to shit.  A million posts about how it's not appropriate to post about "off topic" topics, while meanwhile slipping in a couple cents about what they think of Hackett..."I totally don't agree with what happened to Hackett and I think.. blah blah blah.. but this is off topic."  "No it's not off topic and Hackett... blah blah blah."  I rated so and so a 0 because.. blah blah blah".  That's not right to rate so and so...blah blah blah."  Meanwhile this very interesting diary is buried.  All this meta arguing about the above is like when someone is talking your ear off about how annoying it is when someone doesn't know when to stop talking.  I'll be the first.  Can we shut up and talk about this.  I truly appreciate that Nancy (staff probably I guess) posted this and that it didn't sound like a press release, which most "congressional" posts here are.  The thing is I don't know what to do or say.  Every day brings such outrageous news, that I almost think part of the strategy is to have SO much outrageous shit happening at once we can't possibly focus through our tears.  God we need Congress back so that we can hold hearings on crap like this.  

              Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

              by MatthewBrown on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 08:40:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  As per comment above ... (none)
            maybe of interest to you that Kos gave the post a zero ...

            9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

            by besieged by bush on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:54:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Inappropriate (4.00)
        The Congresswoman informed us of a GAO report that is important to the public. All you want to do is play your own political agenda which is starting to sound like a broken record. You don't seem to give a damn about what happened to 1.6 billion dollars. I don't know about you, but that is a helluva lot of money. Mr. Hackett is a young, accomplished man who will land on his feet, go on with his life, and probably be lucky to have the opportunity to leave politics behind. I am sure his family is not taking the news as badly as you seem to be. If you wish to sound off to the Congresswoman about that issue, the proper forum would have been to write her a letter instead of grandstanding on a blog.
    •  It won't change even (3.50)
      if "we" take back the House or Senate.  It is time to face the facts.  Of the $1.6 billion spent, at least $1.0 billion of it was spent by the Pentagon.  Be afraid...be very very afraid.  

      It is time to face facts, every single honest to goodness American has now left every single American Government Agency.  They have retired, they have resigned, and they are being replaced with dittoheads.

      We might now have a chitload of former executive officials willing to speak and to write books, but who is left running all of the agencies?  Under what administration?

      If the Dems take the House, or the Senate, or the Presidency, or all three, what are we receiving?  

      The Democratic Party in my own county forced a popular grassroots candidate to drop out, because a more favored candidate was running in District 22.  In District 16, the national Congressional Democratic Committee actually recruited a Republican to run as a Democrat.

      We are screwed, and people better start taking a closer look at their local candidates...and their local Party efforts...

      •  "Every single honest to goodness American (none)
        has now left every single government agency?"  

        Whoa, that is a broad stroke, and pretty offensive to the hard working professionals at places like CDC, NIH, NSF, NASA, EPA, and so on who work for the public good making less money than they would make in the private sector.  The people you have a problem with are the Bushco political appointees.  Under them there are 1.5 million well intentioned government employees and contractors who are mostly honest to goodness Americans.

        It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the intelligent half of the country virulently against him.

        by fizziks on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 08:03:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I sincerely... (none)
          hope even a few honest to goodness employees remain after the Bush administration has destroyed what we always felt was so assured...  I have no such confidence.  My reading has offered that long timers under every single Federal agency is retiring or resigning.  I have no doubt that well intentioned employees remain (contractors are not esteemed), but it will make little difference...this unless we suddenly experience whistleblower deluxe...
  •  Welcome have a important question (4.00)
    I am so glad you are blogging with us now why have no ethics charges been filed by the Democrats in the Ethic commision? Isn't it hypocritical for Democrats to keep claiming corruption but no Democrat is willing to file an ethics charge.
    •  The reasoning (none)
      is that the legal system is working.  The House ethics committee isn't even up and running yet, and the Republicans could get away with their crap more easily should it go to the House ethics committee (which had kind of been neutered by DeLay & Co). In the House, it'd be a lot of whining about partisan poltiics.  The legal system is viewed by the public as more nonpartisan, and it's done a decent job so far.  

      Visit my blog Penndit. Media, politics, campaigns, and political communications.

      by Newsie8200 on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:19:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a procedure for filing ethics complaints. (none)
        The last official one that I know of was by Chris Bell who was redistricted out by Delay.

        This "truce" is a bad deal it screams collusion.
        Sorry but if there are Democrats thats are caught in it then thats too bad. If its abused then file charges against the congress person abusing it. You have too many bad things that are being swept under the rug. We need a way to shine the light on them.

        Mrs Pelosi care to wade in?

      •  I don't understand you post! (none)
        Sorry, but from what you're saying here, if the Dems filed an Ethics Complaint on, say, the Dukester, then the Repubs could prevent any LEGAL proceedings?  That doesn't make sense to me.

        I thought that the Ethics complaints were simply a way to put into the Congressional Record that someone has been acting inappropriately.

        Besides that, I don't see how filing a complaint in our governing body could supercede any legal investigation or prosecution of wrong-doing.

        Think of all that's going on...and then imagine that it were the DEMOCRATS who were committing such atrocities...you mean to tell me that the republicans would just sit back and "let the legal process happen" only?  

        I call bullshit!

        The desks of every person on the Ethics Committee would be piled with stacks of complaints...daily!

        Not filing complaints on ANYTHING only paints the Dems, once again, as weak and spineless.

        I find this question to be very valid, and equally important.

        I would even take this a step further and ask Ms. Pelosi this:  WHY are the Dems even still trying to do any business with so many crooks, theives, and liars?  Again, if it were the Dems, I believe with all of my being that the repubs would have gridlocked the system (ala Clinton's Presidency) years ago and prevented anything further from moving forward.

        Too many things are gone amok now.  You have this 1.6 billion, which is indeed an important revelation and must be explored.  But, what about the NINE BILLION that went missing in Iraq?  And that was a couple of years ago!!  Face it, these neoKKKons are LOOTING our very own TREASURY!  It is THEY who are enriching themselves and their tiny little circle of cronies.  And the Dems are just letting it happen.

        Dems need to stop the madness.  Stop moving forward.  Stop the machine from destroying any more.  PLEASE!

    •  I am bit confused by this (4.00)
      As the ethics commission is currently on hiatus, due to a GOP power play. They haven't held meetings. Therefore, no new ethics disputes CAN be filed.

      But beyond that, it is traditional for members not to accuse each other and to let outside independent groups do most of the accusing.

      In fact:

      Pelosi recently wrote to Hastert urging an ethics investigation into Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), Bob Ney (R-Ohio), Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) and John Doolittle (R-Calif.) over their dealings with Abramoff. All four men have been mentioned in media reports relating to the ongoing Justice Department probe into Abramoff, although only Ney appears to be in any immediate danger of legal action by the department.

      "If Kaine...can win by 6 points, then it's safe to say this is no longer a red state. Virginia is now a purple state" - Chuck Todd

      by VirginiaBelle on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:21:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another important question: Historical context??? (none)
      Before we hoist ourselves on the ethics petard, what has been the PR budget for prior adminstrations? How does this compare for these departments or cabinets?

      Let me be clear. I think spending one dollar to promote this administration's programs is appalling, particularly since it MUST be regarded as propaganda since they jave a pathological aversion to telling the truth.

      But what kind of money is at the disposal of the executive branch?? How does it get into a budget?? And how do we educate people that it is just plain waste and abuse????

      •  Not only that, but (none)
        How many prior administrations had an "Armstrong Williams"?  Or a "Maggie Gallagher"?  Or a JEFF GANNON????

        There is a pattern of behavior here.  

        Oh, and let's not forget the media whore herself, "Judas" Miller.

        I would LOVE to see some historical context....in a wierd way, tho, I think it would become more like HYSTERICAL Context!!!  (heh)

  •  ksjhgskjhsdkj!!! (4.00)
    That's the result of my jaw hitting the keyboard in shock.

    $1.6 BILLION ON ADVERTISING?!!?

    Let me guess - the advertising companies in question are big donors to the Republican Party?

    Please make that your next investigation, because as we all know, the Canadians government FELL when news came out that the government was spending bulk bucks of taxpayers money on advertising by companies that were donating bulk bucks to the party.

    $1.6 billion. I don't think I could spend that much money on advertising in my lifetime. There has GOT to be corruption in that figure.

    •  You don't think you could spend that? (4.00)
      Obviously you haven't bought a lot of advertising.  I haven't either, by the way, but trust me, that shit is expensive.  Even so, however, we shouldn't forget that this administration has a habit of spending more than necessary:

      "Well, the cost of the project was 200 million, but we spent 900 million."

      "Oh . . . so where's the extra 700 million?"

      "You obviously support the terrorists."

      "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

      by matthewc on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:21:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. (none)
        I don't recall seeing any advertising for the programs Leader Pelosi mentions. Is this advertising bill bloated with more payoffs to rightwing pundits like Armstrong Williams?

        If the GAO files a detailed report, I'd love to see it posted on the internet.

        I hope Ms. Pelosi continues to post outrages such as this that the MSM ignores. Whoops...I almost forgot, that would be a full time job and she has other fish to fry.

        •  Click on her first link for the GAO report (3.83)
          DOD is by far and away the largest user of public relations/advertising. Each contract is enumerated and explained, and the cost is given.

          What is not given is the names of the firms and individuals who received these contracts. Who are these "public relations firms"? The Rendon Group?  Republican funded and staffed creations made purely for the purposes of sucking on the Federal teat?

          Who is getting paid here?

          •  Respectful retort. (none)
            "The GAO surveyed only seven of the 15 cabinet-level departments, relied on self-reported information from the agencies, and did not include subcontracts, task orders on existing contracts, or public relations work done by government employees."

            Regretfully, I don't have time to read the report bit by bit. I'll read the whole thing when available. I like this stuff.

            •  The filthy lucre (none)
              "eight contracts totaling $100,000 for individual members of the media."

              WHO are they?

              PS I diaried the Advertising Age story on this earlier, but WHY is this Pelosi diary getting recommends and I get jack**. I am just a measly son of a bunch of broccoli, but my pop defeated 41 so look out! Goodbye cruel kos for promoting her over my brilliant fronds of wisdom. Go chew on that!

              "I do not like broccoli." - George H. W. Bush

              by Son of Broccoli on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 05:13:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The thing is that PR is actually cheap (4.00)
        and that company that was placing stories in Iraqi papers was getting grossly overpaid.  I started my career in PR and it is the cheapest option aside from having a guy stand on the side of the road wearing a sign.  

        $1.6 Billion in two years is extraordinary.

    •  Excellent Suggestion... (4.00)
      Please make that your next investigation

      Hope dearly that Pelosi's staff reads these comments.

      Follow that 1.6 mil closely...it's sure that some of it was diverted by/to cronies.

    •  Does that include Bamboozlepalooza (4.00)
      IIRC, George Bush was sent on a two-month field trip by President Cheney at the beginning of 2005, drumming up support for Social Security by his inept advocacy of the Republican plan to gut it.

      Was the no-doubt considerable cost of Air Force One and the Imperial entourage for this Potemkin tour included in the $1.6 billion?  That was nothing if not publicity.  Even if it was as inept and misspent as most Republican programs are, anyway.

      -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 04:28:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The companies receiving these funds (4.00)
      are most certainly connected to the GOP, and are almost exclusively GOP supporters - rest assured, the agencies being used are partisan.

      This is nothing more than a little part of a huge pyramid scheme; the other legs of the scheme are the defense industry and Wall Street.

      Our taxpayer money goes in, and these companies in turn feed the very beast that sends them the money. This is a MIL/IND complex that we were warned about, by none other than Dwight Eisenhower, some 45 years ago.

       

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 07:54:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the way it works (none)
        ....most of the $1.6 billion filters back into the Republican party coffers.  

        The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. Thomas Jefferson

        by Thea VA on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:51:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  DING DING DING DING....... (4.00)
      we have a winner!!  Every body that is a big donor to the GOP gets contracts and money from us, the beleagured taxpayer that is also supporting Big Business and the rich 1% of Americans.

      This shit has got to stop!  BushCo is bankrupting our country and US!!  We must change the balance of power in Washington this year!

      If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

      by Mz Kleen on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 09:03:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Looters, every one of them! (none)
        I suppose it's "criminal" for Katrina survivors to "loot" for food, diapers, medicines, and the like.  But, at the same time, bushCO and his neoKKKon crooks can LOOT our National Treasury freely and daily for 5 years now, right under our noses, without any concern for getting caught.

        Is that about right?  Or am I missing something?

        I have a headache...confused....dizzy....head won't stop spinning...!

        eww...now I feel sick.

        How can this be?

  •  Good question! (4.00)
    Very good question on use of taxpayer moneys.  And does the 1.6 Billion include the money Bush spent going around the country "catapulting the propaganda" on Social Security?

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:10:58 PM PST

    •  Taxpayer money is the key issue here.. (4.00)
      This GAO report only included "self-reported information from the agencies."  There should be an accounting for all taxpayer dollars used in this way.  This should be public information, and the Bush Administration needs to come clean with us about exactly who got PR $$$ and how much did they get.  Bush is running this country like it is his own company.  Heaven help us.
      •  yeah, and every company he ran (4.00)
        ran into the ground....  ggrrrrr.

        Thank you Congresswoman Pelosi.  I appreciate the information, and hope to find a way to insert it into local political races.  I don't know what else to do with it because the enormity of the corruption is sometimes a bit overwhelming...

        "Never separate the words you speak from the life you live" - Paul Wellstone

        by vome minnesota on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:51:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great idea...a step further even (none)
        I think it would be awesome for our government to send a statement/receipt of sorts reporting to us how much they received from us, where the money went, and what they're doing with it.

        It wouldn't be much different from the Social Security statements we all get each year.

        It would be full disclosure and we'll know just where our hard-earned money is going and how it's being managed/spent.

        What do you think?

        Oh, and of course, those who are concerned about wasting paper can opt to receive such a statement via email.  :-)

    •  Sorry Barbwires (none)
      Responded with the same thought above, before seeing yours.  Must... read... comments....

      -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 04:29:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about Propaganda? (4.00)
    Did Congress authorize the spending?

    Are our laws against propaganda applicable in this case.

    Can we keep the Congress from appointing a new V.P. so you can be President after we take back Congress this year?

    Roger owen, a regular man for Congress TX-01

    by Tomtech on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:11:37 PM PST

  •  Thanks, future Madame Speaker. (4.00)
    $1.6 billion buys a lot of smoke and mirrors, n'est pas?

    hink

  •  And the great thing is... (4.00)
    ...with all that money spent on PR, Prince Myshkin's approval ratings are still below 40%.  I can't help thinking this make George Bush the 21st century version of New Coke...

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:12:31 PM PST

  •  Thank you, House Democratic Leader Pelosi (4.00)
    for posting this. This sickening news perfectly illustrates the core values of this corrupt Administration. How can we get this story into the mainstream?
  •  Oppose, oppose, oppose! (4.00)
    The truth is, no amount of money will successfully sell the Bush Administration's failed policies, from the war in Iraq, to its disastrous energy policy, to its confusing Medicare prescription drug bill. But $1.6 billion dollars?

    Leader Pelosi, the problem is that Bush does successfully sell his failed policies, and they become law entirely because Democrats fail to oppose his every action with vigor and unity.

    Where's the media strategy letting ordinary Americans know that Bush slipped Social Security privitization into his latest budget?  Where's the campaign against corruption and Abramoff?  And where the fuck was the opposition on Alito?  Believe it or not, the blogosphere, the Progress Report and the issue groups can't carry this think alone, we need actual elected Democrats speaking proudly and with one voice against the President's failed policies.

    Bush spends so much taxpayer money on propaganda because it works, and if we want it to stop working, we need to start fighting back at every possible opportunity.

    Oh, and fuck Joe Lieberman.

    •  Exactly... (4.00)
      the passage I wanted to quote, and mostly my sentiments as well.

      This is a BIG DEAL, and I hope I see Pelosi and other Dems in the newspapers this week and on the Sunday talk shows presenting this very message posted by Pelosi here.

      A bit ironically,perhaps, IMHO this message-- especially this passage you quoted, captainebo-- is well worth spending some sizeable bucks on advertising leading up to November.

      Keep plugging away, Nancy.

      •  No chance of that (none)
        Pelosi's panicking because she doesn't want to see a Green candidate running against her in San Fran.

        Do something or get out of my face, Pelosi.

        10 to 1 we never hear of this again.

  •  1.6 billion (4.00)
    That's one hell of a catapult.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:14:48 PM PST

  •  Only $1.6 Billion? (4.00)
    I think the reason this isn't on the radar is that this administration pisses away three times that on a daily basis. The man just released a $2.7 trillion budget for FY 2007. When a corrupt government gets caught stealing $1.6 billion to boost its approval ratings, we might be thankful it wasn't much more.

    A cat is a camel designed by lobbyists for the hump industry

    by bobinson on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:15:42 PM PST

    •  Spot on (none)
      The republican answer to these issues is always, "that's a small percentage of the overall economy..."
      •  So, here's our ad: (none)
        Or an idea for one anyway...

        Highlight all of the BILLIONS wasted by this neoKKKon administration....one by one.

        Then, after each one is highlighted, have a different Republican, in his/her own voice saying "But it's just a small percentage of our overall economy."

        Over and over again.

        Then, we highlight all of the tragic situations we're in right now and how there's "Just no money to cover all of the cost".

        My goodness, this commercial would be able to tackle MULTIPLE issues!  I think it would really piss off Joe Beer-can too....or at least his wife, and that would be a start, I think.

  •  Thanks! (none)
    Thanks for the info Leader Pelosi!

    Don't be a stranger!

    "I got a letter from the Republican Party the other day. I wrote back, 'Go fuck yourself.'" - Bette Midler (Rolling Stone, 9/18/2005)

    by GregNYC on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:17:33 PM PST

  •  Happy Valentine's Day, Nancy! (4.00)
    If you were here I would give you the biggest hug!

    (((hug))).

    Don't let the bastards get you down.

  •  You can do even more good... (4.00)
    ...with the $7 billion "gift" in non-collected royalty payments  that Bush wants to give to the oil companies.

    or the $9 billion "missing" in Iraq reconstruction funds.

    Or the $100 billion that the Pentagon has wasted in the last year.

    "It's not selling out if you don't get paid, okay? We're not whores. When you do it for free, that's just slutty." -Wonkette -6.38/ -4.21

    by wonkydonkey on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:19:10 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Leader Pelosi, for posting (none)
    It is a true honor to blog with the Democratic Leader of the House (or even a staff member of the House's #1 Democrat).

    I, for one, have been watching you since 1998 (I was 18 at the time), and have always been impressed with the way you have conducted yourself.  Your website -- very user-friendly --was, IMO, one of the best in Congress.  I continue to be inspired by your leadership in Congress, and look forward to your becoming the first woman Speaker in the House next year!

    Today, the Court purports to be the dispassionate oracle of the law. - Justice Blackmun

    by jim bow on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:19:28 PM PST

  •  asdf (4.00)
    I think that the amount being spent is just so huge that people can't grasp it.  I mean the average person is glad to see $160 extra dollars in their pockets.  So I think instead of writing $1.6 Billion you should always write it like this:

    $1,600,000,000.00  

    -6.13, -4.46 * 2267 *

    by BDA in VA on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:20:04 PM PST

  •  How can the Fed. Government, specifically Congress (none)
    get a handle on this? With Omnibus appropriations bills being rammed through, Congress can't even effectively filter blatant pork-barrel spending. How will Congress ever audit the spending of Federal Agencies, office by office? Cut funding? Spend less time being wined and dined by donors and lobbyists, and more time reading bills and researching the efficiency of said Federal Agencies?
  •  Speaker Pelosi... (none)
    You can do a lot with 1.6 billion dollars if you want to do something constructive and good for our great nation.  Unfortunately, the fellow in charge of the executive branch doesn't seem to want to do that.  So.  We here at Daily Kos are doing what we can to cover your back and to get more Democrats elected nationwide.

    Next year, about this time, maybe you and your majority can start doing America's work again.  You'll have our support and our gratitude.

    You go!!

    -8.75;-5.28. But it don't mean nuttin if you don't put your money where your mouth is

    by ultrageek on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:21:40 PM PST

  •  Ms. Pelosi (4.00)
    Why can't you craft a campaign ad on this?

    Compare that $1.6 billion dollars to the money spent on other various beloved programs, like Pell Grants?

    We need to show the American public where their tax money is going!

  •  what about...???? (4.00)
    What about the $6B in oil and gas lease revenues on public lands that the admin is just going to not collect?  That's my land and, therefore, is my money.
  •  Image over Substance (none)
    Form over Function

    Why is anyone surprised?

  •  When Will It End? (none)
    Why not pay for solutions instead of paying for advertising and cover-ups?  It's easier to do it than twiddle your thumbs and try to make it look good later.  Bah.

    "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

    by bink on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:23:17 PM PST

    •  a major difference in the parties (none)
      Democrats work to put into place functioning agencies and programs, not a lot of expensive hot air PR.

      Hopefully, no executive will ever again appoint a campaign manager to the cabinet. No amount of PR or spin campaigns makes up for incompetent reckless government.

      I want my real president - Al Gore!

      by teresab on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:54:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Priorities (4.00)
    Here's Rawstory's take from yesterday:  

    The Administration's public relations and advertising contracts spanned a wide range of issues, including Administration priorities like "marriage-related research initiatives," message development presenting "the Army's strategic perspective in the Global War on Terrorism," and an FDA contract to warn the public of the consequences and potential danger of importing prescription drugs from other nations.

    The detailed list of contracts provided by the Air Force demonstrates the wide range of public relations and advertising contracting entered into by the federal government. This list included $179 million for a recruitment advertising campaign, more than $35,000 for promotional materials for a golf program, including "golf towel with embroidered design and golf tees with imprint," and $10, 212 for "prize giveaways, such as cruises to Mediterranean and to Canada/New England."

    Superstition and propaganda and cute little promo-gear?  What the hell is this?  The Stepford Creationists?  Who the hell does this?  
    .

    •  Hold on! (none)
      If that $1.6 billion includes advertising for military recruitment, that's a legitimate expenditure. We are short on troops. Obviously I'd love for the US to recruit for the defense instead of the offense, but we need players.
      •  But they also left out... (none)
        "the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for its youth anti-drug media campaign and the U.S. Postal Service...."
        according to Ad Age

        So let's consider that another big pile of cash promoting the "drug war". I don't remember voting for my tax dollars to be spent that way.

        And if they are only counting eight "individual members of the media" with contracts totaling $100K, that means they are leaving out a whole lotta well paid GOP shills whose names and faces are looking familiar

        Let's face it, this is an OBSCENE expenditure, and those "legitimate" DOD expenses are promoting an illegal war that has destroyed too many lives.

        "I do not like broccoli." - George H. W. Bush

        by Son of Broccoli on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 05:22:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah 1.6 Billion! (none)
    Truthiness is expensive. If you're going to do it "right", seems that's the only thing these geniuses can do right.

    Thanks for the diary, I read the article and skimmed the report. It just went by like an inconsequential little blip in the news. Yesterday was a "big" news day as the press was hysterical about the Cheney story.

  •  And are earmarks chicken feed?? (none)
    And the $7 billion to oil companies -- fine, when oil was $10 bucks a barrel, but now?? and on and on.  There's a reason Congress' approval ratings are lower than Bush's -- it's our money you folks are playing with like so much Monopoly money.  Very disheartening.

    Free Donuts + Beer Tax Repeal = Landslide Victory '08!

    by PhillyGal on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:25:31 PM PST

  •  From a constituent, (none)
    Keep up the fight.

    Visit RemoveRepublicans.com and follow every 2006 Senate race.

    by AnthonySF on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:25:37 PM PST

  •  Maybe even ... (none)
    ... give it back to the persons it cam from.
  •  Thom Hartmann is talking about this (none)
    today on his show.  It was the first thing on his show this morning.  You can podcast it.  He mentions that the GAO got information from only 7 out of the 15 cabinet departments.  So those 7 came up with 1.4 billion in advertising.  Imagine what the other 8 have spent?  Yes add to that the land grab and all our oil money being given away and you have the makings of a revolution.

    "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." Harry S. Truman

    by MontanaMaven on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:27:08 PM PST

  •  Important to attack this ... (4.00)
    ...$1.6 billion in misspending. But I'd love to see a few more hits on the $573 billion or so that the U.S. will be spending on military-related items this coming fiscal year. That figure means America will be spending more than the rest of the world's nations combined.
  •  S. 1932, the Budget Reconciliation Spending (none)
    How about taking it back to the floor?  Or are you going to leave it up  to Hastert to do the something.  

    here's your letter to Hastert:
    http://releases.usnewswire.com/...

    Not a whole lot in the way teeth in that one.

  •  Awful (4.00)
    Now may we kindly start screaming like banshees about the missing piles of cash in Iraq. I recognize some are, but why, oh why, is the Iraq cash billions heist not priority number one?

    Agreed, the huge PR budget is insupportable, and if Clinton's operation had showed those numbers, Gingrich would've popped a vein in his neck. Good luck getting traction on this issue, but I still contend that the average American has next to no idea that BILLIONS in cash went missing in Iraq, and nobody is doing a damn thing to try to account for that missing money.

  •  We agree, and.... (none)
    ...it's been making us just sick at heart.

    What are dems going to do about it?  

    What are you personally going to do about it?

    "Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status." --LJ Peter

    by Hells Bells on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:27:37 PM PST

  •  I saw the report (none)
    Here's the link.

    Waxman should get a medal.

    The so-called, "Global War On Terror" IS Terrorism!

    by november3rd on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:28:05 PM PST

  •  Follow the money. (4.00)
    I want to know more about this $1.6 billion in ads. Starting with:

    1. Who or what company or entity created the advertisements?

    2. What was the person, company, or entity that created the advertisements paid for their work (broken down individually)?

    3. What political contributions has that person, company, or entity made in the last election cycle?

    4. How much did it cost to air the advertisements, place them in magazines/newspapers, or otherwise distribute them?

    5. What political contributions were made by the TV stations, magazines/newspapers, or other distributors of these advertisements in the last election cycle?

    I'm sure everyone else here can go on. I smell another K Street Project.

    O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

    by RogueStage on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:29:29 PM PST

    •  I smell a diary. (none)
      Go for it!

      "I think that in modern America, we have far too many options for breakfast cereal and not enough options for president." - Barry Schwartz

      by AlanF on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:31:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not much to go on... (4.00)
        ...unfortunately. I just spent a few minutes looking through the report, and there are no names attached to the contracts--just things like "Navy Advertising" and "Marine Corps Advertising." I did Google the golf promotion and found an interview with Eddie Ainsworth, who is the manager of the golf course at the Air Force Academy.

        Yep, there's a golf course at the Air Force Academy.

        Anyway, that $50k in promotion resulted in an increase of 6000 rounds of golf played on their course a year, which according to him is an increase of $120k in revenue. Scroll down to find it - he basically says they made more money off of the golf promo than they spent.

        There's also a "Stars and Strikes" bowling promo which I thought was pretty hokey - until I Googled it and found the press release that said it raised over $1 million for a VA hospital.

        What I really want to know is, who are the people who got all of this money?

        I was only able to find the name of one ad agency - Mullen Advertising, based in Colorado. Their CEO gave $1000 to "Professionals in Advertising PAC" and I found an account exec that gave $500 to Bush/Cheney '04. The PAC really spreads it around - Tom Delay, Tom Daschle, ARMPAC, Hillary Clinton, lots and lots of lobbying.

        Other than that, Google is giving me a headache. Speaker Pelosi, help us out! What other agencies or individuals received those gigantic contracts from the DoD?

        Ed

        O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

        by RogueStage on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 04:55:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Doesn't the GAO release its own reports? (none)
    I see from the link that the Dems requested the report, and I can imagine that they would want to publicize it, but I'm a little puzzled as to why the responsibility for releasing it doesn't fall to the GAO itself.

    I can see why Pentagon reports might be written and then suppressed (for real or alleged reasons of national security), but is the GAO also dependent on Congress to determine which of its written reports are released?

    "I think that in modern America, we have far too many options for breakfast cereal and not enough options for president." - Barry Schwartz

    by AlanF on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:30:09 PM PST

  •  Uh...This isn't the time... (4.00)

    Nancy, at this point, you should be all shotgun, all the time.

    This GAO report is interesting, but, given recent events, this release is evidence of a certain tone-deafness.  

    You, of all the democrats, should be out there adding to today's political conflagration rather than urging everyone to look elsewhere.  

    This is a release for a slow news day.  

    •  Propaganda (none)
      is what helps these "recent events" go down so smooth and easy for the US public.

      However I wish this GAO report was more thorough in digging up the ugly details of this un-American propaganda machine.

      "I do not like broccoli." - George H. W. Bush

      by Son of Broccoli on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 05:27:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  snark>? (none)
      really .. the Cheney-rama will continue all by itself, there is simply no need of the Democrats to even get involved.

      Democrats should be reserved, professional and in the background.

      The press is all over Cheney like a dog on a downed quail .. let them at it.

      $1.6B+ is money out of your pocket, my pocket and Mr and Ms America's pocket. At the end of the day, that's what Mr and Ms America care about.

      Dick's mis-adventure has not impact on anyone's daily life - perfect for the press to go gaga over, just like they did over Gary Condit, Natalie Holloway and OJ Simpson. No need to get politicians lower themselves into the sewer on this one.

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 08:10:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ms. Pelosi (2.66)
    I know this is off topic and fellow bloggers will be angry for me talking about this but I feel it must be addressed. What is going on in the Democratic Party? We have Paul Hackett one of the best Democrats I have ever heard speak drop out due to party leadership forcing him out. Please help me here he was my favorite candidate for office in 2006. I supported him but to see him defeated by the Party establishment and others it makes me so angry. Just tell me how is it Mr. Emanuel or Mr. Schumer or perhaps your decision as to who is in or out or who will serve the Democratic party best? I'm tired of this Democratic Leaders need to get out of these races and get back to leading. We need to get out of this mode of the oh he has been in so long he should run crap and move on. Bill Clintion wasn't that well known and he turned out to be one of our greatest Presidents. Jimmy Carter was the unknown from GA who turned out to be the 39th president of the U.S I just ask you to please encourage fellow Dems. in the House and Senate to stay out of the primaries. Thank you and I'm sorry for bringing this up while it is off topic as I said before I think it needs attention.

    "Congressman Brown you win the Pick a Congressman to run for Senate Contest." -Charles Schumer (D-NY) (DSCC-Chair.) http://www.hackettforohio.com/

    by dieharddemocrat on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:34:33 PM PST

  •  Poor drugs companies (none)
    did not have enough money of their own for propaganda?
    [http://www.dailykos.com/...]

    It's the economy STUPID!

    by mattes on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:35:44 PM PST

  •  Your report (none)
    from 2005 on compartive spending of the Bush and Clinton admins helps too.

    You didn't do it.

    by Earl on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:37:05 PM PST

  •  Nice. (none)
    But incomplete.  Why not check into the the other 8 cabinet level agencies?  Why not look at the subcontracts?  It all just seems halfway done.

    Still a good point, though.

    •  May be time to call Fitz (none)
      My gosh, if anybody existed that I wanted to have cloned, it's Patrick Fitzgerald.

      There are too many scandals swirling around right now, and EACH ONE OF THEM need to be investigated!

      This looting of our national treasury by the very people elected into office just stinks.  It carries an odor so vile it makes you want to lurch.

      I even wonder if this type of action resembles treason.

      My, the neoKKKons have a mighty big "rug"...so much they can sweep under it!  

  •  Dear Nancy Pelosi (4.00)
    Welcome to Kos...you will find that there are so many things to be outraged about if you care to listen...how about
                Going to war on a bunch of lies
                Twisting intelligence before presenting it to Congress as FACT
                losing billions in cash in Iraq
                Diebolding election results
                Screwing up Medicare prescriptions so that the gov't can't even negotiate for better prices
                going from a 5 Trillion projected surplus to a 5 Trillion dollar projected deficit
               and on and on and on and on
                $1.6 Billion is pocket change but I guess it's a place to start
  •  Hi, Nancy (4.00)
    Delphine, here, from Los Angeles.  Not your District but still California. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

    Can you sense the frustration here at Kos?  

    In some ways your post sparks an ironic response on my part:  That we need someone to craft our message, to help us inform the electorate of this type of thing.

    Because the media sure isn't doing it.  In fact, shooting a hunting partner might seem like a negative for Dick, but in fact it has distracted the press corps and everyone else from the horrendous mess we're in.

    What about New Orleans still being a pile of oozing rubble and people being thrown out of hotels even though there's nowhere for them to go.  And 10,000 unused mobile homes in Arkansas?

    What about the admin responsible for the most heinous of punitive and destructive leaks going after whistleblowers (that are supposed to be protected).  

    What about . . . well, you know.  

    It's too bad the press corps aren't this rabid when it's something really crucial at stake.

    So I find myself wanting the dems to spend $1.6 billion on finding a way to inform the public of how bad this regime really is . . .

  •  What the hell are you people doing? (2.00)
    My wife likes your Tahitian pearls and I'm sure you're a nice lady but why this?  Everybody's talking about a VP shotgunning and you're on a GAO report? Pocket change compared to what these bastards steal every day. And then throwing Hackett out? Are you guys nuts? Call it venting, whatever. But maybe this IS a way you guys on the Hill can hear what the rabble think - and it ain't pretty. Sincerely,
    Still Looking To Be A Democrat Just Give Me A Reason

    What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? unknown

    by moon in the house of moe on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 02:39:27 PM PST

    •  Completely agree with this (none)
      Hey Nancy,

      Thanks for dropping by, but posting about a wasted $1.6 billion, when Bush literally wastes millions of dollars every single minute, is like complaining about one particular drop of water in the middle of a flood.

      You guys in DC need to figure out a game plan that involves more than whining about nits like this. How about starting with a Democratic version of the Contract with America . . . and getting Paul Hackett back in the race would help too.

  •  Jet Fuel, etc. (none)
    And how much do W. et al. spendflying around the country for staged sessions and photo ops?
  •  Remember "flicks and flacks"? (4.00)
    I'm old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan took office. At the time, the Republicans were determined to chop the federal government's public-relations expenses--what someone called "flicks and flacks." So much for the GOP's commitment to reform.
    •  that would be suicide for this bunch all they are (none)
      good at is marketing and public relations. How do you think they sell their BS to the American people.

      Bu$hCo. has a pre-1776 view of the world.

      by Jlukes on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:28:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting here. (none)
    This is certainly a big issue; unfortunately, there are so many big issues these days, big issues can get drowned out by other equally big or bigger issues.

    Some people were writing about this online though.  For example, see here:

    http://briopia.blogspot.com/...

    Hope you will stick around and keep posting!

  •  PR and advertising ??? (4.00)
    Call it what it really is - PROPAGANDA !

    You're doing a good job. Onwards to victory in November.

  •  So it's really $3.43 billion (none)
    after the GAO looks at the other 8 departments.
    at least, if not more.
    ...............geeeeeez!
  •  This so infuriates me, but what is it that we can (4.00)
    do to stop the Republicans' looting of the U.S. Treasury.

    The $1.6 billion for propaganda is bad enough. But add to that the $7 billion windfall in royalties to the oil companies -- that already are making record profits off the backs of citizens scraping together change to pay higher gas/home fuel costs. And the $300 million worth of Katrina trailers sitting empty and left to sink in mud.

    That's what we know about, which alone would be a good start toward insuring the health of many millions of the uninsured. Oh, but that's an entitlement and entitlements are bad, bad, bad.

    Really Rep. Pelosi what can we do about this? Nothing sticks to these thieves of cronyism. They're running this country into the ground and it makes me wonder what Democrat in their right mind would want to be the next president.

    •  authorization (none)
      Was this expenditure authorized by congress? Or were these funds 're-programmed' to avoid Congressional oversight. You are supposed to be holding the pursestrings, why the hell didn't you know until now that this money was being spent?

      That's a scandal that needs investigation and more strict oversight in the future.

      George W. Bush does not want you to read the above...

      by mbryan on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 04:01:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now can you please draft impeachment articles? (4.00)
    Didn't you hear the calls for impeachment yelled from the crowd as you waved from your convertible during the Chinese New Year's Parade?  Didn't you hear your constituents at the last SF town hall meeting?

    The president has unrepentently violated the FISA law, under the claim that he has plenary power during the war on terror.

    He doctored intelligence to lead us into a war with thousands of casualties that has no end in sight.  He lied to the American people about Iraq's nuclear plans.

    He and his VP leaked Plame's name and endangered our counter-terrorism efforts in Iran by removing her and exposing her operations.

    He was unconciounably incompetent and dishonest druing the Katrina disaster.

    He has authorized torture, secret prisons and all the things we supposedly went to war to prevent in Iraq.

    What does he have to do before you will stand up and say that he has violated the law, the constitution and his oath of office and must be impeached?  

    •  Yes that was me shouting "impeach" (4.00)
      You are my Congressperson, and for all the good things you do, they don't mean anything if the country goes to hell in a handbasket because we have a lawbreaking liar as commnader in chief.
  •  pay back (none)
    can we make the bush '04 campaign pay this back? This is an outrage.
  •  are we surprised? (none)
    No, I don't think so.  I'm just hoping the economy doesn't collapse like the world trade center from globalization when they attack Iran.

    Would a man of God sow the seeds of hate and then continue to cultivate his crop?

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:06:07 PM PST

  •  Nancy (4.00)
    Could you add to that the 8B we somehow gave away in Iraq which no one can account for?

    Hell, those amount to more than 9.6 billions. And yes, you can do alot more with that kind of money.

    -6.38, -5.54

    "Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable". (JFK)

    by duende on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:06:40 PM PST

  •  Nancy Pelosi (none)
    I saw you 2 weeks ago on TV.  You seem like a decent caring person while you tried to answer a desperate crowd.  There was that woman who would not shut up about bulldozed houses in New Orleans.
    Others were mad too and they will get madder still.  More people are coming to my conclusion that the Bush administration planned, carried out and then covered up 911.  Our government murdered to justify war.  This also makes the every event since 911 a treasonous act.
    I put America's death date at May 10,2005, the passage of the Real ID Act.  We could go back further though, right to Sept 11, 2001.
    FYI, there are more an more of us each day and I will not shut up, not until I go to the american gulags.
  •  What about Grants.gov? (none)
    The HHS set up an online grant submission mechanism, but it turned out that people with Mac computers couldn't access it. About a third of academics use Macs. So NIH withdrew. But who built the system? I bet you think it would be someone who really knows about stuff like this, like Oracle, or Sun, or Microsoft, or Adobe, or any one of a hundred expert Companies. Well, of course not, silly! It was taken on by a defence contractor - Northrop Grumman. Now, if I wanted a fighter plane built, I'd probably give them a call. But an online grant submission system? Is there nothing at all that is free from the grasping hands of the defence industry? And of course it got screwed up! Only the Bush administration would think otherwise, because it's really just about looting the Treasury - just like Nancy says.

    Walking. It's the new driving.

    by Batfish on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:25:25 PM PST

  •  Scandal of the day (4.00)
    Why can't you pick one scandal and stick with it for more than 1 24-hour news cycle? 1.6 billion is nothing compared to the 200 something billion we've spent on the illegal Iraq invasion. Stop focusing on the small things or the scandal of the day.

    This whole "look over there, no wait look over there, no wait this is what we're talking about today, no wait it changed" thing is probably one reason why none of the scandals seem to stick.

    This is similar to John Kerry's diary entry from a few weeks ago, harking back to losing Osama bin laden at Tora Bora. Yes that was a very bad thing Bush did letting him get away, but that is completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

    Bush has committed impeachable offenses and needs to be held accountable. Lets stop playing gotcha politics.

    •  Too many messes. Too many failures. (none)
      As the Dems try to get a "handle" on one mess in order to start cleaning it up, bushCO are out there creating more!

      I don't see how "we" are going to be able to do much of anything significant until the Democratic Leadership STOP the entire government from moving forward on anything.  Gridlock, baby!  That's what I'm talking about.

      I know I'm a broken record on this, but I think it's imperative.  You have to put a clamp on a hemmorage or you'll bleed to death.  These neoKKKons are looting our National Treasury which is an economic hemmorage!  Put a clamp on ALL OF IT and then you can step back, choose a scandal, and take care of business without having to keep "looking over there" all the time.

      Of course, this is just my opinion.

      •  Fully agree (none)
        When Snarlin Arlin refuses to swear in Abu Gonzales, every Democrat on the committee should have walked out. By not swearing him in, he invalidated the entire testimony.

        When George Bush told his first lie during the state of the union, every Democrat should have walked out.

        We should have filibustered Scalito, and when that failed every Democrat should have walked out.

        We should be doing everything we fucking can, enough of this "polite losing"!

  •  This is back door campaign financing (4.00)
    The administration is using taxpayer money for PAC initiatives. This is no different than the administration paying money directly to PACs. The agenda they are promoting is purely political and has nothing to do with our national interests.
  •  when are you going to say (4.00)
    ..the USA is broke?

    Because we are you know.

    Some of us have been watching BushCo loot the country since day one with his Grover plan of killing all of the goverment except defense.

    Hypocrisy in anything may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it....

    by Cal45 on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:28:19 PM PST

  •  Doing the math... (none)
    So, that's $40,000,000 for each percentage point of Bush's approval rating.

    I wouldn't take 40 million to even PRETEND I approve.

  •  Thank you (none)
    Congresswoman Pelosi. This is a tragedy and attention needs to be paid.

    Only, I don't see any tragedy in the words of your post. Or any outrage. Or any call to arms.

    I have supported Democrats since I was able to vote, and will continue to do so even if I find them to be lacking. But please, please, please don't make our support in vain.

    Whenever calling attention to these miscarriages of justice, please also always point out that they are THE PRESIDENT's miscarriages of justice and THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY's miscarriages of justice, and call upon the country to throw the bums out! (You can even be nice and polite about it if you prefer.)

    Otherwise, it's all academic.

    Mr. President, have pity on the workingman...

    by Esgie on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:30:18 PM PST

  •  Hi Nancy! (none)
      Keep up the spunk! Clean out the Republicans out of the DLC.

    This is just another in such a long laundry list of how Republicans are stealing our tax dollars.

    Fear a lot of dems are turned off by the Hacket thing, and hope that somehow you can reassure us so that you don't lose monies and support from us crazy activist that still cling to the American dream.

    Keep after it.

    The main goal is to get these Republicans out of office. My hopes are infighting doesn't cause dems to lose track  of this. Begone you thieving Republicans.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:31:17 PM PST

  •  How about all the money unaccounted (none)
    for in Iraq?  By the defense department, and by the Coalition Provisional Authority, and by unsupervised and unregulated contractees who have been awarded incredibly lucrative deals without any accountability?

    I feel like fainting when I think of all that squandered money.  Money that the Bush administration just pissed away, just let pour like sand through the fingers of cronies and political payees.  It's beyond ironic that a party that runs on a platform of so-called "personal responsibility" and "fiscal restraint" should be the architect of the unspeakably heinous looting of our national treasury.  It's madness.  It's insanity.  It's GOT TO END.

  •  writing letters to us isn't going to do it (4.00)
    it is time to start throwing wrenches into their governance, and hold them hostage until they stop with this shit and start taking care of the katrina refugees, until they agree to audit the military spending/contractor giveaway in iraq, and until they stop with the spying on their own citizens. in short, it is time to start living up to the obstructionist label, and OBSTRUCT.

    oppose, oppose, oppose, and make them take you seriously. no matter how outraged we are, it won't do any good unless you're getting in their way up on capitol hill. lead, congresswoman pelosi, and we will follow.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:33:04 PM PST

  •  Want another number? $750. (4.00)
    That doesn't sound like much, does it?

    Well, it is what I've donated in the past year.

    Yet:

    I still see crappy websites on Dem pages.

    I still find it nearly impossible to hook up with and work for local precincts.

    I still see weak, unprepared talking heads on cable and network news.

    I still see whiny, lay-back-and-take it action from Dems in the House and Senate.

    I still get noncommital donation letters and phone calls, from people that aren't focussing on any single issue.

    I still hear more from the Dems on Kos and Ed Schultz than I do the television and press conferences.

    Tell me - why am I donating money to see Dems in power again?

    I'm not joking. I have TRIED to make a difference, and it is if the Dems are KEEPING me from helping out.

  •  Lou Dobbs was just clueing me in (none)
    but you are the first elected person that I have heard from.
  •  Sheer Scale (none)
    The scale of this propaganda program is staggering. 1.6 billion is coincidentally, the same amount that Coke spends on advertizing annually.

    This is a huge waste of taxpayer funds and should be banned. If the freakin' President can't earn and exploit free media, he doesn't deserve to get his message out.

    George W. Bush does not want you to read the above...

    by mbryan on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:56:54 PM PST

  •  No amount of money? (4.00)
    The truth is, no amount of money will successfully sell the Bush Administration's failed policies, from the war in Iraq, to its disastrous energy policy, to its confusing Medicare prescription drug bill.

    That is simply not true. I wish it were true but it's not. We are all for sale. The corporatocracy has been brainwashing us for decades with endless advertisements designed to do much more than just sell merchandise. They want to weaken our minds so that we cannot think for ourselves. And unfortunately the problem is so big that it exists on a higher level than the phony left/right nonsense we waste so much time fighting over. That's why dems will never win, btw. Our society prizes money over petty things like liberty, equality, clean air.... peace...justice. The real mechanisms of power are beyond our grasp. We are pawns and slaves and all our bickering will not help us avoid being thrust into the next war.

    This is why you politicians can never seem to get much more than half the people to come out and vote. People know it is all a fraud. So what is 1.6 billion compared to that? Where were the democrats when we were being looted for trillions?

  •  The American Revolution Was Not Fought... (4.00)
    to instill a government that can require people to pay taxes that will then be used to deceive the very same people.

    I think refusing to pay federal taxes is entirely appropriate now.

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 04:04:32 PM PST

  •  Much of this advertising to to staff your Iraq war (none)
    I know, you've said you oppose the Iraq war and occupation.  But when you vote to fund it, describing it as "must pass" legislation, you're responsible for keeping the ball rolling - and you show you're not a leader.  Please - either start leading, or step aside.

    Since the war is wildly unpopular, dangerous, and turns our youth into murderers, how do you propose to staff it?  Our outsourcing efforts failed.  So the administration is using ads that I see on TV every night which imply survivors might get trained for good jobs.  They're ads all of us are paying for from that $1.6B.

    I am delighted that, in Rep Murtha's shadow, you've finally taken stand to redeploy our troops out of Iraq.  Now you need to lead efforts to stop funding their presence there.

    I'm in your district.  When you get tired of 90% of your constituents booing you in your Town Meetings, please start leading the efforts to end the Iraq war and pursue impeachment of any government executive who has been breaking the law.  It's your job.  Your salary isn't $1.6 billion, but if you won't do it, it's an even bigger waste.

    The people of San Francisco want a Congressional leader who is prepared to replace Cheney and Bush if they leave office, and who isn't afraid to say so now.

    If you keep blowing off 85% of your constituents, they'll keep booing you, diaries like this one will be worthless, and we'll never get anywhere.

  •  then you haven't seen me (none)
    cause i've been raging about this!
    fiscal conservatives, my big fat greek ass.
  •  We love you, Nancy! (none)

    Many people here have their gripes and such, but a lot of us do think what you've done in the House is heroic and excellent and close to the best that could be hoped for.

    You'll be a wonderful Speaker.  Thank you for dropping by.

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 05:14:38 PM PST

  •  please persist and give context to this message (4.00)
    Please keep saying it.  Say it over and over until everyone in the country notices and realizes the import of this information.  People need context.  Give us some specific comparisons.  For example:

    --How much did the average taxpayer contribute to the president's PR bill?
    --Based on averages, how many low-income elders could have had their pharmacy bills paid by what the president spent on augmenting his administration's reputation?
    --How many US soldiers could have had state-of-the-art body amour with the money that the president spent on selling his personal point of view.
    --Federal support for student loan programs was cut this year.  How do those cuts compare to the Republican publicity spending?
    --Most Americans fear that someday our parents, aunts, uncles, or we will suffer the "long goodbye" of Alzheimer's disease. How does the president's personal indulgence spending compare to federal spending on research to combat Alzheimer's disease.

    I could go on and on.  I would suggest that you do.  Release a comparison each day.  Please also tell us what these billions were spent for?  What does the President's typical background for a photo op cost?  What did the "Mission Accomplished" banner cost?  

    Does this include the lovely things we pay for in the White House.  I noted the many lovely Christmas trees in the White House.  Who pays for "All Things Bright and Beautiful" (e.g., the lovely trees adorned with fresh flowers that were replaced when they wilted)?   How many of the now homeless children could have been reestablished in little homes for the cost of Ms. Bush's Christmas trees?  

    By the way, how many of New Orleans lost children are still missing?  

    Most of use earn and dream in thousands.  I have a PhD and I sometimes teach statistics. Take it from an experienced teacher.  Most people don't have a clue how much money a billion dollars is. We have become so used to federal waste and abuse that it's hard to generate an appropriate reaction.  Give these facts context and persist until the people hear.  

    Thanks for your efforts.

  •  the MSM should have to (none)
    pick this up.
  •  Support candidates like Paul Hackett.!!!! (none)
    then our party will be the ones spending the $1.6 billion however we want.    
  •  Ms. Pelosi: (none)
    I can top your $1.6 Billion easily.

    hoe about the $7 Billion massive give away to U.S. oil and natural gas corporations who won't be charged a dime in fees for drilling in our National Parks over the next ten years?

    check today's article in the NY Times.

    "Fundamentalists in America like to vote for President Bush, but elsewhere they're violently opposing him." Maureen Dowd

    by Superpole on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 06:13:25 PM PST

  •  Scandalous (none)
    Thank you, Representative Pelosi, for your leadership in calling attention to yet another scandal of the Bush Administration's profligate spending of taxpayer funds.  I agree with some of the comments in this thread and share the sentiment of overload from the outrageous corruption and incompetence of this Republican administration and legislature.

    I realize that the minority party has minimal power to demand accountability and is up against a Republican/Corporate dominated media.  But it seems to me that there is a great deal of momentum of public frustration that could be capitalized upon: The $8,000,000,000 missing from the coalition provisional authority for rebuilding Iraq; the war profiteering through no bid contracts in Iraq; the federal deficit; the unprecedented trade deficit; the torture and abuse of prisoners; the rendering of prisoners to countries that torture; the illegal and unconstitutional spying on Americans without court warrants; the Medicare Bill scandals; the tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of the most needy; the crisis in health care; the criminal negligence of Katrina; the incompetence which led to the terrorist attacks of September 11th; the incompetence that led to the escape of Osama bin Ladin; the incompetence of the prosecution of the war in Iraq; the lies (Downing Street Minutes) which led to the war in Iraq; the outing of a covert CIA agent by the Vice President's office for purely political reasons, the decades of corruption by Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay and other Republicans which has resulted in lobbyists and corporations now writing our laws and legislation; and on and on...

    Don't you think that if any one of these scandals had occurred under a Democratic President, he or she would already have been impeached?  Drastic measures are needed, Representative Pelosi.  Shut down the Congress. Filibuster.  Do something that gets the attention of the press and public.  Something.  And if Congress gives this corrupt administration authority to bomb Iran, I'm moving to Canada!

    ...and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.

    by rlharry on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 06:14:46 PM PST

  •  Not Surprised..... (none)
    I haven't seen many people online talking about a new GAO report that Rep. Henry Waxman, Rep. George Miller, Rep. Elijah Cummings and I released yesterday

    That you haven't seen much about your report on what is Supposed to be some of the Best Progressive Sites. Seems too many get Attached to one or two subjects and just keep repeating each other!

    But your Report along with This:

    Key numbers in latest Bush budget request:

    $562 billion - total military budget in fiscal year 2006 (including Iraq and                Afghanistan wars and Department of Energy budget)
    $513 billion - total military budget request for fiscal year 2007 (including war          funding thus far requested and Department of Energy budget; it is                       expected that the Administration will request more war-related funding                 later) [1] and [2]
    $439.3 billion - Pentagon-only budget request for fiscal year 2007 (the number        most often cited in media analyses) [2]

    $187 billion - total Bush Administration recommended cuts in non-defense
    programs over the next 5 years, including education, environmental protection,     cancer and heart disease research, child care, assistance for low-income             families, children, elderly and disabled people [3]

    $120 billion - expected supplemental request for Iraq and Afghanistan wars: of this total, $70 billion is for fiscal year 2006, bringing that total to $120 billion, while $50 billion is for fiscal year 2007)
    $371 billion - total provided by Congress before the expected new request for Iraq  and Afghanistan wars plus enhanced security at military installations, including more than $260 billion for the Iraq war alone
    $495 billion - total for Iraq and Afghanistan wars plus enhanced security after the
    expected $120 billion request  
    $6.1 billion - monthly costs for Iraq war [2]

    $10.4 billion - missile defense, up $1.7 billion from current budget
    $372.1 million - Cooperative Threat Reduction program (also known as Nunn-         Lugar), a 10% cut from current level of $415.5 million [4]

    Zero - Nuclear bunker buster weapon (Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator)
    Zero - Advanced concepts initiative that could have included a new, small nuclear
    Weapon
    $14.8 million - nuclear test ban readiness, a reduction of $5 million from current     level (the Administration has abandoned plans to accelerate preparations for a     possible resumption of nuclear bomb testing at the Nevada test site from 24 to 18 months)
    $27.7 million - Reliable Replacement Warhead program
    $250 million - nuclear reprocessing initiative [5]

    $423 billion - projected federal budget deficit in fiscal year 2006, the largest in history

    Sources:
    [1] Figures from Steven Kosiak, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, February 6, 2006 http://www.csbaonline.org/
    [2] Figures from House Budget Committee, Democratic Minority, February 9, 2006
    http://www.house.gov/...
    [3] Figures from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 10, 2006
    http://www.cbpp.org/...
    [4] Figures from Christopher Hellman, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, February 6, 2006 http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/...
    [5] Figures from Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, February 6, 2006 http://www.ananuclear.org/...

    For key hearings on budget and other issues, please see the Friends Committee on National Legislation web site:  http://www.fcnl.org/...

    Have been pasing around through Individuals and some of the less popular sites, Along with a Number of other reports!

    Keep Hitting, Senator, on that which is Extremely Important to the American People and should be to their Public Servants!!


    •  Meant... (none)
      Representative, but the Senators better get up to Speed also!!

      Notice when it comes to Monies, i.e. Military Budgets, Few ask Where The Damn Money Is Going, they just seem to think if it's Billions and Billions we're Safe and Sound, No Worries, Tough On Defense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  thanks Senator Pelosi (none)
    I called attention to this also here. I suggested that such important programs as the National Children's Study, which has been cut from FY 2007 budget proposal, could have been funded with this money. Please consider supporting the restoration of this important research program, which would provide valuable information about the causes of autism, asthma and other diseases.

    An election does not make a democracy.

    by seesdifferent on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 06:23:07 PM PST

  •  On Topic: Lou Dobbs covers the story today (none)
    I uploaded this video: Lou Dobbs - Bush Admin. Spends 1.6 Billion On Spin and Lies Video:
    http://www.youtube.com/...
  •  Items being cut (4.00)
    From Bush's current 2007 budget

    The budget proposes to eliminate the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, for a saving of $107 million. According to the government's web site, "CSFP works to improve the health of low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, other new mothers up to one year postpartum, infants, children up to age six, and elderly people at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA commodity foods."

    The entire $99 million budget for the Even Start Family Literacy Program would be eliminated. Even Start takes an integrated approach to literacy training, involving families in projects for early childhood education and adult basic education...

    ...Another program aimed at assisting low-income students--The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP--would be eliminated, slashing $303 million. GEAR UP provides services at high-poverty middle schools and high schools designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and graduate from colleges and universities.

    Some of the proposed cutbacks are particularly cruel. The budget would eliminate the $5 million Dropout Prevention Program. In another area of the budget, Bush wants to cut off monthly Social Security survivor benefits to 16- and 17-year-olds who drop out of high school. (The budget also calls for eliminating a $255 lump-sum death payment that has been part of Social Security for more than 50 years.)

    Bush has requested no funding for the Community Services Block Grant program, a cut of $630 million. CSBG provides services "to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities" in such areas as employment, education, housing, nutrition, emergency services and health. Low-income individuals receiving assistance include the homeless, migrants and farm workers, the elderly and state-recognized Indian Tribes and tribal organizations. The $79 million Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Training Program would also be eliminated.

    Funds previously allocated to programs to support basic infrastructure and protect the environment would also be cut back in Bush's budget. Funding for Amtrak, the struggling national passenger rail system, would be cut by $394 million. In an indication of the administration's real attitude towards airline safety, $765 million would be slashed from the Federal Aviation Administration's airport improvement program.

    The Department of Agriculture's watershed protection and flood prevention operations would be gutted, trimming $75 million, along with $270 million for the environmental quality incentives program. The $30 million wildlife habitat incentives program would be eliminated. In the Department of the Interior, $28 million would be cut for land and water conservation fund state recreation grants. By contrast, the budget allocates an increase of $4 billion over the next five years for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    Other major budget reductions include:

    • $196 million from local grants for agricultural research

    • $50 million from the school construction program of Bureau of Indian Affairs

    • $114 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    The future's here, we are it, we are on our own.

    by Frank Roberts on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 06:30:58 PM PST

  •  Rep. Pelosi (4.00)
    Please continue the good fight against this wasteful arrogant administration.

    Wasting natural resources, wasting the lives of US and foreign lives, wasting the benefits of our seniors and military, wasting the good will of the world.

  •  Who holds the Purse ? (none)
    Id like to know how Congress let Bush get away with this ? Where is your oversight ?
  •  What I want to know is (none)
    how much of that $1.6 billion went to buying off the "Mainstream Media"?

    Because, Rep Pelosi, you know there IS no "mainstream media" that still survives in this nation.

    How did it get that way?

    Vertical integration of mass media, for a start.

    I have worked in mass media/entertainment (not the sellout news end)for nearly 25 years now, and my colleagues and I all saw it coming.  Fortunately I found two like-minded professionals who believed being able to look in the mirror every morning was more important than being insanely wealthy, and we formed a small company.  We struggle, but we do things we care about and we press on.

    Not everyone in the media can create such control over his or her destiny. And sadly, it seems few people care to try.

    Who said "Control people's livelihoods and you control their choices" - or something like that?  In today's mass media, it's all too true.

    Want to be a newscaster?  A "reporter"?  An editor?  A producer?  Want to have your face up there on camera (and for those who want it, it's a powerful, powerful drive)...because of corporate media ownership, you have to toe the company line.

    Want a great deal of money?  (And seriously, who doesn't)?  Keep that mass media job and claw your way to the top.  But the only way to do that is, again, to toe the company line.  

    There are no more Edward R. Murrows, Walter Cronkites, or Bill Moyers who speak their conscience.

    The $1.6 million dollars is a perfect example of the Bush philosophy - anyone or anything can be bought.  

    Who is going to stand up and say "America is not for sale" any more?

    "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

    by hopesprings on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 06:48:05 PM PST

  •  $1.6? THAT AIN'T SHIT! (4.00)
    Compared to the $8.8 Billion that is JUST PLAIN FUCKING MISSING FROM MY TAX MONEY THAT WENT TO IRAQ!

    Of course, they don't NEED to pay a PR firm to cover that one up, cause only CBS and Senator Dorgan are talking about it.

    Peace.

  •  Congresswoman Pelosi ... (none)
    This diary and the emphasis seems somewhat misleading ..

    I despise the BushCo regime ... I despise how they are more concerned about ensuring that their Words of Mass Deception confuse the America public than actually ensuring that they make America (and the world) more secure.  I despise their payments to reporters to support their disastrous policies (insulting the word policy with that).

    But ... but ... how much of the $1.6 billion being paid for advertising is money taxpayers might not love to spend but which is basically legitimate?  For example, the DOD is listed as paying out $1.1 billion of the $1.6 billion.  From the US Air Force, alone, over ten percent of that $1.6 billion went to recruitment advertising (believe figure was $171 million).  What was the total of recruiting advertising for military personnel?  Over $800 billion?  How about recruitment advertising for civilians throughout these agencies?

    Thus, the question becomes, how much of the $1.6 billion represented -- more or less -- legitimate government expenditures and how much of this is part of the BushCo use of WMD against the American public?

    9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

    by besieged by bush on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 07:00:59 PM PST

  •  Republicans for Hacket (none)
    There should be a limit on self-promotion, but more importantly, there should be legislation with regard to bribing journalists, scientists, and others with public money. There should also be a provision that prevents the government from using the media to produce fake news. What the republicans are doing would not be so reprehensible, if it was in service of the country rather than only serving them.

    Also, what needs to be implemented is legislation that prevents the media from repeating assertions that could be coming from anywhere, but especially egregious if it is propaganda from the enemy or an ally that serves their purposes but not those of the U.S.  It would be a major problem if an enemy manipulated our news media to their advantage.

    I do not know about the emotional reaction regarding Hacket. Hacket was probably not polling well for the Senate race and he would probably do better as a Congressional candidate.  As I see it this is only a move not a dismissal.

    I've met serial killers and professional assassins and nobody scared me as much - Ken Livingstone on Margaret Thatcher

    by elephty on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 07:17:11 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Ms. Pelosi (none)
    Before I read all of the comments posted here, which I usually do before replying, I would like to reply on my own. (!)  I find myself unable to actually type any details of my circumstances (I need to get over some shame associated with illness), but I am disabled by a chronic illness.  I appreciate your stance on many issues that are important to me, and those that are important to us all.  Although I believe that this time of Republican control under the Bush Administration has been more horrible and dismaying than I can possibly express in words at this time, I do support each and every effort that you might make on behalf of the Democratic Party, and our hope for the future of our country, our Constitution, and our conscience as a nation. I remain hopeful that our government, truly passsed down throughout centuries of hard-fought knowledge and understanding, will prevail.  Please help me to continue hoping.

    When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. Gandhi

    by lilyvaldem on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 07:21:12 PM PST

  •  Thanks and suggestions (none)
    Representative Pelosi,

    Thanks for posting.  You're going to get some heat because there is anger growing in this land.  You and your fellow Democrats need to understand that.  People need to know that you hear their voices, understand their anger, and want to give We the People real representation.

    You've provided some important information here, but what do readers take away?  You haven't provided folks with any good way to remember, much less communicate, your most basic point.

    Yeh, 1.6B is a lot of money.  But it's so abstract.  You need to start with a few specific and memorable examples:  "In 2004, Department A spent B dollars to advertise C.  In 2005, Department D spent E dollars to promote the Republican party's position on F.  A recent report by the GAO has found 1.6B dollars that were spent on what is essentially political advertising by this administration during the past 2 and 1/2 years.  And that's only what was self-reported by 7 cabinet-level departments.  We don't know what an independent audit of all 15 departments would reveal, but a simple extrapolation suggests that we're talking about at least 3B dollars.  Here are some things that this administration did not spend 1.6B dollars on.  They did not spend X dollars on books and supplies for Y American children.  They did not spend X dollars on equipment to protect the lives of Y first responders -- fire, police, emergency medical teams. If you go this this website [link], you will see a more detailed list of things this administration did not spend 1.6B dollars on. I can understand why citizens take time out of their day to personally let me know how angry they are about the direction this country is going!"

    And then we need some folks here to post talking points that are also repeated on the air and in the press:  Yes we're angry.  This borrow-and-spend administration is spending our children's tax dollars to cover up the fact that they do not know how to govern.  All they know how to do is to catapult the propaganda at us.  We don't have a commander-in-chief, we have a campaigner in chief.  ETC.

    Thanks for listening.

    I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

    by homeland observer on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 07:37:40 PM PST

  •  Thank you for your great work for us! (none)
    Have to wonder, what would $1.6B+ do.

    I know that as long as we have people like you pushing these issues, every time you get, the Democrats will take back the House in '06!

    Keep that energy level up, and stay positive!

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

    by shpilk on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 07:40:56 PM PST

  •  $1.6 billion for so much pain and anguish (none)
    I remember when the Jessica Lynch story came out. I remember the video could be "ordered" online. I knew it was propaganda, but later when I found out that Iraqi doctors tried to get her back to the Americans, but the ambulance was shot at. Then the special troops stormed the hospital up with blanks so they could make their propaganda video. The worst thing was that American doctors said she was raped- even though the Iraqi doctors vehemently denied it. That is a really crappy thing to let someone have to deal with just to make a propaganda piece. The problem is I don't think many people outside of us progressives really will get caught up in this story. It has to have a link to something else that people care about. For example, how much did Bush spend during Katrina to make it look like he had a handle on the situation? People might be able to relate to that. Also, Congresswoman Pelosi, I want to know how much money the taxpayer is spendying on Dick's adventures. Seriously. From what I understand, he has doctors that travel with him, sometimes a whole operating room, numerous vehicles have to be flown in and ambulances are on call. When he went to Iraq he had an airsteam motor home welded into the transport plane. Just how often does Cheney go on these official and nonofficial adventures and how much is it all costing? Do we pay for his hunting trips? I will bet they cost a couple of million each time he goes anywhere. Seems pretty pathetic to kick Katrina victims out of their lodging and to be paying all this money for Dick to go hunting.
  •  $1,600,000,000.00 !!! (4.00)
    For propaganda ?

    Excuse me while I go throw up.

    Here in Portland, Oregon we are having the perennial discussion about 'lack of adequate school funding'. Teacher layoffs, shortened school year (again),cuts in Art and Music, no P.E.,etc.. So, I'm having a hard time swallowing that EVEN ONE RED CENT of taxpayer money was spent to popularize the NCLB act. I was sickened last year to hear how Armstrong Williams accepted payola to 'push' the NCLB.

    Just imagine how that One point six BILLION could have shored up nearly every school district that needed it.

    It is a sad day for our children. Hell, its a sad future for our children.

    "Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them"

    by Esjaydee on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 08:25:40 PM PST

  •  The US Border Patrol Budget (1.4Bil) (none)
    is less than the 1.6Bil PR campaign.
  •  I agree with you 100% (none)
    My question for you and every other Congressional Dem (and Dem candidate) is.......

    What are YOU going to do about it?

    From where I sit, Dems have been nothing short of duplicitous in ALL of this Admin's atrocities.

    Where is the plan?

    Where are those Fighting Dems this country needs so desperately?

    Other than some calculated verbal statements I have seen nothing from Congressional Dems to inspire me or give me hope in recent years.

    What about NO WMD?

    What about that tax-cut created deficit?

    What about that shitty bankruptcy law that hurts millions of Americans but benefits corporate interests?

    What about that lousy NCLB?

    What about that Constitution-shredding USA Patriot Act?

    What about illegal spying on American Citizens by this Admin?

    What about verified voting and REAL election reform (so we know every vote really counts, and every voter gets to vote)?

    When is the Dem Party going to be responsive to it's activist base?

    Sure Dems are minority in Congress these days, but that should be all the more reason to ACT like an opposition party instead of acting like a bunch of hand-wringing, insecure, battered-wives.

    Seriously.

  •  Nancy, Help us put that in perspective (none)
    1.6 Billion. What is the total budget for No Child Left Behind? What is the total for Education in the Federal Budget? And, given the 50% in the current budget for the military, what percentage of the national budget do these two categories do these categories comprise?

    What could we do with cutting the military budget by 10% this year? Certainly there is fat and pork in there.

    There's a white elephant in the room (and I'm only talking the discretionary budget). When are we going to challenge the problem at its roots?

  •  Stupidest. Diary. Ever. (4.00)
    Why does this diary suck?  Hmmm, let me count the ways.

    1. It is impossible to tell whether $1.6B is legitimately scandalous.  Sure, it sounds bad.  $1.6B is a lot of cash.  But considering what advertising costs and the size of the federal government, we need more context.  Like how much has been spent in the past.  And where the money specifically went.

    2. Pelosi uses the tired, Democratic device of saying where the money could have been spent. ("You can do a lot of good with that kind of money -- support the rebuilding of our Gulf Coast, invest in medical research, increase scholarship and student loan programs, even pay down the deficit.")

    Listen, the money is either well-spent or it isn't.  Just tell me which one.  Don't tell me where the money could be better spent.  There are two reasons for this.  First, it is not a zero-sum game.  We can spend money on advertising, if it makes sense, AND on Katrina reconstruction, medical research, and educational programs.  Second, I might not like the your alternative funding ideas.  What if I think that investing in medical research isn't a good idea?  Should I no longer care about the advertising issue?

    1. Pelosi doesn't say WTF she is going to do about it.  I don't want to read diaries by politicians telling me what is wrong with Republicans.  I can figure that much out on my own.  I want to read about what they are doing to solve the problem.  Solutions, people. Solutions.

    2. Timing.  Is Nancy Pelosi aware that the Vice President just nearly shot a man to death?  As important as this advertising issue might be, how about keeping our eyes on the ball?  How about a diary telling me how she is going to fight for the appointment of a special prosecutor?  Or making a public statement asking why Dick Cheney has refused to make a public appearance explaining what happened.

    You know how Cheney never makes public appearances, never answers questions, and never is held accountable?  It is because people like Pelosi never question it and never, ever, ever, ever tell the American people that there is anything wrong with hiding away from the public.
    •  Well, of course it does! (none)
      This diary has one reason for existence and one only-  Nancy Pelosi is peeing in her panties about losing her seat to a Green due to her supporters' inability to ingest all of the fecal matter she's throwing.

      20 to 1 Pelosi never mentions this again.  Honestly, Pelosi, be a woman and do something instead of whining to us.  You're theoretically in position to do something.  Act, don't bitch and moan.

      •  Nancy speaks her mind (none)
        With more spine than anyone else on our side of the asile.

        Impeach Bush/Cheney

        by dangangry on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 12:06:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please (none)
          Could you settle for less?

          I swear, these "be thankful for what we've got" Democrats are killing us.

          Yes, Pelosi does make an attempt to stand up to the GOP from time to time.  Whoopee!  That is her job.  I give her a B to B-.

          But when she comes in here and posts a diary that is nothing but hot air, I am going to call her on it.  She can either take the criticism and change her behavior for the better, or she can quit.  But if a few harsh words are enough to make her give up, then she never had what it takes to stand up to the GOP in the first place.

  •  When some people with a sense of responsibility (none)
    get power back we aught to fuck up these companies and charge them back fees for all this.

    and throw some people in jail - but I guess that goes without saying.

    onnyturf.com - Political and Community Coverage of NYC

    by atomicBirdsong on Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 09:24:57 PM PST

  •  Nancy, ever reply to comments? (none)
    Jeesh, Nancy!

    You post here (Is it really you? If it's crafed by an aide, we expect to see the appropriate signature.), but you don't engage in any dialogue?

    C'mon!  Give us some rejoinders! You're an intelligent woman! Don't be a coward!  Besides, why did you start a thread???????

  •  Yeah... (none)
    well.

    I mean you just assume.

    When Cheney's lying about wars and stealing elections, giving 9 billion to Halliburton...

    you just assume they're using our money to fund all their b.s.

    I mean, isn't that the problem?

    Maybe Dems should do something "official" about it?

  •  Madam (none)
    Thank you for your leadership!  Folks like you give me hope, and in these dark times, hope is in short supply.
  •  Thank you for posting here. (none)
    Please don't let a few rude comments keep you from doing so again.  We want to see strength.  

    What I really want to see every day is at least one or two Democratic members of Congress make very strong, public, in-your-face comments about the many types of scandelous behavior by the Republicans.  There is certainly enough material.  I want to see the Democrats count every protest by the Republican spin machine as another victory.  If I saw that, my checkbook would be out in a minute.

    If the Democrats don't want to be seen as weak on terror, they first have to stop acting weak.

  •  With all due respect, (4.00)
    Congresswoman Pelosi, I am not going to fight your fights.  The only time this Party pays any attention to its base is when YOU want something from us.  If not, we can drop dead and kiss *ss.  Meanwhile, the Republican machine stays within 2" of their base at all times and continues to kick your butts and screw our country up.   How many times in how many ways can we tell this Party, we don't like Lieberman, Biden or the rest of the DLC Republican wannabees.  If you want the 16 undecided voteres on a counch in Kansas, they pass your flag burning amendments and go away. Don't like the way this Party takes money from lobbyists and corporations.  Don't like the way this Party breaks ranks and votes with Bush.  Don't like the way this Party is afraid of the truth and their own shadows.  Don't like this Party, which is why I am supporting Gov. Dean.  We will take our party back so we can take our country back.  In the meantime, you guys go play your politics and leave us alone.  Fool me once, can't get fooled again and coming here won't change that.  The base of this party is no fool, and we will not allow you to use us like the Republicans use the religious right.

    Dean speaks for me!

    by dkmich on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 02:57:00 AM PST

  •  1.6 billion of public money into private interests (none)
    if you can't sell your policies, you have to buy your supporters.  

    We will unite against the "establishment" and throw them out of Washington at the next election.  We don't want leaders that can be bought and sold by corporations.  We want leaders that work for us, the citizens.

    The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. Thomas Jefferson

    by Thea VA on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 06:37:45 AM PST

  •  Or finance 10% if the financial aid funding cut... (none)
    .... Besides the human-animal hybrid thing, the most INSANE part of the state of the union was the increase in AP teachers in high schools when financial aid is being cut so drastically.  Kind of like getting all dressed up and having no place to go.
  •  Nancy? (none)
    I have been wanting to talk to you. So glad you posted.

    This was unexpected, so I will transfer my message to you here off-the-cuff.  I will write something a little more formal later this week -- and get it off to every dem senator in Congress.

    I have been looking at this 2007 FY Bush Budget.  And after a few episodes of complete and total anxiety about the heinous rape of my fellow Americans, I re-thought the whole enchilada. My message to all democrats in Congress is:

    Please make sure this budget passes in its presented form -- to the last dying cut in tax dollar for every single program that is designed for the common good.  That's right.  I want every single US government program cut as much as possible.

    Why?  Because, apparently, my countrymen on the whole have no earth on idea the breadth of evil that is upon us.  And I want them to the wake the F up.  Sooner rather than later.

    Yes, people will die. Many seniors will die. And they will be very undignified death.  Our children? They will suffer as well. I may not make it through the predictable results of the Grover Norquist Final Solution.  But some people will survive it.  Oh, yes they will. And it will be those people who will have garnered the necessary strength, conviction and clarity of purpose to drive out the evil that is in our midst.

    I want this 'phase' to end. And, honestly, until we have start collecting bodies from abandoned buildings and alley-ways, I don't think anything is going to change anytime soon.

    $1.6 billion on propoganda on the American people?  That's the least of my problems. Whew... that is so far down my list of worries. Put it this way... where you want that $1.6 billion to go?  I don't. I WANT every hard working American to really, really feel and experience the Bush program of policies. So many of us already are.

    So, please gracefully accept the Bush Budget.  There is no reason in the world to even feign outrage or even to put up some amendments.  Heck, just make more cuts to these vital programs. (Because, truthfully, you know you are going to let this abomination get through to some extent. Why not give the Bushistas the whole ball of wax?

    Let's get this over with.

    Thank you.

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:25:09 AM PST

  •  That one typo in this diary.... (none)
    It's driving me nuts.  It cuts to the very heart of the problem. And it is just nagging me so much that I have to say something.

    Look here (from your diary):

    ... more than $1.6 billion in tax payer dollars on PR ...

    It's TAXPAYER.  Why does your 'typo' get under my skin?  Because I don't believe that you or any other Congress critter believes for one minute that you have an obligation and duty to 'represent' the American people. We don't even exist in 'your world.'  And it just niggles me to no end that you can't even write the word that represents who it is who pays your bill, and all the governtment bills.

    It's taxpayer. One word.

    I don't know...I feel like I just woke up next to my sweetie and he called me someone other gal's name.  Dan, who the heck is Marie?  And why do you associate her in our bed?

    Nancy, I want you try something. Every morning for 90 days, please say in front of the mirror 10 times before leaving for 'work':

    My duty is to the American people. They pay me not with taxpayer dollars but with their blood, sweat and tears. It's about them, not me and me keeping my cush job.

    I don't know... I have no faith that you are going to do anything about this $1.6 billion on propaganda.  You have no reason in the world to do anything about that $1.6 billion dollars.  That $1.6 billion (Or the $7 trillion deficit for that matter) hasn't done anything for you other than make your life more comfy. This heinous and evil bush system works in your personal favor.  Unless.... nah... it wouldn't be in the realm of the possible... for you to actually DO something about the entire Bush Operation Kill America????

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Wed Feb 15, 2006 at 07:42:59 AM PST

  •  Ms. Pelosi, Link to Post Re: Adweek Story (none)
    Thanks, Ms. Pelosi, for dropping by. People are willing to do more than you can imagine for the Democratic party, if only you will communicate with us. Please let us help you!

    Here's something I put out about the Adweek piece on the Administration's misuse of taxpayers funds:

    Here

  •  Needs More Information (none)

    Why are there no numbers for comparison? Example, during the height of the cold war in 1985, the Soviet Union spent 1 billion dollars a year in propaganda. I don't know what the number would be adjusted for inflation in 2003 dollars, but considering the Soviet propaganda was worldwide, and Bush is domestic only, I think the comparison would work if utilized.

    Where are the numbers relative to previous administrations? That comparison would be useful.

    1.6 billion dollars is alot of money, but what is the figure of wasted money? According to your report, 1.6 billion figure is the total. What is the number you would catagorize as waste, line itemed with discriptions? I think that is the important number.

    Example, I have no idea what the media budget of the Park Service is for, but if it is to encourage keeping the our National Parks and the environment clean, I'm for supporting that type of spending.

    While the armed services have a few questionable expenditures (more detail would be needed to determine exactly what the money was spent for, the GAO report isn't very detailed), most of the money appeared to be legitimate recruiting advertisement. I have no problem with that, I want the US to maintain an all volunteer military because I never, ever want to see a Draft again in this country.

    I agree there is some abuse of the propaganda fund, but how much of the 1.6 is questionable, and how does the 1.6 figure relate to previous administrations? I think that is important, because I am willing to bet the number will still be high, and the number would be high on every aspect of spending by this administration, not just how it relates to the media.

  •  Most posters are polite and respectful (none)
    It's possible to disagree without being a jerk.  

    Some posters are a little over the top in their disagreement.  I just read where a poster told Pelosi to "Get out of my face."

    What kind of crap is that?  

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