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Offlinegrib
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GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law
    #2704823 - 05/20/04 10:39 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

GAO says Medicare videos violated law

By Emily Heil, CongressDaily

The Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law when it distributed videos to news stations earlier this year about the newly passed Medicare prescription drug law, the General Accounting Office said Wednesday.

Parts of the "video news releases" that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued were not properly identified as coming from a government source, the GAO found, making their distribution a violation of the law that bans the use of public funds for publicity or propaganda.

Democrats have complained that, under the guise of educating beneficiaries, the administration hyped the new Medicare bill in a bid to curry political favor with voters, particularly older Americans.

Democrats requested that GAO look into whether the administration's advertisements and direct-mail fliers violated anti-propaganda law, and although GAO found the fliers were legal, it widened the probe to examine the use of VNRs.

GAO determined that part of the VNR materials did not make it clear the government was the source of the information, including "news stories" narrated by people acting as reporters who were actually hired by the government's subcontractor, and suggested scripts for TV anchors to use.

CMS had argued that it properly identified the entire package as coming from the government. But those portions of the video package were targeted not only at TV news producers, but TV viewers, GAO said. "CMS's effort to identify itself to the news organizations that received the VNRs did not alert television viewers that CMS was the source of the story package."

The finding could pave the way for lawsuits. An HHS spokesman said department officials disagreed with the ruling, arguing that TV producers were free to attribute the story.

"They could have said 'brought to you by,'" the spokesman said. He also noted that GAO rulings are nonbinding and would not say whether HHS plans to comply with GAO's determination that the agency should report the misuse of funds to Congress and the president.

Democrats, meanwhile, pointed to the GAO findings as another cloud over the passage of the controversial new Medicare law.

"It was bad enough to conceal the cost of the Medicare drug bill from the Congress and the American people," said Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ranking member Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., referring to a related controversy over differing estimates of the cost of the Medicare bill. "It is worse to use Medicare funds for illegal propaganda to try to turn this lemon of a bill into lemonade for the Bush campaign."

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who requested the initial GAO probe into the fliers, said he would introduce emergency legislation today requiring the Bush-Cheney campaign to return taxpayer dollars spent on the VNRs to Medicare.

"The Bush administration has illegally spent Medicare funds on covert political activities," Lautenberg said. "The Bush-Cheney campaign should pay every dime they spent on these fake news stories back to our seniors. These funds were meant to help our seniors, not the president's re-election campaign."

House Ways and Means ranking member Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and Health Subcommittee ranking member Fortney (Pete) Stark, D-Calif., said they would ask local stations that broadcast the VNR to run retractions or corrections noting that the administration erred in sending out the VNRs.

The GAO's finding is the latest in a string of problems for the new law.

A group of House Government Reform Committee Democrats is suing to gain access to HHS cost estimates for the bill while Congress was debating it.

And an HHS inspector general's investigation also is under way to determine allegations by Chief Medicare Actuary Richard Foster that former CMS Administrator Thomas Scully threatened to fire him if he shared the administration's higher estimates for the Medicare bill with members of Congress.

Julie Rovner contributed to this report.


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<~>Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake <~>


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: grib]
    #2705357 - 05/20/04 01:24 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

GAO is one of the last bastions of truth
and information in the US government.

This is why Bush and Cheney wanted to
cut their funding drastically.

Lord knows that transparent governance
and free flow of information would be a
terrible threat to the doublespeak.


--------------------
All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: grib]
    #2706381 - 05/20/04 04:58 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

The true crime is that an unconstitutional program like medicare exists anyway.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2706388 - 05/20/04 04:59 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Way to change the subject, luvvie.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: silversoul7]
    #2706422 - 05/20/04 05:07 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Actually silvie, it's not. Were there no medicare, there would be no medicare video.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2706428 - 05/20/04 05:08 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

It's about the administration violating an anti-propaganda law. The subject matter of the propaganda is irrelevant.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: silversoul7]
    #2706485 - 05/20/04 05:19 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

So don't read my posts. I consider it quite relevant.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2706495 - 05/20/04 05:20 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

No hijacking threads.

Start your own "Medicare is teh SUXXX" thread if you wants.


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Offlineshakta
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2708398 - 05/20/04 11:12 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Baby_Hitler said:
No hijacking threads.

Start your own "Medicare is teh SUXXX" thread if you wants.




Bwahahahahah! Funnay! Whateva. Kerry is violating the stupid campaign reform law.

Who gives a fuck what the GAO and murdering ass Kennedy say. Take it to court if you are so butthurt and think you have a case.


Edited by shakta (05/20/04 11:14 PM)


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: shakta]
    #2708415 - 05/20/04 11:16 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I don't have my gibberish to english dictionary on me right now.


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Offlineshakta
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2708425 - 05/20/04 11:18 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Baby_Hitler said:
I don't have my gibberish to english dictionary on me right now.




Suck it. Your post was no more coherent than mine.


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: shakta]
    #2708453 - 05/20/04 11:26 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Baby Hitler's post made sense to me...
I'm a little confused about "murdering ass Kenedy"?


Could you start a thread about how Kerry violated "campaign reform law"?



Good for the GAO, doing it's job, supervising the spending of public funds.


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Offlineshakta
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: phi1618]
    #2708460 - 05/20/04 11:27 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Sorry. I am a bit stoned. Kennedy is a murderer. Get it?

Edited to add: Here is an unbiased link to the Kerry finance thing.

http://www.rnc.org/News/Read.aspx?ID=4061

Hey, if it is OK for everyone else to use totally biased sources why can't I? :grin:


Edited by shakta (05/20/04 11:30 PM)


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: shakta]
    #2708513 - 05/20/04 11:38 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

yeah, that's about moveon.org and other groups that are strongly anti-Bush but not part of the Kerry campaign - allows individuals to circumvent campaign finance laws. I don't believe it's actually a violation, though "I am not a lawyer".
I used to be sure that campaign finance laws were a good thing, but I'm sure that it would be a bad thing to prohibit groups or individuals from saying whatever they want about political candidates - and unless you prohibit speech relating to politics, there'll always be an easy end run around campaign finance.

Which Kenedy is a murderer? What does it have to do with the GAO? (not that this thread isn't totally derailed anyway...)


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Offlineshakta
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: phi1618]
    #2708519 - 05/20/04 11:39 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Sorry for the derailment. I think the campaign finance laws are complete BS. Edward Kennedy is a murderous scumbag. If you don't like the President fine. His drunken diatribes are bad for America.


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OfflineMushmonkey
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: grib]
    #2709324 - 05/21/04 02:17 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Well I hate to do this but I'm about to crash, but I can't stop myself.

Quote:

"It was bad enough to conceal the cost of the Medicare drug bill from the Congress and the American people," said Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ranking member Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., referring to a related controversy over differing estimates of the cost of the Medicare bill. "It is worse to use Medicare funds for illegal propaganda to try to turn this lemon of a bill into lemonade for the Bush campaign




The day I pay any mind to anything that uses Ted Kennedy as an authority for anything that isn't being a drunken, immoral bastard is the day I'll suck my own wang in public. No, seriously. I'd vote Clinton before Kennedy, and I dddeeesspppiiiiiise clinton..


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OnlineHagbardCeline
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: Mushmonkey]
    #2710570 - 05/21/04 12:22 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Just an interesting side note about Kennedy.

I know a guy who was in Florida (Miami I believe) visiting friends.  They were all out at some trendy restraunt/bar.  Well, the place was packed with no sitting room left.  Who should show up but Ted Kennedy and his entourage. 

He said the management came up to some people who were sitting at a large table with relatively few people next to them and explained who was there and  asked if could they have the table and the people obliged them.  However there were too few chairs at the table for all of Ted's guests.  So after they came up to the table and looked around, he came to this guy and asked if they would give him their chairs. :finger: 

He told him "No, we're using them as you can see."  Ted replied "Do you know who  I am?"
He laughed at him and said "Yeah" and some saracastic remark I can't remember verbatim.  He said Ted then got really pissed and went to management again demanding that they get them some chairs.  The manager and Ted then asked a few people who all declined and finally he just got pissed and they left.

Just thought I would share. :laugh:


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2711578 - 05/21/04 04:21 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Yeah, aren't you that guy that drowned that girl, Mr. Chappaquiddick, right?

(edit: typo)


--------------------
All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


Edited by afoaf (05/21/04 04:23 PM)


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OfflineMushmonkey
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Re: GAO - Bush administration violated anti-propaganda law [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2711907 - 05/21/04 05:37 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Heh Hag, that's an awesome story. I hope you don't mind I'm going to pass it along to my dad -- if he was there I'm pretty sure he would've been the guy that laughed at him heh.
Let's bash him more. Remember those judges that Bush wanted to appoint, and the Demos were threatening to filibuster? 'cause you know that's acceptable and has been done before, wait no itn's not and hasn't. That quote from him was priceless. He called a group of successful minorities "Neanderthals". And got away with it, because he's a murderous drunk I think..
O and how about those files that were pulled off that server, wherein he is discussing delaying the appointment of those same judges in order to affect the outcome of certain trials to appease supporters. 0% shady, folks. I'd vote for him.

Now so far as
"It's about the administration violating an anti-propaganda law. The subject matter of the propaganda is irrelevant."
This.. goes.

Anyone read that article. anyone see the total bullshit.
They didn't label SPECIFIC SECTIONS of a continuous tape as "Government-Made", they just labeled the WHOLE THING as theirs.. and now apparently that's wrong, each individual piece needed its own warning.
UM.

GG DEMOCRATS NO RE! That's such a fucking stupid position to even try to stand on. If I'm watching a movie, and at the beginning it gives me the director and producer.. it's safe to assume it's the same director and producer throughout the entire piece unless otherwise noted. But apparently if I'm watching a government-produced tape, and it says "US GUBMINT" at the beginning, I guess some time after the first cut we are supposed to assume it's not them making it anymore, it's someone else.. and ohno it's not that's illegal they're being intentionally deceptive!


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