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December 20, 2006

America's Two Party System: The Marketing Party and The Product Party

We do have a two-party system in America: The Product Party and The Marketing Party. We have one party that spends its energy and its resources creating a product that will improve the lives of its supporters, and then we have a second party, one that invests its energy and its resources managing perception.

One party offers substance but without the sizzle, and one is so incredibly adept at selling that it can charm you into supporting an agenda that helps only those who don't need it, and actually hurts you and your family.

By mastering the management of perception and with an utter disregard for facts and reality, the Marketing Party's agenda and vision gets implemented - despite its horrendous consequences for the country, and the world. It has never been worse than it is now. The chasm between their vision, its consequences and the lifestyle and security of the average American is mind-boggling.

Do not underestimate the power of marketing. With enough money, a good campaign and some time, you really can make people think and do almost anything. Exactly why do you think Coke and Pepsi outsell all the other brands - because their sugar water is vastly superior to others? Exactly why do you think one brand of shampoo is "premium" and another is $5 a gallon - is it because they have different ingredients? No, it is because marketing works, especially on a public increasingly trained to respond.

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January 5, 2007

Surge Protection For Our Men And Women In Uniform

According to numerous reports, in the next few days President Bush will announce an escalation that will send an additional 30,000 or more men and women to serve in Iraq. Some reports indicate that as many as 70,000 additional troops will be on the ground in Iraq by the middle of next year.

Shockingly, three years after the invasion, the total number of men and women in uniform in Iraq could now be 200,000 soldiers. As part of this escalation, President Bush will also seek to permanently increase the size of the United States Army and the Marine Corps reversing a trend to a smaller full time military that has been three decades in the making.

President Bush will call for these additional men and women to serve another tour in Iraq despite the fact that many will have already have served one or more tours of duty there. The rest will be new recruits, young men and women as young as eighteen years of age. Bush will say the need for this "surge" is urgent - and it is, to Bush. As we have learned time and time again over the past few years, Bush urgencies are often different from "reality-based" urgencies: Administration Official: Troop Escalation 'More Of A Political Decision Than A Military One'

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April 27, 2007

SP ALERT: The Candidates All Flubbed The ONLY Question.

Will America be safer with a Republican president?

This has been the big "elephant in the room" question: the Republican branding of "strong on defense." Did any of the candidates knock this down?

Senator Clinton Senatorially said it is a "disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality" and then dived into policy details. "We haven't secured our borders, our ports, our mass transit systems ... resources haven't gotten to the front lines where decisions are made in local government..."

Senator Dodd also filibustered with boring policy details. "our first responders are not getting the support they deserve. The administration has been resistant in supporting them ... , not building the kind of international support -- stateless terrorism is a multinational problem ... requires a multinational response ... institutions we need to build to effectively engage and fight back against terrorism ... need to have leadership that knows how to build those relationships, to encourage that kind of participation..."

The other candidates didn't get a chance to respond, and politely did not.

But this is the question. This is, to many, the only question. Why didn't these candidates knock it out of the park?

We would not have been so polite. We would have made Mike Gravel look tame and shy -- shouting and waving our arms. We would have said:

"This is a lie. This is a marketing fraud perpetuated by the Right Wing against the American people. This is a well funded marketing program that is determined to mislead the American people and give them the Right Wing the power to send our sons and daughters to their deaths. It is just false.

This country was attacked on 9/11 and Americans died because this Republican administration was weak, not strong.

New York firefighters died because Rudy Giuliani was incompetent, and far from a hero.

The facts are clear. The Republicans market the myth. The Democrats deal in the reality of serving their country on the battlefield when they're young and keeping this country safer when they serve in Washington."

Continue reading "SP ALERT: The Candidates All Flubbed The ONLY Question." »

June 1, 2007

Nigerian Smokes and NASA Dopes

The indispensable Center for Media and Democracy featured a post on Wednesday on tobacco's marketing in the global south. It seems that at least one African nation, Nigeria, has had enough and is fighting back.

Nigeria's two largest states are following the lead of U.S. states, in suing British American Tobacco (BAT) of Nigeria, its U.K. parent company and Philip Morris International for the health care costs of treating sick smokers, The Times of London reported this week.

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David Sirota: ExxonMobil Channels Rumsfeld

David Sirota was at the ExxonMobil shareholder meeting this week down in Dallas and heard ExxonMobil CEO doing the darndest impression of Donald Rumsfeld.

Check out David's post and the great YouTube clip he put together.

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