Department of Propaganda? Update: AOL Hot Seat poll added

posted at 10:12 am on October 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe this is the Hope and Change we were promised.  One official government website now includes a form to express support of Dear Leader President Obama’s effort to overhaul the American medical system, a clear violation of laws against executive-branch propaganda through public channels.  Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter demanding an explanation from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, on whose website this form appears:

Senate Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is raising concerns that a Department of Health and Human Services Web site that urges visitors to send an e-mail to President Barack Obama praising his health care reform plan may violate rules against government-funded propaganda.

The Web page is accessed through a “state your support” button featured prominently on the HHS Web site and carries a disclaimer that the Web site is maintained by HHS.

In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Tuesday, Grassley warned that “any possible misuse of appropriated funds by the executive branch to engage in publicity or propaganda in support of an Administration priority is a matter that must be investigated and taken seriously,” noting that in 2005 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued that “the use of official funds for similar activities were ‘underhanded tactics’ and that these tactics ‘are not worthy of our great democracy.’”

Subtle, it ain’t.  Here’s a screenshot of the main HHS website; note the graphic on the sidebar:

It reads: “Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of care goes up while others face losing insurance as businesses struggle to cover employees. Visit www.HealthReform.gov“.  When people click on the graphic or the link, they go to the site accurately reported by Roll Call as a campaign site for Obama’s health-care reform efforts, on the .gov site that should be for official business only.  People can add their names and contact information in support of the following letter:

Dear Mr. President,

We strongly support your commitment to comprehensive health reform.

This is not a luxury. The continuing, sharp escalation of health care costs for families, businesses, and government is unsustainable. Reform is imperative.

We believe that health reform must be enacted this year.

Reform is needed to help America’s families struggling with rising costs and those who are losing their insurance. At the same time, real health reform is crucial to keeping American businesses competitive in the world economy and for the country’s long-term economic viability. As our country faces economic challenges, the time for reform is now.

We support health reform that follows these principles:

  • Protect families’ financial health
  • Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
  • Provide portability of coverage
  • Guarantee choice of doctors
  • Invest in prevention and wellness
  • Improve patient safety and quality of care
  • End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions
  • Reduce long-term growth of health costs for businesses and government

During these extraordinarily challenging times, we need to put aside past differences and address the health and economic crisis. Our shared interest must come before narrow interests so we can achieve a health system that is affordable and provides high quality for all Americans. We will support your budget with its reserve fund dedicated to achieving health care reform in a fiscally responsible manner. Each of us must be prepared to contribute to achieving this fundamental goal.

By signing this statement we affirm our commitment to work with you and our Congressional leaders to enact legislation this year which provides affordable, high quality coverage for all Americans.

Frankly, it’s impossible to read this as anything but propaganda for the White House.  And what happens to the contact information entered in the form?  Does that get used by Barack Obama for his re-election campaign?  Is he using government websites to fuel a mailing list for his own electoral use?

Grassley wants answers to all of these questions — and so should we all.

Update: Added AOL Hot Seat poll.


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Comments

a capella on October 21, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Agreed. All we are really discussing is the timing of the default. The aftermath of which is the basis for great science fiction.

What I have learned from financial history is that the current conditions/trajectory can go on a lot longer than dreamed. As they often say “the market can remain irrational a lot longer than you can remain solvent”.

patrick neid on October 21, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Department of Education: politicized
Department of Justice: politicized
Department of Health and Human Services: politicized

What else?

Abby Adams on October 21, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Dept. of Labor: politicized

FCC: politicized

Office of Information and Technology: politicized

Dept. of Transportation: politicized

Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs: politicized

Dept. of Justice: politicized

Dept. of State: politicized

Dept. of Energy: politicized

Dept. of the Interior: politicized

Oh, the hell with it! What has not been politicized by this administration?

Archimedes on October 21, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Grassley wants answers to all of these questions — and so should we all.

Barry and Co. will get back to us right around, oh, the 12th of never.

Physics Geek on October 21, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Oh, 2011 is going to get VERY interesting. The information which will be forcibly compelled will stun America.

marklmail on October 21, 2009 at 12:22 PM

They aren’t doing anything Mao wouldn’t do!

Star20 on October 21, 2009 at 1:00 PM

of course it’s nothing like hiring armstrong williams to the DoEd to promote no child left behind… or promoting the bush agenda on irs press releases… or the hhs and the agriculture dept producing and distributing fake news segments to credulous news orgs that air them as real news…

sesquipedalian343 on October 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Not even a nice try, kid.

Del Dolemonte on October 21, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Oh yeah. Remember to sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than the elbow of your crook.
.
.
H1N1 vaccines delivery too slow to make a difference in general population. Maybe you should get to work on that, Katy Baby, before we lose thousands to a disease that is preventable.
.
What do you folks want, your very own Katrina Moment?
.
Incompetent.

ExpressoBold on October 21, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Don’t worry. This will neither be illegal nor unethical once BHO and the government has control of the internet.

jack herman on October 21, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Note on the Secretary’s website and the support for Obama form is offered in Espanol for the English challenged.

FireBlogger on October 21, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Has a president ever needed more patting on the head? I swear my dog looks for less praise than Obama, maybe if the praise goes away he’ll turn back into 5 O’clock Shadow Barry with his open shirt and cig.

Rbastid on October 21, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Mr Obambi doesn’t want to overhaul the healthcare system, he wants to run it. thats why the republicans who have some genuine good ideas on how to better the system and lower the price are shut out of the process. Rise up America and vote these clowns out for once and for all. We can do better than this sh*t.

bluegrass on October 21, 2009 at 2:22 PM

CNN, ABC,NBC and CBS should run a fact check on TRANSPARENCY
of this administration. People need not ever forget that they have had a hand in these charades all along. And in the meantime FNC is growing on a daily basis. I wonder if Bob Schaffers School of Journalism he runs has a continuing ed class on this topic. I salute Jake Tapper for standing up to these A$$ kissing propagandist.

bluegrass on October 21, 2009 at 2:28 PM

the more I look at this hag the more I thik she is Festus Hagans sister.

bluegrass on October 21, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Just voted. The 10% who said that HHS should be a propaganda outlet are from DC, VT, and Hawaii. What a surprise. DC and HI are welfare states and VT is radical liberal.

highhopes on October 21, 2009 at 2:44 PM

was Joe authoriZed to reinstall missile defense in Poland or is he just being Joe?

good grief

I would be glad if it holds true!

ginaswo on October 21, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I swear my dog looks for less praise than Obama,

Rbastid on October 21, 2009 at 2:12 PM

That is QOTD material! LOL

maybe if the praise goes away he’ll turn back into 5 O’clock Shadow Barry with his open shirt and cig.

It’s going to get ugly. At some point be it after the impeachment, 2012 elections or 2016… the filthy lying coward will no longer be President. The media will go away. There will be a few years when he still gets the headlines but there will be a day when he’s just some guy who used to be important. Obama can’t deal with that kind of normal.

highhopes on October 21, 2009 at 2:51 PM

aquaviva on October 21, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Thanks, I just saw this…

Lily on October 21, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Thanks, our County Health Dept. is handling it–they have offered it two different times and been out of it withing a few hours. I didn’t find out in time–the next batch is supposed to be for people with health problems. I will definitely be watching. I have myself on their email list now. I should be notified right away–I hope. Thank you for your concern.

lovingmyUSA on October 21, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Obama: This is not the transpanency you were looking for, go about your business, move along.

Shame our media is not siding with this clown or he would really be riding high……obvious pot legalization joke.

Let’s think positive:

VOTE republican in 2010 and back to conservative values..

ONLY 3 1/2 years to get rid of CrockObama.

dthorny on October 21, 2009 at 3:14 PM

lovingmyUSA on October 21, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Good luck. Be praying for you!

Lily on October 21, 2009 at 3:15 PM

It’s going to get ugly. At some point be it after the impeachment, 2012 elections or 2016… the filthy lying coward will no longer be President. The media will go away. There will be a few years when he still gets the headlines but there will be a day when he’s just some guy who used to be important who lives in the neighborhood who happened to bomb the pentagon, killed policemen, just normal folk who wrote his autobiography….uhh, his first one, anyway. Obama can’t deal with that kind of normal.

highhopes on October 21, 2009 at 2:51 PM

dthorny on October 21, 2009 at 3:18 PM

ACT for the sake of your nation. Let them hear what you think.

Mailing Address and Telephone Number
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Telephone: 202-619-0257
Toll Free: 1-877-696-6775

pjean on October 21, 2009 at 3:56 PM

All the YES votes are out of DC.

All 9 out of the 5200 votes cast.

PappaMac on October 21, 2009 at 4:06 PM

I’m a strong conservative. Many of the conservatives on this site are to my left. I’m wondering, though, how it is that people get upset about a branch of the Executive Department (HHS) officially supporting the position of the chief executive. While I totally disagree with Obama’s health care plan (and virtually every other plan he has), I do expect his administration to follow his lead.

Buford Gooch on October 21, 2009 at 4:15 PM

OT/
Sebelius..(isn’t that the name of one of the monster dogs that guards Hades?)..Has a major case of stink eye, it looks like it was caused by smoking magic markers or possibly having her horn sawed off.
Drudge has a pic.

Sorry..carry on.

Itchee Dryback on October 21, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Patriot Vet on October 21, 2009 at 11:15 AM

They don’t allow comments from kids under 13 because of a federal law prohibiting the solicitation of personal information from children under 13.

Itchee Dryback on October 21, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Sebelius’s eye looks like that because she just had surgery to have a carcinoma above her eye removed. It’ll heal.

Ok, done with course corrections. Boo propaganda!

alwaysfiredup on October 21, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Sebelius’s eye looks like that because she just had surgery to have a carcinoma above her eye removed.

alwaysfiredup on October 21, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Suure..thats what they want you to think..Brietbart has a vid of her getting the horn sawed off.

Ok..Booo propaganda!

Itchee Dryback on October 21, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Many Kansans were happy when Sebelius was no longer their governor, but now we are all stuck with her!

yoda on October 21, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Many Kansans were happy when Sebelius was no longer their governor, but now we are all stuck with her!

yoda on October 21, 2009 at 6:23 PM

After the election, people in Michigan were openly hoping that Jennifer Granholm would be offered a job in the new administration. The woman has done so much damage to the state that we figured it was America’s turn to have to deal with her incompetence on an epic scale. The filthy lying coward in the White House stuck it to the state once again by leaving her in Lansing.

highhopes on October 21, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Judge Apolitano made excellent, informative remarks on FOX & FRIENDS this morning. Explained how it is that the Obama Admin. is again violating the law with this (yet again) website propaganda method they’re unable to abandon.

Obama and crew really cannot use government legitimately. They seem compelled to go to the street.

So much for that ridiculous sales pitch that Barack Obama is “a Constitutional scholar”. More like a Constitutional Hacker.

Lourdes on October 21, 2009 at 8:47 PM

I swear my dog looks for less praise than Obama,

Rbastid on October 21, 2009 at 2:12 PM

It would be cheaper to just hire some “fluffers” to keep Barry “up”. Think of it as a personal stimulus for his “package”. I’m so sick of these whining babies!

.
Barry, buy some class. It’s on us.

NightmareOnKStreet on October 21, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Not even a nice try, kid.

Del Dolemonte on October 21, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Agreed,
Ed, we really deserve a better quality troll on HA.

Red State State of Mind on October 21, 2009 at 9:32 PM

After the election, people in Michigan were openly hoping that Jennifer Granholm would be offered a job in the new administration. The woman has done so much damage to the state that we figured it was America’s turn to have to deal with her incompetence on an epic scale. The filthy lying coward in the White House stuck it to the state once again by leaving her in Lansing.

highhopes on October 21, 2009 at 6:51 PM

I’m almost embarrassed to say that I am a woman when I see these two women on t.v. Granholm is a disaster for Michigan and I hope you can get her voted out soon.

yoda on October 21, 2009 at 9:41 PM

Buford Gooch on October 21, 2009 at 4:15 PM

It is one thing to support the President quite another to use the executive branch as a propaganda arm. Think of it as Obama using tax dollars to campaign because that is exactly what he is doing. He has yet to faithfully fulfill the oath of office.

jdkchem on October 21, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Chuck Grassley is not a real U.S. Senator. And I would hope the other real Senators won’t follow his lead.

Doughboy on October 21, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Oh, right, now there’s a strategy! Get more Senators to betray the Constitution! It’s a Democrat’s dream! Go for it!

Lourdes on October 21, 2009 at 10:27 PM

Chuck Grassley is not a real U.S. Senator. And I would hope the other real Senators won’t follow his lead.

Doughboy on October 21, 2009 at 10:18 AM

You aren’t aware, are you, that this latest website maneuver by Obama violates several laws?

Ohh, but he’s a “Constitutional Scholar”!

And chocolate brownies grow in the hedges of Barackistan, and Green Genies jump out of the lamps in Obamaville, and…

Lourdes on October 21, 2009 at 10:29 PM

The Rule of Law will be Obama’s undoing.

TN Mom on October 21, 2009 at 10:35 PM

This is like those little ads I see all the time that go ..
Obama will give you $1,500 to go back to school

Yeah, like this money is coming out of his royalty checks from Dreams or something.

J_Crater on October 21, 2009 at 10:49 PM

“Propaganda” ?? What do you mean, “propaganda”?? Don’t ever say that again or I’ll send my civilian paramilitary force over to arrest your ass…

Dopenstrange on October 21, 2009 at 11:37 PM

When the Government so blithely ignores the law, how long will it be for We The People to follow suit?

Citizens? Or Serfs.

USCitizen on October 21, 2009 at 11:55 PM

I never thought I see the day and for it to happen so fast. Oh yes America has been slowly changing, maybe we just hit critical mass now. Either we will keep going the way we are and America is no more (not as we know it) or there is an uprising (more than we have done lately. I do not like either one but I would take the latter than the former.

Teleycoman on October 21, 2009 at 11:58 PM

My vote was “There shouldn’t be a Department of HHS.”

flataffect on October 22, 2009 at 1:14 AM

My email via the contact page at HealthReform.gov:

I think all government employees, including the President and all members of Congress, should be the first to enroll in any new government health care reform program. That way the American people can see how great it is before they have to enroll in it.

I really think that anyone who now doubts the sincerity of proponents of the health care program would be finally convinced when they see our national leaders formally sign up for the new plan and forsake their current privileges.

I think this kind of thing has been done before when encouraging people to get flu shots and similar programs.

fred5678 on October 22, 2009 at 7:18 AM

Teleycoman on October 21, 2009 at 11:58 PM,

We have been fighting a “cold” civil war for the last 9 years.

What we are seeing now out of the Obamao regime is what the leftists wanted to start putting into place in 2000. They were thwarted in doing so because they lost the executive branch by a whisker and they have banging their spoons on their high chair trays ever since.

Now that they have control of the executive and legislative branches and the MSM they are moving full speed ahead with installing their Maoist agenda. The two major mistakes they have made is in trying to push for the appearance of “bipartisan support” for it in the legislative branch and they assumed that the “sleeping giant” that is the American people would stay asleep.

They have failed and they know it. Their dreams of establishing a totalitarian regime with a “President-for-life” have come crashing down to earth. You can tell when the realization that they have failed finally crossed their minds because that is when they ramped up their attacks on any and all who oppose them.

Now they are in a desperate race to try to do as much damage as they can before their ship sinks. If they can not have their totalitarian regime with a “President-for-life” they will do their best to destroy this country because that has been their goal all along. They would rather do it slowly so they can loot and pillage all they can but if that isn’t possible they will scorch the earth so there is nothing left.

Now there is something that everyone needs to remember during the coming months and years. History teaches that no totalitarian regime has ever given up power willingly. It has to be pried out of their broken and bloody hands. It will be no different with the Obamao/Corruptocrat regime-they will use every trick in the book and they will stop at nothing in order to stay in power.

Nahanni on October 22, 2009 at 8:28 AM

“of course it’s nothing like hiring armstrong williams to the DoEd to promote no child left behind… or promoting the bush agenda on irs press releases”

Of course we know of this because Fox and the rest of the media investigated and brought it to the attention of the public. Now? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm.

I cannot wait for the extensive reporting on the Civilian Defence Force with a budget as large as the DOD.

davod on October 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM