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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Monday, May 8, 2006

How unpopular is Dubya's handling of Iraq?

So unpopular that officials in the Agriculture Department are being ordered to talk up Dubya's successes in Iraq.

According to Washington Post columnist Al Kamen, Dubya has ordered all members of his cabinet and their assistants to include talking points on the 'war on terrorism' in their public speeches, paying particular attention to what their particular department is doing in Iraq. That policy was communicated to officials in the Ag Department in a May 2 email from department speechwriter Heather Vaughn.

As you'd imagine, the links to agriculture are pretty strained. Take a look:


Dubya's Iraq talking points


From Kamen's column:

The e-mail, sent to about 60 undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and other political appointees, was also sent to "a few people to whom it should not have gone," said the department's communications director, Terri Teuber. The career people, we are assured, are not being asked to spread the great news on Iraq in their talks to food stamp recipients, disadvantaged farmers, enviros or other folks.

The e-mail provided language "being used by Secretary [Michael O.] Johanns and deputy secretary [Charles F.] Conner in all of their remarks and is being sent to you for inclusion in your speeches."

Another attachment "contains specific examples of GWOT messages within agriculture speeches. Please use these message points as often as possible and send Harry Phillips, USDA's director of speechwriting, a weekly email summarizing the event, date and location of each speech incorporating the attached language. Your responses will be included in a weekly account sent to the White House."

So not only are agriculture officials having to talk up Iraq, but the White House is going to keep a list of which official has been nice and which one has been naughty.

Besides the talking points, the May 2 memo includes examples of how to work Iraq into various types of speeches. You really should go look at them here [PDF file] to get a sense how Dubya's administration is all spin and no substance.

Via The Gadflyer.

| | Posted by Magpie at 1:47 PM | Get permalink




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