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The Taxpayer Funded PR Campaign for Obamacare Begins…

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Published on: May 26, 2012

Original Article Link - The Taxpayer Funded PR Campaign for Obamacare Begins…

Only in public schools and universities is the fairly tale still taught that governments are representative of the people. The blue collared man on the street realizes the chips are stacked against him. For those who don’t have political connections, the pseudo fascist system that is still referred to as “capitalism” in the U.S. is akin to a casino game of chance. That is, the odds are always in the house’s favor. The house is the federal leviathan and its equivalent at the state and local level as well as the big, cartelized industries which feed off government protection. As comedian George Carlin accurately observed:

It’s a big club and you ain’t in it!

Even the catalyst for the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party, was not a grand political statement on the unjustifiable nature of taxation without representation. At the time, founding father John Hancock was the richest smuggler in North America. The British Parliament lowered the import tax on tea in 1773 which cut into Hancock’s profits. According to economic historian Gary North:

The Tea Party had stopped the unloading of the tea by throwing privately owned tea off a privately owned ship – a ship in competition with Hancock’s ships. The Boston Tea Party was in fact a well-organized protest against lower prices stemming from lower taxes.

The state, by virtue of its monopoly on predation, has always functioned as a power center to be exploited by the elite few. Politicians deceive their way to public office by promising voters the world while pocketing the campaign funds to do the bidding of their corporate masters. For all his populist rhetoric, President Obama was bankrolled into office by Wall Street; namely Goldman Sachs. This is why no top financial executives have been charged for fraud stemming from the housing bubble. It’s the same reason he backed the granting of immunity to telecommunication companies for illegally aiding Washington in warrant-less domestic wiretapping of private communications. Obama travels the country on the taxpayer’s dime to convince Americans he is still the fighter for the middle class. The more gullible of voters will believe the lie time and time again despite his administration being staffed by Wall Street alum. They are infatuated with the idea of being part of something meaningful. This naivety en masse is the true aim of the state. It ensures for the least amount of objection and more opportunity for exploitation by the establishment.

The President’s “universal health care” scheme is yet another example of the incestual relationship between big government and big business.

In what can only be described as a modern day case of Orwellian irony, the Health and Human Services Department has awarded a $20 million contract to public relations firm Porter Novelli to begin promoting the Affordable Care Act. From The Hill newspaper:

The Health and Human Services Department has signed a $20 million contract with a public-relations firm to highlight part of the Affordable Care Act.

The new, multimedia ad campaign is designed to educate the public about how to stay healthy and prevent illnesses, an HHS official said.

The campaign was mandated by the Affordable Care Act and must describe the importance of prevention while also explaining preventive benefits provided by the healthcare law. The law makes many preventive services available without a co-pay or deductible, and provides new preventive benefits to Medicare patients.

To sum up this disconnect between reality and fantasy: the myth goes that government is beholden to the people. Elected representatives only ever act in the best interest of their constituents. This is why Congress enacted a health care reform bill that was opposed by a majority of the American public. But of course the reform was for their own good. The public wasn’t allowed to know the final ramifications of Obamacare before it was passed. The truth is never meant for the little people. That’s why then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared “we have to pass the bill so that you can…find out what is in it.” In other words, “obey us unconditionally.”

Again, this whole affair was supposedly done in the public’s interest. Average Joe just doesn’t understand what is good for him. How dare he question the intention of his political leaders!

Now a promotional campaign must be undertaken to convince the people that this new frontier in health care is a great step forward to more affordability. Taxpayers only have to pick up the $20 million tab to be told about the good their government delivers to them.

What the ad campaign won’t reveal is that the Affordable Care Act was never the product of well-meaning souls but was crafted exclusively by the health industry itself. The bill is virtually identical to a plan outlined by the trade association American’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) in 2009. A former Vice President to Wellpoint Inc. was revealed to have written the original bill in 2009. Stocks of health care companies actually shot up as the bill made its way through Congress. The reasoning was quite simple since the bill acts as a huge subsidy to the industry. With millions poised to be forced into buying insurance, Howard Dean was dead on when he called the bill “an insurance company’s dream.”

Like compulsory vaccinations, the individual mandate is nothing but an industry bailout. Under the guise of protecting the right of citizens, government merely acts as a puppet of entrenched special interests. Politicians and bureaucrats further advance their dream of centrally managing more of the economy while simultaneously appeasing big business. Competition is inhibited with regulatory red tape as the big players continue to rake in income and market share. The state looks out for itself and its financiers only.

With Obamacare, the middle class will end up being liable for yet another entitlement program that, like any other government initiative, will cost more than was initially estimated. Worse yet, they will be bombarded with advertisements they paid for which attempt to convince them that Uncle Sam has once again delivered prosperity with a badge and a gun.

The disheartening part is some Americans will be foolish enough to actually believe it.

James E. Miller holds a BS in public administration with a minor in business from Shippensburg University, PA. He is the Editor in Chief at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada and a current contributor to his hometown newspaper, the Middletown Press and Journal.

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Catholic Bishops Sound Battle Cry for Religious Liberty

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Published on: May 25, 2012

Original Article Links - Catholic Bishops Sound Battle Cry for Religious Liberty

Liberals are waging a war on Christianity. This is the real reason why the Catholic bishops this week filed lawsuits against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. The Catholic church realizes religious freedom is at stake. If the courts don’t overturn President Obama’s authoritarian regulations, America will slide toward secular tyranny.

On Jan. 20, the Health and Human Services Department issued a mandate compelling nearly all religious organizations — including Catholic hospitals, universities, schools and charities — to provide their employees with free birth control, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. This is a direct assault upon the conscience rights of numerous Christian groups, compelling them to violate their central religious beliefs or face massive penalties. The HHS ruling was clear: comply or go out of business. The Obama administration is striking at the very heart of the First Amendment. It is an unprecedented attack on religious liberty. Our Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves.

The Catholic hierarchy rightly balked. The bishops asked that HHS revise the mandate and broaden the exemption to religious institutions. The administration adopted a meaningless, cosmetic change. Instead of the religious organizations paying for free contraception, the burden will fall on their insurance providers. It is a distinction without a difference. Religious groups will still have to pay for the health provider’s premiums, while other institutions, such as the University of Notre Dame, are self-insured. Hence, fundamental religious freedoms are still being violated.

Mr. Obama has done the unthinkable: He has painted the Catholic church into a corner. For decades, Catholic leaders have been allies of the Democratic Party, championing social justice, welfare liberalism and higher taxes. The administration has thrown the church under the bus; it has sacrificed the interests of Catholics in favor of the secular progressive left. Bill Maher and George Soros now own the Democratic establishment — lock, stock and barrel.

This is why Catholic bishops, including the heads of the archdioceses of New York and Washington, are taking the administration to court. Their goal: to block the HHS mandate. Mr. Obama is in direct conflict with the leadership of the Catholic church. The liberal media has deliberately downplayed the issue, falsely presenting it as being driven by a group of minority reactionary Catholics obsessed with sexuality. Moreover, Democrats are falsely accusing the Catholic church and Republicans of seeking to deny women access to contraception. The left claims there is now “a war on women.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Opposition to the contraceptive mandate is shared not only by Catholics, but by numerous religious denominations — Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims. They rightly understand this is not a Catholic issue. It is a First Amendment issue. The state is attempting to coerce religious organizations into accepting the secular radical agenda. The church of liberalism trumps Jesus Christ (as well as Moses and the prophet Muhammad).

For Catholics, the issue at stake is this: Who heads the church, Pope Benedict XVI or Barack Obama? The Catholic church has the right to determine its fundamental social teachings on abortion, contraception, homosexuality, marriage, sterilization and euthanasia. It champions a “culture of life” — that every human being is created in the image of God and the purpose of existence is to obey the natural moral order. This directly contradicts the radical individualism and neopagan hedonism at the heart of modern liberalism. Therefore, liberals, like their ideological predecessors — Jacobins, Bolsheviks, communists, fascists — view Christianity as a mortal enemy that must be destroyed.

For decades, America’s secular elites have sought to eradicate our Judeo-Christian heritage from the public square. They have imposed abortion on demand, resulting in the mass murder of over 50 million unborn babies — a holocaust. They have taken down the Ten Commandments from courthouses. They have banned prayer in public schools. They have glorified sexual promiscuity, encouraging educators to hand out condoms and birth control pills to 12- and 13-year-olds. They are actively seeking to promote “homosexual marriage” against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Americans. In short, they are bent on implementing a social revolution from above.

Mr. Obama’s contraceptive mandate is the culmination of liberalism’s war on Christianity. The issue is not “women’s health” or access to birth control. Most insurance providers offer contraception, and it is available cheaply and almost everywhere. Rather, religious organizations must not be compelled to sacrifice their most cherished beliefs on the altar of liberalism. The Catholic church’s fight is freedom’s fight. We are all Catholics now.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.

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Obamacare Decision Paralyzes Dems

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Published on: May 25, 2012

Original Article Link - Obamacare Decision Paralyzes Dems

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

 

RUSH: I have a lot of people sending me e-mail, “What do you mean, Rush? I thought you made the complex understandable.” I do, I do. But sometimes things are so simple, it’s hard to understand. All it means is that sometimes the least conspiratorial, the least complicated, answer explains something.

And it’s thought to be so simple, it just can’t be. It’s gotta be more complicated. Oftentimes it’s not. And liberalism and the Democrat Party are so simple to explain that sometimes it’s difficult to understand it. But I look at Obama’s Bain attack, and it makes total sense based on everything we knew and suspected last fall about the regime desperately wanting Romney. They wanted Romney for two reasons. They wanted Romney because of Bain and Wall Street. That’s what Occupy Wall Street was all about. That’s why it was created and manufactured. And they wanted Romney because of health care.

By the way, that’s another thing. I think that the regime and the media and the Democrats are a little paralyzed. I really do. This is a movement — liberalism, Marxism, whatever — in the Democrat Party today. They are a party driven by events, and I think they are in a state of near paralysis over their fear the Supreme Court is gonna overturn Obamacare. That’s gonna be the biggest room in his presidential library and it’s just about to be declared unconstitutional. I think that’s their fear. I think they’re paralyzed waiting for that to happen, in part.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let me expand a little bit on what I was just talking about. This Bain business, so many Democrats, “Don’t talk about private equity, Barack, we like private equity.” Not only do they like it, they’re in it. They’re getting rich in private equity, and they are laying people off when they buy businesses, Obama’s own campaign managers. I will ‘splain this in mere moments. I want to expand here for mere moments on a point that I made right before the break. The stumbling out of the gate, and why.

Why is the Bain thing backfiring on ‘em? Why are all of these problems happening? Why is The Messiah seen to be muddling through? Why does he seem to be so blatantly political? Why is he so uncool and unsmooth now? How is it that Romney looks like he knows what he’s doing and Obama doesn’t? This is what they’re asking themselves. And I don’t think most people realize the importance of the Obamacare decision on the campaign. Forget whether or not they know the decision, ’cause even if they’ve been told what a vote was, they may know it, but let’s put that aside for a second. What they do know is that the oral arguments were a disaster.

They know that every argument made on behalf of Obamacare that the public was able to learn about was horrible, an absolute train wreck. It was a disaster, because there’s nothing to say about it. That’s why they had to pass the bill before telling anybody what’s in it. They don’t want people to know what’s in the health care bill. And because of the oral arguments, the court people got an idea, didn’t like it, they didn’t like it going in. Instinctively a majority of the people didn’t want it. Now, Obama’s campaign is organized around events, and the reason for this is, they have no record that they can run on. There is no mythological characteristic about Obama. He’s not larger than life anymore. Now he’s a guy that plays golf too much, goes on vacation all the time. His wife goes on vacation all the time.

There is a new reality about Obama. He’s no longer the empty canvas that you can paint whatever you want him to be on it. And so they’re organized around events. A typical event, Osama Bin Laden’s death. That’s an event. That’s an event that they point to. It’s an event that’s driven much of their campaign. It’s an opportunity to talk about something other than the jobs numbers or the housing market, and it’s events like this that drive the campaign and of course the news cycle. But there isn’t anything that approaches the level of Obamacare, and the big event in Obamacare is the court decision on whether or not it’s constitutional.

This idiotic column by this guy Rex Nutting saying that Obama is not the big spender we all know him to be, that event seized upon, and that horse is gonna be ridden until it dies of exhaustion. And Obama’s out there still trying to ride that horse. (imitating Obama) “Guess what? There’s a story in the paper the other day that said I’m not a big spender, and you know what? I’m not.” I mean, it’s a joke. But they’re hanging onto that one with their fingernails, too. Obamacare, however, defines Barack Obama. It’s the cornerstone of the forthcoming Obama presidential library. It’s his place in history, and it is where he gets to transform this country. He’s out there saying America has never worked. He means capitalism has never worked. And it’s health care, it’s Obamacare, fully implemented, that gives him the slam-dunk opportunity to finally, in his mind, remake this country, transform it into what it shoulda always been. But it, in their minds, is hanging in the balance. They are not confident.

This was his victory over America, folks. Obamacare was the victory over America. Obama at war with the America that was founded. Osawatomie, Kansas, he said this year: It’s not working; it’s never worked. America, capitalism. And Obamacare, that was the death knell, his victory over America, his victory over free markets, his victory over the Constitution. He has received countless toasts, tributes, congratulatory notes since that abysmal law was shoved down our throats. Obamacare’s passage was nirvana for Obama.

Now the campaign’s frozen. The Bain thing’s backfiring. This story by Rex Nutting is quickly becoming a joke, the point of the story is a joke, that Obama is the most responsible president in terms of spending since Eisenhower. I mean it’s a joke. Nobody believes it. The Democrats don’t even believe it. And as I say, I’ve got stories from the past three years, I’ll treat you to headlines to show you, Obama has desired more spending. So now the regime is consumed with planning how to handle the next event, and that’s the court decision on Obamacare.

Now, if it’s unfavorable to Obama, that’s gonna require his team to massage his ego and his feelings. They’re gonna have to be managed. Some other huge event will be necessary to make him feel better about himself, give the State-Controlled Media a reason not to talk about the health care decision for months. I know if they lose it they’ll turn it into a big campaign event. Exactly. Everything is an event with these people. I know what the campaign’s gonna be. If the court overturns this — and, by the way, there’s been a couple stories this week already aiming at Roberts. I know, Pat Leahy went nuts, but there were a couple of journalist stories, columns, Washington Post, I forget where, doesn’t matter, really talking about the legacy of the court, and if Roberts makes this a 5-4 decision, then the court may as well pack up its reputation forever, ’cause it’s gonna be worthless.

They’re trying to intimidate Roberts. They think Roberts is the place to go, not Kennedy. They think Roberts is the guy, he’s the chief, they think Roberts is the one malleable. They think Roberts can be humiliated and shamed into honoring the court’s reputation at the expense of the law. It’s what they think. The reason they think that is because they behave that way. They will put themselves ahead of the Constitution. They will put themselves ahead of the law. Hell, they’re doing it. The Senate’s not authorized to spend money, but Dingy Harry’s doing it. All spending bills have to start in the House. They’re aiming at Roberts. But if the decision goes against them, you know what the campaign is gonna be: Five Republicans have taken away your health care today. They still have theirs. Five Republicans today took away your health care, and it’s gonna be a huge campaign event. And there’s a part of me that thinks the regime might not mind if that happens, but still waiting on this to happen.

They are a little discombobulated. I don’t know that they’re so worried. I don’t know that they’re obsessing about it, but it is the next big event, and they are stumbling. Nothing is working. The unions are not gonna beat Scott Walker in Wisconsin. In fact, they may be turning Wisconsin into a state for Romney. The Bain thing isn’t working. The Obama is not a big spender thing isn’t working. Obama’s out there — you know, this cow pie joke he made? That’s akin to John Kerry going into that place in Ohio or Iowa, wherever it was, and looked like Johnny Carson’s character when he made fun of a hunter, (imitating Kerry) “Is this where I get me a huntin’ license?” John Kerry. Well, here’s Obama, probably had to be told what a cow pie was when they gave him the joke.

 

END TRANSCRIPT

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It Begins: Catholic University Drops all Health-Insurance Coverage in Response to HHS Mandate

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Published on: May 24, 2012

Original Article Link - It Begins: Catholic University Drops all Health-Insurance Coverage in Response to HHS Mandate

“The Obama Administration has mandated that all health insurance plans must cover “women’s health services” including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing medications as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),” the university says in a new post on its website. “Up to this time, Franciscan University has specifically excluded these services and products from its student health insurance policy, and we will not participate in a plan that requires us to violate the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacredness of human life.”

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Democratic Congressman Polis Wants Feds to Regulate Pizza in School Lunches

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Published on: May 24, 2012

LINK - Democratic Congressman Polis Wants Feds to Regulate Pizza in School Lunches

“A Democratic congressman is trying to give the federal government the power to regulate pizza in public school lunches, following a failed attempt last year.

The legislation proposed by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., would end pizza being counted as a vegetable in school lunches and allow the government to set nutritional standards.

Polis said Congress and fast-food lobbyists were able to nix a similar Agriculture Department plan last year. Frozen-pizza manufacturers are still able to have their product counted as a vegetable based on its tomato paste content.

The congressman said he’s got nothing against pizza in school lunches, but it shouldn’t be considered a vegetable because it includes sugar, salt and other ingredients that carry a high amount of fats and carbohydrates while childhood obesity and Type II diabetes remain a major concern…”

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The Heavens Will Not Fall If Obamacare Does

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Published on: May 23, 2012

Original Article Link - The Heavens Will Not Fall If Obamacare Does

As we come closer to finding out the Supreme Court’s disposition of the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the PPACA), and, in particular, its individual mandate (which requires virtually all adult Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty), there is an increasingly anguished lament coming from the left of the punditocracy and the political class.

There is palpable fear that the Court will (as it should, in my opinion), declare the individual mandate unconstitutional, and thereby undo the signature achievement of President Obama’s administration.

Perhaps, most notable is the New Republic’s distinguished court commentator, Jeffrey Rosen, who recently declared that if the Court throws out the individual mandate, it is likely to presage the return of “a series of legal doctrines that have been dormant since the New Deal but which judges could use to dismantle the post–New Deal regulatory state, including economic regulations, health and safety laws, and environmental laws.”

Similar comments to Rosen’s have been voiced by politicians, such as Senator Leahy, and the President himself has hinted that it would be completely improper for the Court to fail to give support to a measure such as the PPACA which was passed with broad Congressional support (whether it actually was or not).

There is a general feeling that if the Court does declare the individual mandate (or maybe even the entire PPACA) to go beyond the Constitutional bounds, the firestorm of criticism will make the reaction to Bush v. Gore look tame by comparison.

In the face of this disappointing attempt to intimidate the Court, and, in particular, its Chief Justice John Roberts and its perpetual swing voter Anthony Kennedy, it will take some courage for the Court to do what is Constitutionally correct, and we can only hope that courage is forthcoming.

The individual mandate of the PPACA is the boldest attempt yet to dramatically expand the reach of Congressional power. And, simply stated, no one has been able to explain how, if the Congress can do this, any limits remain on its power. The Government attorneys defending the PPACA at the recent Supreme Court arguments were not able to limn any such remaining limits, and this is because there are none.

Still, there are few clearer principles in the Court’s recent jurisprudence regarding the commerce clause than that there must remain some limits on Congressional power, and that the primary police power (the basic law-making ability) must remain with the states, and not with the federal government. Our original break with Great Britain was over the issue of untrammeled legislative power, and for the Supreme Court to fail to maintain the limits on Congressional authority would be to return us to an era of all-powerful government. Lodging such power in Congress would inevitably lead to other abuses, and other restrictions on individual freedom.

To strike down the individual mandate or the PPACA would not (as Rosen, Leahy and the President suggest) be improper judicial activism. Instead, it would simply be the implementation of the oath the Justices take to uphold the Constitution.

There is no threat that I can see to “economic regulations, health and safety laws, and environmental laws,” which the Court or the lower federal courts have already quite clearly upheld. The PPACA was the first time that the Congress sought to use its interstate commerce regulatory power to compel Americans to participate in commerce, rather than as a tool to regulate those already in the marketplace. It is an abuse of that power, and should be curtailed.

The heavens will not fall if the Court takes this sensible step, and future generations will quite likely be grateful to the Justices who do so.

Editor’s Note: Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History at Northwestern University School of Law, and a Professor of Business Law at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He was a signatory to two briefs filed in the Supreme Court urging the unconstitutionality of the PPACA.

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White House to Spend $20 million to Pitch ObamaCare

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Published on: May 23, 2012

Original Article Link - White House to Spend $20 million to Pitch ObamaCare

Ever since the Democrats passed ObamaCare “so we could find out what’s in it,” Americans have overwhelmingly said they didn’t like the new law.

Now, the Obama Administration is spending $20 million of taxpayer money on a new public relations campaign to try to sell us, yet again, on this unprecedented intrusion into our lives by legislation that 72% of Americans believe violates the Constitution.

The new public relations campaign “will inform the American people about the many preventative benefits” of ObamaCare according to the White House spin machine. Porter-Novelli, one of the planet’s glitziest consumer marketing firms, has been awarded the $20 million contract to direct a “national multi-media campaign” – the key word there is “campaign.”

Americans by a margin of 56:37 currently favor complete repeal of the President’s signature piece of legislation, and the animosity against ObamaCare continues to grow according to Rasmussen’s regular tracking of public opinion. That presents a significant challenge for a President seeking re-election.

So under a ruse of informing the public, the White House is using another $20 million of your money for his personal campaign purposes.

The more I hear about ObamaCare, the more I feel sick.

From Heritage:

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the group Judicial Watch last year revealed the lengths to which HHS has gone to attempt to sell Obamacare to a skeptical public:

  • The Obama HHS launched a campaign to track Internet searches and to use online search engines such as Google and Yahoo to drive traffic to a government website promoting Obama’s health care overhaul. Using “pay-per-click” advertising tools, such as Google Adwords, HHS purposely targeted people searching the term “Obamacare,” a word that has been described as “disparaging” by political agents of the president.
  • According to a budget summary prepared by Ogilvy, from October 2010 through February 2011, the Obama administration spent $1,435,009 on these online advertisements alone, including advertising campaigns with Google and Yahoo, almost $300,000 per month.
  • A number of documents address the need to target the Obamacare propaganda campaign to Hispanics, blacks, and women. For example, according to an email from Chris Beakey, vice president of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, to HHS officials on Dec. 16, 2010, summarizing a conference call, “You want to utilize the bulk of their paid media efforts (which would include expenditures for Radio One and Univision) on media that reaches African Americans and Hispanics. The money will go farther and these audiences continue to be a top priority.”
  • A Jan. 18, 2011, email from Ogilvy to HHS New Media Communications Director Julia Eisman notes with respect to a Spanish banner ad campaign, “I realize we really can’t use the blond mom and child for this audience.”

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