The Bush misinformation machine is ramping up for the final three years of nation-weakening. The biggest push right now is to define poverty down, by massaging and misrepresenting figures to show that poverty in the United States has for all intents and purposes been eradicated.
This is an incredibly bold move. To compare this with another well-known instance of Bush information manipulation and lies, on the issue of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, misinformation and lies were a good tactic, since the U.S. government in effect was the exclusive source of information even for fairly sophisticated decision-makers, such as the editorial boards of the major newspapers, and even members of Congress. The contrary voices, such as the independent organizations monitoring international chemical warfare and defense matters, were easily marginalized.
But is it really possible that Boobus Americanus is so boobish as to not even notice the poor people he or she sees and passes every day? It is possible, certainly, to ignore the poor, but is it really possible to give any credence to a message that they do not exist at all?
One final thought: Johnny Sunshine, a/k/a former Dem VP nominee John Edwards, has made poverty his signature issue. Is it possible that the Republicans have targeted him as the most dangerous opponent in 2008, and are trying to defuse his issue?