Bill Maher, Frank Rich, Ezra Klein, and others join our Dumb White People reprise. Our original Dumb White People featured a discussion of David Hampton the African-American scam artist, as well as Andrew Sullivan and John Kerry.
For a fun understanding of people who are white, and dumb, we recall the Sherlock Holmes detective story The Red Headed League. In that tale of foolishness, an advertisement in a London newspaper appears with a proposal which is too good to be true. Red headed men will be provided a goodly sum of money for copying, by hand, the Encyclopaedia Britannica. A foolish red headed pawnbroker is enticed to answer the ad and is rewarded with the lucrative Red Headed League position. Of course the entire scheme is a scam
* * * * *
Before delving into the world of the dumb and the white let’s consider a smart African-American Congressman we used to admire. This African-American Congressman helped steal duly elected delegates from Hillary Clinton in order to give Barack Obama the Democratic nomination. We recall vividly said Congressman grinning broadly at the success in stealing the nomination at the Rules and By-laws Committee of the Democratic National Committee.
Now Congressman John Conyers regrets:
Congressman John Conyers says Barack Obama’s stance on health care has been wrong, and it’s going to cost the president “big time.” It might even cost Obama his second term in the White House.
Conyers gave that assessment at Washington’s Busboys and Poets restaurant, bookstore and bar, where the Progressive Democrats of America were celebrating their fifth anniversary. Conyers is the Congressional Black Caucus’s longest serving member, having represented Detroit since 1964, when Obama was a three-year-old. He’s also one of the most consistently progressive members of the House, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and author of single payer health care bill H.R. 676 – legislation the White House has done its best to smother. Obama once gave lip service to single payer health care, but as president has staked his reputation on a mishmash of corporate schemes and deals-with-the-devil masquerading as health care reform – a thoroughly confused and conflicted legislative concoction that Conyers describes, simply, as “crap.”
Conyers suggests that, at the end of the legislative process, progressive congresspersons may wind up voting against Obama on health care because the bill will be simply too bad for advocates of real reform to support.
Busboys and Poets is a favored gathering place for progressives of all races. On the January night last year when Obama won the South Carolina primary, the place was noisier and more boisterous than anybody’s sports bar – so many deliriously hopeful faces, such soaring expectations. Now, John Conyers was telling many of the same people: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”
BlackAgendaReport chimes in:
The truth is, Obama killed the prospects for real health care reform when, no sooner than he had taken the oath of office, he began threatening to cut Medicare and attempting to marginalize single payer advocates like John Conyers. What begins badly, usually ends badly.
* * * * *
African-American Congressman John Conyers is taking off his blinders and speaking some, a very little, of the truth about flim-flam scam artist Barack Obama.
Dumb White Person Frank Rich however cannot admit his greasy attacks on Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton were false. Dumb White Person Frank Rich is only now wondering if Obama is “punking” America. Frank Rich only now asks Is Obama Punking Us? when the answer has long been obvious:
In this maze of powerful moneyed interests, it’s not clear who any American in either party should or could root for. The bipartisan nature of the beast can be encapsulated by the remarkable progress of Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana congressman. Tauzin was a founding member of the Blue Dog Democrats in 1994. A year later, he bolted to the Republicans. Now he is chief of PhRMA, the biggest pharmaceutical trade group. In the 2008 campaign, Obama ran a television ad pillorying Tauzin for his role in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices. Last week The Los Angeles Times reported — and The New York Times confirmed — that Tauzin, an active player in White House health care negotiations, had secured a behind-closed-doors flip-flop, enlisting the administration to push for continued protection of drug prices. Now we know why the president has ducked his campaign pledge to broadcast such negotiations on C-Span.
The making of legislative sausage is never pretty. The White House has to give to get. But the cynicism being whipped up among voters is justified. Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose chief presidential campaign strategist unapologetically did double duty as a high-powered corporate flack, Obama promised change we could actually believe in.
His first questionable post-victory step was to assemble an old boys’ club of Robert Rubin protégés and Goldman-Citi alumni as the White House economic team, including a Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, who failed in his watchdog role at the New York Fed as Wall Street’s latest bubble first inflated and then burst. The questions about Geithner’s role in adjudicating the subsequent bailouts aren’t going away, and neither is the angry public sense that the fix is still in. We just learned that nine of those bailed-out banks — which in total received $175 billion of taxpayers’ money, but as yet have repaid only $50 billion — are awarding a total of $32.6 billion in bonuses for 2009.
It’s in this context that Obama can’t afford a defeat on health care. A bill will pass in a Democrat-controlled Congress. What matters is what’s in it. The final result will be a CAT scan of those powerful Washington interests he campaigned against, revealing which have been removed from the body politic (or at least reduced) and which continue to metastasize. The Wall Street regulatory reform package Obama pushes through, or doesn’t, may render even more of a verdict on his success in changing the system he sought the White House to reform.
The best political news for the president remains the Republicans. It’s a measure of how out of touch G.O.P. leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are that they keep trying to scare voters by calling Obama a socialist. They have it backward. The larger fear is that Obama might be just another corporatist, punking voters much as the Republicans do when they claim to be all for the common guy. If anything, the most unexpected — and challenging — event that could rock the White House this August would be if the opposition actually woke up.
Dumb, White, Frank Rich continues to beat up on Hillary when Hillary is the one corporate interests feared the most. Dumb, White, Frank Rich sees the chalk outline of what Obama represents but still looks for others to blame. Dumb, White, Frank Rich continues to protect Barack Obama even as the evidence mounts that Obama is not a socialist, nor a corporatist, nor a capitalist, nor a communist, nor a statist, nor a revolutionary – Barack Obama is an opportunist – that is the ideology which propels the flim-flam scam artist Joker from Chicago.
* * * * *
Dumb, White, Bill Maher is also busy protecting Barack Obama. Bill Maher is busy calling Americans “stupid”. Bill Maher considers the country “stupid” but he is not consistent. If the country is stupid isn’t it logical to say that the election of Barack Obama was a “stupid” decision too? Not for Bill Maher. Bill Maher thinks the country is “stupid” but that the “stupid” can make a smart decision when it comes to Barack Obama:
New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn’t make it a smart country. A few weeks ago I was asked by Wolf Blitzer if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn’t put anything past this stupid country.
Americans are not “stupid” as Maher states. Misinformed, manipulated, and scammed, by people like Bill Maher, and his friends at Big Media Americans surely are.
* * * * *
Dumb, White, Person Ezra Klein is busy dealing out the “racist” card and the “fear” card. Klein quotes Paul Krugman’s embarrassing column attacking participatory democracy and the right to self-determination as somehow “racist”.
Klein also confuses the distrust in government and Barack Obama as fear of change. Klein refuses to understand that there is no Obama health care reform bill and that after witnessing passage of the “stimulus” scam and the trillions donated to corrupt corporate forces Americans are now demanding accountability.
Yes, some of the protests are inarticulate. Yes, some of the concerns are inchoate expressions of distrust. But Americans are not afraid of “change” if it is the right change and change they believe in. The problem is Americans wisely are growing in their distrust of Barack Obama, and the masters he serves, and the deals he has worked out.
Klein drags in Hillary’s health care efforts in order to give credence to Obama’s corrupt schemes:
This level of fury is not, in other words, unique to Obama’s effort. In fact, it’s stayed relatively constant even though Obama’s bill is far more modest than Clinton’s bill. This is something broader then a reaction to particular provisions in particular pieces of legislation. This is about how the conservative movement reacts to progressive change. My colleague Steve Pearlstein got it right this morning. “Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society,” he wrote. “Whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off.”
That doesn’t mean Obama’s bill. It could mean a compromise like Wyden-Bennett, or something else. But what’s going on out there isn’t about a specific bill. It’s about the fear of change. It doesn’t really allow for negotiations and counter-offers. And it is very, very ugly.
If there is fear, it is the fear of being suckered again. It is the fear of rush-rush legislation that rewards Obama and the insurance industry. It is the fear of passing legislation which does not yet even exist and whose contents we yet do not know. That is not really fear, that is wisdom.
Americans are wise in wanting to know why it is that certain forces are spending so much money to do so much without explanation and with a used car salesman’s rush-rush ploy:
The nation’s drugmakers stand ready to spend $150 million to help President Barack Obama overhaul health care this fall, according to numerous officials, a staggering sum that could dwarf attempts to derail his chief domestic priority.
The White House and allies in Congress are well aware of the effort by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a somewhat surprising political alliance, given the industry’s recent history of siding with Republicans and the Democrats’ disdain for special interests.
We’ll discuss these entanglements later this week. But surely any unDumb, White or non-White, Person has to wonder what is going on here.
What has caused the drug companies to go from being evil forces (as acknowledged by Obama and his Dimocrats) to suddenly decide to spend so many millions on “reform”?
An not-Dumb person (we don’t know what color this not-dumb person is, we do know that he is a member of the Washington Post editorial page staff) on Sunday raised questions about an oft-mocked criticism by Americans protesting at town hall events. Sarah Palin raised some questions about the “death panels” and she was duly mocked by Dumb people of all races. The oft-mocked questions are apparently not so easily mocked:
Enter Section 1233 of the health-care bill drafted in the Democratic-led House, which would pay doctors to give Medicare patients end-of-life counseling every five years — or sooner if the patient gets a terminal diagnosis.
On the far right, this is being portrayed as a plan to force everyone over 65 to sign his or her own death warrant. That’s rubbish. Federal law already bars Medicare from paying for services “the purpose of which is to cause, or assist in causing,” suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing. Nothing in Section 1233 would change that.
Still, I was not reassured to read in an Aug. 1 Post article that “Democratic strategists” are “hesitant to give extra attention to the issue by refuting the inaccuracies, but they worry that it will further agitate already-skeptical seniors.”
If Section 1233 is innocuous, why would “strategists” want to tip-toe around the subject?
Perhaps because, at least as I read it, Section 1233 is not totally innocuous.[snip]
Section 1233, however, addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones. Supporters protest that they’re just trying to facilitate choice — even if patients opt for expensive life-prolonging care. I think they protest too much: If it’s all about obviating suffering, emotional or physical, what’s it doing in a measure to “bend the curve” on health-care costs?
Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite “purely voluntary,” as Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) asserts. To me, “purely voluntary” means “not unless the patient requests one.” Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive — money — to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist.
Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they’re in the meeting, the bill does permit “formulation” of a plug-pulling order right then and there. So when Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) denies that Section 1233 would “place senior citizens in situations where they feel pressured to sign end-of-life directives that they would not otherwise sign,” I don’t think he’s being realistic.
Is it dumb to ask questions? Is it dumb to continue to ask questions even when you are mocked for asking those questions?
What’s more, Section 1233 dictates, at some length, the content of the consultation. The doctor “shall” discuss “advanced care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to”; “an explanation of . . . living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses” (even though these are legal, not medical, instruments); and “a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families.” The doctor “shall” explain that Medicare pays for hospice care (hint, hint).
Admittedly, this script is vague and possibly unenforceable. What are “key questions”? Who belongs on “a list” of helpful “resources”? The Roman Catholic Church? Jack Kevorkian?
Ideally, the delicate decisions about how to manage life’s end would be made in a setting that is neutral in both appearance and fact. Yes, it’s good to have a doctor’s perspective. But Section 1233 goes beyond facilitating doctor input to preferring it. Indeed, the measure would have an interested party — the government — recruit doctors to sell the elderly on living wills, hospice care and their associated providers, professions and organizations. You don’t have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach.
You don’t have to be a right-wing wacko to ask questions and demand answers. Demanding answers to questions used to be a progressive trait, a progressive value.
No longer is it allowed to ask questions and not be bamboozled however. The Chicago branch of the Red Headed League is in charge.