Washington Babylon — March 22, 2010, 9:20 am

Health Care, Waterboarding and Conspiracies

On balance, and for reasons not necessarily related to its contents, I suppose it’s better that the health care bill passed than not. But the Democrats, advocates, and (worst of all) bloggers who are hailing the bill as a stunning piece of social legislation that will radically transform the country’s health care system sound precisely as loopy as the Tea Party-ers who are shouting that America is now a socialist country.

During a comedy show Saturday night at the Left Forum, John Fugelsang, said (roughly), “This bill is so watered down, Dick Cheney could use it to pour over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s face.” Which about sums it up.

Speaking of the Left Forum, I appeared at a panel there with The Yes Men about undercover reporting. There were a lot of interesting panels and participants, but the number of conspiracy-minded people attending these events is always astonishingly high. The 9/11 types are the absolute worst, bringing to mind what Maureen Dowd once wrote about JFK conspiracists: “There are no ends, only new beginnings.”

Remember that Afghanistan pipeline, which conspiracists on the left and right used to say was the real reason for the American invasion of Afghanistan? (Never mind the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, which were, depending on who had you trapped in the corner at a bad party, either faked or allowed to happen by the Bush administration so it could invade Afghanistan and Iraq.) We’re going on 10 years since 9/11 and there’s still no pipeline, but if one ever gets built, rest assured, the conspiracists will have their proof.

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

May 2015

The Quietest Place in the Universe

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Black Hat, White Hat

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Beyond the Broken Window

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In Search of a Stolen Fiddle

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Displaced in the D.R.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Displaced in the D.R.·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“How is it possible that my birth certificate is invalid if I was born here?”
Photograph by Pierre Michel Jean
Article
The Quietest Place in the Universe·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Gaitskell and his colleagues are approaching the revelation of a new order, a new universe, in which even light will be known differently, and darkness as well.”
Painting by Sebastiaan Bremer
Article
The Test of Time·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“One by one his books dismantle the idea that art consoles, that art contains truths, that art expresses the soul. He insists on the artificiality and createdness of his narratives.”
Article
Saving the Whale, Again·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“While the other Wall Street behemoths are currently tapering their derivatives trading, Citi has been expanding its own.”
Illustration by Ross MacDonald
[Browsings]
On Broadway·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Photograph by the author

Chance that an American would give up at least one week of life to avoid taking a pill every day:

1 in 3

Iowa urologists reported that only a minor portion of locker-room teasing arises from “the presence of excess foreskin”; most teasing targets small penises.

A pair of Russian film directors asked President Vladimir Putin to invest $18 million in a new restaurant chain intended to drive McDonald’s out of the Russian market. “Every project these days,” a Russian television personality said of the proposal, “must be smothered in patriotic sauce.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today