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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.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”