Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Glenn Greenwald recently noted, as have so many others including yours truly, that the very people who are taking to the streets and who’d filtered into Town Hall meetings and failed miserably to clog the streets of Washington, DC are the very same people who’ve been victimized by the very same entities who’ve been bailed out by TARP and will be bailed out again by the coalescing health care “reform.”

Greenwald, in his typically elegant if humorless way, states that these teabaggers, astroturfers, 9/12ers, tenthers, deathers and birthers are plainly being manipulated by the very forces that have been victimizing them regarding health care, their bank balances, credit cards and every other deregulated industry under the sun. Yet they persist on blaming for everything the people who are the least powerful, the silent majority comprised of hard-working, middle income to poverty level Americans who didn’t sell worthless and risky derivatives, make reckless and ill-advised loans, set up $50 billion Ponzi schemes or increase the cost of health care 131% in the last decade.

David Neiwert, perhaps frightened of alienating these people who made up his community while he grew up in Idaho, has been careful not to label these people as stupid but rather as tragically misinformed. Yet how can one continue making excuses for a class of right wing reactionaries who continually take the wrong side of issues into which they’re coerced to take part while being laughed at by corporate titans pointing down at them from Ivory Tower penthouses? Indeed, I think even the usually discriminating and erudite Neiwert would be hard-pressed to delineate the difference between errant stupidity and perennial ignorance. At one point does one naturally and organically morph into the other and how, exactly, can the two remain mutually exclusive?

And, taking Frank Luntz’s, Dick Armey’s, Mark Williams’ and Glenn Beck’s cues, astroturf town hall disrupters were busy trying to portray the most powerless as the ones who were flooding Capitol Hill with 3300 lobbyists and $1.4 million daily in lobbyist expenses as “the Others”, as if they were some dangerously exotic castaways or indigenous people on Lost. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “the Others.”

We keep calling the TARP a “bailout” but that’s an oversimplification. The first $125 billion in TARP funds went to banks whether or not they needed, wanted or asked for the money. Many smaller banks were forced to take TARP money by order of Hank Paulson’s Treasury Dept. and were furthermore forced to sell to the government often-bottomed out stock, giving these actual troubled banks 100 cents on the dollar and receiving perhaps two thirds on the dividends. As stated, many of the banks who’ve received taxpayer dollars weren’t in need of bailing out at all.

As the Vanity Fair article authors caution, what they found out during their exhaustive investigation into where the TARP money actually went was merely dipping a toe into the black, bottomless pool that will perhaps never be cleared. Hundreds of billions of disclosed taxpayer dollars were almost literally shoveled at the feet of banking executives whether or not they requested the money. There were no clearly defined objectives outside of what Congress had stipulated and then Hank Paulson completely ignored those objectives and directives for the public good and said, basically, “Take the money, run and just keep saying, ‘No comment.’”

Within no time flat we were hearing stories about banks trying to buy $50 million corporate jets, $440,000 dollar luxury retreats and higher executive salaries and bonuses than ever before. In short, Paulson and Bernanke threw trillions at executives and then expected with a straight face for them to not act like college freshmen getting their first student loan checks.

The only difference between the so-called bailout of Wall Street and what’s looming on the health care horizon is that we’re not talking about taxpayer dollars but what could prove to be $12,000-$14,000 directly out of our pockets every year if corporate ventriloquist dummies like Max Baucus and Nancy Pelosi, who’s suddenly not so committed to the public option, anymore, have their way. Furthermore, it’s looking more and more as if a wishy-washy Barack Obama may be the only thing standing between us and a Baucus-proposed $3800 fine for those Americans who “refuse” to buy health coverage.

Yet never once has this been reviled as it should be by those who are even more vocal in their opposition to the health care bill than liberals who should be screaming even more loudly about the abandonment of a single payer system and even a public option while making an “individual mandate” a near-certainty.

I’m sorry, Mr. Neiwert. If your “misinformed” people can’t see who’s manipulating them year after year, if they can’t see who’s victimizing them, if they can’t even spell properly, if they can’t even hold their signs right side up, if they keep blaming their most powerless and voiceless fellow countrymen for something that Congress is trying its best to ram down all our throats and if they keep making the same mistakes by letting their adrenal glands and larynxes do their thinking for them, even if it means fomenting a needless class warfare that Republicans keep hoarsely insisting doesn't exist, then that meets my definition of stupid.

Unfortunately, the obviously bought-and-sold members of Congress and the current occupant of the Oval Office are hardly showing any more intelligence or compassion, especially on the right side of the aisle. What was once the Party of Lincoln is now the Party of Stuart Best, a comically clueless character on a 14 year-old episode of Murphy Brown who, like Tom Tancredo and Arnold Schwarzenegger, took money from every interest group on the planet without first finding out what they represented and what they wanted out of him.

Essentially, Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” sums up government "intervention" in the clip below:

And, like the staff and patrons in the restaurant, heaven forbid that we should call arrogant, rude gluttony for what it is. It’s just easier to make excuses to leave and dive behind potted plants to avoid the unpleasantness, to instead blame the busboy and dishwasher for the tsunami of vomit to come.


At September 16, 2009 at 4:03 PM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

What a great scene from The Meaning of Life! It was always one of my favorites. Good analogy.

At September 16, 2009 at 4:10 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

No, Anna, it's the perfect analogy.

At September 16, 2009 at 4:51 PM, Blogger Fearguth said...

If someone is merely misinformed, there's room for hope. But if someone is stupid . . .


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Things Donald Trump Said to President Obama
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger