Monday, August 31, 2009

When crazy meets money

Ah f'krisesake
America is a better country in many ways than it was 35 years ago, but our political system’s ability to deal with real problems has been degraded to such an extent that I sometimes wonder whether the country is still governable. Paul Krugman - New York Times
David Seaton's News Links
So now we are being told that president Barack Obama is Adolph Hitler... just like Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad or (fill in name of whosoever the American right wants to bomb at the moment).

They want to talk about Hitler? Lets talk about Hitler.

According to John Tolund, who most experts consider Hitler's definitive biographer, as early as 1918 German army doctors had diagnosed Hitler as a "psychopath with hysterical symptoms".

How did someone literally insane go so far?

It happened because Germany's top industrial families were so terrified of the communists in the context of the then collapsing German economy that they thought that the the triumph of the weird and wacky Hitler, the failed watercolorist from Vienna with his campy brown shirts, would favor their interests.

You could say that their bet paid off: although Germany was burned to the ground in WWII and perhaps 8.5 million Germans died, most of the great German industrial fortunes of the 1930s are still great fortunes today. If the communists had carried the day in Weimar Germany, quite possibly today's Krupps and Thyssens might be bussing dishes on the Ku'damm and sleeping rough in the Tiergarten... an outcome they were naturally eager to avoid.

From Germany's industrial oligarchy's -- albeit minority -- point of view, backing Hitler and destroying Germany was a reasonable business decision.

Who knows, perhaps, America's "good and the great" may be taking similar decisions today in order to defend what they, quite correctly, see as their interests, which perhaps are not the same interests as those of most of the rest of us.

Is the "Obama = Hitler" really crazy stuff?

You betcha.

But the crazy part is not the real story because for historical reasons, due to its origins as a refuge for religious eccentrics, the United States has always had much more than its share of crazies. Sinclair Lewis and H. L. Mencken had endless fun exposing America's deep vein of primitive weirdos. America treasures its crazies, they make us unique. Crazy is not the story.

The story is the money.

The question today is to determine who is paying for this particular campaign of organized insanity aimed at leaving America without a health plan.

Way back in May of 2007 I posted about the opening of a "Creationist Museum" in Kentucky that cost a cool $27,000,000, I entitled the post "High Rolling Holy Rollers with a Big Bank Roll". This snippet from my old post is relative to today's story:
One of the essential roots of American culture from the earliest days has been religious nonconformity and even religious manias. (...) What distinguishes today's holy rollers is the money they are finding to express themselves with. Traditionally these people, by definition uneducated refugees from a Flannery O'Connor short story, have always been dirt poor and outside the system. The $27m that this creationist museum cost is the real novelty here. Where is all the dough coming from for this "know-nothing Disneyland"?
For sure this campaign against health care is costing a lot more than the creationism museum and it is doubtful that it is being financed by the "widow's mite" of those whom Chris Rock so pungently described as "Broke-ass white people, livin’ in a trailer home, eatin’ mayonnaise sandwiches, fucking their sister, listening to John Cougar Mellencamp records…”

So here is the real job for America's investigative journalists and political junkies: cherchez l'argent... follow the money. History hinges on the money trail. DS


Anonymous said...

Once again an articulate article that says nothing at all.

If you care to investigate, the health insurance industry has fallen into line with the Democrats. They gave most of their campaign contributions to Obama (Wall Street too, but I'll let the anti-corporatists in here figure out that little hypocrisy). They're terrified that it's the only way to survive. The only group I've heard of that's against it is the AMA, because doctors are never fully reimbursed by Medicaid for the treatment that they give. But hey, why help a doctor keep his practice going? Better to send poor people to free clinics and then Obama can send Sasha and Malia to a private doctor?

See? Everything's fair now! Just like in Canada and Britian! Hooray for noblesse oblige!


Anonymous said...


An inarticulate comment that says nothing at all sane or rational.


Welcome back --- we missed you!

oldfatherwilliam said...

Adam, think the Interested Parties are spending big money because they're panicked? They spend it because that's what they do, and both parties are getting well-papered because muddying the waters serves their interests. And why aren't your comments ever responsive to the posts? They read like undergraduate babble from PoliSci 101 sometime in the '50s.

Sorry about that, David, couldn't resist. Glad to see that you're still willing to put energy into posting.

Anansi said...

Yes, welcome back, David. You too, Adam. Your point of view is always consistent at least.

Anonymous said...

First of all, my post was quite articulate. Quick and to the point.

The reason my comments arent responsive to the posts is because the posts are kind of far fetched. Really? The health care debate is like the rise of Nazi Germany? Are you sure about that? Is there even a credible Communist party to threaten the "corporate interests" in this country? Kinda seems like a feeble attempt to show how much you know about history while simultaneously showing how little you learned. And by the way, the PoliSci 101 class I had to get my degree in said subject is more than you have. So your the ignorant fool here, not me.

The point of my post is Obama isnt losing because of some conspriracy on the part of the corporations. That's your answer for everything, but it's just not true since, as I said, the health insurance industry is running adds in support of Obamacare. Democrats control Congress, the White House, and they have a compliant media, but they cant get healthcare passed? Unless you can prove insurace companies are busing more people to these townhalls to oppose the public option than SEIU (a union) is to support it, there is no conspiracy. Either they're the most incompetent statesmen ever or, brace yourself for this, no one wants what they have to offer. The public now understands this isnt about the uninsured. It's about pushing a far-left agenda that became unpopular in this country over 20 years ago.

I'd like to see someone on here use facts instead of condescencion to prove their point.


Anonymous said...

And thanks Anansi.....I guess?


Anonymous said...


This may very well have been an excellent article (they usually are) but I just couldn't get past your comment on John Toland being the definitive historian on Hitler. I think Allan Bullock from the UK and Joachim Fest from Germany (to name just two) would dispute that.

Toland is most well known for his conspiratorial analysis of Pearl Harbour. He may be better known in the US than in Europe but your claim is still quite a stretch.

Forensic economist said...

Welcome back David, Adam and others -

On loonies and reporters -

Take a look at the Obama as Hitler sign. At the bottom it says "LarouchePAC". Lyndon LaRouche runs for president frequently on the platform of saving America from the Queen of England who is part of a cocaine dealing conspiracy. In other words he is a looney. He is taking advantage of the reporters who want to see conflict! Loonies! Shouting!

Here is a link to an article saying that the average town hall meeting might have been contentious but was not populated by screamers:

"I think the media coverage has done a disservice by falling for a trick that you'd think experienced media hands wouldn't fall for: of allowing loud voices to distort the debate," said Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, whose district includes Columbus, Ohio.

At her town halls, she said, "I got serious questions, I got hostile questions, I got questions about how this would work, I got questions about how much it will cost. I also got a lot of comments from people who said it's important for their families and businesses to get health care reform."

Most of the protesters are not loonies. There are mainly a lot of ordinary citizens who don't particularly like their insurance company, like their doctor, and are worried about what may change. There are also media leaders who are going out of their way to stir up the anger. There are certainly big lobbyists who want to shut down any suggestion of debate.

So where is the media? Unfortunately conflict plays better on TV than discussion. One might also be inclined to think that the big cable networks are on the side of the big pharmaceutical companies and the AMA in wanting to shut down debate by portraying the debate as righteous anger against socialism. Why is it that I only get someone calling a spade a spade on the Daily Show? Perhaps another effect of the decline of newspapers and magazines is the decline of longer, detailed, in depth analysis.

And where are the political leaders? with the exception of Barney Frank no politician has called out the loonies for what they are. You would think that Republicans would want to distance themselves from LaRouche. You would think that Democrats would want to point out that a lot of the protestors are LaRouche-ites. You would be wrong!

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

The media are as much a problem in the USA as the lobbies. The American system has evolved into a sinister pantomime. If nothing else a lot of Americans are going to raise their political conscience in the coming weeks and months.