The flip side of fame is often fear. Take the fate of Jonathan Gruber. In 2006 president Obama told an audience that he had “stolen ideas liberally” from Gruber, “one of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles”. Gruber once had multiple contracts worth millions to supply economic modeling to the president’s signature healthcare program. He was riding high.
Then Rich Weinstein an investment adviser from Philadelphia found a series of videos taken at small forums in which Gruber confided to audiences the less than flattering inside dope on Obamacare. It portrayed an administration laughing at ignorant voters for believing in the promises of the program. After the videos were publicized Gruber’s world began to fall apart.
First Gruber’s $400,000 a year contract was terminated by Vermont. “Embattled former ObamaCare adviser Jonathan Gruber has been booted from his healthcare consulting gig in Vermont, according to reports on Wednesday. Gruber had a $400,000 contract with the state, where he was charged with helping to create a single-payer system. ” Then Vermont put an auditor on all his old paperwork and alleged that he had padded his billing.
The Vermont audit, which cites Gruber’s “inconsistencies and questionable billing practices,” also faults state officials for failing to exercise sufficient oversight over the MIT economist’s invoices. The audit has been referred to Vermont’s Democratic attorney general, William Sorrell, who reportedly said it raises “serious questions.”…
“The evidence suggests that Dr. Gruber overstated the hours worked by the RA and that the Agency of the Administration ignored the obvious signs that something was amiss,” Hoffer wrote.
Now comes news Massachusetts has fired Gruber from the Bay State’s Obamacare exchange. The word is out on Gruber. ”You’ll never work in this town again.” It’s the oldest of punishments. A fall from grace can be as brief as a rise to the top was long. Eartha Kitt was blacklisted from working in America by Lyndon Johnson after she was asked her opinion about the war in Vietnam at a White House luncheon and Kitt said she was against it. The doors to high society were flung open to Truman Capote and in consequence he was a regular guest on talk shows until he made the mistake of writing about the unflattering side of cultural elite. And then the doors were shut in his face.
Mother Jones describes the implicit quid pro quo of being a high roller. Never forget who you are working for. Mother Jones asks: “Why Is Big Pharma Financing a Conservative Group Trying to Destroy Obamacare” when they’ve been paid off?
During the contentious battle to pass the Affordable Care Act, the pharmaceutical industry was a crucial partner of President Barack Obama. Big Pharma sank $150 million into an ad blitz promoting the Obamacare bill and spent millions lobbying for its passage. Backing health care reform was a no-brainer for the drug manufacturers; they stood to reap billions in revenues as a result of expanded health care coverage. Yet all of this makes one of Big Pharma’s alliances highly curious: It has bankrolled the libertarian think tank trying to demolish Obamacare.
The Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute has been the driving force behind two high-profile anti-Obamacare lawsuits, including King v. Burwell, which will be heard by the Supreme Court in early March. …
This was the deal Big Pharma cut during the legislative battle over Obamacare: The pharmaceutical companies agreed to support the law and accept about $80 billion in cost-cutting measures over the next decade, and the White House granted the industry lucrative concessions to protect its profit margins. These industry-favoring measures include provisions preventing the government from negotiating lower drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid and blocking Americans from importing cheaper prescription drugs from abroad. Those concessions were costly to taxpayers and consumers, but they were part of the grand bargain hammered out between the White House and Big Pharma. This accord ensured the industry would use its formidable lobbying clout to pass Obamacare—not destroy it.
And you thought Obamacare was about curing the sick?
If you really want to understand what holds the liberal establishment together the one-word answer is fear. Fear among the rich has a different flavor from fear among the poor. The poor are often so used to deprivation and insecurity that it holds no special terrors for them. When you’re already a bum and a good day is when you can eat the whole box of macaroni and cheese; when you’ve been unemployed for longer than you can remember, then “you’ll never work in this town again” can be answered by “so what?”
High flyers on the other hand, have an awful long way to fall. Nobody wants to finish up like the fictional Stanton Carlisle, who descends from the heights of the entertainment industry, fleeing police trouble and winds up working in a carnival freak show, eating live chickens for a living. And therefore media will be paying very close attention to the fate of Jonathan Gruber, formerly “one of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles”. If there’s one thing you don’t want, it’s to wind up like Gruber.
The chains of patronage are hard to avoid in exalted circles. According to Elias Groll writing in Foreign Policy, Rudy Giuliani is a consultant for Qatar. That’s nothing. The Clintons have collected over two billion dollars from foreign governments and lobby groups through their foundation.
she, her husband and their daughter, Chelsea, built a global foundation that has attracted $2 billion in contributions, including many from foreign governments and business entities.
Once Hillary Clinton left office, the newly renamed Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation resumed fundraising from foreign governments that had been off-limits during her government service.
Donations in the past two years have come from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia and Germany. The foreign gifts — disclosed voluntarily on the Clinton Foundation website — have led to calls from activists and ethics watchdogs for the foundation to cease such fundraising as Clinton ramps up her expected campaign drive.
You haven’t arrived until everyone is offering you job; and once hired you don’t make waves with money like that at stake. The great and the good are bound together by chains of gold. Some will argue this is a good thing. The Clintons were perhaps the first prominent American politicians to understand that Globalization made it possible for an international elite to settle all disputes by means of cash payments or penalties. Once the top men had reached an understanding, the elites could jointly rule over the international taxpayer, thus abolishing conflict forever. In today’s world no longer are patronage relationships limited to national borders, as was formerly the case. Today, political deal-making is global.
What the international elite is really afraid of are people determined to settle disputes in the traditional way. The basic problem with Vladimir Putin is that he still believes in outdated concepts like national boundaries, Slavic culture, Great Russian glory, etc. He hasn’t yet grasped that in polite circles, nationality is now an illusion. If only he would fall in line and take his share.