Tag: Tom Friedman

Friedman v. Obama

Tom Friedman thinks that George W. Bush should have responded to 9/11 by imposing a $1 tax on gasoline at the pump, and the idea of regressive taxes as a tool of environmental policy would obviously appeal to a tool for globalization like Tom, oscillating between his 11,400 square-foot cottage in Bethesda and after-dinner speeches @ $50,000 for his corporate clientele.

Now Friedman has identified the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill as “Obama’s 9/11,” and likewise re-evaluated the rest of recent American history into a never-ending demonstration of…

The genius of Tom Friedman!  

President Bush’s greatest failure was not Iraq, Afghanistan or Katrina. It was his failure of imagination after 9/11 to mobilize the country to get behind a really big initiative for nation-building in America.

I suggested a $1-a-gallon “Patriot Tax” on gasoline that could have simultaneously reduced our deficit, funded basic science research, diminished our dependence on oil imported from the very countries whose citizens carried out 9/11, strengthened the dollar, stimulated energy efficiency and renewable power and slowed climate change.

Ethnic cleansing in New Orleans and genocide in Iraq could have been mere footnotes to the brilliant Bush/Friedman gas tax, which would have simultaneously solved almost every problem in America and the world today!

And all for one regressive tax, which millionaire shills for globalization like Tom Friedman wouldn’t even notice at the pump.


And of course down-playing the invasion of Iraq simultaneously protects Tom Friedman’s reputation as an economic and foreign-policy prophet, because…

If the invasion and occupation of Iraq are recognized as crimes against humanity and in general catastrophic blunders, then cheerleaders for war like Tom Friedman might look like idiots, instead of geniuses.

This war is so unprecedented that it has always been a gut call – and my gut has told me four things. First, this is a war of choice. Saddam Hussein poses no direct threat to us today. But confronting him is a legitimate choice – much more legitimate than knee-jerk liberals and pacifists think. Removing Saddam – with his obsession to obtain weapons of mass destruction – ending his tyranny and helping to nurture a more progressive Iraq that could spur reform across the Arab-Muslim world are the best long-term responses to bin Ladenism.


What a fucking idiot!

And now the self-proclaimed economic and foreign policy genius Tom Friedman is bashing Barack Obama, and for what?

Sadly, President Obama seems intent on squandering his environmental 9/11 with a Bush-level failure of imagination.

Squandering his environmental 9/11?

But let’s resist the temptation to lose ourselves in admiration of Tom Friedman’s triple-Pulitzer-Prize-winning rhetorical glory, and remember that…

Barack Obama had already squandered the possibility of using Deepwater Horizon as a “teaching moment” by rolling out his vast expansion of offshore drilling only three weeks before Deepwater Horizon exploded.

“Don’t use drugs,” says the teacher, with a needle in his arm!

So what could Obama do now, if he kicked out all his Friedman-lovin’ “centrist” advisors, and devoted the rest of administration to helping ordinary American citizens and protecting the environment?

I personally favor most of the same programs as Dennis Kucinich and Raul Grijalva, which are typical of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, but virtually none of those policies is even on the table, and what do we get instead, if we’re lucky?  

Nothing but a feeble  and indirect version of Tom Friedman’s gas tax, which would add less than $0.25 to the price of a gallon of gas, and won’t that scare all those gas-guzzlers right off the road?

So what’s the point of this apparently aimless little odyssey around the regressive center of American politics?

Figure it out for yourself!

But one possible point is that Obama is now getting bashed from the left, right, and center of the triangular firing squad of American politics, except for his mindless TV cult of personality, and the most significant difference between progressive Obama-bashing and all the rest of it is that progressives aren’t promoting anti-government know-nothingism or out-of-control corporate predation.  

Pure greed not motivated by altruism only.

My hypothesis is that some men have no stigma attached to failure due to pure solid stupidity.  

If true, it follows that if hot plasma stupidity could be contained, cooled and compressed through the states of matter to form a perfectly arranged crystalline structure at absolute zero, solid diamond stupid should look like this:

America is the greatest engine of innovation that has ever existed, and it can’t be duplicated anytime soon, because it is the product of a multitude of factors: extreme freedom of thought, an emphasis on independent thinking, a steady immigration of new minds, a risk-taking culture with no stigma attached to trying and failing, a noncorrupt bureaucracy, and financial markets and a venture capital system that are unrivaled at taking new ideas and turning them into global products.

 – Tom Friedman, The Secret From Our Sauce, March 7, 2004

How solid is that?

Bank bail-outs: Urgent!!! People without Jobs: Yawn.

Remember when the bank bailouts happened virtually overnight?  

Hank Paulson said, “boo,” and Congress sat bolt upright: Here’s the first trillion!  Here’s the second trillion!  Here’s the third…

Everyday Americans going jobless for years?  Losing homes?  Health insurance? Going hungry?

Nada.  Zilch.  Dick.  Go fuck yourselves, really.  It’s still happening.

Compare and contrast.

Tom “The Mouthpiece” Friedman issues Capitalists’ warnings.


Thank you all for coming.  I’ll keep it short.

2009 was no walk in the global park.  Be glad no one got hurt.  Know what I mean?  Let me give yous all some advice on 2010.

First, the banks are our juice.  Keep your prying eyes off their fuckin’ books, capice?

Two.  You Chinese bastards trying to spy on us?  You’re playing with fire.  Don’t get your dicks burned off in Taiwan.

Three [pointing finger].  Iran, yous fucks, you are getting sanctioned and you’re gonna like it.  You want the fuckin’ baseball bats?  D’you see those toughs outside your front door?  They ain’t lookin’ to buy no fuckin’ rugs.

Let’s hope cooler heads prevail in 2010.  That is all.

Tom Friedman: Home alone.

Tom Friedman’s latest op-ed, entitled “Adults Only, Please,” surprisingly featured Tom Friedman.  Wandering from room to empty room of political discourse on the economic meltdown, Tom pauses:

Sometimes you wonder: Are we home alone?

Now I get it: Tommy finds it unnerving to be left home alone in his 11,400-foot mansion while the bad guys from Wall Street are trying to break in.  I actually sympathize with his sentiments, and suggest he begins booby-trapping the place.  

But no, Tom: Do not invite Bernanke in, no matter what he promises to do for General Growth Properties.  Hoping Bernanke will re-inflate your bubble is what you call “situational” ethics, as opposed to “sustainable” ethics, the latter of which suggests we’re all better off if you ice the steps and clock Bernanke with a can of paint.  Have fun with the bad guys!

Friedman burns McCain

Tom Friedman is on a roll. He has, clearly, decided that the United States faces a pivot point. Either we will figure out smart energy policies and prosper, or we will fry.  As he looks to the election campaign, he has decided that the choice are clear. We might (MIGHT) prosper with Obama-Biden. However, WE WILL FRY with McCain-Palin.

And, here is a TV interview worth watching, absorbing, and sharing as Friedman lays McCain’s failures and failed concepts out on the table.

Should John Dingell be primaried out in 2008 or 2010?

Tom Friedman writes about how Michigan automakers and Toyota have consistently fought against rises in auto emissions standards. What Friedman doesn’t get is what he calls empty-barrel politics — or the practice by Detroit automakers of constantly fighting against higher and higher MPG standards, even though they have been brought to the verge of bankruptcy by those standards.