Friday, February 19, 2016

Today In Both Sides Do It: The Mustache of Understanding

"Leave the obscenely wealthy alone!" pleads America's leading obscenely wealthy media person.

For a brief an pleasant time I was able to forget that Thomas "Metaphor Killah" Friedman existed.   Oh what happy days those were.  But it was just a dream: The Mustache of Understanding's tiny, ridiculous self does, in fact, continue to wander the pages of the New York Times, soaking up valuable sunlight and nutrients which could be used elsewhere to, say, grow arugula or recharge the batteries of adorable kitties:

But no, in his extremely finite wisdom, Andrew Rosenthal continues to permit the Mustache of Understanding roam outside the paddock, spattering the pages of his once proud newspaper with silly word-like effluvium and generally bringing shame to the entire Rosenthal family.

Which brings us to yesterday's incoherent rambling plea for "pluralism" in which Thomas Friedman -- the New York Time's own in-house Anubis, Weigher of Souls and Wielder of the White Feather of Ma'at -- would like you to know that while Ted "Eobard" Cruz may, in fact, be an incarnation of pure evil...
Unlike Sanders, Ted Cruz does not have a good soul. He brims with hate, and his trashing of Washington, D.C., is despicable. least he's not a diddly darned Socialist like Bernie Sanders!
Sanders seems to me like someone with a good soul, and he is right that Wall Street excesses helped tank the economy in 2008...

I’d take Sanders more seriously if he would stop bleating about breaking up the big banks and instead breathed life into what really matters for jobs: nurturing more entrepreneurs and starter-uppers. I never hear Sanders talk about where employees come from.
"Golf and the world golfs with you." The Mustache seems to be struggling to say. "Socialism and you socialism alone."
In short, we’re not socialists.
Yep.  That's what he's saying alright.

And you know what? Thomas J. Friedman is right!  Because with the exception of our nation's police and fire departments, military, coast guard, national park service, EPA, OSHA, our entire public education system, every college of the community, state and land grant variety, our roads and bridges, most of our water and waste systems, our workforce development and job training programs, TAANF, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the VA, our bailout of the American automobile industry, our bailout of the American banking industry and a several dozen other vital public services and institutions (Libraries for fuck's sake!  Publicly-funded museums. Public conservatories. Sorry. I get carried away) I could name but apparently fall beneath Mr. Friedman'd imperial gaze...

...we are definitely not socialists.

But even if Bernie Sanders is right and we as a nation are at least socialism-curious, and Wall Street is still filled with fiends and con men, it doesn't matter because all that shit is fixed now!
But thanks to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, that can’t easily happen again.
Except, of course, it's not fixed and it can happen again,  From NPR:
One of the leading figures in the government's bailout of banks deemed "too big to fail" after the 2008 financial crisis says major banks are still at risk.

Neel Kashkari, now the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that despite changes to Wall Street made as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, big banks are still too big to fail.

"If there were another crisis and banks ran into trouble, I'm afraid that taxpayers would have to step in again and bail out these banks. So we have not solved that problem, and we need to," Kashkari says.
Mr. Friedman scrapes this shitpile of random adjectives fired in every direction together under the heading "Who Are We?" and concludes his rambling embarrassment thus:
America didn’t become the richest country in the world by practicing socialism, or the strongest country by denigrating its governing institutions, or the most talent-filled country by stoking fear of immigrants. It got here via the motto “E Pluribus Unum” — Out of Many, One.

Our forefathers so cherished that motto they didn’t put it on a hat. They put it on coins and then on the dollar bill. For a guy with so many of those, Trump should have noticed by now.
Mr. Friedman does this because he is a creature of the wealthy and entitled. because he is actually kinda stupid, because he is a terrible, terrible writer and because for reasons known only to Ammit, the Devourer of Souls, he is one of a select group of wretched hacks to whom Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times has given a job for life.


SamB said...

How would The Mustache get start-ups to start up and entrepreneurs to entrepreneu? I have some ideas! 1. Have the government provide incentives for wind and solar power. 2. Have government regulators make the power companies cooperate. 3. Have the government fund innovative ways to update water and sewer pipes. 4. Have the government fund safer ways to control nuclear waste and nuclear weapon materials. 5. Have government regulators require safer ways to transport oil across our country. 6 ... 1000 ...
Oh, sorry, those are all socialist.
And here's another one: 1001. Put a Bernie tax on Wall Street transactions, so that our math and science whizzes don't waste so much of their talent on no-social-benefit activities like hedge fund and high-frequency trading algorithms.

ChicagoPat said...

Our forefathers so cherished that motto they didn’t put it on a hat. They put it on coins and then on the dollar bill.

and then the right took it off the dollar, and replaced it with "In God we Trust".

No, we don't, thanks.

Michael Sweeney said...

Gee, doesn't Friedman know that employees are found under cabbage leaves and harvested by immigrant low-wage farm workers for giant global corporate start ups and entrepreneurs? That's the neo-liberal view anyway.

As those of us more enlightened know, employees are created by middle class people with money and demands for goods and services.

bowtiejack said...

It is well to remember that Andrew Rosenthal's father, A.M. Rosenthal, was a long time Times editor and during his emeritus senior years had a Times column called "On My Mind", referred to by the cognoscenti as "Out of My Mind".

bowtiejack said...

It's interesting that Wall Street's reaction to talk of a transactions tax is pretty much on a level with vampire's take on sunlight, crosses and sharp sticks.

Robt said...

Way too much waxing of the mustache.

Instead of soul search voyeur vacation of brain fart transcribed onto paper
alerting the unsuspecting voters of the agony the top 5 percent are squirming in unrest over with Sanders.

I find it shameful, the absolute lack of concern over Justice Clarence Thomas. Now that Scalia is gone. How the hell will Thomas be able to cast his vote?

Without Scalia there to follow, it is going to be so difficult for him.
Perhaps Alito could take over the Guardianship of Thomas and his vote.

These folks are so heartless in which they overlook the grief and sorrow ahead that Thomas faces without his Scalia.

How dare Friedman put Sanders or Cruz concerns above what Clarence Thomas must be going through right now.

Jimbo said...

Krugthulla spent any number of columns during the Obamacare debate pointing out that the RWNJs who were screaming about socialized medicine seemed not to have noticed that between Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security (for the disabled) and the VA, well over half of US healthcare was already socialized medicine. As for dumbass Mr. Mustache, E pluribus unum (out of the many, one) is an excellent example of a socialist slogan whereas the right-wing's slogan would be E uno nihil.

Q said...

Driftglass, you are better at this shit than anyone. And by shit I mean writing with such incisive and caustic wit, so passionately and reasonably. So intelligently. Fuckin A.
While, after over a decade, it may seem as if this post may vanish up like fart in the wind, let it be known: there can be only one.

Lit3Bolt said...

Once you realize that Tom Friedman is basically a gossip society column for the Hampton-DC-San Francisco circuit, his sinecure makes a lot more sense.

I applaud your effort to try to parody this guy, but it's basically impossible. It's like Dr. Doom trying to beat Bugs Bunny. Eventually, the anvils become too much.

But yes, I think we all yearn for the day when he's committed to Our Lady of the Redeemer Hospital For the Incurably Self-Absorbed.

Aw heck, let's try a few more:

Tom Friedman has his head so far up his ass he's finding elementary particles.

Tom Friedman is so ignorant he breaks Google's algorithms.

Tom Friedman's existence gives lie to his own ideology. He is living proof that failure, sloth, idiocy can succeed spectacularly, and not understand how or why.

Tom Friedman can kill an English professor with just his gaze.

Tom Friedman heard someone talking about Something and then talked to his cab driver who was using Something and now there's a Something of Somethings, which Something will Something in the Something because everyone will be Somethinging with their Somethings because the future is made of Somethings.

Tom Friedman will die in the next 6 months.

Andy Diehl said...

America didn’t become the richest country in the world by practicing socialism... It got here via the motto “E Pluribus Unum” — Out of Many, One.

We didn't get here through socialism! We got here by pooling our resources and working as one! Wait.

Jerry S said...

All wealth is created by work. Billionaires are created by funneling most of that wealth to a few. A few peanuts for the workers, a billion peanuts for the billionaire.