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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tom Friedman. Tom fucking Friedman. (Plus: It's SUPER CONGRESS!)

(I've expanded this post well beyond its original version.)

T. Fucking Friedman is starting a new party dedicated to challenging "both parties from the middle." If he were serious about representing "the middle," his new party would be well to the left of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Otherwise, this is simply a rather obvious attempt to split the Dems. Call it Tom Freidman's Committee to Elect Michele Bachmann.

Any attempt to frame Obama as "the left" is, one need hardly mention, pure propaganda. If Tim "Goldman" Geithner is running economic strategy for "the left" -- what's next? Maybe someone will try to argue that Calvin Coolidge was a bolshie.

Friedman, of course, is the fellow who belched up that classic of neo-liberal free-trade bullshit, The World is Flat. Ha-Joon Chang wrote his brilliant Bad Samaritans largely in response to Friedman, and in those all-important pages, Chang ate Friedman's lunch for next 3000 years.

Now Friedman wants to start yet another party schackled to yet another variant of libertarian ideology. It's being powered by yet another Koch-ed up CATO guy, Peter Ackerman. Surprise, surprise: Ackerman wants to get rid of Social Security -- or rather, turn it over to the Wall Street wheeler dealers. Friedman and Ackerman want your Social Security money to be transferred to some financial elitist's Liechtenstein bank account, just like what happened to your pension funds and other investments back in 2008.

It's a profoundly radical notion, but these fuckers are gonna package it as the center. Obama will say "Let's keep part of Social Security intact" -- and the paid pundits will label that the far left position. The tea partiers will shout: "No Social Security whatsoever!" They are the right. And here comes T. Fucking Friedman and Petey "CATO" Ackerman, with their privatization scheme designed to transfer loot out of Grandma's purse and into the overseas bank account of Lloyd Blankfein, because good old Lloyd needs the money to buy Gstaad or NASA or Madagascar or Saturn or every picture Picasso ever painted. And that little plot, my friend, will be labeled the new center.

The "chief technology officer" for this new party (what a stupid title!) is a guy named Joshua Levine. He turns out to be the CEO of a Wall Street firm bearing the misleadingly cool name of ESP Technologies.

In other words, the same Wall Streeters who fucked the world in 2008, the same guys who took the bail-out money and bribed their way out of much-deserved jail cells, no longer want buy politicians. They want to be politicians. They want to run the show outright.

Our house is burning down and Friedman, like every other neo-liberal, wants to put out the fire by sprinkling it with gasoline. But it's a new brand of gas, y'see. The name on the can isn't "Democrat" or "Republican" but "Americans Elect." So maybe this time, the old let's-pour-gas-on-the-fire trick will work.

Lambert, who has long held to the romantic dream of a third party, has nevertheless seen right through this ploy. He calls Friedman's new party a "roach motel of epic proportions." I say: Fuck you, TFF.

Added note. Our friend Red Dragon directs our attention to this: We may soon see the creation of an extra-Constitutional "Super Congress."
A Super Congress would be less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits.
A new Congress, in which no genuine progressive would ever be welcome. Mitch McConnell would be in the club; Al Franken would wait at the door. Couple that situation with TFF's well-funded plan to split the Dem presidential vote forever, and what do we have?

My God. They really do want to end the American experiment.
Comments:
Obama isn't the left. He is a progressive middle or third way Democrat. Anti-semitic. Nationalist. Socialist. Corporatist. Totalitarian. Idolizing and exaltating violence, war, and militarism. Emphasizing spiritual renovation, 'better' education, instilling of a will to dominate, and creating national comradeship through the mandatory national military service. In a word, fascist.
 
Socialist? You're out of your freaking gourd. Get a clue: Gummint has SHRUNK, Wall Street is firmly in charge, the rich are taxed much less than they were under Reagan, and our prez is dickering with the GOP as to just how much of Social Security can be deep-sixed. If that's socialism, I'm Clark Gable.

Maybe you think that Wall Street is a band of Bolshies. Clowns like Cleon Skousen used to offer such arguments. I long for the days when wackos who thought that way stayed on the fringe.

I've seen no evidence of Obama's alleged anti-Semitism. Or of anything truly progressive.

Look, I never liked Obama. But that doesn't mean I feel any kind of spiritual kinship with nutcases who hate Obama for nutcase reasons.
 
My reaction to Friedman's proposal was one of deja-vu. As best I could tell, Friedman was hyping a snazzy, well-funded version of a piece of tea-party wizardry that I came across over a year ago called Goooh.

The more I learned about Goooh the more apparent not only the group's agenda but that concept was fundamentally flawed. It looks to me as if "America Elect" is essentially the Goooh wolf dressed in fancier sheep's clothing. But it's hard to know, because America Elect is far less forthcoming than Goooh about who they are, who runs it, etc.

Interesting that Friedman would advocate supporting a project run by invisible people.
 
That's because Friedman believes in the invisible hand.

And pretty soon, we'll have an invisible economy.
 
Conservative Teacher's comment reads like a B-movie preview. Obama is the movie screen. Onto this screen the teacher plays a movie of all the things he finds distasteful in life. He sees no need to exercise reason, to provide evidence to support any of his assertions. He's just says, "come watch my movie." It's incredibly narcissistic.
 
The Misteacher above evidently believes allowing Bennie Netanyahu to back him off every single important Israel-critical thrust-and in such manner as to cause Abbas to complain that Obama had betrayed the Palestinians three times, is "anti-semitic."


Wall Street was in fact Bolshie when supporting Trotsky against Stalin,Joe. (Cannon that is.)
Not recently.
 
Friedman's Third Party goofiness is one part autumn of the oligarchs and two parts Mike Bloomberg vanity project. Mayor Mike's been chomping at the bit to take a shot at the big dance and carve a big slice of the Northeast and Florida out of the Wuss-in-Chief. Carter was skewered by Ted Kennedy from the left in the primaries (too bad Teddy hadn't dried up yet) and Anderson in the corporado center, whittling the Dem base down to its basics ushering in the Reagan/Rand era. (Of course, Carter, abject and flawed, looks like FDR in comparison to the WH and Dem leadership these days..)
 
Not Bloomberg.

Steve Forbes.

This will sound goofy -- hell, it IS goofy -- but I had a frightening dream about a Forbes candidacy not too long ago. I think I described it in these pages. Since then, I've been keeping one eye on Forbes.
 
If those are the type of teachers being employed today, I'm home-schooling my daughter!
 
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