Showing posts with label Thomas Friedman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thomas Friedman. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Froma Harrop says the Biden economy is "amazingly strong." Are Americans too dumb to realize they're prospering?

 Froma Harrop, a second-string cheerleader for the mainstream media's Biden cheer squad, has been called out on the field to do a rah-rah-rah for Joe Biden's disastrous presidency.  

Biden's first-string cheerleaders--Paul Krugman, Nicholas Kristof, and Thomas Friedman--are exhausted and have stumbled back to the press corps's locker room, intellectually dehydrated. Step down from the presidency, Mr. Biden, they croak before lapsing into a deep political coma.

Not Froma! She's fresh as a daisy and cheerily chirps that Biden's America is "pretty great" and "doing fabulously well."

Harrop points out that the stock market is on a roll, and Americans are spending lavishly. Inflation is under control, she avers, and gasoline prices have come down. Harrop cites Jamie Dimond, JP Morgan's CEO, as saying the average consumer is much wealthier than before the pandemic.

But note the things Harrop did not talk about. Food prices have risen almost 20  percent since Biden took office, and American consumers are not mollified by Froma's observation that inflation is "a worldwide phenomenon."  

Harrop neglected to mention the shocking rise in the cost of housing, automobiles, homeowners insurance, and auto insurance. These rising costs--by themselves--are pushing millions of Americans out of the middle class.

Nor did Harrop think it necessary to mention that the United States is in a shooting war with Russia. It is true that Ukraine, America's proxy, is doing the fighting and dying, but America is buying the missiles, tanks, and ammo. And we are doing it with borrowed money. 

And then there's Israel's savage war in Gaza. The U.S. is providing Israel with the military assets it needs to fight Hamas, and where does that money come from?  No wonder the national debt has reached a catastrophic level.

Implicit in Harrop's Panglossian puff piece is the condescending notion that Americans are too stupid to realize they are prosperous and so delusional that more voters support Donald Trump than  Joe Biden to be our next president.

I look forward to Froma's spin on Biden's presidency after the donor class and the Deep State force Biden out of the presidential race. If she's smart, she will eventually follow the New York Times's lead and urge Biden to step down. 

And Froma is smart.

Joe Biden's presidency: Rah, rah, rah

Sunday, June 30, 2024

If the New York Times ain't happy, ain't nobody happy: The Gray Lady throws Joe Biden under trhe bus

 Perhaps you've heard that old Southern aphorism: "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

Today, I'm modifying this ancient pearl of wisdom to reflect on the odds against Joe Biden winning a second term as the leader of the Free World: If the New York Times, a powerful voice in American politics, ain't happy, ain't nobody happy

And the New York Times is not happy. Less than 24 hours after Biden's dismal debate performance against Donald Trump, the Times editorial board swiftly and decisively called for Biden to drop out as the Democratic Party's nominee for President.

New York Times columnists Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman, and Nicholas Kristof--the Democratic Party's Pretorian Guard--joined the chorus, advising Biden to step away from the vehicle.

Nevertheless, some media voices are sticking with Joe despite the glaring signs that he suffers from dementia. The going-down-with-the-ship camp bases its misplaced loyalty on one of two arguments. 

First is the Howdy Doody crowd. These are the commentators who say that Trump is so odious that a diminished  Biden is preferable. These people would vote for Howdy Doody over Trump.

A second group is sticking with Biden based on race. One writer pointed out that Biden's leading critics are white men over sixty. And we all know we can't trust those guys.

Which group will prevail? My view is this: The New York Times has decreed that Biden must glide down the exit ramp. Eventually, all of Biden's supporters will fall in line.

Why didn't Howdy Doody run for president?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

We live on different planets: The World of the New York Times is not the world of the average American

I live in fly-over country and can't get home delivery of the New York Times. Nevertheless, I get the Sunday Times  delivered to my home; and I can pick up a copy of the weekday issues at Benny's Car Wash on Perkins Road. I try to read it every day as part of my effort to stay informed about world events.

Lately, however, I have begun to suspect that the New York Times writers and I don't live on the same planet.  And today's issue heightened my suspicion.  Here are some stories that make me shake my head.

First, I read Frank Bruni's op ed essay excoriating the state of Texas for keeping an unborn baby alive even though its mother is brain dead, the victim of a pulmonary embolism.  The woman's husband and parents want the pregnancy terminated, but doctors say they are bound by law to bring the pregnancy to term.

As Bruni himself said, there are no happy outcomes to this sad scenario, but Bruni says Texas is devaluing the lives of the baby's father and it grandparents by not snuffing out the baby's life. 

I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. I think most husbands would want the baby to live in this situation and so would most grandparents.  I think it is unfortunate that they apparently find the baby inconvenient.  But to say that the state of Texas and the doctors in charge of this unborn baby's care are cruel is nonsense.

Let's move on.  Today's Sunday Review section contained two--count-em two--positive articles about legalized gambling.  Moises Velasquez-Manoff  wrote a piece on Indian casinos in which she compared casino distributions to Native American families to a mother nurturing her child  Yeah, right.  Ms. Velasquez-Manoff should spend some time strolling around the nation's casinos. She will see a lot of stressed-out, chain smoking elderly people pumping cash into slot machines--cash that most of them don't have to spare. Do those people looked nurtured?

And then there is an article by Greg Grandin, a professor at New York University (where students graduate with the highest average student-loan debt in the country).  Grandin analyzed an obscure Melville novel that Barack Obama once read and somehow linked it with contemporary American racism, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, and the Tea Party.  Wonder what it costs NYU students to take a course from this guy?

Then we have an essay by Sam Polk, a wealthy former financier who claims to have been addicted to making money.  He was dissatisfied, he confessed when he only got a  bonus of $3.6 million.  Hey, fellah. Dorothy Day's got a cure for that addiction. Read Matthew 25.

And finally we have an op ed essay by Thomas Friedman, who urges President Obama to tell Americans in his next State of the Union speech that American kids are not doing as well in school as kids in other countries because American parents aren't demanding that their children be challenged more in the classroom.  OK, we get it.  The American education crisis is the parents' fault.

After pondering all this, I felt like I was reading news from a parallel universe--a world in which I do not live.  Some people might point out that the New York Times is not meant to be read by people like me and that I should stick to reading the Farmer's Almanac.  And they may be right. Certainly, all the advertisements for luxury goods that appear in the Times' supplements are not aimed at me or my family.

But here is the problem.  The  New York Times, the people who read the Times and the politicians that the Times adores (Barack Obama) are contemptuous of the people who live in fly-over country; but they want to dictate how these people live. They express outrage when state legislatures try to put reasonable restrictions on abortion or try to maintain marriage in the Judeo-Christian tradition.  They imply that politicians who speak for some of us are white supremacists. They show disdain for American values but they want people who hold those values to fight and die in foreign wars the Obama administration doesn't even believe in.

I do not write this from a partisan political perspective. I am no red-stater.  I have no more regard for Sarah Palin than the New York Times editorial board.  I write from the perspective of a person who believes that traditional American culture--what we might call middle-class culture or Judeo-Christian culture--is basically benign and healthy. And I am alarmed to see powerful political forces  show disdain for the traditional values that served this nation pretty well for over 200 years.


Thomas Friedman. Obama's Homework Assignment. New York Times, Sunday Review section p. 1.

Greg Grandin. Obama, Melville and the Tea Party. New York Times, Sunday Review section p. 6.

Sam Polk. For the Love of Money. New York Times, Sunday Review section p. 1.

Monica Velasquez-Manoff. When the Poor Get Cash. New York Times, Sunday Review section, p. 12.