Thomas L. Friedman: Nation-Building at Home Just as Crucial a Slogan Now as it Was 14 Columns Ago


Nation-building begins in the shaving mirror

Today's Thomas L. Friedman column is a familiar if distasteful brew of what-Americans-want ventriloquism and public policy by bumper sticker. Sample:

We need to raise gasoline and carbon taxes to discourage their use and drive the creation of a new clean energy industry, while we cut payroll and corporate taxes to encourage employment and domestic investment. We need to cut Medicare and Social Security entitlements at the same time as we make new investments in infrastructure, schools and government-financed research programs that will spawn the next Google and Intel. We need to finish our work in Iraq, which still has the potential to be a long-term game-changer in the Arab-Muslim world, but we need to get out of Afghanistan — even if it entails risks — because we can't afford to spend $190 million a day to bring its corrupt warlords from the 15th to the 19th century.

And so on.

But as a lifelong Prince fan, my eyes were drawn to the sheer dogged repetition of Friedman's trademark sloganeering. The phrase "nation-building at home" makes two appearances, "nation-building in America" makes two more, and there's a fifth "nation-building" in there, presumably for collectors. Since we've been down this road with the Flat-Worlder before, I thought it might be a public service of sorts to trace how long he's been flogging this Molly. Turns out for 29 months at minimum (bolds are mine, italics his):

Thomas L. Friedman? No. Nation-builder? You damned right.

Thomas L. Friedman, June 29, 2008:

I do not believe nation-building in Iraq is going to be the issue come November — whether things get better there or worse. If they get better, we'll ignore Iraq more; if they get worse, the next president will be under pressure to get out quicker. I think nation-building in America is going to be the issue. […]

We are the ones who need a better-functioning democracy — more than the Iraqis and Afghans. We are the ones in need of nation-building. It is our political system that is not working. […]

We need nation-building at home, and we cannot wait another year to get started.

Thomas L. Friedman, August 27, 2008:

When you see how much modern infrastructure has been built in China since 2001, under the banner of the Olympics, and you see how much infrastructure has been postponed in America since 2001, under the banner of the war on terrorism, it's clear that the next seven years need to be devoted to nation-building in America.

We need to finish our business in Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible, which is why it is a travesty that the Iraqi Parliament has gone on vacation while 130,000 U.S. troops are standing guard. We can no longer afford to postpone our nation-building while Iraqis squabble over whether to do theirs. […]

Obama got this far because many voters projected onto him that he could be the leader of an American renewal. They know we need nation-building at home now — not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in Georgia, but in America. Obama cannot lose that theme. […]

[I]t is our time to get back to work on the only home we have, our time for nation-building in America.

Probably not Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman, September 9, 2008:

I have long felt that what propelled Obama early was the fact that many Americans understand in their guts that we need a change, but the change we need is to focus on nation-building at home. We're in decline. We need to get back to work on our country. And that is going to require strong, smart government.

Thomas L. Friedman, September 23, 2008:

I argue in [Hot, Flat, and Crowded] that the best way out of this mess is an American commitment to what I call "nation-building at home," centered on innovation in clean energy. The crisis on Wall Street makes clear that America really does have a problem and that we really do need to commit to "nation-building at home," and fast. As the government asks all of us as citizens to assume responsibility for the financial crisis, what should we be asking of it in terms of "nation-building at home"? What should we be calling for on top of greater regulation of the financial markets if we are going to get our country back on the right track?

Thomas L. Friedman, November 4, 2008:

[W]e need to get back to fixing our country — we need a president who can unify us for nation-building at home.

The *furrow* is definitely there….

Thomas L. Friedman, September 29, 2009:

[H]ack away at [Obama's] policies and even his character all you want. I know politics is a tough business. But if we destroy the legitimacy of another president to lead or to pull the country together for what most Americans want most right now — nation-building at home — we are in serious trouble.

Thomas L. Friedman, October 27, 2009:

[W]e desperately need nation-building at home.

Thomas L. Friedman, October 31, 2009:

[Obama] has not tied all his programs into a single narrative that shows the links between his health care, banking, economic, climate, energy, education and foreign policies. Such a narrative would enable each issue and each constituency to reinforce the other and evoke the kind of popular excitement that got him elected. […]

What is that project? What is that narrative? Quite simply it is nation-building at home. It is nation-building in America. […]

[W]hat people want most from Washington today is nation-building at home. […]

I am convinced that this kind of nation-building at home is exactly what Mr. Obama is trying to deliver […]

People have to have a gut feel for why this nation-building project, with all its varied strands, is so important — why it's worth the sacrifice.

Getting warmer….

Thomas L. Friedman, November 21, 2009:

People had hoped that [Obama's] unique story, personality and speaking skills could bring the country together, overcome paralysis and deliver nation-building at home. A lot of the disappointment settling in among Obama voters today is prompted by their dawning realization that maybe, like Arnold, he can't.

Thomas L. Friedman, December 1, 2009:

Given our need for nation-building at home right now, I am ready to live with a little less security and a little-less-perfect Afghanistan. […]

To now make Afghanistan part of the "war on terrorism" — i.e., another nation-building project — is not crazy. It is just too expensive, when balanced against our needs for nation-building in America, so that we will have the strength to play our broader global role. Hence, my desire to keep our presence in Afghanistan limited. That is what I believe. That is why I believe it.

Thomas L. Friedman, February 20, 2010:

Mr. Obama won the election because he was able to "rent" a significant number of independent voters — including Republican business types who had never voted for a Democrat in their lives — because they knew in their guts that the country was on the wrong track and was desperately in need of nation-building at home […]

Alas, though, instead of making nation-building in America his overarching narrative and then fitting health care, energy, educational reform, infrastructure, competitiveness and deficit reduction under that rubric, the president has pursued each separately. This made each initiative appear to be just some stand-alone liberal obsession to pay off a Democratic constituency — not an essential ingredient of a nation-building strategy — and, therefore, they have proved to be easily obstructed, picked off or delegitimized by opponents and lobbyists.

Thomas L. Friedman, March 23, 2010:

If the Democrats now lose seats in the midterm elections, we're headed for even worse gridlock, even though we still have so much more nation-building for America to do — from education to energy to environment to innovation to tax policy. […]

Obama won the presidency by tapping the center—centrist Democrats, independents and Republicans who wanted to see nation-building at home

Thomas L. Friedman, April 21, 2010:

the most important foreign policy issue America faces today is its ability to successfully engage in nation buildingnation building at home.

Understanding! At last!

And finally today's episode:

I think what is driving people's pessimism today are two intersecting concerns. The long-term concern is that people intuitively understand that what we need most now is nation-building in America. They understand it by just looking around at our crumbling infrastructure, our sputtering job-creation engines and the latest international education test results that show our peers out-educating us, which means they will eventually out-compete us. Many people understand that we are slipping as a country and what they saw in Barack Obama, or what they projected onto him, was that he had both the vision and capability to pull America together behind a plan for nation-building at home.

But I think they understand something else: that we are facing a really serious moment. We have to get this plan for nation-building right because we are driving without a spare tire or a bumper. […]

[T]he reason [Obama] hasn't gotten [credit for stabilizing the economy and reviving the auto industry] is not just because those nasty Republicans say all those nasty things about him. After all, he owns the biggest bully pulpit in the world. It's because the 40 percent of Americans in the middle who have determined our last two elections don't see an integrated plan for nation-building at home that includes not only more spending but hard choices. […]

The president could say that he doesn't agree with every cut [that the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission] propose[s] and wants to add his own investments in our future. But their hybrid approach, he could explain, is the only workable course for the country right now — one he intends to use as the basis for his plan for nation-building in America

That's 14 New York Times columns and 34 deployments of the phrase "nation-building," for those keeping track. Approximately zero of which grapple with the great unmentionable buzz-harsher of National Greatness dreamers and infrastructure-cancellation lamenters everywhere: Just about everything government provides has gotten too damned expensive, because government is a definitionally corruptible monopoly, and as a result there is precious little money left over to pay for whatever shiny new government-monopoly gewgaw you brainfarted this morning on the links.

Reason on Thomas L. Friedman here.

NEXT: Excellent Column . . .

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Jesus H. McChrist, Friedman uses “nation-building at home” more than I used “ignorant hillbilly whackjob preacher” in 2008.

    I’m lazy, what’s the professional writer’s excuse?

  2. Jeebus Tom,

    The government is building senior citizen’s centers and water parks as fast as they can.

    1. How about senior citizens centers with water parks? Old folks gotta have some fun.

  3. Tom is quite the Salty Dog when it comes to nation-building.

  4. You know who else advocated nation-building at home for a strong-smart government?

    1. Ya, but that was different. He wanted to build everyone else’s nation.

      Wait a second…

    2. Communism in One Nation! Death to the Internationale!

    3. Oh, you didn’t mean me did you? Why does THAT guy get all the attention? Do you know how much fun I was in my youth? I robbed banks and screwed chicks from the most goodlookenest part of the old Russian empire. He was a drone. Screamed his stupid head off in beer halls. I’m so much cooler that THAT guy it doesn’t make any since how he is played up.

  5. Please, Lord, can we not do any nation building anywhere, especially here at home.

    1. We need to do some nation building on Tom Friedman’s testicles.

  6. To be fair, the Matt Welch “We’re out of money!” index must be way above 34.

    1. Of course, you’re correct about the out of money thing.

      1. And it actually means something. “Nation building at home” is alternately vague, elastic and downright dangerous.

        1. “Nation building” is code for the Big Concrete lobby

  7. Friedman must really hate it that you can’t get wealthy douchebagging in America. And yet he does it anyway.

    1. The fact that Friedman’s personal worth is estimated at $25 million and that he married into a family worth upwards of $4 billion would tend to belie the claim that douchebagging doesn’t pay.

      1. I’m apparently wrong on that, since it appears on further reading that his wife’s family family fortune was almost completely wiped out over the past few years.

        I can’t find a cite for the $25 million in personal worth claimed on Wikipedia, but at $50,000 per speaking engagement I doubt he’s subsisting on canned tuna and ramen.

        1. He and his wife could sell that mega-mansion they live too. Got to worth millions. They ain’t hurtin’.

          1. Add “in” and “be” in that comment. Jeez.

  8. “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” was a good book…

    Just saying.

    1. I was fond of the Beirut/Jerusalem book at the time, and even later, but the rest of his career has done something similar as Sting’s solo work did to early Police records.

      1. I put Friedman in the same group as Francis Fukuyama, who wrote “The End of History and the Last Man” then dropped a turd called “Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution.”

        or Jared Diamond who wrote “Guns, Germs and Steel” then plopped a similar shit called “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.”

      2. Unduly cruel. Sting never rocked a moustache, as far as I know. (If I’m wrong about that, I’d rather not know.)

        1. ya, but he lived in a tent in africa.

  9. Since barfman has abandoned us when we need him most, I’ll do the honors:


  10. Friedman must really hate it that you can’t get wealthy douchebagging in America.

    Works for him.

    Just eyeballin’ it off Google Earth, I’m pretty confident that Friedman’s house is big enough to hold every mustache in the world.

  11. I suspect there’s a hidden meaning we need to suss out here.

    Apparently there are 32,930 anagrams for “nation building” and we must find the one that gives us that clue to his true message. Perhaps “laid boning unit”? Maybe?

    1. Bailout Dinning is my favorite already

    2. This theory becomes more intriguing when you realize the word “bailout” can be included in anagrams of the term “nation building at home.”

      Some of the more interesting results:
      Bailout Maiden In Thong
      Bailout Moaned In Night
      Bailout Mine Thin Gonad

      1. Dave Barry would be very proud.

      2. Bailout in me thin Gonad (spoken with an Irish accent).

    3. Inlaid Bigot Nun

      best I found

      1. or this

        Dilation Bung In

  12. So what’s the beef? That Mr. Friedman is consistent, or insistent? That he should come up with different words to say the same thing? As if you don’t opine about the same things using the same words over & over?

    Wouldn’t you too rather have nation bldg. in the USA than in Afghanistan? And aren’t most of the things discussed here some form of nation bldg.? Maybe you’d build in different directions from Mr. Friedman, but isn’t the gen’l idea the same, i.e. to make things better in a country by improving its institutions?

    1. My main beefs:

      1) Friedman may well be the very worst in the punditocracy at making public policy prescriptions via banal sloganeering. He spends his life hunting metaphors rather than thinking through policies in any kind of organized sense. “Nation-building at home” is a prime example of this; the original sense of “nation-building” was about creating semi-democratic/civil institutions in once-totalitarian countries; what exactly does that have to do with the United States again?

      2) As is predictable, such sloganeering thinks of nuts-and-bolts policies as a series of magic wands or tests of will. If we only *concentrate* on building the Green/Clean Energy Jobs of the future, then and only then will we beat the more focused Chinese! Rarely if ever amid such skylarking does one find applied journalism or even vague hand-waving on relevant subjects like price points of competing energy technologies, or the fact that we’ve doubled per-pupil education spending over the past four decades, precisely (in part) *because* of such WE GOTTA INCREASE EDUCATION SPENDING TO COMPETE WITH THE ASIANS-type of impulses. In other words, the style of argumentation is a short-cut to explicitly bad policy ideas, more often than not.

      3) Part of all that is the vague & vainglorious desire for Grand National Projects to Rally Us All Around. Such things usually turn out badly.

      Yes, I want to improve government services & public policy overall, but when you apply language more specific and relevant to the task, in my experience anyway, you have a much better chance of avoiding the fiscal nightmare the U.S. currently finds itself in. Forget the National Project; how ’bout improving the public schools in my town (Washington, D.C., as it happens). That’s when you see the rubber hit the road on all this high-falutin’ bullshit, as interest-group power politics snuffs out whatever green shoots for actual reform.

      Or something like that.


        Wait…the guy behind the new Kenneth sockpuppet is Friedman! Tom, you so crazy!

        1. The goal was to sound like Tom Friedman crossed with David Broder with a dash of HuffPo and Alternet thrown in.

          1. It was really quite good. It took that entire first encounter for me to figure it out. I’m guessing it’s you, Cesar, because even though it was a very different character, I got a Neil vibe off of him.

            1. Nope, it’s someone else, but not SugarFree, either.

              1. Had to throw that in there because John accused me of being SF on one thread.

                1. SugarFree isn’t hard to spot.

                2. I know you’re not NutraSweet. And if you’re not Cesar, congratulations; “Kenneth” was very well done, and it’s always fun to see new skilled sockpuppeteers doing their thing. “Tony” has gotten better, but Chad is very crude and robotic, and they’re both too much of the leftist TEAM BLUE stereotype. But a national greatness statist? That’s more interesting.

                3. Reinmoose?

                  1. Could the moose be loose?

      2. If I may humbly add my own complaint about “nation building at home” as a phrase.

        Nation-building refers to building a national identity among the people using the coercive power of the state.

        We already have a national identity. We don’t need any more coercion from the state.

      3. As is predictable, such sloganeering thinks of nuts-and-bolts policies as a series of magic wands or tests of will.

        I think he his trying to get back the peek of his sloganeering which hit the top with “No country with a McDonald’s has ever gone to war with another county which has a McDonald’s” or something to that effect.

        He thinks it is his slogans which won the day but in fact it was not the slogans that made him good. It was the fact that he was able to express complex observations in illuminating anecdotes. Now he is no longer an observer reporting but instead has become an advocate…no amount of anecdotes work with being a good advocate. He is using a hammer when a socket wrench is needed and looking like an idiot doing it.

        1. He is using a hammer when a socket wrench is needed and looking like an idiot doing it.

          One note: Reason did do a piece about Journalists switching over to be editorial writers. It was when Helen Thomas had her melt down. Matt may have been the author. Anyway I think this may explain why Friedman has become so terrible.

          1. It was Weigel.

      4. *Equips libertarian top hat and monocle*

        Spot on, old chap. Spot on.

      5. Yeah, or maybe if NYT op-editors are going to simply repeat themselves over and over, then perhaps they should change columnists more often then every 15 years.

        It’s gotten so I can read the first two sentences of a MoDo piece and feel as though I read the whole article.

    2. Considering the skill with which the US Government conducts nation-building abroad, the last thing I would wish on this country’s people is to focus that government’s mix of crusader-eagerness, arrogant ignorance, and scattershot malfeasance on them to an even greater extent than it already is.

      Shit, one of the few counter-intuitively good things about this country’s expansive foreign policy is that it leads its meddling political class to waste a hefty portion (though certainly not all) of its energy abroad, rather than here. And to discredit itself on fools’ errands in the process.

    3. That Mr. Friedman is consistent, or insistent?

      Well the record does show Friedman supported a wall between Israel and Palestine then when it was built complained endlessly about it.

      Then of course there is the Iraq war which Friedman advocated for by saying:

      “What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, um and basically saying, “Which part of this sentence don’t you understand?”

      You don’t think, you know, we care about our open society, you think this bubble fantasy, we’re just gonna let it grow?

      Well Suck. On. This.


      That Charlie was what this war was about. We could’ve hit Saudi Arabia, it was part of that bubble. We coulda hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could. That’s the real truth.”

      Of course he has been back tracking ever since.

    4. Wouldn’t you too rather have nation bldg. in the USA than in Afghanistan? And aren’t most of the things discussed here some form of nation bldg.? Maybe you’d build in different directions from Mr. Friedman, but isn’t the gen’l idea the same, i.e. to make things better in a country by improving its institutions?

      I can’t speak for all libertarian types, but for myself, I have to say “No” to your question. The concept of “nation building” is fundamentally an exercise of Statism, whereby the State confiscates property, expends endless amounts of money, and directs resources towards self-serving projects that distort the market.

      Your post assumes that people merely disagree on what ends government should direct resources toward, ignoring the alternative choice: that government should NOT be involved with such ends.

  13. Is that “The Chief” from Sabotage?

    “as a lifelong Prince fan”… Did you catch any of his small venue concerts about two years ago? Little guy was jamming his purple heart out about four feet away. Effin awesome.

    1. The horrid thing was that I at some point had access to *free tickets* for one of the late-night jams at The Roosevelt in Hollywood, but I had an immovable Previous Engagement….

      1. The Roosevelt – that’s the one we saw. He got the vapors and cancelled the night we had tickets for, but we got put on the list for the next night. The actual concert was incredible, very small space so everyone was real close to the stage. Then the “jam session” in the lobby – he was milling around in the crowd, and playing to his fans just a few feet away. Prince + small audience = one of my best concert goings ever. All thanks to extraordinarily expensive tickets keeping the riff raff out.

        Bonus: Jessica Biel was in the audience so I got to see her lips and lady humps in person.

        But enough about Thomas Friedman.

          1. Indeed. Using the term “lady humps” should be a horsewhipping at least.

          2. Sorry – just sharing the purple love, not trying to rub it in.

            1. I kept looking for “purple rain” but failed to find even one reference – I mean, if you bring up Prince… I never heard of that Thomas Friedman group…or was it a song?

  14. I’m an atheist, but I fall to my knees everyday and thank god that the person at Reason who is in charge of illustrating H&R articles is on OUR side.

    1. It’s a purely decentralized movement.

      1. Don’t obfuscate. We know it’s bankrolled by the Koches and their ilk.

        1. The ilk are really scary.

          1. The ilk are really scary.

            Doesn’t the ilk include Reason hit & run commenters, like me, who sent money during their pledge week?

            1. No, that was gobbled up by Reason’s defined-benefit pension plan.

        2. The ilk are always right. Obey the ilk.

  15. Dear Tom,

    As long as you don’t mind who’s doing the nation building, I think we can agree. I look forward to a nation of legalized drugs and an end to the war on drugs, legal prostitution, a resurgence in property rights, up to and including repealing the ADA and all smoking bans in privately owned establishments, closing all military bases world-wide, completely privatizing Social Security and voucherizing Medicare/Medicaid and severely means-testing both, reforming the private health insurance market to a actual functioning market, closing all federal Dept’s excepting Treasury, State and Justice, instituting a flat tax, eliminating the IRS and reducing gummint spending back to 1975 levels.

    If you agree to this vision of our nation, indicate your agreement by not shaving your pornlicious mustache.

    Your friend,

  16. That a niveling right-wing hack like Matt Welch can accuse anybody of sloganeering is so fucking outrageous that it deserves some sort of prize. Fuck!

    1. I’m confused. Is that last bit a non sequitur, an imperative, or has Max’s social interaction-crippling tourettes finally manifested itself manually?

    2. Edward, you of all people should know how to spell “sniveling”; it’s what you do in every post.

      1. He leaves off the ‘s’ for sniveling.

        1. I don’t get it. Are you trying to be funny?

          1. I believe that’s an extremely fragile 1-800-MATTRESS joke. Their commercials instruct you to leave off the S for “savings”.

            1. I guess my busting of JW’s balls was fragile too, then, because that’s what I was doing.

              1. I didn’t know if you were the sort to make the entertainment choices that would expose you to discount mattress ads.

        2. He left off the “s” so he could be vaguely racist, but with plausible deniability.

        3. In all fairness “niveling” should be a word.

          1. Let’s make it a word!

            Niveling. adj. Having rodent-like features as in “a niveling right-wing asshole.” Syn. Ratfucking.

    3. Can we call it Max’s Fuck Prize?

    4. It’s amazing how the Hope and Change crowd likes to slap others for “sloganeering”.

  17. Dude, fuck “nation-building at home,” I once counted 17 forms of “innovate” in a single column of his. That guy gets his teeth into something and there’s no letting go–he’s like a Gila monster.

    1. You’re just jealous of 3.0 Idea Entrepreneurs. Also, Bangalore!

    2. Hey, now!

  18. trace how long he’s been flogging this Molly. Turns out for 29 months at minimum

    Hell, Balko has been flogging dead dogs for at least that long.

    1. With an important difference — reporting new facts.

  19. nation-building at home

    As luck would have it, I’m also a senior commander of the Crips. For a fee, I’ll negotiate the surrender of the organization.

  20. There is no reason we shouldn’t begin immediately.

  21. Hello. My friend

    === http://www.aeooe.com ===

    Dedicated service, the new style, so you feel like a warm autumn!!!



    thank you !!!

    === http://www.aeooe.com ===

    1. You’re not welcome.

  22. trace how long he’s been flogging this Molly.

    Flogging one’s Molly sounds like a euphemism for j/o.

    1. But they are an excellent band.

    2. Hold on, let me open the JC Penney site in another tab…

  23. So when does the Reason office competition for best Tomas Friedman mustache begin?

    I predict Nick would win and Moynihan would get Miss Congeniality.

    1. Is Kerry Howley technically still staff?

    2. Is Tomas Friedman the Mustache of Understanding’s non-union Mexican equivalent?

    3. Reminds me of the strange look I got onetime from a friend.
      He squinted his eyes, stared beneath my lip and frowned contemptuously as if I were wearing something as gauche as a soul patch. I plucked my chinny chinny chin with two fingers. I be damned. I grew one without even realizing it. Shit happens. I’m not so vain that I check out a mirror every week, after all.

  24. Mustache

    And A+ to Kenneth. I’m not so ashamed to be fooled by an artist.

  25. Surely you can’t be serious?
    Lesie Nielsen RIP

    1. I hope that’s his epitaph.

    2. Reading through that story, I had no idea that he was cast for Airplane! because it was a spoof on his previous dramatic roles. I guess it makes sense since Stack and Bridges were also better-known for serious drama, but I just can’t picture Nielsen in a serious role.

      1. I guess if you’re old enough like me it’s not hard to picture, but it is amazing how he went from so well known in non-funny roles as we were familiar with to so well known for funny ones that after a few years people couldn’t imagine him non-funny any more. It’s not like he went from obscurity into prominence, he went from prominence to prominence.

        However, it does bother me that Airplane! so eclipsed The Big Bus that people don’t remember that as a predecessor.

        1. Damn. My brother and I were just laughing over the Big Bus on t-day.
          How many people remember that movie?

  26. Montreal Alouettes win Grey Cup

  27. Shut the fuck up, Thomas L. Friedman.

    1. So what it seems to come to is complaining about Thos. Friedman for being Thos. Friedman. And here I thought maybe there was some news.

  28. It sounds like a codephrase he and his partner have for not getting kinky in an elevator. “Build my Nation, Tommie, Build my Nation!!” (at home though).

    1. I started cracking up at my father-in-law this weekend when he came in the house and announced that the kid across the street was sitting out on the lawn “punching his Santa Claus”.

      Turned out it was actually an inflatable Santa Claus they had up for decoration though, and I still don’t think my mother-in-law has any idea what the hell I thought was so funny.

      1. The sad thing is the only real generation gap genXers and later have is Bevis and Butthead.

        The baby boomers get everything…even the most distinct generation gap.

        1. for anyone under a certain age, lets say 50, any reflexive verb is a euphamism for masturbation.
          hell, if you’re under 50 everything is a euphamism.

          1. You mean everything is an innuendo. Including the word innuendo..

            1. if … you know what I mean.

  29. Who is worse- Paul Krugman or Tom Friedman?????


    1. They’re just commentors. They hold no power over me. We discuss people who do much worse things here.

    2. It was mentioned upthread, but I’d like to submit this as evidence that Friedman is.

    3. Krugman is consistently wrong about everything he writes about, advocating going hell-bent-for-leather for the most colossal policies blunders imaginable.

      Friedman wants policies that would fuck things up too, but not always on such a colossal scale. His are more modest idiocies.

      So, Krugman for the win.

      1. Depends on which Krugman we’re talking about. Krugman says brilliant things when a Republican President is doing stupid things. When a Democrat President continues or expands those policies, that’s when Pauly Kay changes his tune.

  30. Am I still in this country? Considering how the government wreck this country, we’ll be seeing more havoc. Hold on tight people, we’re on for a ride…

  31. Someone should tell Friedman that the first Google and Intel didn’t come from government research programs.

  32. I’d like to see a larger picture of Friedman’s moustache next time. Other than that, great post.

  33. Kinda late to the dance, but sweet alt tags, boys.

  34. Kinda late to the dance, but sweet alt tags, boys.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.