Cringe in Horror as Tom Friedman Coins 'Leading from Within,' Aborts English Language


Thomas Friedman
World Economic Forum 2013 / FLickr

Here is the latest from Reason's favorite punching bag, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. See if you can make it through the first paragraph:

I DON'T know what action will be sufficient to roll back both the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, but I do know what's necessary. And it's not "leading from behind," which didn't really work for President Obama in Libya, and it isn't simply leading a lonely and unpopular charge from in front, which certainly didn't work for President Bush in Iraq. It's actually reviving America's greatest strategy: leading from within.

The rest of the column is about how Putin and ISIL are basically the same and America needs to be "crazy like a fox" to defeat them. Whole thing here.

NEXT: Obama on ISIL: No Ground Troops, Plan Forthcoming

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 or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Weigel [AKA Palin’s Buttplug] turns bitchy about Politico mag story
    …Note to readers: The Mirror is using this older photograph of Weigel because we liked his puffed up hairstyle, such incredibly body, and it’s probably more like what he looked like four years ago when he penned his brilliant story.

  2. Slate’s Dave Weigel [AKA Palin’s Buttplug] reminisces about JournoList at 1:30 a.m.
    …He’s sorry. He’s not sorry. He’s sorry. He’s not sorry.

    Have it his way. Slate’s Dave Weigel is NOT SORRY about the whole JournoList scandal, despite offering a speedy apology after he was outed as a lister and for saying Matt Drudge should die in a fire amid other pithy “Paltard” comments. While I was writing up my story, he promised to get back to me with a comment within minutes. Meanwhile, he was lying through his teeth and trying to beat me to the punch by posting an apology before I could publish my story. He did not succeed….

  3. Anyone have career advice for young Mr. Buttplug?

    Slate’s Dave Weigel [AKA Palin’s Buttplug] Orchestrates Online Therapy Session
    …”I love the travel, I love being where weird politics are happening, but in some ways I am deeply tired of what I do for a living,” Weigel confided to all his Facebook pals. When Will Caskey, a research director at Chicago Forward, suggested he’d make a good consultant, Weigel grew pensive, saying “I dunno, Will. I’m just tired of writing about raw politics and a little unsure of how to change my focus. (This is totally apart from the music book side-gig which is going well.)”…

    1. You’re kind of obsessed with Dave Weigel, aren’t you?

    2. Palin’s Buttplug is not Dave Weigel. Weigel may be an egotistical, arrogant cunt, but he can at least convey his stupid points successfully. Palin just tends to vomit out random concepts with no context and cite that as ‘proof’ in between massive mood swings. He’s clearly some kind of drug addict (I’d say cocaine or crack) or someone with a pre-existing mental issue.

      1. Yes Buttplug is Weigel. Same ‘ratfucker’ verbal ticks. His comments here are just more emotional outbursts compared to any article someone else edits for him.

        Weigel’s preexisting mental issue

        1. In 2002, after a particularly low episode, I was taken in by campus police who marked me as a risk for self-harm. I then voluntarily checked myself into a mental hospital.

          So no firearms for Weigel. What’s the downside here?

          1. I know you’re kidding around, and IANAL, but AFAICT federal law only bans firearm possession by “mental defectives” if a judge has had them committed involuntarily.

            State law may vary.

      2. I’m with tarran.

        PB isn’t sentient.

        1. ‘Weigel’ is PB w/ an editor and the knowledge his real name is attached to what he writes.

          1. Eh. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, and if I had to put my chips down on a spot that is the roulette wheel that is Weigel, I’d put most of my chips on “Tony”.

            1. What odds do put for Matt Welsh being joe?

                1. joe in lowell?

                  he was a real person. i think. he was spotted elsewhere at least.

                  1. Well, it’s a mere 45 min drive for me to investigate. I’ll just ask the first dwarf I see what his name is.

              1. What odds do put for Matt Welsh being joe?



        but, uh, yeah. I agree. Not weigel.

        who cares, anyway.

    3. I am not even close to a Weigel, you moron. And I invent my own lexicon although “ratfucker” is at least as old as Lee Atwater’s brain tumor. Neither DW or myself invented it.

      Go back to Bratfart and visit with your Team Red brethren.

      1. See, he is Weigel, problem acne and all.

      2. I prefer “Poodlefucker” myself.

        As in, “Palin’s Buttplug is a Poodlefucker”.

  4. That’s it Weigel, bash your future employer on Twitter:

    You Can Never Be Too Careful With Dave Weigel [AKA Palin’s Buttplug]
    …So far they’re not finding anything too terrible. But they can’t seem to figure out that he once worked for The Washington Post. (Pssst?he did until he “resigned” for writing his real thoughts about some conservatives on Ezra Klein’s liberal JournoList. He was immediately rehired by The Washington Post Company’s then-owned Slate. Boy did WaPo take a BIG stand on that one.)…

  5. Tom Friedman should have started his op-ed piece with “It was a dark and stormy night.”

    1. It was a dark and stormy cab ride….

    2. Not “The night wassultry”?

  6. It should always be noted that Friedman is such a hack that he could be, and was, replaced by an algorithm.

    1. If corruption is Equatorial Guinea’s curtain rod, then capitalism is certainly its flowerpot.

      Clap clap clap

  7. my best friend’s step-sister makes $80 an hour on the computer . She has been out of a job for 9 months but last month her pay check was $20212 just working on the computer for a few hours. Visit Website….


    1. Even you are better than Tom Friedman.

  8. It’s actually reviving America’s greatest strategy: leading from within.

    Team America Team Mediocre.

  9. Holy shit, is even Friedman using the Thomas Friedman article generator now?

    1. “Obama, whether you like him or not, is one of the most naturally-gifted politicians the country has produced in a very long time.”

      Grammar aside…

      What’s the line between ‘naturally gifted’ and ‘full of shit’?

      A naturally gifted politician does keep saying ‘a plan is coming’ you goofball.

      1. “Obama, whether you like him or not, is one of the most naturally-gifted politicians the country has produced in a very long time.”

        There is more to being a politician than getting elected. And in hindsight, I don’t think he had much to do with that either.

    2. Well that’s utter bullshit. Obama won an election entirely built on how things looked, not on how they really were.

  10. Dude jsut does not have a clue man.

  11. As idiotic as Friedman is… let’s pretend to take him seriously for a second

    “the necessary impactful thing that America should do at home now is for the president and Congress to

    1 – lift our self-imposed ban on U.S. oil exports, which would significantly dent the global high price of crude oil. And combine that with long overdue comprehensive tax reform that finally values our environment and security. That would be

    2 – a carbon tax that is completely offset by lowering personal income, payroll and corporate taxes. Nothing would make us stronger and Putin and ISIS weaker ? all at the same time. “

    Uh. Ok, Tommy Boy.

    1) I’m not sure the ‘significant dent’ would be all that significant. Does he have a source for his assumed ~15% or so reduction in oil prices? And how does lowering oil prices lead to a Green Revolution again? And all that aside = what the fuck does that have to do with Putin increasing Russian Territory or ISIS trying to Sunni-fy Syria/iraq, again?

    2) yeah, i’m sure it will be a LOT EASIER to get Democrats to ‘lower corporate taxes’ and ‘raise electricity prices for consumers’ than BOMB PEOPLE.

    You may return to Planet Tom now.

    1. More oil produced – cheaper oil – less $ for Russia

      Better of course to tighten monetary policy and see the price of oil collapse just like in the ’80s.

      1. as i pointed out before = if the goal is “less $ for russia”, make it more expensive for it to use global financial markets by forcing international banks to cut off its ability to transact in dollars. like we do with terrorists.

        its sure as hell a lot more ‘targeted’ a policy than ‘try and hurt russia’ by globally engineering a change in the price of oil.

        But as noted = we’re not willing to do anything that would ACTUALLY hurt russia, because that would be an act of war as opposed to this sort of bullshit ‘minimal passive coercion’.

        Friedman is actually just using the excuse of ‘russia and ISIS’ here to trot out more progressive ‘social engineering’ ideas… because that’s how they roll. They want to turn every conversation into, “how is this relevant to a Carbon Tax?”

    2. I think the idea wrt to Putin is to make it easier for Europe to impose sanctions on Russian oil and gas by becoming their supplier. I have no idea if that is realistic.

      I have no idea how a carbon tax is supposed to weaken Putin and ISIS.

  12. “Whole thing here.”
    Thank you, no.

  13. if we shift tax revenue to money collected from a carbon tax, we can … incentivize investment and hiring and unleash our economic competitiveness

    and — date I say it? — RULE THE WORLD!!

    1. *dare*

      ** back to football ***

    2. Taxing income (ie taxing work) is pretty dumb unless you want less work and less income.

      Of course taxing consumption has its own problems….not the least of which is it would encourage saving over spending, saving over debt which would cause havoc over the FED’s QE inflation scheme.

      It is fun seeing scum bag NYT’s columnists admitting income taxes hurt the economy though even if it is hidden deep in the context of bullshit climate change fear.

  14. Speaking of how the US is now supposed to leverage our ‘massive oil reserves’ as an Asset in Global Politics….

    …arent these the same retards who were penning Big Ideas about how Peak Oil and the End of Carbon was going to require a transformation of society?

    Refresh me. I don’t even want to find the ‘other’ friedman editorial from 5 years ago when he says pretty much the opposite of what he says today.

  15. To be fair, lifting the crude export ban and reforming the tax code are both good ideas on their own merits. But it’s simplistic in a typically retarded Friedmanesque fashion to believe that doing so will cause ISIS or Putin to shit their pants or rally popular support for blowing them up or turn America into some kind of unstoppable economic juggernaut or whatever endgame he thinks will materialize.

    1. . The stuff it generates is indistinguishable from the real thing.

  16. Also, note to Rico Suave =

    One does not simply mention Thomas Friedman here on H&R

    if you lack the desire to dive into his word-salad and then crucify him on his specific ‘ideas’ for our amusement

    (his ‘ideas’ noted above)…

    …then let it be. We are better off without him.

    Glancing over the range and depth of Derp that is the Sunday Times Opinion Section… The Tom only scratches the surface of planet-stupid.

    How do i know this? because White People, Duh!?!”

    1. Slavery and post-slavery oppression left a legacy of broken families, poverty, racism, hopelessness and internalized self-doubt.

      The black family was still largely intact in 1962.

      I must have missed the part where slavery came back between 1962 and 2014.

      But you probably also owe your success to parents who read to you, to decent schools, to social expectations that you would end up in college rather than prison.

      Kristof does not realize that declaring that blacks fail due to black parents and whites succeed due to white parents does not constitute a rebuttal of the claim that “the blame (belongs to) African-Americans themselves.” Actually, it’s pretty much a confirmation of it.

      1. Kristof does not realize that declaring that blacks fail due to black parents and whites succeed due to white parents does not constitute a rebuttal of the claim that “the blame (belongs to) African-Americans themselves.”

        He also doesn’t seem to realize that even Bill Cosby barely survived his crucifixion for publicly stating that observation.

      2. I must have missed the part where slavery came back between 1962 and 2014.

        400 years of conditioning. Even their conditioning was conditioned.

        1. It was like the pause in Global Warming.

  17. Friedman is definitely the worst NYT columnist.

    Krugabe possesses a certain animal cunning that at least makes his despicable content interesting.

    Brooks is a lot of FUN to hate. I could read a Brooks column every day and Goldstein him every day and never get tired of it.

    Dowd is such a comic lightweight that she’s fun to have around. Reading her columns is like watching the retarded kid who’s been mainstreamed into your school pull the fire alarm over and over.

    But Friedman – it’s upsetting to me that this guy gets paid for his content.

    1. Yes, Friedman is like watching a nerdy rich kid keep giving valedictorian speeches over and over.

      1. More like the DeNiro character in King of Comedy.

  18. from Reason’s favorite punching bag

    I don’t know.

    Krugman and Brooks are up there in the favourite punching bag category.

    Note: That is right bitches. UK spell check for the win!!!


    I saw a graphic like this on a youtube video.

    Germany, France and UK combined dwarf Russian military spending.

    Why the fuck is the US involved in Ukraine again?

    Why the fuck is it our bombs dropping on ISIS?

    1. Damn, American military spending drowns everyone else out.

    2. As a former statistics monkey…

      …generic statistics do nothing to clarify specific issues.

      it really doesn’t make any point at all. e.g. The US is the only nation on earth with the ability to project airpower anywhere, any time. The ‘spending’ # is sort of bullshit. you want to airstrike ISIS to death? There’s no other real capable candidates.

      Also, are we “involved in Ukraine”? please to explain.

      1. Yeah but Gil, the fact the USA outspends its main rival by over 6 times is quite a stat.

        1. Main rival of course being Russia.

          Or is it Canada?

        2. yes, no doubt

          But it doesn’t directly mean one thing or another regarding the questions following that fact.

          i think if the argument is, ‘we should stop supporting European security to get them to do it themselves’ then by all means, fuck yeah.

          I don’t really see the point re: ISIS or Russia.

          1. I’ve always seen American military spending, in part, as a direct consequence of the reluctance of Europe (and NATO) to spend more. I wonder how much of this ‘we have to pick up the slack’ plays into the thinking.

            Not only does the U.S. have to consider European defense (because someone has to do it) but North America as well.

            1. I agree with this. The U.S. Military spends as much as it does because it’s the world cop, and it’s because the world wants the U.S. to be the cop.

              Without the U.S., the Euro-pension system would have collapsed 20 years ago.

            2. “Rufus J. Firefly|9.7.14 @ 6:38PM|#

              I’ve always seen American military spending, in part, as a direct consequence of the reluctance of Europe (and NATO) to spend more. “


              its the consequence of the cold war and its aftermath. The whole ‘arms race’ was left to russia and the US, given most NATO countries in the 60s were either economically moribund or facing quasi-socialist governments themselves. or both.

              I think the early post cold-war years are worth re-examining to see how the US dealt with ‘partner’ nations in convincing them to up their game, defense wise… and why we ended up shouldering such a large portion of the globe’s military capability.

              A lot of it could probably be blamed on early 90s defense department neocon* guys who believed that 10X military superiorty would guaratee the Pax America in perpetuity…

              (*this is actually using ‘neocon’ accurately, as opposed to the more generic, bullshit way people use it to refer to anyone who is ‘pro-intervention’)

              1. “I think the early post cold-war years are worth re-examining to see how the US dealt with ‘partner’ nations in convincing them to up their game, defense wise… and why we ended up shouldering such a large portion of the globe’s military capability.”

                I’ve pitched the book before: “Postwar”, Judt.
                He’s a lefty whom you’d presume to promote Euro-socialism. Only sorta. Like Manchester, he’s too honest and ends up undermining any promotion he tries by writing the economic facts.
                He mentions that as early as ’50,(before NATO) Eisenhower was jaw-boning Euro governments to contribute to their own defense.
                The French, in particular, claimed that if they didn’t give free shit to the population, they’d ‘go communist’. Ditto the Italians. England tried, but years of mercantilism and the rise of Labor meant no go there. And, hey, the US was FLUSH! We could afford it!
                So, we (US) taxpayers got what Detroit got for the same reasons. In both cases, a No! was indicated.

              2. I’d go even beyond the Cold War. After the Second Great War, Europe was on its knees and devastated. American cash and military protection started right then and there as the Soviet Union veered off into its own adventure. So we’re talking 70 years now.

            3. Not just NATO, but our victory over Imperial Japan meant we assumed permanent protector status.

              1. juris imprudent|9.7.14 @ 10:37PM|#
                “Not just NATO, but our victory over Imperial Japan meant we assumed permanent protector status.”

                England shoulda’ folded its imperial tent years earlier and started growing real wealth; the English chose to hope for the past and after WWII, they were moribund and certainly not capable of any power in the far east.
                Neither of the Chinese factions could deal with Japan at the time.
                That pig Stalin had moved a couple of full armies east, and was more than willing to occupy some of Japan if he could get away with it; Truman said ‘no dice’, and it took US power to make it stick.
                A shame; Japan got and gets a free ride.

      2. you want to airstrike ISIS to death? There’s no other real capable candidates.

        Oh bullshit. Flying from Germany to Iraq is like flying from New York to Wyoming.

        If ISIS was in Australia then you might have a point.

        Also who said I wanted ISIS bombed? They are threatening Europe’s oil supply not mine.

        Also, are we “involved in Ukraine”? please to explain.

        “U.S., allies to stage exercises in West Ukraine as battles rage in East”…..3Q20140902

        Gee I don’t know maybe troops on the ground in battle mode. Don’t go all naive on me GILMORE.



          right. WWIII. round the corner. We’re ‘inflaming’ by doing what we’ve always done, and russia? they’re shelling Eastern Ukraine? and we dont say boo. We’re totally escalating.

          I don’t know if they make Pampers in your size. But good luck

          1. Stop confusing him with logic and facts you neocon you.

        2. Britain and France were the ones who started the “kinetic action” in Libya. It lasted for two weeks, at which point they ran out of bombs.

          Pretty much the only nation that has enough war materiel and production on hand to fight for an extended period of time is the United States. The UK, Germany, and France simply don’t have the capability to do it, not with most of their wealth being tied up by a massive welfare state.

  20. NBA- hotbed of racist moneygrubbers

    Levenson said he regrets the email sent to the team’s co-owners and general manager Danny Ferry in 2012 as “inappropriate and offensive.” In a statement released by the team, Levenson said he sent the email due to his concerns about low attendance and a need to attract suburban whites.

    He says he later realized the email made it seem white fans were more important. He voluntarily reported the email to the NBA.

    “I have said repeatedly that the NBA should have zero tolerance for racism, and I strongly believe that to be true,” Levenson said in the statement. “That is why I voluntarily reported my inappropriate email to the NBA.

    “After much long and difficult contemplation, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the team, the Atlanta community, and the NBA to sell my controlling interest in the Hawks franchise.”

    “After long and difficult contemplation of the astronomical price paid for the Clippers, I have decided to chum the water for suckers.

    1. Step 1 = Racism
      Step 2 = …
      Step 3 = Profit!

    2. I read about this earlier on ESPN. Hilarious.

    3. “I think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority”

      Wait.. who is this racist against?

    4. A new contender for the Donald Sterling Humanitarian Award?

  21. I don’t see what the big deal is about Levenson’s emails.

    They aren’t racist. They appear to FEAR that OTHER WHITE PEOPLE will be racist and not attend NBA games because they don’t like black people.

    If speculating that other white people are racist is itself racist, then Slate is the biggest racist rag in the country.

    1. Also. He said there aren’t enough affluent black customers to make up for the lack of white ones.

      Not racist.

    2. Maybe this is some kind of ploy by one or more NBA team owners, trying to find a way to quickly raise their selling price and then sell out.

      It worked once already, didn’t it? Why not again and again?

      1. Oh, gee I’m a racist. Pay me!

        Once again, greedy white figure out how to profit off the backs of professional grievers and victims.

        Oh, what a shock.

        I love how everyone is happy frolicking in la-la land since Ballmer took over. Civility!


        1. ‘greedy white man figures out’

  22. The crude oil export ban should definitely go.

    I mean, how fucking hypocritical is it that America buys everyone else’s oil for decades and takes over the whole middle east to make sure we can get it, and then as soon as we have some of out own to sell we’re like “Nope, all ours, motherfuckers.”

    1. akes over the whole middle east to make sure we can get it

      That never happened.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.