November 14, 2008
No Gloating on the Obama Victory, but Perhaps There is Some Consolation

I’ve promised not to gloat about the Obama victory, primarily because we don’t know how long it will take to clean up the 30-foot-high pile of manure (and growing) that George Bush and his administration have dumped upon the American People.

However, for those of us who suffered (for what seemed like eons), dealing, enduring, and cursing at Thomas Friedman’s faux Friedman Units, there is some consolation in the following news that was just released. Whether those in the liberal blogosphere choose to gloat, I’ll leave that up to each person’s individual conscience.

However, this news from Vanity Fair is quite dramatic and may offer some of those sufferers some consolation. Whether members of the liberal blogosphere wish to protest at those overly generous speaking engagements given to Mr. Friedman, I’ll leave that up to each person’s sense of what is right and what is wrong.

I suggest, even if you don’t choose to protest, that a list be kept of organizations that Mr. Friedman supports or speaks at, and if possible, those in the left blogosphere and reality-based world should protest those organizations and his speaking engagements, or for those working for those organizations, I recommend quitting in disgust.

Do it for truth and honesty and the basic premise that truth must be rewarded and lies must be punished. Better yet, take a lesson from history and boycott any organization that offers Mr. Friedman a forum — despite Mr. Friedman’s attempts at redemption by virtue of his recent articles on global warming.

I would suggest that no one in the left blogosphere buy his books, although I know no one in the left blogosphere who does. I hope everyone enjoys the moment. Long may it last.

It would be easy to dismiss today’s rant (however spot-on it might be) by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as yet another ideological tirade against the U.S. automobile industry. But based on the bad news coming out of shopping-mall owner General Growth Properties [GGP], it is no wonder Friedman is feeling crankier than usual. That’s because the author’s wife, Ann (née Bucksbaum), is an heir to the General Growth fortune. In the past year, the couple — who live in an 11,400-square-foot mansion in Bethesda, Maryland — have watched helplessly as General Growth stock has fallen 99 percent, from a high of $51 to a recent 35 cents a share. The assorted Bucksbaum family trusts, once worth a combined $3.6 billion, are now worth less than $25 million.

But don’t expect Friedman to go from Beirut to Jerusalem begging for money. The distinguished columnist (and former New Establishment member) is still said to get at least $50,000 per speaking engagement on top of the millions he makes writing best-sellers.



Posted by Buck Batard at November 14, 2008 10:06 PM
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Nice if not quite as gloatworthy as Sheldon Adelson's predicament. When Adelson was financing all sorts of nefarious right-wing crap, including those anti-Obama CDs delivered with your Sunday New York Times, he was said to be worth $8 billion; now he's said to owe $8 billion he can't refinance.

Sumner Redstone supposedly owes something like $2 billion, but I don't have anything in particular against him off the top of my head. He's just another object lesson against envying the rich, none of whom seem to be all that rich on an actual balance sheet.

Anyway, it's only fair that Mr. Friedman financially support Mrs. Friedman now, after all those years. And with the property taxes on that hotel of a house, he won't be stepping up to volunteer for the next round of layoffs, I guess.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on November 14, 2008 11:21 PM

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm betting on Adelson. Bloomberg News says Adelson and cockroaches will be the last to survive. I'm not betting on traditional cockroaches, although Adelson is another story, perhaps worst of breed most likely to survive.

Posted by: Buck on November 15, 2008 1:52 PM
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