Thomas Friedman on American Power

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thomas L. Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist and co-author of That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, talks about U.S. leadership in the world and other news.


Thomas Friedman

Comments [101]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Let us not forget that the US's good friend, Britain, released the convicted bomber of Pan Am 103, on "compassionate" grounds. Actually the "passion" for Libyan oil contracts for BP.

Aug. 22 2012 12:11 PM
anna from new york

"DR. ANNA, i could see that with you, it's either your way, or the highway"
Thank you for response regarding you education and ... bye

Aug. 22 2012 11:13 AM
carl from queens, n.y.

DR. ANNA, i could see that with you, it's either your way, or the highway... when areil sharon's mom died, he proudly proclaimed that his mom slept with a gun under her pillow till the day she died... a nice way to go through life... if all israelis have your attitude, there will never be peace... pres. lincoln said, ''the best way to destroy your enemies is to make them your friends''... get that bitterness out of you heart for your own sake... this is my last message to you... i have to reherse a few sinatra numbers for tonight's karaoke... the best of luck to you DR.ANNA...

Aug. 22 2012 11:07 AM
anna from new york

Well, Carl, I don't know what is your education, but I know that mine is quite impressive. Believe it or not, specialists (look up the word) are allowed to analyze literature within the area of their expertise and ... conclude. Well, antisemitism happens to be one of my areas of expertise and resent anyone who dares to question my rights to do what I am well qualify to do.

Aug. 22 2012 11:04 AM
anna from new york

And the reason you, Carl living in Queens, are so interested in Weird is? Let me think ... I am thinking, I am thinking ... Ah, I know .. Of course I know. This is one of my area of expertise.

Aug. 22 2012 10:57 AM
anna from new york

And why don't, Carl, read something about Britain/Arab oil money connections on all level of Britain, particularly universities?
No, the banks which were last week in the news are not an exception.

Aug. 22 2012 10:52 AM
carl from queens, n.y.

DR. ANNA, what does british antisemitism got to do with alison weir's article?... you are a perfect example of what i ment by my comment that our gov. and the israeli gov. only see what others do to them, never seeing what they do to others... what change would you have in a court room if all the jury heard was the d.a.'s side of the story?...

Aug. 22 2012 10:51 AM from new york

Oh, Carl. And why don't you read Anthony Julius's history of British antisemitism? Britain is probably now the most antisemitic nation in Europe (and Hungary). So, and the reason I should read this garbage by this notorious antisemitic sicko is? Are you recommending that I read David Irving too?
Sure. Thank you. I listen occasionally to BBC. Enough to make my blood boil for a day.

dr anna

Aug. 22 2012 10:40 AM
carl from queens, n.y.

ANNA, did you get a chance to read, ''Murdering Babies is ''Permissible'' When Thet're Palestinian'', by Alison Weir?

Aug. 22 2012 09:57 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Edward from Washington Heights AKA....
anna from new york.....

Thank You !!!!

Aug. 22 2012 07:52 AM
anna from new york

I've just scanned the "precious" comment by Laila in a typical "Pravda" style, full of exaggerations, pompous, pretentious and dishonest.
Laila, and the reason you don't feel horror when you SEE dismembered bodies of Israeli children is? Are you told that are supposed to feel "compassion" only when you HEAR discussion of possible punishment of this or than barbaric government, so charmingly antisemitic? Whose dictate it this, Laila?
Are you this "Jewish" Bronx woman (yes, "red diaper") who last year went to Iran to denounce on Iranian TV .... Israel? Was Ahmadinejad generous at least?

Aug. 22 2012 02:50 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Laila from New York,

Do you think we should trust a self declared "Islamic Republic of Iran", an Islamic Republic that stones women to death, that hangs gays in public executions from construction cranes, that tells the audience at Columbia University that there are no homosexuals in Iran, that calls for genocide of "the Zionist entity", that regularly calls for "death to the Great Satan and the Little Satan", which had an 8 year war with neighbor Iraq where 1,000,000 people died, Sunni and Shiites regularly massacre each other?

Here is a clip of a speech by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran where he leads thousands at a Nuremberg style rally, calling for death to the US and Israel.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Death to Israel"

Laila, If someone were to threaten to wipe you from the face of the earth, how would you react?

Personally, I wish for the Islamic Republic of Iran what it wishes for the US and Israel. It is worth noting that Mecca is smaller than Israel or Tehran.

Aug. 22 2012 01:10 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What word would "Skype" be a typo *for*?

Aug. 22 2012 12:52 AM
twitcher from brookline

obama gives TOO 2 2 TOO many speeches - I wish he'd gotten his promises right. The reason people are disillusioned is b/c the words to actions ratio with obama is very lopsided.
TFriedman supported the Iraq war 2003, this guy isn't the genius your twit pic filter tinged tries very very hard to convey. You can add as many filters as you want to your pics, it doesn't improve the quality of the photo or its subjects.

Aug. 21 2012 09:49 PM
Laila from New York

I refer to Mr. Lehrer's discussion today with Thomas Friedman and particularly Friedman's assertion that Israel is poised to attack Iran before this year's US presidential elections. Am I the only listener who thought this is important? What struck horror into my heart was the cavalier way both gentlemen discussed a possible attack on Iran. There was no moral consideration, no compassion for innocent lives, no recognition of the horrors this would unleash on the Iranian people, no discussion about the injustice of attacking a country which has attacked no one in over 200 years. They also lightly mentioned the possibility that Israel would want the US to attack on its behalf(through blackmail)but neglected to say anything about the horrific results of such an action and the most likely loss of more American lives on behalf of Israel(as in Iraq). What has happened to these gentlemen's moral compass? Do they even care what it would do to America? Or is it that if Israel wants it, it's okay because after all, we have to do what they tell us?

Aug. 21 2012 07:03 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Leo from Creedmoor Queens

"Ed from Wash Hts: I think Creedmore closed a long time ago.."


Leo of Creedmoor Queens, they came to take you away, but you still have problems with reality.

Aug. 21 2012 06:03 PM
Leo from Queens

Ed from Wash Hts: I think Creedmore closed a long time ago.. But lucky you that Bellevue has internet access in they psyche ward!.

Ann: I promise that I will go crazy on the next program and criticize whatever country is mentioned that is not Israel. And I promise not to make any snide remarks about SAINT BIBI.

Aug. 21 2012 05:29 PM
anna from new york

Not only I emphasized Paul, I also responded to the promotion of Paul.
What you are doing is comical. It brings some sadly comical associations to mind, but I won't elaborate.

Aug. 21 2012 04:08 PM
anna from new york

Well, he doesn't use this internet, but I do ....
Oh Leo, Oh Leo,
Are you saying that you didn't receive this "Last year the HEAD [emphasis mine-a] of Amnesty International’s Finnish branch, Frank Johansson called Israel a scum" and countless other charming bits and pieces.
Why don't you use your Internet and google "Amnesty International" and "antisemitism," for example, friend.
This is a problem with "internationalists" - they live and thrive on propaganda only. This was during Stalin and Comintern, this remains now.

Aug. 21 2012 03:43 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Leo from Creedmore, Queens, Lucky you that Creedmore has internet access.

Aug. 21 2012 03:30 PM
Leo from Queens

Anna, PLEASE, take your medication!..

If you read or accessed other means of communications other than Fox News or the New York Post you will see that all of these countries are criticized..

Did you actually go and look at the Amnesty International website? Bet not!. I have been a member for over 10 years and I have yet to receive any mailings from them criticizing Israel. So Stop being so defensive.. or I will have to call you an antisemite for not agreeing with Jesus of Nazareth!

Aug. 21 2012 02:16 PM
anna from new york

There is nothing to criticize in Iran, Venezuela, Russia etc., Leo?
And who told you so? Amnesty? Or someone behind it?

Aug. 21 2012 01:24 PM
anna from new york

Oh progress, clearly "internationalists" have received permission (order) to criticize Syria now. Any chance they will be allowed to criticize Iran, Venezuela, Russia, Salafis, etc. etc. etc.? Oh no, they still "share humanity" with Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Putin, ...

Aug. 21 2012 01:19 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Leo from Queens,

"take your medication", "tree stump"?

Your excuse, you're exhausted? Get more sleep.

Aug. 21 2012 01:00 PM
Leo from Queens

Edward from Wash Hgts: It's exhausting to attempt to exchange and discuss ideas with a tree stump..
Besides, I did not bother to engage you in a conversation because your comments were out of context and disjointed.

Aug. 21 2012 12:47 PM


Your comment:
"The eternal dreams of Der Neue Fuehrer.
No to Obama, no to Romney and most certainly NO TO PAUL."
LOOKS LIKE A GROUP. Emphasis on Paul, granted, but still a group.

"Green Party and the Nazis. Well, if you look closely you might see similarities."
Um, or you might not. I'm just gonna let the ridiculousness of that comparison stand for itself.

"Yes, I find Friedman primitive. Yes, I find immoral people primitive. Where's the problem?" I
'm glad at least you weren't defending your claim that he's illiterate, since him being a writer, it really made no sense at all.
What you really are doing by calling him primitive and a "moron" though is avoiding arguing his points, and instead trying to assassinate his character. It stinks of a lack of a well thought out argument. I mean I know politicians and the mainstream media do it all the time, it's much easier to engage in name calling than to argue a position based in facts, but it still stinks of unintelligible nonsense regardless.

And I wish I could believe you won't continue, but we both know, tomorrow or the next day or sometime soon after, you'll be back to arguing somewhere on the internet that everything really can be related back to Hitler and the Nazis...

Bravo, distributer or well thought arguments and positions, bravo!

Aug. 21 2012 12:45 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Leo from Queens, Out of ideas? Why am I not surprised?

Aug. 21 2012 12:41 PM
Leo from Queens

Anna, you got to take your medication!.

Aug. 21 2012 12:35 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

1939: Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union

"The Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union,[1] also known as the Nazi–Soviet Pact and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (after its chief architects, Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop) was a non-aggression pact, signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939, at the height of the Nomonhan fighting in the far east between the Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan. The aggreement gave Hitler the go ahead to invade Poland with impunity a week after the Soviets had gained the upper hand in the far east, and guaranteed Nazi Germany that they would not have to fight the USSR..."

Both Socialists.

Aug. 21 2012 12:34 PM
anna from new york

Well, I just had an exchange with an illiterate and pompous demagogue (Leo)
Congratulations, Brian on the quality of your listeners.
BTW, why don't you inform your listeners how many millions perished in the 20th century from the hands of those who "shared humanity."

Aug. 21 2012 12:26 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights


The near nuclear war between Pakistan and India, a dispute over ownership of land, sound familiar?, the safe haven Osama bin Laden found in Pakistan, that Pakistan is an unstable country with nuclear weapons should make all people nervous.

Aug. 21 2012 12:21 PM
anna from new york

I am not going to continue this nonsense forever.
"Not only did you group Paul with Hitler and the Nazis but Romney and Obama too." NOT TRUE. I actually capitalized Paul.
Green Party and the Nazis. Well, if you look closely you might see similarities.
Yes, I find Friedman primitive. Yes, I find immoral people primitive. Where's the problem?
And, as I said, I won't continue.

Aug. 21 2012 12:19 PM
Leo from Queens

Anna, this will be my last comment. But aside from being defensive and playing the victim card you are also stupid. I was making a comment on the conversation with Mr. Friedman in which he made the comment that the discord between Obama and Bibi was personal and implied that it was Obama's fault because he wasn't condescending enough to his royal highness BIBI..
The topic was not Syria or Burma or Zimbabwe. If Friedman had made a stupid comment about Zimbabwe I probably would have made a comment about that.
Again, check out Amnesty international as this organization fairly brings to light human rights abuses around the World and is financed by people like me.
Also, I do share a lot with Israeli citizens, I share my humanity, my love of life, my love of family, my culture and by hard earned taxes.
PLEASE, take an Ambien or too! I don't know how you can walk around with a 20 TON boulder on your shoulder!

Aug. 21 2012 12:15 PM

Actually you made several points, and they all somehow tied to Duh Fuehrer, Duh, Duh

Not only did you group Paul with Hitler and the Nazis but Romney and Obama too. I guess you can't be fully blamed for that since Fox does it with Obama and some on the left were doing it with Bush.

You also seem to add Friedman to the group, comically criticizing him for babbling in your own paragraph of, er, babble. If you can't make an argument against Friedman without resorting to the descriptions of "moron...illiterate and primitive", I'm afraid you haven't made very much of an argument.

And of course there's the Green Party, which in your mind closely reflects some pattern seen in Hitler's Germany.

There seems to be a pattern. (And just to avoid confusion, it doesn't seem to be a pattern of well thought out, logical, or even fully coherent points).

Aug. 21 2012 12:12 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Meanwhile 20,000 dead in Syria.

Where are the "anti-war" activists?

Russia backs the genocidal Assad dictatorship, so BACK OFF COMRADE!

Aug. 21 2012 12:07 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Obama in his own words.

FLASHBACK: Obama: My Presidency Will Be 'A One-Term Proposition' If Economy Doesn't Turn In 3 Years


Aug. 21 2012 12:02 PM
anna from new york

Yes, Leo, you were just criticizing Bibi. And Amnesty International was critizing Bibi,
"I was just criticizing your arrogant, corrupt BIBI.. That doesn't make me an anti-semite nor even an 'internationalist"
What an argument! Yes, it makes you an antisemite. Why don't you check such notions as "double standards" "singling out" "overemphasis" etc. Yes, these are signs of bigotry. Everyone around Bibi (check his neighbors) is murdering, torturing, etc. but ... you are criticizing .... Bibi.
It's your right (and duty) to criticize reasonably YOUR government. BUT you don't share Israel's fate, you don't share anything with Israeli citizens, how dare you then select this tiny nation (out of 200 countries) for your "criticism."
Why don't you check who's been financing Amnesty International? And, frankly, why don't you educate yourself about ... anything, instead of this absolutely ignorant babbling. You don't know anything.

Aug. 21 2012 11:58 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

When people shell out close to $4 per gallon for gasoline, from $100 per barrel oil, we can thank OPEC.

The goal of a proper US president is to lessen the US dependence of foreign oil, especially OPEC oil. The Keystone pipeline would kick OPEC where it hurts.

Domestic oil production would make jobs and keep money in the US. Plus the US could be a sizable oil exporter.

Aug. 21 2012 11:57 AM

@Dez from the Bronx

"Obama had a Democratic House and Senate when he came in and on top of that he got most of his major initiatives though. Anything he didn't get meant he couldn't convince his own party. Now whether those initiatives actually helped anything are debatable."

In an age when 40 votes in the Senate can stand against any bill, can any President get an initiative through? Please go back and review the history of the 111th Congress more closely. You will see that the Democrats had a supoer-majority (i.e. filibuster-proof) for NINETEEN DAYS in July. From Al Franken's long delayed swearing in until they broke for August recess. When they returned, Teddy Kennedy was dead. You are letting your knowledge of 'the rules' get in the way of the actual history. Don't be fooled.

If the Democrats had had actual control 1) the stimulus bill would have been larger, 2) the stimulus bill would have happened sooner, 3) Daschle would have led the health care fight...and we might NOT have lost the public option. Maybe, could have, would have and might have. The GOP obstructionism has bordered on treason.

Aug. 21 2012 11:46 AM
Leo from Queens

Anna, OBVIOUSLY, I don't have the political and financial power to appear on the national news, international cable and the Rupert Murdoch media outlets with my views. There have been many groups - Check out Amnesty International for example: - who have been criticizing and putting pressure on these dictatorships and other governments regarding their human rights abuses.
I was just criticizing your arrogant, corrupt BIBI.. That doesn't make me an anti-semite nor even an 'internationalist' - whatever that means!.

You need to stop being so defensive and playing the victim. it's not attractive at all!

Aug. 21 2012 11:45 AM
anna from new york

Your question is good, but naive.
Don't expect Friedman or any of the so called "liberals" (my precious body, my precious mansion, MY precious civil rights .... and the Palestianins) in the NYT to say anything what matters.
Yes, this nation need a solidly progressive (worker's rights, dignity in the workplace, vacations, education, child care) party, but as you can see all this weirdly identical far right/far left distractors will do anything to prevent any change.

Aug. 21 2012 11:44 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Speaking of NO, Obama nixed the Keystone pipeline which would have brought oil from Canada to the US. Lessening the US's dependence on Middle East oil.

ron paul should be Secretary of CRAZY.

Aug. 21 2012 11:38 AM
anna from new york

Well, thank you for recommendation. Yes, I made my point by saying that we don't need a Neo-Nazi in the White House when someone promoted Ron Paul.
You don't like my point - it's your problem.

Aug. 21 2012 11:36 AM
carl from queens, n.y.

anna, you said, ''why should we read what you recommend, carl''... you don't have to read it, just like i don't have to read your comments... i believe the trouble with our government, and our friends, the israeli government is, we only see what others do to us, we never see what what we do to others... think about it...

Aug. 21 2012 11:31 AM
anna from new york

Oh Leo,
And how often did you and your co-friends here criticize Qaddafi, Assad, Ahmadinejad, all these countless dictators who boil, fry and cooked their own citizens (Uzbekistan, for example), sell their children into slavery, brothels, exploit, abuse their own co-coreligionist (migrants, for example) allow/encourage stoning for being rape etc.
They have been around for many decades while you and other "compassionate" "internationalists" were "criticizing" .... Israel of course.
Now, you are babbling about criticizing Assad. Where were you all these decades?
Despicable, hypocritical collaborators.

Aug. 21 2012 11:28 AM
Satya D

I did not hear the segment on Middle East but I thought I offer a comment. I think Thomas Friedman and Obama are far leftists when it comes to Islam and there is an inherent danger to our society as a whole if we do not recognize Islam is mainly fascist ideology. As a Hindu American, Hindus have suffered immensely under Islam. The statistics are staggering with ethnic cleansing going on as I write in North Eastern part of India. In a report by Hindu American Foundation endorsed by leading US Congressmen and Senators, the population of Hindus/Sikhs in Pakistan was 25% in 1947 and today it is less than 1%. In Bangla Desh there is ongoing genocide that reduced 30% in 1947 to less than 10% today. Literally millions were killed in the name of religion and many more women and girls either were raped or chose to commit mass suicide. In just India itself, where Muslims are majority in state of Kashmir, 350,000 Hindus were expelled under threat of rape and murder and they are living as refugees in squalid camps in their own country for last 25 years. This is unimaginable tragedy and Tom and Obama has gall to say Islam is religion of peace. Maybe when their loved ones are affected they would not say that. Have they ever read Islamic scriptures Koran, Sira and Hadith from the respected authors of Muslims itself and decide what it is. Have they read the works of famous American Historian Will Durant on Islam. Sadly, the fascism in Islam affects not just non-Muslims, it also affects Muslims leaving their societies impoverished, terrorist ridden with little rights for women. Rather than face head on and challenge and help reform Islam with those Muslims like Juhdi Jasser, the nonsense that is doled out is a great danger for America. That is because as Muslims percentage increases in parts of US, we are bound to see the rights of non-Muslims diminished, we will see subversion of US Constitution with Shariah laws. America needs to learn a lot from societies that are destroyed by Islam. They just have to open eyes and see. For more information on what India faced, go to For information on report endorsed by US lawmakers go to (in fact the cover page is a Kashmiri girl saying, 'Are we refugees forever').

Aug. 21 2012 11:26 AM
Leo from Queens

Anna, I'm not claiming to speak in the name of the Jewish people, neither should you!!. Plus the Jewish people are diverse and have different views.
AND MOST Jews in Israel, who are the ones who should matter, and most Jews in the US think there should be a negotiated solution, and they don't like the extreme right wing that rules Israel now. It's controlled by very wealthy extremists from the US (Jews and Christians) who benefit financially from the status quo.

I have as much right to criticize the current Israeli administration, as I have to criticize the current Syrian dictatorship or the government of Mexico.
Especially when my tax dollars go to support the Israeli government.

Anna, let me ask you a couple of questions?
- How many Arab bombs have fallen on your house?
- How many Israeli bombs have fallen on your house?>
- How many US bombs have fallen on your house?
- Have you bothered to learn about the similarities between a typical Arab family and a Jewish family?
- How much money have right wing Israeli politicians pocketed and how much wealth have they amassed by keeping the status quo?
- Are you saying that Jews/Israelis are so totally different from the rest of humanity that one can only make a comment about arrogant BIBI without incurring your wrath only if one is a Hebrew speaking Jew with a doctorate in Judaic studies?
Please, go get some coffee and an Ambien

Aug. 21 2012 11:19 AM


It is quite simply ridiculous and truthfully boring to relate every online discussion back to Hitler and the Nazis. In your argument you're trying attribute false [and ridiculous] beliefs to me, when all I'm saying is that every single damn online conversation doesn't have to go back to Hitler and Nazis. Have a conversation, and make your points, without tying things back to Hitler and the Nazis.

(Godwin's law, of course, simply states that that is impossible - eventually some fool will make relate every topic back to Hitler and the Nazis).

Aug. 21 2012 11:18 AM
anna from new york

Why this selectivity in reading, Carl?
Why don't you recommend thousands of books, articles, sermons, TV and radio programs in Arabic (and English) telling Muslims what to do with Jewish babies?
Again, Carl, why is that?
I know the answer.

Aug. 21 2012 11:13 AM
anna from new york

Why don't, Carl, look at the reality instead of what this or that wrote.

Aug. 21 2012 11:09 AM
anna from

And why should we read what you recommend, Carl.
Is it possible that we read (and most importantly THINK) enough.

Aug. 21 2012 11:08 AM
carl from queens, n.y.

to all the commentators who are concerned with the deaths of young people in the middle east, read, ''murdering babies is ''permissible''when they're palestinian'', by alison weir...

Aug. 21 2012 11:05 AM
annad856 from new york

Yes, I care about your Godwin. Sure. I think I care more about something you didn't notice, for example:

- the connection between Paul and neo-Nazis
- the recent mass murders by someone who probably according your Godwin and you doesn't exist - neo-Nazis
Continue babbling.

Aug. 21 2012 10:58 AM

Let's see...

Brian is Jewish. So it Friedman. Probably Leo. And anna from new york. Oh, I forgot - I am Jewish too.

And what Jews always talk about? Israel, Nazis and the Holocaust.

On the other hand, if I were like fuva, I would be concentrating on slavery, feminism, and social justice.

Where is jgarbuz when you need him? Not that we really need him...

Aug. 21 2012 10:58 AM
John A.

"{You're} conveniently forgetting that the repubs met within hours of Obama's inauguration and agreed that they'd say NO NO NO to absolutely every initiative put forth by the Dems"

Supporting data? I would like to believe this fact, more, and be able to argue with it in this election season.

Aug. 21 2012 10:52 AM
anna from new york

Leo, and who deputate you to talk in the name of Jewish people.
Let me ask you some questions:
- what is your knowledge of Jewish history? What is your experience of Jewish history?
- what is your knowledge of Jewish culture and traditions, including the knowledge of text and language (Hebrew)
- did you ever bother to learn
- did you ever bother to learn anything except for some platitudes and cliches?
- how many Arab bombs have fallen on your house?

Now, the final question:
How dare you speak in the name of Jewish people?
dr anna

Aug. 21 2012 10:50 AM
Roger from New York

Your last caller effectively summarized the Republican platform and mindset. It is easy to criticize all that Obama has done, but where are the solutions for America's very real problems? Romney-Ryan propose a program emphasizing tax cuts for the ultra-rich, one of the causes of our financial woes, while stripping supports for the poor, elderly and sick (not to mention the middle class). What will they put in place of "Obama Care" that will address the uninsured and provide medical care in a reasonable, cost-effective fashion? David Stockman, Reagan's budget chief, wrote recently that Ryan's proposals are "devoid of credible math and hard policy choices." Martin Wolf in the Financial Times wrote that Ryan's plan is "inadequate and incomplete" over the next decade and is not credible for the long term. Add to that primitive ideas regarding reproductive rights, of which Ryan has been a champion in Congress. So where are the viable, forward-looking solutions from Romney-Ryan, other than hurting those who can't defend themselves?

Aug. 21 2012 10:46 AM

Godwin's law. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

Aug. 21 2012 10:45 AM

Thomas Friedman? Really, Brian? Really?

Aug. 21 2012 10:43 AM
Leo from Queens

Why is it President Obama's fault that somehow "BIBI" reminds him of somebody he doesn't like? Couldn't it be the other way around, that Bibi doesn't like Obama and he expects to be treated like an idol to be vowed down to. Just like the receptions he gets from the extreme racist right wing when he travels to the US? (Jews and 'Christians' alike).

Mr. Friedman confirms this by saying that Pres. Obama should have tried to kiss the a** of Bibi more to get on his good graces.. Isn't it enough that Israel has card blanche to do what it wants and gets over $1BILLION dollars a year from the American taxpayer?

Bibi does not represent the views of the majority of Israelis.. WHy are we equating Bibi and his group of wealthy supporters with the Jewish people? it's like saying that you hate Americans because you don't get along with Congressman Akin.

Aug. 21 2012 10:43 AM
anna from new york

The Green Party is as progressive is Hitler's party was in Germany.
I can assure you that this country doesn't need Germany's (and sadly Europe's) past experience.

Aug. 21 2012 10:42 AM
Kenneth Barta from Spotswood, NJ,08884

1) Defense spending is sucking the country dry.
2) Both parties have promoted college educated immigrants in the millions who displace American educated workers with jobs simply to save money. How can college educated people hold jobs when the government is giving their jobs away. The trade agreements promote this.
3) Corporations and people like Romney hide their money overseas and don't pay taxes. Corporate raiders kill good companies and send the work overseas.
4. Banks are sucking the economy dry
5) Freeman is talking about the past when above items were not taking place. Regulations and policy used to be in place that help regulate the economy. This has all be withdrawn. We're playing against a stacked deck!

Aug. 21 2012 10:41 AM
Sam from New York City

"The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work" by Belen Fernandez

Aug. 21 2012 10:41 AM
Alan from Bloomfield

That completely sucked. Let's close with another question that gives Mr. Friedman another opportunity to fellate himself.

Aug. 21 2012 10:40 AM
Shoniqua from Brooklyn

Israel, Israel, Israel... this one topic takes far too much of our time in politics and for that matter time on WNYC. I'm sorry, but there are more pressing issues at home and abroad for that matter.

Aug. 21 2012 10:39 AM
Stephan from Queens NY

With this president It’s “damned if i do damned if i don't”
The American people don’t want to fix anything. They just want their cake and eat it too. When 50% of the US don’t respect the current leader of the free world what do you expect. Most whites in the US don’t want to be led by a black man at work, in the military and especially in policy making.

Aug. 21 2012 10:39 AM
Sara from LES

What the HELL does Israel have to do with the average American?

Aug. 21 2012 10:37 AM

Thank you Anna for proving that Godwin's law is still alive and kicking!

Aug. 21 2012 10:36 AM
NANCY from nyc

Education is never bad, the problem now is that practically every job I see has a college degree requirement . I have worked and managed in the healthcare industry and there were ,and still should be, many jobs that don't require a degree, simply a bright, well spoken motivated person who can be trained to do a myriad of administrative jobs. This degree requirement is only feeding the big business that universities have become with ever escalating tuition. Many relative low paying jobs are requiring a degree. Stop feeding the college big business machine. We should be providing enough free public education to graduate 18 year olds with a reasonable expectation of attaining a job to support themselves. A high school degree used to do that. We owe our students more and better free public education that they or their parents don't have to go into enormous debt to acquire. This gov't can afford every unfunded war, educate our youth. We should be providing a free public college education to all.

Aug. 21 2012 10:36 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Alan from Bloomfield, thanks and kudos.

Aug. 21 2012 10:36 AM

Why is the Green Party never seriously discussed when a need for a third, more progressive party is raised? I heard Jill Stein speak on another NPR program (On Point out of Boston) and thought she was fantastic! She was not afraid to speak out on all the pressing issues of our time. Is it a Catch 22, they never get press, so no one ever thinks of the Greens as actually viable?

Please consider having Jill Stein on your show Brian and see where the conversation goes!

Aug. 21 2012 10:36 AM
Sullivan from Chicago

There never was a narrative for Obama on health care. Before he was president, he was an avowed single-payer supporter (see the YouTube clip). Then as president, held up a public option as an anesthetic to the progressive base, then switched out to the Heritage Foundation/Romneycare idea once he heard from the insurers, drug companies and hospitals. The narrative -- "I once believed in universal health care, but I saw the light of mandated private health insurance based on the Massachusetts model" -- is awful, but it is what we've got now.

Aug. 21 2012 10:35 AM
anna from new york

It's sadly amusing to watch American prostitutes:
- all these feminists just don't notice the stoning of women for being raped
- all these "internationalists" who care about a Palestinian youth (oh yes, they care) in Israel just don't notice murdering of many, many, many, many Muslim youths in all these charming, charming, charming Muslim countries
- all these "compassionate" souls just don't notice the murdering of Black youth in their own neighborhood
I can continue forever, but revulsion makes me stop ..

Aug. 21 2012 10:34 AM
John from NYC

This discussion and book reminds me of the book by Donald Barlett and James Steele - "America What Went Wrong". It was published some time ago but the theme is the same.

Aug. 21 2012 10:33 AM
Alan from Bloomfield

Thomas Friedman is a Jive Turkey. Not just an average Jive Turkey either, but an exceptional one, top of the pyramid of Jive Turkeys. The philosopher-king of Jive Turkeys. A member of the Jive Turkey gold class.

Aug. 21 2012 10:33 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Thomas Friedman lives the establishment’s, very protected cocoon. He has no idea what many Americans are going through in an era of mass deindustrialization. No guy, we all cannot be genius like you people in the media's, punditry insular box.

I am brilliant, we are brilliant, we are all doing brilliant things as the planet careens into what?

Aug. 21 2012 10:31 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Sorry, but, more often than not, I find Friedman to be a naked imperial blowhard.

Aug. 21 2012 10:31 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


Bravo !!!
Call in again.

Aug. 21 2012 10:30 AM
Smokey from LES

Why do you lump Medicare and Social Security together? The problems and fixes for these two programs are so very different. I don't know what to do with Medicare but I sure do with Social Security - just raise the contribution level above $107K! Everyone who has a job paying over $100K can keep contributing to FICA.

Aug. 21 2012 10:30 AM


Education is fine and good and definitely desirable. But the fact is there's plenty of kids coming out of college and they can't get jobs. There's plenty of older adults with college degrees, and in many cases Masters, and they still can't find work. With technology reinventing everything on an almost daily base, how do people keep up with the education needs, which by the way aren't at all cheap?

Even yesterday's good jobs like the IT desk worker is being replaced with better programs, and much legal research is now being off-shored to cheaper locals like India. Where moving to a "superstar" system where there's lots of money at the top, and a hollowing in the middle as the jobs go elsewhere. You yourself are part of this as a "superstar" writer - (not a criticism, I like your books) - I just think it's very hard for the middle class who invests big in a college or masters degree and that still just might not be enough.

Aug. 21 2012 10:29 AM
Erica from Manhattan

Your guest mentioned a 3rd party being important. Could he expand on how that could be accomplished? I would think a change in the voting system would be useful in achieving that goal (like rounds voting or something like that). But the people who have the ability to change that would not have much incentive to would they?

Aug. 21 2012 10:29 AM
anna from new york

No, Lenore,
I'd like to ask you what you think about murdering Jewish children (many, many, many of them) in Kindergardens?
It's interesting how all "internationalists" crawl out.

Aug. 21 2012 10:29 AM
fuva from harlemworld

And it's true that Brian's interviewing "niceness" (God bless him) DOES sometimes compromise effectiveness. He often seems hesistant to press interviewees in ways that can be illustrative.

Aug. 21 2012 10:28 AM
blacksocialist from bk

one hack interviewing another hack... i mean really, tom friedman... who's next david brooks? lehrer is a hack

Aug. 21 2012 10:27 AM
fuva from harlemworld

So what about income inequality? How can one envision and implement an effective plan for 21st century employment and productivity if one doesn't acknowledge and address the different challenges on either side of and because of this dividng line?

NEITHER CANDIDATE has really addressed this at all. And now Tom Friedman ignores it too. Do they think the citizenry doesn't notice? (or do they KNOW we dont?)

Aug. 21 2012 10:25 AM
anna from new york

Oh Joe,
The eternal dreams of Der Neue Fuehrer.
No to Obama, no to Romney and most certainly NO TO PAUL.

Aug. 21 2012 10:25 AM

"average" is the one that hits you with a pitchfork. Of course, Friedman does not care - he lives in his wife's mansion.

Also, Friedman's position is completely immoral. What do you do with "average" people?

And yes, Friedman sold books, America lost jobs.

Aug. 21 2012 10:24 AM
Susan from long island

Mr. Friedman,
Do you still have the President's eye or ear from time to time? Please press the narrative point home to him if you can!

Aug. 21 2012 10:22 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

Brian, ask Friedman what he thinks of the mob attack on a Palestinian youth on Thursday night at Zion Square in Jerusalem and the arrest of several Israeli Jewish teenagers, including two women. What has Israel become?

See Jerusalem Post (no lefty pro-Palestinian rag) and Haaretz about this.

Aug. 21 2012 10:21 AM
Janos from Manhattan

How out of touch is Mr. Friedman if he says "unemployment basically doesn't exist" for people with four-year degrees?

Lots of young people with degrees from good colleges don't have jobs (or full-time work), and many have low-wage, dead-end jobs.

Aug. 21 2012 10:20 AM
ken from nyc

Thomas Friedman is selling the "Replace actual teachers with Web-Celebrities like himself.

Aug. 21 2012 10:20 AM
Dez from Bronx

@Michael - what? First, Obama had a Democratic House and Senate when he came in and on top of that he got most of his major initiatives though. Anything he didn't get meant he couldn't convince his own party. Now whether those initiatives actually helped anything are debatable.

Aug. 21 2012 10:20 AM
antonio from baySide

But Ryan is just a ideal, not reality.
He voted for Tarp, Medicare prescription D, Both wars?

Aug. 21 2012 10:19 AM
Kay from NYC

Friedman is so average.

Aug. 21 2012 10:19 AM

It's the Ryan/Romney ticket. Mitch will make a terrific VP.

Hey, did Friedman ever apologize for all those, "in 3 months we'll know..." comments? come on Brian, you got to ask him about all those false prophesies.

Aug. 21 2012 10:18 AM
Kay from NYC

Goodness, why does *anyone* let Friedman say anything anymore? He is as flat as anything he writes about.

Aug. 21 2012 10:18 AM
anna from new york

Oh, nice. Now this moron is following me. I tried to read his columns some two decades ago (two of them), but decided that I they were below any acceptable level - pompous, pretentious, manipulative etc.
The fact this illiterate and primitive "journalist" of Der Neue Stuermer babbling from his million square foot mansion is a darling of some Nazi left makes me profoundly pessimistic about human intelligence (of course) and American future (of course)

Aug. 21 2012 10:17 AM
The Truth from Becky

..."handed over to congress" not so sure that is accurate

Aug. 21 2012 10:16 AM
Michael from manhattan

Ummm, you guys (especially, you, Friedman) are conveniently forgetting that the repubs met within hours of Obama's inauguration and agreed that they'd say NO NO NO to absolutely every initiative put forth by the Dems -- regardless of how much it hurt the country. You're both just blowing hot air if you choose to ignore that overarching fact. It's rule-or-ruin for those guys.

Aug. 21 2012 10:14 AM

I love the soulful Obama opening...this show is in overdrive now...its either anti Romney or pro Obama...pretty silly.

Ron Paul 2012

Aug. 21 2012 10:09 AM
Alan from Bloomfield

Has the 20 year promotion and embrace of globalization and outsourcing been carried out with the social and economic interest of most Americans in mind? If it has been please explain how, if not, would you still champion this movement?

When the democratic public interest is in direct conflict with the globalization you champion, which do you favor?

Aug. 21 2012 09:50 AM

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