Tom Friedman’s Head is Flat

friedmanTom Friedman, New York Times op-ed writer and the author of “The World is Flat” penned a column the other day titled “Say What, Al Gore, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump?”

The piece oozed optimism that Trump, by meeting with Al Gore, might harbor second thoughts about the state of climate change which he has called a hoax perpetrated by China to gain commercial advantage. Apparently Ivanka Trump was behind the invitation for Gore to meet her father in the glorious Towers.

Tom gushed in his column, “Ivanka clearly has an influence on her father’s thinking, and the fact that she went out of her way to set up a meeting with Gore, who has done more to alert the world to the perils of climate change than anyone else on the planet, and the fact that Gore described the meeting as ‘a sincere search for areas of common ground … to be continued,’ offer a glimmer of hope.”

A “glimmer of hope?” Seriously, Tommy? Such foolish analysis provides ample evidence that Friedman’s head is flat. By now it should be obvious to any casual observer – let alone a so-called visionary like Friedman – that Trump plays these transparent head-games all the time. Meeting with someone from the mainstream, saying something cogent, to lull his skeptics into a false hope before bringing down the hard-right hammer.

Soon after Trump’s magnanimous sit-down with Gore-tex, he named Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. That Pruitt is an avowed climate change denier and asshole buddy of the fossil fuel industry makes him the perfect choice to decimate the EPA – which was what Trump has always said he wanted to do. The Gore meeting (insult?) was a sheer and obvious diversion, and Friedman fell head over heels for it.

Pruitt has written that “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” by which he meant of the several thousand scientists covering the field, there are still those crazy five or six who think global warming is bullshit (and that the moon is made of green cheese.)

In similar fashion, billionaire Trump ran around posing as the champion of blue-collar workers, expertly convincing them that his cloistered, silver-spoon up-bringing somehow made him a kindred spirit with those who drive fork-lifts, scrape coal seams, manufacture air conditioners, and dip French fries into molten oil. He accepted accolades for saving (aka. purchasing with taxpayer funds) 1,100 jobs at Carrier (a number that is closer to 750 when you disregard jobs that weren’t going to Mexico in the first place), then in a bait-n-switch promptly installed Andrew Puzder, the head of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast food restaurants, as Labor secretary. Puzder is not too pro on raising the $7.25/hour minimum wage, fearing that lavishing additional money on workers will price them out of the market – or worse, drive the cost up of a burger by an extra dime.

As Puzder’s company, CKE, is no longer publicly traded, it’s not clear what his annual compensation currently is, but when CKE was last public in 2009, the Puz pocketed $7.35 million (not counting stock grants and other such perks.) Unless Puzder worked a million hours at minimum wage that year, it is more likely his take was closer to $2,500 an hour.

But on the flip side, the Puz is the man behind ad campaigns like this one. So he’s got that going for him.

Nice, but how do you get bacon grease out of white cotton blends?

Trump has strung along countless cabinet wannabees (Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney) – who have absolutely no chance with the Orange man – just to embarrass them in the end; it’s his vindictive style. So obvious. Yet Flathead Friedman gushes when he perceives a scintilla of change in Trump’s black heart.

So, Tom Friedman, take the advice from us at Major Terata and stop being so damn gullible!

Happy Hundredth, Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas – formerly Issur Danielovitch, a ragman’s son – turned 100 today. He was married to the same woman for 73 years, but rumors abound that the dimpled-one found his way into many a starlet’s hearts including Lauren Bacall, Faye Dunaway, Joan Crawford and Ann Southern.

Douglas was that classic Hollywood A-lister in his heyday, yet he garnered more “lifetime achievement” awards later in his career than serious accolades during his working years, putting him in a category of the snubbed along with Cary Grant, Peter O’Toole and Alfred Hitchcock.

One of my favorite Kirk Douglas films is “Ace in the Hole” directed by Billy Wilder. Kirk plays Chuck Tatum, a reporter who milks a story of a guy trapped in a mine, and practically turns the tragedy into a cash cow carnival.

Check out this scene and enjoy the sheer shock of it.

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