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Wed Oct 30, 2019, 07:00 PM

Friedman NYT "Trump, Zuckerberg & Pals Are Breaking America"


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/opinion/trump-zuckerberg.html

If America’s worst enemies had spent years designing a plan to erode our greatest strengths, they could not have done better than what some of our fellow citizens are doing to the country every day for short-term financial or political gain.

Prominent figures in government, politics and commerce are behaving in ways that are so destructive of the core institutions and norms that underpin our democracy, one can only assume that they take the country’s stability as a given — that they can abuse and stress it all they want and it won’t break.

They are wrong. We can break America, and right now we’re on our way there. Not in the Cold War, not during Vietnam, not during Watergate did I ever fear more for my country.

This moment “is like Wall Street before the financial crisis, when everyone just took for granted that the system was forever stable,” remarked Gautam Mukunda, research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of “Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter.”



“So they kept taking bigger and bigger risks and pushing it harder and harder — until they pushed too hard and it crashed and the government had to step in and rescue everyone. If they keep acting like this, Trump and his allies will keep getting short-term wins until the system crashes. Only there won’t be any government to step in and rescue them, because they’ll have broken it — and the country along with it.”

What am I talking about? I’m talking about a president willing to sink to banana republic governing norms, including withholding aid to Ukraine to compel its leadership to investigate his political rival.

I’m talking about Republican lawmakers who know that the president’s Ukraine machinations are indefensible and impeachable, particularly after Tuesday’s disclosures by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, that he personally heard President Trump appeal to Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden.

Republicans now have a clear choice: let the constitutional impeachment process proceed or attack the process, i.e., our legislative-judicial order. Alas, a majority seem to be opting for the latter.

They justify it with daily new conspiracy theories amplified by Fox News. They even stormed a secure room in the Capitol to mislead the public into thinking these hearings are totally one-sided — when in fact both Democratic and Republican lawmakers and lawyers from the relevant committees are doing the questioning.

In attacking all the diplomats, intelligence officers and civil servants who have stepped forward, at great professional risk, to bear witness against Trump, they are attacking the people who uphold the regulations — and provide the independent research and facts — that make our government legitimate and the envy of people all over the world, where many people have to bribe government workers for service.

And, finally, there’s the internet barons who for too long ignored the weaponization of social media, which is turning our free press into a house of mirrors, where citizens can no longer cognitively discern fact from fiction and make informed judgments essential for democracy.

I watch it all and wonder: “Are you really doing that? Do you all go home at night to some offshore island where the long-term damage you’re doing to America doesn’t matter?”

snip

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Friedman NYT "Trump, Zuckerberg & Pals Are Breaking America" (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Oct 30 OP
BeyondGeography Oct 30 #1
ms liberty Oct 30 #5
Hassler Oct 30 #2
Farmer-Rick Oct 30 #3
spanone Oct 30 #4
Hekate Oct 30 #6
sprinkleeninow Oct 30 #7
NRaleighLiberal Oct 30 #9
sprinkleeninow Oct 30 #13
Johnyawl Oct 30 #8
Pepsidog Oct 30 #10
eppur_se_muova Oct 30 #11
dalton99a Oct 30 #12
sprinkleeninow Oct 30 #14
NCLefty Oct 30 #15

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 07:07 PM

1. It's a well-reasoned column

When a neoliberal Pollyanna like Friedman sounds the alarm bell it’s meaningful.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 08:22 PM

5. +1.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 07:09 PM

2. I guess even the Friedman Unit can eventually win.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 07:29 PM

3. Oh god, I thought it was Milton Friedman

Thank the gods he's still dead. Since he advised the mass murderer Pinochet, I wonder how much he would of loved Traitor Trump?

But he's been dead for over a decade, I hope his rediculus "free" market ideas would die too.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 07:32 PM

4. Read that last night....Friedman held nothing back

K&R...

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:27 PM

6. KnR. Very well written.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:37 PM

7. This part:

"Do you all go home at night to some offshore island where the long-term damage you’re doing to America doesn’t matter?”

I wondered at times this very thing. They have the warped sense that they're isolated/immune from the damage being wrought? They have families?

Almighty God, help us. Deliver us this day.

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Response to sprinkleeninow (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:38 PM

9. I've wondered about this re the MSM for some time

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:27 PM

13. Yes, they too are worthy of inclusion. eom

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:37 PM

8. Do you all go home at night to some offshore island ....?


Indeed they do. They go home to their massive estates guarded by Erik Prince's mercenaries and ignore the rest of us.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:40 PM

10. Bookmarked this and screen shot. So far the courts have held the country together. Just imagine

Trump as President and a financial crisis like 2008 occurs. He must be removed, and social media and the internet must be broken up. I have not decided on a candidate yet but if I knew for sure she could beat Trump there is no other choice than Warren. If she scares Wall Street and Zuckerberg then she’s my candidate. Stephanie Ruhle discussed this today although I rather she hadn’t.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:50 PM

11. Typo in first sentence.

Superfluous "if".

Our worst enemies need not be outside our borders.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:04 PM

12. This is all about money for Zuckerberg

Look at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was questioned last Wednesday at a House hearing by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A.O.C. was trying to grasp why Zuckerberg thinks it’s O.K. for politicians to run political ads that contain obvious lies, as the Trump campaign has already done in a Facebook ad about Biden viewed by some five million Facebook users.

This is all about money for Zuckerberg, but he disguises his motives in some half-baked theory about freedom of the press — so half-baked that he couldn’t explain it even when he knew he would be asked about it by a congressional committee. Read it and weep:

A.O.C.: “Could I run ads targeting Republicans in primaries saying they voted for the Green New Deal?”

M.Z.: “Can you repeat that?”

A.O.C.: “Would I be able to run advertisements on Facebook targeting Republicans in primaries saying they voted for the Green New Deal? If you’re not fact-checking political advertisements, I’m trying to understand the bounds here of what’s fair game.”

M.Z.: “I don’t know the answer to that off the top of my head.”

A.O.C.: “Do you see a potential problem here with a complete lack of fact-checking on political advertisements?”

M.Z.: “Congresswoman, I think lying is bad. I think if you were to run an ad that had a lie, that would be bad. That’s different from it being — in our position, the right thing to prevent your constituents or people in an election from seeing that you had lied.”

A.O.C.: “So you won’t take down lies or you will take down lies? It’s a pretty simple yes or no.”

M.Z.: “Congresswoman, in most cases, in a democracy, I believe people should be able to see for themselves what politicians they may or may not vote for are saying and judge their character for themselves.”


Yeah, right, as if average citizens are able to discern the veracity of every political ad after years of being conditioned by responsible journalism to assume the claims aren’t just made up.

Just once I’d like to see Zuckerberg look into a camera and say: “I will take Facebook stock down to $1 if that is what it takes to ensure that we’re never again an engine for the perversion of democracy in any country, starting with my own. Facebook is not going to accept any more political ads until we have the resources to fact-check them all.”

I doubt he’ll do that, though, because his priorities are profits and power, and he seems quite ready to hurt American democracy to get them.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:36 PM

14. If journalism would have been fair and balanced as should be expected,

we wouldn't be in the scummy mess we're beholding now.

"Yeah, right, as if average citizens are able to discern the veracity of every political ad after years of being conditioned by responsible journalism to assume the claims aren’t just made up."

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:59 PM

15. It's possible he also wants to protect his baby. I'm sure he thought it was Good at some point.

His riches will never be an issue. But his legacy is very much at stake--and most people think they can find the way out of the messes they make. It would be a tall order for most people to swallow your pride and tear it all down vs. fighting to fix it or improve it.

But neither reason (baby or $) is a good outcome for America if Facebook keeps facilitating our political weaknesses.

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