Suck on this, readers

From Media Bistro.

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146 replies
  1. 1
    ruemara says:

    My house is about the size of the pool cabana. Mustache of Freedom must pay real well. Hate.

  2. 2
    JonathanE says:

    Did you say something? I’m sorry, I was too busy drinking a highball while getting a deep tissue massage next to my olympic size swimming pool.

  3. 3
    MikeJ says:

    I don’t understand. Someone whose work I don’t value has a large house. I’m guessing everyone on the fucking Yankees has a large house too.

  4. 4
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Was this before or after Wifey’s Daddy’s company got bought up cheap by its main rival?

    Actually, I think I read that even after the crash, Mrs F’s stake in General Properties (isn’t that it?) was worth 25 million

  5. 5
    Redshirt says:

    Meh. Needs a trampoline.

  6. 6
    soonergrunt says:

    Well, at least we know where he keeps all the arab taxi drivers chained up for when he needs one for a quick, impromptu discussion that confirms his worldview. Right there in the basement of the lower left corner.

  7. 7
    Sentient Puddle says:

    I’m in the wrong line of work…

  8. 8
    Bob L says:

    Seems a little over the top for a columnist doesn’t it? Sure he one of the top ones but still.

  9. 9
    Jeff Fecke says:

    The pool is flat!

  10. 10
    Sharl says:

    Some years ago (approx. 17 FUs, IIRC), I was chatting with my cab driver – a foreign-born gentleman wise in the ways of the world – when he gave me a tip on this fine bit of real estate.

    Third world cabbies rawk!

    /Tommie “suck on this” Friedman

  11. 11
    dr. bloor says:

    Ha! I guessed right.

    You’d need a damn A-rab with a taxi to get around that place…

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    Glad to see the Gilded Age back in full force.

  13. 13
    bago says:

    Needs. More. Periods.

  14. 14
    Fergus Wooster says:

    -Point of Mustache!! Point of Mustache!!

    -The Chair recognizes your Mustache.

  15. 15
    Mark S. says:

    @Bob L:

    His wife is a mega-mall heiress, though she took a hit in this recession. See here.

  16. 16
    jamie says:

    It must suck to be Tom.

  17. 17
    Just Suck Fomehead says:

    I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about the musings of Friedman’s pool boy.

  18. 18
    freelancer says:

    At the end of the driveway is probably a six taxi garage.

  19. 19
    Fergus Wooster says:

    I know Taibbi is a controversial figure here, but his (numerous) takedowns of Friedman border on genius.

    http://www.nypress.com/article.....-that.html

  20. 20
    John Cole says:

    Why does everyone keep saying Taibbi is taboo or controversial here? I think every one of the front pagers loves us some Taibbi. I don’t always agree with him, but I always like reading him.

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    that’s not a house. that’s a compound.

  22. 22
    robertdsc says:

    I have no idea what I would do with that much space.

  23. 23
    HyperIon says:

    @Bob L: Seems a little over the top for a columnist doesn’t it? Sure he one of the top ones but still.

    wifey has lots o’money. less than before but still.

  24. 24
    Kevin Phillips Bong says:

    @John Cole: It’s the usual “but he’s no Hunter S.” stuff. Probably because it seems like he tries to be relatively sober when he’s writing.

  25. 25
    HumboldtBlue says:

    This should come as no surprise. As pointed out above, he married the heiress to the realty company that used to own our local mall. That company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

  26. 26
    cat48 says:

    Interesting. I’d like to see BoBo’s houses. He has one in China also I hear.

  27. 27
    freelancer says:

    @robertdsc:

    I have no idea what I would do with that much space.

    Two words.

    Stripper. Wing.

  28. 28
    The Moar You Know says:

    In the not-so-distant future, with unemployment at 40%, when I am roaming the wilds of the United States, starving, looking for food, I will arrive at Mr. Friedman’s doorstep with an offer he won’t refuse; I’ll clean his pool and feed him bon mots for his columns for the privilege of eating the scraps from his garbage cans.

    All will go well for a few weeks, until at a pre-arranged time and date, I’ll open the security gates for my friends, a mob of starving, angry mohawked-up space punks on motorcycles, and we’ll rob and burn his estate and use his head for a soccer ball.

    For a dose of irony, we’ll leave his Lexus burning, upside down, in an olive grove somewhere.

  29. 29
    Rob says:

    @Bob L:

    Don’t forget, he’s not just a “columnist”. He’s also an insanely successful author of books.

  30. 30
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @robertdsc: I’m with you. Houses like this leave me cold. And, it’s ugly.

    @freelancer: Meh. You only need a pole for that.

    @The Moar You Know: I was thinking something similar as I looked at this picture, except, I was surprised that someone hasn’t already punched out Friedman.

  31. 31
    jamie says:

    well I like Taibbi. We need more like him

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    Uh oh, Cole forgot to feed Tunch:

    A West Virginia Air National Guard officer says a Navy helicopter has gone down during a joint training exercise

    Gilliam says it’s unclear what caused the accident in a remote, hilly area.

  33. 33
    CanadaGoose says:

    Book royalties bought that. NOT what he gets as a columnist. (Though of course, the column set up the contract for the books.)

  34. 34
    jim says:

    Yeah, sucky books….

  35. 35
    MikeJ says:

    that’s not a house. that’s a compound.

    Not even close to a compound. The only other building is a small pool house. It’s a large house, but not even monstrously large by the standards of people with that much money.

    Heck, houses in that neighbourhood go from 1.3 to about 2.5, according to zillow. That’s not the price range of the super rich.

  36. 36
    HyperIon says:

    @The Moar You Know: For a dose of irony, we’ll leave his Lexus burning, upside down, in an olive grove somewhere.

    good one.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Bob L says:

    @Mark S.:

    Holy John McCain!

    Clearly I need to got find some heiress to shack up with. This relying on my own testicles and work ethic is just so quaintly 20th Century these days. I need to be a kept man.

  39. 39
    carlos the dwarf says:

    @robertdsc:

    A family friend has a house about half that size–it’s still quite big. He’s turned the first floor into a private museum of early American design, which he sometimes opens to graduate students in relevant disciplines. Other possibilities include a bed and breakfast, a library, or a brothel.

  40. 40
    J.W. Hamner says:

    Honestly, if I had Friedman money I would buy an island and set it up like a Bond villain hideout. Frankly I’m a little disappointed in his lack of imagination. Nice looking house though.

  41. 41
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @carlos the dwarf: OK, true. I could keep my harem in one wing, so there is that.

  42. 42
    Church Lady says:

    I wonder how many kilowatts get burned in that particular palace…… Guess conserving energy is for me, not for thee. Right, Tommy?

  43. 43
    Bitty says:

    @Mark S.:

    The Wikipedia link reveals the interesting fact that Mrs. Friedman’s maiden name is Bucksbaum.

    If it were fiction, it would be totally implausible.

  44. 44
    gbear says:

    @robertdsc:

    I have no idea what I would do with that much space.

    I worked as a drafter at a firm that designed high-end housing. One of the clients kept adding rooms to the house and the Architect finally descibed one of the extra rooms as ‘another place to sit and feel small’. I loved that line.

    Friedman: what a fucker.

    edit: gawd, you can tell I work in architecture. I capitalized ‘architect’. I’m so sorry…

  45. 45
    drew42 says:

    Hey! I know whose house that is without even checking.

    The Mustachioed One’s multi-gazillion dollar estate was discussed somewhere else fairly recently, around the time his in-law’s family fortune took a big hit.

  46. 46
    Napoleon says:

    I am surprised no one mentioned this but Simon Properties made an unsolicited bid for his wife’s families company yesterday (or maybe the day before and I just saw it hit the papers yesterday). They say it is to low but it will be interesting what happens.

  47. 47
    Fergus Wooster says:

    @John Cole:

    Why does everyone keep saying Taibbi is taboo or controversial here?

    Noted, and apologies – I’ve just seen some particularly heated discussions on his Wall Street coverage. Usually with some “he’s no Hunter Thompson”, or “he’s trying to be H.S.” subtext.

    I keep trying to insert – he has never intended to be a Thompson. He’s always envisioned himself as a follower of Mencken. Whether he lives up to that or not, it’s a completely different reference point.

    I’ve been a loyal admirer ever since his “Wolf Blitzer in the bread truck, swearing he’ll take it all back” column in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

  48. 48
    ellaesther says:

    @robertdsc: I know. That’s where my mind always goes when I see these enormous places. I seem to recall that Candy Spelling had a room dedicated to wrapping presents. To which I could only go: Wha?

    Though, having said that, I wouldn’t mind a bigger kitchen…. Hey, I’m an expert on Israel/Palestine, and make more sense than Friedman does when he pulls his I/P expert card! Someone owes me a damn kitchen!

  49. 49
    gwangung says:

    @Kevin Phillips Bong: well, who IS Hunter S. Thompson nowadays? A) There’s considerable amount of room between Thomspon and competent. B) Being competent is like being a supernova compared to the usual dregs that practice journalism on the national scene (and they need to practice some more because they surely don’t have it right).

  50. 50
    Bas-O-Matic says:

    Not to be a killjoy or anything, but I was able to use the information in that picture to find Friedman’s house on Google Maps.

    Just Sayin’

  51. 51
    demkat620 says:

    So let me get this straight, that’s Friedman’s house, his wife is a mega mall heiress, he’s a multimillion dollar author and he’s riding around in taxies in third world countries and nobody has question that before?

    Yeah right. His wife’s lawyers let that happen? Discard the whole Ransom of Red Chief vibe, but seriously nobody worries about that possibility?

  52. 52
    MikeJ says:

    Zillow :
    Zestimate $4,410,500
    Monthly Payment: $18,771
    Baths: 8.5
    Sqft: 11,420
    Lot: 326,825
    Built: 2003
    Heating system: Other

    (address left out, but it ain’t hard to find. I used to date a girl in his ‘hood.)

  53. 53
    ellaesther says:

    @Fergus Wooster: He bugs the crap out of me! But I don’t think I’m the person you’re thinking of…. Also, I wouldn’t ever call any writer “taboo,” if I were Queen. You know, open dialogue and your whatnot.

    But alas, I am not Queen. The world, she is too cruel!

  54. 54
    dr. bloor says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    For a dose of irony, we’ll leave his Lexus burning, upside down, in an olive grove somewhere.

    Well played.

  55. 55
    gbear says:

    @ellaesther:

    Hey, I’m an expert on Israel/Palestine, and make more sense than Friedman does when he pulls his I/P expert card! Someone owes me a damn kitchen sugar daddy!

    Closer to the truth in Friedman-world.

  56. 56
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @ellaesther: Ah, but you aren’t a serious I/P expert, see. If you were a serious I/P expert, you’d have a column in a major newspaper, you’d have written serious books that serious people read, and you’d have a Seriously Big Fucking House to live in, see.

  57. 57
    Allan says:

    I see what you did there with the title. Heh. And FYWP.

  58. 58
    dr. bloor says:

    @MikeJ:

    Heating system: Other

    “The owner’s endless pontificating.”

  59. 59
    Fergus Wooster says:

    @ellaesther:
    Never said taboo! Not “taboo”! Merely “controversial”!!

    I don’t think that was offsides – many things are controversial here. Including his Wall Street coverage.

    I’m more or less in his camp, as he has more insights in one of his profanity-laden columns than the drier coverage you get in, say, the NYT. Although I concede to the controversy of his trillion-dollar nominal figures.

    Although seriously, that is a hazard of big-picture financial reporting – you have no publicly-available figures on combined private and public obligations that have been netted or marked-to-market. The notional amounts are all you have to work with.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Repeat from the previous thread:

    By the way, someone here linked to the Esquire article on Roger Ebert. I can’t remember who linked it, but thank you so much. I really like Ebert, and this article was poignant and beautiful.

    @Mike E: Ha! He wears pie so very well. Me likey!

  62. 62
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Knowing that he married into wealth is far better if you ask me, If I thought that he lived like that off writing those inanely incomprehensible books I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.


    This would be a small thing were it not for the overall pattern. Thomas Friedman does not get these things right even by accident. It’s not that he occasionally screws up and fails to make his metaphors and images agree. It’s that he always screws it up. He has an anti-ear, and it’s absolutely infallible; he is a Joyce or a Flaubert in reverse, incapable of rendering even the smallest details without genius. The difference between Friedman and an ordinary bad writer is that an ordinary bad writer will, say, call some businessman a shark and have him say some tired, uninspired piece of dialogue: Friedman will have him spout it. And that’s guaranteed, every single time. He never misses.”

    One of the most biting, well-written take downs I’ve read, from any century.

    I get that some people don’t like Taibbi’s style or politics, but people who claim “he can’t write” are just kidding themselves. If even that.

  63. 63
    inkadu says:

    @Fergus Wooster: If I had an orgasm reading that Taibbi article, does that make me gay? What about multiple orgasms?

  64. 64
    Fergus Wooster says:

    @inkadu:
    No it doesn’t. At least I bloody hope not, as does the Missus.

    It still doesn’t compare to the earlier one he wrote, confessing that when Taibbi had had a drug problem, he’d call the NYT office staff and pretend to be Friedman ranting about his parking space. “The Wildebeest of Freedom and the Mongoose of Discontent”. Classic.

  65. 65
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Fergus Wooster: Sorry I hadn’t seen your post. At least I posted a companion article instead of the one you did.

    Just reading this one again and marveling, not to mention laughing out loud:

    Moreover, Friedman’s book is the first I have encountered, anywhere, in which the reader needs a calculator to figure the value of the author’s metaphors.

  66. 66
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    By the way, someone here linked to the Esquire article on Roger Ebert. I can’t remember who linked it, but thank you so much. I really like Ebert, and this article was poignant and beautiful.

    Thanks, asiangrrlMN, for linking again. (I think it was actually John who mentioned it originally, but am not sure now.) Anyhow, I had made a mental note to look for it and then of course I forgot to do so until your reminder. Looking forward to reading it at leisure. I do love Ebert.

  67. 67
    Kevin Phillips Bong says:

    @gwangung: I see his journalism as more a reportage of what an event “felt” like, more than what actually happened. Ether binges tend to make a hash of your notetaking. Like Fergus Wooster says, Taibbi leans more toward Mencken who I think would have said “f8ck” just as much if it were the vernacular of the day. And yes, few of today’s practitioners of “journalism” are more than stenographers copying down what those in charge tell them is important.

  68. 68

    If you look closely at the upper-left hand section of the photo you’ll spot one of the shy and elusive Friedman Units grazing on the lawn.

  69. 69
    inkadu says:

    @Fergus Wooster: I’m reading his stuff at the NY Press. I’ve moved from arousal to love. I’m going to slip into something comfortable, pour myself a glass of wine, and spend the evening with Matt.

    Ok, so, now am I gay?

    He does seem a bit larger than life, though. Maybe he can be the Gen X Hunter S. I can’t remember giving a shit about individual journalists since Molly Ivins.

  70. 70
    maus says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    In the not-so-distant future, with unemployment at 40%, when I am roaming the wilds of the United States, starving, looking for food, I will arrive at Mr. Friedman’s doorstep with an offer he won’t refuse; I’ll clean his pool and feed him bon mots for his columns for the privilege of eating the scraps from his garbage cans. All will go well for a few weeks, until at a pre-arranged time and date, I’ll open the security gates for my friends, a mob of starving, angry mohawked-up space punks on motorcycles, and we’ll rob and burn his estate and use his head for a soccer ball. For a dose of irony, we’ll leave his Lexus burning, upside down, in an olive grove somewhere.

    God, I have a friend who worked on one of the Fallout games. I wish I had thought of that plot point to beg him to include, ghoul manservant and all.

  71. 71
    Violet says:

    This only makes me hate him more. I wish a crowd with pitchforks and torches would show up and storm the gates. Bastille time, baby.

    I wonder if a cab driver would give him a heads up if the pitchfork-n-torch crowd were on the way?

  72. 72
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    one of the shy and elusive Friedman Units grazing on the lawn.

    Is he housebroken, or is he going to be leaving little batteries all over the yard?

  73. 73
    scudbucket says:

    @John Cole: I think every one of the front pagers loves us some Taibbi.

    His latest take-down of the giant vampire squid is pretty impressive.

  74. 74
    PanAmerican says:

    @demkat620:

    +1

    He’s a liar and propagandist.

  75. 75
    Gwangung says:

    @Kevin Phillips Bong: Yeah. I’m not saying he’s crap and i’m not saying he’s the pinnacle of journalistc practice. Being very good is it’s own reward (and doesn’t prevent you from making mistakes or taking bad approaches to a particular subject).

  76. 76
    JK says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Hi,

    Thanks for linking to that great article on Roger Ebert again.

    I would have bet dollars to donuts that the house in question belonged to Maureen Dowd.

  77. 77
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Fatuousity pays well it seems.

  78. 78
    maus says:

    @Violet:

    I wonder if a cab driver would give him a heads up if the pitchfork-n-torch crowd were on the way?

    That assumes that the jolly little people he interacts with (but only in transit) ever escape his head.

  79. 79
    Brian J says:

    I don’t really care what sort of house he lives in, even though it’s probably wasteful as far as energy use goes.

    What I want to know is why he charges $75,000 a speech. I mean, despite being off base at times, he seems like a reasonably smart person, but he doesn’t really have academic expertise in any particular area. He’s not a famous military general or businessman. He’s not a movie star or band member. Or better yet, who in their right mind is paying him $75,000 a speech?

  80. 80
    AhabTRuler says:

    I wish a crowd with pitchforks and torches would show up and storm the gates.

    Gotta’ lotta cops ’round here, but you are welcome to try.

  81. 81
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Taibbi is horrible and self-important and his writing blows (invective is easy), but at least he has good taste in enemies. And Friedman is much, much worse, and his writing blows worse, and he causes actual damage in the actual world.

  82. 82
    Fergus Wooster says:

    @inkadu:

    I’m reading his stuff at the NY Press. I’ve moved from arousal to love.

    It’s really pretty good stuff, right up until the “diary of a collaborator” and “40 funny things about the upcoming death of the pope”, which I still found a little funny.

    All of the Friedman stuff is gold. And the Stalinist fantasies about the death of our punditocracy, platinum.

  83. 83
    Rock says:

    Seen it. Wouldn’t want to clean it.

    But since the world is flat and crowded I wouldn’t be surprised if Friedman’s outsourcing policies have doing just that soon….

  84. 84
    Kevin K. says:

    @John Cole: I still like Taibbi, but I liked his writing a lot better before he became an economist. I miss stuff like this when he was undercover as a Bush volunteer in ’04:

    In my first six weeks on the campaign, I saw only one black person enter our offices. He was a recently released armed robber from Newark, New Jersey, who was the guest of a local female Republican politician. The ex-con was not particularly interested in Republican politics, although he did say something about wanting to hit Christine Todd Whitman in the face with a brick. I urged him to support the president, even though he couldn’t vote. He didn’t make any promises.

  85. 85
    rootless_e says:

    taibbi is an ass.

    grieder actually knew something.

  86. 86
    freelancer says:

    @rootless_e:
    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yeah, JC, what is all the talk on this site about Taibbi being a polemic? Seems to materialize out of the ether, who knows?

  87. 87
    Fergus Wooster says:

    @Kevin K.: He also wrote a really bizarre hatchet-job on Wes Clark in 2004 for The Nation. Can’t find link, but was really strange. The article has seldom been referred to since.

    Still, it demands reading. Imagine Evan Bayh running, but with 4-stars.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    rootless_e says:

    @freelancer: yes but i’m about as far as u can get from a front pager here without actually being escorted off the premises.

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @freelancer: What can I say, the guy gets on my nerves. He’s like the pundit equivalent of that player on every professional sports team who’s called “scrappy” and “pesky” and a “sparkplug” by his team’s fans and “fucking aggravating” by everyone else’s fans. It’s not like I go out of my way to bring him up, but if he should be the subject, I’ll go through my ritualized gestures noting my low tolerance for him.

    Same goes for Greenwald.

  91. 91
    tigrismus says:

    Damn, you’d think with that much money they could afford some taste.

  92. 92
    YellowJournalism says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: My god. I can’t finish that article right now. I’m at the part where it explains his “sign language” and it’s just killing me. I admire that man so much. I need to read the article when all is quiet. (Canada vs the Swiss is on right now, so it’s hard read something so emotional while the hubby is cheering at the TV.)

    I wrote an email to Ebert once asking some silly question about the dialogue screens in silent films. He actually wrote me back, which greatly suprised me. I wish I’d saved that e-mail. So let me add a thank-you to those who brought the article up in this thread.

  93. 93
    Eric U. says:

    never mind, it’s in wikipedia

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    For a dose of irony, we’ll leave his Lexus burning, upside down, in an olive grove somewhere.

    This may be the funniest thing you’ve ever posted here. Granted, there’s zero competition from your other posts.
    But I have to admit I gave a mildly intemperate golf clap when I read this.

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Fergus Wooster: I think I remember the Clarkies on DKos and Atrios being livid about that one. It was a bit like a James O’Keefe operation: show up, act weird, see what happens, blame the room for falling for you.

  96. 96
    freelancer says:

    @rootless_e:
    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think he has his place (I think his prose on Friedman deserves its own wing in the Smithsonian, yet his economic coverage is nothing short of hyperbolic armaggedon forecasting), but I was more highlighting the dissent out to Cole, since he seemed to be so oblivious to it.

  97. 97
    maus says:

    @Brian J:

    Or better yet, who in their right mind is paying him $75,000 a speech?

    Plenty of oversized businesses that have 75k to splurge on “inspirational globalist” peptalks, apparently.

  98. 98
    gwangung says:

    @freelancer: What can I say, the guy gets on my nerves. He’s like the pundit equivalent of that player on every professional sports team who’s called “scrappy” and “pesky” and a “sparkplug” by his team’s fans and “fucking aggravating” by everyone else’s fans.

    AKA “talentless white guy”.

  99. 99
    rootless_e says:

    @FlipYrWhig: taibbi, the danny ainge of journalism!

    where is bill lambeer now that we need him?

  100. 100
    inkadu says:

    @scudbucket: Thanks for that article… I’m still wondering why the question about financial bonuses isn’t, “How can those bastards be making as much money in a recession as during a bubble?” Bickering about bonuses seems petty.

  101. 101
    The Populist says:

    @cleek:

    This pic is further proof that these guys who defend the status quo do so because they have benefited most from it.

    I am certainly not against people who make an honest living or earn it by creating something but guys like this live off the myth of the free market.

    What Friedman and his ilk need to do is prove how we have a “free market” in this country when only the strong get by and the small businessman has to scrape because their business is under siege by the “market forces” of big multi-nats.

  102. 102
    AhabTRuler says:

    Hell, for their kind of money, the location is teh suxxor. I would look for something in Chevy Chase, Rock Creek Park, or Foxhall (that local rich dickhead Rupert Murdoch wannabee, Joe Allbritton has or had a house there). There are some bomb-ass properties to be had in NW Washington, DC if you have real money to throw around (and trust me, the DC government actually works for the people in those neighborhoods). But you definitely don’t need mad money to get into that part of Bethesda, especially now. 2 lawyer income would do it, to say nothing of the large number of civil servants who nest in those environs.

  103. 103
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    (invective is easy)

    rootless @84 is a pretty clear demonstration of the fallacy of that statement.

    If simply writing invective made your writing seem brilliant then comments sections all over the Internet would be seemingly packed with literary geniuses.

    Trust me when I say that they’re not.

  104. 104
    Comrade Jake says:

    I thought you were going to tell us that was Cole’s pad. A couple million hits on the naked Pam Anderson link and voila!

  105. 105
    wrb says:

    It’s a nice house but nothing like country houses the English, Romans etc. built at the height of their empires. Small and tawdry in comparison, actually. As are almost all of the mansions of our rich.

    Americans seen to have suffered from a lack of vision, or confidence in their worth, or in our empire’s permanence.

  106. 106
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Brian J:

    What I want to know is why he charges $75,000 a speech… Or better yet, who in their right mind is paying him $75,000 a speech?

    Rich, entitled arseholes who wish to be reassured that they’re rich because of their brilliant grasp of the newest paradigm, not because they were born to the right parents and/or lucky. Although they’re probably not “paying” Friedman so much as charging his fee back to their corporation, to be offset against taxes. So, my guess is, your hard-earned tax dollars & mine are siphoned back to pay the Moustache of Understanding to tell the Masters of the Universe that all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. Feel better now?

    @JK:

    I would have bet dollars to donuts that the house in question belonged to Maureen Dowd.

    To bring class and gender back into the equation, against TimF’s explicit instructions… “Witty female political columnists”, however often they are quoted by their fellow Media Village Idiots, do not have anywhere near the income-earning potential of their “serious male business” fellows. Part of this is that it’s easier to expense Friedman telling them that the world is just as they want it described in their business models than it is to expense Dowd telling them that Obama, like Al Gore, is pussy-whipped. But the big difference is that Ms. Buckbaum’s brothers wouldn’t get enough social points for marrying a NYTimes-certified Serious Person. Friedman is very much a Trophy Husband, but the vast majority of Trophy Wives are still tanned, blond Social X-Rays with a limited shelf life. A sugar daddy who chooses a smart girltoy over a pretty one is very much a curiosity — and a sugar mama who chooses a pretty boytoy over a smart one is a public joke. One more way sexism shapes our economic landscape (grin).

  107. 107
    mr. whipple says:

    How come I couldn’t marry an heiress like Tom did? I can’t write worth a damn, and I grew a mustache, too. But not a single real estate heiress could I meet.

    Is this one of those class things?

  108. 108
    demo woman says:

    If you enjoyed reading the article in Esquire about Ebert make sure that you read his response. http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/

  109. 109
    demo woman says:

    @mr. whipple: Practice that nasally condescending speech and you should be okay. Sounds like you have the other qualifications. Good Luck!

  110. 110
    Anne Laurie says:

    @wrb:

    Americans seen to have suffered from a lack of vision, or confidence in their worth, or in our empire’s permanence.

    Most of us are the children or grandchildren of people who had good reason to believe that eventually the Land-Lords would show up with a piece of paper and their own private army to evict us. Being ready to quit the premises one step ahead of the authorities is very much a part of the American psychological genome.

  111. 111
    JK says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Good points.

    At least the NY Times has Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert, Nicholas Kristoff, and Frank Rich to sort of balance out Tom Friedman, David Brooks, and Maureen Dowd.

    As a booklover, I’m grateful to the NY Times for being one of the last newspapers in America that still publishes a separate, standalone Sunday Book Review section.

  112. 112
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Point taken. I suppose I meant more that it’s a lot easier to win fans with invective, rather than that it’s a lot easier to _write_ invective. Taibbi’s insults are often verbally creative, but they’re still essentially calling the people he doesn’t like–generally easy targets–stupid and evil. Meh. It doesn’t do much for me. It’s like coming up with another version of “The Aristocrats.”

    (I also think he fits facts around a thesis rather than vice-versa, like in the banking pieces, where he ended up having to characterize Austan Goolsbee, one-time proof that Obama was a Chicago-school free-trader, as an ignored progressive. But we’ve been through that before.)

  113. 113
    mr. whipple says:

    @demo woman:

    Maybe it’s where I’m looking. I approached literally thousands of women. I quickly learned if they were pushing a grocery cart filled with plastic bags and aluminum cans, they probably weren’t real esate heiresses.

    I figured they probably drove nice cars, so I’d stake out busy street corners, look for nice cars stopped at a light, and run out and wash their windows. I figured they’d appreciate my iniative and verstility. Still no heiresses.

    I then figured out that if they are real estate heiresses, they must be in the real estate business, so I hung out for days in front of Century 21 offices. I did discover several women that wore gold jackets, and I thought those must be the heiresses I was looking for, but they said if I didn’t leave they’d call the police.

    So if anyone knows any heiresses, tell them about my mustache, ok?

  114. 114
    inkadu says:

    @Fergus Wooster: I’m a bit bummed by New York Press’ indexing of Taibbi’s stuff. Every article seems to have a different list.

    What did you find bizarre about the Clark piece? It seemed OK to me; but I don’t know much about Clark except that I never understood the appeal.

  115. 115
    demo woman says:

    @mr. whipple: You made my day! lol

  116. 116
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I felt that way once in a while, in some of the more crude and really over the top imagery for example.

    On the other hand have you actually read those Friedman critiques, the two linked above?

    Taibbi’s not always on, but he can be one of the funniest and best stylists around when he wants to be, and he sure wanted to be when he wrote those.

    As you say, worthy target in that case. I tried to read that Flat book once and I couldn’t finish a page, it was some of the worst writing I’d ever seen. I found Taibbi’s review of it a year or more later and was gratified that others had noticed. He’s the opposite for me, I could read him all day long.

  117. 117
    Church Lady says:

    For some additional views of Chez Friedman:http://cryptome.org/eyeball/fr.....ansion.htm

    I’m not sure, but it looks like he had a putting green on the right side of the house.

  118. 118
    mr. whipple says:

    Just my luck. I’m in love with Julia Mancuso. I googled her hoping to find her phone number. What does wiki say?

    “When she was five, her father, real estate developer Ciro Mancuso, was arrested and convicted of running a $140 million marijuana smuggling operation.[1]”

    So close to an heiress!

  119. 119
    Jager says:

    Looks like it was designed by the same firm that did work for Saddam. A tip from a middle eastern cab driver perhaps?

  120. 120
    Brian J says:

    @maus:

    Wouldn’t that money be better spent by, say, hiring a team of energy efficiency experts to find out how to save money on electricity and heating?

  121. 121
    adolphus says:

    Is it me, or does this look like Tony Soprano’s house?

  122. 122
    And Another Thing... says:

    One of my Taibbi favorites is “Jesus Made me Puke” from Rolling Stone a couple of years ago:

  123. 123
    rootless_e says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: that was not invective, you ignorant louse.

  124. 124
    DonkeyKong says:

    I wonder if they have their own “piss boy” to follow them around that monstrosity.

  125. 125
  126. 126
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @YellowJournalism #91
    @Demo Woman #107

    Wow. I just finished reading the Esquire piece by Chris Jones and I am drained. It would be churlish and glib to use words like “inspirational,” but I’ve gotta say, I am not at all sure I would be capable of Ebert’s equilibrium were I in similar circumstances.

    The section about Gene Siskel just chewed me up. The original TV shows with the dueling thumbs were brilliant and intelligent entertainment. And please, may we use the full panoply of asiangrrlMN’s rusty toolshed on whomever at Disney signed off on removing Ebert’s tribute show to Siskel. Not to mention trashing the balcony set. I don’t have words enough in my vocabulary to express my outrage.

    Ebert’s respomnse was both classic and classy. As is he. He may be “dying in increments,” as Chris Jones has it, but I hope those increments are tiny and widely spaced. Ebert is a treasure and I selfishly want him around for a very long time.

  127. 127
    West of the Cascades says:

    @gbear: For a moment I thought you were going all Howard Roark on us.

  128. 128
    Pococurante says:

    Oh look, DougJ playing all cute and trolling for page hits contrarian again.

  129. 129
    Yutsano says:

    @Pococurante: 4.5. Landing needs work.

  130. 130
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Since he lives in Montgomery County, not only do we have property tax, but we have county income tax. Thank you Thomas Friedman for helping fund my local services!

  131. 131
    slag says:

    Giant houses out in the middle of nowhere are just another item on my list of things I don’t understand about rich people. What a bland, soulless existence. You’d have to pay me to live in this place.

    (yes, I’m a snob)

  132. 132
    slag says:

    @Jager:

    Looks like it was designed by the same firm that did work for Saddam.

    The Bluth Company?

  133. 133

    I have a feeling that there is a slay called Rosebud somewhere in the attic.

  134. 134

    @J.W. Hamner:

    Honestly, if I had Friedman money I would buy an island and set it up like a Bond villain hideout. Frankly I’m a little disappointed in his lack of imagination. Nice looking house though.

    I’d have a war room like the one in Dr. Strangelove.

  135. 135
    maus says:

    @Brian J:

    Wouldn’t that money be better spent by, say, hiring a team of energy efficiency experts to find out how to save money on electricity and heating?

    See, it’s just this attitude that keeps people from understanding why we need to DEEPLY compensate failed financial experts. What is wrong with you??!

  136. 136
    PurpleGirl says:

    No one has asked it yet… Did Friedman have to sign a pre-nup before they married?

  137. 137
    beatty says:

    Fergus Wooster: thanks for the link to Taibbi’s article. He sure knows how to pack a punch. I didn’t realize there were so many shrinking violets / commenters of Balloon Juice.

  138. 138
    Solomon Slay says:

    His wife’s maiden name is Bucksbaum?

    He … actually married a money tree.

  139. 139
    AugustusSt.JohnMontague says:

    What, no stable for the polo ponies?!? Friedman is no gentleman!

  140. 140
    Gary K says:

    But it’s not half as cool as this.

  141. 141

    […] cheerleading and the ability to grow a moustache gets you, here’s the answer. [via Wonkette, Balloon Juice, Media […]

  142. 142
    woody says:

    Friedman married “well”: an heiress whose family fortune fell by nearly 90% when the real estate bubble burst. Still has a comfortable couple of hundred mill, but no longer the billionaires of former times…

  143. 143
    lapdogs says:

    Which “Mini-Mansion” is Friedman renting out to John Edwards?

  144. 144
    KarenJ says:

    Gosh darn, compared to that, Sarah Palin’s compound up in Wasilla Alaska — all the houses seen in this picture — is “proof” that SHE is really “one of us”!

    HER compound is only HALF the size as his!

  145. 145
    akak says:

    @cleek:

    According to the media, only a few types of people have “compounds” – the Kennedys, the FLDS crazies and the Taliban.

  146. 146
    jajaja says:

    KarenJ – idiots like you kill me. Friedman is the one telling us how to live our lives due to the danger of climate weirding.

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