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Putin and Saudi Prince Laughing At USA- Friedman


Lucky
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Here is a column I gift from the NY Times by Thomas Friedman. It's pretty hard hitting, but not unjustifiably so:

Today, we have America and its NATO allies backing the brave Ukrainians fighting to save their country from being torn to shreds by Vladimir Putin.

And we have Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bernie Sanders, the House progressive caucus and the whole G.O.P. all working — deliberately or because they are dupes — to ensure that Putin has more oil revenue than ever to kill Ukrainians and freeze the Europeans this winter until they abandon Kyiv.

In another dark corner, Putin and Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are also probably hoping that the soaring energy inflation unleashed since Russia’s invasion helps the Donald Trump-led Republicans to regain control of at least the House of Representatives in next month’s elections. That would be icing on the cake for both, who view Trump as a president who still loves black crude over green solar and knows how to look the other way when bad things happen to good people.

Too cynical you say? No, sorry, you can’t be too cynical with this cast of brutes, bandits and useful idiots. Just look at the facts.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/06/opinion/opec-putin-mbs.html

Edited by Lucky
typo
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  • + Lucky changed the title to Putin and Saudi Prince Laughing At USA- Friedman
8 hours ago, Lucky said:

Here is a column I gift from the NY Times by Thomas Friedman. It's pretty hard hitting, but not unjustifiably so:

Today, we have America and its NATO allies backing the brave Ukrainians fighting to save their country from being torn to shreds by Vladimir Putin.

And we have Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bernie Sanders, the House progressive caucus and the whole G.O.P. all working — deliberately or because they are dupes — to ensure that Putin has more oil revenue than ever to kill Ukrainians and freeze the Europeans this winter until they abandon Kyiv.

In another dark corner, Putin and Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are also probably hoping that the soaring energy inflation unleashed since Russia’s invasion helps the Donald Trump-led Republicans to regain control of at least the House of Representatives in next month’s elections. That would be icing on the cake for both, who view Trump as a president who still loves black crude over green solar and knows how to look the other way when bad things happen to good people.

Too cynical you say? No, sorry, you can’t be too cynical with this cast of brutes, bandits and useful idiots. Just look at the facts.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/06/opinion/opec-putin-mbs.html

I can't comment on the Friedman piece because it's paywalled.  But wow, MBS and OPEC+ completely humiliated Joe Biden.  After Biden groveled behind the scenes and fist-bumped MBS for the world's cameras, MBS turns around and cuts production to help out his real buddy Putin.  They played Biden for an utter fool.

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I was just at a point of pondering the sale of my Energy SPR positions that I took in the pandemic…glad I didn’t.  2million barrels a day is about 20% by my reckoning.  And, at a time when Biden has burned the “strategic” energy reserve to lows rather than stand up in favor of production.  What was it he said on the hot mic in Florida the other day - “you don’t f*ck with Biden?”   Yeah, right…he was played like a fiddle 

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I know how to post an article from the Times on Facebook because they make it easy. But to "gift" an article to a forum is another problem. Maybe someone can educate me.

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8 hours ago, BSR said:

They played Biden for an utter fool.

I have to admit.  I sure miss the days when US foreign policy in that area was run by Jared.  And his and Trump's private business interests.  

But the best part wasn't the nepotism.  It was the fascism and murder.  I don't see why progressives are so fucking negative about the most authoritarian regimes in the world.  Who chop you into pieces.  Those were the days!  Boy did Trump have those people by the balls.  Before MBS had them cut off, of course.

I don't know whether I speak for "progressives" or not.  But Putin and MBS have showed their colors.  Which was pretty much there in plain sight for all to see for years or decades, anyway.  How many different fascist and murderous things can they do to prove it?

"Hey, fuck you Joe Manchin.  Joe, go fuck yourself, Joe.  Joe, take your energy permitting ideas and go shove them up your ass, Joe.  You hear that, Joe?  Go fuck yourself, Joe!"

No, that's not Putin or MBS speaking.  Or even AOC.  That's the Republican Party.  Mitch and Kevin and the gang are acting like bitchy high girls who got jilted by football captain Joe.  They (and their fossil fuel industry donors) are so into denial about climate change that they just can't live with the fact that he was pragmatic.  And pipelined money that will create new clean energy and jobs.  They are so into US energy production that they just fucking hate it when it is clean energy.  And did I mention Texas and Florida went down - not California - because of old natural gas plants and old electric grids?  The lies and hypocrisy and pettiness of Herschel Walker are child's play by comparison.  If you want bitchy and jealous and pouty queens, Mitch and Kevin lead the way.

I couldn't follow exactly who on the D and progressive side was for Manchin's bill.   And I don't trust Manchin, other than to be a slippery weasel.  I know there were a lot of pragmatic progressives that were for the idea of moving US energy permitting and production quickly (which Manchin's climate change bill will do in a big way, including in Florida) and cutting out NIMBY and red tape.  Whether it is new solar capacity, or Manchin's preferred West Virginia fossil fuel stuff.  The bitchy jealous queens were not AOC and Bernie.  They were Mitch and Kevin.  They ruined Joe's big permitting orgasm.  For now, at least.  Boo hoo!

Whether it's solar or LNG or the fossil fuel stuff Big Oil and Big Coal Manchin insists on to cough up his vote, all of that is a million times better than Putin or MBS.  So it is a problem in the short and intermediate term.  And speaking of bitchy and pouty queens.  The main problem Biden and Gingrich seem to agree on, based on recent comments, is we have to try to stop Putin from nuking Ukraine because people in Ukraine just didn't fall in love with the murderous torturing fascist as planned.  What a shocker!

Tom Friedman's mind is where very big and very bad ideas go to die.  The examples are endless.  And this may be another, if I could read the article.  But the two big ones top of mind are:  1) being a sexy little pom pom girl for the Iraq War; and 2) proposing that we all get COVID quickly, except for about 30 % of the population, who we will simply bubble wrap for a year or so. 

We had 1 million dead Americans.  And the way unvaccinated Trump voters dropped like flies, including many young men and women, suggests we might have had 2 million had we gone with Plan Friedman.  Sweden's idiot did try the bubble wrap strategy.  And it just wiped out lots of seniors in nursing homes.  What a shocker!  The death (murder?) rate of COVID is about 150 % higher in Sweden than neighboring Norway (about 750 per million v. 2,000 per million).  Mostly thanks to Plan Bubble Wrap.  And Norway's economy came back stronger than Sweden's, anyway.  How could Friedman have guessed you can't bubble wrap seniors for a year until a vaccine is available?

Friedman's approach is always the same elitist bullshit when his plans fail.  W. just didn't fight the Iraq War right.  Trump just didn't bubble wrap people correctly.  It's not that the idea is bad, ever.  It's that when Friedman licks the ass of Elon Musk and the Davos crowd, and ingests their pearls of wisdom, others are simply not as good at implementing his great ideas as the "ain't moving jobs to China swell?" CEOs he panders to.  And I give Tom credit for that.  "The World Is Flat" did cheerlead the environment that allowed factory towns in Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to be flattened out, mostly while W. was President..  Geez.  How could anyone have seen that coming?  Other than Biden, who whined like a bitch about "fair trade" while the millions of US factory jobs were being destroyed.

I have a love/hate relationship with Manchin.  But he is a pragmatist who gets shit done.  I'd take his nepotism and corruption any day of the week over Friedman's Big Think disasters.

Again, I could not read the article.  So, yes, I am pre-judging.  But if it comes from Friedman, it is usually a bad idea.

Edited by stevenkesslar
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17 hours ago, Lucky said:

In another dark corner, Putin and Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are also probably hoping that the soaring energy inflation unleashed since Russia’s invasion helps the Donald Trump-led Republicans to regain control of at least the House of Representatives in next month’s elections. That would be icing on the cake for both, who view Trump as a president who still loves black crude over green solar and knows how to look the other way when bad things happen to good people.

That doesn't make sense.  If Trump were President or Republicans gain control, it is much more likely that US oil production would see more investment and production thereby increasing supply and lowering prices.  That would hurt the Saudis and Putin.  It is because of the green energy kooks that we are having these problems now.  

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9 hours ago, BSR said:

I can't comment on the Friedman piece because it's paywalled.  But wow, MBS and OPEC+ completely humiliated Joe Biden.  After Biden groveled behind the scenes and fist-bumped MBS for the world's cameras, MBS turns around and cuts production to help out his real buddy Putin.  They played Biden for an utter fool.

Yes, it is embarrassing.

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1 hour ago, augustus said:

It is because of the green energy kooks that we are having these problems now.  

Yes.  Were it not for the green energy kooks like Manchin, Florida would be stuck with less solar, which mostly seems to have survived okay, and an older and worse electric grid.  What joy!  God does that help storm victims!

The Republican/MAGA lies and hypocrisy are stunning.  They are for more US energy.  Except when it involves energy that their fossil fuel bankrollers don't make money off of.  And they are so freaked out that they didn't get laid by the football team star, Joe Manchin, that they'll cut of their cocks to spite their face.  And then they want to talk about pragmatism?  Give me a fucking break.

THE U.S.-SAUDI ALLIANCE WAS IN TROUBLE LONG BEFORE JAMAL KHASHOGGI’S DEATH

Quote

With pundits lauding his moves to loosen the kingdom’s draconian restrictions on women, and his moonshot plan to wean his country off of oil through an IPO of Saudi oil company Aramco, it seemed the young prince could do no wrong. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson thanked the prince on Instagram for partying with him, while Tom Friedman got rather more florid with his praise in the New York Times.

Quote

Perhaps the biggest change has been on Capitol Hill, where the Saudi alliance once enjoyed wholehearted support. A younger generation of policymakers like Murphy, Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ro Khanna now argue for fewer arms sales, an end to U.S. support for the war in Yemen, and a shift to a more arms-length relationship with Saudi Arabia. Nor is the opposition limited to new arrivals; Sen. Bernie Sanders has been an open and repeated critic of Saudi Arabia.

That's a blast from the past from 2018.  And it's written by some conservative at CATO.  I agree with most of it.  I suspect a majority of Americans would, too.  Especially after watching Murderous Vlad and Fancy Knives MBS make out. 

I Googled "Friedman OPEC MBS" and could only get the paywall version of his new op/ed.  But, to my earlier point, this is typical of Friedman's inelegant (dare I say whorish?) ass licking.  When Team Davos was gaga for MBS, Tom licked as much MBS ass as he could get his tongue on.  Bernie and Rho, meanwhile, would have none of it.  I have no idea what your gripe with Bernie is @Lucky.  But on this issue, score one for Bernie and Rho.  And Mike Lee.  Now, of course, it turns out once again Tom really thinks it was a bad idea.  But probably just because nobody licks ass as well as Friedman, I'd guess he'll argue.

OPEC payback: The 6 actions Biden could take

Quote

Probably one of the more politically risky moves could also be the likeliest to bring down crude prices. Lifting economic sanctions that block Venezuela and Iran from exporting oil would bring more supply into the market and ease pressure on supplies, experts said.

To me, most of the ideas in that article involve repealing the laws of supply and demand.  Which makes no sense.  Increasing US supply ASAP makes sense.  And if Team Whiny Pouty Bitch feels that way, Captain Joe (and his most of the time cheerleader Capito) have an energy permitting bill for them, ready to go.  What's the problem, Kev?  Too busy whining like a bitch about Democrats and crime while you rule over the Murder Capital of California?

To me, Iran and Venezuela are no brainers.  Stalin had a simple point that applies here.  Do you want to beat Hitler, or not?  Putin is no Hitler.  So he should actually be easier to out-organize.  You can argue it was wise of FDR and Churchill to let history take care of Stalin.  Or, you can argue history never solved the problem.   Which is why we have Putin.  Either way, it's all an argument for Nixon/Kissinger Realpolitik.  It worked well enough with the Communist USSR and China.  Why not give the mullahs a whirl?

I'd feel different if Trump hadn't spent four years saying really stupid shit about Iran that makes Friedman look wise by comparison.  Remember how the mullahs would crumble?  Well, Trump did crumble.  And we instead engineered an even more hard line and repressive regime.  Oops! Republicans actually now use the fact that the deal Trump trashed was better than any new one we'll get as an argument against pragmatism.  And they are right.  On every objective level, things in Iran are worse than they would have been had Trump not been stupider than Friedman.  

To me, Venezuela is an even better example.  I mostly supported Trump on that.  In large part because we had viable democratic alternatives on the ground.  But guess what?  It still didn't work.

So I have no problem using the mullahs and Maduro to out-organize Vlad and MBS.  It would be another temporary marriage of convenience, with Murderous Maduro rather than Fancy Knives MBS.  And the difference is?  The geopolitical dynamics simply confirm, as CATO argued, that the "marriage of convenience" with Saudi Arabia always sucked.  And it is mostly over. 

We should also recognize this also makes economic sense for many if not all OPEC members.  OPEC will make more money driving prices up.  And they are right that if there is a global recession, demand will fall, anyway.  So why not use capitalism - supply and demand - to fuck them up?

Edited by stevenkesslar
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On 10/7/2022 at 3:13 AM, BnaC said:

...  Yeah, right…he was played like a fiddle 

A true statement, no doubt. Egotistical sociopathic despots definitely stick together. Unclear what Biden will do now--grovel to Venezuela and reverse the sanctions?

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