Can't order find common cause with chaos? Can't sanity and insanity just please finally get along?
It's long past time to get realistic and pragmatic and centrist, people. Joe Biden's Build Back Better legislation is as good as dead in the polluted water. So let's give three cheers for the new and improved Whittle Down
Worse Wisely agenda, which is certainly a lot smarter than the reckless Shave Away to a Sad Pile of Sawdust that those nasty old Republicans are rooting for.
American politics can be visualized as a Salvador Dali painting. As Albert Camus observed, the essence of surrealism is that it is both irrational and triumphant. "The surrealists, while simultaneously exalting human innocence, believed they could exalt murder and suicide," he wrote in The Rebel.
The New York Times is only too happy to aid and abet the Democrats at their own hard passive-aggressive work of whittling down wisely in order to placate their murderous mutual overlords. The main tactic is to frame the narrative into an honest debate between two equal factions: the very sincere, poor people-hating deficit hawks, and the equally sincere, innocent, and very smug climate catastrophe acknowledgers. You see, the issue is not one of life and death. The only issue is how "we" can sustain economic growth. Everybody can irrationally agree, after all, that there can be a bright side to cancer.
Or as tax and economics reporter Jim Tankersley more decorously concern-trolls it:
It is a stealth battle over the fiscal future at a time when few lawmakers in either party have prioritized addressing debt and deficits. Each side believes its approach would put the nation’s finances on a more sustainable path by generating the strongest, most durable economic growth possible.
Get it? There are only two designated "sides" in this surreal intra-oligarchic debate. Tankersley actually recasts the Wall Street-spawned Third Way think tank as the environmentally conscious liberal good guy in the contrived narrative, while arch-conservative economist Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute gets to be magically transformed into a "centrist."
Strain is such a reasonable, moderate guy that his solution to poverty is to give unemployed people a bus ticket out of town so they can find a job at sub-minimum wage to help them get back on their feet without any of those horrible government handouts.
Third Way, founded by the late billionaire Pete Peterson for the sole purpose of unraveling the New Deal via deficit hysteria, desperately wants the separate infrastructure bill to pass, given that it contains so many corporate subsidies for the repair (and privatization!) of our crumbling roads and bridges. Therefore, the Times turns to Josh Freed, Third Way's vice president in charge of climate and energy, for the requisite scientific expertise. Freed says the reason to reverse climate catastrophe is not so much to save lives now as it is to avoid wasting money on the victims of future disasters, which would put a real damper on the profits of the ruling class.
Or, as Freed more decorously concern-trolls it for easy digestion by Times readers:
“Those are the table stakes for the reconciliation and infrastructure debate. It’s why we think the cost of inaction, from an economic perspective, is so enormous.”
Translation: investors have to extract and spend public money - not their own hoarded wealth, mind you - in order to make enormous private profits later. And it's all for the good of the planet. This is otherwise known as green-washing everything in sight to slap an Earth-friendly gloss over corporate greed and rapacity.
Freed, an alumnus of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also serves on the board of the Clean Energy Leadership Council. which according to his Third Way profile, is "an organization dedicated to equipping a diverse set of emerging leaders with the skills and expertise to lead the transition to a clean energy economy."
Have you ever noticed that these philanthrocapitalist do-good fronts are never about solving problems in the here and now, but all about capitalism tooting its own horn and gauzily imparting its skills and inspiration to the youthful leaders of Tomorrow?
And sure enough, the Clean Energy Leadership Council gets the bulk of its funding from energy companies and their various representatives and lobbyists. The notorious Con Ed of New York is listed as a "foundational partner," along with the public-private New York State Energy Research and Development Association. One "kilowatt supporter" is listed as Van Ness Feldman LLP,, a law firm which boasts on its own website that it is one of the nation's top three lobbyists for the oil and gas industry. It also boasts of its "diversity and inclusion," proving once again that the Greenwashing/Wokewashing Partnership is a ubiquitous plank in corporate propaganda across multiple industries. Pollution and greed are proud equal opportunity employers.
Another kilowatt supporter is an outfit called Adaptive Change Advisors, which modestly claims on its website that it has taught everybody from White House personnel to Google, to Microsoft, to the United Nations to the World Bank how to win friends and influence people. Based upon a Harvard University-developed system, it is essentially about elites instructing elites on how to be more elite. If there is any adapting to be done, those targets shall remain nameless. But you know who you are! I am taking a wild guess that Advanced Whittling For Dummies is part of its core curriculum. Also too, there are probably instructions on how to write a concern-trolling New York Times article which frames narratives and phony debates around rich-people interests, while hammering home the point that There Is No Alternative. So, Lessers, adapt to murder-suicide already!
Did I mention that Jim Tankersley, author of the aforementioned misleading New York Times think piece, is also a "media fellow" at Stanford University's neoliberal Institute For Economic and Policy Research? This particular think tank was founded by the late George Shultz, who held four different Cabinet positions in Republican administrations and who later headed the Board of Directors of Theranos, whose own founder, Elizabeth Holmes, is currently on trial for defrauding investors. His other claims to fame were leading the global energy company Bechtel and devising George W. Bush's policy of preemptive war.
Why else would there be no mention of the US Military being the biggest single polluter by fossil fuels on the face of the planet? Why else do you never read about the "affordability" of war in the New York Times, or in any of the five or six media conglomerates and allied tech titans that own both the discourse and the means of delivering the discourse?
There used to be a great journalistic organization called Muckety, which actually drew convoluted spider-webby diagrams explaining how virtually all the members the ruling class are interconnected. One day, the site simply disappeared off the Internet without a trace and with no explanation.
Convoluted diagrams that resemble hairy spiders are so headache-inducing anyway. So I'll let the late great George Carlin whittle it all right down for ya: