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Tag: Thomas Frank

Robert Scheer and Thomas Frank on Democrats’ Shift Away From Addressing Inequality (Audio)

By Robert Scheer

In this repost, Truthdig Editor in Chief Scheer interviews the author to discuss his new book, “Listen, Liberal,” about how the Democrat Party abandoned the American working class. (Frank will join Scheer in Los Angeles on Oct. 30 for a public discussion about the upcoming presidential election and Frank’s book. See the jump for more information.) Transcript added.

Posted on Oct 23, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN


Square, Category Page

The Courtiers and the Tyrants

We must not confuse the political elites who function as courtiers to corporate power with the tyrannical leaders who actually drive corporatism. Our real enemy, lurking behind the curtain, is usually faceless and anonymous.

Posted on Sep 18, 2016 READ MORE

Trumpism: Made in the United States by Republican Hate and Democratic Hypocrisy

Mainstream Democrats have exaggerated the extent of white working-class support for Donald Trump. They also fail to understand the sources of the white proletarian Trumpism that do exist.

Posted on Aug 16, 2016 READ MORE

With Trump Sure to Lose, Forget About a Progressive Clinton

“What seems most plausible from the current standpoint is a landslide for Clinton, and with it the triumph of complacent neoliberal orthodoxy,” writes Thomas Frank at The Guardian.

Posted on Aug 15, 2016 READ MORE

Why Donald Trump Could Be the Next President of the United States

The great tragedy of the moment is not rooted in the Republican Party’s self-cannibalization. It’s in a Democratic Party that “successfully” suffocated responsible answers to the crises consuming our world.

Posted on Jul 22, 2016 READ MORE

The Democrats Ignore the 500-Pound Lobbyist in the Room

In all of the 35 single-spaced pages of the Democratic Party’s platform draft, there is just one mention of lobbying.

Posted on Jul 7, 2016 READ MORE

Worshipping Money in Washington, D.C.

The “must-read crib sheet for Washington’s influence class” represents the constantly unfolding tale of power for hire, told always with a discreet sympathy for the man on top.

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 READ MORE

The Terrible Cost to Democrats and American Society of Ignoring Thomas Frank’s Warnings

The New Democrats can no longer claim to be shocked that so many workers refuse to support their putatively liberal candidates in elections. Nor can Britain’s New Labour.

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 READ MORE

Thomas Frank: The U.S. Economy Will Get Worse Under Hillary Clinton

As Clinton exploit fears of a Trump presidency to gain the favor of American voters, author Thomas Frank reminds “Democracy Now!” audiences of the “class solidarity between the kind of people that fill Democratic administrations these days” and “the people on Wall Street.”

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN

I Don’t Know What Lies Behind the Door of a Trump Presidency. Do You?

On the other hand, I have two-and-a-half decades worth of reasons to fear a new Clinton administration.

Posted on May 4, 2016 READ MORE

The Inequality Sweepstakes

When you press Democrats on their lousy trade deals or their flaccid response to Wall Street misbehavior, they automatically reply that those awful Republicans wouldn’t let the really good legislation get through. So let’s go to a place where Democratic rule is virtually unopposed and see if the excuse holds.

Posted on Mar 30, 2016 READ MORE

Entering Uncharted Territory in Washington

The new American system that’s been emerging from its chrysalis in recent years already had demagogic, authoritarian and autocratic tendencies. So don’t blame it all on Donald Trump.

Posted on Mar 28, 2016 READ MORE

Thomas Frank on the Financial Feminism of Clinton Democrats

The historian and arch journalist spent 2015 studying the modern Democratic Party, and his new book, “Listen, Liberal,” is the result. An excerpt published exclusively at Harper’s Magazine finds in the career of Hillary Clinton “a performance of liberalism ... so realistic one could almost believe it lived.”

Posted on Feb 22, 2016 READ MORE

The New Republic: The Bad and the Good

As the aftermath of the staff departures at The New Republic continues, the veteran journalist who exposed the Iran Contra affair in the 1980s recalls the magazine’s deadly tradition of cheerleading for empire, while Salon columnist Tom Frank admits it published some “pretty damn good” writing shortly before it came apart at the hands of its new owner.

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 READ MORE

Thomas Frank: What’s the Matter With Democrats?

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” author says Democrats blow off right-wing populism and “walk right into the buzz saw every time.” Also: what to expect when you’re expecting a Republican Senate, and Silicon Valley’s take on indentured servitude.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN

Thomas Frank: What’s the Matter With the Democrats?

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” author says Democrats blow off right-wing populism and “walk right into the buzz saw every time.” Also: what to expect when you’re expecting a Republican Senate, and Silicon Valley’s take on indentured servitude.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE

‘Paul Krugman’s Sloppy, Wet Kiss’ for Barack Obama

Historic Obama critic Paul Krugman made an about-face in his opinion of the president’s performance in a much-discussed Rolling Stone essay on Oct. 8 that Salon columnist Thomas Frank, who believes Krugman’s “relentless, one-man war on austerity… should have earned him a second Nobel Prize,” finds incredible.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE

California Trial Places Mortgage Blame on Bankers

In an “unprecedented” trial that challenges the Obama administration’s official position on who was responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown, a Sacramento jury in late August thwarted a federal prosecutor’s effort to charge borrowers with mortgage fraud after the defense successfully argued that executives who signed off on the loans didn’t care whether answers given on mortgage applications were accurate.

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 READ MORE

Does Laughing at ‘Daily Show’ Clips Blind Us to Democrats’ Follies?

Though poking fun at right wingers is amusing, a Salon writer argues that it gets Democrats off the hook; Israeli media are “waking up” to the devastation in Gaza and to international criticism; meanwhile, an IBM chip has been developed that works similarly to human brains. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Aug 12, 2014 READ MORE

White House/Pete Souza

Thomas Frank: ‘An Ineffective and Gutless Presidency’s Legacy Is Failure’

The Salon columnist imagines President Obama’s inevitable library, and how it will cope with the transition of “an unlikely champion” of the masses to “the only thing between [Wall Street] and the pitchforks.”

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 READ MORE

Iran Insider on the Mistakes of the Past and the Prospect of Peace

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Iran’s former ambassador to Germany is optimistic about relations with the U.S., the Supreme Court’s digital decisions, Thomas Frank checks Hillary Clinton’s memory, and more World Cup controversy.

Posted on Jun 27, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN

Iran Insider on the Mistakes of the Past and the Prospect of Peace

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Iran’s former ambassador to Germany is optimistic about relations with the U.S., the Supreme Court’s digital decisions, Thomas Frank checks Hillary Clinton’s memory, and more World Cup controversy.

Posted on Jun 27, 2014 READ MORE

Eric Cantor and ‘The Certainty of Conservative Sellout’

Salon columnist Thomas Frank explains House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s surprising loss to a tea party primary challenger last week as “part of a long-running and basically unchanging Republican melodrama. …An eternal populist revolt against leaders who never produce and problems that never get solved.”

Posted on Jun 15, 2014 READ MORE

‘Brief Histories of Inequality’: Student Debt Edition

Salon columnist Thomas Frank takes us from the start of the university “tuition spiral” in the early ’80s, past the refusal to note the role of ballooning administrative costs, and through the emergence of the view that as an investment in future earnings, individuals should shoulder whatever price for education the market sets.

Posted on Jun 8, 2014 READ MORE

‘Borrowing to Attend an American College May Be Hazardous to Your Dreams’

What if the real reason college has become increasingly inaccessible is that the institution itself is a “scam meant to perpetuate the 1 percent?”

Posted on May 27, 2014 READ MORE

Thomas Frank Locates Thomas Piketty’s Blind Spot

The celebrity economist’s proposal of an “international IRS” as a means to end rampant wealth inequality falls far short of methods that exist in the American tradition, Salon columnist Thomas Frank writes in a critique of the best-selling “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.”

Posted on May 18, 2014 READ MORE

Lewis Lapham and Thomas Frank Forecast the Next American Revolution

The Harper’s Magazine associates have had their eyes on America and its moneyed rulers for a combined nine decades. In a bookstore conversation about the latest issue of Lapham’s Quarterly, they name the forces conspiring to drive the nation into another age of upheaval.

Posted on May 4, 2014 READ MORE

Pascal’s Wager for the Age of Citizens United

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg told The New York Times he was confident he would walk “straight in” to heaven “without stopping to be interviewed,” because, as Salon’s Tom Frank puts it, “he has put his money on the most glaringly virtuous politics available.”

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 READ MORE

‘The Dick Joke Is Not Always Your Friend’

The recently deceased Harold Ramis’ beloved anti-authoritarian comedies of the late ’70s and the ’80s (including “Animal House” starring John Belushi, pictured) were pop trojan horses of then-emerging right-wing cultural values, former Harper’s Magazine columnist Thomas Frank writes at Salon.

Posted on Mar 6, 2014 READ MORE

The Liberal Love of ‘Inequality’

Like “neoliberalism,” former Harper’s Magazine columnist Thomas Frank writes at Salon, the tone of the term “inequality” is “needlessly clinical, giving the whole debate a technical and bloodless air.”

Posted on Feb 27, 2014 READ MORE

Back to Blunt the Cutting Edge

John Summers, editor-in-chief of the critical, satirical magazine The Baffler, appeared on Boston’s WGBH News to introduce his journal to television audiences, saying that when people ask what the publication is about, he “remind[s] them that this sort of thing existed for a long time in the American cultural scene.”

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN

opensourceway (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Our God of Imagination

In his latest “Easy Chair” column, Harper’s Magazine contributor Thomas Frank sarcastically eviscerates the business class’ most prized literary genre: creativity.

Posted on May 21, 2013 READ MORE

El Bibliomata (CC BY 2.0)

How the Media’s Experts Became Better Than You

The job of corporate news pundits is to appear to say true and important things without attaching those views to themselves or their employers, writes Thomas Frank in the April issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Posted on Mar 23, 2013 READ MORE

Pity the Bamboozled and Confused

“Every problem that the editorialists fret about today will get worse,” Harper’s Magazine columnist and author Thomas Frank told an audience in November. “Inequality, global warming, financial bubbles, one after another. But it won’t matter. On America will go, chasing the only ideology that our country has left, down into the seething Arcadia of all against all.”

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN

mikecogh (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Bestiary: The American Infidel

Born of the last decade of aggression against theocratic regimes many thousands of miles away, the American infidel “is a rebel for laissez-faire capitalism, an anarchist for the law, an enforcer of the established order,” writes Harper’s Magazine columnist Thomas Frank.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 READ MORE

Tiffanie Tran

Modify Your Criticism, Please

Left-wing generationalism is on display on the pages of this month’s Jacobin as editor Peter Frase responds to Baffler contributor Thomas Frank’s criticism of the ethos of the Occupy movement.

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 READ MORE

ms.donnalee / donna cleveland (CC BY 2.0)

How OWS Toppled Itself

Postmodern confusion about how populist movements take hold and flourish caused Occupy Wall Street to “deconstruct” itself in a frenzied obsession with nonhierarchical structures, a disdain for demands, and other trappings of “lazy, reflexive libertarianism,” author and columnist Thomas Frank writes in The Baffler.

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 READ MORE

Jane Magellanic

The Working Life of a Professional Cynic

Thomas Frank, master of sarcasm and chief polemicist for Harper’s Magazine, is a treasure of the anxious, aggravated left. He recently made a demonstration of happy defiance in the face of accelerating social disaster in an interview with The Financial Times.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 READ MORE

Picador Macmillan

Pity Us, We’re Only Billionaires

It’s all Obama’s fault that the public appears at times to be waking up from a stupor generated by 30 years of class warfare, says the confused rich guy in a high-rise in the neighborhood you can’t afford to spit in.

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 READ MORE

Steve.D.Hammond (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Dead End on Shakin’ Street

As American communities crumble under the weight of corporate capitalism, leaders attempt to convince their fellow citizens that the magical quality of “vibrancy” dwelling in arts districts—not universal health care, financial regulation or public works projects—will get their towns back on their feet.

Posted on Jul 14, 2012 READ MORE

Doubling Down on Disaster

Thomas Frank, one of the country’s leading elegists of American representative democracy and a columnist for Harper’s Magazine, has spent his career chronicling the nation’s descent into plutocracy. This week he sang against the forces of free-market dominion on Bill Moyers’ television show.

Posted on Jun 19, 2012 WATCH & LISTEN

The Baffler

My Consensus, Right or Wrong

With the revival of The Baffler, former WSJ columnist and current Harper’s Magazine contributor Thomas Frank reveals that success in Washington and big business has everything to do with belonging to the right pack, especially if that pack was dead wrong about the economy.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 READ MORE


Pity the Quarter-Billionaire

Dear Tea Party Movement: You should get behind Mitt Romney, the charging Massachusetts RINO, because—in a certain paradoxical way—he may turn out to be the truest of all the candidates to the spirit of your movement.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 READ MORE


Thomas Frank on ‘Utopian Market Populism’

Pity the Billionaire,” the new book by Harper’s Magazine columnist Thomas Frank, surveys the politics of the last three years to determine why the American right survived and thrived after an economic crash caused by a 30-year love affair with the so-called free-market that it procured. Salon speaks to Frank by phone.

Posted on Dec 28, 2011 READ MORE

withayou (CC-BY)

Here Comes the Capital Strike

From his seat in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner announced in mid-September that American business owners would continue to hold the nation’s wealth (and thus the public welfare) hostage until government granted them the “low-tax, deregulated world they wanted,” writes journalist and author Thomas Frank in Harper’s online. (more)

Posted on Nov 26, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr / biphop

They Didn’t Say It

Coffee mugs, bumper stickers and posters displayed at political rallies nationwide bear the clumsy distortions of remarks made by thoughtful people throughout the ages. The question of their popularity and endurance has been the subject of a number of recent essays. (more)

Posted on Aug 31, 2011 READ MORE

Thomas Frank

The Baffler Is Back

Dissident lefties, rejoice! After a long hiatus resulting from an office fire and a host of other problems, Thomas Frank’s fearless cultural journal, The Baffler, is due to return this summer online and in print in all of its caustic, critical glory. (more)

Posted on May 20, 2011 READ MORE

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