The Electric Commentary

Friday, June 10, 2005

Krugman, Krauthammer, Coyote.

Pauly K holds a grudge by quoting Dan Okrent in today's column:

These partisans rely in part on obfuscation: shaping, slicing and selectively presenting data in an attempt to mislead.

He also tells you how much the country sucks:

But as The Times's series on class in America reminds us, that was another country. The middle-class society I grew up in no longer exists.

Working families have seen little if any progress over the past 30 years. Adjusted for inflation, the income of the median family doubled between 1947 and 1973. But it rose only 22 percent from 1973 to 2003, and much of that gain was the result of wives' entering the paid labor force or working longer hours, not rising wages.

Meanwhile, economic security is a thing of the past: year-to-year fluctuations in the incomes of working families are far larger than they were a generation ago. All it takes is a bit of bad luck in employment or health to plunge a family that seems solidly middle-class into poverty.

Quick quiz for all of you astute readers out there. Does anything strike you as odd about the dates selected by Krugman for comparison? A few things jumped out at me immediately. More in the comments section.

Meanwhile, Charles wants to smoke a big fat doobie. OK, not really, but:

Justice Thomas: "Dope is cool."

Justice Scalia: "Let the cancer patients suffer."

If the headline writers characterized Supreme Court decisions the way many senators and most activists and lobbying groups do, that is how they would have characterized the Supreme Court decision this week on the use of medical marijuana in California. It was ruled illegal because the federal law prohibiting it supersedes the state law permitting it. Scalia agreed with the decision. Thomas dissented.

In our current, corrupted debates about the judges, you hear only about results. Priscilla Owen, we were told (by the Alliance for Justice), "routinely backs corporations against worker and consumer protections." Well, in what circumstances? In adjudicating what claims? Under what constitutional doctrine?

Finally, Warren Meyer, of the Coyote Blog, points to several quotes by "controversial" judicial nominee (now judge) Janice Rodgers Brown that were intended to make her look extreme. You can judge for yourself whether or not Joe Biden and the People for the American Way succeeded. Here is an example:

But Democrats recited a litany of Brown's controversial statements, including several from a 2000 speech titled "Fifty Ways to Lose Your Freedom." She said senior citizens "blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much 'free' stuff as the political system will permit them to extract." Elsewhere, Brown has said: "Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates. . . . When government advances . . . freedom is imperiled, civilization itself [is] jeopardized."

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) told reporters that Brown is "one of the most extreme nominees that has ever come before the United States Senate in the 32 years I've been a senator."


  • They do not cover the same amount of time, and the later period contains Jimmy's stagflation time period.

    And, as I so frequently have to point out, neither the middle class nor the poor are in worse shape now than they were during Pauly's "good old days." In his stats he fails to account fro changing family sizes, and it is very likely that he overstates inflation as well.

    For the record.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 9:21 AM  

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