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July 20, 2004

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His work is dismissed becasue it's not excellent.

He also totally stole the title from me.

I think the satirical intent is clear, so it's not particularly over the line, but it's not very funny or well executed. Matt Yglesias did a much better job with "mole in our midst."

Deleted the extras, K.

And yeah, he totally stole that from you.

Oddly, now that you point it out, (and you too MNN, although I wouldn't go so far as to include all of Krugman's work in that), this piece is simply bad.

I do still admire Krugman. During the days right after the war began, when even his own paper, by their own admission, were doing a lousy job of calling it like it was, Krugman was the only voice of sanity you could find.

I'd be more concerned about it if I thought it made any difference at all.

These days, anyone who gets more excited than Alan Colmes is automatically tarred with the same brush as Michael Moore.

I guess Krugman is not interested in playing the sensible liberal. Good on him.

The biggest complaint I have is that the piece just wasn't that funny. Life goes on.

If I thought he was really suggesting that Bush was working for the terrorists, it would be over the line, but all he's saying is that Bush's actions -- whatever his motivations are -- are (at least in some ways) helping the terrorists.

Yes Yglesias did it better, but I'm not sure Krugman was trying to be funny (and the somewhat different approaches could arguably have something to do with the places each was published).

Frankly, I think the bumper sticker he cites is more "over the line" than the column, but that may be due to my personal blinders.

I second that, he's not suggesting that Bush is working for Islamic fundamentalists. He's asking what the difference would be if he was.

I feel for Krugman. After all, there are only so many ways that one can say that Bush is doing a very bad job dealing with this problem, and after three years, he must be running out of angles.

And yes, Yglesias said it better, but that's because he was being funny, and I always like that. Krugman is serious.

Has Sullivan hit the ceiling yet? I haven't been over there today.

Has Sullivan hit the ceiling yet? I haven't been over there today.

I expected most conservative bloggers to hit the ceiling when I read Krugman's piece, which is why I wanted to say it first.

Bottom line really is it's not his best work.

As the Republicans pass out bumper stickers in Kentucky that say "Kerry in Bin Ladin's man/ Bush is mine" I certainly don't think its out of bounds to suggest that out president is playing into Bin Ladin's hands. Op-ed writers take current movies, cultural happenings, etc. all the time to set up their analogies, so the use of the Manchurian Candidate isn't so weird. Not weird especially since at least one reviewer likens the Meryl Streep character to Sen. Hilary Clinton. Krugman's column isn't funny because it wasn't meant to be. I say the column makes good points, that it still manages to surpass the level of conservative punditry (Krugman, afterall, didn't say anything bad about the president's hair or clothes) and if Edward doesn't think it ranks with Krugman's best it's because Krugman sets such a high bar.

I think the fact that Bush plays into Bin Ladin's hands needs to be said and since Krugman is the only on the national stage willing to step forward he one again proves his worth and his courage. Viva Krugman!

Why would conservatives be reading him? He has been in 'not his best work' mode for at least two years.

FWIW, I agree with Edward here: Paul Krugman is that rarity on the NYT's Op-Ed page: a (internationally noted) specialist in his field whose weekly columns should be a step better than the run-of-the-mill pundit-blather or snark: and he is generally so so much better when he sticks to straight economic stuff, and leaves off the reflexive Bush-bashing which he seems to be unable to resist appending to virtually all his columns.
Not that, IMHO, he is wrong so much in his indictments of the Bush 43 Administration's economic and political shortcomings (far from it!); it just that for me, his opinions would carry far more weight if the "mindless Bush-hater" meme wasn't in so obvious play whenever discussions of Krugman's opinionizing are aired.

I do love that Tom Tomorrow cartoon. No one can accuse me of being a sensible liberal, that's for sure.

Why complain that Krugman's column wasn't funny? When has he *ever* written a funny column?

I thought the column was fine, in a Krugman sort of way. Tiresome, but good points worth hammering home regarding Bush's actions being counterproductive.

Not that, IMHO, he is wrong so much in his indictments of the Bush 43 Administration's economic and political shortcomings (far from it!)

He is not wrong. You say so yourself. And these things need to be said and he's the only guy saying them. The reason the "mindless Bush-hater" meme is out there is because the mindless Bush lovers promote it all the time. They do it to anybody and everybody with a criticism of Bush. If Krugman only covered economic issues do you think it would be any different? Did you see how the hounds chased O'Neill up a tree?

Re-read the Krugman column and look how well the Manchurian analogy fits. And how appropriate it is to counter the recent "Kerry is Bin Ladin's man" meme propagated by the right. This is a righteous and appropriate column. I think Edward and JayC are a little unnerved by Krugman's spine.

After reading Krugman, Edward's article and an appropriated time period to avoid claim jumping

Ten out of ten terrorists are ABB advocates.

Simply reflects what is going on in North Africa, Western Pakistan, Yemen et al. You say Krugman didn't touch on this, well he is caught in his own "liquidity trap".

Glad to see you're doing the tough work of voter surveys in Islamofacia, Timmy. I now know that I disagree with terrorists about everything but one.

10 out of 10 terrorists don't like the infidel Timmy. We can't give them what they desire, so we must shower Timmy with roses and sweet kisses.

I'm all with the roses for Timmy thing but its how to extract sweet kisses from this sourpuss. How about a man-hug?

its how = its hard (and damn my brain and typing skills).

Glad to see you're doing the tough work of voter surveys in Islamofacia

My correspondents in Yemen, North Africa and Western Pakistan tell me it is a really tough job to dodge bullets while speaking to fascists, who continue to wonder where all these special ops came from. They preferred the emails they got from the Kerry campaign. Go figure!

so we must shower Timmy with roses and sweet kisses.

Can we insist he showers first?

Really, really, really just kidding. I have no reason to suspect Timmy is any less hygenic than the next Wonder Dog.

We kid cause we care. TM

Can we insist he showers first?

That is why they bobbed the tail, the teeth are still pretty sharp though.

The reason the "mindless Bush-hater" meme is out there is because the mindless Bush lovers promote it all the time.

Nope. It is generally knee-jerk, if not mindless, but that's not implying the other side isn't .

Partisan bickering is making nearly everyone nuts. Everybody has pissed everyone else off so much that it's not about issues, it's about revenge.

Re-read the Krugman column and look how well the Manchurian analogy fits. And how appropriate it is to counter the recent "Kerry is Bin Ladin's man" meme propagated by the right. This is a righteous and appropriate column.

See? Revenge. They started it, fight fire with fire, the ends justify the means, yadda yadda yadda.

You're right, Jonas. We Dems sould just play nice and take the ass kickin' that's coming to us. Yadda, yadda, yourself.

Fabius is making some really valid points here, I must say.

I've often tried to curb my rhetoric in debates, just to feel like a sap later, as my opponent didn't curb his/hers and took my own words and used them against me.

Having the facts on your side helps, of course, but when the "facts" are debatable, and your opponent doesn't shy away from the most partisan of language, what are you to do?

You're right, Jonas. We Dems sould just play nice and take the ass kickin' that's coming to us. Yadda, yadda, yourself.

If you think Krugman blathering about Bush being an agent of terrorists gets us votes, well, I don't know what to tell you.

After all, Republicans talking about how Clinton murdered Vince Foster with his own hands for sleeping with Hillary, and how the UN was about to invade the US with black helicopters - that really, really, helped them take back the White House.

I've often tried to curb my rhetoric in debates,

If this site is indicative of you curbed, I hate to see you uncurbed.

I've often tried to curb my rhetoric in debates, just to feel like a sap later, as my opponent didn't curb his/hers and took my own words and used them against me.

I dare say that, in terms of persuasion, your opponent might have fired up their base, but you would look far preferable to an average person than the one flying off the handle.

Having the facts on your side helps, of course, but when the "facts" are debatable, and your opponent doesn't shy away from the most partisan of language, what are you to do?

If I'm a cynical political operative, I'll be honest while sprinkling enough bait in my rhetoric to make sure my opponent is the one that winds up foaming at the mouth.

Also, be sure not to take the bait when it's offered by your opponent - Bush's stunt on the aircraft carrier is perhaps the most masterful instance of this being done, and nearly everyone left-of-center took the bait.

I dare say that, in terms of persuasion, your opponent might have fired up their base, but you would look far preferable to an average person than the one flying off the handle.

Assuming said average person actually votes, which is the rub nowadays, isn't it?

Also, be sure not to take the bait when it's offered by your opponent

Better example. If a Republican calls Democrats girlie men, don't respond with asinine whining about how insensitive he is. Either hit him or tell him to grow up and give you a call when he's done saving the planet from alien invaders.

The flight suit wasn't bait, it was unintentional camp from a political group drunk on their own mythology, and it didn't work out well for Dubya.

Assuming said average person actually votes, which is the rub nowadays, isn't it?

Yeah, exactly. I'm of the opinion though that the mudslinging is what turns people off and keeps them home in the first place.

Meanwhile, the bickering seems more entertainment for those who made up their minds in 2000 and will be voting the same way again.

Fabius:
Re your comment:

"I think Edward and JayC are a little unnerved by Krugman's spine."

While I cannot (obviously) opine on Edward's views (since they are his): I can assure you that Jay C's comments on Paul Krugman had NO bearing at all on my opinions of Prof. K's "spine" [which, IMNSHO, is a remarkably sturdy member - a little stiff at times, but clearly capable of bearing a great weight of criticism without buckling] - but rather on the context in which they were most likely to be interpreted - i.e., in the (still supposedly neutral) arena of "public opinion" - where, as Fabius quite rightly points out, ANY criticism of the present Administration is (rightly or wrongly) likely to be portrayed as a simplistic "Bush-hating" vs."Bush-loving" situation - and thereby not worthy of further thought - a situation which can only (IMO) benefit the Republicans: since the voting public (God bless'm, and God help us) - seem, so far, to be unwilling to look much beyond political-commercial levels to make their voting decisions.

Yeah, exactly. I'm of the opinion though that the mudslinging is what turns people off and keeps them home in the first place.

I think this might actually be the Bush strategy this year. Focus on their base and hope that the tone of the campaign is so nasty that everyone else gets turned off and tunes out.

It should go without saying that it almost physically disgusts me that I think it's a reasonable possibility that our president is trying to get reelected by discouraging people from exercising their right to vote.

If this site is indicative of you curbed, I hate to see you uncurbed.

Really, this is nothing.

Catch me on the days I'm ranting against anti-Islamic b.s. or even mention that you want to drill in ANWR and I promise you'll see a much less curbed side of me.

Actually, Jay C., your previous post had much to reccommend it. But one can usually count on me to take Krugman's back because he put himself out there when nobody but lowly bloggers were willing to speak the truth about the Bush administration. He's a warrior. We need more, not less, Krugmans.

"Catch me on the days I'm ranting against anti-Islamic b.s. or even mention that you want to drill in ANWR and I promise you'll see a much less curbed side of me."

Buy him a couple drinks and you get real fireworks.

Having the facts on your side helps, of course, but when the "facts" are debatable, and your opponent doesn't shy away from the most partisan of language, what are you to do?

Depends on your goal eh? If you're looking for a notch against that person, then go get the gasoline. If you're attempting to convince the unseen lurking masses of your point of view, then perhaps not dropping to that perceived level is the better course.

Oh, and Jonas Cord:

"Partisan bickering is making nearly everyone nuts. Everybody has pissed everyone else off so much that it's not about issues, it's about revenge.

Right on, bro....
This, AFAIC, is one of the BIG issues that truly Cheneys up our present political situation: electoral victory in the United States (in an imaginary, but all-too-attainable universe) can and will go to the candidate that can TRULY get past the ideological straitjackets, utopian Never-lands and video-game Armageddon fantasies that pass for contemporary American politics.
A nice dream, but WHO out there REALLY can mett the test?
Big John?
Cowboy George?
Yuckk....

Oh well, we'll always have 2008...
(We should live so long!!)

Oh, and Jonas Cord:

"Partisan bickering is making nearly everyone nuts. Everybody has pissed everyone else off so much that it's not about issues, it's about revenge.

Right on, bro....
This, AFAIC, is one of the BIG issues that truly Cheneys up our present political situation: electoral victory in the United States (in an imaginary, but all-too-attainable universe) can and will go to the candidate that can TRULY get past the ideological straitjackets, utopian Never-lands and video-game Armageddon fantasies that pass for contemporary American politics.
A nice dream, but WHO out there REALLY can mett the test?
Big John?
Cowboy George?
Yuckk....

Oh well, we'll always have 2008...
(We should live so long!!)

Depends on your goal eh? If you're looking for a notch against that person, then go get the gasoline. If you're attempting to convince the unseen lurking masses of your point of view, then perhaps not dropping to that perceived level is the better course.

It's usually a bit of both.

Anyone who really wants to convince the lurking masses should choose another medium. Even the best of blogs is somewhat echochambery, even if it's only to echo that we agree to disagree civilly (is that a word?)

The one thing I will credit blogs with, however, is helping me to think and check before I snarl (not that I do 100% of the time, mind you, but...) It's actually served me well in business too, so to all you snarky s.o.b's who handed me my head on a platter with the facts...thanks.


1) ObWi readers: sorry for the double post.

2) Fabius: your comment:
"He's a warrior. We need more, not less, Krugmans."

FWIW: Couldn't agree more.

Buy him a couple drinks and you get real fireworks.

AND...my undying gratitude.

Just for the record. {hint. hint.}

anyone else getting that annoying

"Enter the number you see in this image:

This test is used to prevent automated robots from posting comments."

thingy, every time you post?

even mention that you want to drill in ANWR

Only after you have already purchased the third round in late October.

Fabius, I'm happy Krugman gives you a voice, a little shrill for my taste but he gives us plenty of material to work with. Thus, I'm happy for you.

Yay, another Captcha. The war between automated access and automated denial wages ever on.

anyone else getting that annoying

"Enter the number you see in this image:

This test is used to prevent automated robots from posting comments."

thingy, every time you post?

Not I.

I agree in general with Jonas that extreme partisanship doesn't win any votes, I don't see why "The Arabian Candidate" strikes people as so extreme. Bush has acted as a perfect ally of bin Laden, if unintentionally.

Yeah, exactly. I'm of the opinion though that the mudslinging is what turns people off and keeps them home in the first place.

I'm fairly sure there've been studies done correlating negative advertising with lower voter turnout, but I don't know of any atm.

The worse effect of this mudslinging is that it doesn't just keep people home on election day, it causes them to remove themselves from the system. One of the few silver linings to 9/11 -- and believe me, I looked plenty hard for them, anything to palliate the tragedy -- was that, for a brief moment, getting engaged in politics was cool again. People were actually interested not just in the theory of politics (which we, as a nation, have always been interested in) but the actual practice of politics: who are we going to elect? What is the party breakdown in the Senate? Are third parties viable and, if so, should we support one?

But no longer. Thanks to increasing partisan acrimony and the power of the mass media to amplify and sell that message (as well as a Media with its head so firmly lodged up its rectum that it's staring out its teeth like a humanoid Klein bottle) only the diehards -- i.e. us -- are remaining interested in the practice of politics, while the cool people -- i.e. everyone else -- are tuning out. I'd like to believe that the run-up to November will change that, but I'm not particularly hopeful.

[I think I mentioned in an earlier post here what some of my prerequisites are for a healthy democracy here in the US, and one of the most important ones is that everyone needs to shut up for five minutes and really listen to the other side's beliefs and arguments. November will not, I'm thinking, put even a dent in this problem.]

"You're right, Jonas. We Dems sould just play nice and take the ass kickin' that's coming to us. Yadda, yadda, yourself."

At risk of touching on The Bad Subject again, see here, and read the rest of what I link to. Hint: one doesn't maintain credibily, or convince anyone but the convinced, by being misleading or demagogic.

"when the 'facts' are debatable, and your opponent doesn't shy away from the most partisan of language, what are you to do?"

Be honest and using convincing arguments. Not a mystery. I don't even know what "curb my rhetoric" and "the most partisan of language" mean in this context, they're so vague, unless they mean "have little regard for the truth" or "say highly emotional contentless things."

I'm serious that I literally don't know what's being accepted or rejected or referred to by these terms. They're the sort of things useful inside one's own head, but not when trying to communicate to others whom you've not already defined your meanings with.

"...less, Krugmans."

Les Krugmans, my old pharmacist!

(I suspect you want more Krugmans, not fewer Krugmans, myself. Or so I infer.)

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