Tuesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Racists remember MLK, if somewhat snarkily.
  2. A less snarky way to note the occasion
  3. Interview with an influential journalist, or at least influential in one corner of the world.
  4. Life and Sanctity.
  5. Tunisia noticed elsewhere.
  6. Silly talk of the NRA. Seriously though, I think the most civil place I’ve encountered was at the firing range, a place at which I’ve never ever seen anything but civility (HT).
  7. Attempting to minimize budgetary ignorance.
  8. Somebody somewhere has never witnessed a Montessori school.
  9. For your String theory primer.
  10. Hard work that calls to some.
  11. Media crackdown.
  12. The left’s echo chamber decries the lack of intellectual vigor on the right. Turnabout.
  13. Arithmetic correction for Mr Krugman.
  14. Soap opera coming to the high court?

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  1. From Arithmetic correction for Mr Krugman.

    “Krugman’s column is based upon three assertions. Number one, that the large divergence in the cost of a mortgage versus an inexpensive dinner is comparable to the cost of future fixes versus the total cost of health care reform. ”

    Mr. Popoli goes on at length about this, but Krugman never makes that assertion. WTF?

    “Number two, Krugman is assuming that the Medicare fix is as inevitable as a mortgage payment.”

    Krugman may or may not make that assumption, but it’s irrelevant to his point, which is that it’s a separate cost that shouldn’t be counted against health care reform. The very fact that future Congresses could choose not to pay it makes Krugman’s argument even stronger, not weaker! Krugman’s just pointing out the Republicans’ deceitful accounting here.

    Mr. Popoli appears to be a very sloppy reader and thinker.

  2. Boonton says:

    Yea the Krugman got it right…..at this point you should really start reading Krugman’s blog (ok skip his columns if you like) rather than just reading Krugman through his critics.

    But anyway here’s the fastest way I can sum up the ‘doctor fix’. Republicans years ago passed a bill lowering the rates Medicare pays for various things. The formula was more or less fine except it had an error in it that cut doctors far more than anyone ever intended and if that cut was maintained you’d have a serious problem with docs dropping out of Medicare. However since this formula was written into law as opposed as regulations issued by an agency applying the law, the error can only be corrected by another law.

    Hence the ‘law as is’ has the ‘doc fixs’ expiring in the future which thereby scores as ‘spending cuts’. Simply fixing the error will score as a big cost so Congress pushes the can with temporary extensions.

    Hence Krugman’s beef with Republicans including the ‘doc fix’ as part their alleged ‘cost’ of the health care bill. Everyone agrees the ‘doc fix’ will remain fixed even if it means every few years passing extensions rather than just correcting the formula once and for all. But even so Republicans can simply not do a ‘doc fix’ without touching the health law. Hence the doc fix cost is not part of the health bill.

    Popoli’s quote seems to be a classic example of taking an analogy too far. Analogies work because they are similiar to what you’re comparing them too. There’s no points for pointing out that there are differences between the analogy and its object. Analogies are always different in some ways, all that counts is whether or not the differences are relevant. Krugman’s analogy does not work because of the relative size of the two subjects. It works because the ‘doc fix’ cost is really unrelated to the health bill in the way that the decision on how to pay for dinner tonight is unrelated to the cost of your mortgage. Very sloppy.

  3. Boonton says:

    Tunisia noticed elsewhere.

    it’s kind of odd imo that the author describes an uprising for democracy against a corrupt ‘president for life’ regime to be a ‘neo-marxist narrative’. Sounds like your classic American/French Revolution narrative to me.

    Also I only saw it mentioned once on Sullivan’s site but there’s a claim that one of the ‘sparks’ in Tunisa was the wikileaks leaks of diplomatic cables describing the lavish lifestyle the former President enjoyed.

  4. Mark says:

    My surprise about events like Tunisia (and today and yesterday’s crackdowns on press freedom and blogging in Eastern Europe) is how such things are basically completely ignored by us (and the media). For my part in those links is my way of trying to call attention to such things.

    JA & Boonton,
    I’ll look again at the Krugman thing, but I hadn’t followed the link. I don’t read Krugman for the same reason I don’t read Mr Hewitt or Mr Yglesias. All of these gentlemen are strongly partisan, putting being partisanship ahead of being, well, accurate. All of them will on occasion have interesting points to make. But wallowing through the “for our side” cheerleading is a waste of time.

    Now, to forestall you pointing out that the linked blogger Vox (VP) is partisan … that’s incorrect. VP self-identifies as libertarian and is highly spiteful and critical of the GOP as well.

  5. All of these gentlemen are strongly partisan, putting being partisanship ahead of being, well, accurate.

    You’re wrong about Krugman, probably because you don’t read him. He’s criticized the Democrats and Obama personally many times. He’s also an actual genius who knows way more about economics than every blogger you read put together.

    It’s pretty stupid to write someone off just because he supports a political party. Krugman doesn’t carry water for the Dems the way FOX (for example) does for the Republicans — he’s really not in the business of propaganda. You’re just dead wrong about him.

  6. Mark says:

    Uhm, why do you mention FOX? I don’t (a) watch FOX and (b) as you do every single time you fail to distinguish between their news programs and their evening opinion/political entertainment shows. Which, as noted, I don’t watch for two reasons, firstly the same reason I stated earlier and secondly because I don’t pay for TV.

    Furthermore, I’m not sure you’re qualified to judge genius in fields outside your own. I know I’m not. Seeing that I’ve got about a dozen or so academic bloggers on my role, I doubt any one of them (Krugman included) would assert they “know more than all the others put together.”

    Finally, coming from a guy who can’t see (or won’t admit to seeing) the clear bias in network, and cable non-opinion reporting, you aren’t a credible witness regarding the bias or lack thereof of anyone at this juncture.

  7. Boonton says:

    why don’t you dump gormorgons(sp) then and put Krugman in its place. In terms of partisanship Go. is a lot worse than anything Krugman does and since multiple times now I’ve caught it in outright lies, distortions and just errors. If you reallly need a right wing partisan fix just add some Fox TV to your diet.

    Tunisa has actually been covered quite a bit on NPR which you may want to add to your drive time listening.

  8. Mark says:

    Well, my to/from work @ home is 3-4 minutes … and I usually just do “sports talk radio” for a little entertainment.

    I watch/list Gormogons ’cause they’re funny. Kinda like the reason people listen to Rush (that is to say more accurately the people I’ve known that listen to him). Not as sources of policy or insight.

  9. Boonton says:

    Certainly you can locate a blog to drop in order to read Krugman….if worse comes to worse I’ll grant you limited dispensation to slow your viewing of Battlestar Galactica.

  10. Mark says:

    JA & Boonton,

    Fine. I’ve added Mr Krugman’s blog.