J. Goodrich

J. Goodrich is a recovering economist and the sole proprietor of the political blog Echidne of the Snakes. She also blogs for TAPPED.

Recent Articles

ONLY THE POOR...

ONLY THE POOR... can run for the president of the United States on the platform of fighting poverty. That's the only conclusion I can reach from Marc Ambinder 's blog post , which is on the ever-popular topic of John Edwards 's $400 haircuts, but this time mixed with the question why Mitt Romney 's $300 face paint doesn't raise as many eyebrows or power as many opinion columns: Why doesn't John Edwards's hair equal Mitt Romney's face paint? The primary difference is definitional: The centerpiece of Edwards's campaign is his anti-poverty efforts; he presents himself as a dedicated messenger for the cause, and he likes expensive haircuts, bought a gimungous house, etc. etc. His credibility as a messenger comes into question when he spends money ostentatiously. (The haircut was inadvertently billed to the campaign, a spokesman later said). This has something to do with that frightening word: "authenticity." Edwards can't be authentically for the poor if he lives in a gigantic house and...

TALKING BACK TO MICHAEL MOORE.

TALKING BACK TO MICHAEL MOORE. The responses to Michael Moore 's documentary Sicko have been as swift as may be expected. It was heartening to see the media suddenly combing through all the evidence they had been given. Even Sanjay Gupta accused Moore of fudging his data! I don't remember Gupta showing much critical acumen before. The newest installment to this thoughtful criticism is Paul Howard 's op-ed piece in today's Washington Post . Howard presents a defense for the markets in health care. It's slightly unfortunate that the piece begins with a story having to do with the medical choices available for an extremely well-paid professional athlete and his family: Here's one story you won't see in Moore's film: During the recent NBA playoffs, Derek Fisher, a point guard for the Utah Jazz, discovered that his daughter Tatum, then 10 months old, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called retinoblastoma. (There are only 350 annual cases of retinoblastoma in the United States) Left...

MORE ON KRISTOL'S PINK SPECTACLES.

MORE ON KRISTOL'S PINK SPECTACLES. I wonder where I could buy some of those. Opinion pieces are usually dim and pessimistic musings, but Bill Kristol has found a way round that problem. As Dana pointed out earlier, he did it by donning the pink glasses and by hugely ignoring any and all evidence which would argue against his point of view. Hugely. Now, why would he do that? The piece reminded me of a 2003 article by Richard Perle , titled "Relax, Celebrate Victory", which included delicious tidbits such as this one on the Iraq war: From start to finish, President Bush has led the United States and its coalition partners to the most important military victory since World War II. And like the allied victory over the axis powers, the liberation of Iraq is more than the end of a brutal dictatorship: It is the foundation for a decent, humane government that will represent all the people of Iraq. This was a war worth fighting. It ended quickly with few civilian casualties and with little...

CUT-ME-OWN-THROAT DIBBLER.

CUT-ME-OWN-THROAT DIBBLER. C.M.O.T. Dibbler is a character in Terry Pratchett 's science fiction books, which are all set in a place called Discworld. Dibbler is not really a criminal but an entrepreneur. From the back of the Discworld books: Usually seen selling some kind of food in a bun (no matter how questionable its origins), C.M.O.T. Dibbler is always on the lookout for Discworld's latest business opportunity (again, no matter how questionable its origins). Not a man who asks questions, in fact, and he would prefer if you would also keep off ones like "what's in this sausage?" Well, sometimes truth is stranger than science fiction: Chopped cardboard, softened with an industrial chemical and made tasty with pork flavoring, is a main ingredient in batches of steamed buns sold in one Beijing neighborhood, state television said. The report, aired late Wednesday on China Central Television, highlights the country's problems with food safety despite government efforts to improve the...

LET THEM GO TO EMERGENCY ROOMS.

LET THEM GO TO EMERGENCY ROOMS. (That is my feeble attempt to find something like "Let Them Eat Cake" for the title of this post.) Dan Froomkin gives us this beautiful quote from the president on the topic of access to health care: Bush spent a fair amount of time talking about health care yesterday, as well. "The immediate goal is to make sure there are more people on private insurance plans. I mean, people have access to health care in America," he said. "After all, you just go to an emergency room." So. Except that emergency rooms are not conveniently located in neighborhoods all over the country, emergency rooms are not well suited for the provision of primary care and tend to charge rather heftily for those services, emergency room care fails to provide the kind of continuous care that is really needed and the real intended customers of emergency care (people with emergencies) will have longer waiting times than necessary if the same places are also used for primary care. Neither...

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