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

THE MARKET IN TAINTED PET FOODS

THE MARKET IN TAINTED PET FOODS . Contaminated wheat gluten in pet foods made by Menu Foods appears to have killed many cats and dogs. How many, nobody knows for sure, because the pet food market is more unregulated and unmonitored than the markets for human food. Christie Keith writes : How did this problem, now involving almost every large pet food company in the United States, including some of the most trusted -- and expensive -- brands, get so out of hand? How come pet owners weren't informed more rapidly about the contaminated pet food? Why is it so hard to get accurate numbers of affected animals? Why didn't veterinarians get any notification? Where did the system break down? The issue may not be that the system broke down, but that there isn't really a system. There is, as the FDA pointed out, no veterinary version of the CDC. This meant the FDA kept confirming a number it had to have known was only the tip of the iceberg. It prevented veterinarians from having the information...

DOMESTIC OUTSOURCING. A NON-STORY.

DOMESTIC OUTSOURCING. A NON-STORY. I wrote last week about the Circuit City firings on Eschaton . If you did not read it earlier, here is a short summary : The electronics retailer, facing larger competitors and falling sales, said Wednesday that it would lay off about 3,400 store workers. The laid-off workers, about 8 percent of the company's total work force, would get a severance package and a chance to reapply for their former jobs, at lower pay, after a 10-week delay, the company said. Such a neat trick it is. How useful this will be for all firms who are suffering under large payrolls for their more experienced workers! And note how doing this gets the firm protected from age discrimination suits. No, you were not fired because you are a doddering fifty-year old granny or grandpa. You were fired because the firm is in trouble. And no, you can't sue us. But you can come back and work for us at the rate we pay for recent school-leavers. David Carr writes about the firings in today...

WOMEN, ANGER, AND THE WEB.

WOMEN, ANGER, AND THE WEB. This topic was a hot one last Thursday. First the mainstream media began commenting on the Kathy Sierra web-harassment case: Why did prominent blogger Kathy Sierra suddenly cancel the talk she was supposed to give Tuesday in San Diego? Because of specific, sexually graphic death threats posted on her blog and elsewhere on the Internet. One of the tamer threats featured a photo of her next to a noose. Death threats! If you've never heard of Sierra, perhaps you assume that she writes about religion, the mob or the Satanic Verses. But actually, Sierra writes about cognition and computers. Wrote, actually -- she has also seen fit to shut down her venerable blog, Creating Passionate Users . (Warning: Some of the particularly grody threats now appear there as part of her final post.) "As I type this, I am supposed to be in San Diego, delivering a workshop at the ETech conference. But I'm not. I'm at home, with the doors locked, terrified," she writes, adding as...

REGENT UNIVERSITY AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

REGENT UNIVERSITY AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION . Monica Goodling , a top aide to Alberto Gonzales , graduated from Regent University School of Law in 1999 and started working for the DOJ around 2002, under the godly leadership of John Ashcroft . Her rise to the present position looks meteoric. How exactly Goodling acquired the necessary experience in such a few years remains a mystery to me. Several hours of Googling gave very little but hearsay. Perhaps it is the greatness of her alma mater that explains her rapid promotions. Regent University was founded by the Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson with the mission of producing Christian leaders who will change the world. The very word "regent" has a special meaning in this context: the alumni of the university are expected to serve as regents until the real ruler, Christ , returns. A good way to begin changing the world is to start with the U.S. government. Digby notes that Regent University boasts 150 alumni in the Bush...

EUMERICA?

EUMERICA? The Pew Research Center survey I wrote about yesterday has provoked some interesting discussion on the blogs. John Quiggin suggests that we might see "Eumerica" in the making: a situation where the Democrats and independents in the U.S. acquire social and political values similar to those currently dominant in Europe, whereas the hard-core Republican base will drift ever further away from all this (toward what? Talibamerica?) I doubt that this will happen unless the hard-core base is seen as an ever-dwindling one, given that the proportion of the Pew survey respondents which chose the most socially conservative answers was quite a lot lower than the 25% of the population that is supposed to be Bush's base. In any case, a very small hard-core base of Talibamericans wouldn't have much political power on their own. But something else Quiggin notes is quite interesting: On the other hand, Republican support is contracting to a base of about 25 per cent of the population whose...

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