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


AN END TO THE REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVE ERA. That was Bruce Bartlett's reaction on hearing about the new Pew Research Center survey on the political views of Americans. Bartlett is a conservative analyst but also the author of an anti-Bush book. And what caused his strong statement? This : Increased public support for the social safety net, signs of growing public concern about income inequality, and a diminished appetite for assertive national security policies have improved the political landscape for the Democrats as the 2008 presidential campaign gets underway. At the same time, many of the key trends that nurtured the Republican resurgence in the mid-1990s have moderated, according to Pew's longitudinal measures of the public's basic political, social and economic values. The proportion of Americans who support traditional social values has edged downward since 1994, while the proportion of Americans expressing strong personal religious commitment also has declined modestly. Even...


A VERY BELATED NOTE ON THE HILLARY DEBATE . The media treatment of Hillary Clinton 's campaign has not been free of misogyny or sexism. But one particular sexist card has not been played much, as far as I can tell, and that is the argument that if she won the presidency it would really be her husband who would be running the country again. Now, on my optimistic days I think this omission is a sign of a fairer society, a society in which women are simply assumed to have agency. But on my not-so-optimistic days I suspect that we don't hear these hints because of Bill Clinton's high approval ratings. -- J. Goodrich


CURING CANCER. Ezra has a post at his other place on the NIH budget. After several years of rapid rise in budget allocations, the NIH is now faced with the lean years. The puny promised increases in research funds amount to a drop in the budget in real terms. This creates problems for young researchers who can't get funding for new research and for the universities and other research institutions which would like to keep the young researchers employed with something better than the writing of multiple grant applications in the vain hope of finding enough money somewhere. As some of Ezra's commenters pointed out, it is not feasible to expect the NIH budget to just surge year after year, and perhaps this is the time to put a halt to the considerable increases of the past. But the whole process looks a little like a car coming from 100 miles per hour to a full stop in ten seconds, not a soft landing for the researchers. The NIH is an important funding source for medical research which...


MEANWHILE, IN SODOM . Joe Klein made an interesting observation a few days ago while writing about the concern for the poor both Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee express: Then again, the Republicans are fielding a motley crew right now: if you count Newt Gingrich , who'll probably join the fray in the fall, the four leading candidates have had nine marriages among them: Giuliani three, Gingrich three, McCain two and Romney one. The Republican faithful are left with a devil of a choice: moderate candidates who live like liberals, or religious conservatives who talk like liberals. Presumably it is Brownback and Huckabee who speak like liberals and the rest of the lot who live like liberals. Which brings me back to the liberal Sodom, Massachusetts. The very name of this state can be used as a secret swearword in presidential speeches these days, because it stands for all things liberal and corrupt and Hollywood-tainted. Thus, if we look for the oft-divorcing liberals we must find them in...


CHOICES, CHOICES . The conservatives suffer from what used to be called a multiple personality disorder (remember The Three Faces of Eve ?) when defending the traditional division of labor between men and women. They can't figure out if women staying at home is something our genes force us to do or if it is something the god of the fundamentalists forces us to do or if it is just a thing women choose to do (la donna � mobile). The Independent Women's Forum (a gals' subsidiary to the extreme right) mostly argues that women choose to focus on their children and therefore choose to have lower earnings and less retirement income one day. Here "choice" is used very much in the way I would use it in deciding whether to have chocolate or vanilla ice cream on my cone on a nice spring day. These women have no societal norms, no disapproving in-laws, no uncooperative bosses, and certainly no regrets. The wider society doesn't matter in these choices at all. Not even the children's father...