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

SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND A BULLY.

David Brooks , in his recent column on the Democratic strategy that would best please him, tells us that liberal/progressive bloggers are a mean-spirited bunch and that the Democratic politicians listen to them only at their own peril, and even then most reluctantly: The fact is, many Democratic politicians privately detest the netroots' self-righteousness and bullying. They also know their party has a historic opportunity to pick up disaffected Republicans and moderates, so long as they don't blow it by drifting into cuckoo land. They also know that a Democratic president is going to face challenges from Iran and elsewhere that are going to require hard-line, hawkish responses. Ouch. Now my feelings are hurt. So were Glenn Greenwald 's, apparently, because he wrote up quite a response to Brooks' column. Greenwald covers most of the factual dispute with Brooks' ideas, which lets me focus on just a few self-righteous musings on the meaning that Brooks assigns to the "netroots". In...

WHEN RIGHTS CLASH.

The polygamist Warren S. Jeffs has been convicted for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year old girl. His motives for doing this, he says, were religious . "That just makes him all the more the prophet," said Isaac Wyler, who was kicked out of the church by Mr. Jeffs in 2004 but has remained in Colorado City. Benjamin Bistline, a former member of Mr. Jeffs' church, said he thought the verdict would probably shift the balance of the church away from its historic base here in southern Utah to more recently established compounds in Texas, South Dakota and elsewhere. "They believe that polygamy is god's word, and they will still do underage marriages," said Mr. Bistline, 72, who has written about the F.L.D.S. What do we do when the beliefs and practices of a religion violate human or civil rights? How do we allow for the freedom of religion or avoid discriminating against certain religious beliefs when those beliefs are based on discrimination of some other kind? The Jeffs case is...

STRIKE ONE.

The GM workers are striking : About 73,000 General Motors workers began a nationwide strike in the United States yesterday, marking the first walkout against the carmaker for almost a decade. It is also the first nationwide strike by car workers in any company since 1976. The United Auto Workers Union, (UAW) representing General Motors factory employees, have failed to reach agreement with the company's management over pay and benefits. Talks are thought to have broken down on Sunday after union negotiators sought guarantees that General Motors would build new models in the US. The carmaker can cut labour costs by $25 an hour per factory worker if it moves manufacturing to Japan. Part of the row between the two sides is centred on $51 billion (£25.2 billion) of healthcare benefits promised to retired workers. General Motors wants to pay the union to form a trust to take on the cost of managing those liabilities. The union is arguing over how much the company will pay into that trust...

WHO APPROVES OF THE CONGRESS?

WHO APPROVES OF THE CONGRESS? Kate 's post on the dismal approval rates of the Congress in the Reuters/Zogby poll made commenter Eric state: "...this poll would be more useful if we knew why people didn't approve of Congress. " Indeed. While we are waiting for that question to be added to all the polls it's interesting to note that the latest Gallup poll finds that more Republicans than Democrats or Independents now approve of the Congress: Nearly all of the recent increase is due to improved ratings of Congress among Republicans. The percentage of Republicans approving of the job Congress is doing rose from 18% in August to 37% in September. This is astonishing. As TPM Election Central notes : This is odd, of course, considering that both houses have Democratic majorities. But on second thought, the current Congress has passed President Bush's funding requests for Iraq, passed his FISA bill, and has given the White House exactly what it wanted on a host of other issues. So what do...

SCRUTINIZING SCIENCE.

SCRUTINIZING SCIENCE. John Ionniadis is an epidemiologist who has decided to focus his critical eye on the published medical research findings. And he has come up with something a little worrisome: According to Ionniadis, false findings may be the majority of published scientific results : These flawed findings, for the most part, stem not from fraud or formal misconduct, but from more mundane misbehavior: miscalculation, poor study design or self-serving data analysis. "There is an increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims," Dr. Ioannidis said. "A new claim about a research finding is more likely to be false than true." The hotter the field of research the more likely its published findings should be viewed skeptically, he determined. Take the discovery that the risk of disease may vary between men and women, depending on their genes. Studies have prominently reported such sex differences for...

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