In his column today, Paul Krugman hammers John McCain on the economic front. If you're a blog-devourer like I am, then there's little new information included in his column. But most people have other priorities, so I'm glad to see him doing it.
He praises Bill Clinton's speech for its mastery of economic issues, for wonking out in a way that lay people can get it, but where Krugman really shines is in pointing out just how clueless John McCain and his fellow Republicans really are.
Democrats say and, as far as I can tell, really believe that working Americans are getting a raw deal; Republicans, despite occasional attempts to sound sympathetic, basically believe that people have nothing to complain about....Stephen Colbert has made a ton of money on the joke that reality has a liberal bias, but that joke only works because of the perception that Republicans really do seem to feel that way at times. We're not in an economic downturn that harms the working and middle classes--we're in a mental recession and are a nation of whiners. We're not doing anything to make global warming worse--we're in the middle of a natural cycle and never mind what those scientists say because they're a bunch of geeks anyway. And my current favorite--the way to fix the problem of uninsured people in the US is to simply stop calling them that--since people can go to the ER and won't be turned away because they can't pay, they're not really uninsured anyway.
Former Senator Phil Gramm made headlines, and stepped down as co-chairman of the McCain campaign, after he described America as a “nation of whiners.” But how different was that remark, really, from Mr. McCain’s own declaration that “there’s been great progress economically” — progress that’s mysteriously invisible in the actual data — during the Bush years?
This is why I rail against anti-intellectualism in its many forms on this blog and elsewhere--because the consequences of it are real, and because the most powerful purveyors of it are causing damage to a lot of people, both here and abroad.
Here's the Random Ten. Put your iTunes on party shuffle and post the next ten songs to pop up. No skipping songs to avoid embarrassment. We all believe you when you tell us "Yah Mo B There" comes pre-installed on the latest iTunes update. Here we go.
1. I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag--Country Joe and the FishWhat's in your random tens this week?
2. Kindhearted Woman Blues--Robert Johnson
3. You Can Make It If You Try---Susan Tedeschi
4. Nothing Matters When We're Dancing--The Magnetic Fields
5. Travelin' Mood--Snooks Eaglin
6. Mercy Mercy Me--Marvin Gaye
7. Ring of Fire--Johnny Cash
8. The Remedy--Jason Mraz
9. Life's a Bitch--Nas
10. Down In The Bottom--John Mellencamp