I guess the big “gotcha” in the Krugman bankruptcy “story” was that Krugman’s big spending liberal views on debt led him into bankruptcy and therefore he’s been proven wrong. He has, in essence, refuted himself. Gotcha!

Of course, even if this story were true, it would prove nothing. It would not be a case of Krugman refuting himself because it overlooks the other thing that Krugman says all the time, which is that the finances of an individual / family in no way relate to those of the federal government. 

So to recap: In order to prove that damn hippie Krugman wrong, conservative “journalists” pushed a fake “story” that wouldn’t actually make a point about Krugman even if it were true, which it isn’t. 

Heckuva job, Brownie.

Behold in all its horrible glory: Fox & Friends interviews “Thomas Jefferson”

Krugman opposed the stimulus because it wasn’t big enough and he disagreed with the administration’s position that they could always do another one, if need be.

He was, we now know, right on both counts.


I’m now confused as to the controversy over domestic drones. 

Rand Paul’s concern, in a nutshell, was that the government may blow you up while you eat breakfast because you are, in the government’s opinion, a terrorist. The government will never have to substantiate that opinion to anyone and thus the government can blow up anyone it wants for no reason at all. 

The filibuster was brought about because when Paul asked if this was, in fact, the government’s position, he was told that the government believes it has the right to respond with lethal force when attacked. Of course this isn’t what Paul was asking. So he filibustered. 

Today he got his answer from the Attorney General: 

“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” The answer to that question is no”

So there you have it. That’s about as unequivocal as you get. If you aren’t engaged in combat, the President may not kill you. By extension: If you are engaged in combat, he can, but this shouldn’t be even a little bit controversial or surprising. It should be exceedingly obvious. If you crash the gates at Quantico and start shooting, the obviously legitimate result would be for the military to shoot back.

Paul’s response:

“I’m quite happy with the answer and I’m disappointed it took a month and a half and a root canal to get it,” Paul said. 

He couldn’t resist a little jab but that’s fine, he may rightfully declare victory. The administration handled the whole thing rather poorly, and I agree that the drone program overall needs to be subject to a much greater level of scrutiny, oversight, and transparency. I’ll grant that one can be concerned that someone will torture the definition of “engaged in combat” to be “thinking about maybe engaging in combat in the future, possibly”, but the intent of this seems very clear. The administration may not kill you because it feels like it. They never claimed to be able to kill Americans on American soil just for the hell of it, but they refused to explicitly say they couldn’t and that was legitimately concerning. But now they have.  
I should add: Kudos to Paul for this. This is what a filibuster is actually for. 

Right on cue, Flowers shows up to defend the horrible “Being White in Philly”. Her main defense is that there is no problem with anonymous quotes. Well, OK fine, but that wasn’t really the problem. There are so very many problems, but the fatal flaws are these. 

The setup is that white people never talk about race, yet the entire article is white people doing exactly that. 

The conclusion is that we must move discussions of racism beyond “whites talking to whites” about race, yet we just spent four pages reading accounts of Huber (a white person) talking exclusively to white people about race.

It refutes itself entirely, that’s actually all it does, and it does so in as offensive as possible a fashion. 

The Dow

The big news yesterday seems to be that the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all time high! Hooray!

Unemployment remains at 7.9% and half the damn country is crumbling under our feet, so what do you say we put the champagne away and do something about those things?

Lamenting the fact that "our public discourse ignores the fact that race—particularly in a place like Philadelphia—is also an issue for white people. Though white people never talk about it.", Robert Huber attempts to "bridge the conversational divide so that there are no longer two private dialogues in Philadelphia—white people talking to other whites, and black people to blacks", by interviewing a ton of middle class white people. People who, despite the fact that the premise of the piece is that they "never talk about it" proceed to talk about it at length, telling him scary stories about black people.

He relays the story of John, a lovely old man who relates how wonderful his neighborhood used to be before all the black people moved in, and then it went to hell. Of course he has no problem with blacks, he claims, except for that "nigger boy" that broke into his house.

And then there’s Anna, the "slim, dark haired beauty from Moscow" who wishes all the black people would stop smoking pot on their porches and get a damn job. She sounds nice.

And lets not forget the author himself, who makes a show of holding doors open for black people, or his friend who pats himself on the back for advancing race relations by acknowledging black people’s presence.

Had I been interviewed, I would have told him about finding the window of my car smashed one morning. He would probably have assumed it was smashed by a black person. Of course I have no idea who smashed it because I was three blocks away sleeping at the time. Honestly the experience was probably worst for the poor kid I scared half to death when I loudly yelled “FUCK!” right after discovering it, not realizing she was passing me on the sidewalk just then.

Racism is a problem in Philly and its a problem elsewhere. Cataloging tales of scary black people doesn’t help, and it most certainly does nothing to advance the stated goal of "starting a conversation" about race. It’s a goal that I have a hard time believing was honestly pursued here. For the official take-downs, published by the same magazine (balance!), see here and here. For what seems to be considered the "definitive" take-down, here.

The best one, though, is on Phawker:

There’s a lot of anger going around this city right now because of a magazine story that is almost universally agreed to be completely irresponsible. However, if you’re on the fence, let me beg you not to be taken in by it. Reject it. Don’t listen to old white men who are disengaged from reality, steeped in fear and delusional prejudice…

You can take Philadelphia Magazine’s lead, and selfishly retreat from our problems, or you can muster the actual courage necessary to dive headlong into them. Forty years from now I don’t want to be sitting in a suburban cul de sac blaming somebody else for what happened to my city, I want to be living in a better city that is better for the hard work I put into making it that way, and so can you.

That cannot possibly be said enough.