Oily hypocricy from Paul Krugman

Letter sent to today’s NY Times (which no doubt they will not print)

Sorry I do not have a link to the earlier column. Kurgman compared Fleisher comment with McCarthy’s outing of a gay man, and the famous question, “Senator, have you no decency?”

So you think there’s enough oil up there to offset our ravening for imported fuel for just HOW long?

Sometimes I worry about your health, pal. Always writing those fist-shaking letters to editors, fulminating against the Underground Liberal Power Structure here in the Pit, eyes red-rimmed and hollow as you clutch your New York Times in shaking hands…why don’t you kick back and go post to the “What’s Your Favorite Sammitch?” thread?

Drilling in Alaska will in no way avert an oil crisis.

The region is high cost.

Reserves are not large on a global scale.

Production is, unless subsized, likely only to satisfy marginal incremental demand, which can be done more cheaply elsewhere.

Oil is a global commodity with almost no segmentation [none in the medium term, some refinery based issues in the short term] – take 10 billion barrels off the market, for example – moves the market everywhere regardless of sourcing. As the Gulf has the largest, cheapest to produce reserves -Saudi being the very cheapest in the world even without upgrades- the world oilmarkets are going to react in case of problems, and expensive marginal reserves in Alaska are worth squat as a hedge on that. On a national scale that is, for certain interests they are, but not for the US relative to total demand. Unless of course we put on export controls and essentially throw away the free market. That worked real well in 1973 (econometric analysis attribute much of oil price volatility not to OPEC but to non-market distortions ex-OPEC).

It is the hieght of dishonest stinking manipulative hypocrisy or ** drooling economic illiteracy ** to peddle Alaska as a solution to ME or oil crises in general.

Reduction in demand, gains in efficiency. Those are the keys, not fucking Alaska.

If you’re lucky december you won’t be published, else I may have to write to embarrass you.

Ukulele Ike, Collounsbury, it may or may not be a good idea to drill in ANWR. Regardless, Krugman has earned a flaming.

If ther’s a risk of an oil crisis due to the war on terrorism in the Middle East, it’s not Mc Carthylike discuss drilling in ANWR within that context. Krugman should have presented arguments against Fleisher’s POV, rather than demonize him.

I read the column and while the McCarthy usage may have been too strong, his point as I recall was that Ari was leveraging the crisis to attack / disparage those who critique Ibn Bush’s economically dishonest arguments for Alaskan drilling.

There are no ifs ands or buts on this december, the Alaskan drilling is a crock if your argument is reducing dependence. It does no such thing in any economically meaningful way. The arguments being peddled are either done from stupidity or rotting stinking dishonesty.

Krugman had a point, I don’t recall thinking it was a well-phrased column, but he had a point in re Ari.

Outside Magazine had a great article a decade ago about the impact the Alaskan reserves would have on the market. Aside from the fact it would take years to bring it online and the potential pollution, we’re not exactly positive about just how much is there. Yes, there probably a great deal but it’s not exactly “proven reserves” yet.

Their main point was something to the effect of this: Take those reserves and call the volume one “ANWAR”. They then went on to list the number of "ANWAR"s that could be gained by a variety of methods other than drilling in the refuge… conservation, enhanced recovery breakthroughs, improved imaging and borehole planning, etc.

I’ve been to ANWAR. It’s frikken’ beautiful and the streams we fished in were something I’d not like to see despoiled. Save ANWAR for when the world actually does run out of oil, not just so every American can have one of those damn Excursions.

I agree that comparing Fleisher to McCarthy was a cheap and easy shot. It didn’t help the ensuing arguments, and was an offputting way to begin the column.

I can agree with that. It was too strong even given some tangential basis.

Wasn’t a well written column all in all.

It’s been a bad week for the predictably dishonest Paul Krugman.

Look, I’m not about to condemn the man just for taking cheap shots at the Bush administration. Sniping, cheap shots, insults and irrational hatred are all part of politics, and anyone who can’t endure them shouldn’t be in politics. The trick is to endure them with a smile, as Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan always did. Not only does it drive your enemies nuts, it makes them look petty, mean and feeble.

But what DOES drive me nuts about Krugman and his ilk is the same thing that used to irritate Benjamin Disraeli about Gladstone. In Disraeli’s words, Gladstone not only hid the ace of trumps up his sleeve, but had the gall to suggest that God Almighty Himself put it there.

Jus ta week ago, Krugman went on a rant about the venomous psychos of the far right, how they just couldn’t leave poor, innocent Bill Clinton alone. And worst of all, said Krugman, was that people on the Left are FAR too nice, sweet, and fair-minded EVER to do attack conservatives in the same way! Krugman bewailed the fact that there are no hateful, spiteful organizations on the Left digging for dirt on conservatives.


I imagine Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, Douglas Ginsburg, Bob Livingstone and (most recently) Judge Pickering might have a different opinion.

Nobody on the Left is digging for dirt on conservatives? Nobody on the Left has a mean streak? During Robert Bork’s confirmation hearings, I read on the FRONT PAGE of my local newspaper a list of the movies Judge Bork had rented at his local video store! You tell me- HOW the hell did THAT become public knowledge? It’s pretty obvious- left-wingers tapped into the video store’s computer, HOPING (vainly, it turned out) to find that he’d been renting porn.

If THAT doesn’t strike you as the work of hateful, spiteful, partisans, I don’t know what would. And the most ironic thing is, the people who dug into Judge Bork’s video store account searching for dirt would unquestionably tell you they did it “to protect the right to privacy!”

It was LIBERALS like Krugman who made the name “Bork” a verb (as in, “WE’re going to Bork that nominee!”). And I can’t necessarily fault them for it. Politics is a rough, brutal business. It always has been and always will be. Sometimes decent people (from Robert Bork to Lani Guinier) get hurt, as a result. And that’s a shame.

But I will NOT stand for the likes of Paul Krugman, or anyone else, to claim that obsessive, partisan meanness and muckraking are the exclusive domain of the Right.

LIBERALS? Do I know them? Are they related to liberals? Or moderates?

Krugman BTW is hardly dishonest. He’s got a POV, as you have a POV, all too clearly you have a POV.

In any case, he’s generally quite thorough in his economic analyses. His political POV is sometimes another matter, but that man is not one of the leading economists in the country for nothing.

BTW there’s a bit of selection bias going on here, for those of us who’ve read Krugman in has native habitat (Economics) we know that he’s equally severe with the Looney Left. I suppose it always hurts when one’s ox is being gored, but…

In a way, this makes it worse. He could use his considerable talents and skills for better things than writing mean-spirited, dishonest attack columns.

Same goes for Frank Rich, a creative, sensitive theatre reviewer.

Hoo boy. Are we thinking of the same Frank Rich? The guy who used to be known as the “Butcher of Broadway” ?

Perhaps you will admit the difference between fouling the nomination of an appointed candidate and concerted destruction of a lawfully elected official? Isn’t it just a little bit disingenuous to equate the two?

And Frank Rich is about as sensitive to Broadway as I am sensitive to Christian radio.


Let’s see if I understand this point. Maeglin, are you saying that attacking the character of an elected official, e.g. Richard Nixon, is considerably worse than attacking the character of an appointed, such as Ronnie White? If so, I disagree.

Maybe you didn’t mean “disingenuous.” Did you actually mean “disparate” or “disproportionate” or “dissimilar”?

Of course this is a matter of personal taste.

However, it’s noteworthy that I praised a liberal and you criticized him. :slight_smile:

(however, not in a political context)


First, for what it’s worth, House Speaker Bob Livingstone WAS an elected official.

Second, it’s clear that the smear campaign against Robert Bork WAS well-organized, well-financed, and in high gear well before his nomination.

And the fact that Judge Bork’s movie viewing habits were made public indicates that left wing pressure groups were NOT merely attacking Judge Bork simply for his supposedly extreme political views. They viewed this as a PERSONAL fight, and were willing to use ANY ammunition they could find to trash his reputation.

Aaah, Ari F. “Honest Ari”, they call him. We’ve not seen such straight-faced mendacity since the legendary Ron Ziegler (kiddie-dopers: press sec. for The Nixon)

Anyone with two grains of economic sense to rub together knows, knows that the answer to our energy problem is conservation and renewable energy. As the national interest runs counter to the needs of Big Car, it has been shoved aside in the Suit’s pell-mell rush to worship at the feet of Mammon. And, brothers and sisters, we will pay for this. Wrapping the selfish interests of Bidness in Old Glory is an insult to anyone with more brains than a bowl of clam chowder.

As I do not believe that Mr. F is stupid, I am forced to the conclusion he is lying. He hits his mark, faces the camera, and delivers the Party Line. Offense to his dignity is a matter for Small Claims Court.

An SUV sporting patriotic symbolism is a stunning excercise in irony.

I rather like mean-spirited columns which deflate the nonesense and pseudo-arguments.

I can’t recall a dishonest Krugman article, some I haven’t liked that much but dishonest?

Dishonest is selling Alaska as a solution to a problem when it is not by any means.

(I see A. is ranting about the dear Sainted Bork the Freak again… Shrug.)

Permit me to share a link that I have bookmarked:

It includes links to recent NY times columns.

Now, let me select from the Krugman’s column.

This strikes me as opinionated, yet balanced coverage. Hey, it’s op-ed.

Krugman used a provocative hook in order to repeat an old story: the Bush administration is very focussed in pushing the agenda it devised back in, oh, 1999, and will (hilariously) use whatever current event that exists at the moment to push it.

Kuddos to Krugman for the parenthetical comment that clarified what Al Fleisher said and did not say. Now it might have been within the realm of opinion-piece acceptability to paint his adversary with a broad brush (cough december ) - but he didn’t do that.

Thank you december for providing me with the opportunity to showcase Krugman’s fair-mindedness. Note also how Krugman takes care to identify the aspect of the the administration’s argument that may make some sense, at the cost of some rhetorical clarity. I agree with Krugman that the latter should usually be compromised for the sake of precision and fairness. I hold up his example as one for SDMB posters to emulate.

I thought Krugman’s opening hook was a bit awkward, but, as Collounsbury has pointed out, his analysis was impeccable (though hardly original on this point).

Here are ten links to critiques of Krugman columns. Enjoy.

Whether ANWR is oversold or not, does that excuse Krugman?

Flowbark, thanks for the link. The specific column I criticized is here. Your quote left out the objectionable part:

Fleisher discussed the need for more oil in the context of the Middle East situation. Krugman compared his statement to a notorious homophobic smear used to suppress dissent.

Krugman’s next column also discussed the need for more oil in the context of the Middle East situation. Of course, when Krugman did it, it was excellent journalism. :rolleyes: