March 5, 2013

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As Duncan always says:

It's part of the media game that they'll put up somebody who knows nothing about anything relevant against someone who does as if they're all the same.

The 'know nothing' being Joe Scarborough and the 'who does" is Paul Krugman. Now the only thing The Scar knows about these days is how to use the camera. Krugman's weakest attribute at times in his career is his debating style on TV. There's nothing wrong with that, but Paul's 'Denver moments" allowed Joe to effectively evade most of the night's 'debate' in favor of gotcha's and the unforeseen catastrophe.

Well, we’ll see how it comes out after editing, but I feel that I just had my Denver debate moment: I was tired, cranky, and unready for the blizzard of misleading factoids and diversionary stuff (In 1997 you said that the aging population was a big problem! When Social Security was founded life expectancy was only 62!) Oh, and I wasn’t prepared for Joe Scarborough’s slipperiness about what he actually advocates (he’s for more spending in the near term? Who knew?)

Joe@NBC actually made a passionate argument for addressing the debt now because of the possibilty of some unforeseen catastrophe happening. Yea, that's what drives him in this debate. maybe another meteor will crash down upon us, cracking the planet and ending all life on the planet too.

And who knew that The Scar doesn't mind gov't spending in the near term to help our economy to grow? The only thing I ever hear from him and conservatives like him is that we have to cut government spending NOW. That bullshit flew out of Joe's mouth like a frothy ale. And that laid the foundation for his typical conservative whopper about life expectancy:

Scar: When FDR created Social Security the life expectancy was 62....

Life expectancy was 62 back then, but only because of high infant mortality so if you actually lived after birth and so on that rate was significantly higher.

“Wow” when JS raised the old line that life expectancy was 62 when Social Security started, so the program was no big deal.

Well, that’s still a “wow” thing: it’s incredible that people are still making that argument; when someone says something like that, he’s just proved himself ignorant, disingenuous, or both. Let me just turn this over to the Social Security administration’s post on the issue

As Table 1 shows, the majority of Americans who made it to adulthood could expect to live to 65, and those who did live to 65 could look forward to collecting benefits for many years into the future. So we can observe that for men, for example, almost 54% of the them could expect to live to age 65 if they survived to age 21, and men who attained age 65 could expect to collect Social Security benefits for almost 13 years (and the numbers are even higher for women)


But points of actual substance were far and few between since NBC Joe only wanted to play politics with the debate.

While Krugman was the early favorite among liberals, he seemed unprepared for Scarborough’s aggressive debate style. While the economist seemed to expect an academic and substantive discourse, the former congressman came prepared with opposition research on Krugman’s past statements and debated his foe like he would an opposing candidate in an election.

Scarborough was on the attack from the beginning and didn’t let up, even mocking the Nobel laureate at times, and occasionally misrepresenting his own or Krugman’s arguments to make a point.“Why don’t we try to argue about the substance and not play gotcha?” Krugman said exasperated.But this was a typical thrust of Scarborough’s. “This is what you said in 2005, ‘Medicare and Medicaid are going to sharply increase the deficit in 2010,’” Scarborough said at one point. “’The deficit might well exceed 8 percent of GDP sometime in the next decade. That’s a deficit that will make Argentina look like a model of responsibility.’”“Well, I’ve learned a few things since then too,” Krugman had to acknowledge.

In the end it was a very unfulfilling debate on substance, but what did you really expect when you bring a know-nothing to a knife fight?

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