The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

“Nice Guys” and Using People

This is a outside what I usually write about, but I think it’s worth a bit of time. It’s a general issue, “nice guys” is a small subset.

Humans do a lot of what we do to get things. We all know that, and while we may find it distasteful sometimes, it’s part of the world in which we live and perhaps part of being human. (It’s very hard to disentangle “being human” from whatever culture we live in.)

The nice guy syndrome is where someone is friendly with someone, their reason for being friendly is sex, AND they aren’t upfront about that. They say “I just want to be friends,” then later, once they’ve established the friendship, they push for sex based on “Aren’t I such a nice guy?” The woman thought they were friends, and that was all there was to it, and feels the friendship was fake, that the person doesn’t really care, they were just trying to get into their pants. It destroys the entire existing relationship. (It is possible (and a staple of rom-coms) to become friends then develop a sexual or romantic interest. When that happens, deal with it honestly.)

This syndrome exists all over the place. Becoming friends with someone in order to get a favor from them later, or to get business from them, or whatever else you might want.

Of course it can also be having sex with them so you can get something else from them. Women may not fake friendship to get sex, but a fair number do fake sexual interest and enjoyment to get something else. When someone finds out you didn’t really want to have sex with them and probably didn’t really enjoy it, but only did it to get something else, they too feel betrayed.


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It does help.


The general case is “Doing X to get Y without saying you want Y.” You can be clear you want to be friends AND have sex (I personally prefer to be friends with anyone I sleep with, in case it turns into a relationship).

People understand other people want things, and they understand they may have something you want. Being honest about that is usually the best path if you don’t want the relationship to blow up. You can start wanting a VP to buy something from you and over time become friends. You can even do business with a VP you are already friends with, but if that VP finds out you made friends with them so you could do business, you stand a good chance of losing the friendship, all future sales and your reputation with that person and everyone they talk to.

“Creep” is someone who pretends they want one thing, but wants another. Who isn’t honest about their desires. You can even find someone sexually attractive, elide to that, and be clear nothing can happen. That’s fine, occurs all the time, especially among honorable married people or others in long term relationships. Being with one person doesn’t mean everyone else suddenly becomes uninteresting sexually, it means you don’t partake.

In politics this is where politicians say “I want to help ordinary people”, or “I want to clean up the Ganges,” or “my passion is helping veterans” then when they get elected, serve themselves first or pursue some other project “didn’t run on cutting social security, but I’m going to spend years trying to cut a deal with Republicans” says Obama.

Politicians who pursue power saying it’s to do X, then ignore X and do Y&Z are the political equivalent of creeps and nice guys and people who have sex to get money. Dishonest users.

Anyway, especially if you think long-term, avoiding this sort of dishonesty will make your life a lot better, usually. Obama might get away with it, but most us aren’t able to cash out so much money and fake respect from other users that we never have to engage with any non-sycophant ever again.

Kindness and being friendly to get other things works best when you aren’t doing it to get other things, oddly. When it’s who you are, so people think “well, they’re always a good person” or “always tells the truth” or “always honorable” or whatever.

And be kind to people who can’t help you and you don’t think ever will be able to.

That’s the true test of who and what you actually are.




Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 13, 2020


Fundraising Update and Fundraiser Ending Friday the 18th


  1. Stirling S Newberry

    It is easier to preach when you are old.

  2. I think you haven’t really got at the problem.

    The biggest part of “nice” guy syndrome is that these supposed nice guys think they are owed sex because they’ve been friendly. When a woman they’re friends with doesn’t want to have sex, they feel cheated and wronged.

    The “dishonesty” is not that they’re being friendly to get sex, it’s that they see being friendly as a transaction to get sex. But friendship is just not transactional.

    If someone wants transactional sex, they should just go hire a sex worker and pay them money. (I suppose there are other things someone could offer for transactional sex, but that’s outside of my experience.)

  3. Billikin

    What’s your take on Bernard Mergendeiler?

  4. someofparts

    Learning how to spot bad faith people feels like one of those things we just have to learn from living and making mistakes. Having a parent who was a decent person seemed to help. It made decency seem like the normal, default behavior, so people who strayed from that seemed odd right away, even before I had time to find out why.

  5. EarlyGray

    > You can start wanting a VP to buy something from you and over time become friends.

    Sorry for the dumb question but what does VP stand for here?

  6. Jan Wiklund

    Being nice is hardwired into us. After all, as a bunch of species – primates – we are social animals, and being nice to each other helps to keep the tribe together.

    Also, “do ut des” or “I give to you so you will give to me later” is a part of that. That’s the way the gift economy is organized (see for example Jacques Godbout: The world of the gift, of for that matter Marshall Sahlin’s classic Stone age economy).

    But I agree that it can be done too scheming, too feigning, too hypocritically, and that will fool nobody in the end.

  7. Joan

    One thing that helps a woman spot such men is growing up with a brother who has a lot of friends around. She has the chance to witness how straight boys behave without girls around (since little sisters are usually invisible), and she can even catch them giving each other crap for any sleezy behavior.

    Alternatively, and in my case, if a woman can find a straight male friend who’s willing to be frank with her, that goes a long way. I know emotional, straight, “beta males” catch a lot of crap, but my friend got snatched up real quick, is now happily married and a stay-at-home dad. On several occasions I benefited from him telling me “If you really said those exact words to him, and he still didn’t get it, then he knows what he’s doing.” Though to be fair, this idea some women have that men need to read their minds is absurd. Our “be nice” culture in America makes for bad communication in relationships. Much better to be clear spoken, though not cruel.

  8. Stirling S Newberry

    “Naked Capitalism red flags on Pfizer”


    This roll-out is another test. Wait for the real vaccine unless you working a dangerous job. (For example, a member of Trump White House staff.)

    Not a way to build-up trust in vaccines.

    “That’s the way the gift economy is organized (see for example Jacques Godbout: The world of the gift, of for that matter Marshall Sahlin’s classic Stone age economy).”

    Also, d’Arvay’s Medieval taking on the same gift economy. (d’Avray, D. L. 2010. Medieval Religious Rationalities: a Weberian Analysis. Cambridge, UK, UK: Cambridge University Press. )

  9. S Brennan

    I am surprised that Hugh, Willey, NR, 10-feathers et al haven’t already jumped in to remind Ian that he mentioned political characters without beginning and ending each sentence without mentioning the horribleness of Trump, then rhetorically, spitting on the ground…but now that I mention it…

    Anyhow, on the subject of human drama…

    Bernie Sanders is the “nice” boyfriend who talks sweet, family, children and a nice home…in a good neighborhood. The girl thinks that marriage is a real possibility and 12 years later, when there still is no offer…she sees him walking out of a gay bar with another guy. And all of a sudden, she realizes she’s 35…

    That’s the “Friends” episode…can’t wait to see the new program with Alexandria Cruz staring as AOC in “The Bold Type”.

  10. Willy

    Thanks SB. Speaking of the foolish…

    It’s probably why sociopaths do so well in corporations, far better than nice guys just trying their best. The nice guys want to be judged on their merits, but the sociopath offers power. Sociopaths quickly note the true power structures (some are only symbolic or untenable), then work to prove to the power superiors that they’ve got their political backs, quid pro quo.

    Trump is fascinating because it’s all so public and open with much analysis available, for further analysis. Some of his transactional lessers are deserting the sinking ship, while others, such as Sidney Powell, appear to have so committed themselves that their careers are now fully dependant. All the characters are there: the heirs, the subordinate allies, the yesmen, the henchmen, the weak-minded supplicant/enablers, Dunning-Krugers and Machievellians.

    The dynamics scale well down to one’s own personal situations. Observe and learn well.

  11. kråke

    Machiavelli gets an undeserved bad rap.

    Read him like you are not an English moralist from the 1800s. Then, read past The Prince, to the Discourses and his satires.

  12. S Brennan

    And speaking of using people…

    “Before the election the Democrats blocked a decent Republican offer for Covid-19 relief. After the election they agreed to a much lower deal which leaves out the priorities they had pretended to support when they blocked the Republican offer.

    It shows that it was never about providing help to the people, as the Democrats had claimed, but purely about sticking it to the Republicans and especially to Trump.

    Posted by b on December 15, 2020 at 16:08 UTC ”

    “…the deal done now is lower than anything the Republicans had previously offered. The new deal is mostly about offsets with only $188 billion in new money and with little aid for the states. That means that there will be more unemployment and more evictions than were already destined to happen.” – b

    People…please clap louder or…our cadre of election year disinformation specialists will troll your comments. Don’t let that happen !!! This is what they want to see in the comment section.


    TRUMP=HITLER…don’t even think about it !

    Without REPUBLICANS STANDING IN THE WAY we could all have ponies !!!

    Always, always, always vote NeoD !!!

    Isn’t wonderful to watch AOC working closely with Pelosi, the same way Bernie worked with Obama during the Primaries…it’s so sweet isn’t it?

  13. Willy

    1. Get rid of the obvious sociopath in power. They care nothing about you.
    2. Push his replacement in the progressive direction.
    3. Fight against any and all sociopaths trying to impede #2. If this involves silly dissemblers acting covertly, them too.

    Constantly criticizing AOC and Bernie for not being strong enough without lifting a finger against McConnell is just plain stupid. And suspicious I might add.

  14. S Brennan

    Oh c’mon Willey,

    Just the other day every political discourse had to begin and end with the salutation “Trump is Hitler”, how quickly things change after the most evil man in history is deposed by voting machines.

    I mean really, being a fascist dictator is not what it’s cracked up to be. Here I thought it ended in a bunker with cyanide and gasoline…being a fascist dictator just isn’t the same any Willey?

    You know, it’s not fair, not all of us have direct contact with the DNC’s Ministry of Truth Division like you do Willey, but okay, I get it; now every political discourse has to begin and end with Trum…er..McConnell is worse than Hitler.

    Being a lick-spittle for the DNC sure could give a feller whiplash…huh Willey?

  15. Willy

    Ad hominem, lying, worthless stories and binary thinking gets old. Tell your handlers at the troll farm they need to get someone smarter out here.

  16. nihil obstet

    The “centrist” Democrats got what they wanted. Months ago before any relief was passed, Pelosi said it would all have to be means tested. That got very unpopular, so it turned into “We’re negotiating for more”. That enabled the Dems to say the Repubs were blocking the wonderful relief they were trying to get. And then, after the election, the Dems could just pass what they wanted in the first place: nothing for the plebs.

  17. Willy

    We have no choice but to push back. Can’t let the Dem elites be more afraid of conservatives than progs. So nihil, what do you do when you get called a commie by a furious Proud Boy?

    Speaking of plebes, I thought Jimmy Dore was useful because he repeatedly repeated that “we” the working class is getting screwed by elites. But then I noticed that he continuously attacks Democrats far more than any Republican. And he gets onto Fox News. And he just bought a two million dollar home. Is that “we”? What’s really going on here?

    In the past an easy way for a telegenic pundit or “influencer” to get rich was by converting to, or dissembling bullshit from plutocratic sponsors. You didn’t even have to say anything intelligent. Just attack anything “left” as weak, corrupt, stupid, whatever…, get tons of likes from conservatives, then rake in the donations. Back in the startup world we used to call these disseminations FUD. Looks like Jimmy is a FUD CHUD now.

  18. anon y'mouse

    everything is transactional in a society in which Capitalism has become the underlying religion.

  19. S Brennan

    Exactly right Nihil…

  20. S Brennan

    And because Willey buried this in his never ending quest to stifle all criticism of NeoD’s betrayals of the working class…
    “Before the election the Democrats blocked a decent Republican [1.8 Trillion] offer for Covid-19 relief. After the election they agreed to a much lower deal [0.9 Trillion] which leaves out the priorities they had pretended to support when they blocked the Republican offer.

    It shows that it was never about providing help to the people, as the Democrats had claimed, but purely about sticking it to the Republicans and especially to Trump.

    Posted by b on December 15, 2020 at 16:08 UTC ”

    “…the deal done now is lower than anything the Republicans had previously offered. The new deal is mostly about offsets with only $188 billion in new money and with little aid for the states. That means that there will be more unemployment and more evictions than were already destined to happen.” – b

  21. Hugh

    McConnell after making sure nothing got done for 8 1/2 months now says he’s not leaving town until there’s a relief bill. House Democrats passed a follow-up to the CARES Act, which was the first covid relief bill, back on May 15, seven months ago. McConnell never let it come up for a vote in the Senate. McConnell has been holding tens of millions of Americans hostage for months. What a nice guy!

    Trumpers are making the bizarre argument that Democrats blew it and should have taken a previous Trump offer because it is better than what’s on offer now. This ignores that offer wasn’t serious. Look how Trump has had Republicans running scared. Many of them still can’t admit that Biden won and Trump lost an election held a month and a half ago. If Trump had wanted to push that bill, if it hadn’t been a throw away campaign ploy, all those scared Republicans would have passed it, or negotiated seriously with the Democrats, They didn’t.

    And let’s remember we need to look at not just the size of a bill but how the money is going to be spent. As far as I know, McConnell still doesn’t want to help state and local governments that have borne the heaviest burdens and costs of the virus and economic consequences., but Mitch does wnt to protect companies like Tyson that got a lot of their workers sick or dead. Because it’s not just about being nice. Got to have priorities! Priorities!

  22. bruce wilder

    “Constantly criticizing AOC and Bernie for not being strong enough without lifting a finger against McConnell . . . ”

    I think the main criticism is against the DNC establishment with its symbiosis of incompetent campaign consultants and clueless donors. Using people? Yes, pretending to oppose McConnell but not actually making a real effort to defeat him in an election is job 1 for Pelosi and Company. Much better to put up a horrible candidate, raise tons of cash off hatred of McConnell and bank those bucks, while retaining Mitch as your excuse for never delivering the goods, never doing the decent thing.

    I would be happy to support a political party that would get serious about opposing Mitch McConnell on policy. On policy. And do that by defeating him and his allies in elections.

    This idea that Trump will be gone soon, what a relief, when what you have done is elevate a callous, uncaring, corrupt, senile old man to power — like that can work out well.

  23. Hugh

    Yes, much better to have given the current callous, uncaring, corrupt, senile old man with serious mental illness a second term. Because, I don’t know, make up your own reason.

  24. S Brennan

    From earlier today:

    “I am surprised that Hugh, Willey, NR, 10-feathers et al haven’t already jumped in to remind Ian that he mentioned political characters without beginning and ending each sentence without mentioning the horribleness of Trump, then rhetorically, spitting on the ground…but now that I mention it…”

    Willey jumped in to tell me, now that “the most evil man in history has been deposed by voting machines” McConnell is the new Hitler !!! And now, Hugh jumps in to tell Bruce Wilder that, low and behold…McConnell is the new Hitler…and so it goes.

    Life’s so uncomplicated when you’re a DNC lacky…huh Willey…huh Hugh?

  25. Hugh

    SB, there is this thing called reality. You should try it out sometime. Well, probably not. You wouldn’t recognize it.

  26. different clue

    @Zachary Smith,

    Way off thread, but . . . several threads ago you mentioned a source who said that Trump cannot pardon his own self. It wouldn’t be legal.

    So here’s a hypothetical scenario. If Trump resigned the Presidency a day before Inauguration of Biden, and Pence got sworn in ( President for a day!), could Pence then give Trump a pardon? Would that be legal?

  27. Ten Bears

    Operation Just Let Them Speak is working perfectly 😉

    I had the thought then as now, dc … here’s a not-so hypothetical scenario: Trumps resigns the day before the inauguration and Pence is sworn in President for a day, could Pence then say “No, you sold out the country for a bag full of pennies, you’ve got 24 hours to leave”?

    I’ll bet Trump has had that thought.

  28. Plague Species

    I’m not sure I would call the DNC consultants incompetent. They’ve managed to wriggle billions of dollars from the DNC for making the DNC look bad and losing. That’s not incompetent, it’s criminally and cleverly masterful.

    It’s exactly what Trump does. He never delivers, but man can that turmeric-colored fu**face raise money on false promises and live like royalty, it’s called welfare actually because he never has to pay it back and therefore it’s free, all his live-long days.

    So, who really won the 2020 election? The political consultants and the wealthy elite, that’s who. The unwashed lose again. And again. And again. And again. Until the world ends. So it is written, so shall it be done.

  29. Plague Species

    Any “relief” bill is going to be sh*t. There is nothing in there for the unwashed. Just more bailouts for failing too-big-to-fails. The real bailout is being left for the Fed. They will continue their QAE welfare program for the Top 10% who own all the assets in America. Sure, wages are stagnant and have been fro quite some time, but real estate continues to boom and so too does the stock market. If you’re in either or both, you’re a welfare queen or king, and of you’re not, well, you simply don’t exist and you don’t matter except as prison fodder for the for-profit prison system.

    The reason is simple: Fed policy has fueled a surge in the value of financial assets. Since the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans own 60 percent of financial assets, and the top 10 percent own 80 percent of the stocks, those gains in financial assets have gone disproportionately to a small group at the top.

    Or as James Grant, of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” the money is all “going to Greenwich” Conn., the wealthy hedge-fund haven.

    Stanley Druckenmiller, the billionaire founder of Duquesne Capital, called the Fed’s policies “the biggest redistribution of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the rich ever.”

    It’s a rigged game where nice guys finish last. We want the game to change, we have to be not-s-nice guys for the right reasons, for a while at least until the horrible guys are expunged from the realm entirely with extreme prejudice. Then we can be nice guys again, and nice guys for the right reason.

  30. Hugh

    Plaque Species, the Fed’s bailout of the rich is a big reason why McConnell decided he could delay for 8 1/2 months and go small on any relief for ordinary Americans. His people, the rich, had been taken care of.

  31. Willy

    “the most evil man in history has been deposed by voting machines”

    I never said that. All I ever implied was that killing democracy just to spite powerless Dems is not a very smart answer.

    Does S Brennan have any other possible answers besides “Willey, Hugh… are the most evil men in history”?

  32. Plague Species

    Exactly, Hugh. Both sides of the same political coin play their part and both benefit greatly from playing that part. McConnell and Pelosi win either way, as do Biden and Trump. The unwashed win neither way. By design.

    Speaking of that, here’s what Biden means when he says “back to normal.”

    I remember JFK traveling the hinterlands and being repulsed by living standards hiding in plain sight, mainly in the South. Fast forward sixty years, and the same living standards persist to this day and it’s getting worse by the second. That video is what Biden and the Dems fondly refer to as “normal” and they’re clamoring to get back to it. They want more human rights abuses, because no access to healthy food and clean water and sanitation and effective affordable healthcare is a human rights abuse, therefore America’s normal is unaddressed and unacknowledged human rights abuses.

    Note Obama’s former U.N. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council, Keith Harper, trying to whitewash America’s “normal” human rights abuses. by saying he wouldn’t call them human rights abuses. American Exceptionalism at its finest, or its worst, take your pick.

    More than 18 million Americans live in “extreme poverty,” according to a report from the United Nations, which ranked poverty in the U.S. alongside some of the poorest regions in the world. The U.N. Special Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty paid a visit to the U.S. last year, drawing worldwide attention to his findings. Our partners at NewsHour Weekend followed in his footsteps to report from Lowndes County, Alabama to see this extreme poverty firsthand.

    That’s just extreme poverty. When we include ALL poverty, the numbers are much greater and the numbers are growing. QE ensures more poverty and immiseration. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from the unwashed to the Top 10%. It’s criminal — a crime against humanity actually, and yet no one will ever be held to account and it will continue unabated until we are no more.

  33. Plague Species

    Here’s Philip Alston’s, United Nations Special Rapporteur, detailed statement on his visit to America to investigate human rights abuses in America’s own backyard. It’s highly-detailed and worth the read. This is Biden’s cherished normal. Obama’s cherished normal. Pelosi’s cherished normal. The Clintons’ cherished normal. Damn them all to hell. In fact, hell’s too good for them. We need something beyond hell, worse than hell, for the likes of these devils on steroids.

  34. Willy

    The answer is to not allow important topics to get FUD’d up by covert plutocratic machinations. Everybody knows that there’s a progressive left. The problem is that the selfish right supplicant has been convinced that anything socially responsible is silly, foolish, and Satanic. And that anybody who talks that way must be shouted down, or even beaten up or imprisoned. Can’t let that happen.

  35. different clue

    @ Ten Bears,

    In this extension of that scenario, Pence could in theory say that. But I would expect Pence to grant Trump a Nixon-sized pardon. I would then expect Pence to channel the spirit of Gerald Ford and say: ” It is time to fully shut and seal this book. “

  36. Ten Bears

    I agree, dc, it isn’t likely. None-the-less, this is how Trump thinks. It’s the kind of thing he would do, welch out on a deal. I suspect that he’ll get pardoned, one way or another, but I think he’s reluctant to enter into a deal Pence might welch on, might say “Bailiff! Take this man to jail!” Because that’s just the sort of thing he would do.

  37. Hugh

    Each September the Census comes out with its report on Income and Poverty in the United States covering the previous year. The poverty line is calculated by size and composition of household. My memory is that the original poverty line was essentially just made up and it has continued to be fictional. For example, in 2019, if you lived by yourself, were over 65, and made $12,261, you were not considered to be in poverty. If you lived in a two adult, no children household and made together $17,120, you weren’t in poverty. For a single parent with two kids, the poverty threshold was $20,598. If you think a moment about major expenses like rent, food, utilities, clothes, and transportation, you can see how insufficient and disconnected from reality these poverty levels are.

    This gets back to the point of a previous post by Ian. A lot of economic data is useless because it does not measure what it purports to measure.

  38. different clue

    Maybe Prexy Biden will give Trump the Nixon-sized pardon. Because ” unity” and “healing” and “unite the nation”.

  39. bruce wilder

    Yes, much better to have given the current callous, uncaring, corrupt, senile old man with serious mental illness a second term.

    It would not be better. Duh.

    The point is that “better” was never on offer. You support the futile politics of “never better”, I do not.

  40. Hugh

    bruce, everything with you is false equivalences. If Biden and the Democrats are bad, than Trump can be no worse than them. Wrong but expectable. I do not like either the Democrats or the Republicans but I can see the difference between the two.

    With you, any criticism of Trump and the Republicans triggers a reflex attack on the Democrats. Yet when we criticize Biden and the Democrats, there is no corresponding attack from you on Trump and the Republicans. It shows up nicely your closet Trumperism.

  41. Willy

    BREAKING! Rumor has it Sidney Powell of the ALMIGHTY Strike Force Team is going to be UNLEASHING the REAL KRACKEN on the Judge Judy Show. The TRUTH shall be KNOWN!

  42. Plague Species

    Interesting comment from Tom67 at NC.

    Here in Germany it is not Pfizer, that is rolling out the vaccine but a small company called Biontech. Biontech actually developed the vaccine but Pfizer is manufacturung it. The beauty from the point of view of Pfizer is that Biontech will be liable for any damages.

    But things are even worse than that. Dr. Wodarg, a medical doctor and former member of the Bundestag for the Social Democrats who was a well known critic of the pharmaceutical industry has teamed up with the ex-Pfizer head of respiratory research Dr. Michael Yeadon to warn the public that the vaccine is highly dangerous. They have filed an application with the EMA, the European Medicine Agency responsible for EU-wide drug approval, for the immediate suspension of all SARS CoV 2 vaccine studies, let around the roll out of the vaccine.

    They demand that it must be excluded, e.g. by means of animal experiments, that risks already known from previous studies, which partly originate from the nature of the corona viruses, can be realized. The concerns are directed in particular to the following points:

    “1. The formation of so-called “non-neutralizing antibodies” can lead to an exaggerated immune reaction, especially when the test person is confronted with the real, “wild” virus after vaccination. This so-called antibody-dependent amplification, ADE, has long been known from experiments with corona vaccines in cats, for example. In the course of these studies all cats that initially tolerated the vaccination well died after catching the wild virus.

    2. The vaccinations are expected to produce antibodies against spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. However, spike proteins also contain syncytin-homologous proteins, which are essential for the formation of the placenta in mammals such as humans. It must be absolutely ruled out that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 could trigger an immune reaction against syncytin-1, as otherwise infertility of indefinite duration could result in vaccinated women.

    3.The mRNA vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer contain polyethylene glycol (PEG). 70% of people develop antibodies against this substance – this means that many people can develop allergic, potentially fatal reactions to the vaccination.

    The much too short duration of the study does not allow a realistic estimation of the late effects. As in the narcolepsy cases after the swine flu vaccination, millions of healthy people would be exposed to an unacceptable risk if an emergency approval were to be granted and the possibility of observing the late effects of the vaccination were to follow. Nevertheless, BioNTech/Pfizer apparently submitted an application for emergency approval on December 1, 2020.”

    Here a link to the only English language article about the petition that I could find:

    This is what “failed institutions” looks like. Failed, and replaced by Wall Street. Wall Street isn’t an institution. It’s a Black Hole that sucks in and destroys everything in its orbit and its goal is for everything to be in its orbit.

  43. nihil obstet

    Hugh, assuming that the Democratic base and the Republican base are the same is the false equivalence you’re looking for. To spend time pointing out Republican failures to a Democratic readership is what? Cheerleading? Meanwhile, whatever Democrats do is better than what Republicans do, even when it’s the same thing?

    The point is to direct efforts towards reform, not towards more tribal loyalty.

  44. bruce wilder

    I see differences, but I ask, do the differences matter to me? And, why?

    I see two problems with the positions of victims of TDS, that come up repeatedly.

    One is that they see differences where, in fact, the Democrats are mirroring the moral depravity they accuse Trump of. That mirroring is very frightening to me, frankly, because it indicates that the moral standards or principles nominally involved are being abandoned or eroded away. It is not a false equivalence — there may be an equivalence or not; the moral mirroring of what you say you despise does not require the object you are rejecting actually has the qualities you reject it for. When your hatred for some figure turns that figure into a moral mirror, you are not seeing the actual other — you are seeing yourself and mistaking the image you see, which is you, for the other. Resemblance can be reinforcing, so points of near-equivalence may be involved.

    I have commented before on many examples of moral mirroring by partisan Democratic critics of Trump. The most striking examples are the choice of Biden as candidate, because he demonstrates so many similar vices that are near-equivalent to Trump’s many deficiencies of character and leadership, and the faked moral outrage over election procedures and counts, when neither Party is willing to advocate or practice electoral integrity.

    The other problem I find with those who succumb to TDS is that they lose track of the extent to which elite malfeasance has become a general problem. Some of us have seen Trump as a symptom of political failure of the political system to respond to problems experienced by the vast majority or to reflect their preferences. TDS seems to want to exonerate everyone responsible for those failures, except Trump.

    I never defend Trump. I will point out that some criticisms or charges against him are false and even preposterously false, calling into question the moral priorities of those pressing these false charges (especially given plenty of available true charges against someone as corrupt as Trump). The charge of collusion with Russia in the 2016 election campaign was false, but pursued to embarass and disable Trump.

  45. S Brennan

    I think the problem Nihil is this boards DNCers have never played team sports [and I don’t mean country club sports like golf and tennis] or, served in the Army/Marines where a coach, or a man wearing a funny hat will yell at YOU, [or worse] in an effort to get you to perform better.

    Nope, this board’s DNC waterboys, [10-feather exempted, he did serve], have no idea what it’s like to perform at your highest level…on demand and not when you want to.

    Sadly, this board’s DNC bootlickers wouldn’t understand why a coach or a Drill Sergeant/Instructor would yell at them and not yell at the guys wearing the opposite uniform; their life experience is bereft of hardship that can only be overcome with great effort. As you say Nihil, they are cheerleaders, they are not now, nor have they ever been…varsity material.

  46. Hugh

    nihil, sorry, but that’s BS. Any issue can have multiple perspectives, but these perspectives aren’t equal or the same. It is often useful to fit an issue into the long term conflicts and failures of the Democrats and Republicans. But the political and legislative history of a conflict is also informative. The original coronavirus relief bill the CARES Act was passed at the end of March, more or less unanimously. A month and a half later, House Democrats passed a follow up relief bill the HEROES Act for when the CARES Act would run out. Certainly, talking about their political calculations in doing this is fair game, but the really big story is why Mitch McConnell ignored it and did nothing until a week ago, 8 1/2 months after the CARES Act, and only days before the Congress and major parts of the CARES Act ended. SB wants a proposal that Trump threw out a few weeks before the election but never pushed to be counted. But seeing as Trump runs roughshod over Republicans when he wants to, it is hard to take a proposal seriously he let die so quickly. At this point, this is very much a Republican, McConnell and Trump story. We could have and shoulg have had a bill in May or early June before the elections shut everything down. We didn’t.

    And for some stories, like Trump’s weird ongoing personality order driven contesting of the election, why can’t we talk about it? even if it is a Republican only kind of story?

  47. Willy


    I played football until college, but would rather discuss my more talented high school teammate who went much further, to the NFL (sadly didn’t play much, injuries…).

    One of his frat buddies coached my city’s pro team, for one losing year before getting fired. Such is the harsh reality of the NFL. A new coach was chosen, known for encouraging competition and cutting those not quite good enough, but also for being unusually positive and hiring back provens if a position opened up. One was a taskmaster, the other a skilled manager. The latter eventually took the team to the Super Bowl and remains as coach to this day.

    I remember a local radio show where the topic was to discuss the difference between the two coaches, and former players were part of the panel. It was concluded that the winning coach was better at discerning talent, managing emotions, and most importantly, managing injury, since “everybody plays injured” in the NFL, especially as the season matures.

    What does this have to do with my former schoolmate? I found a sports article about him, where he’d talked his former frat buddy the loser coach, into force-marching his new team up and down a very steep local mountain trail notorious to hardcore cross-trainers. I knew my former neighbor well. He had a classic “dumb jock” mindset, where in his world, winners overcome adversity with brute determination, leaving carefully thought out strategic planning to the pansies. His extreme self-confidence hid the fact that he’s a bit of a bonehead. The other coach apparently forgot that humans have physical, mental and emotional limits and overuse injuries are a real problem in competitive sports. That panelists on that radio show confirmed my suspicions. The loser coach wanted that job so badly that he overworked and overused his very human and humanly limited players, into his losing that job. His replacement has been there for more than a decade.

    Sometimes it’s not as easy as one is limited to think.

    As far as I know, AOC has never played high school football. Yet she exhibits an unusual amount of ethical determination for her constituents. But she’s a rare progressive in DC and there are a great many covert enticement$ in that $wampy town. She’s also said that sometimes she’d rather just be at home raising a family. IMO, we progs need to take care of what little advantage we do have, know that our adversary and many of their fans, have gone corrupt, and plan wisely.

  48. S Brennan

    “As far as I know, AOC has never played high school football”

    Alexandria Cortez has been gas-lighting the very few D’s in congress willing to hold Pelosi’s speakership up to achieve some concessions like medical-care during a pandemic…she is another tool, just like you Willy/Hugh.

    Laughable that you would bring up Cortez just as her “careerism” is becoming too obvious to hide…and that’s what I do when clowns try to gaslight me, I laugh at them, I laugh their very being.

  49. nihil obstet

    Any issue can have multiple perspectives, but these perspectives aren’t equal or the same. It is often useful to fit an issue into the long term conflicts and failures of the Democrats and Republicans. But the political and legislative history of a conflict is also informative.

    I agree that no one right perspective is a complete judgment of an issue and of the people who worked on it. Each of us will bring a different viewpoint to the issue. In the story of covid-19 relief, Mitch McConnell is a major player, but the Republican congress critturs despite having a majority and a drive for power are not the only beings on capital hill. It matters that elected Democrats never made a good case for a different relief effort. The Republican-majority House voted over 70 times to rescind Obama care, blasting it the whole time. The Democrats bragged about joining the Republicans in pandemic relief to turn the money spigot on to the rich, and promised to do more help for the average later. That more help is what you write about here. I do not find this history exonerates the Democrats of blame for failing.

  50. S Brennan

    In good news Nihil,

    It spite of Pelosi’s complete betrayal of working people, other actors, both R & D have reached an agreement to restore the unemployed supplemental funds until the Vaccine[s] are in widespread use.

    Thusly, we will be spared an entirely avoidable depression.

    While the Willey’s of the world pump their pom poms rooting for Pelosi and Cortez…the NeoD’s heard from their paymasters on Wall Street that Pelosi’s political antics needed to be set aside to do a deal or the entire economy would tank to the point that bailout funds might not keep financial interests afloat.


    “Tensions over the new package flared in the final stages of negotiations, with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) engaging in what multiple aides described as a heated exchange…

    Sanders pushed for the package to include more robust stimulus checks…[600.00 one time]

    Manchin has said unemployment benefits are more essential to approve…[300.00 per week]

    Sanders’s opposition could be enough to blow up the whole deal, infuriating members who are trying to rush it into law. Asked about the exchange, Sanders said I don’t know how Democrats started accepting a framework of only $900 billion.” [apparently Sanders wants the world to know he’s an effing retard].

    Nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since the summer.

    Congressional Democrats [Pelosi] softened their [her] position following President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Leadership negotiations were spearheaded by Manchin and Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah). The final bill is expected to closely mirror their initial proposal, which was also crafted in part by the House Problem Solvers Caucus.”

  51. Hugh

    Portraying the DINO Joe Manchin as a radical socialist to the left of Bernie Sanders is the funniest hallucination of the day from our resident fascist.

  52. S Brennan

    “funniest hallucination of the day from our resident fascist”

    Accept, I provide factual links while you only provide hyperbolic commentary…

    Think about…no don’t…just start typing…something will pop into your head…run with it !!!

  53. S Brennan

    ….accept should have been except

  54. Hugh

    More than $700 billion of the $900 billion Manchin plan is not new funding. It is unspent funds from the CARES Act and money allocated to a Fed program. What Sanders is saying is changing the name on already budgeted money doesn’t magically mean we are spending twice as much on relief. He’s saying the Manchin plan is an accounting trick and if you want to help Americans then real new money, not rob Peter to pay Paul money to pay for it.

    BTW this is the same Manchin who said if Sanders had been the candidate against Trump, he would have voted for the insane Trump, a reason no doubt why the fascist SB likes him so much.

  55. Willy

    S Brennan,
    Your hero Sidney Powell is on the verge of getting sued by Dominion for defamation, while they try to protect their employees from harassment and death threats from your fundie nutjob buddies. I suspect she’ll be needing you to contribute even more to Trumps defense fund. Feel free. And be sure to inject some bleachy HCQ while you’re at it.

  56. kråke


    Yeadon has been declaring that the pandemic is over since October. Hasn’t been with Pfizer for nine years. Grano salis and all that.

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