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

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 7, 2021

by Tony Wikrent


Strategic Political Economy

Billionaires Are Not Morally Qualified To Shape Human Civilization

Caitlin Johnstone [via Naked Capitalism 11-1-2021]

Human civilization is being engineered in myriad ways by an unfathomably wealthy class who are so emotionally and psychologically stunted that they refuse to end world hunger despite having the ability to easily do so.

The United Nations has estimated that world hunger could be ended for an additional expenditure of $30 billion a year, with other estimates considerably lower. The other day Elon Musk became the first person ever to attain a net worth of over $300 billion. A year ago his net worth was $115 billion. According to, America’s billionaires have a combined net worth of $5.1 trillion, which is a 70 percent increase from their combined net worth of under $3 trillion at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So we’re talking about a class which could easily put a complete halt to human beings dying of starvation on this planet by simply putting some of their vast fortunes toward making sure everyone gets enough to eat. But they don’t….

Billionaires should not exist. They should have their power and wealth taken from them, and the steering wheel of humanity should be given to the ordinary people who are infinitely more qualified to navigate us through the rough waters ahead for our species.

The Democracy Crisis That Is Never Discussed

David Sirota and Andrew Perez [The Daily Poster, November 2, 2021]

In 2014, Northwestern and Princeton researchers published a report statistically documenting how lawmakers do not listen or care about what most voters want, and instead mostly care about serving their big donors. Coupled with additional research documenting the discrepancy between donor and voter preferences, they bluntly concluded that the “preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically nonsignificant impact upon public policy.” ….New polling demonstrates the silencing effect that systemic corruption is having on voter preferences:

  • 82 percent of registered voters support adding dental and vision benefits to Medicare — and this is voters’ “top priority” for Democrats’ social spending bill, according to survey data from Morning Consult. Conservative Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have pushed to keep these benefits out of the bill, following an aggressive lobbying campaign by health insurers who enjoy massive profits from the privatized Medicare Advantage program.
  • Another top priority for voters is allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, with 72 percent saying they support the idea, according to Morning Consult. Sinema and a few House Democrats backed by the pharmaceutical industry managed to block the party’s original drug pricing measure from being put into the reconciliation bill….

This Is The Hostile Takeover

Taken together, this is the democracy crisis thrumming underneath all the media noise — the day-to-day erosion of democracy by corporations that use a system of legalized bribery to buy public policy, which then erodes Americans’ faith in their government and leads to all the down-ballot that unfolded on Tuesday night.

And yet this erosion does not get discussed in a media-directed democracy discourse that focuses almost exclusively on the January 6th insurrection or Republican efforts to deny election results and limit voting.

That dichotomy is an expression of corporate power. Corruption is omitted from most corporate media coverage because their corporate sponsors are the ones doing the vote-buying. By contrast, the insurrection and GOP assault on voting are safe topics for corporate media, because they do not threaten the power of the media’s corporate sponsors.


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 11-1-2021]


India among world’s hungriest despite record harvests

[Asia Times, via Naked Capitalism 11-1-2021]


Neoliberalism requires a police state

WATCH: Hedges & Lauria on Assange Hearing

[Consortium News, via Naked Capitalism 10-31-2021]



The Federal Court system is corrupt

[The Cavalier Daily, via Naked Capitalism 11-5-2021]

A student newspaper steps in to fill the mainstream void.

Steven Donziger, an American attorney who waged a legal battle to fight Chevron’s pollution in Ecuador, was sentenced for contempt of court Oct. 1. The lawsuit against Donziger was riddled with flaws, its conditions were excessive and arbitrary — to such an extent that the UN Human Rights Council condemned it — and the process was mired in alleged corruption. But what the Donziger case most represents is that the U.S. Federal Court system is broken, corrupt and in desperate need of reform.

The legal trials and tribulations of Donziger began in 2014 — four years after he won a $9.5 billion judgement against Chevron for polluting the Amazon — when he was sued in American courts for alleged ethical impropriety. Chevron had no real grounds to sue Donziger — leaked Chevron documents have proved that the company explicitly sought to “demonize” him. Instead, Chevron took advantage of how America’s court system effectively allows a wealthy party to bury another in a complex lawsuit until they run out of money to fight it.


The (Anti)Federalist Society Infestation of the Courts

How Dark Money Captured The Supreme Court

[The Daily Poster November 3, 2021]

As Congress nears a deal on Biden’s Build Back Better reconciliation bill, a separate battle is quietly playing out within the Democratic Party over how to handle the extremism and minoritarian rule of the Supreme Court.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., published a report on the way that dark money and corporations have captured the Supreme Court.

The report lays out how an extensive network of right-wing groups — including the Federalist Society, the Heritage Foundation, and organizations in the Koch network — have worked to appoint judges who undermine voting rights and favor corporate interests.

What is perhaps most remarkable about the report is that three senators, including the Senate majority leader, are raising serious questions about the legitimacy of an institution that many Democrats are unwilling to confront….

Whitehouse separately wrote a law review article last week about the influence of dark money and dark money groups’ use of amicus briefs to influence the court.


A Flood of Judicial Lobbying: Amicus Influence and Funding Transparency

Sheldon Whitehouse [Yale Law Journal, October 24, 2021, via The Daily Poster 11-3-2021]

This Essay explores how amicus briefs became a tool for coordinated judicial lobbying by dark-money interests. I show how current funding-disclosure rules for amici fail to provide genuine transparency—undermining fairness—and discuss reforms that could improve the judiciary’s amicus-disclosure regime and restore faith in the courts….

“The effects of this litigation strategy on our democracy are frightening: the courts are becoming an arena for enacting policies by judicial decree that are too unpopular to pass through democratically elected legislatures,” he wrote. “These coordinated efforts warp the judiciary toward anonymous, ultrawealthy donor interests, all without the public ever learning about the role of dark-money interests in shaping the law.”


The Great Resignation

Public feelings about economy diverge from feelings about job market

Joe Weisenthal [Bloomberg, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-1-21]

“In the meantime, this is a really striking chart. The yellow line is the Conference Board’s Labor Differential index, which basically measures how the public feels about the job market. The white line is a separate survey of how the the public feels about the economy overall. For over a decade the job market *was* the economy. The two lines moved in tandem more or less. What’s new is the pronounced gap. Perceptions of the job market are at their highest level since 2000. Meanwhile perceptions of the broader economy have turned sharply lower. This dynamic is reflected in numerous surveys. In political polling, Democrats are getting clobbered by Republicans in terms of handling the economy.”

Here’s the chart. So, there’s more jobs, easier to get, but they’re still crappy jobs that don’t pay enough to live on. What’s the wonder? 


Viewpoint: Beneath Striketober Fanfare, The Lower Frequencies of Class Struggle

[Labor Notes, via Naked Capitalism 11-4-2021] Detailed and sobering.


The 1945-1946 strike wave was five million workers

[“Today’s Flashback,” The Daily Poster, November 3, 2021]

From 1945 to 1946, nearly five million workers, or 15 percent of the workforce at the time, united against employers of major industries to demand greater pay and benefits. In contrast, around 15,000 workers went on strike last month.

According to labor historian and activist Toni Gilpin, “What unions won in ’46 ushered in the only period in modern American history when all income [growth] went to the bottom 90 percent of the population.” Click here to read Gilpin’s full thread on the greatest strike wave in U.S. history.


The carnage of mainstream neoliberal economics

Breakpoints and Black Boxes: Information in Global Supply Chains

[Post-Modern Culture, via Naked Capitalism 11-5-2021] Today’s must-read:

The first kind of data necessary for a supply chain is data about labor—which is to say, about human beings. What happens to human beings in a supply chain may be disastrous, but it is also an algorithmic imperative. A calculation about human value demanded the murder of enslaved people on the Zong, just as it demands that workers at a Samsung supplier in Huizhou, Guangdong, earn an average of 238.55 USD per month (An Investigative Report on HEG Technology). These decisions, at least rhetorically, are beyond anyone’s immediate control. Companies like Apple and Nike may occasionally say they want to clean up working conditions for their subcontractors, but in truth, of course, they depend intimately on the kind of logic that categorizes and assigns lower value to the labor of people in the global South; otherwise, we wouldn’t have global supply chains, at least not to any great extent.


Bus Drivers Saga Lays Bare the Divide Between Unionized and Non-Unionized Public Sector Workers

[Capital & Main, via Naked Capitalism 10-31-2021]


Truckers tired of taking blame for congestion crisis at California ports

[Freight Waves, via Naked Capitalism 11-4-2021]

“As terminal operators pushed for automation to reduce human interaction, a glitch in the system can render crane operators and truck drivers unable to move without further instructions, [Bill Aboudi, president of AB Trucking] said. ‘It’s the terminal operators that are not managing the workforce properly and don’t realize that they had a problem with a computer system until it’s too late,’ Aboudi told FreightWaves. ‘It’s often the longshoremen and the truck drivers that pay the price and are forced to sit because of the terminal operators’ mistakes.’”


Health Care Crisis

ACA Marketplaces Became Less Affordable Over Time For Many Middle-Class Families, Especially The Near-Elderly (Abstract only)

[Health Affairs, via Naked Capitalism 11-4-2021]

“In 2015 half of this middle-class population would have paid at least 7.7 percent of their income for the lowest-cost bronze plan; in 2019 they would have paid at least 11.3 percent of their income. By 2019 half of the near-elderly ages 55–64 would have paid at least 18.9 percent of their income for the lowest-cost bronze plan in their area.” Everything’s going according to plan.


“#PizzaIsNotWorking: Inside the Pharmacist Rebellion at CVS and Walgreens”

Matt Stoller [BIG, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-5-21]

“many pharmacists are now employees of big chains. And yet working as a pharmacist for a giant chain has also become increasingly difficult. Work loads have doubled over the last ten years, pay is down, and student debt loads are up (to nearly $200,000 for a recent graduate), even as the profits of Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart skyrocket. And that was before Covid, which put extra strain on pharmacists and technicians. The worker stories coming out of the chain pharmacy world are awful. No bathroom breaks. No time for meals. Unforgiving corporate metrics like demerits for taking too long to answer the phone or fill prescriptions, requirements to ask a certain number of people per week to get a flu shot, and always a relentless push for more items to do than time to do them. And these sweatshop conditions for medical professionals don’t just mean an unpleasant day for a pharmacist or technician, it means more mistakes, and accidental deaths. In fact, before the pandemic, the third leading cause of death in America was medical errors, at between 250,000 and 440,000 people a year, roughly the the size of Reno, Nevada dying annually. And of course, when there are safety issues caused by understaffing, the chains don’t stand by their pharmacists in front of state boards of pharmacy. If a pharmacist loses his or her license, they can’t practice. All of this has caused deep concern within the profession. ‘I am a danger to the public working for CVS,’ one pharmacist wrote in an anonymous letter to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy in April. Public officials and corporate executives have been hearing the complaints for years. But when things get really bad, the typical response from higher-ups for flagging morale is to… buy their pharmacists pizza. And that condescension from corporate executives and human resources officials is what finally lit the spark.”


Restoring balance to the economy

“Highly Paid Union Workers Give UPS a Surprise Win in Delivery Wars” [Bloomberg, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-4-21]

“The massive labor shortage that’s rocked the U.S. since the pandemic and disrupted long-established employment relationships hasn’t had much impact on UPS, which pays its unionized drivers the highest wages in the industry. That’s helped it maintain a stable workforce and rising profits throughout the current disruptions. Meanwhile, lower-paying, nonunionized FedEx racked up $450 million in extra costs because of labor shortages. And while UPS easily beat earnings expectations and predicted a rising profit margin in the U.S. for the fourth quarter, FedEx signaled that its profit margin will fall further. The lack of workers is taking a toll on its reliability, too. FedEx’s recent on-time performance for express and ground packages has sunk to 85%, while UPS has met deadlines on 95% of those packages, according to data collected by ShipMatrix Inc.” • A unionized workface as a competitive advantage. Who knew?


South Korea’s new workplace safety law alarms foreign companies

[Financial Times, via Naked Capitalism 11-5-2021]

“Under the new law, senior executives could be held criminally responsible for a range of accidents and work-related injuries and illnesses unless they can demonstrate compliance with a long list of criteria.”


Justice Department Sues to Block Penguin Random House’s Acquisition of Rival Publisher Simon & Schuster

[Department of Justice, via Naked Capitalism 11-3-2021]


Texas Belies `Best for Business’ by Trailing Major States 

[Bloomberg, via The Big Picture 11-3-2021]

Low taxes and few regulations have failed to propel the economy anywhere near the top of the national rankings.


Class war and economic disequilibrium

As closed-door arbitration soared last year, workers won cases against employers just 1.6% of the time

[Washington Post, via The Big Picture 11-2-2021]

U.S. companies are increasingly relying mandatory arbitration to settle employee and consumer grievances during the pandemic. Family Dollar closed 1,135 such cases last year, up from three in 2019.


Creating new economic potential – science and technology

All of science gets a general index

Cory Doctorow [Pluralistic, via Naked Capitalism 11-3-2021]

It’s hard to overstate what a scam academic and scientific publishing is. It’s run by an oligopoly of wildly profitable companies that coerce academics into working for free for them, and then sell the product of their labors back to the academics’ employers (often public institutions) for eye-popping sums.

Here’s how that works: a publicly funded researcher (often working for a public institution) does some research. In order to progress up the career ladder and secure more funding, they need to publish their research in a prestigious journal. That journal asks other publicly funded researchers (chosen by a volunteer editorial board of publicly funded researchers) to peer-review and edit the paper. If the paper is selected for publication, the researcher signs over their copyright in it – life plus 70 years – to the journal, for free….

If someone at that institution were to share the paper their colleague produced in the next lab over, they’d be committing copyright infringement – because their colleague had to give their copyright away to the publisher as a condition of publication, which is, in turn, a condition of career advancement.


The US Coast Survey under Bache – excerpt from Dupree, Science in the Federal Government – HAWB

Tony Wikrent, November 7, 2021 [RealEconomics]

“The great object of the institution of civil government,” President John Quincy Adams declared in his first annual message to Congress, December 6, 1825,

“is the improvement of the condition of those who are parties to the social compact, and no government, in what ever form constituted, can accomplish the lawful ends of its institution but in proportion as it improves the condition of those over whom it is established…. moral, political, intellectual improvement are duties assigned by the Author of Our Existence to social no less than to individual man.”

In the Introduction to his landmark history, Science in the Federal Government: A History of Policies and Activities to 1940 (Harvard University Press, 1957), — sponsored by Sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences — A. Hunter Dupree wrote

“…all the institutions of the country in which science exists have found the actions of the government in conducting research and and in contracting for it are factors of first importance…. Indeed, before the rise of the universities, private foundations, and industrial laboratories, the fate of science rested more exclusively with the government than it did later…. The idea that the federal government should become the patron of science was easily within the grasp of the framers of the Constitution. As educated men of the eighteenth century they knew that European governments had often supported science, and their set of fundamental values led them to hold all branches of philosophy in high regard.”


Climate and environmental crises

What Big Oil Knew About Climate Change, in Its Own Words

[Counterpunch, via Naked Capitalism 10-31-2021]


The Toxic Ten: How ten fringe publishers fuel 69% of digital climate change denial

[Center For Countering Digital Hate, via The Big Picture 11-4-2021]


A Missing Link in the Fight Against the Climate Crisis

[The American Prospect, November 3, 2021]

Under Trump and in the years of austerity, scientists fled the EPA and other agencies. The race to save the planet requires swift and extensive hiring policies….

The trend toward staff attrition at federal agencies is nothing new. Even as the country’s need for scientifically informed federal policy has grown—in line with a growing population, the proliferation of pressing scientific challenges, and the increasing sophistication of corporate-funded “scientific” influence campaigns—the federal government’s capacity to deliver has fallen. This divergence accelerated under Obama, and Trump’s record of downplaying climate change and sabotaging climate efforts made an already severe problem even worse. From 2010 to 2020, the EPA lost 17.9 percent of its staff members.

The EPA wasn’t the only key climate agency that Trump decimated. Over the four years Trump was in office, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) lost 2.5 percent of its STEM employees. Two of its climate research subagencies, the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, lost 75 percent of their employees—amounting to “hundreds, if not thousands of staff years of expertise”—after the agencies’ offices were suddenly and needlessly moved from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City, Missouri. Staff attrition from the relocation was not an unintended consequence. Trump’s White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney referred to the move as “a wonderful way” to shrink the federal government.


The Dawn Chorus is getting QUIETER due to climate change: Intensity of bird song has reduced across North America and Europe over the last 25 years as warming temperatures have shifted the distribution of species, study finds

[Daily Mail, via Naked Capitalism 11-3-2021]


Vapor Storms Are Threatening People and Property

[Scientific American, via Naked Capitalism 11-3-2021]


Fossil fuels doomed in New York as regulator blocks new gas power plants

[Ars Technica, via Naked Capitalism 10-31-2021]


How the Netherlands is turning its back on natural gas

[BBC, via Naked Capitalism 10-31-2021]


Energy Dilemma

[New Left Review, via Naked Capitalism 11-6-2021]

….capitalism has already experienced the first major economic shock related to the transition beyond carbon. The surge in energy prices is due to several factors, including a disorderly rebound from the pandemic, poorly designed energy markets in the UK and EU which exacerbate price volatility, and Russia’s willingness to secure its long-term energy incomes. However, at a more structural level, the impact of first efforts made to restrict the use of fossil fuels cannot be overlooked. Due to government limits on coal burning, plus shareholders’ growing reluctance to commit to projects that could be largely obsolete in thirty years, investment in fossil fuel has been falling. Although this contraction of the supply is not enough to save the climate, it is still proving too much for capitalist growth.

Putting together several recent events gives a taste of things to come. In the Punjab region of India, severe shortages of coal have caused unscheduled power blackouts. In China, more than half the provincial jurisdictions have imposed strict power-rationing measures. Several companies, including key Apple suppliers, have recently been forced to halt or reduce operations at facilities in Jiangsu province, after local governments restricted the supply of electricity. Those restrictions were an attempt to comply with national emissions targets by restricting coal-fired power generation, which still accounts for about two thirds of China’s electricity. To contain the spillover of these disruptions, Chinese authorities have put a temporary brake on their climate ambitions, ordering 72 coal mines to increase their supply and relaunching imports of Australian coal that were halted for months in the midst of diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

In Europe, it was the surge in gas prices that triggered the current crisis. Haunted by the memory of the gilets jaunes uprising against Marcon’s carbon tax, governments have intervened with energy subsidies for the popular classes. More unexpectedly, though, gas price increases have precipitated chain reactions in the manufacturing sector. The case of fertilizers is telling. A US group, CF Industries, decided to shut down production of its UK fertilizer plants, which had become unprofitable due to price increases. As a by-product of its operations, the firm previously supplied 45% of the UK’s food-grade CO2 – whose loss unleashed weeks of chaos for the industry, affecting various sectors from beer and soft drinks to food packaging and meat. Globally, the surge of gas prices is affecting the farming sector via the increase in fertilizer prices. In Thailand, the cost of fertilizers is on track to double from 2020, raising costs for many rice producers and putting the planting season at risk. If this continues, governments may have to step in to ensure essential food supplies.


Wealthy Countries Are Spending More on Border Security Than Climate Aid Gizmodo, via Naked Capitalism 11-5-2021]


“Want To Know What’s In Your Water?”

[The Brockovich Report, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-5-21]

Yes, that Brockovich. “We can’t solve all these issues overnight, but we can help spread awareness and give more people tools and information to fight back. The first step is knowing what chemicals have been detected in your tap water. That’s why I’m so excited for Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) newly released update to the Tap Water Database, adding two more years of test results from nearly 50,000 water utilities across all 50 states and cataloging more than 320 contaminants.”


Information Age Dystopia

A critical opportunity to ban killer robots – while we still can

[Amnesty International, via Naked Capitalism 11-6-2021]


Apple’s New Screen Repair Trap Could Change the Repair Industry Forever

[Fixit, via Naked Capitalism 11-6-2021]

The new iPhone 13 completely disables its flagship Face ID functionality when you replace its screen. We have confirmed this repeatedly in our lab, testing with many different phones on iOS 15 and 15.1, and our results have been replicated by numerous repair professionals.

This is a dark day for fixers, both DIY and professional. One of the most common phone repairs that could once be done with hand tools now requires a microscope. This means you won’t be able to fix your iPhone screen yourself without sacrificing major functionality. It also has huge implications for the professional repair industry, for which Apple is the dominant brand to service. Small shops could be shuttered, forced to choose between spending thousands on new equipment or losing a major source of income.


The Booming Underground Market for Bots That Steal Your 2FA Codes

[Vice, via The Big Picture 11-5-2021]


‘The Problem Is Him’: Kara Swisher on Mark Zuckerberg’s crisis and ours

[New York Magazine, via The Big Picture 10-31-2021]

One of the main problems is what he needs to be is a nearly impossible job for anyone and he is particularly ill-suited given his lack of communication skills. He’s undereducated for the job he has because he’s not just a technologist; he’s a social engineer. And a very powerful one with no accountability. He’s like an emperor that he so admires; he was a fanboy of Augustus Caesar. That was his hero. But Augustus Caesar wasn’t really equipped to be emperor either.


Institutionalists = Obstructionists

“Democrats Dropped Medicare Dental and Vision Coverage From Their Social Spending Bill. Voters Say It’s Their Top Priority”

[Morning Consuilt, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-3-21]

Here is the complete list: GRAPH 


Democrats’ Betrayals Are Jeopardizing American Democracy

David Sirota [The Daily Poster, November 1, 2021]

The year before a fulminating Nazi rally in a packed Madison Square Garden in New York, FDR warned that the global rise of fascism was the result of democratic governments doing the opposite of the New Deal and protecting an economic status quo enriching a tiny handful at the expense of everyone else.

“Democracy has disappeared in several other great nations, not because the people of those nations disliked democracy, but because they had grown tired of unemployment and insecurity, of seeing their children hungry while they sat helpless in the face of government confusion and government weakness through lack of leadership,” he said in a 1938 radio address. “Finally, in desperation, they chose to sacrifice liberty in the hope of getting something to eat.”

To know Roosevelt’s analysis was correct is to look at how his investments ultimately rescued the economy, beat back fascists, got him re-elected in landslide elections, and created a 40-year epoch we now call the New Deal era. His prescience was also confirmed by what concurrently happened in Germany, where leaders imposed spending cuts.

“Austerity measures implemented between 1930 and 1932 immiserized and radicalized the German electorate,” found a recent study from economists and historians looking at Weimar Republic data showing a statistically significant link between local budget cuts and working-class voters’ support for the Nazi Party. “Austerity worsened the situation of low-income households, and the Nazi Party became very efficient at channeling the austerity-driven German suffering and mass discontent.”

They conclude: “Imposing too much austerity and too many punitive conditions cannot only be self-defeating, but can also unleash a series of unintended political consequences, with truly unpredictable and potentially tragic results.”


In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and a huge majority in Congress in a landslide election, after they promised transformative change to a nation ravaged by the same forces of corporate greed that had pillaged the country during FDR’s day. But soon after winning, Democrats did the opposite of Roosevelt.

Led by President Barack Obama, Democrats used their new power to enrich their corporate donors with a multitrillion-dollar bailout, while throwing stimulus crumbs at the rest of the country. The Obama administration also refused to prosecute a single banker involved in the financial crisis and allowed bailout money to subsidize Wall Street bonuses, no doubt pleasing the finance-industry moguls who funneled a record amount of cash to Obama’s campaign. Then Democratic leaders rescinded the rest of that bailout money before it could be used for its intended purpose: to directly help millions of homeowners going into foreclosure.

Perhaps most tone-deaf of all, Democrats mimicked what Weimar leaders did in the early 1930s — they championed an austerity agenda in the name of fiscal responsibility, launching a high-profile initiative to slash Social Security benefits amid an economic emergency.


Democrats’ Massive Tax Cut for the Wealthy

[TaxBytes, via Naked Capitalism 11-6-2021]

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFRB), by no means a conservative organization, the SALT cap repeal is the LARGEST single line item in the Democrats’ reconciliation bill. Bigger than health care, bigger than childcare, bigger than paid family leave, and bigger than climate initiatives. The biggest line item in the Democrats’ reconciliation bill is a massive tax cut for the wealthy.


“Youngkin Defeats McAuliffe”

Josh Marshall [Talking Points Memo, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-3-21]

“Then there’s the other problem: President Biden looks weak. The pull out from Afghanistan plays some role in this. But the real driver is the months long spectacle of the President and his party unable to pass the basic legislation that makes up his agenda. Negotiating, begging, false starts, canceled votes. A President of the United States stymied by two obscure Senators the vast majority of Americans have never even heard of. Obviously this has deeply demoralized Democrats around the country – a fact which I think played a significant role in McAuliffe’s defeat. But for less committed voters – a smaller portion of the electorate but the floating segment that decides most elections – the President just looks weak. He says this and that is important but can’t seem to get this or that done. It’s through that prism that these voters view an uncertain economy. Regardless of what the President is trying to do, he can’t do it. If you’re not terribly ideological or plugged into the policy and legislative details what you see is a country beset with problems and an ineffective President. That’s a bad, bad combination for the President’s party.”


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-4-21]


“Illinois Dems carve up liberal giant-slayer’s district in new congressional map” [Politico, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-1-21]

“Illinois’ state legislature passed a new congressional map early Friday morning that likely secures Democrats’ control of 14 of the state’s 17 congressional districts — but it also condemned liberal freshman Rep. Marie Newman to an uncomfortable fate at the 11th hour. Newman, who rose to fame in 2020 after ousting a veteran conservative Democrat, Dan Lipinski, fell victim to last-minute changes by Springfield legislators plotting to both boost Democratic Rep. Sean Casten and create a new district where the Latino community could elect their candidate of choice. Now, Casten and Newman are set to clash in a primary next June.”


The Dark Side

“‘When do we get to use the guns?’ The life-or-death stakes of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial”

Will Bunch [Philadelphia Inquirer, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-1-21]

“This is a 55-gallon drum of highly flammable political rage — not something that you want to come anywhere near with a lighted match. Unfortunately, Monday marks the launch of a Wisconsin murder trial with the potential for exactly that. It’s not just that the hotly disputed case of Kyle Rittenhouse — the now 18-year-old Illinois teen who picked up an AR-15-style rifle to join vigilantes during the August 2020 unrest after a police shooting in Kenosha, Wisc., and then killed two people and wounded a third during a series of altercations — could lead to near-term unrest, although there is surely that potential…. The greater risk to the republic is that a successful self-defense argument from attorneys for Rittenhouse — already a cause célèbre for the Trumpian right, which raised the $2 million to release him on bail — will be interpreted by all of the worst people as a sign from the U.S. justice system that it’s not only OK but heroic for citizens to take up arms for their perceived — and in too many cases invented — grievances.”


God, Trump and the Closed-Door World of a Major Conservative Group

[Washington Post, via The Big Picture 10-31-2021]

What internal recordings and documents reveal about the Council for National Policy — and the future of the Republican Party.


Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff

[Rolling Stone, via The Big Picture 11-30-2021]

Some of the planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C., have begun communicating with congressional investigators and sharing new information about what happened when the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Rolling Stone spoke extensively in recent weeks to three of these witnesses, and they detailed explosive allegations that multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent.


The Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol was neither a spontaneous act nor an isolated event.

[Washington Post, via The Big Picture 11-1-2021]

The consequences of that day are still coming into focus, but what is already clear is that the insurrection was not a spontaneous act nor an isolated event. It was a battle in a broader war over the truth and over the future of American democracy.


January 6 timeline: How Trump tried to weaponize the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election

[CNN, via Naked Capitalism 11-6-2021]


Is Trump running in 2024? The Claremont Institute hopes so

[MSNBC, via The Big Picture 11-2-2021]

Once one of the most prestigious bastions of conservative thought, Claremont now spends its time putting lipstick on the Trumpian wildebeest. How a bastion of conservative thought devolved into Trumpian madness



Open Thread


The ACA (Obamacare) Has Performed As Predicted


  1. Plague Species

    Civilization, conversely, is perfectly qualified to shape billionaires and has.

  2. Plague Species

    How many times MUST IT BE SAID? There is no democracy so there is no democracy crisis. But hey, that’s why Sirota gets the blue check seal of approval on Twitter. Don’t stop believing.

  3. Plague Species

    The various links contradict one another. One link justifiably decries the Dems giving tax cuts to the wealthy as the largest by far line item in their recent legislation that passed, yet another link decries Biden saying no political party should have too much power. If the Dems are by and for the wealthy, and they are just as the Repubs are, why would you want them to have too much power if you are an unwashed?

  4. Hugh

    Billionaires aren’t qualified to be billionaires. It’s a little like asking what the qualifications are for being a mass murderer in addition to a stack of bodies. I agree with Caitlin Johnstone, billionaires should not exist. They are like the worship of guns a sign of a deeply sick society.

    “lawmakers do not listen or care about what most voters want, and instead mostly care about serving their big donors” It took a study from ritzy schools like Northwestern and Princeton to discover this?

    Except for parts of the Warren Court from Brown in 1954 to Roe in 1973 the Supreme Court and along with it the whole Federal Court system has been a bludgeon of the haves against the have-nots. It may be corrupt but it’s also their raison d’être.

    Most supply chains exist precisely because they allow for the abuse and exploitation of workers. They are throwaway people living in throwaway countries on the other side of the planet, but they’re cheap.

    Actually Texas demonstrates that “Best for Business” and “Run by Goofs” are not synonymous. UPS just shows that a company can be wildly profitable and still treat its workers halfway decently. Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk would be horrified that workers exist for some reason other than being abused.

    Mandatory arbitration is just part of the process of moving ordinary citizens out of the justice system so that it only serves the rich, the powerful, and the corporations.

    The Feds could have mandated that any employee of an institution that received US funding who published their research would have to make the published material freely available in a public US/international data archive.

    Kyle Rittenhouse was just an underage white kid who took his assault rifle to a protest so he could shoot people. As American as apple pie and cartridge clips.

    Jan. 6 is, was about fascism. Fascists don’t need elections or voters, except the right kind, amirite? In fact, no need to vote. They’ll just tell you who won. What could be simpler than that?

    Glasgow underlines that we need action not talk on climate change.

  5. Mark Level

    That Peter Daou Tweet is pretty indispensable. Regularly reading Naked Capitalism as well as this site I’d seen it a few days ago . . . It is always refreshing when someone who once served a partisan cause sees when it goes WAAAY off the tracks, as the Dems clearly haven’t been on the side of ordinary workers since at least the time the Clintons came to power, 4 decades and counting. On the other hand, despite the massive sellout by “The Squad” to Mansion-Enema, the TRUE Dem leaders in Congress (until they opportunistically switch parties or Enema gets a 7 figure lobbying job), amazingly there are still Dem Party zombies who claim success– see the moronic, “we like some Bernie policies, but only if they’re never enacted” Lawyers, Guns & Money website piece, “This Is A Big Win for Democrats” on passing ONLY the “bipartisan” Repub & Enema bill, which Pelosi decoupled from any Dem effort BBB (which will be cat food garbage if ever approved anyway, and means tested to even get your cat food!) . . . And no, that “Big Win” headline is not ironic!! It is amazing that Ideology can lobotomize a person to the point that they are dumber than, say, a lab rat. A lab rat in a Skinner box would presumably stop pressing the lever once it doesn’t get a food pellet in 100 or 200 tries. But the Dem zombies will keep voting for the Losers who give them Nada and tell them to dig in and enjoy it!! Just breath-taking . . . Link at

  6. Hugh

    Well, technically the Squad were the only House Democrats who didn’t sell out on the Pelosi-Jayapal surrender to Manchin, all six of them. The other 88 House “progressives” went along with the con/fix/deal.

  7. edmondo

    “Well, technically the Squad were the only House Democrats who didn’t sell out…”

    Only because Nancy had 15 GOP votes in her back pocket. If she hadn’t had those, then “The Squad” would have voted yes and told us how they have been “assured ” that they will get bigger offices or better perks. The whole thing is a show for the rubes. Take your shit sandwich and enjoy.

    The billionaires must have snuck something really awful into the infrastructure bill. The pressure to pass it was enormous

  8. Trinity

    All I want to know is … what will the “opposing” (non-GOP) party be called now? Democrats just won’t fit anymore, given the US is no longer a democracy.

    Perhaps Plutocrats would work. The Grand Old Farts and the Plutocrats sounds about right.

  9. Arthur

    Concerning the Rittenhouse trial: The left/progressive side MUST arm itself. Get a weapon, keep it in a gun case if you wish. Hopefully one will never need it, but the left has got to get smart or die. I know many on the liberal side, myself included, who have a gun, but too many on that side of the ball still believe the old rules apply. News flash, friends: They don’t. I am not talking about running into the streets tomorrow with our Winchesters. I am talking about commonsense self defense should it be required.

    Right now it appears to me that the best the left can muster is a those righties are so mean I sure wish they’d stop. They won’t until they are met with force. To be sure, the force may come at the ballot box or through the law. But let me ask my prog/lefty friends a question: What will you do when voting becomes a joke (if it hasn’t already) or the righties tie up the courts with crackpot judges? Sorry to say another statue torn down or protest march with a sign ain’t gonna do much to solve the problem.

  10. Stirling Newberry


    The cover of Asia’s album Astra has the stars of Sagittarius and the bottom of Scorpius.

  11. VietnamVet

    The Republic is gone. This is government by and for Elon Musk. It is doing a great job for the 614 U.S. billionaires – not the American people. Thanks to the push to increase Warp Speed Vaccine profits and the destruction of the public health system, 750,000 Americans have died from coronavirus so far, with more to come. FDR’s 1938 radio address is just as true now as then. Except today the government’s confusion and weakness is intentional to increase corporate profits.

  12. bruce wilder

    PS: If the Dems are by and for the wealthy, and they are just as the Repubs are, why would you want them to have too much power if you are an unwashed?

    The plutocrats run the Media and donate to candidates of the two Parties, with the intention that the two Parties will cooperate with the Media in delivering their respective voters to supporting the policy agenda of the plutocrats.

    The Democrats’ schtick depends on constantly and consistently failing to deliver on their promises to enact popular policies opposed by the plutocrats. In this way, they draw off the “progressive” element into legislative impotence. It helps that they never do anything effective that might dislodge Republicans from presumptive control of the judiciary and most states. And, of course, the Democrats push a “woke” ideology of offensive kayfabe to aid the Media and the Republicans in rallying the “fascist” electorate in ways that further crush any possibility of a populist revolt. It is all a neatly assembled machine. That the Democrats, on the verge of Party collapse themselves, express concern for the survival of the better organized Republicans is just part of the kayfabe, being cited by Twitter warriors who do not know the whole thing is fake politics, to fool and pre-occupy those who enjoy watching or just looking in on, the show, but have no idea what it would mean to participate in governing the local drain commission, let alone the country.

  13. someofparts

    Pulled this from comments at NC.

    IM Doc November 5, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    The last three days here in my office after the election have been quite revealing. The intensity just keeps increasing.

    My most important job as a physician is to be an advocate for my patients. I still have a love/hate relationship with the modern Dem party – of which I have been an active part for the past several decades – I guess I would add that what I am about to say is an attempt to advocate for what is left of them too. Hopefully, some elected Dem officials read this blog and comments – maybe it will help them get a clue.

    Since WED AM, I have had in my office 3 different patients, all blue collar working young men, all 3 from 3 different ethnic groups – all in occupations that we now consider front line and vital – and all are critical to the current supply issues in this country. All 3 work for national corporations who have now been mandating the vaccine – and their time is up. All 3 have resigned – plunging their 3 separate companies into even further chaos ( 2 of them are quite critical) at least locally.

    They will not be taking the vaccine. There is no convincing them otherwise. ALL THREE have IgG titers to COVID that are over 50. They have all had COVID in the past year. I have written exemptions on this basis for all 3 – and they have been summarily dismissed. I as their physician am not even allowed to speak with anyone in HR. That is simply out of the question.

    The companies are going to take a revolver to the head to kill a fly – and blow their own heads off. There is no scientific or medical explanation for this behavior – none at all.

    The young men have all resigned. They however are all going to be OK – although there are tears of anger and frustration this week. One has lined up a journeyman electrician position, one will be starting at plumbing school/apprenticeship and the other will be starting to work at his own uncle’s welding business as an apprentice. All have told the trucking and rail industries that they worked for that they can rot. I know all of these kids’ families – and their parents and grandparents are all FDR type blue collar Dems. They have all known this day was coming – and all of these family members have been in and out of my office the past few weeks – with all kinds of variations on FJB. EVERY SINGLE ONE. They have been life – long Dems. That is now over. A realignment is happening on a grand scale in this country. If the Dems are not careful – they are going to find themselves all alone with the PMC – while all their other constituencies melt away. It is happening here slowly and surely in my blue area right before my very eyes.


    I am not sure I have ever seen such a self-own politically in my life. DEMS – If you are reading this – you need to wake up – this is going to be a disaster for you.

    But let me tell you what is going to be worse.

    I have had dozens of young parents in my office the past few months who as a part of their visit ask me if my kids are going to be vaccinated. My response is NO – the math just does not work out for healthy kids to accept that risk. I just cannot see doing this until much more is known. The calculus is completely different for those who have cancer, cystic fibrosis etc. Many European countries whose health officials have not proven to be liars or gasbags have come to the same conclusion.

    I have now had 3 families in the past 2 months as new patients that have moved from their deep blue coastal area to get away from the forced kid mandates and the craziness in the schools. Dems all. But no more. The political talk in my office has been unprecedented. I do not engage in it or participate. I do listen. It is all FJB – or insert governor of choice – looking right at you New Jersey. That was not an accident on Tuesday.

    The absolute rage that is building for any attempt to force a mandate on kids is something I have never seen before. I think this will be an absolute red line for many parents – red or blue.

    The current statistics tell us that between 1 and 3000 and 1 in 6000 of these kids are going to have heart problems. They may be over or underestimating – that is the best guess right now. Other countries have paid attention. These Dem leaders have not – THEY WILL NOW OWN EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM WITH THESE KIDS – and the above stats are just the heart problems – I am hearing things from friends that chill me about other issues.

    When I was young, it was not unheard of for politicians of both parties to bring up Biblical concepts to make points. The Dems were very good at bringing up moral issues right out of the Sermon on the Mount. That was long ago – before it was considered shameful to discuss morality and Scriptures in our new Science-Techno world.

    It was therefore very discordant to hear the Dem NY Gov Hochul start talking about Jesus the other day – and “acts of love”. It is very clear modern politicians should not be doing that – they have lost the ability to do it with meaning and impact. They appear condescending instead.

    As a veteran of years of Sunday School – I can quote Jesus right back at people. And the quote that has been running through my head the past few weeks about mandating vaccines for kids is right out of the Book of Mark – 9:42 – “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”

    Dems, I am doing what I can to warn you. YOU ARE GOING TO OWN EVERY BIT OF THIS. I have been doing this for 30 years – have never had people openly discussing their disdain for a current situation like this – NEVER. I fear this is not going to go well for you at all if you keep this up. I hope someone is paying attention.

    I was young during the AIDS crisis. I saw what the HIV anti-virals did for AIDS in this country virtually overnight. Would it not be wise, Dems, to put this non-sterilizing vaccine stuff on the sidelines – and let’s wait and see what happens with the new drugs? It has all the potential to be a game-changer – just like with HIV.

  14. NR

    Americans generally approve of President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 plan mandating that millions of U.S. workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. Roughly six in 10 U.S. adults are in favor of those requirements for federal government workers, employees of large companies, and workers at hospitals that receive federal healthcare funds.

    But some rando on the internet said three blue-collar people hate the Democrats because of the vaccine mandate, so that must mean they’re doomed. Or something.

  15. bruce wilder

    Let’s go Brandon

    Most people get the vaccine. So, most people approve of getting the vaccine.

    I am vaccinated. My workplace requires vaccination.

    But, I do not approve of requiring evidence of vaccination to drink in a bar or eat in a restaurant. There is no rational basis for it. These vaccines are not sterilizing. You are pretty much just as likely to catch COVID19 from a vaccinated person as from an unvaccinated person.

    And the same for mandating vaccination as a condition of employment. It makes little rational sense to compel anyone to accept this medical procedure in these circumstances. Mandating this for a six-year-old is madness. The odds of a six-year-old dying from COVID19 are very, very long and the vaccine is not sterilizing — it does not reduce the odds of the kid infecting grandma to any appreciable degree. So some rando on the internet gets this and senile Joe Biden does not. NR does not. But this is fascism. Thanks Hugh.

  16. NR

    You are pretty much just as likely to catch COVID19 from a vaccinated person as from an unvaccinated person.

    This is false. Studies published in September (so in the time after Delta became prevalent) show that unvaccinated people are about 5 times more likely to be infected with COVID than vaccinated people. It appears this protection may decline with time, but to what extent is unknown. Regardless, there is data showing that you are not, in fact, just as likely to catch COVID from a vaccinated person as an unvaccinated one, since you can’t catch COVID from someone who doesn’t have it.

    Also Bruce, if you want to say “fuck Joe Biden” you can just say “fuck Joe Biden.” Using a code phrase and then running away giggling is so childish I’m surprised Matt Gaetz hadn’t tried to have sex with it yet.

  17. drumlin woodchuckles

    I have read that part of what is being made fun of by using the phrase ” Lets go Brandon” is the lame and failed efforts of a media announcer to gaslight its viewers about what a NASCAR-fan crowd was chanting. This lamely gaslighting media announcer is taken to stand for the media in general and ” lets go Brandon” is referencing this failed attempt at gaslighting.

    Do you hear the crowd chanting what the announcer says the crowd is chanting?

  18. different clue

    IM Doc has been commenting off and on for a little over a year now over at Naked Capitalism.

    If one wants to spend the hours involved, one can go back through all the threads to find and read the IM Doc comments. If one were to do that, and then go back in time on these threads here and read the NR comments, one can decide which comments are the more hi-valu info-dense set of comments.

    But that would require reading all of the comments from both IM Doc at Naked Capitalism and NR here. And that would require solid hours of time.

    Still and all, the IM Doc comment brought here by someofparts has made a prediction and the NR comment in response to it has made a statement about the value of IM Doc’s prediction. In 2022 and then in 2024, we will see which of those two commenters has the more reality-based understanding of events. Until then, all we can be is . . . patient.

    ” Him that is not surprised when the future comes, lives very close to the truth”.
    –John L. King

  19. NR

    Well it’s not me you need to evaluate against imdoc, it’s Gallup’s polling data; all I did was link to it. But yes, we will indeed see which of them is correct.

  20. Plague Species

    I for one believe IM Doc is a fake. That screen name is not genuine and in my opinion could very well emanate from the same office from which the screen name Astrid emanates.

    If IM Doc truly cared about his alleged patients, he would be administering Fluvoxamine versus Ivermectin. The following video does beg the question, why have they chosen Ivermectin of all drugs? Why not something that has been scientifically proven to have a positive effect on reducing the severity of the immune response to COVFEFE-45? I’ll tell you why. Because the same people pimping the vaccines as sterilizing are the same people behind the meme push for Ivermectin.

  21. bruce wilder

    As I tried to point out in my comment, what IM Doc reported does not necessarily contradict the Gallup polling. What IM Doc is drawing attention to is intensity of feeling in some locality possible representative of a social class in a region and some of which in some respects (mandating vaccines for young children at only very low risk of death from disease) he is sympathetic to. The kind of intensity of shared feeling that leads to stadium chants one might suppose.

    As for the validation of a prediction of electoral effects, I do not think that is likely to be remembered, nor do I think whatever signal may be in that noise can be heard by partisans. The Dems were always going to lose in the upcoming midterms; that result is seriously overdetermined.

  22. Dr. Peter McCulough, the eminent physician who played a key role in figuring out how to treat covid in March of 2020 (see FLCCC), has gone full conspiracy theorist. There’s a picture of the book cover of “COVID-19 and the Global Predators: We Are the Prey” in a video clip shown in https://twitter dot com/wakeupfromcovid/status/1457002810063609859, which I suppose has something to do with this.

  23. Why not something that has been scientifically proven to have a positive effect on reducing the severity of the immune response to COVFEFE-45? I’ll tell you why. Because the same people pimping the vaccines as sterilizing are the same people behind the meme push for Ivermectin.

    I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. The original FLCCC protocols didn’t mention ivermectin, because it hadn’t become known as an effective treatment, yet. Subsequently, it was recognized as being better than hydroxychloroquine, and was added to at least some of the protocols.

    I first heard of fluvoxamine for covid perhaps 3-4 months, ago. It’s been added to the MATH+ Hospital Treatment Protocol (page 2). I don’t know exactly when it was added. Ivermectin is also in this particular protocol, but not hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine does little to nothing in the 2nd stage of covid, so this is not surprising. If you’re in a hospital, you are likely at the end of stage 1, or in stage 2.

  24. Jason

    Back in July, “IM Doc” discussed relative vs absolute risk reduction. I learned much simply from from reading this brief links discussion and doing my own subsequent research:

    Incidentally, Fluvoxamine is an SSRI, and SSRI’s have probably been pushed on the public through misleading and outright fraudulent numbers more so than any other class of pills. And that’s saying something.

    For a more in-depth account, see “Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients” by Ben Goldacre.

    Ethan Watters provided a simpler treatment with his “Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche.”

  25. Plague Species

    metamars, just shut up with your nonsense, please. Watch the video. It’s a noteworthy study and it proves Ivermectin has no effect whereas Fluvoxamine does have an effect and yet rubes like Joe Rogan and Aaron Rodgers (the liar) are using and pimping Ivermectin versus Fluvoxamine I guess presumably because Fluvoxamine is a Big Pharma anti-depressant whereas Ivermectin is what? That’s right, Ivermectin is a Big Pharma anti-parasitical but the closet QAnoners like Rogan and Rodgers would have us believe Ivermectin isn ‘t Big Pharma somehow.

    The people believing the fabricated hype about Ivermectin are the same as the people in Virginia who believe CRT is being taught in Virginia schools when it;s not and they also have no idea what CRT is but they know it’s bad and is being taught just as surely as they know Ivermectin is good and not Big Pharma.

    That being said, both sides of this faux debate are engaging in misleading information and outright falsehoods. Ivermectin is more than just an animal dewormer and it is disingenuous for the captured press to present it as such. The vaccines are not sterilizing and they do not prevent transmission of the virus although they may diminish the spread of it by reducing the severity of COVFEFE-45 and thus the viral load and amount of time you’re contagious but more and larger studies are needed and the CDC isn’t helpful in this regard and many regards.

  26. Plague Species

    Incidentally, Fluvoxamine is an SSRI, and SSRI’s have probably been pushed on the public through misleading and outright fraudulent numbers more so than any other class of pills. And that’s saying something.

    Case in point. You cannot win for losing and my point in bringing up Fluvoxamine wasn’t to promote it but to underscore that there are actually effective anti-inflammatory response medications like Fluvoxamine out there that have been proven to reduce the severity of COVFEFE-45 and yet these imbeciles have believed the manipulators pushing Ivermectin but reject Fluvoxamine because, you guessed it and of course, Big Pharma. Fyi, many of them are probably invested in Big Pharma and won’t admit it. I’d like to review Rodgers’ and Rogan’s investment portfolios. How much you want to bet they are shareholders in Big Pharma and don’t even know it or care to know it?

  27. Mrs Weatherbee

    I for one believe IM Doc is a fake. That screen name is not genuine and in my opinion could very well emanate from the same office from which the screen name Astrid emanates.

    How are the wife and kids, Plague?

  28. Plague Species

    So the answer to institutionalized quackery is non-institutionalized quackery. Got it. Thanks.

  29. Plague Species

    How are the wife and kids, Plague?

    A veiled threat. What a coward. Going after someone’s wife and kids. That’s the FBI for you. Dogs too. Tell us, why pretend you’re a woman when instead you’re a cowardly loser with male genitalia? This is who IM Crock is. This comment above validates my suspicions. Yves is either hubristically naive or complicit in the ruse.

  30. Chicago Clubs

    IM Doc doesn’t have to be a fake. Plenty of doctors are retards.

  31. Jason

    my point in bringing up Fluvoxamine wasn’t to promote it but to underscore that there are actually effective anti-inflammatory response medications like Fluvoxamine out there that have been proven to reduce the severity of COVFEFE-45 and yet these imbeciles have believed the manipulators pushing Ivermectin but reject Fluvoxamine because, you guessed it and of course, Big Pharma.

    This doesn’t make any sense. Both Ivermectin and Fluvoxamine are off-patent.

    Fyi, many of them are probably invested in Big Pharma and won’t admit it. I’d like to review Rodgers’ and Rogan’s investment portfolios. How much you want to bet they are shareholders in Big Pharma and don’t even know it or care to know it?

    I’m not privy to Joe Rogan or Aaron Rodgers’ investment portfolios.

    Dr Pierre Kory and all the doctors and front line care workers around the world who have practiced the “art of medicine” in developing and continuing to refine a protocol in the interest of public health first and foremost are probably also making out like bandits on all the off-patent, inexpensive prophylactics and remedies they continue to develop.

    I don’t know if this is a deliberate attempt to engage people in utter nonsense in the interest of…(?)

    or just another blindingly ignorant comment.

  32. Jason

    inexpensive prophylactics and remedies they continue to develop.

    should have written “they continue to promote

    The drugs have obviously already been developed.

  33. someofparts

    Plague Specious – Everybody knows you are a troll and those wife and kids don’t exist. Golly, while we are at it, maybe you are a girl sitting at some desk in your lady pants.

  34. Jason

    Of course, they are “developing” the protocols, so my verbiage wasn’t entirely off-base.

  35. Plague Species

    You know what will end the pandemic? No, not science. Leeches. Bring back the Barbers! Right, Jason? I bet leeches are as effective as Ivermectin if not more so. Forgotten medicine. I’ll wait a few minutes for one of the intellectuals to inform me how beneficial leeches are to medicine and how their use should never have been abandoned for fancy city medicine. I know one thing, IM Crock is going to heaven and will be seated at the right hand of the lord.

  36. Plague Species

    Yeah, the protocols of the elders of zion redux.

  37. someofparts

    Come to think of it, I bet Plain Specious is from the Kamala Hive. Whassup girl, did I nail it? lol

  38. Plague Species

    This doesn’t make any sense. Both Ivermectin and Fluvoxamine are off-patent.

    You’re the one who brought it up, not me. You indicated Fluvoxamine is an SSRI that has been pushed by Big Pharma on an unsuspecting naive populace, something that is irrelevant to the discussion aside from the Big Pharma implication of your comment which is what I’m addressing, in part.

    Incidentally, Fluvoxamine is an SSRI, and SSRI’s have probably been pushed on the public through misleading and outright fraudulent numbers more so than any other class of pills. And that’s saying something.

    And then you pretend you never interjected this red herring. Entirely disingenuous. You’re not discussing earnestly in good faith and instead you’re just trying to score meaningless points.

    I should no better than to get between a man and his Ivermectin.

  39. Ché Pasa

    “IM Doc” at NC functions as a political operative regardless of whether s/he is a physician — which I sincerely doubt. Too much of what pours forth in his/her rants is straight out of the rightist-anti-vax playbook and that’s not what happens (at least to my knowledge) in physicians’ offices and ERs. By far, the majority of people are in favor of vaccines, mandates, and relatively rigorous protocols for public health in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. That a relative few object, sometimes strenuously and/or violently and they get the majority of coverage in the media, particularly the anti-vax rightist media, does not make them harbingers except in the minds of those who wish to make them so in pursuit of political power objectives.

    That’s your “IM Doc” and many like him or her.

    It’s not so much that they push falsehoods — though they do that. It is more that they tirelessly promote a particular minority view of events, personalities and opinions with regard to Covid and what to do about it that has the effect of undermining public health. They do this even when they don’t agree with the views they are promoting. Put a different way, many look after their own health interests (some don’t) while promoting interests that are directly contrary to public health.

    We should ask why.

  40. Willy

    Science vs Facebook. Who’s the stronger?

    Personally, while I think the Science types might submit their findings to Facebook, I don’t think the Facebook types would submit their findings to Science.

  41. Mark Pontin

    @ Tony Wikrent –

    Thanks for the link ‘Breakpoints and Black Boxes: Information in Global Supply Chains.’ Worthwhile info and thinking.

  42. Astrid


    As far as I know, Yves checks the credentials and existence for all the people she publishes. In her comments, she confirmed multiple times that he is a real person and possesses the credentials that he claims to have. Furthermore, what he says sounds like a real person with real experience, who fixes on specific points in his experience such as the handling of the HIV crisis in his early career and the teachings of his father and certain med school mentors.

    He may have an ax to grind or is exaggerating some of his claims, though I don’t detect anything obviously dishonest (which is not to say I trust everything he says, people can say erroneous things in good faith). To baselessly claim that he is a phony just because you don’t like his points, reflects poorly on you.

    To all those who quickly dismisses everyone who disagrees with you as liars and idiots not worth listening to, how the hell do you test your ideas for falsity?

  43. js

    Go to 5 different doctors, get 5 different opinions. Who hasn’t experienced that? So he’s a doctor, yes so maybe that’s one of 5 different opinions (only really I’d rather see a doctor in person than rely on some online maybe doctor).

  44. Jason (trying again)

    No one read the comment thread. It was a nuanced discussion around absolute vs relative risk reduction, including a comment from someone named “Stephen the tech critic” who added a few relevant variables, including basic issues around seasonality and respiratory spread.

    The same salient points about relative vs absolute risk illuminated in that particular comment thread have also been made by the likes of Peter Doshi, senior editor of the bmj. And many others.

    None of this – the substantive portion, that is – has even been mentioned in this comment thread.

  45. Ché Pasa


    I did not do what you claim with regard to “IM Doc.” I did not say “he is a phony.” I said I sincerely doubt “he’s” a physician, and that whether or not “he” is, “he” functions as a political operative.

    I will say this, however: “Yves” does not always tell the truth. So whether she’s checked and verified “IM Doc’s” credentials and vouches for him/her, etc. is to me an open question. Maybe she has, maybe she hasn’t. And if she has, she may have found something quite different than she says she found. I wouldn’t take her word for it. Don’t forget, she’s in business, and her business is that of a contrarian — a role “IM Doc” also performs.

    I will further reiterate that at least from what I know from personal experience among physicians and in ERs, nothing like what “IM Doc” reports in those rants is actually taking place in physicians offices, hospitals or ERs in any widespread or general sense. There are exceptions, of course, and there is a loud and sometimes violent but very small minority — that “IM Doc” tirelessly features and promotes — who are much like “his” more or less general description of what “he” encounters, descriptions that somehow mirror media reports of this minority of anti-vaxxers, but do not have any characteristics beyond or deeper than media reports. That’s what clues me to suspect “IM Doc” is parroting rather than truthfully reporting.

    My own doctors have mentioned the occasional patient who is much like “IM Doc’s” frequent descriptions. At least one of my doctors is less than enthusiastic about the vaccines. I know a nurse who refuses the vaccine and will lose her job — and will probably be happier for it. And I’ve witnessed patients acting out in the ER. But these are not frequent or typical incidents. They’re exceptions.

    To hear “IM Doc” tell the tale, they are the rule. They are not.

    The truth is there are constant, ongoing, and increasing problems with the for-profit health care delivery system under which patients, physicians and staff function, or try to, and those problems are not getting better. The whole Covid Thing has been wrenching for the system — and especially for patients — and we’re all victims in the end. “IM Doc’s” contrarianism is not helping.

  46. Hugh

    I call it the Kyle Rittenhouse syndrome. A lot of people in this country feel they have a God-given right to do harm to others just because. So if you get vaccinated, you will be a lot less likely to die from covid. It means too that you will mount an effective immune response faster which means the time you can transmit covid to others will be reduced. Vaccine mandates are a way to get more people vaccinated. They are a social duty. Naturally, in our upside down world, this is seen as an abridgment of Freedumb. No mandates, no vaccines, no masks, no social distancing. Let ‘er rip. What could go wrong?

    The tell with IMDoc is in the snippet above he never says what his three young men have against the vaccines or why they think it is losing their job over. Instead he talks about IgG titers which these guys wouldn’t know anything about if it hit them. But as the FDA has pointed out “At this time, researchers do not know whether the presence of antibodies means that you are immune to COVID-19; or if you are immune, how long it will last.” in Antibody (Serology) testing for Coivd-19.

  47. js

    Btw what kind of national company is thrown into chaos by losing one employee? I mean I could see a small business of 5 employees being thrown into chaos when one leaves maybe …

  48. Plague Species


  49. IM Doc, the right wing Trumpster who has been outed by medical genius Plague Species, has a fellow con artist in Wichita, KS, who should be put on some kind of list. That would be the head of a local machinists union district.

    Says this closet right-wing/white supremacists/neo-Nazi/climate-change-denier/anti-science-ignoramus, who claims to be a life-long Democrat:

    They’ll never get another vote from me and I’m telling the workers here the same thing.

    See “From Boeing to Mercedes, a U.S. worker rebellion swells over vaccine mandates”

  50. Hugh

    Well, that makes sense, workers have been losing benefits, wages are stagnant and often split into a two wage track (forever lower for the newbies), healthcare costs are going up. So what is this head of his local worried about and drawing lines in the sand over? A vaccine mandate. Upside down wins again.

  51. bruce wilder

    1.) The name-calling is unnecessary and repulsive. Please restrain yourselves.

    2.) Re: IM Doc
    I do not see any evidence in the comments he contributes at NC, that he is anything other than what he purports to be. Yves Smith — her affection for John Helmer notwithstanding — does fair due diligence on her “expert” commenters. He is opinionated, but that is not unusual among physicians.

    Also, I think we should all be aware that the public health establishment and this Administration as much as the previous have not covered themselves in glory the past going on two years. That deficit heightens the arrogant self-confidence of anyone with enough expertise to smell the rot. If IM Doc disagrees with the PH est. or criticizes Admin policy, I do not see any basis for presuming he is less trustworthy in his assessment than those two packs of bozos.

  52. js

    I am annoyed at the public health establishment. Presently, I’m annoyed that there is very little guidance from them on if most people need boosters or not. It’s annoying trying to navigate it without pretty much nothing of nothing in terms of guidance.

  53. Hugh

    And there you have it. Yves is as fair and balanced just like Fox News, and she does due diligence on her bozos. Whatever that means. And it is evidence and not appeals to authority that count, unless it is one of her or bruce’s whack jobs and then it’s OK. I can almost hear Trump yammering about ‘Fake News!’ in there.

  54. Hugh

    js, if you want the current CDC guidance on boosters, you can find it here:

  55. NR

    If IM Doc disagrees with the PH est. or criticizes Admin policy, I do not see any basis for presuming he is less trustworthy in his assessment than those two packs of bozos.

    Well except for the fact that everyone in those “two packs of bozos” is out there in public putting their names behind the things they are saying, while “IM Doc” is posting anonymously online while making claims that are unverifiable.

    Seems like a pretty important point.

  56. Astrid


    IM Doc has consistently claimed that he is a personal care physician with about 35 years of work experience, currently living in a blue pocket in flyover country. I don’t know how to interpret your statement about thinking he’s not a physician as anything other than as calling him a fraud.

    I find this very unlikely for reasons I’ve stated – because Yves has vetted him and because his idiosyncrasies and comments seem to me to match real lived experiences, and because frankly NakedCapitalism isn’t a big enough venue to subvert in the way you are suggesting. It bothers me that you’re writing him off so quickly and without apparently understanding what he is representing himself as.

  57. someofparts

    The ultimate test for all of this will be the elections ahead of us. If what IM Doc sees is part of a trend, the Democrats will lose badly. If everybody is happy ducky happy with the way the Democrats are handling the pandemic, then they should fare well in the mid-terms and beyond.

    For me, the reason to post things like the observations from IM Doc is to counteract the predictable nonsense I hear from people when Democrats lose elections. This morning Krystal and Saagar ran a depressing stretch of sound clips from half a dozen MSNBC windbags all claiming that the loss in Virginia was because those voters are racist.

    Democrats are going to lose and lose big because they keep throwing regular people under the bus and rolling back and forth over us. They are going to drive this country straight into gruesome fascist extremism with their smug, self-dealing hubris. No matter what I say I’m sure the usual crew will blame it on Trump, or Putin, or Bernie or racism or anything, anything anything except the actions of the real culprits causing the problem.

  58. Hugh

    The Democrats needed to deliver and they haven’t. Even where they did they managed to make it look like a bungle. Afghanistan was, is, and will be a disaster, but it was a stupid war and we are way better out of it. They should have hung it around every forever warrior who wanted to stay. With covid and vaccination, fewer people are dying, and most of those who still are are among the unvaccinated. Hammer the anti-vaxxers with that. But they didn’t. They let two has been Senators destroy their agenda and get away with it scot free. You could argue that this is what they meant to do. But there are a lot of shorter, less obvious, less self-destructive ways to do that, short of the long drawn out implode we have been watching.

  59. Ché Pasa

    Democrats are quite capable of losing badly whenever and however they choose, and they seem to have chosen to do so quite often for the last couple of generations. Say what you will about them, Democratic failure is most definitely an option.

    The trend toward failure is on display each and every day. The congressional stalemate- lite being a case in point, along with the duopoly’s devotion to the moneyed classes over and above any and everyone else.

    “IM Doc’s” anecdotes and opinions mirror almost exactly what is reported in rightist media about “uprisings” and whatnot against various public health requirements to do with Covid. There is a plethora of other “uprisings” against this or that reality or fantasy, all of them eagerly, indeed wantonly indulged by the rightist media. They’re real, they’re happening, They are not in and of themselves harbingers of things to come, but what’s to come may ultimately grow out of one or more of these manufactured rightist uprisings.

    If that happens, and the Overclass loses control of their little games, all bets are off.

    In the midst of all this, confirmation bias is hard at work among many of those who need to believe. It reminds me a bit of a cousin in California who insists the Covid vaccine has made many of her friends and relations deathly ill and has directly led to the deaths of two of them. Statistically, this is highly unlikely, but she believes it, and her belief is constantly reinforced by Facebook and a segment of mainstream media. They tell these stories; the stories may or may not be true, but they are believed wholeheartedly by those whose biases they confirm. Especially when they come from apparent authorities ex machina as it were.

  60. different clue


    It is too bad that those MSDNC windbags can not be cornered , on national TV, into admitting to the existence of Virginia’s newly elected Lieutenant Governor, Winsome Sears.

    If only the MSDNC windbags could be forced to explain on air why those racist Virginians elected Scary Black Gun Lady to be their Lieutenant Governor.

    ( Here is an article with her campaign photo).

    If Youngkin does sort of well and leaves Virginians more happy than not, Scary Gun Lady may become Virginia’s first Black Woman Governor. Would the Pink Pussy Hat Clintonites in particular and the Goldman Sachs feminists in general approve?

  61. Hugh

    Youngkin comes from private equity. There are pirates, filthy pirates, bloodsucking pirates, and beneath them all, private equity. A second rate Republican PR flack could have destroyed Youngkin with that kind of a background. But with the Democrats and Terry McAuliffe, it wasn’t even a footnote to a footnote. What gets me is the complete lack of thought in so much of what the Democrats do. It’s like how to go from Point A to Point B in politics. You could randomly choose a stumble down drunk who could do a better, more effective job of it than the Democrats. You could write it how to them in crayon at second grade level, and they would still blow it.

  62. Jason

    In autumn 2020 Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, Albert Bourla, released an open letter to the billions of people around the world who were investing their hopes in a safe and effective covid-19 vaccine to end the pandemic. “As I’ve said before, we are operating at the speed of science,” Bourla wrote, explaining to the public when they could expect a Pfizer vaccine to be authorised in the United States.1

    But, for researchers who were testing Pfizer’s vaccine at several sites in Texas during that autumn, speed may have come at the cost of data integrity and patient safety. A regional director who was employed at the research organisation Ventavia Research Group has told The BMJ that the company falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events reported in Pfizer’s pivotal phase III trial. Staff who conducted quality control checks were overwhelmed by the volume of problems they were finding. After repeatedly notifying Ventavia of these problems, the regional director, Brook Jackson, emailed a complaint to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ventavia fired her later the same day</b.. Jackson has provided The BMJ with dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings, and emails.

  63. bruce wilder

    @Ché Pasa

    Here is the thing: the “populist” right know their audience and the right does not need to manufacture the sense of suspicion and grievance, that’s there already, put firmly in place by Clinton(s) and Obama.

    As Hugh points out with regard to Virginia, the Dems could play the class warfare card and win against as ripe a target as a private equity pirate, but they don’t because they can’t credibly play that card anymore. They instead play the “racism” card — never noticing a Republican ticket filled out by a black woman and an Hispanic.

    IM Doc does love his vision of Dem working class base rebelling. That is his favored narrative. I do not get hung up on narrative — everybody has stories they love; rarely are those stories history — maybe sometimes. He has a POV as someone skeptical of the efficacy of a policy of forced, universal vaccination. And, imo, makes some good points, based on “textbook” medicine and the emergent facts of the present case. His favored narrative highlights the social decisiveness of a mandate. For Dems, one might begin to suspect the devisiveness, the opportunity to shame imagined deplorables counts for more than the effectiveness of a public health policy.

    This Administration was hot on the idea of vaccination as a get out of COVID19 lockdown/quarantine ticket, just as they loved deploring ivermectin as “horsewormer” . You shall know them by their favorite narratives. But, I digress.

    When IM Doc argues that “textbook medicine” sheds more than a shadow of doubt on a vaccine mandate for 6-year-olds, he’s right. He isn’t citing some self-promoting looney that metamars found on YouTube.

  64. Hugh

    Jason, it’s not rocket science. It’s another case of drunks could do a better job. A comprehensive orientation for even mildly competent healthcare professionals and researchers would take about a half hour. If we had a national healthcare system instead of this fragmented, just in time, hope nothing goes wrong thing we have we could deploy the healthcare people and resources to do the obvious evenin, especially in a pandemic.

  65. Thomas B Golladay

    Well there goes the prosecutions case in the Rittenhouse Trial. The open facepalming by the DA as Grosskreutz testified says it all.

    A directed verdict of not-guilty on all the murder charges is in order. This should have never come to trial. This was an open and shut case of self-defense. The Defense doesn’t even need to call anyone.

    Also helps the Judge has not tolerated any BLM shenanigans to intimidate the jury.

  66. Plague Species

    Maybe it’s time to accept that they’re not blowing it, Hugh, but instead it’s by design.

  67. Sometimes, a truck driver can win their election, as happened recently in NJ.

    However, other truck driver candidates are real losers. E.g.:

    Richard Rowe, a truck driver who ran for Congress in Florida and lost, “passed away unexpectedly,” his family reported. Rowe’s death occurred not long after he received his injections from Pfizer-BioNTech.

    A loud “progressive” who also self-identified as an LGBTQ, Rowe loved to post hatred all over his Facebook page. The 41-year-old was well-known for cursing, wishing death upon his political opponents, and mocking “anti-vaxxers.”

    He’s a double loser. He lost his life, and his election.

    I’m sure he’ll be sorely missed. However, if you think about it, losing his election didn’t matter, because he wouldn’t have held office long enough to do many wondrous things. E.g., help shove vaccine mandates down our throats. Including children, who clearly are at more risk from vaccines than from covid.

    I suppose, though, he can inspire similar extreme pro-vaxxers to spread their self-righteous medical tyranny far and wide.

  68. Hugh

    Judge Golladay issued his decree this morning and left immediately for his Boogaloo Boys rally.

  69. Hugh

    Man struck by meteor. Family and metamars blame vaccine.

  70. Willy

    Since big pharma has apparently bought up all the scientists, doctors, medical statisticians, government officials, all the decent folks and just about every medical related acronym I can think of including the AMA, CDC, AAFP, AOA, FDA, WHO, AA and RunDMC… I went ahead and did my own ‘scientific study’.

    My own extended family living locally who are vaccinated: 47
    Covid cases within that 47 which we’re aware of: 0
    Side effects from vaccines which we’re aware of: 0

  71. Willy

    Just yesterday I met a trades business owner who was profoundly anti-vax. He appeared humble at first appearing to know that most people would view his ideas as being a bit conspiratorial. But since his services were on stage, and so was he, and we observers were the kind who prefers strangers to reveal themselves, he got past that humility pretty quickly.

    A strange mix of knowledge and bullshit, integrity and greed, braggartly bravado and naiveté, a wild local success (IHO) yet wanting to leave for browner pastures because of vax mandates, he told the tale of a guy he knew who took the vax and at age 40 is now so incapacitated that he’s gotta be taken care of. I told him I have family in the medical business who were Trump supporters who took the vax who really need to meet that guy. He then explained that he met the guy online and had never seen him in person.

    My guess is he immigrated to America from Europe, joined a local evangelical church, got sucked into the conservative information vortex and has been unable to find his way out.

    So yeah, billionaires aren’t morally qualified to shape human civilization.

  72. Plague Species

    Hey Willy, you should have told him if he needs a physician of like mind who will gladly write him a prescription for ivermectin, he should contact IM Crock. I’m sure IM Crock does televisits. Connecting people, that’s what I’m all about. Also, tell him if it’s not too late, Yves would like him to donate to her hip replacement fund.

  73. Jason

    I transcribed FDA advisor Dr Rose’s testimony to the FDA panel. Two top FDA officials resigned after this testimony, as none of the glaringly negative signals emanating from the trials were taken into account. In fact, it’s as if Dr Rose (and many others) never even testified at all. I don’t know that “regulatory capture” even begins to describe what’s actually going on:

    “My name is Dr Jessica Rose and I’m a viral immunologist and computational biologist. I’ve taken it upon myself to become a VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) analyst to organize the data into comprehensive figures to convey information to the public in both published work and video medium.

    Safety and efficacy are the cornerstones of the development and administration of biological products meant for human use. Risk is the measure of an adverse event occurring and the severity of the results and harm to health of individuals in a defined population. Safety is a judgement of the acceptability of this risk in a specified situation. Efficacy is the probability of benefit to individuals in a defined population from a medical technology.

    Refer to Slide 1: This is a bar graph that shows the last ten years of VAERS data plotted against the total number of adverse reports for ALL vaccines for the years 2011-2020, and for covid-associated products ONLY for 2021.

    The left-side box represents ALL the adverse-event reports, and the right-side box represents ALL DEATH adverse-event reports. THERE IS AN OVER 1000 PERCENT INCREASE IN THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ADVERSE EVENTS FOR 2021, AND WE ARE NOT DONE WITH 2021. THIS IS HIGHLY ANOMALOUS ON BOTH FRONTS. Those increased reporting rates are NOT due to increased rate in injections, and not due to simulated reporting.

    The onus is on the public health officials, the FDA , the CDC and policymakers to answer to these anomalies, AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE CLEAR RISK SIGNALS EMERGING FROM THE VAERS DATA AND TO CONFRONT THE ISSUE OF COVID-INJECTABLE PRODUCT USE RISK that in my opinion outweighs any potential benefit associated with these products, ESPECIALLY FOR CHILDREN.

    Slide 2

    This is a time-series that shows the total cumulative number of cardiovascular, immunological, and neurological adverse events for 2021 associated with covid products. When the cumulative absolute counts are normalized for the total number of fully-injected individuals in the U.S. we can see that 1 in 660 individuals are succumbing to and reporting immunological adverse events associated with covid products. The underreporting factor is NOT considered here.

    Slide 3

    This is a genetic tree showing the emergence of the alpha and delta variant of covid 19 over time. The emergence of both of these variants and their subsequent clustering arose in very close proximity to the rollouts of the covid products in Israel. Israeli data from the ministry of health and … reveals that 98.1 [indiscernible audio].


  74. Jason

    After (presumably) listening to Dr Rose’s (among others) testimony, the NY Times reported that “In a highly unusual decision, the C.D.C. director, Rochelle Walensky, reversed a move by agency advisers and endorsed additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for health care workers, teachers and other workers at risk.”

  75. Willy

    PS, yeah, it isn’t beyond imagining that big pharma in its vaccine research, foresaw the profit potential in selling constantly mutating vaccines. Since FUD is pretty much a standard business practice these days it also isn’t beyond imagining that they’d also know the critical mass of unvaccinated population required to achieve this. Obviously they aren’t gonna distribute a bum first vaccine, instead providing one that’s “don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good” good enough, which is within the tolerance of commonly accepted side effects.

    When my own personal experience jibes with the science, I tend to call the science good enough. I appreciate the conspiracy theorists spotlighting the evils of big pharma, but I tend to go with the odds which science had tried to uncover, give or take. I do after all, know that driving 65+ on my local freeways will eventually get me killed, should I be one of the rare unlucky ones. But drive I still do because I must and those odds are acceptable to me.

  76. Hugh

    Jessica Rose is a whack anti-vaxxer who thinks that covid vaccines have killed 150,000 Americans. Up to the end of September, VAERS recorded out of 390 million doses given there had been 8,164 deaths among the vaccinated. These deaths would have included people who got vaccinated and were days or weeks later run over by a bus.

    A factcheck on Rose from Reuters can be found here:

  77. Willy

    Does anybody personally know a vaxxed person who’s suffered from obvious side effects? I don’t. And I have to get out a lot. I’ll ask my BIL the Trump-supporting doctor about this.

  78. I personally know 3 vaccine injured people (possibly a 4th), 2 of which are family.

    Unfortunately, it will probably require a number of famous people getting severe vaccine damage to wake people up from believing the “safe and effective” advertising, coupled with the Big Tech and mainstream media censorship. An NBA player undergoing cardiac arrest during a live game would probably be immensely helpful. 3 such casualties in a single season might be enough to reach a tipping point.

    Perhaps Gavin Newsome will help us out.

    A source close to California Gov. Gavin Newsom today told The Defender the governor experienced an adverse reaction to the Moderna COVID vaccine he received Oct. 27.

    The source, who asked not to be identified, said Newsom’s symptoms were similar to those associated with Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), a known side effect of many vaccines.

  79. Ian Welsh

    I don’t know a single vaccine injured person, and I live with 6 other people, all of whom have had two doses.

    I do know someone with long Covid, though.

  80. Plague Species

    I, as well, don’t know of anyone who is vaccine injured. I do know of a number of people who were unvaccinated and who died of COVFEFE-45.

  81. Plague Species

    This was an open and shut case of self-defense. The Defense doesn’t even need to call anyone.

    Not so. Rittenhouse had no business being there. He crossed state lines and wasn’t invited. He came brandishing a weapon which is clearly provocative. He contributed to creating an environment where his weapon would be used. It was foreseeable. Yes, not murder, but manslaughter instead.

    So let me ask you Thom, was the Arbery case a matter of self defense too in your opinion? The media likes to mix these two cases up, but they are not the same — they are apples and oranges.

  82. It turns out that not only can viruses evolve, but so can public health officials.

    E.g., Dr. Robert Malone tweeted:

    This one is for those who are in denial about the evolution of viral variants that escape immune suppression.

    “Memory B cell repertoire for recognition of evolving SARS-CoV-2 spike”

    When he was asked, This means natural immunity can fight off the variants better than the v.?

    Malone replied

    Correct. Just as the clinical data demonstrate. The director of the CDC is clearly not an immunologist. But she is absolutely a skilled liar. Looks right into the camera and lies. And she is getting better at it.

    My move to FL is still on, D – 2.

  83. Jason

    My personal experience is about half and half, meaning about half the people I interact with are “eye rollers” when it comes to bringing up any issues at all with the vaccines, while the other half – whether vaccinated or not – are quite concerned, either due to their own ongoing issues after having taking the vaccine, or upon hearing the experiences of people they trust in their lives.

    Most tellingly, in my opinion, and what most matches my own take (and anger!) at the whole situation, is that the skeptical half – even in the absence of having any issues themselves or with those close to them – are horrified at the laissez-faire attitude around products that clearly haven’t been vetted properly. The fear is not simply around covid and the shoddy vaccines per se, although that’s obviously a big part of it; it’s a larger fear of what’s being allowed to transpire in the alleged interest of public health.

    My father got the vaccine (both doses, last dose in May, no booster) and recently tested positive for covid after experiencing symptoms typical of the flu. He was given the rapid test (so who knows), but his oxygen levels were always excellent (Dad is 77, never smoked, struggles with weight though not excessively so, crohn’s disease and it’s accompanying immune issues related to the both the disease itself and the various medications they’ve used to treat it over the years). They immediately admitted him to the hospital and gave him the monoclonal antibodies. He was released same day and drove himself home. This was Thursday of last week. He’s feeling better each day.

    My mother was tested and it came back negative, which was sort of astonishing to me – I figured she’d test positive, especially with the quick test, which is a practical matter is an absolute joke.

    The young lady who cuts my hair isn’t vaccinated and doesn’t plan to get vaccinated due to the fact that two of the eleven women she works with had menstrual issues after getting the vaccine. She said only three of the eleven are vaccinated.

  84. Here’s an example of why you just may want to test a vaccine for longer than 4 weeks, on human subjects, before unleashing it on the public.

    Some dude on substack with a handle igorchudov goes into the large number of people turning up in hospitals, with CLI (covid like illness), but test negative for covid. It turned out that the vaxxed were 20% MORE LIKELY to have non-Covid CLI!

    But wait, there’s more!

    Let me mention a few things that were touched upon by vax-critical authors. It seems that Covid vaccines seriously reprogram, and undermine, innate immunity that lets “normal” people have a minor cold without it becoming an extended hospital stay, and prevents cancers.

    Such a change in immunity would not be visible in a sham “Phase II study” that lasts a few weeks. But it would be visible in population wide statistics half a year after vaccination, and this is what I am showing.

    The immune and recovery mechanisms that are discussed is undermining CD8 killer cells, and undermining of BRCA1 mediated mechanism to repair DNA damage and splice broken DNA strands. Both of these are important, the first for fighting infections and cancer, and the second is for repair of DNA damage that could lead to cancer.

    Since cancer takes time to grow even if unopposed, we will probably not see increased cancer rates until a year or two into vaccination.

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