BREAKING: Apparent flyweight becomes House Speaker!


Others craft talking-point: The gentleman from California has been elected Speaker of the House. 

As one caller to C-Span has noted, one of the votes which got him there came from George Santos. He's the gentleman from New York by way of Fantasy Island!

We're inclined to view Kevin McCarthy as a fairly obvious flyweight. In recent weeks, we've been discussing the gaggle of possible flyweights who have crafted our understanding of that "dog's breakfast" health care study. 

For starters, we're talking about the researchers from UVa who crafted the health care study. We're also talking about the academics who conducted the peer review.

Moving right along from there, we're talking about the academics and journalists who derived a pleasing talking-point from the very strange UVa study. That includes a leading high-end medical journalist, Linda Villarosa, who offered this version of that talking-point in the New York Times Sunday Magazine:

VILLAROSA (4/11/18): In 2016, a study by researchers at the University of Virginia examined why African-American patients receive inadequate treatment for pain not only compared with white patients but also relative to World Health Organization guidelines. The study found that white medical students and residents often believed incorrect and sometimes “fantastical” biological fallacies about racial differences in patients. For example, many thought, falsely, that blacks have less-sensitive nerve endings than whites, that black people’s blood coagulates more quickly and that black skin is thicker than white. 

The highlighted statements by Villarosa are just flatly inaccurate. Within a few years, Michelle Norris managed to get it even wronger in the Washington Post:

NORRIS (12/9/20): We are not just tussling with historical wrongs. A recent study of White medical students found that half believed that Black patients had a higher tolerance for pain and were more likely to prescribe inadequate medical treatment as a result.

That statement is crazily wrong. Norris tracked her claim to Professor Sabin, who had said that the "shocking," "disturbing" false beliefs of those white medical trainees seemed like relics from the (racist) 19th century.

In fairness, Norris is a high-end, general interest journalist. By way of contrast, Villarosa is regarded as a major authority on health care issues. 

Her current book, Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation, was selected by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of the past year. Full disclosure:

Given her bungled account of what that UVa study found, we're not sure why anyone should assume the accuracy of anything Villarosa says in her widely lauded book.

The problem began with the UVa researchers. At some point, responsibility jumped to the academy's peer review team.

Soon thereafter, news organs like the Times and the Post seized control of the gong-show. The study in question is frequently cited by blue tribe tribunes—and the way its findings are described are persistently crazily wrong.

Way back in 1957, Johnny Carson started his network TV career with a late afternoon game show. The show was called Who Do You Trust? The leading authority thumbnails

Who Do You Trust? (originally titled Do You Trust Your Wife? until July 1958) is an American television game show. The show aired from September 30, 1957 to November 15, 1957, at 4:30 pm Eastern on ABC, and from November 18, 1957 to December 27, 1963 at 3:30 pm Eastern. This schedule helped garner a significant number of young viewers coming home from school. (The revised title also outraged English teachers, who preferred "Whom Do You Trust?")

The series was initially emceed by Johnny Carson and announced by Bill Nimmo. A year into the run, Nimmo was replaced by Ed McMahon, and from that point until 1992 Carson and McMahon would spend the majority of their careers together. The pair departed in 1962 when Carson was hired to take over from Jack Paar on NBC's Tonight...

(Some) English teachers were filled with rage by the change in title! And so on and so on from there. 

At any rate, the Carson show asked this question: Who Do (Or Can) You Trust? In conducting our ongoing Case Study concerning that UVa health care study, we've been asking a similar question:

Can blue tribe members trust the academics and journalists who serve as out tribe's leading tribunes?

That's the question we've been asking. The answer is plainly no. 

For ourselves, we began discovering that startling fact way back in the 1970s, through explorations of journalistic claims concerning public school test scores. (In the beginning, we were tipped off from the inside.)

The mainstream press corps caught on to the major problem in question around 2010. Even then, it was the Atlanta Constitution and USA Today who did the principal reporting, not the New York Times or the Washington Post.

In the 1980s and 1990s, we watched as our nation's leading journalists struggled unsuccessfully with such public policy talking-points as these:

If you lower federal tax rates, you produce increased federal revenue.

The Social Security trust fund is just a pile of worthless IOUs.

The Gingrich health care proposal doesn't include any Medicare cuts. It would simply slow the rate at which the program would grow.

Our major journalists couldn't fight their way through such boondoggle claims. Soon after that, they began inventing a number of crazy claims Candidate Gore had supposedly made, and they reinvented Gennifer Flowers and Kathleen Willey as figures of the highest possible probity.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our self-impressed blue tribe is larded with apparent intellectual flyweights. (The later Wittgenstein seemed to say that this problem extends all the way through the bungled history of Western "philosophy," but we'll leave that intriguing discussion for some other day.)

In the case of that widely-cited UVa study, the problem begins with the way the UVa researchers seemed to place their thumbs on the scales as they designed their study. We would place these titles on four of the methods they chose:

No nonwhites need apply!

The less medical training the better!

Ten out of eleven is just very bad!

Getting (the whites) to wrong!

"No nonwhites need apply?" What could we mean by that?

Spoiler alert! In fact, the researchers did include 106 nonwhite medical trainees in the now-famous study, but those results were essentially disappeared in their formal report. In their formal report about the study, the researchers only discussed the allegedly gruesome performance turned in by the 222 extremely white medical trainees included in their survey—by the disturbing white trainees they'd managed to get to wrong.

Allegedly inaccurate responses by the nonwhite trainees were disappeared! In our view, it's astounding to think that the researchers did that. More on this topic next week, along with the other thumbs on the scales.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but on its face, that UVa study was an ungodly mess—"a dog's breakfast of a study," in Kevin Drum's famous assessment.

Having said that, so what? Despite the study's weird procedures, it was approved in peer review, and the rocket ship took off from there. 

The (grossly inaccurate) talking-point which the study has spawned is less significant than the talking-points from the 1980s and 1990s which we've posted above. But very few episodes show more clearly, or in more detail, that the tribunes of our self-impressed tribe are routinely highly incompetent.

Villarosa is considered a major expert on important health care issues. Her account of the UVa study was just flagrantly wrong.

Norris' account of the study was even wronger still! We plan to continue our own Case Study next week, mainly because we've been urged to do so by the gods.

For today, back to the principal question:

Can we trust our own blue tribe's academics and journalists? Can we trust our blue tribe's "cable news" hosts, along with their various "friends?"

All too plainly, the answer is no. Adjustment to this obvious fact leads down a long, winding road.

In our view, an apparent flyweight has now been named Speaker of the House. But then too, there's the remarkable UVa study which has produced so many ugly and baldly inaccurate claims.

Unfortunately, our blue tribe is wed to the promulgation of these invidious racial claims. We love to make these invidious claims more than we love life itself.

You can't run a very large nation this way. Disconsolate experts continue to say that our tribe is determined to try.


  1. tl;dr
    "We're inclined to view Kevin McCarthy as a fairly obvious flyweight."

    Heh. Thanks for the laughs, dear Bob. Frankly, we don't expect from you (or your fellow tribesmen) to lavishly praise anyone who doesn't belong. Duh... the way: how do you inclined to view Mafia Joe? Adam Schiff? Do share, please...

  2. ""No nonwhites need apply?" What could we mean by that?

    Spoiler alert! In fact, the researchers did include 106 nonwhite medical trainees in the now-famous study, but those results were essentially disappeared in their formal report. In their formal report about the study, the researchers only discussed the allegedly gruesome performance turned in by the 222 extremely white medical trainees included in their survey—by the disturbing white trainees they'd managed to get to wrong."

    Look at this! Somerby has finally admitted that he was wrong when he said there were no non-white participants in the UVa study. Now he says their results were "disappeared". What can he mean by that? The results for non-whites were simply reported in a different section of the report. There are there for anyone with eyes to read with.

    Does Somerby admit he has been mistaken about this? Of course not. He pretends it is another nefarious act by the study authors. What else is Somerby wrong about? Quite a bit of stuff. He has never told you about the part of the study where he relates wrong statements to lower pain ratings. He hasn't told you about those pain ratings at all. That part of the study might not exist, except when he is complaining about how complicated the stats are.

    And Somerby has the nerve to say that Norris has no background or training to interpret such a story because she is a general reporter. Somerby has even less background and training -- and he either entirely misunderstood what he was reading or he deliberately lied about what the report said. Unlike Norris, who was accurate in her statements.

    And Somerby keeps at it -- hammering away, as if repetition could right his wrongs. This has to one of the most embarrassing and ugly displays of his long career, but he keeps digging that hole deeper. Does he think that, like McCarthy, he will this argument at the end? You don't change facts by repeating nonsense. It just doesn't work that way. Somerby started out wrong, he has remained wrong, and he will still be wrong if he keeps repeating his nonsense until next January.

    If you want technical explanations of what Somerby is saying that is incorrect, just go back and read the comments for yesterday and last week.

  3. "But then too, there's the remarkable UVa study which has produced so many ugly and baldly inaccurate claims."

    But then too, there's Somerby who has produced so many ugly and baldly inaccurate claims (about the UVa study).

    FTFY asshole.

  4. Bill Nimmo left Johnny Carson and had a quiet career. Ed McMahon joined Carson and became famous.

    1. McMahon became famous for being a sycophant. What kind of career is that? If this is only about money, McMahon won, but did he ever have a chance to show what he himself could do? He wasn't even guest host when Carson was on vacation.

      Somerby doesn't mention that the Carson show was a reboot of the Groucho Marx show, You Bet Your Life, which appeared first on radio and later on TV. I think Carson's ability to interview contestants made the show, not its afternoon time placement. The networks were discovering that housewives enjoyed game shows, not just soap operas, while doing their housework. Credit where credit was due. It wasn't school kids giving it an audience in the afternoon. We were watching Soupy Sales.

    2. McMahon was the face of American Family Publishers (a rival of Publisher’s Clearinghouse) for a while.

    3. Like I said, for him it was about the money. I wonder why Somerby didn't say he was stuffing money down his pants too?

    4. He has copyrighted that phrase to refer only to Rachel Maddow.

    5. That’s what Bob Somerby needs — a good sycophant.

    6. Somerby has several: Mao, AC/MA, Cecelia, David in Cal, nameless trolls

    7. Anonymouse 2:01pm, that so indicative of anonymouse thinking and also representative of Orwellian Doublethink: “Peace is war.” “Freedom is slavery. “

    8. And thus Cecelia demonstrates that she has no idea what Orwell meant by doublespeak or doublethink, which are two different things:

      doublespeak -- Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words

      doublethink -- the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct

      What are the two beliefs in what @2:01 said? The commenter lists Somerby's sycophants. There aren't two ideas there. So how can this be doublethink?

      It would be a stretch, but you could consider the word sycophant part of doublespeak, but Cecelia doesn't use the term doublespeak, suggesting she doesn't know anything about Orwell, but likes to sound like someone who read a book once upon a time, even if she didn't.

      The opposite of a sycophant would be a critic, but Cecelia is no critic of Somerby, and neither are any of the other fanboys listed, so how could that ever be doublethink?

      Maybe what Cecelia admires most about Somerby is his ability to confuse issues with extraneous nonsense. That might make some sense given that her comment @10:53 makes no sense at all.

    9. Anonymouse 1:14pm, you always sound like the inspector in Miss Marples when you (endlessly) accuse others of not really understanding some term or concept.

      You may believe that we are trolls, but you know we are not nameless. You called us that in order to propagate that image because anonymices are the nameless hoard. That’s pointed out very regularly here.

      That is a political move of sorts and you do it in the same spirit that Big Brother did it. As an effort to obscure reality and bend it to your political needs.

    10. Anonymouse 4:28pm, again no. Having a name that is consistently used is not the same as defaulting to “anonymous”. It’s not the same as being nameless. .

      It’s of little consequence if you consider me to be a single hermaphrodite. I have a registered nym and I post under it and you can hold me accountable for what I aver from one day to the next.

    11. Cecelia, no one here has any proof that you are actually named Cecelia. You could have called yourself anything, for all anyone here knows. The name used on a comment is irrelevant. You and AC/MA should focus on what the comment says. Given that there is no way to confirm identity on the internet, you are annoying people and wasting time with this crusade to force people to use some name that you select. Give it a rest.

      Joe Bob Bill used a registered nym too but that hasn't stopped anyone from harrassing him. There is no way to hold you accountable for anything -- you live in cyberspace. The only thing a registered nym provides is whatever the person choosing that nym decided to write in his or her or their profile.

      Do you think that being a hermaphrodite is anyone's choice or an act of nature? If the latter, why should you or anyone else persecute them for something they cannot help?

    12. Anonymouse 5:56pm, I haven’t harassed Mr. Joe Bob Bill or gotten thru more than three sentences of his stuff.

      I don’t know how AC/MA has been relating to him.

      I replied to an asinine post about named commenters being “nameless” and later asked why I got accused of wanting to rename people Perry.

      Anonymices are more melodramatic than five Kardashians.

  5. Since at least 56% of all MD’s are white (possibly as high as 65%), and there has historically been maltreatment of blacks in the US, and in particular, since multiple studies have shown undertreatment of pain for black patients, it seems reasonable to examine the pain ratings and treatment recommendations given by white med students and residents to black patients. That is the specific question being examined.

    By the way, the responses of the nonwhite participants in the study are available for Somerby’s perusal.

    Here’s what the study says regarding the finding for nonwhites:

    “Readers may also be interested in analyses for nonwhite participants (Asian, n = 43; black, n = 21; biracial, n = 28; Hispanic/Latino, n = 11; other, n = 3). When examining the same models for nonwhites, there were no effects for pain ratings or treatment recommendation accuracy (P > 0.250).”

    It’s also cringeworthy that Somerby keeps saying or insinuating that the purpose of the study was to determine whether white medical students are racially biased. It was not. It was to determine if holding false beliefs about black physiology led to improper pain ratings and hence treatment recommendations. The bias is in the pain rating and the poor outcome is the improper or inadequate treatment.

    The study is seeking to understand and explain why black patients on average are improperly treated for pain by white doctors. And its results would reasonably be used to ensure there is appropriate training about black physiology, so that no doctor believes or possibly believes wrong things about their black patients.

    Somerby has turned this into a weeks long jihad against the researchers in which he not only questions the study itself (which leads to noticeable results according to Drum), but also accuses the researchers of simply wanting to document racism in white medical students. It’s hard to believe he could get so outraged about this rather innocuous study.

    If his outrage is indeed real, and not designed to get clicks.


    1. "...since multiple studies have shown undertreatment of pain..."

      Multiple studies, in the 1970s, have shown that we now should be living in a new ice age, dear mh.

      So what.

    2. For those seeking evidence that Mao is not living in the USA, here it is. He apparently isn't aware of the people freezing their asses off in Buffalo, or even Texas, where freezing temps were combined with power outages that resulted in lack of heat for a week at Christmas. He doesn't live here, so he thinks jokes about a new ice age are funny.

      More likely, Mao was in Europe, where people are walking around in shorts and t-shirts due to unseasonal heat.

  6. Kevin McCarthy and the far-right Republicans will threaten default so they can cut Social Security.

    1. And Somerby will ignore it when it happens.

    2. This will be big news, but Somerby will continue talking about the UVa study and wokism.


    3. If he'll stop the nuclear apocalypses favored by your cult of the woke, he can do whatever he wants with social security.

    4. We shall see if the MAGA House green lights Putin’s illegal war and his threats of nuclear.

    5. @11:20 -- That is being reported as one of the concessions McCarthy gave the holdouts, support for Putin.

    6. We don't read your dembot media, dear government scientist. Here's what we've seen being reported:

      As has been reported, it will only take a single congressperson, acting in what is known as a Jeffersonian Motion, to move to remove the Speaker if he or she goes back on their word or policy agenda.

      A “Church” style committee will be convened to look into the weaponization of the FBI and other government organizations (presumably the CIA, the subject of the original Church Committee) against the American people.

      Term limits will be put up for a vote.

      Bills presented to Congress will be single subject, not omnibus with all the attendant earmarks, and there will be a 72-hour minimum period to read them.

      The Texas Border Plan will be put before Congress. From The Hill: “The four-pronged plan aims to ‘Complete Physical Border Infrastructure,’ ‘Fix Border Enforcement Policies,’ ‘Enforce our Laws in the Interior’ and ‘Target Cartels & Criminal Organizations.'”

      COVID mandates will be ended as will all funding for them, including so-called “emergency funding.”

      Budget bills would stop the endless increases in the debt ceiling and hold the Senate accountable for the same.

      Unfortunately, staying away from other people's business is not mentioned.

    7. All the economically anxious MAGATs will no doubt benefit immensely when the MAGA House defaults on the debt.

    8. Adam Entous in the Washington Post said:

      "A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

      House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy."

    9. 11:51,
      Those economically anxious Republican voters will be so pissed off about the world economic crash caused by defaulting on the debt, they'll grab their pitchforks and demand the history of slavery in the U.S. is not taught in schools.

    10. Mao, when all those bills pass, and those things happen - I doubt Utopia will be the result; and hopefully, many of us will be left surviving.


    11. ...actually, according to this:
      MAGAs did demand a $75 billion cut of the "defense" budget. Apparently the largest in history.

      ...and whether it will materialize or not -- Viva MAGA!

    12. Putin is quite pleased with his MAGAts right now.

  7. I am absolutely certain that Somerby did not read the book by Villarosa. He has only read that NY Times Magazine article. If he had, he might have learned something about medical treatment and minorities. He would at least have had a chance to be convinced that this diatribe is misguided, because the entire history of medical mistreatment doesn't depend what Norris said, or even that one UVa study. Somerby seems to think that if he can poke holes (that sound superficially plausible to the uneducated), he can discredit the history of racist medical treatment and deny that racism has ever harmed any minority person. But that isn't true, no matter how much Somerby tries to erase valid studies and books.

    Somerby's ongoing diatribe against this particular study is an example of historical revisionism motivated by a racist desire to protect white feelings from what happened in the past in the name of white supremacy. This is the lingering effect of our "brutal racial history," and this is Somerby's form of book-burning, in which he tries to singlehandedly discredit a study without any medical knowledge, training in statistics, or understanding of pain research. And he is daily making a fool of himself.

    This is the earth's silliest series of posts. Who knows more about a medical study, someone who knows something or an uneducated fool? If you answered Somerby, you are endorsing false information yourself.

    1. One nitpick: it’s the galaxy’s silliest series of posts. Also, I’m thinking of a different word than silly.

    2. Despite diligent search, we’ve never found blogs elsewhere in the galaxy.

    3. I’m holding out the possibility that there are as yet undiscovered sentient life forms with blog posts on other planets in other solar systems, and I still give the nod to Somerby’s UVa posts as silliest.

    4. MH - the silliest series of posts, largely because of all yours.

    5. Ac, I don’t have a blog. Nor do I post Mao type comments. I have tried to present facts about the UVa study, and even that gets described as “putting thumb on the scales.” By you.

    6. And believe me, Ac, Somerby needs no help making a fool of himself.

    7. Talk about silly. Today Somerby discovered there were non-white subjects in the study, after claiming there were not for over a week now. Instead of admitting his error, he pretended the authors of the study hid the info from him. No one can take Somerby seriously when he commits a howler like that!

      AC/MA -- leave mh alone. You are making a fool of yourself.

  8. “That one doctor I went to didn’t diagnose me properly. Therefore, I am rejecting all doctors and medical science.”

    “That plumber I called last week didn’t fix my plumbing problem. Therefore, I am rejecting all plumbers.”

    This is the type of ridiculous non-reasoning that you get into if you follow Somerby’s advice when he says that the UVa study is lousy and scam-adjacent, and therefore you can’t trust any academic study.

    This was also his conclusion when he cited Cowan’s blog post disagreeing with Drum’s views on lead. That single disagreement led Somerby to say we can’t trust any academic.

    It’s foolish. Immature.

  9. "You can't run a very large nation this way. Disconsolate experts continue to say that our tribe is determined to try."

    I am a disconsolate expert who is fed up with Somerby's attempts to trash a published study based on lies and misunderstanding (to give him the benefit of the doubt).

    As to how the nation is being run, thank God for the Senate Democratic majority. The right has now shown that it is incompetent to even elect a speaker, much less do its job in other respects. The American people will suffer, while Somerby fiddles, attacking legitimate research.

    Experts are not running the House. Neither are the incompetent Republicans, as they showed this week. Why then does Somerby claim that experts are trying to run our nation? That is a pure and simple lie.

    Politicians run our country. The results of that in the House clearly show that the right cannot run its way out of a paper bag. Remember that when the right wing wants to take away the social safety net for no good reason except to please its dark money donors and idealogues, and of course to own the libs.

    Somerby, meanwhile, has family money and a pension from teaching (which may be the only reason he lasted 10 years in the job). He may cash a social security check (or may not), but he doesn't give a damn about the seniors who are dependent on social security for their sole support. Just as he isn't black, so why should he give a flying fuck about how black people are treated for pain?

    And that, boys and girls, is what lack of empathy looks like in real life.

    1. Somerby says: "our tribe is determined to try"

      Our tribe is the blue tribe. It consists of Joe Biden, his VP Kamala Harris, his cabinet, the Democratic majority in the Senate and the Democratic minority in the House.

      By all accounts, Biden is doing a fine job as President and that is because of his cabinet's activities and his support for legislative programs in the Senate, where Democratic senators have also been doing a good job. The Democrats, our tribe, also did a good job of winning the Senate majority. We also did a good job of winning House seats but were stymied by redistricting. We did undercut a predicted red wave, which never materialized. So we have been doing fine, as a tribe.

      In contrast, the red tribe, who Somerby calls "The Others," have been slagging off and fooling around. A rebel group characterized by massive narcissism held up electing a speaker for an entire week, delaying any positive activity in the House, which cannot even vote on its own rules without a speaker.

      But Somerby thinks it is "our tribe," the Democrats, who are misbehaving. He doesn't say what we are doing wrong, except in vague terms, but it is clear he is trying to blame us for something. For being efficient and getting shit done?

      The problem is obviously with the right, so why is Somerby blaming the left? That makes no sense at all, except as Republican propaganda. Maybe one of Somerby's defenders will explain what the left has done so terribly that imaginary disconsolate experts are whispering in Somerby's ear?

    2. This is how the Republicans were behaving yesterday during their many votes (from Rawstory):

      "According to CNN's Kate Sullivan, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) lashed out at House colleague Rep Mike Rogers (R-AL) for lunging at Florida Republican Matt Gaetz on the House floor late Friday night after Gaetz pulled the rug out from under Kevin McCarthy's bid to become speaker on the 14th ballot.

      In video captured by C-Span, Rogers can be seen coming up behind Republicans pleading with Gaetz to change his vote from "present" with the Alabama Republican pointing his finger at him and reportedly telling Gaetz "You're finished."

      Rogers was restrained by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) who grabbed him, put his hand over his mouth and then hustled him away.

      Asked about the embarrassing altercation, Republican Burchett slammed Rogers.

      As Sullivan reported, Burchett responded, "People shouldn’t be drinking, especially when you’re a redneck, on the House floor.”

      Talking about Rogers, he continued, "I would drop him like a bag of dirt. Nobody's gonna put their hands on me. Nobody's gonna threaten me," before adding, "It's just one of those things -- you've been around fights before, you’ve seen it. Some guy gets in your face and then it's just an unfortunate moment is all it was. It shouldn’t have happened. He shouldn’t have crossed that line.”


      But Somerby says that the disconsolate experts are worried about the Democrats. Huh? On what planet?

      Anyone who listens to anything Somerby says these days is as big an idiot as these elected Republican Representatives, calling EACH OTHER rednecks and making threats. I would be ashamed of them, except this isn't the worst thing they have done. They are full of scandals that Somerby never seems to care about, except to defend them from the press.

  10. Calling George Santos a "flyweight" as Somerby does today, is a huge mischaracterization of a guy who is a con artist, fraud, and criminal.

    Perhaps Somerby means that he is a flyweight compared to Trump, who arguably is a bigger con artist, fraud and criminal. If so, Somerby didn't make that very clear. He implies that Santos is more like Boebert, who is stupid, undereducated, narcissistic and attention-seeking, having accomplished absolutely nothing in her first term in office, but couldn't be said to be a criminal or con artist or fraud, since she is very obvious about what she is, and only lied a little bit and gave back the money she took from her travel expense campaign funds to pay her back taxes.

    Santos will most likely be seated, since Republicans don't see anything wrong with lies told by any of their members and he hasn't been prosecuted for his crimes, even the money laundering by whoever gave him $700K to donate to his campaign. If he were kicked out of his seat, would that mean McCarthy's election would be invalid and have to be redone? Probably not.

    A real media critic would talk about why none of the large newspapers picked up the story about Santos being a con artist BEFORE the election. That is a huge jounralistic failure with major consequences, including the election of McCarthy. How did they miss that story? That is what Somerby should have mentioned but he is too busy inventing flaws in a study whose results he dislikes to bother talking about the media any more.

    1. “Prosecutors in Brazil reopening criminal fraud case against George Santos”

      Why do the Brazilians hate the Others? They just want to put the Others in jail.

    2. "Incoming Rep. George Santos (R-NY) appeared to flash a widely known white supremacist hand sign on the floor of the U.S. House, Newsday reports."

    3. So Perry, you've changed your name to "Joe Bob" evidently

    4. Everyone with a nym is now Perry or Corby to you? That must make life easier.

    5. That doesn't answer the question.

    6. And *such* an important question. Forget the substance of the comments. Forget that anonymouses get chided for being anonymous, then those with nyms get accused of being others. WHO CARES?

    7. AC/MA can read. "Anonymous" does not spell "Perry" or "Corby" or anyone else. AC/MA could be Perry or Corby as easily as anyone else. All AC/MA did was type in those letters on the line that says Name/URL.

      Joe Bob Bill is clearly a person who has chosen a nym, as Cecelia and AC/MA keep demanding. That wasn't enough for them -- now they want him/her/they to change that nym to Perry or Corby? Who gave them the authority to demand that? Why should anyone here change their nyms to please AC/MA who is too big an idiot to even read comments here, much less tell everyone else what to do. Where does he get that nerve?

      I'm not going to be anyone else to please AC/MA, who has suddenly gotten nasty here, attacking mh because he couldn't win any arguments with his stupidities about that study. Perry and Corby are most likely not real names either. Why should AC/MA have any preference for one fake name over another.

      This is just harrassment of other commenters. No one has to do what AC/MA demands. Frankly, he sounds like Gaetz and Boebert and the other Republican whiners, but unlike them, AC/MA has no leverage over me or anyone else here. So he/she/they can go whistle in the wind, or go try to bully someone who cares.

    8. That doesn't answer the question either. Joe Bob can give a simple yes or no.

    9. The brain always wants to tell the truth. Even when the subject is lying. That's why answers attacking the nature of the question are red flags.

    10. Billy Bob is Corby and Corby is Perry and Perry is anonymous and they all post under different names and they are a psycho troll loser that are extremely troubled and turn to this comment section to get attention which helps them make their miserable life seem more real and exciting.

    11. @6:26, that is nonsense. Is that what those who took the 5th under McCarthy were doing, because they were all really commies?

      Now someone is posting as Corby without using Corby's blogspot log-in (that's why the name is black instead of green), trying to pin a name on an anonymous commenter who made several good points, especially about the bullying in lieu of substantive commenting here (by AC/MA and Cecelia especially).

      Somerby is most likely Joe Bob Bill -- can't you trolls even get his/her/their name straight? He has been trying for years to teach us all critical thinking, by posting the silliest and most specious essays possible, so that we will learn how to pick him apart and not succumb to right wing propaganda. The clue that this is his intent, is that he keeps calling himself a liberal and saying "we" when he discusses the blue tribe. Those who keep defending Somerby are majorly failing his funny daily tests.

    12. No.

      I'll bet you'll find the answer you demanded strangely unsatisfying, since it proves absolutely nothing.

    13. Joe Bob, have you ever posted here before under a different name?

    14. I posted as anonymous, but does that count as a name, since it is the absence of a name?

      Now you list all the names you’ve used online.

    15. You didn't answer the question. Another red flag.

    16. Corby, don't bother further embarrassing yourself.

    17. No, you didn’t answer. What does that mean about your prior names? Can I conclude anything? Obviously not.

      I searched for comments by Perry and found only references to Gov Perry and Perry-Harris. Corby left. This is harrassment, like when Cecelia calls mh or random anonymouse people mm. It makes more sense to revive deadrat.

      I am tired of this game. Bye

    18. Goodbye Corby psycho troll loser.

    19. Sorry. Goodbye mh, loser troll.

    20. There is a tiny bit of irony when a troll using the name anonymous complains about others for not using a nym, then calls the only substantive commenters here "trolls". But haters gotta hate, as the woke are fond of saying.

    21. Who’s Perry and why do I want someone to change his nym to Perry?

    22. Perry is someone who commented at Kevin Drum's blog. No one said anything about you.

    23. Anonymouse 4:31pm, then what’s this bullshite?

      Anonymouse 6:19pm- “Joe Bob Bill is clearly a person who has chosen a nym, as Cecelia and AC/MA keep demanding. That wasn't enough for them -- now they want him/her/they to change that nym to Perry or Corby?”

    24. Perry is someone who commented on Kevin Drum's blog. Someone above suggested he was Corby and wanted him to change his name.

      You started this with your harrassment of anonymous commenters. Why don't you drop the bullying and just reply to the anonymous commenters, or not. This attack on people for their names is getting really old.

    25. mh = Joe Bob

      Why do you post under different nyms?

    26. (If there is another reason for it besides being a daft loser troll.)

    27. They are embarrassed to use one name as it would expose how extensively they dominate and troll this board. Ie. how pathetic they are.

    28. “ mh = Joe Bob

      Why do you post under different nyms?”

      6:46 you clearly have no idea how blogger works. You have to log in under your Google id and set up a nym in your profile. You cannot set up two different ones. You would know that if you, I don’t know, created a nym for yourself, rather than bravely making these ignorant accusations … as an anonymous. Check back several years. I have been posting under mh for a long time. The green color indicates a blogger id.

    29. Cecelia = all the Somerby fanboy trolls. There’s only one of you idiotic enough to post your Somerby worshiping drivel.

    30. Anonymouse 5:49pm, I had nothing to do with that conversation and hadn’t been following it. I saw my name mentioned a day or more after in the paragraph I quoted.

      Dumb as crap, all of it, but thanks for the explanation.

    31. Anonymouse 7:23pm, and I always will.

  11. "For starters, we're talking about the researchers from UVa who crafted the health care study."

    Who conducted the study at the UVa which was later published in PNAS? We don't know because Somerby has never mentioned their names. They do have names. It is customary to refer to a study by the names of the authors and the title of that study, not by continual mention of the university where the work was done. The university itself had nothing to do with the study other than employing the researchers. Pursuit of research questions is part of academic freedom and tends not to be limited by the host university where a researcher works.

    So why the secrecy? Why the lack of respect? A casual reader would think that Norris did the work herself, when she is just someone reporting about it. Norris gets a name, Villarosa gets a name, even Johnny Carson gets a name. Why not the experts who did the study?

    For the record, the authors are: Kelly M. Hoffman, Sophie Trawalter, Jordan R. Axt, and M. Norman Oliver.

    "Racial bias in pain assessment and treatment recommendations, and false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites"

    1. Could be he has avoided mentioning author names and title in order to make it harder for readers to look up the story. He only links to it every other day but you have to read carefully to find the links. That keeps people engaged with his own essay, instead of exploring the study itself.

  12. On what basis does Somerby call McCarthy the flyweight when it is the intransigent extremist element that is comprised of underqualified MAGA newcomers seeking attention. McCarthy, no matter what you think of his politics, has put in his time and served the House. That makes him much more of a heavyweight than those opposing him. If McCarthy is not a Republican heavyweight, no one in the House is.

    As usual, Somerby hurls an insult then runs. He never explains why someone deserves a negative label. Does he prefer Boebert perhaps? I doubt that. So what exactly is wrong with McCarthy? At least he didn't participate in the insurrection

    1. When the Capitol was attacked in a murderous rage, McCarthy rushed to restore legitimacy on the responsible party for political expediency. Flyweight, obviously, is quite generous. Need anything else explained?

    2. Who did they murder?

    3. Five people died either shortly before, during, or following the event: one was shot by Capitol Police, another died of a drug overdose, and three died of natural causes. Many people were injured, including 138 police officers. Four officers who responded to the attack killed themselves within seven months.

    4. Who was murdered?

    5. When people die during the commission of a crime, those committing the crime may be charged with felony murder, so the woman shot by Capitol police was also murdered. Perhaps the ones who had heart attacks too (natural causes) too, given the circumstances. Morally, the ones committing suicide were murdered in the sense that their deaths were caused by the insurrection.

    6. Medical Examiner Finds USCP Officer Brian Sicknick Died of Natural Causes
      April 19, 2021 Press Release
      The USCP accepts the findings from the District of Columbia's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes. This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.

      Wrong again State propaganda breath!

    7. One would think a murderous gang would bring weapons with them, wouldn't one? Instead they brought weed and smoked it. So so scary!

    8. Lots of weapons were confiscated. Go listen to the 1/6 Committee hearings.

    9. 138 police injured

    10. Decode and win big.


  13. The Republican National Committee is going to have an interesting contest, too.

  14. Norris’s backing up is a dubious study ( I know, we don’t all see it that way here) seems small potatoes compared to, say, a pervasive myth that Americans who celebrate Christmas are
    suffering a war of persecution. Santa for the likes of Mao. Bob never took any notice of this, but he has now outrun McCarthy’s quest on this Norris thing.

  15. Corby/Perry/AC/MA/Cecelia and Debbie/Carl/Phyllis/Portia/ArtemisJanuary 7, 2023 at 6:36 PM

    "Everything old is new again. Listen to what the right wingers are saying about Putin and Ukraine. The echoes are profound."

    Digby reviews the division in America over Hitler, support for Germany vs the war, and the efforts of an American congressman who was a German spy and Hitler supporter who managed to encourage the spread of pro-Germany propaganda during the war and its aftermath. She quotes from Rachel Maddow's podcast Ultra.

    I think the similarities are striking and should serve as a cautionary tale, as Republicans pledge to support Putin in his war against Ukraine. Yes, the Republicans are clownish, but there are serious matters at stake.

  16. A personal note. My wife was the statistician on over 100 published medical studies. She never twisted the study design or the abstract in order mislead readers. As a result, she is unknown, while this study's authors are relatively famous. Makes me angry.

    1. If the authors are famous, list them (without looking).

      If your wife was the statistician, she didn’t write the papers.

    2. David, would you really want your wife to be famous?

    3. In David’s defense, he has no idea what the study design was or what the abstract says.

  17. Decode and win big.


    1. Would you like to win a date with Mister Fanny?

      If so, then reply below in the affirmative!

  18. “New Mexico Democrats' homes, offices targeted in shootings under investigation by police”

    See what the UVa study has led to, shitlibs?

  19. “6-year-old in custody after shooting teacher in Virginia, police chief says”

    Where were the good 6 year olds with guns to stop this bad one?

    Why did it happen? Because that UVa study made the teacher too woke.

  20. The rise of a violent, Nazi-supporting right wing supported by businessmen and politicians is not new in our country. Tom Sullivan at Digby's blog has been excerpting from Rachel Maddow's podcast Ultra, about the attempt to overthrow the US government by Nazi-sympathizers on the right, without our own government:

    "As Rachel Maddows’s “Ultra” podcast explains, in the largest sedition trial of the century held during the height of WWII, the Department of Justice could not deliver. The political forces aligned behind the alleged Nazi collaborators were simply too powerful:

    Maddow: “We had reached the point where our legal remedies were inadequate.”

    What John Rogge saw, what he had been up-close to in his prosecutions, was an entrenched ultra-right movement in this country, opposed to democracy, which saw violence as a legitimate means of achieving political aims. One that had support not only among some parts of the far-right media, but also among elected political leaders on the right.

    He saw alongside that a criminal justice system that was simply unable to deal with that threat.

    What do you do as a country when you are faced with that?

    When you are up against those kinds of forces, trying to tear apart the very thing that makes you the country you are? How do you push back against it?

    What’s more, the defendants brought to trial (it collapsed) in the 1940s were the smaller fry. The DOJ did not bring charges against the two dozen members of Congress implicated in advancing a fascist plot to overthrow the U.S. government. “Legal remedies were inadequate.” Moreover, civilian opponents of seeing the law applied equally to the elite today will resort to extra-legal remedies of the 2nd Amendment kind. Their political patrons have long not been shy about suggesting them."

    Sullivan: This is not a popcorn moment, but a deadly serious one."