ENDING STARTING TOMORROW: Case Study finally reaches its end!


Anatomy of a tribe: Long ago and far away, the candidate we voted for made an unfortunate statement. 

The hopeful in question was Hillary Clinton. The statement in question was this:

CLINTON (9/9/16): You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?


The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people—now how 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks—they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America...

To read the transcript of the fuller statement, you can just click here.

The unfortunate statement by Candidate Clinton became extremely well known. It's possible that Clinton's unfortunate statement explains the fact that Donald J. Trump actually got to the White House.

Importantly, let's be fair! Under current arrangements, nominees for the White House will campaign nonstop for years. Eventually, every candidate will make a careless, ill-considered remark—a comment she shouldn't have made.

That said, Clinton's unfortunate statement was deeply consequential. Using the most unflattering terms our impoverished public discourse provides, she said that half of Trump['s supporters—tens of millions of people—were in "the basket of deplorables."

It even seemed that they might be "irredeemable!" But one thing was perfectly clear—it was clear that they were racists. 

Needless to say, they were also "homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic." You name it, the candidate self-parodically said.

We voted for that particular candidate, but that was a grossly unfortunate statement. The statement was politically disastrous, but it was also unsustainable on any conceivable merits.

There was no imaginable "evidence" which could support such a sweeping denunciation of tens of millions of people. Sadly, the statement said more about those of us in our own blue tribe than it actually said about Them—about the irredeemable Others the candidate had unwisely condemned.

Unfortunately, that unfortunate statement said a lot about the culture of our own blue tribe. Over the course of the past ten years, our tribe has become deeply wed to a culture of aggressive name-calling—to a culture in which we drop our society's most toxic insults on the heads of those who don't agree with every stance we would permit them to take.

Most specifically, we love to say that The Others are racists. Also, we've developed a wide array of euphemistic formulations which, as everyone knows, mean the exact same thing.

Anthropologists insist that this type behavior in deeply bred the bone. Dating deep into prehistory, we human beings are wired to behave in this way:

We're wired to divide the world into tribes, then to declare that The Others are less than fully human. Our lizard tells us to do such things, and we're strongly inclined to obey. 

A few years ago, a University of Washington professor—a professor who's a good, decent person—crafted a somewhat similar statement. As we've noted in our ongoing Case Study, that statement went like this, dual headlines included:

How we fail black patients in pain
Half of white medical trainees believe such myths as black people have thicker skin or less sensitive nerve endings than white people. An expert looks at how false notions and hidden biases fuel inadequate treatment of minorities’ pain.

“Black people’s nerve endings are less sensitive than white people’s.” “Black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s.” “Black people’s blood coagulates more quickly than white people’s.”

These disturbing beliefs are not long-forgotten 19th-century relics. They are notions harbored by far too many medical students and residents as recently as 2016. In fact, half of trainees surveyed held one or more such false beliefs, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science. I find it shocking that 40% of first- and second-year medical students endorsed the belief that “black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s.”

As with Clinton, so too here. The professor was discussing an important topic. In the course of doing so, she was also denouncing one half of a particular group.

In this instance, the group was a bunch of medical trainees—first- through third-year medical students, plus a relative handful of (fourth-year) medical residents. 

According to Professor Sabin, exactly half of these (white) trainees had voiced agreement, as part of a research study, with one or more "false beliefs" about biological differences between blacks and whites. 

Also, alas! According to the professor, the (white) students' false beliefs weren't simply false. The false beliefs of these (white) trainees were also "shocking," "disturbing."

Indeed, the medical trainees' false beliefs were so absurd that they seemed like relics from the (racist) 19th century! Did we mention the fact that it was white medical students who held these shocking beliefs?

Everybody understands the impression such statements convey. The professor was dropping our tribe's most powerful bomb on yet another group of Others—and in this case, the Others were all white.

In fact, the UVa study in question had also surveyed a group of nonwhite medical trainees. The responses of those nonwhite trainees were virtually identical to the responses of the larger group of white trainees—but the study disappeared that fact, and so did the shocked professor.

This is deeply unfortunate conduct. In this case, the conduct is especially unfortunate because, just as a basic matter of fact, very few of those medical trainees—white and black and Hispanic and Asian together!—had actually endorsed any "false beliefs" at all, a point we'll turn to tomorrow.

Our deeply unimpressive tribe loves to call Others racist! More and more, then more and more, this seems to be one of the only moves our tribe knows how to make.

The UVa study in question provides a remarkable Case Study of the way our tribe advances the treasured Storyline in which The Others turn out to be racist. We seem to love that Storyline. It sometimes seems that we'll go to any length to produce that treasured product.

At present, we Americans all inhabit a failing democracy. It's also a "diverse democracy," and our nation is very large. 

As almost everyone knows, it's relatively hard to maintain a diverse democracy in a very large nation. In our view, the cavalier way our tribe tosses our various bombs around helps explain the way we lose elections, and with it our hopes for the future.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our vastly self-impressed tribe is also enormously flawed. That UVa study was designed by good and decent people, but some of their academic procedures almost defy belief. 

Their procedures also draw back the curtain on the most unhelpful instinct of our own failing tribe. We have a very strong impulse to denounce The Others as racist, whether the evidence supports that claim or not.

Increasingly, the red tribe traffics in crazy belief. Our blue tribe traffics in the dropping of our tribe's favorite bombs.

The Others are racists, we love to say. In our desire to advance that claim, little nonsense gets left behind.

WE voted for Candidate Clinton, but her statement was deeply unfortunate. Professor Sabin's statement is impossible to square with the actual data produced by the UVa study.

Despite that fact, the UVa study is often described in ways which resemble the Sabin critique. At such times, everyone knows what secret claim is secretly being made. 

How did it ever get this far? We'll end our discussion of this deeply instructive UVa study over the next few days. 

In truth, those (white and nonwhite) medical trainees did absolutely nothing wrong. It seems to us that our tribe's elite academics and journalists can often mount no such defense of their own unfortunate conduct.

Tomorrow: (Nonwhite) trainees disappeared!


  1. Hillary was right.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. "The unfortunate statement by Candidate Clinton became extremely well known. It's possible that Clinton's unfortunate statement explains the fact that Donald J. Trump actually got to the White House."

      Yes, it is now widely acknowledged that Hillary was right about this. But it is not possible that her statement explains how Trump got to the White House, other than that these deplorables voted for him. How do we know this?

      1. Polling, including exit polls. The statement did not produce any surge in Trump's support at the time, nor any decrease in Clinton's support.

      2. There are other explanations for Clinton's loss that do correlate with polling and voting data. Chief among them is Comey's last minute statement about reopening his investigation into the material on Huma Abedin's laptop (which turned out to have nothing new on it related to Hillary's emails). 538 showed that this was sufficient all by itself to account for Hillary's loss. Another analysis showed that the social media efforts by Russia were sufficient to have depressed black and progressive turnout in 3 key electoral college states to have swung the vote for Trump. Blacks stayed home and progressives voted for Jill Stein, in sufficient numbers, to swing WI, MI, and PA in the small numbers needed to win those states. In retrospect Bernie's lukewarm support for Hillary affected such votes, but the targeted social media campaign did too.

      Hillary herself apologized for her statement in her book, What Happened?. That doesn't mean her statement was causal. Many of us who supported Hillary agreed with her statement. Somerby, on the other hand, wrote essays criticizing Hillary (at the time), which surely didn't help her win. His less than enthusiastic support for her campaign, his namecalling, are not the way someone who now SAYS he voted for her, should have behaved. But Somerby has the right to say he voted for anyone he pleases, whether he did or not. And if this is how supporters behave, let him never support any campaign any other Democrat runs in.

    2. Don't forget Russia. The leak of Podesta's hacked emails to Wikileaks perpetuated the fake scandal over Clinton's emails, now made ridiculous by the way Trump and his kids handled classified materials. That mattered far more than anything true that Clinton said about Trump's supporters. The right wing is now calling itself "red necks" who drink during House sessions. That makes this idea (which Somerby has unaccountably revived), a huge joke.

    3. Washington Post
      Analysis |

      Russian trolls on Twitter had little influence on 2016 voters


      Lest anyone still not realize their favorite bloggers are liars.

    4. It was the media that accused Hillary of being a criminal, because the hacked emails showed someone asked her for a favor she didn't deliver on. Or maybe it was Podesta's risotto recipe that proved it. Who knows with those Right-wing clowns.

    5. The complaints about Hillary being a criminal came from the right wing and were amplified by (1) Bernie's campaign against Hillary for the nomination, (2) Obama's campaign against Hillary for the nomination, (3) the NY Times which reprinted excerpts from the book Clinton Cash, (4) the media which dutifully trashed Hillary over Benghazi and emails and reported Comey's malfeasance, including his last-minute statement, (5) the media which hauled out the wikileaks non-scandals over and over, (6) long-time Hillary and Bill haters on the left, who kicked at every opportunity, (7) Russia via social media which targeted progressives and black voters, (8) the progressive left which lied about her being a centrist when she ran left of Obama and has never been a centrist or neoliberal or war monger or anything like it, (9) Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard who were paid by Russia to continue their campaigns and trash Clinton supposedly from the left, (10) people like Somerby, who claimed to be a Bernie supporter but has never said anything nice about Hillary (other than that the right targeted her and Bill), most likely because she is the quintessential ballbuster (according to the right again, who sold Hillary nutcrackers at their rallies ever since Bill was elected). Despite that, she massively won the popular vote and nearly the electoral college.

  3. "The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people—now how 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric."

    Can anyone say this isn't true? After the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where a protester was rundown on the street by a right wing rally-goer? After the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who have pled guilty to seditious conspiracy after the 1/6 insurrection? After Trump himself has bought into QAnon conspiracy theories? Trump called these people beautiful. They are white supremacist scum who have engaged in violence against our nation's Capitol, who have made death threats against election workers. But these are Trump's people!

    Hillary said it, she was right, but Somerby continues to call her statements unfortunate -- while we call them true.

  4. Somerby is the problem today, not Hillary.

    1. Well, the collective Somerby’s.

  5. "That said, Clinton's unfortunate statement was deeply consequential."

    What evidence, much less proof, does Somerby provide for this statement that her remark was "deeply consequential"? None whatsoever.

    1. Somerby calls on Clinton to provide evidence, saying:

      "There was no imaginable "evidence" which could support such a sweeping denunciation of tens of millions of people."

      The evidence was that those people voted for Trump and everything Trump did and THEY did on Trump's behalf after the election shows the truth of Clinton's statement. She knew it and Trump's supporters provided the evidence, as they continue to do by voting for scum like MTG, Gaetz, DeSantis, Abbott, and all the rest of the horrible Republican miscreants and scammers.

      Gaetz is fund-raising off of the 15-ballot fiasco of a speaker's election, but it is the deplorables who are sending him their money.

      But Somerby thinks it is time to yank our chain about Hillary again. What is Somerby's purpose in this? I cannot see one that doesn't benefit the right wing. And why would someone who supposedly voted for Hillary go out of his way to excoriate her, when she is no longer a politician? I see no reason for that, except to whip up the right, deflect from liberal messaging and provide some cover for the ridiculous Republicans.

      Or maybe this is his way of beefing up his own clicks? He hasn't brought up a new topic here in weeks. I don't blame him, if he is sick, but this is an insult to everyone here. Perhaps it is time for Somerby to think about retiring.

  6. I've got Alligator Monday on my mind. You all need to get real aware of that.

    1. Cecelia, notice how anyone can use any nym they want.

    2. Get it verified and people who aren’t colorblind ascertain the truth immediately. That’s why Blogger has that feature.

    3. So, then why are trolls here insisting that Corby is Perry and Joe Bob Bill is someone else. They are green names, aren’t they?

  7. There is nothing more to say about that UVa study. If anyone still needs a rundown on Somerby's errors, they are in the comments on previous essays. He owes everyone concerned an apology, but we won't get one. Just as he owes Hillary an apology and instead has doubled-down on his criticism of her. I hope he enjoyed Trump's campaign, because he is as responsible for it as anything Hillary said.

    1. Correction: hope he enjoyed Trump's term in office...not campaign.

      What happened because people like Somerby were too busy defending the deplorables:

      1. Hundreds of thousands of needless covid deaths, and counting.
      2. Children kept in cages at the border, separated from their families, poor recordkeeping made reuiniting them impossible in some cases.
      3. Looting of public resources.
      4. Trump and his kids bilked the country for millions via scams such as overpriced suites in his hotel, failure to divest, foreign contributions to overseas accounts, Ivanka's Chinese patents, etc.
      5. The 1/6 insurrection and its aftermath.
      6. Failure to act on climate change while Trump fiddled.
      7. Emboldening of the white supremacist and racist right, increases in mass shootings based on race, massive increases in gun ownership.
      8. Russia was helped to take Crimea and invade Ukraine, along with aiding other Russian goals.
      9. There was a recession.
      10. Trump was the worst president ever, by the usual measures.

    2. Clinton gave polling data to Ukrainian operatives.

    3. Clinton sent cases of ointment to Arab sheiks.

      According to New York Magazine.

    4. Trump performed fellatio on Mohammed bin Salman, and big Jared K got a $2,000,000,000 investment. Investigate?

    5. In a world where Ronald Reagan was never born, Trump would be the worst President ever.

  8. "At such times, everyone knows what secret claim is secretly being made."

    This is the way conspiracy believers talks, not the way a serious essayist writes.

  9. Only "half"?

    Did Somerby teach Hillary Statistics?

  10. "In truth, those (white and nonwhite) medical trainees did absolutely nothing wrong. "

    Well, 50% of them did endorse at least one false statement about black physiology, and their subsequent pain ratings were lower for the black target than the white target, suggesting a reason why black patients have so often received less pain medication than white patients (or than the standard of care), as found in many other studies of the undertreatment of black pain, in the pain literature.

    Somerby has never acknowledged that undertreatment of black pain in clinical studies. Drum says no one with a broken limb would have received too little pain treatment in an ER, but that is exactly what has been found in studies. Drum hasn't read that literature, nor has Somerby. But they are confident enough to make incorrect statements about this.

    The goal of the UVa study was to see whether wrong beliefs might contribute to pain undertreatment. They made their case. Somerby pretends they were persecuting med students by calling them racists. That isn't what happened at all. The study suggests the need for explicit teaching about black physiology in med school, to prevent such treatment errors. How can that be controversial?

    Somerby's extreme defensiveness on topics of race is something he should take up with a therapist, not work out in public by supporting Trump and his ilk while denigrating Hillary. Note that Hillary is a twofer for Somerby. She is female and a blue tribe member. But more than that, she is no longer in politics. And I, for one, do not believe that Somerby voted for Hillary. I think he either voted for Trump, wrote in Bernie, or stayed home. Because nothing he has ever said here shows any evidence he would have voted against his ongoing campaign to put Trump into office.


  11. "The unfortunate statement by Candidate Clinton..."

    Meh. Surely, dear Bob, this -- or any other straightforward smear -- is nothing compared to the russiagate affair: a well-coordinated campaign involving the establishment media, highest ranking politicians, social networks, and intelligence services?

    See here, for example:

  12. In August of 2016 Steve Bannon took over direction of the Trump campaign and Kellyanne Conway was promoted to campaign manager.

    Bannon’s confidence that “If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats” became famous only after the election.

    But within hours after Bannon and Conway took over, press accounts reported that “Bannon and Conway have decided to target five states and want ​to devote the campaign’s time and resources to those contests: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It is in those states where they believe Trump’s appeal to working-class and economically frustrated voters has the best chance to resonate.”

    1. Note that Bannon took over after Manafort left.

  13. “The responses of those nonwhite trainees were virtually identical to the responses of the larger group of white trainees—but the study disappeared that fact”

    Somerby is making a factual claim (the responses of the nonwhites were identical to the white trainees), but has provided no evidence for this. Since all of the data from the study is freely available online, surely it behooves Somerby to make use of it to prove his claim here, especially if he is going to cast aspersions on the study.

    And since the data is freely available and the researchers clearly say why they are focusing on the responses of the white medical students, it is obvious that the nonwhite data is not being “disappeared.”

    Finally, since the study was measuring what pain rating and treatment recommendations the med students give for blacks vs whites, it should also be incumbent upon Somerby to tell his readers what the researchers say about the pain ratings given by the nonwhite students to their hypothetical patients.

    LOL. We all know Somerby will not take the trouble of seriously and fairly examining the data and the statistical methods used to derive the results. Even Kevin Drum couldn’t be bothered to do this.

    According to the study, “The GLM is the model reported in the main text.” GLM stands for “generalized linear model”, and includes variables well known to statisticians.

    To make a long story short, here is what the researchers said about the nonwhite results:

    “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).”

    Note that the P value corresponds to this P value:

    “Simple slope analyses revealed that participants who endorsed fewer false beliefs (−1 SD) did not differ in their pain estimates for a black vs. a white target [β = −0.01, SE = 0.05, F(1, 85) = 0.02, P > 0.250]. “

    In other words, the nonwhite med students did not differ in their pain estimates for a black vs. a white target .

    If this is hiding the nonwhite results, I’d sure like to know what Somerby means by “hiding.”

    Bonus homework: What is a p value in statistics? What values for p indicate statistical significance?

    1. Note that in comparison to the nonwhite students, the white students did produce a significant difference, with a p-value less than, not greater than, the level of significance (generally p < .05). The GLM is also know as ANOVA (analysis of variance) and F is the test statistic used to determine whether the results obtained are greater than what might occur by chance.

    2. Babylonian scientists disproved all of this in the late eighties.

    3. what does having a "p value of of p>0.250 or pv><.05 mean? I certainly don't know what these numbers mean, or what they prove. Can you explain in English the amount and degree of difference between how white students who answered any of the questions incorrectly prescirpbed pain meds for black patients and how the non-white residents prescribed pain medication for black patients? I'm not disagreeing with you about what the statistics were, I just don't understand them - please explain (preferably with objectivity) what you are claiming. You also say there was a disparity between the to groups (non-whites and whites who got a question wrong) in prescribing pain medication; Was it a big or small disparity. What percentage of patients, black or white, were underprescribed pain meds?


    4. "What percentage of patients, black or white, were underprescribed pain meds?"

      Meh. There is no such thing as "underprescribed".

      Doctors prescribe meds according to their judgement, trying to "first, do no harm". And that's all there is to it.

    5. This is America. We are all over prescribed pain meds (opioids) by design as our leaders in Washington look the other way. Black people are lucky if they are underprescribed opioids by our corrupt for profit opioid riddled system. The study is garbage produced by and for imbeciles.

    6. Well, AC, that was supposed to be a homework assignment. I assume that if Somerby, and particularly Drum, are going to trash the study, the least they could do is try to understand the statistics and convey that to their readers. That shouldn’t be the job of us idiot commenters with our thumbs on the scales, now should it? Now, I assume you can use Google to look things up? Or you can look in a statistics textbook? Here’s a random url that discusses the p-value:


    7. "We are all over prescribed pain meds (opioids) by design..."

      This might be true (and not just for the opioids), but it's still a matter of opinion. There is no mathematical formula for calculating the exact 'correct' dosage. Otherwise doctors wouldn't be needed.

    8. 1:33 There are WHO standards for prescribing pain medication.

    9. 1:56 a lot of good those did us as the medical community over prescribed opioids to millions resulting in millions of overdoses in the last 2 decades while our government, awash in corporate donations,.looked the other way. Go to hell.

    10. The idiot mh is all sad that more black people are not going to die of an overdose alone and forsaken.

    11. @1:56 PM
      There are probably guidelines; WHO and others. And those guidelines are probably focused on preventing doctors from prescribing too much shit.

    12. 1:53

      Might be true?

      Of course it's true and well.docemted, imbecile.

    13. 2:33 Which mh are you referring to? The impersonator? He IS an idiot.

      One can have a discussion of the merits of prescribing opioids and other narcotics depending upon the patient and the patient’s condition, but that is not a subject raised by Somerby. I have limited my discussion to the study and Somerby’s critique.

    14. Neither the study or Somerby mention WHO standards, idiot.

    15. @3:34:
      From the study, IDIOT:

      “To determine the appropriate treatment for our two specific cases, we provided 10 experienced physicians with both medical cases and asked them to indicate what they would recommend for pain management. The majority of physicians reported that they would prescribe a narcotic (e.g., opiate, oxycodone, tramadol) for both the fracture case (9 of 10 physicians) and the kidney stone case (8 of 10 physicians). Moreover, these physician recommendations align with World Health Organizations (WHO) guidelines for the treatment of acute pain (45)

      Bold is mine.

      3:34: I will say it again: You are the IDIOT, Idiot.

    16. Excuse me, whatever. You're the one who is all upset because blacks are not prescribed enough opioids and are not falling down dead in the street at the same rate as whites. Go ahead, tell us all about how great the study is. How blacks are not prescribed enough opioids, imbecile. Tell us all about how the Washington posts reporter's claim is accurate.

    17. MH (@1:46) - TDH said the responses of whites (who got at least one answer "wrong") and non-whites were "virtually identical." You cite TDH as saying that "the responses of the whites were "identical." He said "virtually identical." There's a difference. Some might say you had your thumbs on the scale on that one. I never studied statistics (except maybe baseball statistics) and I don't have the time or inclination for that now. My question was how significant was the difference between the wrong answering whites and the non-whites - was it significant or trivial? That you didn't answer my question suggests you can't answer it - or if you did, we'd see that TDH is correct on that tangential point. And what about Norris - her characterization of the study is what set this all off. You've continuously avoided addressing the obvious fact that she badly distorts what the study concludes. I'll ask again - please explain the meaning and significance of the statistics you cite, how there really was a meaningful distinction between the "wrong" answering whites and the non-whites.

    18. They are not identical nor virtually identical. How trivial would you think it was if you broke your leg and the doctor left you in pain? Somerby finds that trivial but I bet you would care if it were your pain. And no, Norris didn’t distort the study. She quoted the study accurately, as mh showed. The stats show that the result was not by chance but represented a real difference, as claimed.

      In science, you don’t dismiss a study because you don’t like the results. That is what Somerby & Drum have been doing.

  14. Once again, Somerby provides no link to the PNAS study itself. It is:


    In that paper it says about participants in Study 2:

    "(first years, n = 63; second years, n = 72; third years, n = 59; residents, n = 28)"

    Somerby says:

    "In this instance, the group was a bunch of medical trainees—first- through third-year medical students, plus a relative handful of (fourth-year) medical residents. "

    A medical resident is not a fourth-year medical student. After complating four years of medical school, a graduate applies for an internship elsewhere, at a teaching hospital. This process is call "The Match" and it involves visiting and interviewing at various internship programs.

    A residency is training for a medical specialty. The first year of such a residency is called an internship. At the completion of that first year, an intern becomes a doctor and can practice medicine. At the completion of more years of training during a residency, the resident takes board exams and can be certified in a specialty (psychiatry, cardiology, emergency medicine, critical care, etc.).

    Somerby ignorantly calls the residents (people beyond internship) fourth year medical students. He adds words to the study's description of its participants that are not contained in the study itself (they do not mistakenly call students residents). Why? To make the residents more sympathetic as villains when he implies the researchers consider them racists? That is surely putting his thumb on the scales. Or maybe he just did it out of ignorance, making an assumption that is incorrect. In any case, Somerby does this kind of thing a lot. You have to be careful reading his descriptions, quotes, summaries, because he is often wrong about details. Fairly often, his "mistakes" tend to support his arguments.

    It is easy to make a mistake and not catch it when you are writing about something about which you have no knowledge, background, training, expertise. Somerby knows nothing about this subject of pain treatment, and his criticisms of this study have been mistaken in major ways, not just this simple example of motivated error-making.

    Those of you who blindly follow Somerby's conclusions because you find his reasoning plausible (in the absence of knowledge about research methods, statistics, pain treatment), are making a mistake too. Somerby is wrong, he cannot learn anything better because he doesn't read his comments, and he thinks repetition makes something true. And ask yourself where the motivation to keep writing about this over and over comes from with Somerby. Why does he keep insisting this is just an excuse to call people racist, and what about all those black people who have demonstrably been undertreated for pain, enduring needless suffering? Why does Somerby not care about them?

    1. correction: "sympathetic as villains" should be "sympathetic as victims"

    2. I actually preferred sympathetic villains.

    3. So you’re telling both Drum and Somerby that they are wrong in their reservations based upon their relative ignorance about the mechanics of such studies and the analytics involved.

      Yet they remain skeptical.

      How dare they?

    4. Their skepticism is not based on an understanding of the statistics. They dismiss or ignore it. I welcome skepticism, but not ignorant skepticism.

    5. What would informed skepticism look like? What would those skeptics offer that would be arguable?

    6. "What would informed skepticism look like?"

      One American writer (hated by liberals, unsurprisingly) expressed it this way: "lies, damned lies, and statistics"...

    7. Informed skepticism would include understanding the statistical methodology used in a research study, say, the “ generalized linear model”, rather than claiming, as Drum did, that the study included weird or unclear statistics. Anyone can be skeptical of anything, but that doesn’t render all skepticism equally valid. Being skeptical that the earth is round based on thousand year old assumptions and misconceptions is ignorant. For example.

    8. mh - how do the statistics refute the skepticism of TDH, Drum and others' here, including me. All I hear you saying is that we don't understand statistics. how do the statistics refute the apparent meaninglessness of the study? After all, the study contains a lot of text in the English language. Is it your view that no skepticism about this study is warranted?

    9. The study is not meaningless. It demonstrated what it claimed. The stats show that. Skepticism requires evidence, not specious ignorant statements by Somerby & Drum that ignore the findings.

  15. 2016 showed that mass citizen involvement can dramatically reshape politics, but it also highlights the essential point of the investment approach to politics, which is the enormous advantages elites retain in political action even as political systems collapse.

    1. mass citizen involvement is essential to politics and not a new phenomenon, millions vote every election

      someone is posting random quotes from other sources again:


    2. This type of “bothsidesism” is a tool of the trade for Democrats who use the pretenses of bipartisanship and incrementalism to avoid action on climate devastation, student debt, stagnant wages, and other pressing issues that have nothing to do with Russia.

    3. I love licking Trump’s ass. Literally.

    4. Me for Putin!

    5. Somerby continues to discuss and fail to debunk an 8 year old study about racial bias in pain treatment. At least a dozen posts. No mention of economics, climate change, or the sellout corporate Democrats. In fact, he supports centrism and incrementalism and bipartisanship. Try to stay on topic “flip child” and fake mh.

    6. I'm the real mh, jerk.

    7. Sure. Sure. Then why did you just post as anonymous? Where is your clickable blogger id (the green nym)?

    8. I don't commingle with degenerates.

    9. In January 2019, a Gallup poll indicated that Pelosi has a favorable rating of 38% and an unfavorable rating of 48%, bringing her net rating to -10 points.

  16. Oh boy. I see Somerby is going to try to sell us on the ridiculous idea that there could possibly be a liberal who is more condescending to a Republican voter than Republican politicians are. Good luck with that one, Bobby.

  17. When a low approval rating Clinton or Gore would surface, once upon a time, Bob would say, “yeah, how did that happen?” Those were the days when Bob was serious about writing on the political press. Yes Virginia, there was such a time.
    Oh course, the exact manor of twisted creep Hillary Clinton was talking about has now defaced our Capitol, killed a cop and disfigured others. There sponsors still hold high places in the Congress and Senate.,Bob has no interest in this. Bob didn’t find Jan 6th deplorable, it’s fair speculation now that he supported it.
    Also, for five years it’s Trump that has been screaming “racist !” at his foes. Bob has yet to take notice. Somerby may now be the king of the reverse racism cranks.

  18. And, for the record, the Norris comment must now qualify as Bob’s all time dead horse beating victim. He may just be getting old, when some people start repeating the tripe ( especially on race) that they once outgrew.

  19. His posts have always been lethally repetitive and overblown.