James B. Meigs joins the podcast today to discuss the news that the FDA and CDC have "paused" the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and what it might mean. We also discuss infrastructure bills and polling misses. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the Commentary magazine Daily Podcast, these Tuesday April thirteen, twenty twenty one I am drawn by boards. The editor of Commentary magazine with me is always executive. Editor, everyone high Abe, her job. Socio editor nor Rossman high on our agenda and joy. today in the state of the absent Christine Rosen, we have commentary tech columnist, James, be mags high, Jim, I great to be here. We did not planet this way, but one of your signature issues that have been raised,
for the magazine on an almost monthly basis, the ins and outs of everything that you write about, which is let's all it miss estimation of risk as it is, general governed rule that is making life harder in America and every pass due to institutions and authorities, warning us about things that They don't need to warn us about or Miss estimating risk their own case. We have a huge example of it today based on. Obviously not of us is either a doktor or an epidemiologist, but but we are rational thinking, creature, who can read numbers the way anybody else can remembers. Even if we got six, tens are S. Eighty mass, not mentioning any of my own names which who had she is that the
pvc and one other agency, I'm sorry camera the FDA you have to end. The CDC have announced that a pause in the vaccinations with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which by the way, is a different kind of vaccine. from Pfizer Medina Pfizer Madonna are these am RNA, vaccines and Johnson. Answer as a more conventional vaccine that gives you a tiny bit of the disease in order to stimulate the anti body production. That's like a classic vaccine. Actually, the act is not exactly a classic backs. Ok, it's a but it's in the vaccine. It's it's go ahead. I'm sorry! It's a different platforms.
dna. Instead of RNA, it puts the dna and a kind of deactivated virus, but not it's not a deactivated corona virus. It's more like a book of a common cold virus. At any rate that right virus can hurt you, but it gets the dna into your into your cell and because DNA is alot, sturdier then they are in a it's a lot easier to store this this vaccine and it's got the advantage that it works with just one dose, right, but anyway, so that these are two different types of vaccine so used I told you, I'm not a scientist amount doctrine amount epidemiologists. They already got something wrong and would only doing this for three minutes. But what I do know is that they announced this pause. They they haven't said how long the pauses it follows
Similar concerns pauses and things in Europe with the Johnson Johnson vaccine and asked for senator, but an Johnson Johnson. Now am I wrong Am I wrong again? I don't I don't know Sazen Johnson's approved on the continent, but ashes echoes the one, Give this a very similar thing was a blood clots concern in leaving me view presented to the population and they parted. The european regulators halted. The distribution this vaccine and, as a result, the continent's vaccination rates are rubble right? Well, so let's get to the actual wrong number, because now I think I'm gonna be able to speak this sentence without making a mistake by you never know a good you're. Looking because a good happen, I believe there are been sick point, eight million vaccinations and the United States
Johnson Johnson Vaccinations in the United States and of those six point, eight million cases six have come. There are cases of six women probably all women between the ages of eighteen and forty eight. I believe who have come and with serious blood clotting, six out of six point: eight million, so I our friend David Bonds, in one of our advertisers Ross, our friend calculated the number. I wouldn T trust myself to calculate the number of what what that means. If you are six out of six point, eight million
would be, and let me find it all on point: zero. Zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, eight eight- and for this we are pausing The necessary effort to vaccinate in a one third of the vaccination possibilities in the United States, For this obviously slightly our crossed vaccine that has been you know but was was miss some was made. idly in Baltimore and by a company that was contracted to make it all of that Jim. He had not a good work to me about this, not a good week, Fur Johnson and Johnson for sure, especially after that fiasco at the Baltimore facility, which they wasn't their father, but it was their sub contractor
but you know at first when I saw this, he looked like a classic case of what I call the precautionary paradox, where very safety conscious age they, like the FDA, will stretch, They apply some safety standard. In a way that prevents them from doing something that would actually Save many many lives, so you know it's as if, when there were few incidents with airbags. loading and an injury and even a few cases, people in the early years of airbags, zippered said while airbags dont work, and we should just pull. You know not use them in cars. It looks a little bit like that. Looks a lot that, but I wanna actually give them a little bit more credit. This morning, Scott got leave the former head of the FDA at whose someday, I think is of good balance perspective on this was on CNBC, and he pointed out that, for
help agency six severe cases of of a rare disease. My a little bit of a canary in the coal mine they, they might be thinking that their missing a lot of less serious cases and in order to to occur the data and see what's going on they they may, this decision to pause the vaccine, and his argument was that, because we have the Pfizer matter, vaccines are going gangbusters, the supplies increasing the rates of vaccination, are going very, very well it chain Is there a risk, their their risk analysis? If this this it I'm up in January and change. It was the only vaccine. It would be absurd to to stop it. Based on these tat handful of cases, but he was giving them a little bit of credit for four for taking this break too
you're out. What's going on with this with these cases, and I'm I'm still lean towards saying this is a case of precautionary paradox. But, but maybe one is all the more nuanced than it appears at first there. there's another risk that I think we should look at when An agency makes a move like this, even though it might make sense in terms of epic, in reality in and how you research the roll out of a major vaccine like as there is one other resident there. Maybe they're not taken into account and not an that's public trust. You know the public has been so whip sod by contradictory statements in all kinds of infusion from from the CDC, especially over the over them. I was gonna, say months now it's more than a year and something you ve talked about on the I'd caslon I've written about it a lot, so just one more thing that gives people this senseless,
who the hell knows now they don't even know if the vaccines or say the public doesn't always make these fine distinctions. one kind of vaccine in another so. I worry that the cumulative harm from this will be greater than the information obtained by given that that we do have these other vaccines are going very well. It's made this isn't quite the the bone headed move that that it. It first affairs I your ear to summarize you're saying that doctor got leave and other public health officials are calling for a common, it shut down a vaccinations until we figure out what the hell is going on. Well right, we I mean
put it that way. Well, it's a pause, writes a pause. It's not a complete! So damn it's a pause. We don't know what the word pause means. I do know that, for example, it Skidmore College the minute the day issued this skidmore was some had been given doses to give two kids and they are not giving the Johnson Johnson vaccine to kids. It's get more they're going to give them Pfizer, Madeira, which sounds great, except that you know it's like MID April, and so I will, even though one school ends in you now, it's like. Obviously, the windows system is much better for a transition population, because you don't have to come back to the same place, three or four weeks later to get the second dose it. It's an interest
the problem, because I I say another one who get geography your colleges Michigan is: is this the epicenter of this profound surge governor? Witness? then requesting additional vaccine distribution to restate. She was summarily rebuffed according to CNN rebuffed by the the binding ministries by some miracle. She managed to secure a hundred and sixty thousand doses of this vaccine that was going to be distributed to college. Universities, because that twenty to twenty nine each group has expired, The rise in case rates from between now and the end of February, nineteenth to the tune of four hundred and fifteen percent. Real big increase in colleges and now they're not gonna, be distributing this they're not gonna, be blunting the impact of this sort of thing and just for context, taken how many Americans experience serious blood clots according to the CDC over the course of a year off. Hundreds of thousands like three hundred nine hundred thousand people
we're talking now about a literally one in a million risk. Okay. So a doctor friend of mine, as I was raging in our private chat group about this and was defending the CDC in FDA, puts it like this to serve defend gems point and Scott colleagues point see. If you can follow this, the number is statistically meaningless, meaning the idea that you would do it based on statistics, if, if If the risk factors point o o o o o o eight eight, but it is not clinically meaningless, it is a true distinct clinical and to be related to the vaccine with no base line in the general population. Young people get dvds, they dont randomly get auto immune, platelet complexes. the large themselves in the coniferous highness
cavern aside, so it is not like the increased risk- is two percent over that of the general population. The increased risk is info. at times the baseline recipes of the baseline risk is zero and suddenly there are in our six cases, that's the canary in the coal mine you're, looking at it at a population standpoint and not an individual standpoint, that's the that's the defeat incentives, and it is an important one and I don't want to be. You know like wildly dismissive of this do, however, want to talk about the general macro, verses, micro and a public emergencies and in emergencies, This is just as you relax standards for things like the clinical
period in which the vaccinations are being conducted on which a vaccine is being tested in over the long term. Remember we are not in a position in which any vaccination in the United States has been authorized based on rigorous what multi year. Principles of study right. This is urgency use other use authorization these: are emergencies authorization rules that Sir We are suspending certain elements of what we would do and our most rigorous, because as the need outweighs the the caution. Instead, this morning the FDA Cdc set out of an abundance of caution. We are putting this pause on right. Ok, here's the tricky part! If I could just.
An abundance of caution is, it is the mistaken approach here that I think, ultimately, what does the four of us would agree the abundance of caution potentially riggers all of the anxieties about getting the vaccine that we are terrified are going to interfere with or an compromise are reaching heard of him Do I have that right, Abe yeah? I figured that that's stuff right. And I saw a lot anomaly that I take an abundance of caution has been responsible for the idea. The framing the framework of an abundance of caution has been responsible for a number of bad decisions. Since the start of this right having to do with. School closures, primarily from the start and and other things. I mean
So my concern here is that I take, I mean I think we have done a very fair job of providing some of the some of the defense for that for the paws here. But my question is: If it is found that the risk is and remains of the blood clots with Jane J vaccine, it remains the point, although zeros eight percent do, does Do we resume vaccinating with Jane, Jane the same rate Is that deemed itself do it in an abundance of caution. Do we then serve you know, but the cab? I Shan T J, J Vaccine there may be a middle path here, which is to do enough research to figure out who is the at risk nation. For this, what kind of alarming about these very small number of cases as job as your doktor friend note? This isn't just a case of deep
ain't thrombosis? You know in the legs, which is very calm and especially people get a low but older. This is a different phenomena, tends to strike it with all the These are women, answer then the young, the youngest, was eighteen. So it's something that might be targeting a certain group of people. If we carve, though, out and say: ok, we're gonna, recommend J J for people over sixty or r, R r, just for man or something else like that to allow it doesnt still to be used, but protect that population that might have an elevator this admittedly rare but potentially serious side effect but Jim, as you said earlier, and if I take your logic to its conclusion that this announcement, this extreme precaution will justify. The fears and
action in the minds of vaccine, hesitant people that they should just abstain. Entirely from vaccination altogether, Johnson, Johnson or any of the others. For that matter, that damage cannot. The undone we cannot simply the switch and say our. We research data bunch, and now it's ok. this is only going to reinforce a preacher preconception conclusion that they ve already reached in their minds that they're not going to get this thing, and we are rapidly approaching the demand wall rapidly. We already have in my state in places like Essex County, which is the whole Newark, and the surrounding metro, A lot of unfilled appointments, alot of vacancies. Now that didn't you weren't there While it up a hundred and twenty million people in this country have gotten the first those and that's gonna slow very rapidly, because the public health community is one of the biggest frustrations and political communities. They perceived themselves to be capable of manipulating public opinion,
people to do whatever it is. They think they should do, and people are much more complex than that. and if they have this idea, you know in their heads that they can get this failed What club as a result of this vaccine, it's only when a reinforced the perception in their minds that their better off on vaccinated and you can- you can manipulate that out of people. Well, you you ok, so I think the problem is not the manipulation it is that it is. It is that a certain type of bureaucratic rubber is meeting, sir. Above all of the international crisis road. The robber is that the FDA, the CDC, have ways of doing things and they have been compelled I circumstance and of an emergency, to loosen some of their policies and things
This is a long, hard decades long argument about this in relation to medicines dating back to the nineteen eighty. This was a cause celeb by the Wall Street Journal editorial page about how the FDA, in particular, was a roadblock to last, ditch last chance efforts that people Nina where willingness to try experimental therapies because they had no cause. They were, you know they were there. We're gonna die other wise and the do they not Anna we're just not ready to get get I'll. Give you that give me that drugs, or something like that and and this regulate this regulatory in somewhat sense, say that part of the regulatory free, z that overtook the United States, beginning in the early nineties, sixties, begins and ends with this. That is, there was this wild.
wild enthusiasm about the magic of modern medicine in the thirties, fortys and fifty that culminated in the international heroism and celebration of Jonas Salk for the for the development of the pole, YO vaccine, you know which made him you know like he was like forty times ten. I mean he was a. He was a worship, garlanded figure. He had saved untold millions of people from this horrible debilitating lifelong condition. With this stuff you put on the top of a sugar Cuban, just put memory, kids mouth. and then in the late fifties, early sixties, british company. You know the drug company developed and anti nausea medication for pregnant women, particularly called thalidomide and gave it and it was not approved for use the United States.
society women flew from the United States to London to get themselves the little my because they had crippling and horrible morning sickness, and then they gave birth to deformed babies by this, thousands and they thalidomide crisis scandal catastrophe tragedy led to this incredible tightening of what was what will work completely reasonable restrictions And time sensitive things on these toxic bruise of chemicals that were being developed to try to help help your people and then the bureaucrats. necessity sets in which is like or work in a word. The orthe orthodoxies always do this, which is if its tight, that's good. Let's make a tighter, let's make attire stood still make it even even tighter. This is the first time, except for this is the first time in my lifetime that you
I've seen a world in which people in which the general consensus has been shot up. Stop with you're Enounce stop with it. You know get this to market as fast as possible, because the consequences are so dire and in my sense of this is almost like. A kind of think it's unconscious, a kind of don't tell us that what we ve been the way we ve been doing things. The last forty years is wrong. Look six people got blood clots. You know we did this all too fast. We better be careful. Let's pullback, yes- you're right, Jim, that there are these other vaccine, so it so. It looks like it's cost free, but I think you have to look at this in them in this kind of historical context and then say will what exactly is going on at the FDA Cdc that makes them
I think that this is a virtuous thing to do, rather than something that they should be doing under great under a sense of great resistance were, or that in other doing something that they tragically have to do. That might have these consequences because they have no other choice. That doesn't seem to be. Why they're doing it? That's what the abundance of caution phrase there is the give away for their doing,
because they can and because all things being equal they're not really happy that they have been taken down this incautious path by the pandemic. So one thing that's very hard for me as a journalist, and I think hard for all of us is to use the three words I don't know, and I think this might be a case where, as much as we all follow this really closely- and I think are- I think- the idea that the harm of this will be much much greater than the risks. We just don't know that much yet and I feel that its the best we can do is gather more context. Context, try to figure out what's going on and on and hope this was right decision, I'm leaning against that view, but but we it's very early to now and theirs.
One other factor that I think might lend some credence to your thought, John, that there is a kind of up a little. subject? So this is the fact that was all women patients who came down with this Dish- and you know it's been a on article faith among many but on the left- that medicine systematically ignores the prom, women and minorities. It did you know that things tested on man and manner that are considered kind of the default human. There was a lot of truth in that at at one time I think they're its Much much less true now, when they looked at the political risk they might face or the blow back they might face? If, if something when more broadly wrong with the J J vaccine is just possible that did that this, this odd fat
It seems to only be affecting women might elevate that risk that here we go. The federal officials dont care about women, and they were especially worried about that particular problem. But again we just don't No, yes, I really think we need Europe. We need to pull together a little more information, but it does looked to me like an example of this precautionary paradox. I like to talk about. Ok, look. This is very stressful conversations and give me a lot of stress- and wouldn't it be great if there were pocket sized, guided, helped you kind of sleep focus, act, be better less dressed. All of that there is, and if you have ten minutes head space can change your life. It's the daily doses mindfulness in the form of guided meditations and uneasy use up one of the only meditation apps advancing. They feel the mindless and meditation through clinically validated research. So whatever the situation had space,
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That would just about it the abundance of caution and and the meaning of halting the change, that concerns me in a very broad sense. I feel as if, during the pandemic we ve lost. by we, I mean sure of everyone have lost our sense of acceptable risk. We no longer, remember what that felt like prepared in the world. The kind of every day risks that that would be Intel by doing everyday things, and taking medications and- and you know venturing out into the world, and this I fear, advances that distortion this this. This continues us down that road.
of contrary to the idea that this is an emergency with em, we ve got a sort of you know we gotta take on extra red risk, perhaps for the great for a greater good, it's more like we were getting, down to a genuine sense of we eight zero risk and all things took two to proceed I think, that an important point and- and I'm gonna give you another example of. News that is not being stress because we are stressing should news that increases the risk, fears and now as a study came out last night that says that people infected with the more contagious corona virus variant. First identify them, Thanking them. That's the b one one seven did
I've experienced more severe symptoms and were not at higher risk of death. According to an according to this new study, this is aim wildly important thing: it's sample threeam forty, one patience. You know I again, I'm not gonna go into the details, guess I'll get them wrong and I don't really understand but clearly when we were told that there was a new variant that was spreading like wildfire and it was so dangerous and we were on. We were on this collision course we needed to get people vaccinated because it was gonna spread like one fire, the thing about variances they can come in two or three different kinds right. They can come in its much more virulent and much more dangerous. It can be its weaker were haven it's there, but its weaker. It's not as powerful. It's not as if that doesn't effective as much and it may be breaks down more quickly or Tibet. The same
so apparently be one one, seven it's about the same, and if it's about the same ok, Jim you're, gonna yeah, so the studies interesting you gotta put in contacts with. Other studies. There was one in in nature. They found a sixty one percent increase in the risk of death in population. Another study also showed some increased risk. So again, this maybe one of those things where we're at an early phase, where we don't we still, no much. I totally agree that the press as its tendency to jump on every piece of bad, is and not put it in context with good news or or anything else. That would help us understand it all of it better, but what's intriguing mothers variant Is patients do seem to have a higher viral load, even if their symptoms aren't noticed worse, which might indicate reason. It does seem to be more transparent.
well. I mean the very fact that is now the dominant strain in the. U S is well shows it. You that is highly transmissible it won out over, You know other strains that had already passed through the population. so a virus yet more dangerous, even if it gave, even if it's less lease lethal, Beckett's accommodative MRS evolve. They become less lethal because that's good for them irish people are walking around in an interactive more with other people, so the virus has more opportunities to spread and if it just kills you off in three days and that's not going to be a very effective virus, parapet damn it out and what's been so scary, about cove. It is this kind of delayed onset where the viral load seems to be climbing and people and then you know, they're they're they're spreading it when there a symptomatic or are, I think, most likely just pre symptomatic? You know that day or so before the symptoms really kick in and that
is part of what the genius of you know the perverse genius of covert nineteen is. Is this this ability to in certain people? You know the parties super spreader advance? B B, one seventeen does sound like it might be worse. In that regard, the fact that isn't that a study shows it's not. Loudly more lethal is is, is really promising, but I do think that, while up the variant news was hyped, the way every hit home negative stories hyper somewhat, it does mean we have to keep the pressure. trying to get people vaccinate as fast as possible, but this is. This is just a driving the absolutely out of my mind. These people now personnel think There is absolutely nothing wrong with what happened here that there's gonna be no impact, just science,
the White House has covered nineteen response today says look. This is not going to have any impact on their backs. Nation plan Johnson Johnson makes up only five percent of reported shots in the United States with the Iraqi. I add the word the radically have fly already established Pfizer Madeira to those three hundred million Americans. forget the demand wall, which they don't even any idea what to do about so they pretended doesn't exist. Where are you? How do you explain? The demand will not, because I am out of people who want to get the vaccine, assuming you don't handcuff them in drag them into a mass vaccination site. They have to aim emulate themselves over their meander into the boy entered into the place in and get the shot and come back two weeks later and get another shot. This is all voluntary, there's only much inducements. You can use to get my people into these places, and this is something that you have to educate people on an eighth and they were they seem to have knowledge it. They talk It is though, it's a problem. The trumpeters need angelic goals as
Oh, it's, not something that highly educated well informed. Affluent people are desperately trying to find any information they can to avoid getting these shots. They hang Every word in the press that negative. They talked How about it? They try to get me to convince them to do it like it's their blankets. My problem, and now we're talking about approving this vaccine for children just twelve and fifteen. Good luck! Good luck! Getting them done unless you have schools which literally won't allow you in the building, unless your child is vaccinated, which guarantee was forthcoming, the notion that you're gonna have these parents who experience second shot, and it was the troubling experience for them, it was twenty four hours of pain. The mild flu, but is an ordeal and you're telling them to do to their children, now with the looming potential threat of profound complication the risk that that might be risky in about the severe lifelong complications or even death. According to the FDA, one of these boycotts was fatal. now, you're talking about reinforcing
this idea and the public. explanation is, is perhaps risk here then getting the virus, especially for children and minors, especially people under the age of eighteen point for us, who all they got all these inform people fire hang on these reports and know that children who got the virus recover almost all of them. Ok, so Jim, take off take off your attack, columnists tat and but on your media veteran had you were a top editor at several magazines and magazines and denounce the golden age of time ink and all that and what let's talk a little bit about That that the way in which people who have to make these decisions about what you're
what you're gonna shine the biggest spotlight on board. The classic thing is page one real estate. That's what people used to refer to what's on page one? Does it deserved to be on page on? What's on page one that obviously doesn't really counting in war, but so the spotlight is pandemic and there is for There is news on Sunday that four point, six million doses were delivered where at as those we're in a third of Americans. I think, having been gotten at least one shot and twenty percent now fully vaccinated and obviously in just by the end of April. That means that at least a third of Americans will be fully vaccinated, if not considerably higher number than that and.
News that the variants may not be is frightening, as we thought it was in all of this, and then you have the FDA, CDC, say: paws on Johnson Johns, or their or that the other thing, and what is it about this aside from if it bleeds leads? What is it that leads and editor a series of editors are the hive mind of the mainstream media to want to say? Oh, my God, this is terrifying as opposed to everybody join, I mean it's a kind of Vienna World WAR to propaganda thing. Maybe when everybody joint know everybody bring in your bring in your rum, your steel, Will you now you're aluminum whenever its right we're having a scrap metal drive, so we can help them build that build the beef fifty two bomber, whatever it is? What why. Why is it that we are sitting here saying
everyone's gonna get vaccinate. There seems to be a general idea that everyone needs to get vaccinated and the news seems to retard seems to be in opposition to this goal. Because of the stress of this, the ways in which the news stressed yap. There are layers to this. You know when you asked me to write this column, one of the first things I want the first ones I did what about why the media is bad at science, and so your most basic problem is the questions like what is the contact? What is the baseline? What is the actual wrist in perspective? Those are questions. A journalist just aren't very inclined to to ask themselves out, especially once it don't cover this as a regular, be there's plenty of great journalism on co bed but attends to come from very experienced science journalists. And not you know your regular reporters.
you also have that, if it bleeds leads bias, always in journalism that the the outlier, the bad news, the the exciting dramatic news, is, is naturally you know nobody, nobody, nobody an about the plane. They didn't crash and eh. Then you there's Probably in the blast, generation too, to a growing as in the media that it is on a kind, moral mission to fight for under dog, to expose corruption, among elites institutions, its funding as media, is what are the ultimate elite, institutions in our society? But this idea that work in x Oh, why you know the people in charge, don't care about? parents are poor, people are, minorities are whoever, so there is a little bit of that built in to say two covering, like you know,
any story where officials did something and then it turned out to have a bad side effect. So so, therefore, it's our job to help protect those who now these innocent people from this thoughtless. whether its corporation yeah, especially evident, involves big Pharma day. These. You know this heartless capitalistic organizations that are sending out potentially dangerous vaccines. But then there is a final factors that new or really in the last fifteen years, and it in it relates but you were saying Noah that there's a huge population of concern, news consumers who are devouring this stuff, because it now stories that get elevated, not just some editors decision to put something on page one It's a feedback loop and saw the stories that are getting share that are getting clicks. Those are the stories that are making money. the media organisations reporter are being rewarded for it.
generating those headlines. So a story that might be reported with some new want some balance, maybe a little more boring less likely You angry and immediately share with all your friends on Facebook. Those stories tend to fall back end and the stories are there framing of the story that puts it in the most negative. Scary. Dramatic framing those, are the things they d get shared. So there is, there is pressure from both sides to make our journalism worse. It, sir, this is this, is one of the first occasions on which I see this wild cognitive dissonance in the way we people think about us and again, you say, media the ultimate elites and they are in own vastly more likely to get a leap. Colleges led institute
you do private school in a complete reversal of the way the media was two or three generations ago. When often this was it was an exactly a working class job, but I'm people- people were you know NASA got a college sure like STAR reporters and things like that, and so it is accurate axiomatic that the The way out of this is mitigation efforts and vaccination, and yet we have a narrative that has been developed over the course of the year that militate against mitigation efforts, and back solution. It seems to be inadvertent and it goes to serve appoints a nose when making sense of the area the pandemic about how? If you tell if you tell people that they have to live in DRC, Coney and walk downs
there was a you at some point or other they they will. They will resist being told anything by you, because you're making you are telling them that their light, the way they live is and is not insupportable will kill other people and all of that just. They know her in their marrow that that there's something wrong with that lesson. So it's we're it's a weird Burma because, as I say you have these kind of like you have these, these things are in conflict. and their not being supported because a frolic, I'm saying should ignore one thing over the other. Again, it's a question of what you shine the spotlight on what is what is the? What does the overarching news direction that you're trying to and one of the issues here and no it's one that you you ve really drill down on. Is they don't trust the public? They health officials, don't trust the public media, doesn't trust the public so, and you see this in all kinds of stories,
de they're afraid that if they tell whose actually committee these acts of violence against asian Americans. Then it's gonna there's got to be some huge races back from the huge majority of closet k, K, K, people that they just know are out there waiting to be activated. You know if they it. They say Well, you know xyz your outside. There is really no evidence that this that there's much risk there. So it's probably ok to go to the beach and only healthy, in fact to get out of the park. No, no. They can't say that because it they say they get people little bit a permit and then everybody goes Hog wild so better to exaggerate the rest better. To be more, can Urban fancied basically admitted this on a number of occasions that he basically you know. You are very clearly here that Jim very generous with butter reinforcing the mutual admiration society here, your piece son, the the at how a lead,
Miss judge. The public's response to emergencies is when we read is constantly on the show, and it is the definitive take on that one. see from public health effects Those like doktor factory, who admits that infringes data. to make you do things he thinks you should do I just I just want to say we were sitting in your office yesterday. Yes, we're in the office both vaccinate about, but I've been in the office for months anyway. where's in your office, looking state by state and risks, and you know what that what are one on earth is going on in Michigan? How can we understand what's going on in Michigan all this, and so we click on Texas right. Texas, a month ago, Texas, lower you don't got rid of all its mandate right. Also, why mandates lifted Fouche yelled about People were like. Ah here comes all this disco. Look at the Texas Chart anybody
now go go and look at the text to chart. The numbers are collapsing in case load and deaths in Texas. Now it It almost beggars reason because all everywhere else. If you look at this chart, there's this kind of blip upward over the last two weeks, its mirrored in almost every state, except for five or six of which one is Texas, wise is happening, Texas, the three magic words we don't know found. She was working forced to say I'm morning Joe they we didn't understand why this was happening in Texas. That was ten. is ago, and it still happening in taxes and so on in those? So that was what was about to say this actually did during the third one did, The story has advanced since Jim's, definitive take on elite panic and the the the inclination of public health
officials and others to serve, treat the public response to crisis, as bigger crisis, then the sort of activating crisis itself its advanced in that we see foremost in the case of taxes, that the public health bureaucracy and the present others, they don't even change that approach. After the real world evidence, is it right what taxes shows its truth? We don't know exactly what, while the their cases, having skyrocketed as predicted by these suppose, it neanderthal move to to get rid of mass mandates in and open up stores, but I think it's a pretty good guess that What's happening, there is that people, given the choice, are actually being overwhelmingly responsible and now going Willy nilly into huge,
door, crowds without masks- and you know licking each other do whatever that that there are in fact you hope, wearing masks, because they they see the sense in it. They just don't need the government forcing them to do so, but that has that it will. In fact, you can acknowledge in each individual case that yet it it seems that the the horror that he predicted was was it can happen, but it doesnt changes the larger thinking at all Right now guys were Jim, is our tat columnist and I'm guessing. I'm not going to put him on the spot, I'm guessing dead. He uses of european because every sensible person knows that they're trying to sell your data, big tat, come these are selling your data to each other? Data brokers are collecting your data using your clicks and the sites. You visit knowledge that and
selling things about you that you may not want other people too now, and even if you, mind them, knowing it still creepy that they do now and there are high of them out there. This is what they do: and they don't have to tell you who selling it too, or get your consent the all they do is collect your ip address and they harvest the information on it and they had done a fire. You, your location and everything that you do I use expressly p M, which rule out my connections are encrypted server masks. My idea ip address, uses, grandam IP address shared by other express european users and therefore its very hard for these companies to collect and harvest. My dad and it's so easy to use, no matter what device a man from laptop or smart tv, all you gotta do is tat one button to get protected, bikes recipe, and so, if you believe or data, is your business,
your self of them are more readily VP. I'm on the market visit Express VP and dot com. Slashed commentary and get three extra months were free. That's Ex Pierre S, Vp M dotcom slashed commentary go to a recipe amber, come slash, commentary tools. Earn more. I wanted to move on to a two hour to an old twenty twenty hysterical bugbear topic stuff is go interesting that is going on in the world. Of polling, which is another science, tat, pseudoscience topic that drives everybody crazy, because it looks like sign. send it acts like science and then every election cycle, we, it becomes totally clear that its soothsaying lottery so saying and magic and there's a lot of lying going on and a lot of bad data are being collected and all of that and we, a new story today following
Q, the research center, which does not do like horse race polling on you know, who's going to be President who's going to be senator all that, but collects a lot of data about Americans and their habits behaviors and in the course of that, during the lecture will ask you what you we're in about four they found systematically once again as they hadn't twenty. Sixteen, a mass, under counting of Republicans republican voters and the issues and concerns that concern Republicans. Ah, you may not think that its massive, if I say that it's two percent, but two percent in in a two percent at a systematic skill of two percent in a survey like that, is very significant, because there is a margin of error
statistically, it's a pretty serious thing, and we get news today this morning and politico that five democratic Pauling firms have come together to acknowledge that they screwed up in twenty twenty that they systematically overestimated the democratic electorate. underestimated the republican electorate and lead to this. Arable shock, the Democrats and all of us, I think experienced at the at the results in a house where Republicans gained fifteen seats instead of losing seats and in an election? The presidential level that was closer than any pulling had it being added this also Senate races, where we were told that the race in South Carolina was within three and it was thirteen in that
Susan Collins might lose and she won by nine Joanie Ernst, one by nine in Iowa race that was supposedly tied except in the last parliament last week, They don't know what happened in there. They ve upon their. Essentially, they issued a kind of Sorry, we're gonna, do better we're gonna come up with ways to do better, Jim once again you as our resident number, had what are you? What are you make this? A first of all. Can we just acknowledged this is just funny. I mean if you ve got all these experts are highly paid. They generate all all of these these predictions, all these halls, and then we have an entire industry of pundits to discuss it and it turns out to be based on cotton. Candy ass. You know you very rarely get what just happened. You very rarely get them to come back with a oops. We really did screw up
and you almost never get the Pandit to say. Why did we listen to these guys? So I think that's the first thing that we need to acknowledge and this kind of of sort of Oracle Bone black boy. ex prognostication. I think it's always helpful to go back to the great screenwriter, William Goldman, who wrote books, Cassidy in the Sundance cared and the princess bride, lots of others He always had a saying about all the people who think they can predict which movies going to be hits it he said. Nobody knows anything, that's kind of in my mind but for a lot of things that involve big groups of experts with self reinforcing opinions. I dont think the world's gonna be a worse place if we admit that you, don't know that much what what boaters think are they even the voters, don't know what that much of what they think when somebody calls him on the phone. You know that What is messy and people are complicated, and so maybe that's good,
we don't need to know exactly what you gotta turn out two months ahead, do mean what what why bother so I'm I find this amusing and not very concerning I on it Jim, I missed a good one and only a minor, remembering maybe you guys can help me died tat right after the twenty twenty elections I have. This. Does recollection that the Pandit autocracy, the commentary it all was really certain that their no significant polling error in the twenty twenty as rightly rain, and I remember people saying that that there wasn't anything, maybe a loser lobby here and there, but it wasn't any significant systemic error now made silver said. There was no significance, dynamic era got angry on this podcast and other things about people's
there was and then slowly acknowledge that there was- and he is not here now by four gave you first of all part of that happened, because if you'll remember it took a week or more for the size of the republican bounce back in the house to become clear because of slow, counting and California weird ways in which California has account it's ballots, and all of that, so this fifteen seed gain was not clear. Wednesday or Thursday afterwards right. So that was one thing and then, of course, is holding was mass by the fact that yet Biden, one So he one and so what's the big deal they predicted the winner and everybody predicted the winner. The fact that they predicted II would win a margin, double the margin that he won by or that key would win in states that he lost or that
He would win so narrowly in a couple of states that he one that it gave Trump room to create this false narrative about the election being star. When from him, so that no line in its in this story about the five pollsters in all the five democratic pollsters it Maybe it's all just trump like, as long as the elections don't involve trumped twenty eighteen polling was good and the special election pulling in Georgia after the election was good and all this it's just that Trump brings people out to the poles who just don't respond and what gonna. Do if they're, not in the surveys. How are you then reflect that there was that guy, whose name? I can remember that weird fake pollster Trafalgar right. Who basically said I have a good memory raising system and apparently a system was just add five points to whatever no trot trump had or something, and so he had Trump winning whatever. But I you know
one way of doing it, you just say: ok, trumps in the re, so systematically just add. Five points was tall. Maybe that's as could as any other way that you might do it but they're, so does need arouse our brief points. It turned out to be five points right, so that their hope, their hope is that their trump represents a weird x factor that he brought out the lowest of low propensity voters who came out about only for him didn't vote Republicans and twenty eighteen did. Vote in the Georgia specials and probably won't be there to vote and twenty twenty two. So this idea that there's gonna be a classic mid term waved Republicans, maybe that's why it happened happen, so they are already creating a happy talk. Narrative. This is a weird democratic thing. it happens, and I don't really understand it because as it as a Jew, I always expect catastrophe, but as long as I have known and been friendly with Democrats and all this day,
our meal, your wrist about their chances, always in a really weird way I always think they're gonna win because they don't know anybody who disagrees with them. They ve never met anybody. What they see them on tv and they all looked like their walking around with confederate flags and spitting tobacco into a can, and so they have no idea that these bull exist and live next door to them, and so they have no idea that people think differently from that, but it is a thirty year periods? In my experience, the Democrats are shocked constantly by the strength of the anti democratic or anti liberal factions in the United States. So people who are facing some kind of disaster do this thing or in the earliest, of a disaster. They do this thing where they say to themselves. Okay, this is pretty bad, but it probable
any worse or this problem a resolve itself. You know Chernobyl at any anyone you look at this. Is this this syndrome. I think that's part of what's going on here and if they think that all of this Swirling s in their data is tromp. Deck doesn't account for why so many republicans outperform tromp in their states and people turn out voted against tromp and for Susan Collins say out. So it is, you know, and it certainly doesn't fit in with you assume that some people to sharpen only voted what you know that the real trumped I hearts were just about four trumpet leave everything else blank, so you know, I think their full in themselves. I think they ve got a problem. There might be a permanent, proper societies, change people, don't you know every choice, but not answer the phone, but it goes further than that and that I dont know if they're going to fix this problem. That's the thing about the the permanent aspect of it. There is a paradox in this defence of polling.
Right, but let's say that their right, we're! Ok, let's say that Trump is this confounding factor and with him now you know that when he's involved, all bets are off. At the same time, there is the the law, finally left. Liberal leaning media tells us that from has changed our politics forever right or that at least at least the right they ve. These change did the Republican Party. So this Why would this be going away? There are still millions of Serve Europe Trump Pro Trump people out there with once that are going to that respond to poles and perhaps contain Luke and found them in the very same way. Look I'll tell you why matters of matters. We can see it mattering right now in in the political arguments that are going on right now. Jim has a big piece in the May commentary whistle which we're gonna put out. Try to put on the website today about binds infrastructure bill. One
the claims about the infrastructure bill is that it is a bipartisan bill, even though no republican politician supports it. Why? Because, according to polling Republicans like the bill, so polling is being used as a substitute for representative government. We measure, representative government and partisanship and bi partisanship by the behaviour of the politicians we send to Washington to represent us Biden is attempting understandable as a simply as a matter of veto selling his case, to undercut that, since no Republican will vote for four would vote for this bill by saying, but the republic in public. Likes it if, at the same time, democratic posters are saying we don't know how to count Republicans They are undercutting binds pr case here and if the pr case, isn't it
by it lets say: Biden really believes the pr case and isn't just using it to you know like The media are whatever, if you will, It believes that he is walking himself into a buzz saw because he is using corrupted or bad data to imagine that his power policies and the things controversial things that he wants to do are in fact popular when they might not be popular. and if you are an example of something that came across my transcend today and pulling that was very funny, I think it was gallop and said two thirds of fully sixty eight percent of respondents does Paul said that they would not choose to accept employ. With a firm based on its environmental record. If you believe that might what's act on it your immediate aim,
their wish. But I think that, knowing that it doesn't comport with anything lived or empirical right and so the question you have to ask ourselves why those questions being asked, what's the purpose of them and why are they being used as a propaganda wept right. That's in that's an ultimately pulling has seriously used. Pauling exists for the purpose of informing people who have to try to sell things to other people how to do it or whether or not there it's a fool's Erin, what they're doing or whether they can serve shit go on another direction when the polling itself becomes a propaganda tool, then again it's the Platos cave problem. Does Biden, think that the shadows that are flashing on the wall. Does it did they say you know what MR by Mr President, tested animal outside the kid like it's nothing like it's just a shadow or is it like? They love you, they loved see,
They love you and it's like they loved me. You know and then he'll do this and then in twenty twenty two he will have his head cut off. I mean that's where it gets interesting. Just as it's interesting for me to tell you, once again, you gotta get yourself into an ex chair that fantastic desk chair been telling you about that, provides heat therapy and massage therapy right to your core, using its dynamic, lumbar support and the patented h ex ante technology. That delivers you exactly what you need from a desk chair, not only comfort but but but gets right, your core soon, you comfort, you makes it possible for you to sit comfortably and happily for hours, doing the work that you have to do. It's a fantastic gift to be able to sit in a chair and feel like its enjoyable to sit in the chair, you look forward to spending
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build some new bridges and they over well meaning to say yes, it means that there is by partisan support for a bill that most people He doesn't really understand, is kind of a classic little bed of of sleight of hand or are you know three card Monti what's amazing about this bill- is how little of it is really what we were traditionally defined as infrastructure. This broadening of the term infrastructure to include things home Healthcare AIDS. In our spending more on home Healthcare AIDS, then we are on a lot of classic types of infrastructure. The other big part of this bill is the the effort to reinvigorate unions and you get unions back in to industries and states from which it where they are largely absent. So the word union shows up in his bill. Are this day the factual that the? What White House put out more than the words
atrocity highways, airports even climate, and so when people say that they believe something is a big emerge and see and has to be acted on its always worth looking at what their, how they prioritize that things will fix that problem and what this bill does it talks about infrastructure. It talks about climate, the need to yet TED. yet are get fossil fuels. Carbon emissions out of our electricity grid by twenty thirty five and out of the economy in general by twenty fifty, an extremely difficult, ambitious, gall and yet The tools are put in place to do that are surprisingly doll and and modest real he compared to the scope of the problem where, but they insist on air
Ray at every stage. Ok, we're gonna build build more transmission lines to move all this renewable power around. You know you can't put windmills in Texas in his back them to power. Chicago without vastly improving the transmission lines, but then they stress that it's gonna have to be you and workers are there? Are its the b at what they call the prevailing wage, which is an all dodge where the government steps in more or less mandates that everyone who is involved in a contract ass to hire workers it more or less the standard union wage and with a lot of the fringe benefits at union workers get so it drives prices. You know anywhere to from twelve to twenty five percent. So basically you're saying climate is a huge existential crisis, but given the choice between building building
five windmills unify wind turbines or for wind turbines at this location or we'll take for just pay every body more, even though we could have easily built five, but actually paying people more is more important to us than than the turbines, and I'm not begrudging people getting paid well and not an end, and you and can can work very effectively at our new tappin zebra the one that I refute refused to call the governor Mary, I'm cool a bridge. I was bad. With union labour, and it was came added rout act as I recall, on four billion dollars, and it was little over budget. It was behind schedule, but not terribly to me, that's a real success story. It can make this stuff can be done with unions, but for forcing people to work with the unions in states where, where workers of Joe not to join unions having the gun, they come in and starting. All in all kinds of mandates that make that
power unions in and give them more opportunities to intimidate people who might not want to join the union. That's a lot of what's behind this bill and you know, You were talking about the way, the on the desire to show that it about partisan effort to the public? But if you read the factual itself, it's on designed to alienate conservatives. You know it's almost designed to be toxic to two Republicans, their Otto. It doesn't look like they're looking to attract even a handful of republican votes of the people who who said one? They would support it infrastructure plan, but when that plan includes union eyes in millions of home healthcare, AIDS and and and and instead of an entire new programme, certainly one that will wider being permanent. Did you have four hundred Billion dollars to paper health care, for you, know, elder care that's, not an infrastructure bill that something else. What the central fact here, in my view politically is
I assume this bill goes through on reconciliation. Fifty fifty centre with car come last breaking the tie, and the house voting it in by two or three votes and republican, will spend the next year and a half saying five percent of this bill was spent on infrastructure and ninety five percent of the bill was and on liberal leftist policies to pay off democratic constituent groups. That's a good argument. Five per cent of the bill was spent on infrastructure. Now you can make a claim that that number is little one, it's a little low, but let's say it's ten percent, it's not more than ten percent. It really is probably five poorest. and based on what we would classically call infrastructure and once again their rushing this in.
our committee says this also in his peace. That's in the May commentary, which will not be available right now in the gun commentary magazine, Thou com like gems, what you can read it probably on Thursday, as you as this is born, not out of a sense that the world is. Aims them. Everybody wants these big government solutions, but out of desperation and fear that they gotta run all this in before they are based glee paralyzed by the electorate and twenty twenty two that goes, what the hell are you people doing with our money. So with that Jim Mags tax, Terry columnist. Thank you so much for being with us. It's always a joy to have you with us Have you in the magazine every month and for no other and the absent Christine rose and I'm jump on boards keep the camel.
Transcript generated on 2021-07-28.