153 thoughts on “Elections open thread

  1. Summer Stardust,
    You state: “Sure it would suck to have Trump for another four years…”

    Yep, it sure will “suck” soon for many US families. From US ABC News:

    “New daily COVID-19 cases in the United States hit a record 128,000 on Saturday as multiple states reported the highest number of positive infections since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

    Saturday marked the fourth straight day new COVID-19 cases surpassed 100,000 in the country, according to the data. In just the past week, 715,000 people nationwide have tested positive for the virus, the data shows.”
    See: https://abcnews.go.com/US/number-covid-19-infections-reaches-daily-record-us/story?id=74090045

    With a record increase in daily infection cases, a record increase in daily deaths is sure to follow in a few weeks. The reported US daily COVID-19 death rate is now more than 1,100 for the last 3 days.
    See: https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spread-map/

    John Quiggin tweeted Nov 4:
    “US pandemic will be out of control by January. Even if Biden scrapes out a win, he won’t have the authority for the emergency response that’s needed. On track for a million deaths unless a highly effective vaccine arrives soon.”

    So let me get this straight, Summer Stardust, or whoever you really are: You think that the deaths of perhaps potentially millions of Americans due to Trump’s demonstrated ineptitude in handling the COVID-19 pandemic “would be a worthwhile price to pay”, eh? Ah yes, four more years of Trump’s incompetence could have really done the job properly, eh?

    Thankfully, it seems enough US citizens thought better of it and voted otherwise.

  2. Tweet of of Alan Kohler has link to read his spot on article today in Mudrake’s rag:

    “Focus on Donald Trump’s votes, not Joe Biden’s” (Oz Biz Rev 5:00AM NOVEMBER 9, 2020).

    “…It leads to a more fundamental lesson from the US election, and it is perhaps more an issue for the left of centre parties that embraced globalisation at the expense of their working-class roots.

    Trump’s loss, not GOP’s

    The Republican Party didn’t lose the election, Trump did, because of his shocking mishandling of the pandemic. Joe Biden wisely turned it into the key election issue, and without that he probably would have lost.

    This election was not a repudiation of Republican policies or behaviour, or of their new self-identity as a “working-class party”.

    The Liberal and National Parties in Australia, and their supporters in the media, are trying to appeal to the working classes, but only through climate change, not trade. That is, by supporting fossil fuel industry workers against the so-called “green-left elites,” but not manufacturing workers against Chinese imports.

    The issue is broadening now, with the internet replacing media jobs and artificial intelligence and robots replacing virtually all jobs.

    But it’s the conservatives who complain about elites now, including tech billionaires, not progressives and lefties, and that strikes a chord with all the people who feel left out and unelite.

    Of course, the idea that conservative parties are really working-class organisations trying to bring down elites is plainly ridiculous. But that doesn’t matter: politics is just marketing these days, and in Trump’s hands, straight-out lies.

    Danger for Labor

    What the Australian conservatives have not yet done is repudiate globalisation and free trade, as the Trump Republicans have done, along with the Brexit conservatives in the UK and the right-wing anti-immigration parties in Europe.

    That’s to their credit, and a reflection of the lingering sophistication of the Australian electorate, but it means the Labor Party may be in serious danger.

    China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 and the rush by the world’s retailers and brand owners to source cheaper product from there to expand their margins ended up disenfranchising large parts of the western world’s working classes, who got no real support from their traditional left-wing political parties because they were chasing the new breed of professional urban voters who enjoyed the lower prices and who prioritised the environment.

    Their disgruntlement led directly to the populist demagogue Trump. Unfortunately for the Republican Party, the man is incompetent, possibly corrupt, and a narcissist incapable of rising to the challenge presented by a pandemic. So he’s been sacked after one term.

    But neither he nor the working class discontent he crystallised and rode to victory in 2016 is going away. Trump will nurture the discontent from the sidelines, either simply to make money or run again in 2024.

    What all developed economy political parties, including Australia’s, have to come to terms with is not Joe Biden’s 75 million votes, but the implications of Donald Trump’s 71 million.

    Dealing with climate change and COVID-19 is hard, but easy: you just have to listen to scientists and do what they say.

    But dealing with the effect of globalisation and free-market capitalism – China and free trade – is just hard, partly because economics is not a science, so the answers are never clear cut, either socially or geopolitically.

    Globalisation and inequality have led to unhappy, poor working classes voting for cynical conservative populists, plus the emergence of a rich, aggressive, totalitarian China that is starting to throw its weight around.

    A stable global civilisation

    A week ago legendary investor, Jeremy Grantham of GMO published a paper suggesting a sort of green Marshall Plan – “tens of trillions of dollars over several decades” to invest in renewable infrastructure and achieve a “stable global civilisation. If financed at negative real rates, it is the commercial bargain of all time”.

    But more importantly: “Much of the spending on new infrastructure would be industrial and labour-intensive. It would have the same effect as a major onshoring of manufacturing, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs and raising wages for both skilled and unskilled labour.”

    He’s right, and in fact China is already doing it with its One Belt One Road infrastructure program

    The US and Australia should see it as a Marshall Plan not only to transition the world to zero carbon, but to reconstruct not just their economies, but their politics and society. The success of the Republicans in the election shows how necessary that is.”

  3. Conservatives will always be the preferred governing party for capitalist elites but they own both sides anyway .They know that right wing populists wont upset their rigged system so they will go down that road if they have to. Just keep everyone punching downwards. This looks likely to end in disaster . In the US its the party for millionaires v’s the party for billionaires ,70 m just voted for authoritarian rule after seeing it in action for 4 years, its too late for them.

  4. This looks likely to end in disaster .

    We are all going to die, the human race is going to become extinct, and the planet is going to become uninhabitable. But that’s not news. All of that has been well-known since before any of us were born. What we need to be concerned about is not how things are going to end, but about what we’re going to do in the meantime. The meantime is all we have, and all we’re ever going to have or were ever going to have, and just because something is finite doesn’t make it meaningless or worthless.

  5. Summer Stardust,
    You state: “Yes the biowarfare will be out of control for sure.”

    Careful what you wish for, “Summer Stardust” – Trump is not out of office yet – I’d suggest there’s still time (i.e. 71 days remaining) for him to do a lot more damage.
    Would that be “a worthwhile price to pay”, eh “Summer Stardust”, so long as you (and your loved ones) aren’t the ones paying? That’s alright then, eh?

    You ask: “Are you hoping that Biden will … cure everyone?”
    Cure the dead? Cure the growing numbers of chronic “long COVID” sufferers? No chance for that. I’d suggest no one is going to rob Trump of the notoriously increasing legacy of death and suffering.

    You ask: “You think he [Biden] understands Covid better than Trump?” Trump has demonstrated that he doesn’t take sound scientific advice, and his unenviable legacy is there for all to see – well, those that aren’t wilfully blind/ignorant.

    You state: “Just send for the 50, 000 international units vitamin D if you are worried about viruses.”

    That seems to me to look suspiciously similar to TTR (who was later banned from this blog for abusive behaviour) recommending high dose vitamin D.
    https://johnquiggin.com/2020/09/07/sandpit-162/comment-page-1/#comment-227580
    https://johnquiggin.com/2020/09/07/sandpit-162/comment-page-1/#comment-227624

    It seems to me the language of “Summer Stardust” looks suspiciously similar to TTR (and some other pseudonyms that have subsequently been banned).

    You state: “How about don’t lie to the troll.”
    Are you declaring you are a troll, “Summer Stardust”, or whoever you really are?

  6. +1 J-D. “The meantime is all we have, and all we’re ever going to have or were ever going to have, and just because something is finite doesn’t make it meaningless or worthless.”

  7. How Joe Biden’s surprisingly ambitious (nukes, fracking, and ccs) climate plan came together.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/how-joe-bidens-surprisingly-ambitious-climate-plan-came-together/2020/07/31/b73e78d0-cd11-11ea-91f1-28aca4d833a0_story.html

    Even after rolling out his new plan, Biden has continued to face pressure from the left. Last week, more than 100 liberal groups, including Greenpeace, called for the next president to commit to executive actions “to address the systemic inequalities of pollution and the climate crisis.”

    Prakash, the Sunrise Movement leader who served as a Sanders surrogate on Biden’s task force, said her group still wants Biden do more to wean the country off fossil fuels.

    Meanwhile, environmental advocates have begun to work to elect a candidate who might not have been their first choice, but one who stands in sharp relief to Trump.

    This from Biden’s promise. Naturally, right from the top when it comes to the details concerning global heating it skips a few:

    “…Humans’ contribution to the greenhouse effect is indisputable. Top climate experts, including the authors of the Fourth National Climate Assessment and the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change Special Report, have all concluded that human activities are estimated to have caused an approximate 1.0°C rise in the Earth’s global temperature to date. Excessive CO2 emissions caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, have contributed to a severe exacerbation of a natural phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect. This natural occurrence takes place when solar radiation directed toward earth reaches the atmosphere. The atmosphere reflects some of the radiation, but approximately 70% of the radiation is absorbed by the land and water thereby heating the earth. Due to the additional greenhouse gases emitted by humans – such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons – more heat than normal is being trapped, contributing to an overall rise in global temperature.”

    Already it’s mechanism is broken science.

    By the trillion dollar CCS for Bigger Better Oil and Nuke profits sell out Nohopers at

    https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/

  8. here we go again.

    guys?

    what guys?

    or is it guys in guise, disguised Guise?

    they’re back.

    it’s a Scottish Plot.

    Mary Stuart wuz robbed (the queen who lost )(a Guise in disguise)

    Elizabeth (Tudor) wozz! annoyed.

    it was the principle of the thing —Queens do NOT lose their heads.

  9. Al Gores Democrats conceded when they didnt have to and Trumps Republicans wont concede when they do have to. One side puts faith in democracy above the need to win and the other side doesnt. Democracy is not simply the law , it is a set of norms and conventions too.

  10. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    says re:
    “BENFORD’S LAW Bendford’s law requires unconditionality. Conditional on an outcome (win), the first digit must be less frequent than otherwise. Conditional on the average human being ~ 5+ f, the first digit (1 ft) needs to be less frequent than 5f. Be careful. be very careful.

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    @nntaleb
    “BENFORD-NEWCOMB’S LAW. Be careful. Probability is not a fortune cookie enterprise!

    Commenter “So for 5 wards of 350 with average 63.1% for “winner”: 250-100 200-150 180-170 300-50 175-175 Distribution would not conform to Benford’s. https://mobile.twitter.com/themiddletrache

    See graphs & data.

  11. Who has won in the US? There is only one side. Yes it does use others’ faith in their sham democracy.

    Lifting the Veil of Mirage Democracy in the United States
    https://truthout.org/articles/lifting-the-veil-of-mirage-democracy-in-the-united-states/
    BY Kevin Zeese & Margaret Flowers, Truthout
    TRUTHOUT PUBLISHED February 13, 2013

    The “greatest democracy on Earth” is how the United States is portrayed to its people and the world. The hallowed words “We the people” and “Of, by and for the people” echo in the minds of Americans to characterize the United States. But do they accurately describe the “democracy” we have?

    In reality, a constant conflict that has existed throughout US history, indeed throughout the history of democratic states, is present between the elites and the people. Justice Louis Brandeis said it well when he stated, “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” …

    The bitter truth is they’re in no way an exceptional polity where it counts.

    Polyarchy, or Neofeudalism is it? The sad truth is it’s hardly limited to any claim of US exceptionalism.

  12. Svante, I too am amused, disgusted but not shocked re USA voting & ‘democracy’.

    …”film investigates the flawed integrity of electronicvoting machines, particularly those made byDiebold Election Systems, exposing previously unknown backdoors in the Diebold trade secret computer software. The film culminates dramatically in the on-camera hacking of the in-use / working Diebold election system in Leon County, Florida – the same computer voting system which has been used in actual American elections across thirty-three states, and which still counts tens of millions of America’s votes today.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacking_Democracy

    And at least aone org trying to get a Fair Vote.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairVote

  13. KT2,

    LnpLab Moving Feast Money Launderers…

    Federal parliament just weakened political donations laws while you weren’t watching
    https://theconversation.com/federal-parliament-just-weakened-political-donations-laws-while-you-werent-watching-149171
    Luke Beck, Associate Professor of Constitutional Law, Monash University
    THE CONVERSATION November 4, 2020 12.35pm AEDT

    While Australians were distracted last week by Melbourne’s lockdown ending and the final days of the Queensland and United States elections, both major parties joined forces in federal parliament to weaken political donations laws.

    This will make it easier for federal politicians to accept secret donations from property developers…

    The legislation… overrides state bans on property developer donations in two ways…

    This new provision allows property developers (and others banned from making donations under state laws) to ignore state laws banning them from making political donation where the donation is “for federal purposes”…

    Second, the legislation allows property developers and political parties to ignore state laws requiring that donations be disclosed…

    The explanation given for the new laws is that state laws shouldn’t apply to federal donations…

    While the law requires parties to keep money donated “for federal purposes” in separate bank accounts, a donation “for federal purposes” frees up money from other, general donations to be used for state purposes….

    According to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, the new laws “better clarify” the interaction between federal and state electoral laws.

    The revised provisions ensure that federal law only applies exclusively to donations that are expressly for federal purposes, while fully respecting the application of state laws to amounts used for state purposes.

    Labor’s Don Farrell, who is shadow Special Minister of State, told the Senate,

    it’s not Labor’s intention in any way to weaken any of those provisions already in place in the states, but the Commonwealth parliament should be able to make laws with respect to Commonwealth elections, and those laws should not be overridden by the states…

    Federal integrity laws are too weak
    Federal parliament had an opportunity to introduce better federal political transparency measures. They could have lowered the federal donations disclosure threshold so the public knows where federal politicians get their money. They could have introduced real-time reporting of donations so the public doesn’t have to wait until after each election to find out the identities of the biggest donors.

    Labor has introduced bills on both these measures. Instead of dealing with those, both major parties took the time and effort to override state anti-corruption laws…

    Move on. There’s nothing to see here. The situation will be temporarily over turned at a convenient time prior to the next Queensland State election in four years then conveniently overturned again… and again.

  14. I guess the more conservative people seem to live in rural area or did. It has been changing slowly in Australia. Really, western Sydney is a vast area and quite conservative now. With many people from Asian countries and the middle east a lot of these people are quite conservative and vote Liberal. For instance I live in Seven Hills ( it was always a Labour electorate), my local member (state) is a Liberal now.

  15. Our immigration is designed to bring in the “right” people. Which is this case means “people about whom there is no question”… that they will vote conservative.

  16. Ask not what Big Australia ponzi immigration does for Labour, or Labour voters, ask what it does for Labour’s big donors, and Labour’s big construction sector union bosses.

  17. Svante. Correct!

    The paper below demonstrates that the entirety of modern human civilization is essentially kind of ponzi scheme and it is irrevocably destined for complete, unavoidable and irreversible collapse. The argument has two aspects. It is not just about fossil fuel energy stores. These stores are adequate for the time being for energy purposes but as we now know the atmosphere and oceans do not have the capacity to absorb that amount of CO2 without profound damage. But that’s not the worst of it. Solar power will not save us due to the loss of ecological complexity and order.

    The paper’s argument continues on to the loss of global phytomass and the net loss of biological complexity in the ecosphere. We are drawing these down too. The loss of phytomass and overall biological complexity has profound and ramifying implications. It equates to an increase in disorder (entropy) in the total ecosphere, even after allowing for the increase of complexity involved in there being more humans and their constuctions. In other words, overall ecosphere and biosphere disorder and destabilization are proceeding at a greater rate than civilization’s creation of its own order. The total disorder of the earth system is increasing, hence a reduction in overall complexity and in evolved and/or emerged ecological and physical system stability. Of course, the complexity and order of civilization rests on the supports of the complexity, order, stability and regularity of biological and earth systems which are all being reduced in complexity and destabilized.

    Click to access 9511.full.pdf

  18. The US political system seems in an absolute tangle…Is someone called McConnell at the bottom of it all?

  19. When you base your nation’s start on colonialism and slavery plus a Whig Constitution then you will have unending trouble for hundreds of years. A Whig Constitution is one rigged in favor of the wealthy aristocrats / oligarchs and with pretensions towards constitutional monarchy or constitutional parliamentary republicanism. The U.S, has a constitution for the rich essentially and to keep “the mob” out of politics. Heavens above they didn’t want the ordinary people deciding the fate of the nation! That was the right of plantation and slave owners and then of rich industrialists after the civil war.

    Of course, Australia started with colonialism and slavery as well. But our constitution was one for the petty bourgeois and even the ordinary citizens to some significant extent. That has been our saving grace.

  20. Ikonoclast,

    re: https :// www. pnas.org/content/pnas/112/31/9511.full.pdf
    (nb. the broken addy link should prevent repeated linked document loading with the page – for those on Malware’s metered fraudband bandwidth)

    what an alarming breathtaking read! Not a wasted word. And clear as day!

    Notably authored by engineers eh, not economists! Where’d you find it?

    But who will put things right in time without committing genocides? Can it be done?

    I proposed something along the lines below when coming to this blog first based on lead pv researchers’ work in the field, but the line eroi+materials was shut down.

    “…We too recognize the importance of solar and other renewables in
    cushioning the ecological and socioeconomic
    consequences as the biosphere returns toward
    a steady state between NPP and respiration.
    There is indeed a large supply of solar energy
    that has not yet been tapped for human use.
    As mentioned above, sunlight is highly dispersed low-quality energy. Consequently,
    current technologies rely heavily on fossil fuels
    to design, mine, build, and operate the collection and distribution systems (34) and
    expand the yet to be designed but compulsory
    large-scale energy storage systems. Moreover,
    whereas some deployment of solar systems
    (e.g., over roofs, roads, and parking lots) causes
    little direct reduction of biomass, greater
    deployment will undoubtedly result in increasing indirect biomass consequences to
    both fabricate and install solar collectors and
    other infrastructure. The earth-space battery
    paradigm clarifies why the total upfront
    and ongoing energy investments in solar
    and other renewables need to be balanced
    with the energy produced, i.e., greater energy return on energy investment (4, 35),
    and why their production and installation
    must not negatively impact the remaining
    biomass budget of earth.
    The logic presented above is indisputable,
    because the laws of thermodynamics are absolute and inviolate.” (p 9516)

    “…The logic presented above is indisputable,
    because the laws of thermodynamics are absolute and inviolate.” (p 9516)

    “…The laws of thermodynamics have no mercy. Equilibrium is
    inhospitable, sterile, and final. (p 9517)”

    Dare I say it, but even Mr Bird/Summer Stardust has said similar here at times in passing.

  21. On my last visit to USA, I got into a conversation with a local while doing my best to avoid politics and admire the skyline of the Grand Tetons. He said it was clear that the American political system does not work. I could not bring myself to agree; I was standing there wondering whether he was a Republican angered by the Democratic Communism of Obamacare or a Democrat angered by the Republican attempts to subvert it. I mumbled that we have our own problems too (we had Tony).

    Now, I am thinking our system is definitely better.

    The USA generates far too much analysis and reporting about their electoral events, and wallow in it to the exclusion of just about everything. I can’t help myself, I have been sucking it up awestruck by the tawdry awfulness of it, amazed by the passions, whooping when judges strike out cases based on hearsay, gasping when the sycophants serve up another heaping of servile adulation to the imbecilic narcissist. It distracts from other, more important things happening in the world, a pandemic or a global warming for example.

    USA is too slow to get rid of incompetents. Here, we can have a prime-minister with rock-solid supporters in the morning, stabbed in the back and gone by the afternoon. And that is good. It is quick, it is final, it is clean. There, the incompetents can play golf for 4 years, including a couple of months after they have been theoretically deposed.

    We seem to be about the same when it comes to corruption and how to deal with it, except perhaps in NSW.

  22. Still waiting for Pfizer vaccine trial data, but Trump is calling Pfizer executives’ actions and shares play “nefarious”, and if anyone knows about that sort of a business it’s him. We’ll see. Maybe in 6 months?

    Pfizer CEO Sold Millions In Stock After Coronavirus Vaccine News, Raising Questions
    https://www.npr.org/2020/11/11/933957580/pfizer-ceo-sold-millions-in-stock-after-coronavirus-vaccine-news-raising-questio

    …Bourla sold the stock as part of a stock-trading plan that aims to shield corporate executives from allegations of illegal insider trading. But these plans have become increasingly controversial, and the issue has taken on added urgency given the billions of dollars the government has promised Pfizer if its vaccine meets the approval of federal regulators.
    …Taylor, of the Wharton business school, said the stock sales by Pfizer’s CEO brought to mind similar concerns with another coronavirus vaccine-maker, Moderna. As NPR reported in September, multiple executives at Moderna adopted or modified their stock-trading plans just before key announcements about the company’s vaccine. Those executives have sold tens of millions of dollars in Moderna stock, even though the company has not completed its vaccine trials.
    “It’s troubling to me that the general counsel or the internal controls of these companies would consider it legitimate to adopt a 10b5-1 plan one day before a major vaccine announcement,” said Taylor. “If this isn’t a wake-up call for the SEC and a wake-up call that we need to reform these 10b5-1 plans, I don’t know what it is.”

    Pfizer CEO sold 60 PERCENT of his stock for $5.6M the DAY of the vaccine announcement – but firm claims it was all part of a pre-announced trading plan agreed in AUGUST
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8938065/CEO-sells-stock-worth-5-6-mln-day-Pfizers-COVID-19-vaccine-update.html

    …Bourla sold 132,508 shares at $41.94 a share, according to a SEC filing Tuesday (opened ~ USD$37.00)
    …Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold 60 percent of his stock in the drug company for $5.6 million Monday – the same day the firm announced its COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough.
    …The company’s executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, Sally Susman, also sold more than 43,000 shares worth $1.8 million.
    …In May two executives at drug firm Moderna quietly sold nearly $30 million of stock when they unveiled a coronavirus vaccine and value surged, before the share price quickly fell again amid skepticism from the medical community.
    Moderna’s chief financial officer Lorence Kim and chief medical officer Tal Zaks dumped the stocks when the share price skyrocketed following the company’s announcement of what it described as ‘positive’ results from its vaccine trial.
    The two executives pocketed almost $25 million in profits in a day’s work before experts cast doubt on the vaccine’s success and sent shares tumbling.
    …The timing of Pfizer’s vaccine announcement has already been called into question by Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted sarcastically: ‘The timing of this is pretty amazing. Nothing nefarious about the timing of this at all right?’
    …Then suddenly on Monday, after the entire country waited four days for an election result, Pfizer announced their breakthrough, touting it as a ‘great day for humanity’ and science.
    The news sent the S&P 500 and the Dow surging on Monday.

    Pfizer chief sold $5.6m of shares on day of Covid vaccine announcement
    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/news/pfizer-chief-sold-2456m-of-shares-on-day-of-covid-vaccine-announcement/ar-BB1aVdAH

    Pfizer chief sold $5.6m of shares as investors hailed vaccine
    https://www.ft.com/content/ed49efef-b44e-48be-8652-af60a4f23d06

    Pfizer CEO sold $5.6 million in stock on day of vaccine announcement
    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/pfizer-ceo-sold-5-6-million-in-stock-on-day-of-vaccine-announcement/

    Pfizer chief sold stock worth $5.6m on same day as vaccine announcement
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/11/11/pfizer-chief-sold-stock-worth-56m-day-vaccine-announcement/

  23. Still waiting for Pfizer vaccine trial data, but Trump is calling Pfizer executives’ actions and shares play “nefarious”, and if anyone knows about that sort of a business it’s him. We’ll see. Maybe in 6 months?

    Pfizer CEO Sold Millions In Stock After Coronavirus Vaccine News, Raising Questions
    https://www.npr.org/2020/11/11/933957580/pfizer-ceo-sold-millions-in-stock-after-coronavirus-vaccine-news-raising-questio

    …Bourla sold the stock as part of a stock-trading plan that aims to shield corporate executives from allegations of illegal insider trading. But these plans have become increasingly controversial, and the issue has taken on added urgency given the billions of dollars the government has promised Pfizer if its vaccine meets the approval of federal regulators.
    …Taylor, of the Wharton business school, said the stock sales by Pfizer’s CEO brought to mind similar concerns with another coronavirus vaccine-maker, Moderna. As NPR reported in September, multiple executives at Moderna adopted or modified their stock-trading plans just before key announcements about the company’s vaccine. Those executives have sold tens of millions of dollars in Moderna stock, even though the company has not completed its vaccine trials.
    “It’s troubling to me that the general counsel or the internal controls of these companies would consider it legitimate to adopt a 10b5-1 plan one day before a major vaccine announcement,” said Taylor. “If this isn’t a wake-up call for the SEC and a wake-up call that we need to reform these 10b5-1 plans, I don’t know what it is.”

    Pfizer CEO sold 60 PERCENT of his stock for $5.6M the DAY of the vaccine announcement – but firm claims it was all part of a pre-announced trading plan agreed in AUGUST
    https :// www. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8938065/CEO-sells-stock-worth-5-6-mln-day-Pfizers-COVID-19-vaccine-update.html

    …Bourla sold 132,508 shares at $41.94 a share, according to a SEC filing Tuesday (opened ~ USD$37.00)
    …Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold 60 percent of his stock in the drug company for $5.6 million Monday – the same day the firm announced its COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough.
    …The company’s executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, Sally Susman, also sold more than 43,000 shares worth $1.8 million.
    …In May two executives at drug firm Moderna quietly sold nearly $30 million of stock when they unveiled a coronavirus vaccine and value surged, before the share price quickly fell again amid skepticism from the medical community.
    Moderna’s chief financial officer Lorence Kim and chief medical officer Tal Zaks dumped the stocks when the share price skyrocketed following the company’s announcement of what it described as ‘positive’ results from its vaccine trial.
    The two executives pocketed almost $25 million in profits in a day’s work before experts cast doubt on the vaccine’s success and sent shares tumbling.
    …The timing of Pfizer’s vaccine announcement has already been called into question by Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted sarcastically: ‘The timing of this is pretty amazing. Nothing nefarious about the timing of this at all right?’
    …Then suddenly on Monday, after the entire country waited four days for an election result, Pfizer announced their breakthrough, touting it as a ‘great day for humanity’ and science.
    The news sent the S&P 500 and the Dow surging on Monday.

    Pfizer chief sold $5.6m of shares on day of Covid vaccine announcement
    https :// www. msn.com/en-gb/money/news/pfizer-chief-sold-2456m-of-shares-on-day-of-covid-vaccine-announcement/ar-BB1aVdAH

    Pfizer chief sold $5.6m of shares as investors hailed vaccine
    https :// www. ft.com/content/ed49efef-b44e-48be-8652-af60a4f23d06

    Pfizer CEO sold $5.6 million in stock on day of vaccine announcement
    https :// www. rawstory.com/2020/11/pfizer-ceo-sold-5-6-million-in-stock-on-day-of-vaccine-announcement/

    Pfizer chief sold stock worth $5.6m on same day as vaccine announcement
    https :// www. telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/11/11/pfizer-chief-sold-stock-worth-56m-day-vaccine-announcement/

  24. If nothing else, the Pfizer bosses’ scamming probably cost Trump his reelection.

    Pfizer’s questionable press release, part of their cunning stunt, could have gone out before or on election day it seems. But then Pfizer share price wouldn’t likely have jumped as much as it did following the days of tension during the ballot count and then the building market euphoria as the result only slowly became sorta certain. The date of the share sell off was set in August obviously with the post election, post count, usual public sentiment in mind and an expected market upswing. The press release would have been planned well before the election too. Pfizer’s share price would have risen on the press release at any time and post election day with either result just more so with how the election aftermath tensely panned out with such an unexpected close win for Biden, but a hostile Senate.

    How is Trump gonna get back at those Pfizer dudes? You know he’s gonna try it sometime.

  25. I don’t care if Trump won the election or not. He is an awful man, crude, vulgar and sexist, totally big headed, and always got his way. Time he fell on his sword. He was an embarressment as well to many Americans. Women don’t like men like that.

  26. Women don’t like men like that.

    Is there a touch of wishful thinking there? There’s plenty of evidence that there are many women who despise Donald Trump, and men like him; but there’s also plenty of evidence that there are many women who like Donald Trump, in many cases to the point of devotion. Admittedly the evidence suggests that he’s less popular with women than he is with men; perhaps that was your main point.

  27. Of course, Trump is a disgraceful and obnoxious sociopath and would-be dictator. Trump did not win the election, even though the electoral college system and voluntary voting both operate in the Republican favour. Plus, the Republicans work over-time to disenfranchise minorities with various strategies and tactics. Trump lost the election badly in the electoral college and in the popular vote. There is no evidence of widespread fraud and none yet proven in a court of law. These are the typical fabrications of right wingers and lunatic conspiracy theorists who want authoritarianism rather than democracy. Trump is endeavoring to become dictator-for-life and to start a family dynasty like North Korea. North Korea is his ideal regime. We saw how much he loved and bro-manced the N.K. leader, at least initially.

    We will see if the US people and system can defeat this attempt to implement a fascist coup in America. US democracy is far from perfect, however it still has some considerable strengths. The Democratic Party, as another party of unfettered capitalism, will change little to nothing in terms of American capitalism. It does however (its donors and apparatchiks) prefer plural oligarchic rule, in the old Whig fashion, to monarchical or dictatorial authoritarianism and tyranny. The US system is designed to stop kings and tyrants and to facilitate oligarchs, oligarchic families and corporations.

    In this struggle, we see old and new capitals (and capitalists) competing for the rule of the USA. Land owners, plantation owners and slave owners took control of the USA after the Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783. The American Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, was really a struggle between the new capitalists of the time, the northern industrialists, and the old land owners of the south with plantations and slaves. It ended in a victory for northern industrial capital.

    Today, the new capitalists are the tech giants and tech billionaires, along with the media and internet empires. Old capitalists, old industrialists (and financialists) like the Koch brothers, are welded to the Republican Party and particularly to Trump. Capitalism itself is a revolutionary system as it regularly revolutionizes production. Each time a revolution in production occurs, a wider social and political revolution occurs via the competition of old and new capital. In this case, Trump and a coalition of the reactionary classes (old industrialists plus red-neck and racist groups which are either rural, religious fundamentalist, unemployed or uneducated working class whites (in the main), are attempting to push through a fascist coup to solidify their existing power and freeze at a point in time, the movement of history. Ultimately, this attempt will fail but there are horrible ways (for all) for it to fail.

    If initially successful, this attempted fascist takeover by old capital in the USA will greatly accelerate the on-going collapse process of the USA. If the “progressive” (mostly token social-progressive) tech and media capitalists win, via their bought-by-donations proxies in the Democratic Party, they will continue with the oligarchic and corporate rule of America. The USA will collapse more slowly but still will collapse in the end under this new form of capitalism. I think the USA is institutionally and SISC (Socially Imaginable System Change) incapable of fixing itself. The majority of Americans still do not understand the dire trouble they are in and they find the necessary solutions (genuine democracy and socialism) still totally unimaginable. This will remain true unless there is a genuine democratic socialist revolution in the USA, which sadly looks as far away as ever.

  28. History shows that there are plenty of women who will go along with fascist politics .A fascist leader may even be a woman or possibly not even heterosexual or cisgender but it is normally heavily gendered in a backward looking conventional way and headed by a hyper masculine man. Trump even brags about assault ,refuses to show regret ,and just laughs about how he can get away with it. There is an amazing collection of repulsive and dubious statements and actions from him, many directed at his own daughter .Asked on TV what he most had in common with Ivanka he just blurted out “sex”. He once boasted about how he could walk in on his Miss Teen USA contestants while they were getting dressed ,saying that he was able to do that just as a doctor can examine naked girls. Remarking on the sexual energy of a very young Paris Hilton after meeting her he quipped “but I’m not into that “.

    American oligarchs should be pleased that their country will soon be led by a calm president who wont be able to change much. If the masses are not given hope to reverse inequality a competent authoritarian might become the next president. It looks to me like enough Americans might have now shown that they are prepared to accept such rule for it to become entrenched.

  29. I too thought Pfizer’s stock sales – on the day!- were on the nose.

    Pfizer I’d say, sees the minus 4 Moderna vaccine leaving Pfizer’s minus 70-80 deg C vaccine frozen out.

  30. Summer stardust, you have not provided one shred of objective evidence. If you have a case then present the evidence. And stop all the tiresome and childish abuse of people. It reflects very badly on you. In fact, if you had any other-respect and/or any self-respect you would stop sock-puppeting since you have been banned multiple times.

    You contradict yourself. “… he won by huge (if unknown) margins. How do we know this? We have the three hours of cheating that defied any kind of statistical possibilities.” You claim to know what you admit are unknowns! Provide your full evidence of the alleged “statistical impossibility”. Without evidence an allegation is no more than an allegation. Something that you fervidly believe is true is not ipso facto true. Although I doubt that you understand this.

    I await evidence. If Trump’s team have real, compelling evidence it will sway the courts. The Repub’s nominees dominate the Supreme Court and Repubs dominate most states and a number of swing states. If there is any evidence of fraud they are well placed and well motivated to find it. If they can’t ind and prosectute evidence, Occam’s Razor suggests it there is no evidence of large scale concerted voter fraud.

  31. Summer Stardust,

    Another rant and more abuse from you but no evidence. It is not up to me to find the evidence for your argument. I imagine that enterprise would be like looking for unicorn droppings. It is up to you to provide the evidence: links, evidence and reasoned argument. All of it. It’s all up to you. If you can’t provide it I will assume it’s all puff and nonsense from you, as usual.

  32. Trump wuz robbed! We wuz rubbed they’ll cry and cry out until the cows come home. No stopping it. There’s no healing coming for Biden.

    Trump was robbed.

    The pre-election polls were utterly wrong.

    It appears Biden has only just scraped in. Trump’s comeback, if indeed he was ever much down in popular voting preferences, owed in large part his actions in widely funding vaccine development, promises of increased funding, assurances that people would get their shots if wanted, promises that he’d have a vaccine by xmas, and assurances that they and the economy would then be quickly back to normal next year.

    Pfizer clearly had their ‘scoop’ puff piece ready for some time. If Pfizer had released it prior to or on election day as they could have it would have massively boosted Trump’s campaign. The perception would have been strongly that Trump had kept and delivered on the promised solution, and who else could do so in such record time even for him. The winning scrape home would have gone the other way. Pfizer is gonna burn.

    This won’t go away. The virus won’t go away. The US economic disaster, the societal train wreck won’t go away. Biden and backers’ war plans won’t go away. The globalised sell out, race to the bottom for working people, graduates and their families won’t go away.

    Trump was robbed. If he’s still kicking in 2024, it’ll be Trump. If not, it’ll be some trumpian with bells on. Trump, Trump voters, the country, and the dream wuz robbed! They know it.

    There’s clearly a substantial minority of women who don’t love Trump although there are plenty who don’t on balance mind. But there’s a larger minority, probably a majority, who share in common the loathing for the status quo that Trump purports to loathe. And they wuz again robbed by the status quo!

  33. Ikonoclast (Re your comment at NOVEMBER 13, 2020 AT 4:26 PM),
    Your response to “Summer Stardust”:
    “Another rant and more abuse from you but no evidence. It is not up to me to find the evidence for your argument. I imagine that enterprise would be like looking for unicorn droppings. It is up to you to provide the evidence: links, evidence and reasoned argument. All of it. It’s all up to you. If you can’t provide it I will assume it’s all puff and nonsense from you, as usual.”

    I agree with you in full, but IMO you are wasting your time with wilfully ignorant characters like “Summer Stardust”, who stated (on Nov 9):
    “The phrase “no evidence” in this context is meaningless. It is the mantra of idiots who have no firm grasp on what “evidence” is in any scenario. Its like a drumbeat of primitive natives.”
    https://johnquiggin.com/2020/11/02/elections-open-thread/comment-page-3/#comment-230105

    Does that look familiar to you to the rantings of TTR, demanding proof from everyone else but providing no evidence for outrageous claims themselves?
    https://johnquiggin.com/2020/09/07/sandpit-162/comment-page-2/#comment-227660

    IMO, Svante is in the same camp – baseless opinions about “Trump was robbed”, but no evidence. Svante also makes baseless assertions: “Biden subscribes to first use of nukes.” – without evidence, even when challenged.

    Both Svante and “Summer Stardust” prefer four more years of Trump at the WH. Are they anarchists?
    Trump is a climate science denier. Do they have a death wish for the collapse of human civilisation?
    I suspect Svante and “Summer Stardust” are likely climate science deniers.

  34. For those actually interested in election forensics (as opposed to merely shouting nonsense on the internet), the topic is a rather interesting area of applied statistics. It is, of course, to understand the importance of detection sensitivity, false positives, etc., and to have a good grasp of the limitations and applicability of any such analysis – as with all statistical methods [1]. For example, the invocation of Benford´s law certainly demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of statistics – after all, the methodological flaws been well established for ca. a decade [2].

    One has to be wary, therefore, regarding the sound judgement of people making such claims – after all, if you don´t understand the methodology well enough to understand the boundaries within which it is applicable but are still promulgating it as meaningful, then it would seem that it is reasonable to question your understanding of the topic in general.

    Of course, such people are at least attempting to provide evidence, which puts them in a category significantly higher than those who seem to believe that restating the claim but IN ALL CAPS should somehow be convincing of anything other than their complete failure at supporting their claims. If, as is being alleged, there is such sufficient widespread fraud as to make a meaningful difference (currently ca. 5 million votes), then it should be fairly trivial to demonstrate that. The continued failure to produce such evidence is, in itself, an admission – the axiom “Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur” is fairly reasonably applied here.

    Of course, this will make little difference in the end – the inability to demonstrate the veracity of the claim of widespread fraud will be taken as evidence of just how slick the conspiracy is, representing yet another triumph of ignorance over evidence.

    [1] A Guide to Elections Forensics, Allen Hicken and Walter R. Mebane, Jr., 2017.
    [2] Deckert, Joseph, et al. “Benford’s Law and the Detection of Election Fraud.” Political Analysis, vol. 19, no. 3, 2011, pp. 245–268. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/23011436. Accessed 13 Nov. 2020.; “Does The Application Of Benford’s Law Reliably Identify Fraud On Election Day?” Michelle S. Brown ,B.A., 2012.

  35. Correct quote from the source given.

    “When ignorance from out of our lives can banish
    Philology, ’tis folly to know Spanish.”

    – Juan Smith.

    “Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics. Philology is more commonly defined as the study of literary texts as well as oral and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning”. – Wikipedia

    “Lexicology is the part of linguistics that studies words. This may include their nature and function as symbols, their meaning, the relationship of their meaning to epistemology in general, and the rules of their composition from smaller elements.” – Wikipedia

    The quote makes much more sense with “philology” as the term.

  36. Ikonoclast – yes, but, as you’ve seen in that reproduction of that ‘dictionary’, there’s a little bit preceding that sets the quote in satirical/cynical context.

    Iko, any insistence on philology doesn’t fit the contextual circumstance here either. Here it’s the case of partisan donkey driven persistent misreading of a single common and contemporary language. It’s not text from other languages nor earlier times, nor these combined. In context the insertion of philology in place of Lexicology into a fake quote, and citation, confected by Ambrose Bierce, one of the greatest cynic writers of all time, makes far more sense in application.

    Our correspondent comes across as rather a quixotic trolling knight-errant with limited English language comprehension over compensated for by frequent unconstrained needy partisan induced delusional lexicological inventiveness that could well be drawn from some clintonist thought police edition of Humpty Dumpty’s lexical compilation. The delusional tilting misadventures have been entertaining, if tiresome. So keep him going, please.

    Don’t give up now my dear Quixano, take up your clinton brand crooks again and sally forth, there’s lost wrong headed sheep need herding to pasture mirages.

    https:// www. infoplease.com/primary-sources/books-plays/the-devils-dictionary/devils-dictionary-781
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Devil%27s_Dictionary
    https ://en. wikisource.org/wiki/The_Devil%27s_Dictionary/Q
    https ://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil%27s_Dictionary
    https ://www. custompapers.net/biographies/Ambrose-Gwinett-Bierce-27182.html
    https ://en. wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Ambrose_Gwinnett_Bierce (count ’em!)
    http ://www. alcyone.com/max/lit/devils/q.html
    https ://www. custompapers.net/quotes/
    https://www.custompapers.net/quotes/search?q=juan+smith

  37. Edit:
    …In context the insertion of philology in place of Lexicology Lexicology in place of philology into a fake quote, and citation, confected by Ambrose Bierce, one of the greatest cynic writers of all time, makes far more sense in application.

  38. https:// thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2020/11/14/covid-positive-nurses-asked-to-work-as-us-crisis-spirals-out-of-control/
    COVID-positive nurses asked to work as virus pushes hospitals to breaking point
    Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has publicly disengaged from the battle against the coronavirus at a moment when the disease is tearing across the United States at an alarming pace.

    Trump, fresh off his re-election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, remains angry that an announcement about progress in developing a vaccine for the disease came after Election Day.

    Aides say the President has shown little interest in the growing crisis even as new confirmed cases are skyrocketing and hospital intensive care units across the country are nearing capacity.

    https:// thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/us-news/2020/11/13/biden-adviser-coronavirus-lockdown/
    Biden adviser’s radical plan as coronavirus cases surge in US
    …As the crisis has worsened, President Donald Trump has publicly disengaged from the battle against the pandemic.

    Mr Trump, fresh from his election loss to Mr Biden, remains angry that an announcement about progress in developing a vaccine for the disease came after Election Day.
    Aides say he has shown little interest in the growing crisis even as new confirmed cases skyrocket and some American hospital intensive care units near capacity.

    …Dr Osterholm said a lockdown would help get coronavirus under control, “like they did in New Zealand and Australia”.

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/people-entertainment/2020/11/13/ferguson-report-four-corners/
    USA VOTER TURNOUT BIGGEST PATHETIC EFFORT EVER

    Sixty-seven percent of eligible Americans voted in the election, a record-breaking number described as “gigantic yet measly”.

    An un/impressive number of voters elected President Elect Joe Biden. Mathematically speaking, most voters either voted against Biden or not at all.

    This makes the US election algorithm: .33V / V ÷ T 1/2B = vUSA Meaning “A third of voters subtracted from all the voters, divided by Trump and halved by Biden equals America is square rooted.”

    It’s democracy inaction in action.

    Meanwhile, Russia is far more democratic – the outcome is decided in advance and delivered with ruthless efficiency.

    A pseudo-psephologist said, “In Australia, voting is compulsory. That’s why our politicians are the best! … No… wait…”

  39. Our barking mad, resident sock puppet and conspiracy theorist, currently called Summer Stardust and whom we could also call Perennial Bulldust, is posting videos from conspiracy nutters as usual. See Wikipedia entry quote below re. V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai.

    Summer Stardust’s behavior and posts on this blog are obnoxious and disgraceful and it’s a pity his sock-puppeting, insults and disrespect cannot be excluded for good. He is single-handedly destroying this blog and turning it into a conspiracy propaganda site. He knows he has been banned multiple times by the owner of this site. He knows the owner of this blog, John Quiggin, does not want him posting here . He continually flouts these bans, appearing and trespassing where he is not wanted. He continually flouts multiple rules listed in the discussion policy, acting as the most wilful serial pest I for one have ever seen on any blog.

    Can we please have this serial pest removed permanently from this site? His conspiracy theorizing (and medical quackery) is downright dangerous in a democratic and evidence based society.

    Quote.

    “V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai (born Vellayappa Ayyadurai Shiva,[2] December 2, 1963)[3] is an Indian-American scientist, engineer, politician, entrepreneur, and promoter of conspiracy theories and unfounded medical claims. He is notable for his widely disputed claim to be the “inventor of email”,[4] based on the electronic mail software called “EMAIL” he wrote as a New Jersey high school student in the late 1970s.[5][6] Initial reports that repeated Ayyadurai’s assertion—from organizations such as The Washington Post and the Smithsonian Institution—were followed by public retractions.[5][7] These corrections were triggered by objections from historians and ARPANET pioneers who pointed out that email was already actively used in the early 1970s.[3]

    Ayyadurai also attracted attention for two reports: the first questioning the working conditions of India’s largest scientific agency; the second questioning the safety of genetically modified soybeans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ayyadurai became known for a social media disinformation campaign about the coronavirus; spreading conspiracy theories about the cause of coronavirus; promoting unfounded COVID-19 treatments; and campaigning to fire Anthony Fauci for allegedly being a so-called “deep state” actor. ” – Wikipedia.

  40. Our barking mad, resident sock puppet and conspiracy theorist, currently called Summer Stardust and whom we could also call Perennial Bulldust, is posting videos from conspiracy nutters as usual. See Wikipedia entry quote below re. V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai.

    Summer Stardust’s behavior and posts on this blog are obnoxious and disgraceful and it’s a pity his sock-puppeting, insults and disrespect cannot be excluded for good. He is single-handedly destroying this blog and turning it into a conspiracy propaganda site. He knows he has been banned multiple times by the owner of this site. He knows the owner of this blog, John Quiggin, does not want him posting here . He continually flouts these bans, appearing and trespassing where he is not wanted. He continually flouts multiple rules listed in the discussion policy, acting as the most wilful serial pest I for one have ever seen on any blog.

    Can we please have this serial pest removed permanently from this site? His conspiracy theorizing (and medical quackery) is downright dangerous in a democratic and evidence based society.

    Quote.

    “V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai (born Vellayappa Ayyadurai Shiva,[2] December 2, 1963)[3] is an Indian-American scientist, engineer, politician, entrepreneur, and promoter of conspiracy theories and unfounded medical claims. He is notable for his widely disputed claim to be the “inventor of email”,[4] based on the electronic mail software called “EMAIL” he wrote as a New Jersey high school student in the late 1970s.[5][6] Initial reports that repeated Ayyadurai’s assertion—from organizations such as The Washington Post and the Smithsonian Institution—were followed by public retractions.[5][7] These corrections were triggered by objections from historians and ARPANET pioneers who pointed out that email was already actively used in the early 1970s.[3]

    Ayyadurai also attracted attention for two reports: the first questioning the working conditions of India’s largest scientific agency; the second questioning the safety of genetically modified soybeans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ayyadurai became known for a social media disinformation campaign about the coronavirus; spreading conspiracy theories about the cause of coronavirus; promoting unfounded COVID-19 treatments; and campaigning to fire Anthony Fauci for allegedly being a so-called “deep state” actor. ” – Wikipedia.

  41. @Ikon. Agreed. I’ve written to the address Graeme Bird has supplied for his Kastens identity and asked him to stop posting here. I’ve also deleted all I could find of Summer Stardust. I’d appreciate it if commenters could alert me by email to new sock puppets johnquiggin1@mac.com

  42. This… and close comments on this thread.

    “On defeating a sociopath

    “There are people who really, genuinely, believe, as far as you can dig down, that winning is everything—that however many lies they told, allies they betrayed, innocent lives they harmed, etc. etc., it was all justified by the fact that they won and their enemies lost. Faced with such sociopaths, people like me typically feel an irresistible compulsion to counterargue: to make the sociopath realize that winning isnot everything, that truth and honor are terminal values as well; to subject the sociopath to the standards by which the rest of us are judged; to find the conscience that the sociopath buried even from himself and drag it out into the light. Let me know if you can think of any case in human history where such efforts succeeded, because I’m having difficulty doing so.”…

    https://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=5091

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