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Tilting at Windmills

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July 16, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

QUOTE OF THE DAY....From Maureen Dowd, parodying herself so effectively that she basically puts all the rest of us out of work:

John McCain's Don Rickles routines — "Thanks for the question, you little jerk" — can fall flat. But he seems like a guy who can be teased harmlessly. If Obama offers only eat-your-arugula chiding and chilly earnestness, he becomes an otherworldly type, not the regular guy he needs to be.

Does she have a machine that types this stuff for her, or what?

On the other hand, Dowd is a pretty reliable canary-in-the-coal-mine for upwelling conventional wisdom. Is "humorless" about to take off as this year's version of "stiff" (2000) and "effete" (2004)?

Kevin Drum 12:12 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (102)

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I'm sure he thought his wife was just teasing harmlessly when he called her a cunt.

Ah, how jolly!

Posted by: ge on July 16, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

So can somebody tell me where the arugula thing came from originally?

I don't even think I knew what arugula was until that Newsweek cover.

Posted by: mattstan on July 16, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

The media will not say a critical thing about McCain. Get use to it.

Posted by: Live Free or Die on July 16, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

the regular guy he needs to be

What does that mean, MoDo? What is a regular guy? Would you know a regular guy, even if he was mocking your 20-year-old gender stereotypes to your face?

And why does the preznit need to be a regular guy, whatever that is?

Why does MoDo have a goddam job? Why does anyone pay for this shit?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 16, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

I know the "c" word should never be used (except by McCain), but if it applies to anyone, MoDo...

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on July 16, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

She can write whatever crap she wants so long as it comes out with the Republican being a real guy and the Dem a phony.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on July 16, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon, let's open ourselves to Dowd's genius. If the last 7 years have taught us anything, it's that we need a President w/manly taste in food. Seriously, I wish MoDo would just come out and endorse George Wendt's "da Bears" SNL character for President. More Brats, less arugula. Are there any political issues beyond that, really?

Posted by: Michaels on July 16, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

But he seems like a guy who can be teased harmlessly.

Unless you're teasing him about his hair. Regular guys should never be teased about their hair.

Except John Edwards.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on July 16, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

not the regular guy he needs to be.

Indeed, the most important qualification for the leader of the most powerful country on Earth is that he be a regular guy. Who doesn't eat his vegetables.

Posted by: RSA on July 16, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Regular guys don't fill 75,000 seat stadiums full of supporters.

Posted by: Brojo on July 16, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Maureen used to be somewhat interesting to read, but someone told her she was clever and thus she thought she was the center of the universe and her opinion (without research) mattered. Sadly No. Most the Times editorial staff could be fired and not be missed.

Posted by: Darsan54 on July 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with GMT. How does this hag keep her job?

Posted by: Vicente Fox on July 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

You may be on to something Kevin. I just got an email from a GOP friend who called Obama thin skinned.

Posted by: molly bloom on July 16, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Maureen Dowd is an Irish catholic who grew up in a world of Irish Catholics who chide, and joke, viciously as a way of life about anyone not like them.In addition to tunnel vision of new ideas this tribe fights hard for their turf, make no mistake she has been inbred to take down the democratic candidate. Irish Catholics fight hard for a womens right to die in childbirth.I know of what I speak growing up in New York we Italians had our own churches. The Irish are the fundamentalist Taliban of the Catholic Church. Ugly as it is it is the truth.

Posted by: rita forsyth on July 16, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Is "humorless" about to take off as this year's version of "stiff" (2000) and "effete" (2004)?

Where ya been? It already has. It's one arm of the "uppity Negro with an agenda that can't be good for white folks" message. This is what happens when black people get overeducated.

Posted by: shortstop on July 16, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Is "humorless" about to take off as this year's version of "stiff" (2000) and "effete" (2004)?

Maybe someone could cut together all the clips of Obama cracking wise and all the times he's made a live audience laugh. Would MoDo get the point.

No, that stupid bitch would still write the same crap.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 16, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

if only Obama wold make some jokes about killing millions of people in some country that hasn't attacked us maybe people would see that he has a good sense of humor.

Posted by: The Fool on July 16, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Dowd wouldn't know a regular guy from her own ass. I am assuming that by "regular guy" she means the Broderian regular guy: 500 generations of white ancestors, midwesterner, drinks Budweiser, bangs the wife every Thursday, likes meatloaf. Dowd hasn't seen one of these guys since All in the Family went off the air.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on July 16, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Just play the clip of Obama riffing on Phil Gramm's comments last week. He sure doesn't appear humorless there. Humor is a very effective political tool, and Obama has shown that he knows when to deploy it.

Posted by: Edge on July 16, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Did Maureen Dowd's daddy bail or something?

Posted by: Lucy on July 16, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, Obama is damned if he says something with these Bored to Tears pundits, damned if he doesn't.

If he doesn't say anything, he's spineless or admitting it's true. If he says a tiny bit, he's humorless. if he says too much...he's unhinged.

John McCain's camp through a fit over "lost his bearings" but that's OK. It's McCain.

I am sick of Dowd. She makes me feel humorless, I admit. If I wanted to read Ann Coulter style preening, I would. I don't need it from the NY Times.

Posted by: Miss Otis on July 16, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, the most important qualification for the leader of the most powerful country on Earth is that he be a regular guy. Who doesn't eat his vegetables.

The only thing worse than a President McCain is a President McCain whose bout with colon cancer we all get to watch.

Posted by: shortstop on July 16, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I usually don't mind Dowd but this article was asinine. Where has the "regular guy" schtick got us the past 7 years?

Posted by: Adam on July 16, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Brilliant, let's never hire a calm thinker to run our retirement accounts, or perform surgery on our hearts, or run our executive branch, let's hire another backslapper, another "pull my finger" guy.

Posted by: Bob on July 16, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

here's my question about the "humorless" thing: how is he humorless if he makes jokes, pokes fun at himself, and at his opponent? why is Sen. Obama humorless because the writers at The Daily Show, Letterman or Leno can't come up with jokes? Isn't that their failing, not him?

Ok, so that's three questions. just call me "mathless"

Posted by: e1 on July 16, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

BombIran: 500 generations of white ancestors...likes meatloaf

You got a problem with that? "Bat out of Hell" was the greatest album ever!

Posted by: thersites on July 16, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

What MoDo is really complaining about is that with so little about Obama that lends itself to quick ridicule she might actually have to write columns with substantive content.

Even Dorothy Parker eventually criticized the Algonquin Round Table as being minor literary figures, "a bunch of loudmouths." Perhaps MoDo will come to view her role differently when people she seems to agree with politically are in power.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on July 16, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

The idea that Obama is "humorless" works only if you ignore all the evidence that he does, in fact, have a wicked sense of humor.

But this is Maureen Dowd we're talking about. When has she ever let facts get in her way before?

Posted by: TR on July 16, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

But this is American Politics we're talking about. When have we ever let facts get in the way before?

Fixed it for ya.

Posted by: thersites on July 16, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Look, let's face it. MoDo has about a thousand macros written in Word and a random-number generator in Excel, and every morning she cranks out some random numbers, selects those macros, and they form the basis of her "writing." She strings them together, puts in some undergraduate-worthy Dorothy Parker allusions, and phones it in.

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on July 16, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Dowd raises the conundrum: How can she have permanent PMS when she is post-menopausal?

Yes, that is petty, not really funny, and maybe even sexist. Indeed, it is writing worthy of........Maureen Dowd!

Posted by: seriously on July 16, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, Dowd is a pretty reliable canary-in-the-coal-mine for upwelling conventional wisdom. Is "humorless" about to take off as this year's version of "stiff" (2000) and "effete" (2004)? —Kevin Drum

Actually, it's shit like this that gives these things currency.

Posted by: Jeff II on July 16, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Is "humorless" about to take off as this year's version of "stiff" (2000) and "effete" (2004)?

Only if, like the first two, it turns out to be true.

Posted by: Brian on July 16, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

What Dowd really has trouble wrapping her mind around is the idea that a black man under 60 should have achieved fame without ever having been photographed holding a gun.

I think she suspects he's gay.

Posted by: lampwick on July 16, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

If they (MoDo, GOP, etc) put their cards on "humorless" being the the thing this year, that'd be great. Nobody actually watching Obama speak can think he's humorless.

Posted by: American Citizen on July 16, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

MoDo is confusing her inability to write anything containing humor with her subjects being humorless.

C'mon Maureen, take the buyout before they change their minds.

Posted by: The Other Ed on July 16, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think she's Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter. Perhaps she even has a Quick Quotes Quill to do her writing for her!!!

Posted by: Heather on July 16, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

The humorless Dowd isn't half as funny as the Military Industrial Complex and Big Oil owned Washington Post editorial today.

"What's missing in our debate," Mr. Obama said yesterday, "is a discussion of the strategic consequences of Iraq." Indeed: The message that the Democrat sends is that he is ultimately indifferent to the war's outcome -- that Iraq "distracts us from every threat we face" and thus must be speedily evacuated regardless of the consequences. That's an irrational and ahistorical way to view a country at the strategic center of the Middle East, with some of the world's largest oil reserves. Whether or not the war was a mistake, Iraq's future is a vital U.S. security interest. If he is elected president, Mr. Obama sooner or later will have to tailor his Iraq strategy to that reality.

Yeah, least any stupid American believe for a second that we went there for anything but oil.

I am thus apprehension, that just like AT&T and Verizon's need to cancel lawsuits, Obama will again change his plans about NO permanent bases in Iraq to accommodate ExxonMobil and BP with the same easily dispensible 4th Amendment axe. Obama isn’t a sentimental guy and lying does indeed seem to come pretty easy for the kind of player that he likes to be.

I guess Obama needs to walk this one back too for corporate American, because it seems such request are the only constituency Obama will instantly change his position for while simultaneously telling his voters, if it's deal breaker, that's okay - good-bye than. And wouldn't it be just Obama's usually style to wait until after the election to tell stupid American this?

I got a real sinking feeling about Obama. He just isn't change anyone should beleive in. I starting to think that con-jobs are Obama's only game.

Posted by: Me_again on July 16, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

I got a real sinking feeling about Obama.

Really? You've never mentioned that before. Monitor that and let us know how it goes, okay?

Heather, now I know who Rita Skeeter reminded me of!

Posted by: shortstop on July 16, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Oh come on. MoDo is just in mode #2 of her Making Fun of Democrats program. People were starting to complain about mode #1, "effete" and "feminized", so she's switched to "stiff" and "elitist." If this doesn't work, she will actually have to think of something to say, and she sure doesn't want to do that.

This is why the pundits don't like Obama -- he appeals to people who aren't them, people who have no interest in them. He's a reminder of just how small-time and irrelevant they really are. McCain makes them feel like the most important people in the world, and they agree with that.

Posted by: on July 16, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not a regular reader of NYT columnists, including Maureen Dowd, and I wouldn't have phrased her point the way she does. But she really isn't that far off.

Barack Obama is very sensitive about his public image -- it is, after all, his principle asset as a politician -- and does not react well to direct criticism. As a candidate, that's not a disabling weakness, or George Bush would never have gotten elected President twice, but it isn't a strength either. Obama can come off as humorless, not generally as a person but when he's under fire himself.

Now, I don't think arugula enters into it. If anything, Obama is pretty typical of American politicians when it comes to telling voters things they don't want to hear, which is to say he doesn't do it often. And earnestness isn't a bad thing in itself. If Obama were to get tagged with the "humorless" label it would come from his sensitivity to public, personal criticism.

Posted by: Zathras on July 16, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Could someone with Lexis/Nexis access find the earliest published article in a major news organ that used the words "Obama" and "arugula"? Is it a Dowd invention, or someone else?

Posted by: Joe Buck on July 16, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised anybody thinks it's worth discussing, but here we are, 30+ comments into the thread. About the only thing that needs said is that Maureen Dowd gives catty & vapid bad names.

Posted by: junebug on July 16, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Dowd should ask McCain:

"The New Yorker cover is satirizing Rebublicans as hysterical, paranoid, ignorant cowards. Do you think that's funny?"

Posted by: apm on July 16, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

My nephew was just killed in Afghanistan and that fact has focused my requirements of a presidential candidate pretty narrowly. I can't say that humor is a quality that I require in a candidate: intelligence, good memory, non-ideological practicality; those things seem kind of necessary. We did the regular guy thing - now we need effective leadership.

Posted by: Cathy on July 16, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

As the last 7 years have proven, the best qualification for a president is "he'd be the kind of guy you'd like to sit and have a beer with."

When I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself...

Posted by: Ranger Jay on July 16, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hag. Stupid Bitch. "the c word", Permanent PMS. And three days of complaining about a magazine cover.

I have no clue as to why Maureen Dowd believes that Obama or his supporters are humorless or off the rails or any other than uber liberals.

Kevin, you definitely have a tonal problem with your moderators here. Apparently they feel it is okay to make explicitly misogynistic statements in the comments. I am sure if someone made any disparaging and racist comments toward African Americans in general or Obama in particular, they would yank those comments. But calling Dowd a bitch, permanent pms, a hag, those comments are okay by your moderators.

Two days ago, in a comment about the cover, I asked you Kevin to explicitly discuss the offensive aspects, and made reference to some very well known attributes of racist drawings of Jews as well as African Americans.

Those comments of mine were yanked by your moderators, apparently even discussing how racist drawings are usually created, or discussing what racist smears actually look like was too much for their pearl clutching hearts.

But it is okay not just to have a anti-Maureen dowd hatefest, but to actually populate it with misogyny.

My take Kevin, is that your moderators are the ones that should be moderated. We're grown ups here and we can discuss grown up issues without the parental hand of your unseen moderators.

Also Kevin, you may wish to have a discussion with your commenters about the logs and beams in their eyes, and the misogyny in their brains and mouths.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

The part Kevin highlighted wasn't even the most ridiculous segment. From First Read:

At first blush, it would seem to be a positive for Obama that he is hard to mock. But on second thought, is it another sign that he's trying so hard to be perfect that it's stultifying? Or that eight years of W. and Cheney have robbed Democratic voters of their sense of humor? Certainly, as the potential first black president, and as a contender with tender experience, Obama must feel under strain to be serious. But he does not want the 'take' on him to become that he's so tightly wrapped, overcalculated and circumspect that he can't even allow anyone to make jokes about him, and that his supporters are so evangelical and eager for a champion to rescue America that their response to any razzing is a sanctimonious: Don't mess with our messiah!

Yes, because if Obama and his supporters are bothered by a portrayal of him and his wife being Muslim terrorist sleepers who plan to tote Uzis into the White House and burn the American flag, it's because they're too wrapped up in the idea of him being a humorless messiah.

Or something.

Posted by: jbryan on July 16, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

I have seen Obama in person and found him to be very funny with a sharp wit and seemed very willing to make fun of himself. Dowd is just making shit up, which makes her an honorary Republican.

Maybe she prefers McCain's rape jokes?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 16, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, while I love your blonde haired OC d00d persona, given your past three days of New Yorker Gate coverage, it's not clear to me that you have an actual ability to judge anyone's humorless qualities.

The problem with Dukakis is that he let his wife get raped and responded neutrally, cooly, and academically to Bernard Shaw.

Kerry's problem was either that he didn't fight back, or didn't fight back hard enough.

Obama's problem may be a bit of Dukakis and a bit of reaction to Kerry and a bit of backlash to his primary campaign.

It's not that he is humorless per se, it's that he has and his supporters have a pattern of seeing race everywhere, even where it isn't, and even where it should be just laughed off.

If Obama was really the post-racial candidate of change, perhaps he and his supporters would have laughed off that cover.

Yesterday, I think he did a better job and followed much more the good advice of Harvey Silverglate.

http://thephoenix.com/BLOGS/freeforall/archive/2008/07/15/if-obama-really-had-guts-he-would-have-a-press-conference-that-goes-something-like-this.aspx

Or better still, the advice from Jon Stewart:

Stewart also took the Obama camp to task for calling the cartoon "tasteless and offensive":

"Really? You know what your response should've been? It's very easy here, let me put the statement out for you: Barack Obama is in no way upset about the cartoon that depicts him as a Muslim extremist. Because you know who gets upset about cartoons? Muslim extremists! Of which Barack Obama is not. It's just a fucking cartoon!"

Obama and his campaign have been tone deaf to the race issues. First trying to position themselves as past them, than trying to ignore them, then trying to exploit them, ....

All of this tone deafness and lecturing comes off as humorless. Not just to that c word Maureen Dowd, but to the j word Jon Stewart.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

We've had seven years of the class clown dancing around with the lampshade on his head to the applause of the nitwit 26 percenters. Enough already. MoDo clearly likes a man with a sense of humor, so jokin' John is her candidate. I'm sure she lays abed at night, paraphrasing the lady in McCain's ape joke...."Where is that marvelous candidate?"

Posted by: Jersey Tomato on July 16, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I just spit up on myself because you made me read a sentence written by Maureen Dowd. Thanks alot!

Posted by: jvoe on July 16, 2008 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

"McCain's ape joke"

That's the joke from 22 years ago that everyone agrees, including the original reporter, there is not a scintilla of evidence he ever said.

That ape joke?

Is it the ape joke about a woman wanting to be raped that got everyone so offended, so offended that now you are making the same joke with respect to Maureen Dowd? That ape joke? That rape joke?

The one we have no proof or evidence that McCain ever made, but the one that in fact you just made about Dowd?

That ape and rape joke?

Hey Kevin, wonderfully liberal blog you got here. You should be proud of the intelligence and sophistication of your readers.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

I have seen Obama in person and found him to be very funny with a sharp wit and seemed very willing to make fun of himself. Dowd is just making shit up, which makes her an honorary Republican. Maybe she prefers McCain's rape jokes? Posted by: The Conservative Deflator

Obama obviously has a sense of humor, but I sure as hell hope he takes himself and the presidency very seriously. The last thing the country needs is "regular" guy as president. We have a guy that believes himself to be one as president now, and he's been the worst since Harding or Hoover and more criminal than Nixon.

If "regular guys" have problems with Obama's race or his intellect, fuck 'em. While I understand that anyone running for office wants as many votes from the widest spectrum of voters possible, the concerns of "Joe 6-pack" and/or "NASCAR dads" (other than job security) probably are not things that the president of the whole United States needs on his short list of things needing to be done in short order. They certainly haven't been for Shrub, whose administration has overwhelming favored the privileged.

A lot of voters apparently agreed with the sentiment that Shrub was a guy they'd want to have a beer with, not realizing that they always have to pick-up the tab. I'd gladly buy Obama a drink, but bet he'd reach for the bill first.

Posted by: Jeff II on July 16, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa Jerry, you're going to sprain yourself with that much spinning. Not a scintilla of evidence? I guess Obama got somebody to jump in the wayback machine and post the original reporting on that joke in an Arizona newspaper, then, because there's a PDF of that original article floating around with a 1986 dateline. You may disagree with the reporting. You may believe the disclaimers. But you can't say there's no evidence. The original reporter did NOT say there was no evidence. She said she wasn't sure what the exact wording was, but that a joke "involving a rape and ape was said." She goes on to call Torie Clark's response a non-denial denial. And spare me your pearl-clutching about making rape jokes about Maureen Dowd - the only thing I said was that she likes a man who can tell a joke, and is laying abed waiting for her marvelous candidate. No apes were harmed in the posting of that comment.

Posted by: Jersey Tomato on July 16, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 16, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Also Kevin, you may wish to have a discussion with your commenters about the logs and beams in their eyes, and the misogyny in their brains and mouths.
Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 2:41 PM

Hey Jerry ... check out the New Yorker cover thread. I replied to some of your inaccuracies regarding Gardisil, and why I would recommend your daughter be vaccinated.

I would hate to have their future cervical lesions (because of your misinformation) on my conscience.

Posted by: Gonads on July 16, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is BHO is an elitest that believes regular people turn who to their faith and believe in the right to own a gun are "bitter". He also thinks we are stupid because we don't speak French and we need to learn Spanish so we can talk to illegal aliens. So I would say that BHO does not relate to well with working class people. BHO is probably going to get stuck with the elltist tag.
Posted by: Fat White Guy

Is it elitist to point out that you misspelled elitist TWICE (and differently!) in the above paragraph?

Forget French and Spanish until you've improved your English.

Posted by: Gonads on July 16, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Does she have a machine that types this stuff for her, or what?

She does. mhr has one, too, but it's the souped-up John Birch model. It's great for RNC mailers, cross burning invitations, & IM solicitations of underage boys, but it's fairly useless for everything else. I borrowed it once to cobble together a grocery list and promptly blacked out. When I came to, I was unloading an SUV full of pork rinds, ammo, & stock boys.

Posted by: junebug on July 16, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Is it elitist to point out that you misspelled elitist TWICE (and differently!) in the above paragraph? Forget French and Spanish until you've improved your English. Posted by: Gonads

Sort of proves my point, doesn't it?

Posted by: Jeff II on July 16, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I saw that Gonads (as of a day or so ago, so I don't know if you have added anything since then), but with due respect I think you're wrong. Also, I don't appreciate the numerous times you try to associate me or people who have issues with gardasil with misogyny while producing absolutely no evidence of that.

It wasn't proved efficacious on the target group. Seroconversion is an indication, but of course, not proof. And you failed to discuss how safety wasn't tested and couldn't be tested either with no long term studies, or how it might be problematical to give this vaccine to prepubescent kids.

And then you completely ignored the issue of what will happen in the 15-30 year timeframe.

And you fail to discuss that we just don't know how long gardasil's immunity will last.

Neither do you discuss why your credibility or ability in this should be greater than the doctor in charge of testing.

So while I appreciate the concern you evidence for my children, basically I completely disrespect your belief that your opinions regarding gardasil should make for an opt-out drug rather than an opt-in drug.

Frankly, to be rude, there's no indication that you have any medical training and aren't just a shill for Merck. I mean, if you're going to claim with no evidence that gardasil opponents hate women, why not the equal claim that you are just a monster for a drug company pushing a vaccine to help pay for Vioxx?

Here are two other points from the evilslutopia gardasil faq that are terribly interesting, and that you fail to discuss:

5. A new study published by JAMA shows that only about 3.4% of women have one of the four strains of HPV that Gardasil protects against.

A study published in the February 28th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that about 26% of women aged 14 to 59 in the U.S. have HPV. According to the study, HPV is most prevalent among women aged 20-24. About two percent have types 16 or 18, which are the types believed to cause about 70% of cervical cancer cases, and are two of the strains of HPV that Gardasil protects against. When HPV types 6 and 11 are included, it brings the number up to 3.4% of women infected with one of the four strains of HPV that Gardasil targets. Of course, this isn’t a total number of women who will ever be affected by one of these four strains, since the study included a wide age range of women and it is possible that some of the younger women will be exposed to more strains of HPV over their lifetimes. But the numbers still help to provide some perspective about the prevalence of these particular strains versus the prevalence of HPV overall.

With all of the statistics being thrown around in the media about how common HPV is and how many millions of people will get it in their lifetimes, that perspective is important. There are dozens of strains of HPV. A few of them are linked to genital warts and a few of them are linked to cervical cancer. The majority of cases of HPV will eventually clear on their own. Getting HPV does not mean you will get cancer. Gardasil protects against four specific strains of HPV. Getting vaccinated with Gardasil does not mean that you’ll never get HPV, or that you’ll never be at risk for genital warts or cervical cancer. Your risk will be greatly reduced, but not eliminated.

and

LEBANON, N.H. - A lead researcher who spent 20 years developing the vaccine for humanpapilloma virus says the HPV vaccine is not for younger girls, and that it is "silly" for states to be mandating it for them.

Not only that, she says it's not been tested for effectiveness in younger girls, and administering the vaccine to girls as young as 9 may not even protect them at all. And, in the worst-case scenario, instead of serving to reduce the numbers of cervical cancers within 25 years, such a vaccination crusade actually could cause the numbers to go up.

"Giving it to 11-year-olds is a great big public health experiment," said Diane M. Harper, who is a scientist, physician, professor and the director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire. "It is silly to mandate vaccination of 11- to 12-year-old girls There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue."

Internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field, Harper has been studying HPV and a possible vaccine for several of the more than 100 strains of HPV for 20 years - most of her adult life. All of her trials have been with subjects ages 15 to 25. In her own practice, Harper believes the ideal way of administering the new vaccine is to offer it to women ages 18 and up. At the time of their first inoculation, they should be tested for the presence of HPV in their system. If the test comes back negative, then schedule the follow-up series of the three-part shots. But if it comes back positive? "Then we don't know squat, because medically we don't know how to respond to that," Harper said.

So while I respect that you probably do have some sort of medical background that you are keeping somewhat hidden behind your appropriate title of Gonads, basically you seem chiefly to be a putz.

I encourage you to get informed, and feel free not to have my "misinformation" or "misogyny" on your conscience. I think it's safe for you to assume that this father of two girls, but one that's been a victim of malpractice on more than one occasion, understands what being a wise, informed consumer of medicine is all about. Probably more than you with your arrogant Gonads.

Let me go further. Are you a doctor? Because it really is incredibly arrogant for you to try to get between the conversation I am having with the girls' physician along with their mother. And on this, guess what Gonads? We all agree. So for you on the basis of some anonymous internet name and anonymous internet diagnosis to make any medical claims, well, if you are a doctor, your license should be revoked and you should consider the ethics of how you post. And if you're not a doctor, you're a dangerous asshole.

Cheers.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Gonads, anonymous individuals claiming to have any medical knowledge, and giving that out along with pretentious worries about misinformation should be treated as dangerous hoaxers.

"Giving it to 11-year-olds is a great big public health experiment," said Diane M. Harper, who is a scientist, physician, professor and the director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire. "It is silly to mandate vaccination of 11- to 12-year-old girls There also is not enough evidence gathered on side effects to know that safety is not an issue."

Internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field, Harper has been studying HPV and a possible vaccine for several of the more than 100 strains of HPV for 20 years - most of her adult life. All of her trials have been with subjects ages 15 to 25. In her own practice, Harper believes the ideal way of administering the new vaccine is to offer it to women ages 18 and up. At the time of their first inoculation, they should be tested for the presence of HPV in their system. If the test comes back negative, then schedule the follow-up series of the three-part shots. But if it comes back positive? "Then we don't know squat, because medically we don't know how to respond to that," Harper said.

Harper is an independent researcher whose vaccine work is funded through Dartmouth in part by both Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline, which means she is an employee of the university, not the drug companies. Merck's vaccine, Gardasil, protects against four strains of HPV, two of which cause genital warts, Nos. 6 and 11. The other two, HPV 16 and 18, are cancer-causing viruses.

Merck's vaccine was approved last year by the Food and Drug Administration, and recommended in June for females ages 9 to 26 by the Centers for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Glaxo has stated publicly that its vaccine, Cervarix, which protects against the two cancer-causing strains, should be on the market by 2008.

As the director of an international clinical trial for these vaccines, and as author of lead articles about the vaccines' effectiveness, Harper has been quoted widely as saying this vaccine could have enormous potential to eradicate the great majority of cervical cancers. Picking up on this, but before the trials were even completed, major news media and women's advocacy groups began trumpeting the vaccine as an answer to cancer of the cervix.

Once it was approved by the FDA and ACIP, Women In Government (WIG), a non-profit organization comprised of female state and federal legislators, began championing Merck's vaccine in their home states, with many of the ladies introducing legislation that would mandate the vaccine for 11- and 12-year-olds. In Indiana, Sen. Connie Lawson, R-Danville, introduced such a bill in this year's General Assembly, but in the face of strong opposition, it was reduced to an education/information-only bill that requires data collection on any Hoosier girls who do get the vaccine. The bill is now awaiting a hearing in the Indiana House. So far at least 26 states are reported to be considering some form of legislation requiring the new vaccine for younger girls. In February, Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry bypassed his legislature and mandated it for all 11- and 12-year-old girls in his state. Monday, The Associated Press reported that New Mexico's governor, Democratic presidential contender Bill Richardson, is set to sign a bill requiring sixth grade girls in his state to get the vaccine.

The idea is to inoculate them before they become sexually active, since HPV can be spread through sexual intercourse. But that idea, no matter how good the intentions behind it, is not the right thinking, Harper said. The zealousness to inoculate all these younger girls may very well backfire at the very time they need protection most, she said.

"This vaccine should not be mandated for 11-year-old girls," she reiterated. "It's not been tested in little girls for efficacy. At 11, these girls don't get cervical cancer - they won't know for 25 years if they will get cervical cancer.

"Also, the public needs to know that with vaccinated women and women who still get Pap smears (which test for abnormal cells that can lead to cancer), some of them will still get cervical cancer."

The reason, she said, is because the vaccine does not protect against all HPV viruses that cause cancer - it's only effective against two that cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers.

For months, Harper said, she's been trying to convince major television and print media to listen to her and tell the facts about the usefulness and effectiveness of this vaccine. "But no one will print it," she said.

According to Harper, the facts about the HPV vaccine are:

* It is not a cancer vaccine or cure. It is a prophylactic - preventative -vaccine for a virus that can cause cancer. "Merck has proven it has zero percent effectiveness for curing cancer," Harper said. "But it is a very, very good vaccine that prevents types of HPV responsible for half of the high-grade cervical lesions that cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers. For the U.S. what that means is the vaccine will prevent about half of high-grade precursors of cancer but half will still occur, so hundreds of thousands of women who are vaccinated with Gardasil and get yearly Pap testing will still get a high-grade dysplasia (cell abnormality)."
* It is not 100 percent effective against all HPVs. It is 100 percent effective against two types that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers.
* The vaccine only works if the woman/girl does not have a current vaccine type related infection (in other words, the vaccine only works when the woman/girl does not have HPV 6, 11, 16 or 18 - the viruses that Gardasil targets when she receives her first vaccine shot).
* The vaccine doesn't care if the girl/woman has been sexually active, Harper said. "HPV is a skin-to-skin infection. Although the only way to get cervical dysplasia is through an HPV infection, and HPV is most often associated with sexual activity, HPV is not just spread through sex. We have multiple papers where that's documented. We know that 3-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 10-year-olds, and women who have never had sex have been found to be positive for the cancer-causing HPV types."
* Therefore, for example, if a girl is positive for HPV 16 when she is inoculated with the vaccine at any age, she will not be protected against it later, Harper said. "That means it's a failure and those people are at risk for getting the HPV 16 and 18 cancers later."
* The only way to test for the presence of HPV is through a vaginal swab -which is inappropriate for young girls, she said.
* So what happens if the girls are vaccinated anyway, not knowing whether they were carrying the virus at the time of their inoculation? "They will not be protected if they were positive for the virus at the time they are vaccinated," Harper said.
* That is why it is important to note that the vaccine has not been tested for efficacy (effectiveness) in younger girls, she said. Instead, the effectiveness was "bridged" from the older girls to the younger ones -meaning that Merck assumed that because it proved effective in the older girls, it also would be effective in the younger ones. The actual tests on the younger girls, ages 9 to 15, were only for safety and immune response, Harper said, and then only as a shot by itself, or in combination with only one other vaccine, Hepatitis B. It has not been tested in conjunction with any other shots a girl receives at about age 11, Harper said.
* So far more than 40 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome - a dangerous immune disorder that causes tingling, numbness and even paralysis of the muscles have been reported in girls who have received the HPV vaccine in combination with the meningitis vaccine. Scientists already know that sometimes a vaccine can trigger the syndrome in a subject. "With the HPV vaccine, it is a small number but higher than is expected, and we don't know if it's the combination of the two, or the meningitis alone," Harper said.
* In the end, inoculating young girls may backfire because it will give them a false sense of protection. And, for both young girls and women, because the vaccine's purpose has been so misinterpreted - and mis-marketed - Harper feels that too many girls and women who have had the vaccine will develop a false sense of security, believing they are immune to cancer when they are not, and failing to continue with their annual Pap exams, are crucial to diagnosing dysplasia before it can develop into cancer.

The message to consumers, Harper said, is don't stop getting Pap smears just because you've gotten the HPV vaccine. "This vaccine is good, and it will save a huge number of lives around the world," Harper said. "But an important point is that, if women get the vaccine and then not get their Pap smears, or decide to get them infrequently, what will happen in the U.S. is that we will have an increase in cervical cancer, because the Pap screening does a very good job.

"That's my main diatribe. We don't need mandatory vaccinations for little girls. What we do need to ask, though, is how long does it last, and when do you need a booster?"

For the governors of the states in this country, Harper has another message. One has to do with the fact that vaccinating little girls now is not going to protect them later. Since it can take a decade or more to even manifest itself as dysplasia, the HPVs against which this vaccine works may infect a little girl at the age she needs the vaccine most - meaning she will have to have a booster at the right point in time or she will not be protected. And, remember, it won't work at all if she was positive for the virus when she was inoculated in the first place.

Merck knows this, Harper said. "To mandate now is simply to Merck's benefit, and only to Merck's benefit," she said. Merck was required to put together a database on the efficacy in children before Gardasil was approved, Harper said. But instead, the company put together four study sites that "are not necessarily representative, and may not even have enough numbers to determine what they need to know."

Since she doesn't personally have access to the money Merck and GlaxoSmithKline pay for her HPV vaccine research, Harper doesn't know exactly how much either has paid Dartmouth for her work. The trials are expensive, between $4,000 and $5,000 for each patient, she said. With over 100 patients in her study, some big bucks could be in the balance, should Merck or Glaxo become upset with her for making these comments.

Why, then, would she risk speaking out like this - at a time when her words very well could influence legislation across the country, and prompt legislators to drop the mandates? Isn't she afraid of losing her funding?

"I want to be able to sleep with myself when I go to bed at night," Harper said. "My concern is still, let's get women's health better. It is still a good vaccine. But let's be honest. Don't over-promise."

I urge all parents of kids subject to gardasil to become informed and make your own decisions, and to stay away from quacks like Gonads who try to persuade with fear, uncertainty, doubt, and his/her own arrogance.

Talk to your doctors and research on the Internet.

Jebus.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately I am typing challenged but it does not change the point I am making. Also my job does not depend on those skills either. So unlike some poor lefty that can only critic the english because they have no other point. I could care less. I love it!
Posted by: Fat White Guy

"critique" ... an error which suggests that it is not typing that is your fundamental problem. and THAT is my point, since you seem to have missed it earlier.

Posted by: Gonads on July 16, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Spinning Jersey Tomato?

Read the pdf yourself. There is no evidence.

The accusations come from two organizations but both claim the same sources. Those actual sources were not interviewed or able to be contacted in the newspaper article. We have one PDF, but we don't know of any followup where the two witnesses either confirm or deny what third parties claimed for them.

Sorry Jersey Tomato, there is no evidence he made that joke.

There is lots of stupid stuff he has said that we have recordings of, and first person confirmed witness accounts of.

Let's try to stick to reality, and leave the third party smearing to Gonads and Republicans.

Spinning? Not me. Spinning is using this 1986 article and claiming it represents evidence.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

By the way Jersey Tomato, whether McCain said it or not, we know in this thread you just made a rape joke about Dowd. Shameful.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Jerry, the fact that the article was printed at all is evidence that the joke was made. It is a contemporaneous document. You may say the quality of the evidence is poor. You may claim it's thinly sourced. You may claim you believe the denials. You may claim you just don't believe the incident ever happened. You may claim the reporter's recent verification that a joke with rape and ape was told is a damn lie. You may claim the evidence doesn't amount to a hill of beans, but you may not claim that there is no evidence. Personally, I find it believable that a man who ridiculed the apprearance of a 13 year-old girl at a black tie affair full of other Republican bon vivants would tell such a joke. He has a bad habit of telling jokes that he later has to backtrack from. Your mileage may vary, but let's not try to say there's no evidence.

Posted by: Jersey Tomato on July 16, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Please point to where I made a rape joke, Jerry. I said MoDo likes a joke-telling man, and dreamed of McCain as "that marvelous candidate." Please point to the part where I said she was being beaten senseless, or forced against her will. You are living proof that there's no indignation like faux indignation, Jerry.

Posted by: Jersey Tomato on July 16, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of voters apparently agreed with the sentiment that Shrub was a guy they'd want to have a beer with, not realizing that they always have to pick-up the tab.

And that, since he's also a raging alcoholic, once they had the one beer he'd finish the six pack, chase it with a fifth of Jim Beam and a little sniff of cocaine, and then get into a car with a stripper and drive off drunk......

Honestly, this "I'd like to have a beer with him" was one of the most bizarre formulations of likeability to apply to AN ALCOHOLIC.....!

Posted by: Stefan on July 16, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

It wasn't proved efficacious on the target group.

That is wrong. In the 4 major trials* with endpoints of HPV 16/18 associated vulvar/vaginal/cervical neoplasias, the vaccine group suffered 8 events in 32,025 patients vaccinated; versus 408 events out of 31,967 patients NOT vaccinated, demonstrating >97% efficacy in the primary endpoint of preventing HPV 16/18-associated cancers.

*N Engl J Med 2007; 356:1915–27
*N Engl J Med 2007; 356:1928-43
*Obstet Gynecol 2006; 107:18–27
*Lancet Oncology 2005; 6:271–8

Seroconversion is an indication, but of course, not proof.

seroconversion was the endpoint when the patients vaccinated were 9-16, and in early phase I/II trials. You can't test a primary endpoint of neoplasia in a cancer caused by a viral STD unless you follow that 9 year old until she's 30. An immune response against HPV 6/11/16/18, or seroconversion, is the basis for vaccination efficacy, and is a perfectly valid endpoint to show that the vaccine does, in fact, cause you to mount a primary immune response BEFORE you've had sex.

And you failed to discuss how safety wasn't tested and couldn't be tested either with no long term studies, or how it might be problematical to give this vaccine to prepubescent kids. And then you completely ignored the issue of what will happen in the 15-30 year timeframe.

The vaccine hasn't existed long enough to know the effects 15-30 years down the line. That's a lot of little girls who could have had their future cancer prevented, though, while we were waiting.

Neither do you discuss why your credibility or ability in this should be greater than the doctor in charge of testing.

appeal to authority. I provided data; refute it or provide more than your, thus far, unsubstantiated assertions.

Frankly, to be rude, there's no indication that you have any medical training and aren't just a shill for Merck. ... Let me go further. Are you a doctor? Because it really is incredibly arrogant for you to try to get between the conversation I am having with the girls' physician along with their mother. And on this, guess what Gonads? We all agree. So for you on the basis of some anonymous internet name and anonymous internet diagnosis to make any medical claims, well, if you are a doctor, your license should be revoked and you should consider the ethics of how you post. And if you're not a doctor, you're a dangerous asshole.
Posted by: jerry

shit ... the fact that I continually back up my assertions with the original fucking data and articles from the medical journals (as opposed to Harper's) -- journals which I just happen to have rapid and ready access to -- should suggest medical training.

Besides, it's hard to get this arrogant without an MD!

and fuck you, you ignorant piece of shit. no one's getting between you and your kids' doctor. I'm making a suggestion, and backing it up with some data. I'm not calling your pediatrician and telling him what to do. frankly, I find your misinformation campaign about what is and isn't known about Gardisil to be far more unethical.

Posted by: Gonads on July 16, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

In the name of everything that's holy, Jerry, you need to get a job. Or a hobby. Cripes.

Posted by: junebug on July 16, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

I want to thank all of you gentlemen for learning that sexism is bad, regardless of the politics of the woman being demeaned.

If Maureen Dowd does not consider Obama's sardonic remarks about McCain's "confusion" to be humor, what does she consider her own writing?

Posted by: lynn on July 16, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

In the name of everything that's holy, Jerry, you need to get a job. Or a hobby. Cripes.

Truer words!

Gonads,

Medical training? Lots of drug salesman have no more than a BS in biology and have access and can recite the same studies that you have. You're still claiming to be some MD on the net.

"The vaccine hasn't existed long enough to know the effects 15-30 years down the line."

Yeah, no shit. On the other hand, we've seen some wonderful long term studies come out of the FDA, especially in the Bush years. Vioxx. Bextra. Celebrex. Not to mention those old classic comedy bits like thalidomide.

But I think you're right. People who urge caution and an OPT-IN program for Gardasil, including the MDs responsible for testing it, just hate women.

Dangerous Quack. Hoaxer. And you smear people with bogus claims of misogyny because they disagree with you.

Junebug though. Junebug knows. Sigh.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

What junebug said, Jerry. Back away from the keyboard, guy.

Honestly, this "I'd like to have a beer with him" was one of the most bizarre formulations of likeability to apply to AN ALCOHOLIC.....!

I don't believe that Dubya has ever acknowledged he's an alcoholic, has he? He just had a little problem with the hooch and God helped him with that, but hell, it's not like being one of those alcoholics. Those people have real problems, ooooeeeee.

Posted by: shortstop on July 16, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hi, Jerry. I'm the person who mentioned "permanent PMS" in discussing Maureen Dowd. You seem to have taken offense. If you go back and read my comment, you'll see (well, maybe you'll see) that it is written in a way that is meant to be ironic--you know, a joke, sort of like that New Yorker cover. There's even some self-deprecation about the comment maybe being sexist and (marked off by punctuation) a punch line. Don't tell me you're one of those humorless liberals.

BTW, I'm not deluding myself that it was a particularly good joke, and it was (like satire and irony are supposed to) trying to make a point at the same time, but I thought it was self-evidently an attempt at wit. (As my grandfather used to say, that guy thinks he's a wit, and he's half right.)

Posted by: seriously on July 16, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Besides, it's hard to get this arrogant without an MD! - Gonads

I disagree Gonads. It's obvious Jerry is arrogant. It is also obvious that he doesn't have an MD.

You win, IMHO. And I would ask Kevin to please delete Jerry's comments on the HPV vaccine. They are misleading at best and outright incorrect in some aspects.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 16, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Dowd thinks that Obama and his supporters need to lighten up- that humor and teasing are a normal part of political commentary. So,Ms Dowd? All those bitter, nasty colimns that you wrote for the Times, insulting and slamming Hillary Clinton and everything about her- are those examples of the humorous teasing that you are advocating for Obama?

Posted by: myrna on July 16, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

In her own practice, Harper believes the ideal way of administering the new vaccine is to offer it to women ages 18 and up.

Approximately 50% of young women aged 15-19 are sexually experienced (CDC 2002 data). 50% of sexually active people will acquire some HPV strain in their lifetime. 3-4% of these will be HPV 16/18, which is responsible for 70% of all vaginal/vulvar/cervical cancers.

We have no disagreement about any of these numbers, AFAIK.

She's your kid ... feel free to let her take her chances.

... Keep in mind when formulating your answer that abstinence-only sex-ed, lack of condom access, limits on birth control and planned parenthood have consistently led to increased ignorance, pregnancy, abortions, and STDs ... all for an unfounded fear of "sending the wrong message."

But I think you're right. People who urge caution and an OPT-IN program for Gardasil, including the MDs responsible for testing it, just hate women.
Posted by: jerry

I can't speak for all of their motivations. Some of them use the same misogynist rhetoric used by the wingnuts wrt abortion, contraception, planned parenthood, etc, so they may get tarred with the same brush.

But overall, no ... when Dr. Harper lays out safety concerns, she's making valid points which should affect policy. Her data isn't wrong, even though I would disagree with her decision on waiting until 18 yo.

But when you call Gardasil "unproven," well that's just wrong and potentially dangerous, and I don't want to let that stand.

... Besides, anti-vaccine nuts irk me. It's a bit of a blind spot.

Posted by: Gonads on July 16, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

I don't believe that Dubya has ever acknowledged he's an alcoholic, has he?

No, but then again he's never acknowledged being a dumb smirking fucking ignorant odious supercilious privileged asshole war criminal and all-around worthless piece of shit, either.

Posted by: Stefan on July 16, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

... then again he's never acknowledged being a dumb smirking fucking ignorant odious supercilious privileged asshole war criminal and all-around worthless piece of shit, either.

The problem with *that* 12 step program is that there's no time left for the meeting after the introductions.

Posted by: junebug on July 16, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, optical weenie, and junebug all agree on something.

The apocalypse must be very near.

And I'm glad my name isn't jerry.

Posted by: not jerry on July 16, 2008 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

No, but then again he's never acknowledged being a dumb smirking fucking ignorant odious supercilious privileged asshole war criminal and all-around worthless piece of shit, either.

My point wasn't to suggest he's not an alcoholic. But never mind.

Posted by: shortstop on July 16, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Give it a rest, t.

Posted by: on July 16, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, optical weenie, and junebug all agree on something.

The apocalypse must be very near. - not jerry

Every one should go out and buy a lottery ticket right now!


Posted by: not optical weenie on July 16, 2008 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Buck -- Here's Media Matters on the whole arugula flap: http://mediamatters.org/items/200708280009

Posted by: CatStaff on July 16, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yeh, the arugula thing is overblown by the likes og Beck [who is wrong about where arugula is grown] and 'Terror Scarf' Malkin and the tabloidal Malkontents.

Posted by: Jet on July 16, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Every one should go out and buy a lottery ticket right now! -NOW

But but bt Lottery tickets are a form of voluntary taxl

Posted by: Jet on July 16, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

I agree. Obama really needs to stop being so uppity. When people make up shit about him and call him a terrorist lover and stuff, they are just JOKING! It is all just kidding!

Man ... what a humorless guy. Obama should relax and get enjoy getting punched and slandered, like a good victim.

After all, Democrats are supposed to be good sports about this sort of politics, like the wimpy kid in grade school who is supposed to smile while getting a wedgie.

Posted by: Bokonon on July 16, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

My point wasn't to suggest he's not an alcoholic. But never mind.

No, I got your point. I just needed to get that off my chest....;-)

Posted by: Stefan on July 16, 2008 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

But I think you're right. People who urge caution and an OPT-IN program for Gardasil, including the MDs responsible for testing it, just hate women.
Posted by: jerry

[Gonads] I can't speak for all of their motivations. Some of them use the same misogynist rhetoric used by the wingnuts wrt abortion, contraception, planned parenthood, etc, so they may get tarred with the same brush.

That's the point isn't it?

You are willing to tar people who examine the evidence scientifically and urge caution as wingnuts.

People who don't say "ban gardasil" but say "make it OPT-IN".

You are willing to side with people who want to stop this discussion from appearing on liberal blogs, and tar the people who make that discussion as misogynists.

Sorry, in the targeted age group, gardasil is unproven, as in what I said and what you agreed, we don't know how efficacious it is. We know it seroconverts which as I said is a good indicator, but we don't know as you acknowledged what actually happens beyond that. You are willing to say seroconversion is the be all and end all of the testing world, and we know that ain't the case. And you are unwilling to acknowledge possible or likely safety issues, and you have completely ducked ALL discussions of current known complaints of side effects.

"This vaccine should not be mandated for 11-year-old girls," she [Harper] reiterated. "It's not been tested in little girls for efficacy. At 11, these girls don't get cervical cancer - they won't know for 25 years if they will get cervical cancer."

The person doing the misleading here is you, "Dr. Gonads, MD"

If you are a doctor, the way to get your informed views known is not to post your attacks on people as misogyny, but to publish your published reports with your name and your title.

To pick at people and smear them with labels of misogyny and rightwing nutism and to back that yp with nothing marks you as an arrogant dipshit.

If you are a doctor, start respecting the public and our ability to understand. Stop treating us as peons who if we disagree must be ignorant, stupid, right wing, or hate women.

But good luck with your tactics Gonad, I doubt you'll go far posing as Internet Doctor.

And if you've seen me post anything that is either anti-vaccine in general, or misogynistic, or right wing, do have the balls to post it, or apologize.

In the meantime, you're worse than most anonymous internet toughguys, this time you're an internet toughguy claiming to be a doctor. So please don't tell me that I'm the one being dangerous or unethical here. Anyone with any sense knows how to treat anonymous internet doctors. As most probably quacks.

Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to say this, your blog is wonderful, but humorlessness is very dangerous territory. Your version of the New Yorker cover is from my sole and subjective point of view, lame. (sorry) Modo is unbearable most of the time and sometimes brilliant, relevant when off, she's not.

Posted by: YY on July 16, 2008 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to take over the Gardasil thread, but the problem with Dowd and too many of her cohort was something she said years ago: "You don't expect me to write about WELFARE REFORM, do you?"

(As in, you don't expect me to do RESEARCH, do you?)

I think she'd like to be Jon Stewart or Dorothy Parker, a political or societal comedian, spinning impressionistic humor from the top of her head. Which is fine. The trouble is that she does this from the editorial page of a serious newspaper, taking up space that a serious writer could use.

I remember her memoir of Michael Kelly, her friend who died reporting the Iraqi war he ardently desired, and her grief at his loss. I think she doesn't realize that other people are dying as well; if she does, she doesn't seem to care.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 16, 2008 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, here's a stunt. Everyone send a bouquet of aragula to Maureen Dowd.

Posted by: aragula on July 16, 2008 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, in the targeted age group, gardasil is unproven, as in what I said and what you agreed, we don't know how efficacious it is. We know it seroconverts which as I said is a good indicator, but we don't know as you acknowledged what actually happens beyond that.

sigh ... it pains me to watch you attempt to use research (which I provided) which you aren't even aware of, understand, or know how to use.

You are suggesting that seroconversion in 9 year olds and persistence of those anti-HPV antibody levels for the 4-6 years of study -- with subsequent studies shwoing that this protection from HPV 16/18 leads to >97% reduction in those cancers in a separate target population (16-25 yr olds having sex and at risk of neoplasms) -- is inadequate.

This is how EVERY vaccine works. To suggest that persistent anti-HPV levels in 9 year olds is unrelated to cancer prophylaxis in 16-25 year olds is to essentially reject ALL vaccine research.

Gardasil is definitely on new territory here. Most vaccines are timed for when people (usually kids) get the illness (which is why Menactra is usually reserved until 11 yrs old). Gardasil is trying to prevent an infection associated with sex, and is timed before kids have sex. However, the endpoint of interest is NOT associated immediately with acquiring HPV, but years later, when titers MAY definitely drop, necessitating boosters (like tetanus).

"This vaccine should not be mandated for 11-year-old girls," she [Harper] reiterated. "It's not been tested in little girls for efficacy. At 11, these girls don't get cervical cancer - they won't know for 25 years if they will get cervical cancer."

... and I would argue, Dr. Harper (because jerry can, at best, only parrot his betters, even when that's me), that Gardasil is 97-99.9% effective at cancer prophylaxis when the patient hasn't already been exposed to HPV 16/18; if they HAVE been exposed, then Gardasil's effect drops dramatically to 20-44% at cancer prevention. Therefore, it seems smart in a country where >50% of women ages 15-19 are sexually active (and exposed to HPV) to give it sooner.

If you are a doctor, the way to get your informed views known is not to post your attacks on people as misogyny, but to publish your published reports with your name and your title.

Fuck you, douchebag ... I'm not your doctor or pediatrician, and I've given you more free knowledge here than you'd see in a year of Oprah specials.

This whole thread started with YOUR hissy fit regarding Marcotte, attempting to compare her to the New Yorker cover.

If you are a doctor, start respecting the public and our ability to understand. Stop treating us as peons who if we disagree must be ignorant, stupid, right wing, or hate women.

In the right setting, if you were my patient, or if I published something backed up with my name, yeah, I probably would make more effort to understand where you're coming from. I would, for example, concede that if your daughter did get something like Guillain Barre Syndrome after Menactra (a known possible side effect, btw ... 1 in 1 million doses), that she and you would be the ones living with those decisions, not me,and that this is absolutely something which should be discussed openly and honestly.

But not here. Here you're posting disinformation and I'm rebutting it ... with very little respect evidently.

In the meantime, you're worse than most anonymous internet toughguys, this time you're an internet toughguy claiming to be a doctor. So please don't tell me that I'm the one being dangerous or unethical here. Anyone with any sense knows how to treat anonymous internet doctors. As most probably quacks.
Posted by: jerry on July 16, 2008 at 7:55 PM

I think I've done OK wrt credibility, and I honestly couldn't give a fuck whether or not you believe me. I'm not sure whether or not you're a father, however, or if you're using this fictional daughter as a way to score points against Marcotte.

Posted by: Gonads on July 16, 2008 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Regular guys don't fill 75,000 seat stadiums full of supporters.

I beg your pardon?

Posted by: Monster Truck Race on July 16, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

I feel like my brain is raped every time I mistakenly read Dowd.

Posted by: jvoe on July 16, 2008 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

I remember her memoir of Michael Kelly, her friend who died reporting the Iraqi war he ardently desired, and her grief at his loss. I think she doesn't realize that other people are dying as well; if she does, she doesn't seem to care.

It's unbelieveable that Dowd poses as someone giving advice about how Obama should reach out to the "common guy" when she reeks of the old Nancy Mitford standard - "U" and "non-U", just taken to an extreme . Mitford was referring to the differences between the Upper Class and non-Upper Class in the use of language.

For the Dowd types, there's their Beltway Buds, and there's everyone else. She should write about dinner parties and debutante balls and do is all a favor.

And how the hell does she ignore McCain's notorious temper?

Posted by: Miss Otis on July 16, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I pretty much agree with the main premise, that a lot of Obamiacs are humor challenged, especially the "What White People Like" crowd.

From what I've read, black comics have already been cutting up on Obama.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 16, 2008 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

The wonderful thing about being Marueen Dowd is you can just say what you want needing any basis for it. No doubt, being a kind of third rate Dorothy Parker, with an attitude of detachment and disdain for everyone around you -- the eternal critic who never actually tries to do anything -- was an effective, and perhaps impressive, posture for a 16 year old girl. Sadly, it looks pathetic on somebody who is over 50. And there are more than a few male columnists who fit this description, so it is not sexist. Basically, Maureen Dowd, like most of the media elite, are not only out of touch with the country, but not even communicating with it any more. She is irrelevant, an object of pity not worth the derision.

Posted by: RP on July 17, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody buy Dowd a vibrator, quick!

Posted by: anon on July 17, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Of all the "Comment" threads of all the blogs I've ever read, this is by far the funniest. Maybe this is MODo's unintentional, ass-backward contribution to society - she brings out the comedian in us.
Anybody up for some Gardasil? Jerry?

Posted by: paddy_boy on July 18, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Of all the "Comment" threads of all the blogs I've ever read, this is by far the funniest. Maybe this is MODo's unintentional, ass-backward contribution to society - she brings out the comedian in us.
Anybody up for some Gardasil? Jerry?

Posted by: paddy_boy on July 18, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

94MYb5 comment5 ,

Posted by: Sntigujl on June 25, 2009 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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