July 17, 2019

Trump floats a new nickname — "four horsewomen of the apocalypse" — and rails against the do-nothing Democrats.

I'm reading Trump's tweets this morning.

First, there's this quote from Louisiana Senator John Kennedy (in 3 parts: 1, 2, 3):
"In America, if you hate our Country, you are free to leave. The simple fact of the matter is, the four Congresswomen think that America is wicked in its origins, they think that America is even more wicked now, that we are all racist and evil. They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion, & I just think they’re left wing cranks. They’re the reason there are directions on a shampoo bottle, & we should ignore them. The 'squad' has moved the Democrat Party substantially LEFT, and.....they are destroying the Democrat Party. I’m appalled that so many of our Presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to try to agree with the four horsewomen of the apocalypse. I’m entitled to say that they’re Wack Jobs."
Then, Trump's own words:
The Democrats in Congress are getting nothing done, not on drug pricing, not on immigration, not on infrastructure, not on nothing! Sooo much opportunity, yet all they want to do is go “fishing.” The American people are tired of the never ending Witch Hunt, they want results now!
I added the boldface to reveal an interesting resonance.

ADDED: So... the rhetoric is — They think we're wicked and there are witches, and we think they are the destruction of one fourth of humanity:
I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest... Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword... before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, 'A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!'... I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.... They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by the sword (war), famine, and plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.

237 comments:

1 – 200 of 237   Newer›   Newest»
Beasts of England said...

'They’re the reason there are directions on a shampoo bottle, & we should ignore them.'

Poetry in motion.

Swede said...

It should be the 4 Jackasses of the Apocalypse.

Unknown said...

The Democrat Party goes nuttier, more vile, and more hateful every day. Hard to imagine this ends well.

MayBee said...

What party is Louisiana Senator John Kennedy?

rhhardin said...

Deathism, warism, conquestism and faminism.

My name goes here. said...

I love this man.

rhhardin said...

Actually you're not free to leave. The IRS wants your stuff first.

Shouting Thomas said...

That's not a new idea, really... that wicked reference.

Many people have noted that the racism panic is a religious movement.

I've played for congregations that embrace the racism panic religion. It's something to behold.

Racism is the new Original Sin, with the odd difference that the guilt can never be expiated.

rhhardin said...

Johnny Cash The Man Comes Around
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9IfHDi-2EA

Fen said...

Doesn't really ring, but Trump is the branding genius, not me. We'll see...

Fen said...

1) A biblical reference to the Apocalypse refers to dark times
2) Cortez and her Gang have dark skin
3) That's racisty

Impeach now! LOL.

Shouting Thomas said...

Not an original idea either, but as traditional Christianity and Judaism die in the U.S., they are being replaced by the racism panic religion.

The speed and extent of the death of organized religion is amazing.

The Methodist Church is damned near dead in my area. Maybe 8 people at Sunday services, all elderly.

Few churches can boast of drawing enough kids to keep a Sunday school program going.

Racism panic has replaced traditional religion.

People have to have something to believe in, and it appears we've chosen to believe that 1/2 of our neighbors are irredeemably evil bigots.

gilbar said...

from a trusted news source (well, one as trusted as the WaPoo)
https://babylonbee.com/news/dems-change-mind-on-border-wall-after-realizing-it-could-be-used-to-keep-people-in-once-country-switches-to-socialism


OH! here's another one
https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-unveils-2020-campaign-strategy-of-just-letting-democrats-speak-freely

Henry said...

The only interesting thing here is in the second tweet:

[they are] getting nothing done, not on drug pricing

Is Trump supporting a plan to control drug prices? I did not know that. Who cares about directions on shampoo bottles when the president supports price controls?

Or does he? I don't know what Trump is referencing.

Sebastian said...

As always, Althouse is into the rhetoric.

But the rhetoric is a tool in the culture war. The difference now is that two sides are fighting.

Short term, the racism escalation may help Dems. Long term, even cynics may hope, racism inflation will devalue the trope.

But the fight is real, and it is existential. So, Althouse, which side are you on?

Darrell said...

Is Trump supporting a plan to control drug prices?

No. He has negotiated a deal with Big Pharm to lower drug prices.

Hari said...

Trump has made it politically impossible for the House to impeach him. Having demonstrated their absolute hatred of Trump over a tweet. The public cannot possibly believe that impeachment is to be taken as a credible threat anymore. The Democrats have shown that they cannot be taken seriously when they feign outrage at Trump for anything.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

but but but but KREMLIN...

RUSSIANS! We were promised by Rachel that Trump is a Russian spy.

traditionalguy said...

The Angel of Death and the Angel of Hades riding a white horse is racist as it gets.!

Kennedy needs an Emmy for his body of work.

Fen said...

They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion

Hey that's my line! "You are allowed to express your opinion, and I am likewise allowed to express my opinion about your opinion". I wonder if we read the same set of "confusing 100 year old documents"? Small world eh?

They’re the reason there are directions on a shampoo bottle

Ouch. Nicely done.

we should ignore them. The 'squad' has moved the Democrat Party substantially LEFT, and.....they are destroying the Democrat Party. I’m appalled that so many of our Presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to try to agree with -

Although that's counter-intuitive: if these people are really so incompetent, how have they managed to destroy the Democrat Party?

donald said...

I Posted The four retards of the apocalypse this morning in response to my buddy in Oregon. They’re starting to wake up out there about now, I’m sure the responses will be sweet.

Henry said...

Huh. Googling it, it looks the Trump administration will require that drug companies disclose the price of drugs in television ads.

On the other hand, the Trump-negotiated USMCA would increase the time the drug companies retain "test data" exclusivity rights for certain classes of drugs.

Not sure what Trump is asking Congress to do.

rhhardin said...

News flash - noose found on Stanford campus. Is being investigated. Noose flash.

wendybar said...

We have an immigration problem. We have an education problem, we have a spending problem. What is congress doing?? Crying about being called out for their hateful rhetoric, and claiming it's because of their skin color. THIS is why America is pissed and will vote for the man who is trying to get things done, while the left cries.

rehajm said...

Doesn't really ring, but Trump is the branding genius, not me. We'll see...

Yah. Yesterday Nancy referenced Tucker Carlson's 'Four Morons of the Apocalypse'. That's way better but you risk alienating some of the moron vote.

rhhardin said...

Judge horses by the content of their character, not the color of their fur.

Fen said...

"He has negotiated a deal with Big Pharm to lower drug prices.

Might be this:

President Trump on Friday said his administration would soon issue an executive order mandating a “favored nations” policy in which U.S. payments for drugs are capped at the lowest price paid by either a manufacturer or a developed country.

“Why should other nations — like Canada — but why should other nations pay much less than us?” Trump asked. “We’re working on a favored nations law where we pay whatever the lowest nation’s price is.”

The phrase “favored nations” is sometimes used in contracts to ensure that a purchaser of a good or service receives terms at least as favorable as any other purchaser. In other words, the clauses ensure no one else gets a better deal than the “favored nation.”


https://www.statnews.com/2019/07/05/trump-executive-order-favored-nation/

I found a NYTs article too, but they are fiction so I don't trust them to give accurate time.

Birches said...

That Kennedy quote is pretty Trumpy. Wow.

Fen said...

Judge horses by the content of their character, not the color of their fur.

I'm looking for a horse without color, if anyone knows of one.

anti-de Sitter space said...

DJT is just cleaning up the Mike Savage line.

Presumably DJT didn't like the Savage's language that hinted re race. 'Four sisters of the apocalypse.' Don't even wanna use 'men' when referring to the horse gals, cause of gender sensitive PC-ness.

Best to keep the focus on hunting for the wickedness (as measured on a Biblical scale) re the gals. Don't wanna be racist or sexist.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

"The 'squad' has moved the Democrat Party substantially LEFT, and.....they are destroying the Democrat Party. I’m appalled that so many of our Presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to try to agree with the four horsewomen of the apocalypse."

Note how this mirrors the previous concern-trolling of the left toward the Republican party re Trump. Disavow, noble colleagues! Save yourselves! (We have only your best interests, and the interests of the nation, at heart!)

In retrospect we see that the Dems were concern-trolling the losers in the Struggle for the Soul of the Republican Party. Wonder how this round is going to turn out.

tim maguire said...

I wish they’d stay away from the “America, love it or leave it” language. The whole point of being an American is the right to love it or change it. You can undermine them by focusing on the depth of their dislike, the values they are trying to undermine without echoing that old embarrassing motto.

Doug said...

Senator Kennedy, you magnificent bastard!

Bay Area Guy said...

Trump's tweets are the modern day version of FDR's fireside chats.

Suggested nicknames?

The 4 Shrews of the Apocalypse

The Ditz Squad

The Jihad Squad (still the best - but not mine)

Howard said...

The Fur Pussies of the Apairalips is Trump admitting that his previous utterings were indeed racialist. This is his version of a walk-back.

tcrosse said...

“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.”

― G.K. Chesterton, The Defendant

Shouting Thomas said...

My mother, drunk or sober.

My late wife, who was a sage, once said to me:

"Honor thy mother and thy father" doesn't include "if you like what they do."

Dave Begley said...

The Squad is a favorable brand. And the Squad loves it! That's why Trump switched.

I'm expecting Squad T-shirts soon. I bet they trademarked it already.

Speaking of merch, when do we get our Althouse rats aprons? Or how about The Squad of Althouse Rats T shirts and mugs?

Althouse and Meade could make BIG MONEY on that rat merch. Enough to come see the Nebraska Sandhills.

RichAndSceptical said...

Senator Kennedy never fails to crack me up, while still making his point.

rhhardin said...

Four sex workers of the apocalypse.

rhhardin said...

Hijab - Jihad - just coincidence?

RichAndSceptical said...

What party is Louisiana Senator John Kennedy?

The one that has a sense of humor!

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

the Squadrismo

rhhardin said...

How come in grade school they don't tell you that the 'w' in whore isn't pronounced.

They go into all sorts of instruction with where and what.

Not correct instruction - they don't tell you that wh is pronounced hw - but instruction about getting the h moving some air nevertheless.

So you get kids going around looking for hwores.

Henry said...

Thanks, Fen. I guess the follow-on question is what kind of congressional action Trump is expecting for an executive action. Something like the Medicare fix?

So much for new drug development.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Nope. I'm sticking with Teen Girl Squad. More obscure than references to the Apocalypse, perhaps, but seems to me to have the right vibe.

Mostly a vibe of mockery.

Rick.T. said...

rhhardin said...
Johnny Cash The Man Comes Around
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9IfHDi-2EA

Indeed:

"It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks"

William said...

Excellent put down by Kennedy.....Can anyone remember when a fellow Democrat or late night comedian criticized another Democrat for being too vituperative in his criticism of Trump or, for that matter, any Republican. I've heard them say some pretty vile things, and the comments pass unnoticed.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Ocasio-Cortez gets new 2020 challenger: a Republican immigrant from Jamaica. “Your representative in Washington chooses self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance.”

oooo.

In reality, it should be easy to beat the corruptocrats(D). They suck and their supporters wears masks and beat people up on the streets of Portland. The fight is against the mega corporate D-Google, propaganda late night TeeVee, propaganda at the theater, propaganda in the press.

We shall overcome!

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I think it's illegal to mock and criticize the Soviet-Democratics.

Dave Begley said...

Wack Jobs! I like it.

And it cuts two ways.

Dave Begley said...

Good think he didn't call them Whack Jobs.

Kennedy is a Vandy Law grad. Maybe first in his class!

Fen said...

I guess the follow-on question is what kind of congressional action Trump is expecting for an executive action. Something like the Medicare fix?

I would like to have an informed opinion on this, but I admit that this is one subject that scrambles what's left of my brain. I have no idea, no clever reply, no clue.

Dave Begley said...

Correction. Vandy. UVA Law. Oxford. Order of the Coif. See below.

But he has that common touch.

"At Vanderbilt, he was elected president of his senior class and named to Phi Beta Kappa. After Vanderbilt, Kennedy received a J.D. degree in 1977 from the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia. At the University of Virginia School of Law, he was an executive editor of the Virginia Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.[2] In 1979, he earned a Bachelor of Civil Law degree with first class honours from Oxford University (Magdalen College) in England, where he studied under Sir Rupert Cross and Sir John H.C. Morris."

Robert Cook said...

"'Is Trump supporting a plan to control drug prices?'

"No. He has negotiated a deal with Big Pharm to lower drug prices."


I'll believe it when I see it. Just like his promised but still unconsummated "withdrawal" of U.S. troops from various fields of combat abroad.

My name goes here. said...

The Jihadi Squadis

jerseygirlangie said...

If Disney wouldn't sue the pants off of anyone infringing their copyrights, we could call the the "Goof Troop" .

How about The "Political Suicide" Squad ?

Seeing Red said...

I do not blame young men for not wanting to get married since those are the faces of that generation.

Harpies. Banshees.

Seeing Red said...

What about their mothers? They raised them. How embarrassing.

So is this: ...Multiple sources familiar with the FBI spreadsheet tell me the vast majority of Steele’s claims were deemed to be wrong, or could not be corroborated even with the most awesome tools available to the U.S. intelligence community. One source estimated the spreadsheet found upward of 90 percent of the dossier’s claims to be either wrong, nonverifiable or open-source intelligence found with a Google search.

In other words, it was mostly useless.

“The spreadsheet was a sea of blanks, meaning most claims couldn’t be corroborated, and those things that were found in classified intelligence suggested Steele’s intelligence was partly or totally inaccurate on several claims,” one source told me....

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

The shampoo bottle quip is the important part. That’s the part that LIVs will repeat and remember. And once they do, once that becomes linked in their mind to the politicians in question, they will never take those politicians or their ideas seriously.
It’s not rocket science, but timing and delivery are important and Trump nails it here.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

tcrosse, quoting Chesterton: “My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying...

Don't know any patriots who do. The implicit claim behind trotting out this quote and its like is that the people savaging the squad think everything in the country is peachy and never criticize it. Which is, of course, nonsense.

The trot-out is usually meant to deflect attention from any objective examination of the views of the criticized individual, and the possibility that they do not, as a matter of fact, love this country by any rational standard. I find it hard to clutch pearls about "that old embarrassing motto" (tim maguire, above) when we've got pols who hate 70+% of the population of the country they "love", hate its history, its heroes, its culture, its political system and traditions, and want all of the above swept away. Yeah, right, they're just criticizing the flaws and failings a country and system they otherwise totally love. Yeah, right.

(Btw, both sides have their slogans in the "love it or leave it" genre. Right now the left and the cuck right are big on "immigrants are the Real Americans, and you natives suck and should be replaced by your betters!")

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'm surprised the MSM has allowed the "squad" nickname to stick. It makes these women sound cartoonish and unserious.

Leland said...

It is interesting that Trump was "condemned" (whatever that means) by the House for expressing the liberty granted to citizens and visitors to the United States, the right to leave if you want.

John henry said...

Beasts,

My thoughts exactly. The line about shampoo is the best thing I've read all week.

With the possible exception of James Lilek's extended obituary to his father at the Bleat.

OTOH, I will use the shampoo line but not the obituary.

John Henry

Stephanie Delmonico said...

BAG: Use 'Jihad Squad' all you like. I hereby grant you a usage license into perpetuity. Unless you make money off it...then I want my beak wetted.

I'm a former Bay Area Gal myself.

Happy to be gone, but Wisconsin winters take time to adjust to.

Seeing Red said...

Ocasio-Cortez gets new 2020 challenger: a Republican immigrant from Jamaica

...Your representative in Washington chooses self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance," Murray said in the video. "Queens and the Bronx needs someone who will create jobs instead of turning them away."

Asked about Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of Democratic socialism, Murray said, “I think it’s far, far to the left and it is not connecting with everyday Americans.”...

Stephanie Delmonico said...

I would like to offer up another moniker:
The Squawd.

Darrell said...

I'm surprised the MSM has allowed the "squad" nickname to stick. It makes these women sound cartoonish and unserious.

Since the Left in the form of SJWs have taken control of the comic industry, it sounds about right to me. As long as the comics producers stay in business, of course.

rehajm said...

The shampoo line is the best but don't underestimate the value of 'left wing crank'.

mockturtle said...

Tangential but related: AOC new Congressional seat challenger, black Republican woman. Let's see if AOC calls her a racist.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Cook to Darrell: "No. He has negotiated a deal with Big Pharm to lower drug prices."

I'll believe it when I see it.


Agree with you there, Cookie. Don't know how other countries can maintain their low prices without some chumps elsewhere paying for the subsidy and picking up the slack for R&D.

(At least that's the way I understand it. Would appreciate commentary from better informed posters.)

Dave Begley said...

The directions of "Rinse and repeat" substantially increased sales of shampoo. And "Do you want fries with that?" made McDonald's billions.

You can look it up.

n.n said...

The Four Asses of the Apocalypse is semantically, politically correct.

Michael K said...

I still like "Gang of Four," which included Mao's wife, former actress Jiang Qing.

The Gang of Four, together with disgraced general Lin Biao who died in 1971, were labeled the two major "counter-revolutionary forces" of the Cultural Revolution and officially blamed by the Chinese government for the worst excesses of the societal chaos that ensued during the ten years of turmoil. Their downfall on October 6, 1976, a mere month after Mao's death, brought about major celebrations on the streets of Beijing and marked the end of a turbulent political era in China.

It sure sounds like what they would do if they ever got real power.

John henry said...

Blogger Henry said...

Is Trump supporting a plan to control drug prices? I did not know that.

Of course not, it is never gonna get much press because the media is largely owned by the pharma companies.

Look at your TV and tell me what percentage of ads is for prescription pharma products.

the media will never support anything that hurts pharma's(5%) profits.

He has several things in progress.

The most recent and potentially the biggest is what he is calling "Most favored nation" pricing. He will, by law, force US pharma prices to be the same as the lowest price they sell for elsewhere.

eg; if Nexium sells for 50 cents in Canada, it has to sell for 50 cents of less in the US.

I don't know exactly how this will work yet since details have not been released. I am not positive it is a good idea (It might be but there are some drawbacks and risks)

But it is certainly a bold step.

He is also doing some things with the way generics are regulated that will make them easier to bring to market. That should increase competition and reduce prices.

I've been advocating a ban on prescription drug advertising, other than to doctors and such.

First I don't think it is right.

Second it would, by taking away a major source of funding, kneecap the media.

If nothing else, the threat of taking away this advertising might make them more reasonable.

John Henry

n.n said...

Racism is the new Original Sin

Racism, specifically. Diversity or color judgment, generally. Inference and extrapolation from a low information attribute to reach a generic, global conclusion.

MayBee said...

n.n said...
The Four Asses of the Apocalypse is semantically, politically correct.


Ocasio-Cortez already too often sexualizes criticism of her, so this wouldn't be good.

John henry said...

Also, see this:

https://www.washingtonblade.com/2019/05/09/trump-hails-deal-with-gilead-for-prep-donation-as-great-news/

Scott Adams, talking about this a few weeks ago when it was announced said that "President Trump just ended AIDS"

But he also said he, Adams, was being a bit hyperbolic in saying that.

Still, a very important move and how many have heard of it?

John Henry

iowan2 said...

the four Congresswomen think that America is wicked in its origins, they think that America is even more wicked now, that we are all racist and evil.

This is demonstrably true. "The Squad" has illuminated the Leftist motivations for their actions. These four,(more in the shadows) are validating in real time what conservatives have been fighting. The anti America protesters of the 60's and 70's have come to power, and are now being pushed out be even more radicals Democrats that seek the distruction of these United States.
Never forget Obama promised fundamentalchange.

From Websters: Fundamental; serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function :

Leland said...

I don't like Trump's new nickname. We have too many people in the world that think the end times are near. The Squibs are not that capable and shouldn't be given that much credit.

John henry said...

Blogger Bay Area Guy said...

Trump's tweets are the modern day version of FDR's fireside chats.

Like the ones he did on TV in 1929 to explain the depression?

See this video of Sleepy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggCBSAzm23A

John Henry

stlcdr said...

Blogger tim maguire said...
I wish they’d stay away from the “America, love it or leave it” language. The whole point of being an American is the right to love it or change it. You can undermine them by focusing on the depth of their dislike, the values they are trying to undermine without echoing that old embarrassing motto.

7/17/19, 8:19 AM

Only partly correct. They want to change the way America does things - i.e. be more like Europe, Muslim run countries, and so on. This is a hard no.

Coming from a supposedly well regarded country (United Kingdom) to the US, once I got over the brainwashing that goes on over there, conclusively found that the way the US does things is much better, if not the best in the world.

I Callahan said...

The whole point of being an American is the right to love it or change it.

No. Two things:

- If you don't love your country first, then changing it means making it something it is not.
- These people flat-out hate their country. There is a wide distinction between those who see issues in the country and want to address them (who doesn't), and those who think the country is beyond help and needs to be "fundamentally transformed" (sound familiar?).

toxdoc said...

How about 4 jackasses of the Copropraxia

Original Mike said...

Shampoo bottles have instructions? Who knew?

Big Mike said...

Do I understand correctly that all 27 members of the Blue Dog Coalition voted for Pelosi’s resolution? Hope those people are at work polishing their resumes. November 2020 will be here before they know it.

Browndog said...

I see the Ditz Squad is right back attacking Pelosi this morning.

'She is Speaker of the House. She can ask for a meeting to sit down with us for clarification,' Rep. Rashida Tlaib told CBS This Morning when asked if Pelosi was in face-to-face meetings with the new progressive wing.

'Acknowledge the fact that we are women of color, so when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you're doing, especially because some of us are getting death threats, because some of us are being singled out because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth,' Tlaib continued.


jaydub said...

I don't for the life of me know why "the Gang of Four" hasn't caught on. These women are communists or far left zealots just like the Red Chinese Gang of Four were, they want to destroy the country's institutions and American way of life just like the Red Chinese Gang of Four did, and they are advocating in the GND a type of cultural revolution that would force the citizenry into incredible hardship, if not starvation, just like the Red Chinese Gang of Four did. The only thing left would be for them to form a Red Guard to implement their programs and kill 30 million or so of us in the process.

rehajm said...

if Nexium sells for 50 cents in Canada, it has to sell for 50 cents of less in the US.

I don't know exactly how this will work yet since details have not been released. I am not positive it is a good idea


It won't work. Have confidence in your conclusion.

John henry said...

From Wikipedia:

Squadrismo (IPA: [skwaˈdrizmo]) consisted of Italian fascist squads, mostly from rural areas, who were led by the ras[1] from 1918–1924. As a movement, it grew from the inspiration many squadristi leaders found in Benito Mussolini, but was not directly controlled by Mussolini, and each squad tended to follow their own local leader.[2] The squadrismo has been described as a “very undisciplined set of local bosses” where Mussolini attempted to assert some type of leadership control, although he had “not appointed” them nor had he usually met them.[3] According to historian Stanley G. Payne, the "new mass Fascism had not been created by Mussolini," but the squadrismo had sprung up around him in rural areas, first starting in northern Italy.[4]

John Henry

John henry said...

Maybe we could get some T-Shirts that have these 4 horsewomen's pictures.

The caption "Squadrisimo!"

Give them out to their supporters and then let the Fascist reference slowly sink in.

John Henry

Roy Lofquist said...

These four would complain if you hung them with a new rope. It is a universal truth, true in every time and place, that there are some people you just can't please. They range from Gloomy Gus and Debby Downer to mass murderers. The only way to deal with them is to ignore them. Unless they won't let you.

Robert Cook said...

"Don't know how other countries can maintain their low prices without some chumps elsewhere paying for the subsidy and picking up the slack for R&D."

Shit, Big Pharma vastly overprices drugs. See the recent jacked up prices on drugs that have long had lower prices. They're just price-gouging because they can.

The notion that Big Pharma pays for all the R & D on new drugs is a lie; most R & D for new pharmaceuticals is publicly funded, (i.e., paid for by our tax dollars).

Browndog said...

I don't for the life of me know why "the Gang of Four" hasn't caught on.

I don't like it because it sounds too much like 'Gang of 8', which is associated with bi-partisan moderates trying to find compromise on immigration reform.

Nonapod said...

It's funny, until this past weekend I wasn't really even aware of "The Squad" as a singular entity despite being a relatively well informed person (at least I'd like to think I am).

I knew who AOC, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar were, but I'd never heard of Ayanna Pressley. And I was only dimly aware that these freshmen congresswomen had been refered to as "The Squad" in the media (I think I may have seen them referred to as such shortly after the election, but I can't be sure). But thanks to Trump they've been elevated several tiers of public awareness, they've been firmly defined in the public mind, and they've been assigned importance.

I'm still no completely convinced that this was the best move for Trump, but I'm leaning heavily toward that it was. For the moment, he's effectively made them the face of the Dem party. I think overall that's bad for the Democrats, and it's especially bad in particullar the candidates. Or at least I can't see how "The Squad" being elevated in such a way is good for the Dems. After all, they hold views that are largely unpopular among crucial swing voters.

Since the Media and the Dems can't honestly defend many of those views rhetorically in a way that might actually be persuasive to swing voters, as always they have to appeal primarily to basic emotionality. They have to accuse Trump (and by proxy all those who support him) of racism and xenophobia. It's the only card they have, because all other arguments boil down to open borders and ignoring or subverting established law... because for some reason we need tens of millions of new low-to-no skill workers despite the virtually inevitable automization/robotizaion of all low skill jobs in the coming years? There's no logic to that.

bonkti said...

ApOCa lips

John henry said...

Rehajm,

It could work if something is also done to reduce costs.

Right now it costs something like $2-2.5billion to bring a new drug to market. That is an enormous fixed cost that has to be added into every dose sold.

A large part of that is because of the requirement to prove efficacy (that it does what it is supposed to do).

Europeans require less proof of efficacy to introduce a drug. Then, in actual use, they can see whether it works or not. (Greatly simplified)

If we can do something like this, it would be great.

Big pharma will fight it since that huge cost keeps new competitors out.

Lots of other fixed costs due to ongoing regulation too. Europeans are much more lax in how they regulate manufacturing plants. Thus cheaper.

Not saying they are unsafe but they are arguably less safe than US drugs. How much safety/regulation do you want?

More importantly, how much are you willing to pay for?

John Henry

bagoh20 said...

Even if Hillary had won, the four horsewomen of the apocalypse (FHOTA) would still be causing chaos and attacking that President, but unlike Trump, Hillary would not benefit from it.

wendybar said...

Thank you John Henry at 9:36 for stating the truth.

Seeing Red said...

I wouldn’t trust any medicine made in China. They kill their children and pets.

bonkti said...

ApOCa lipstick. I can't unsee it.

John henry said...

Re fixed and variable costs.

Fixed costs, sometimes called overhead, are costs that stay relatively constant whether one makes 1 pill or 1,000,000. Labor, utilities, building equipment, regulatory and so on.

Variable costs are costs incurred per pill. Mainly materials.

Acme makes pills that cost fixed plus variable, $1 each to make. They make 1mm pills per year for the US market. they sell for $2.

Canada decides they want the pill but are only willing to pay 75 cents. Canada is about 10% of the US so say 100,000 pills per year.

Acme is incurring the fixed costs anyway and the variable costs for the pills are 25 cents.

So Acme sells to Canada for 75 cents and still makes 50 cents per pill additional profit.

John Henry

Unknown said...

Four Horsemen of APackofLies?

n.n said...

Witch hunts and warlock trials (i.e. summary judgments). #HateLovesAbortion

Seeing Red said...

The only thing left would be for them to form a Red Guard to implement their programs and kill 30 million or so of us in the process.

It’s ‘68 somewhere 24/7.

FOO Bill Ayers, kill your parents to jumpstart the Revolution!

hawkeyedjb said...

I hope the focus will remain where it should be: on the fact that so many Democrats, including most of their presidential candidates, hate this country and its people. As far as I know, there is no public record of Ilhan Omar - an immigrant no less - ever saying anything positive about her adopted country. Who on the presidential debate stage would dare offer up any vision that recognizes or celebrates American greatness? The party has succumbed to a collective madness and wants the citizenry to vote them to power on the basis of their slogan "America sucks."

Fen said...

The RNC is running a full court press. No Prevent Defense, no Graceful Surrender.

New campaign video captures AOC & Gang in their own words.

Even links their loose talk to the Antifa terrorist attack on ICE.

John henry said...

And here is the kicker:

Under Canadian/US/international law or treaty (not sure exactly how) if Canada decides that Acme is charging too much for the drug, they can allow a Canadian pharma company to manufacture it, patent or no.

They have to pay a royalty, I think it is 4% but may be wrong. But because they don't have to pay many of the big fixed costs (the Canadian pharmas is already paying them) they can make it for, say 80 cents.

So Acme not only loses the 50 cents they would make selling it in Canada for 75 cents, they run the risk of Canadian drugs leaking into the US and taking a chunk out of their US market.

Some might call that extortion. I suspect that PDJT thinks of it that way. He is a man who understands costs, fixed and variable.

John Henry

hawkeyedjb said...

And by the way, why do Democrats want to punish so many Mexican and central American migrants by inviting them to this vicious, racist, xenophobic, misogynist nation full of ignorant, flag-waving slope-headed drooling Klansmen? Why don't they buy them tickets to some 'nice' country?

John henry said...

Cookie, do you know how much profit the major pharma companies make? As a percentage of sales revenue?

Do you think it is excessive?

Do you know how much profit Google makes as a percentage of sales revenue?

Do you think that is excessive?

John Henry

bagoh20 said...

I hate most regulation, but medicines need it, but they need it in a special way to reduce prices.

1) Reduce the requirements before going to market. Streamline that for only serious safety issues, and rudimentary efficacy.
2) Protect honest drug companies from litigation. If they followed the regulations, didn't hide anything, and operated in good faith, they should be immune. This seriously encourages companies to do those things. Right now they can be sued regardless, so the benefits of being a good operator is reduced.
3) Reduce the patent protection from generics. If a company is forced to make a profit in a shorter time they will find a way to be more efficient.

John henry said...

Cookie,

The cost to bring a new drug to market is about $2-2.5 billion.

That includes discovery, development, testing, regulatory, plant and equipment and so on.

It is out of pocket cost to the drug company. That is, they write the checks. Not the govt.

There may (or may not) be public funding on top of that.

John Henry

wwww said...

"For the moment, he's effectively made them the face of the Dem party."

Strategy: Yes that's the 2020 strategy. Going up to the election there will be lots of ads with AOC and the "squad" run in many congressional races. This is the era of negative partisanship. The goal is to nationalize elections by pairing candidates with a outside "national" figure. AOCs picture and the others will be shown in every competitive district in ads. But you have to nationalize the figures first, which is why Trump is working to make these 4 freshman House members household names. You will hear a lot more about them before Nov 2020.

Known Unknown said...

"The shampoo bottle quip is the important part. That’s the part that LIVs will repeat and remember."

LIVs aren't seeing his tweet and aren't hearing much about it. Most of this is bubble shit on Twitter or in the beltway. A lot of people hear "Trump is racist" and tune it out because it's nothing new from the news.

Also, is it grammatically correct? It leaves me thinking I should ignore the instructions on the shampoo bottle, which I do anyway.

jaydub said...

Browndog: "I don't like it because it sounds too much like 'Gang of 8', which is associated with bi-partisan moderates trying to find compromise on immigration reform."

The Gang of Eight was itself a takeoff on the Gang of Four from the Cultural Revolution. Both gangs had elite members of the Politboro (or congress)in effect usurping power from the rest of the body. That the Gang of Four's leading figure was a woman, Mao Zedong's last wife Jiang Qing, is an added benefit.

Tommy Duncan said...

Lest we forget, what was the House condemnation vote when Hillary Clinton made this comment?

"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? [Laughter/applause]. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it."

rehajm said...

The key metric is marginal cost

The basic flaw behind both proposals is that they assume that there is a unique “price” at which pharmaceutical drugs sell. That assumption often works in competitive markets in which the costs of development are low relative to the marginal (i.e. additional) cost of production for each unit. But so-called marginal cost pricing does not work for new pharmaceutical drugs whose development costs are already high and getting ever higher. Companies are constantly researching and trying to develop new drugs with strong therapeutic properties and tolerable side effects. They also face huge costs in shepherding promising drugs through three stages of clinical trials, each one more complicated than the last. Many promising new drugs wash out in these clinical trials, which means that a pharmaceutical company can remain solvent only if its blockbuster drugs yield enough revenue to offset the costs of its duds. And finally, companies incur huge financing costs as they bring drugs to market. Development and clinical trials take years to complete, and drug companies have to find ways to finance expenditures made in year one with revenues that will only start, typically, some eight to 10 years later.

So how are these costs best recovered over the relatively short period during which the drugs receive patent protection, which today works out to around 11 years, give or take, for a major blockbuster drug? The common suggestion is that each purchaser should only be required to pay for the marginal cost of producing the drug that he or she consumes. This was the idea behind Trump’s aborted executive order. In a market that is characterized by high fixed costs of development, that strategy offers favorable prospects for all customers but one—the first. So if a drug takes one billion dollars to research and develop, but only $10 to produce each unit, the marginal cost formula says that the first consumer has to pay the billion dollars so that the other consumers can get the favorable deal. That formula guarantees that no drug will ever make it to market.

The only way in which the drug can be sold is to distribute the cost of the first drug sale on all subsequent sales. But there is no single way in which this can be done, and hence no single price at which these drugs should be sold, which is one reason why the effort to require companies to disclose “the” price is misleading


-Source

bonkti said...

Trump is framing you choice in November as between Keeping America Great or the apocalypse. Lots of people gawk at car wrecks but, at a gut level, no same person wants the actual experience.

Seeing Red said...

Strategy: Yes that's the 2020 strategy. Going up to the election there will be lots of ads with AOC and the "squad" run in many congressional races. This is the era of negative partisanship. The goal is to nationalize elections by pairing candidates with a outside "national" figure. AOCs picture and the others will be shown in every competitive district in ads. But you have to nationalize the figures first, which is why Trump is working to make these 4 freshman House members household names. You will hear a lot more about them before Nov 2020.


Lololol


They and the MSM nationalized themselves.

Unless you’re arguing where their donations come from?

Seeing Red said...

Trump wasn’t the one putting them on magazine covers.

John henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Godfather said...

What Decatur actually said was, "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong."

I can drink to that!

mockturtle said...

What if this is all a ruse? As the extremists are pulling the Dem Party to the Left, the courageous Nancy Pelosi and others are made to appear almost Conservative--and palatable--by comparison.

Robert Cook said...

"The cost to bring a new drug to market is about $2-2.5 billion.

"That includes discovery, development, testing, regulatory, plant and equipment and so on.

"It is out of pocket cost to the drug company. That is, they write the checks. Not the govt.

"There may (or may not) be public funding on top of that."


The public funding starts the ball rolling. Big Pharma buys proprietary rights to new drugs for which we taxpayers have already paid the primary R & D dollars. The billions to bring new drugs to market includes wasted dollars on advertising, promotion, marketing, trying out too many drugs that fail--(because they always have to make new drugs, don't they?), etc., etc. In short, Big Pharma is ripping us off and profiteering by jacking UP prices on drugs that have long held at steady, affordable prices. But...that's the American Way!

John henry said...

Blogger rehajm said...

The key metric is marginal cost

Exactly. The marginal cost to Acme per pill in my example was 25 cents. The cost to make 1 additional pill.

But how many people understand what marginal cost is?

That's why I didn't use it in my explanation.

But you and I do and you are absolutely right.

And your quote is also right on. That is why I said that something needs to be done about costs and specifically mentioned the $2bn regulatory cost.

I can envision a couple of scenarios under which the MFN plan might work. But I think it really depends on reducing costs.

I do think it is an interesting idea and I am looking forward to learning more.

John Henry

J. Farmer said...

Ehh...I don't expect "four horsewomen of the apocalypse" to stick. The extra syllable in "horsewomen" makes the whole phrase too unwieldy.

Char Char Binks said...

It's not clever. Tucker Carlson's "Four Morons" was better.

rehajm said...

But how many people understand what marginal cost is?

Not many in Congress, that's for certain.

John henry said...

If big pharma is ripping us off, Cookie, they should be making lots and lots of profit.

I asked before, what is their profit, as a percentage of sales.

I also asked if you think it excessive.

You chose not to answer.

The billions to bring new drugs to market includes wasted dollars on advertising, promotion, marketing,

No, that all comes after and on top of the $2-2.5bn.

And is necessary. If you develop a new drug and keep it secret, what good does it do anyone?

trying out too many drugs that fail--(because they always have to make new drugs, don't they?)

It is always nice if you can get it right the first time. How often does that happen for anything in this life?

John Henry

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Stephanie Delmonico" I would like to offer up another moniker:
The Squawd.


I would like to add to this. The Squawk Squawd

mockturtle said...

Cookie asserts: The public funding starts the ball rolling. Big Pharma buys proprietary rights to new drugs for which we taxpayers have already paid the primary R & D dollars. The billions to bring new drugs to market includes wasted dollars on advertising, promotion, marketing, trying out too many drugs that fail--(because they always have to make new drugs, don't they?), etc., etc. In short, Big Pharma is ripping us off and profiteering by jacking UP prices on drugs that have long held at steady, affordable prices. But...that's the American Way!

Other than '...that's the American Way', I agree with your assertion. Pharma spends much more on marketing than on R&D.

victoria said...

Lies, lies and more lies by the Cheeto in charge and his henchmen, including the bad Kennedy.

Vicki from Pasadena

Seeing Red said...

trying out too many drugs that fail--(because they always have to make new drugs, don't they?)

Not all of us are fond of being bled and using leeches for ailments, Cookie.

No one will force you to take the new drugs. Just tell your doctor and the hospital, if you’re able.

Seeing Red said...

But enough about the Steele Dossier and the FBI and CIA.

Did you swallow that Vicki?

rehajm said...

Pharma spends much more on marketing than on R&D.

It's roughly the same, though that doesn't negate the point they spend too much on marketing.

John henry said...

Two famous and important drugs are penicillin and insulin.

Penicillin was discovered at Oxford(?) by Fleming. Insulin at a university in Canada.

Had it stopped there, they would have been laboratory curiosities that saved not a single life.

They only became useful when Eli Lilly (Insulin) and ER Squibb and Sons (Penicillin) figured out how to make them into a medicine usable in the treatment of disease. THEN, they had to figure out how to make it, build factories, invent equipment and so on.

Yes, Fleming was important. But he was nothing compared to Squibb. Ditto the discoverer of Insulin.

It is a similar story with every other discovery made in a university lab.

It commercialization and only commercialization that makes a drug or any invention useful.

Universities are no good at commercialization, generally. That is no surprise, that is their job.

And re developing new drugs all the time, would you really want to be using the penicillin as it was in the 1940's? It was lifesaving but it was also dangerous. Constant development of new strains and techniques and formulations (tablets, liquids, suppositories etc) made it better, safer and more usable.

I have a lot of complaint about the way pharma works in the US and the world. I also more than 40 years of experience in the industry and considerable knowledge.

You just seem to have a lot of complaints.

John Henry

Fen said...

The extra syllable in "horsewomen" makes the whole phrase too unwieldy.

Agreed. You can even drop 4, it's implied. There have always been 4 riders.

"Harpies of the Apocalypse" ??

Harpy
a rapacious monster described as having a woman's head and body and a bird's wings and claws or depicted as a bird of prey with a woman's face.
a grasping, unpleasant woman.


Although I think linking them to THE Apocalypse out-sized importance.

John henry said...

Universities are no good at commercialization, generally. That is no surprise, that is their job.

That is NOT their job.

Sorry

John Henry

Michael K said...

Big Pharma is ripping us off and profiteering by jacking UP prices on drugs that have long held at steady, affordable prices. But...that's the American Way!

Other than '...that's the American Way', I agree with your assertion. Pharma spends much more on marketing than on R&D.


Both are true in different cases. Nexium, for example, was a "new drug" to keep the patent going. Proton pump inhibitors replaced H2 blockers, like Zantac and other older versions. Omeprazole was the original PPI. It went off patent and the Nexium appeared.

On the other hand, there are new biologicals that are hideously expensive to develop and which have tremendous beneficial effect on old diseases that were nearly untreatable for a century. Like Rheumatoid arthritis.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

'Trump floats a new nickname — "four horsewomen of the apocalypse"'

But he didn't if you were to parse this the same way your parsed his "implicitly racist" tweets. You can only say that he implicitly floated a new nickname.

But four horsewomen is not a better nickname for Trump to use for the squad. After all, who let lose the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Jesus. It implies that Jesus sent the squad.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

At some point I would expect the band to break up. Jealousy and fame will take its toll. AOC and Ilhan will vie for top billing (ala Paul and John). The other two footnotes will fight over the scraps. I'm not sure when it will happen but it should be entertaining!

Big Mike said...

John Kennedy (R Louisiana) has a special standing to complain. He started his political life as a Democrat, but that party left him long ago.

Michael K said...

Yes, Fleming was important. But he was nothing compared to Squibb. Ditto the discoverer of Insulin.

I have a chapter in my medical history book on that story, Fleming discovered the substance but did nothing with it. Florey and Chain plus their biochemist, Heatley, developed a useful drug. In fact, the Americans learned to produce more volume by "deep fermentation," but refused to share the method with Florey and his team at Oxford. The Florey team was able to supply British needs during the war with the help of ICI.

John henry said...

Just went and looked at the instructions on the back of a bottle of Pantene shampoo.

I had never read them before.

"Massage shampoo into wet hair. Lather. Rinse and repeat"

I never would have figured out the first part on my own. you're supposed to massage shampoo into wet hair? Who knew? I've been doing it wrong all my life.

The "lather" part is redundant. Unless you are wetting your hair with something other than water isn't it going to lather anyway?

And the "Rinse and repeat", as someone else mentioned, is pure marketing genius. But they need to add a line to say how many times. Otherwise there will be some people, the kind who need to read the instructions in the first place, who will keep repeating until the bottle is empty.

A question here: How many people normally shampoo their hair twice? Unless I've been rubbing my head in cowpies, once always seems like enough for me.

I don't think I even used shampoo regularly until I was married. I grew up washing my hair with soap.

IT'S A CONSPIRACY BY BIG COSMETIC, I TELLS YA!!!!

John Henry

toxdoc said...

Robert Cook said: "The notion that Big Pharma pays for all the R & D on new drugs is a lie; most R & D for new pharmaceuticals is publicly funded, (i.e., paid for by our tax dollars)" is mostly true for the basic and some applied research in early drug development. However, only a portion of the candidate chemicals (not really drugs, yet) do go forward to be tested and eventually go down the pathway to become "drugs"; most likely that is less than 10% of the total. The big costs in bringing a chemical to an approved drug though the FDA drug approval process is where most of the failures occur but, also what leads to final approval as a drug. This is very expensive and where most of the actual costs incurred happens. Drug companies for the most part incur all these costs

jimbino said...

It's not the cost of ingredients, whether measured in material or effort, that sets the fair price of an thing, whether of water, diamond, or insulin; instead, it's the price negotiated between willing buyer and willing seller in a free market.

When it comes to drugs and health care, we have information-hiding, patent protection, FDA approval, insurance and prescription rules and caregiver certification, among other frictions, that foreclose or impede a free market. Trump is right to promote price transparency.

narciso said...

that is fascinating, a little like the controversy over juan finlay, and walter reed over the aedes aegypti mosquito, as a vector for yellow fever,

Nonapod said...

On the other hand, there are new biologicals that are hideously expensive to develop and which have tremendous beneficial effect on old diseases that were nearly untreatable for a century. Like Rheumatoid arthritis.

Back when I was a biology major in college in the mid 90s our immunology professor told us that producing something like a gram monoclonal antibodies would take weeks and cost over $100k. I assume they've gone down a lot since then, but I don't know.

John henry said...

Nexium, for example, was a "new drug" to keep the patent going.

But it is new and improved somehow. The old Nexium and its generic equivalent are still available.

I have a problem with acid reflux. A huge problem back in the 90s when I started getting attacks. At one point I was stretched out on the floor in a JC Pennys thinking I was having a heart attack.

Prior to Tagamet, the only alternative would have been surgery.

I have been prescribed Nexium, Rantadine and some other drugs. I keep coming back to the original Tagamet OTC. Or the generic Walgreens equivalent.

When I feel an attack coming on, Tagamet stops it dead in minutes.

The others I am supposed to take daily but since I only get attacks a couple times a year, I don't like doing that.

SmithKlineFrench made a huge pile of money off Tagamet and deserved every nickle.

John Henry

Hagar said...

It is beyond my abilities to sort out, but the shadowy outlines of the relationships between the ever larger and more concentrated "Big Pharma," "Big Insurance" (HMO's), and the Federal Government bureaucracies - not to mention the advertising industry - make me feel very uneasy.

tim maguire said...

I Callahan said...
“The whole point of being an American is the right to love it or change it.”

No. Two things:

- If you don't love your country first, then changing it means making it something it is not.


Hie thee to a civics class!

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Henry said...

So is Trump's price fixing good or bad?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"LIVs aren't seeing his tweet and aren't hearing much about it. Most of this is bubble shit on Twitter or in the beltway. A lot of people hear "Trump is racist" and tune it out because it's nothing new from the news."

I've already heard it quoted at work this morning by a twenty-something who heard it at his gym. When Trump tweeted about some murderous illegal alien a while back, two co-workers were talking about it and I received an outraged text about it from a Proggy friend, all in the few minutes that I was reading about it on the Internet.

Penetrating bubbles is what Trump's Twitter game is all about.

Hagar said...

I think blocking mega-mergers and opening up importation of generic versions of drugs gone off patent may do more for rational pricing and be healthier for us in more ways than just "health."

Henry said...

@tim maguire -- Nice response.

Of course Trump's slogan wasn't, "Keep America Great Because It's Great"

rehajm said...

Hey- Now that we got that Trump guy that was related to the Epstein creep somehow, how's the rest of that investigation going? Any ties to Clinton? Other Democrats?

Mission Accomplished

Dust Bunny Queen said...

jimbino said It's not the cost of ingredients, whether measured in material or effort, that sets the fair price of an thing, whether of water, diamond, or insulin; instead, it's the price negotiated between willing buyer and willing seller in a free market.

Yes. It is also the numbers of people who will need that drug for the condition.

For example some drugs are widely used by many people and the recovery cost to the company is spread out over millions.

As opposed to a drug that is used by very few people for a condition that is not as common. Hence the expense of the drug needs to be spread out over the "market" for that drug.

Economics and business costs spread out on the available consumer base.

Robert Cook said...

"I asked before, what is their profit, as a percentage of sales.

"I also asked if you think it excessive."



Yes.

Big Mike said...

@gilbar, life imitates the Babylon Bee! Here's the latest RNC ad.

DanTheMan said...

>>and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That doesn't mean you have the right to change it, but only the right to be heard.

There is a process to fundamentally change our country. It's called constitutional amendments.

But it's easier to convince 5 justices than 3/4 of the states. So usually we do that instead.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

John Henry et al, I clicked thru (so you don’t have to) to Cookie’s “research” link, which was a breathless and tactless amalgam of anti-pharma propaganda. They cite advertising and promotion education and direct sales as part of “R & D” spending. People who can’t read a P & L or a balance sheet shouldn’t write about business. They dismiss what happens after NIH “basic research” as Big Pharma “tweaking” discoveries by public institutions. Maybe the Underpants Gnomes wrote this for Cookie. There should be a rule that any aspersions of “obscene profits” be accompanied by comparative charts showing relative revenues/profit margins/EBITA of other industries.

William said...

Can anyone name a drug that was invented or developed in the USSR or Red China? Does the EU compare favorably or unfavorably with the USA in the development of new drugs?....The liberal Dems believe in capitalism, but they believe it is a dangerous beast that must be caged and fed a limited diet in order to keep it from drowning in its own manure.

AllenS said...

The Four Women of the Circle Jerk.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Ack. The word “tactless” above should be “fact-less” damned autocorrect.

Hagar said...

I don't think the firms would be so eager to merge if their profits were "excessive," but that is not saying the system as currently constituted is healthy for either them or us.

Hagar said...

Between them, the American automakers, the UAW, and Congress about destroyed the American auto industry.
Today, it is healthier than ever producing trucks and cars just about anywhere around the country, except Detroit, but by firms headquartered elsewhere and not beholden to either Congress or the UAW.

Francisco D said...

RE: Cookie nd Big Pharma

The process of getting FDA approval is long, arduous and very expensive. The vast majority of drugs never get to that point.

Twenty years ago, I consulted with a medium-sized Pharma firm that developed a well known drug still on the market. I worked with the Phase Three group that managed clinical trials across the country. I also worked with two other groups (cardio and oncology) whose drugs never made it to large scale clinical trials. The drugs were abandoned at a loss of $500 million.

The Phase Three people I worked with made a ton of money for their success. People whose lives were positively affected by the drug probably do not begrudge them. Investors also made plenty of money for taking a risk. The same investors lost a ton of money in similar ventures. However, these investors invest THEIR OWN MONEY and not the taxpayers'. I trust them more than government bureaucrats to take these risks.

This is essentially the problem with increasing government control over our lives. Who do you trust to make decisions, Cookie? You should consider whether the people you believe to be well intentioned are competent and whether they are just trying another method of making money that stifles entrepreneurship.

mockturtle said...

It should also be noted that the Industry funds university research in the shape of grants so it's not all government funded. However, it does tend to cast a shadow on the objectivity of the research.

Allowing advertising of pharmaceuticals was probably not a good idea. The 'ask your doctor' ploy puts physicians on the spot and leads to unnecessary prescribing.

John henry said...

Blogger mockturtle said...

Allowing advertising of pharmaceuticals was probably not a good idea. The 'ask your doctor' ploy puts physicians on the spot and leads to unnecessary prescribing.

B-B-B-B-But Mockturtle,

That advertising pays for Rachel Maddow, Friends, the Office, Big Bang Theory, Sean Hannity, Jerry Springer, Judge Judy etc.

If it weren't for big pharma, the only ads you would see would be ambulance chasing law firms.

The advertising is also why you almost never see TV reporting about problems with drugs.

Unless the network feels a company is not buying enough advertising. Then they gin up some phony story about DANGERS!!!! and RISKS!!! about a particular drug until the pharma company ponies up.

Ban all drug advertising except to doctors etc. It's an FDA rule that allows it. The rule could be rescinded tomorrow.

Let PDJT suggest this as a way to cut drug costs. The entertainment value of the media companies and their toadies setting their hair on fire would be priceless.

It might even cut the cost of drugs. Though, because it would cut volume, it might raise costs. See the discussions above about fixed, variable and marginal costs.

John Henry

Gospace said...

John henry said...
...
"Massage shampoo into wet hair. Lather. Rinse and repeat"
.....
And the "Rinse and repeat", as someone else mentioned, is pure marketing genius. But they need to add a line to say how many times. Otherwise there will be some people, the kind who need to read the instructions in the first place, who will keep repeating until the bottle is empty.


Believe it or not, because of OC's, some shampoos have "Repeat if needed" in the instructions. I think, but I'm not certain, this was on an episode of Monk

A question here: How many people normally shampoo their hair twice? Unless I've been rubbing my head in cowpies, once always seems like enough for me.

If it doesn't lather up the first time, that is, I had a really bad day, that's the "If needed". First time gets most all the dirt out. The second time around cleans. Also dependent on whether using soft water at home or hard water elsewhere. Hard water always twice.

I don't think I even used shampoo regularly until I was married. I grew up washing my hair with soap.

Always used bar soap shipboard and underway. Shampoo ashore and at home. Now I have to keep bodywash in the house for better half and daughter. Talk about ripoff.... I get my bar soap from the Dollar Tree. Sometimes Walmart has the brand I use with no perfumes or deodorant stuff added; Dollar Tree always has it. 4 bars for a dollar.

John henry said...

Blogger Francisco D said...

Investors also made plenty of money for taking a risk. The same investors lost a ton of money in similar ventures.

It is always worth pointing out that investors in new entrprises, inventions, ideas expect to lose money on 15 out of every 20 investments. 1-3 will break even or make a slight profit.

In order to make money, the remaining 2-4 must be very profitable.

One should always remember that too that Babe Ruth held the record for most career strikeouts longer than he held the record for most homeruns.

John Henry

Michael K said...

When I feel an attack coming on, Tagamet stops it dead in minutes.

Tagamet and Zantac, both off patent, are H2 blockers and work almost instantaneously. The PPIs like Nexium or omeprazole take about 12 hours to work. I have been taking PPIs for years and should probably quit for a while and take H2 blockers like Tagamet. The data on PPI bad side effects is weak but I might still do it.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

tim maguire: Hie thee to a civics class!

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Oh ffs, tim. "Petition the Government for a redress of grievances" and "fundamentally change the country into something it is not". Yeah, no difference.

If "[t]he whole point of being an American is the right to love it or change it" [your words], then what could be more to the point of "being an American" than, say, agitating for hate speech legislation (aka abolishing that 1st Amendment that you're flourishing, above).

That's change, right? And you just told as that "change", change in and of itself, is the essence of Americanosity!

Michael K said...

The best example of marketing in drugs is anti-depressants, There is a guy, Irish psychiatrist, who has written several books about this. I attended a talk one time at the UCLA faculty club where he showed slides of anti-depressant ads over the years. The early ads showed women obviously depressed. Over the years the ads shifted until they now show happy women who seem to have a great time as long as they take their meds. I can't remember his name. Francisco may remember it.

Seeing Red said...

So is Trump's price fixing good or bad?

Yes.

Yancey Ward said...

Robert, I worked in drug discovery for 16 years- you and the authors of your links are utterly full of shit. NIH grants often fund the basic research at the level of discovering a target for intervention- that much is true. However, the actual work of finding a chemical lead- the truly massive expense and scale of screening upwards of a million potential compounds or more to find malleable structures for optimization, and then 5+ years employing 100+ or more people and resources optimizing the original leads into a drug candidate across 50 different pharmacological tests, and only then reaching the point of a phase 1 trial (with 2 additional phases minimum coming)- all of that is funded by pharmaceutical companies, not the NIH. John Henry was right- 2-2.5 billion just for a drug candidate to be approved by the FDA, and that doesn't include the 4 out 5 drug candidates that fail at or after phase 1 trials.

JAORE said...

May I submit:

The Four Stooges

Yancey Ward said...

As for the claim that marketing is a big cost of the drugs sold is also bullshit- it comes to less than 5% of the total profit reported. People who should know better (and probably actually do know better) always conflate "Selling and Administrative Costs" with "Marketing".

Known Unknown said...

"Tagamet and Zantac, both off patent, are H2 blockers and work almost instantaneously. The PPIs like Nexium or omeprazole take about 12 hours to work. I have been taking PPIs for years and should probably quit for a while and take H2 blockers like Tagamet. The data on PPI bad side effects is weak but I might still do it."

My wife was on Nexium for awhile, but decided to transition off (due to the side effect outcry) and started on Zantac. It doesn't really work for her, though. She keeps considering going back on the Nexium. I take a Nexium every few days, not daily.

Drago said...

wwww: "Strategy: Yes that's the 2020 strategy. Going up to the election there will be lots of ads with AOC and the "squad" run in many congressional races. This is the era of negative partisanship. The goal is to nationalize elections by pairing candidates with a outside "national" figure."

LOL

Tell us wwww, when did this "era" begin?

Laughable.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Always used bar soap shipboard and underway. Shampoo ashore and at home. Now I have to keep bodywash in the house for better half and daughter. Talk about ripoff.... I get my bar soap from the Dollar Tree. Sometimes Walmart has the brand I use with no perfumes or deodorant stuff added; Dollar Tree always has it. 4 bars for a dollar”

My partner’s ex seriously didn’t want her seen in Dollar Tree (or the 99¢ stores in PHX and LAS). I, on the other hand, am basically cheap (so is she). There is a list of things that I only buy there, and it includes soap, but also 60 watt LED bulbs, and jars of peanuts. Amazingly, Dollar Tree seems to be the only place I can buy bottles of peanuts that don’t include sugar added. Look for the ones with orange lids - the yellow lids are honey roasted. I have bought the from Dollar Trees in maybe half a dozen states now. One and two bladed razors. Shaving cream. Etc. The list goes on and on.

The thing that Dollar Tree says to me is that we are heading to a future of cheap disposable stuff, away from one of scarcity. Sure, a lot of their stuff is cheap. But it works for what I need it for. I wouldn’t use their hand tools if I had to make my livelihood from using them, but I don’t. Last year, we got into an argument over whose metal tape measure it was. My solution? Went to Dollar Tree, bought three more, and we no longer ever fight over it. She has hers in her kitchen drawer, I have one upstairs, and a couple in the garage as backups. Didn’t want to use the rubber mallet I had hanging in the garage for paint cans, because the paint might ruin the esthetics, so bought another identical one that stays with the paint stuff. We argue about ziplock bags, and next time I am there, I buy a selection.

I marvel that people a century ago had to scrape to buy these things, and now they are, for many of us, cheap and disposable. So cheap that I will have 3 or 4 of something just so I don’t have to go downstairs or into the garage.

victoria said...

Seeing Red, you mean all that made up crap to divert our attention away from the real corruption that is going on and the gradual reduction of women's rights?

Yea, all that crap. Smokescreen


Vicki from Pasadena

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Thanks one and all for the discussion on pharma costs.

Comment solicited from the knowledgeable specifically on the assertion that paying-out-the-wazoo Americans are essentially subsidizing the low drug costs of other countries. That is, pharma has to recover the cost of development, and that means us.

Yancey Ward said...

In those 16 years, my company paid me in salary, benefits, and miscellaneous costs that ran to over $3 million dollars minimum, or about $1 million dollars for the three main projects I worked on during that time. The research site had over 1000 employees working during that period of time devoted only to research and development. Just the employee costs alone ran to $3 billion dollars during those 16 years, and I can't imagine the materials/equipment and services didn't cost even more than that.

And you want to know how many drugs reached the market from my time there? None. At least $6 billion dollars was expended in those 16 years to produce no revenue at all. Everything we produced that reached the clinic (6 or 7 total is my memory) all failed at or after phase 1 trials.

John henry said...

SKF had a plant in Cidra Puerto Rico and their main product was Tagamet at the time. Still on patent, it was better than a gold mine full of diamonds.

They spent a lot of money in the plant trying to impress the FDA and drove us other companies absolutely Bonkers. I was working for Alcon at the time and had some involvement in regulatory affairs.

The FDA would come in and tell us "You know, SKF has silver plated paneling on the walls of their broom closets. We think that is a good idea and you should too. We are going to put it in our recommendations for you to follow as a best practice."

Now you didn't have to comply with that kind of recommendation but they might ask why you hadn't. My bosses reply, that he always wanted to give but never did, was "We don't comply because we don't make Tagamet."

John Henry

Yancey Ward said...

And note- that $6 billion was on researchers and their incurred research costs- not the even larger group in another building that served as the support like Human Resources etc.

LuAnn Zieman said...

rhhardin--RE: Horse fur. Horses have hair, not fur. Horse hair. By the way, horse hair, especially tail hairs make wonderful oriole nests. Our horses contributed to many a bird nest.

John henry said...

Yancey,

In the early 80's Alcon was not that major a pharma company. It was a couple steps up from the mom & pop pharma plant that Alexander and Connors founded in the back room of their Fort Worth pharmacy when they got out of the army after WWII.

Even so, it had an R&D department with 300 PhD's plus lots of lab techs, chemists biologists and other supporting staff.

John Henry

Bruce Hayden said...

“So is Trump's price fixing good or bad?”

I really don’t know. There is, I think, a very substantial free rider problem right now with the rest of the world piggy backing off of our pharmaceutical R&D. As noted above, our high drug prices cover the extraordinarily high fixed costs it takes to bring drugs to market. And the drug companies can then make money throughout the rest of the world (starting in Canada) making money selling above their variable costs. The problem for Trump is that his proposal seems to be attempting to force the drug companies to sell here too just above the variable cost point, leaving nothing left over to cover those huge up front fixed costs. This would seem to have the potential of destroying pharmaceutical innovation in this country.

The only way that I can see this working is if he bundles it with other trade negotiations. The problem with Canada, for example, is that if pharmaceutical companies try to force higher prices on Canadian consumers, their government will just march in and take the drug monopoly away from them. Part of the problem is that patents are national, not international (except in some multinational situations like the EPO). And a lot of countries bend their patent systems to benefit their residents, esp. in situations like this.

I just don’t know the answer here.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Vicki from Pasadena @10:25 AM:

"Ooga booga! Ooga booga! Orange Man Bad"

Vicki from Pasadena @12:46 PM:

"Ooga booga! Ooga booga! Orange Man Bad"

Vicki from Pasadena, last two years' comments:

"Ooga booga! Ooga booga! Orange Man Bad"

Vicki from Pasadena, short to medium-term comment content projection:

"Ooga booga! Ooga booga! Ooga booga!

Vicki from Pasadena, medium to longer-term comment content projection:

Link.

John henry said...

Re Dollar General and other dollar stores

about 10-15 years ago I was doing some workshops at a large pharmaceutical contract manuffacturer. A contract manufacturer is a company that makes store brands or private label brands. Different from a generic house. For example, they made Bayer aspirin lookalike for Walgreens, Listerine lookalike for CVS and so on probably a couple thousand products. Enormous facility, probably a couple thousand people working 3 shifts.

So I was asking who their big customers were. Walmart was number 1, of course. It always is. Number 2 surprised me. It was Dollar General (or Dollar Tree, one of those chains)

Ditto a name brand breakfast cereal plant (corn flakes and the like) about 10 years back. Dollar General (or the like) was their number 3 customer. Walmart was #1 and Safeway or Kroger was #2 but DG was #3. They even made cartons that were printed "Dollar General price $2.99" or whatever.

These dollar stores move a LOT of merchandise. A lot of it is cheap crap. But a lot of it is good, but inexpensive stuff.

For example, the plant that makes the name brand soap may make the Dollar General brand soap. They already have the plant, the marginal cost of making the additional soap is peanuts. Put a different name on it, boost volumes and costs of all soap, brand and DG go down profits go up.

One of the interesting challenges they bring to manufacturers is that they turn pricing on it's head. Normally a company decides the customer wants this product in this size. say a roll of 100 plastic bags in a dispensing carton. Then, based on cost they decide how much to charge.

Dollar stores know what to charge and go to the manufacturer and say "what can you give us that we can sell for $1?" That may be a roll of 27 bags in a plastic sack. It may be some phony brand rather than the name brand.

John Henry

Bruce Hayden said...

I do love pharmaceutical advertisements. They extol the virtues of a new drug, then suggest that you ask your doctor if it is right for you. And it does work. I have done just that. But it does address a real problem in the medical field, that that many, if not most, physicians don’t truly understand all the drugs available on the market. Maybe in a small niche practice. Just too much to keep up with. And traditionally, it seems, that much of what they know comes from (intentionally) good looking pharmaceutical reps.

I mention this because a friend of mine was the dean of a pharmacy school, and what he was working on was trying to get his PharmDs into medical practices. It made a lot of sense - people who got their doctorates in understanding pharmaceuticals helping physicians, who typically don’t have a lot of training in that area, prescribe medicines. The problem, as always, was funding. The physicians could essentially bill their time. But who is going to pay for the PharmDs, who can make $100k going to work at a big chain pharmacy?

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Bruce Hayden @1:00:

Thanks Bruce. That's what I wonder about. We (Americans) are getting screwed, but all that R&D does have to be paid for.

On youtube you run into chirpy American suburban soccer-moms and boomin' Boomers explaining how to get your expensive drugs real cheap in Canada...and how we would have cheap drugs, too, if only we had a national health service like Canada! Lol. If we had a national health service like Canada, eventually nobody would be getting any new drugs at any price. Unless China or somebody else takes over being the global subsidizer. But to them that would all just be the fault of Monty Burns or something.

(I still do hate big pharma Pfizer for Kelo, though.)

Seeing Red said...

They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by the sword (war), famine, and plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.


Socialism.

Bruce Hayden said...

@John Henry - thanks. Makes sense. This does explain the odd sizing you see. For example Reynolds can afford to make them packages of 9 Hefty quart sized slider storage bags, but not 10. So you see boxes of 9, and then boxes of 11 of the generic next to the Hefty bags. We had steered away from Dollar Tree drugs, assuming that they were probably there because they were almost expired. Will look at them more closely.

Seeing Red said...

Thanks Bruce. That's what I wonder about. We (Americans) are getting screwed, but all that R&D does have to be paid for.


We take the hit so the world doesn’t have to.

Seeing Red said...

Seeing Red, you mean all that made up crap to divert our attention away from the real corruption that is going on and the gradual reduction of women's rights?

Abortion?

Pssst. Look deeper. You’ve been living in a matriarchal society for awhile now.

When women have to complain they’re being oppressed because their husband wasn’t lazy and put control of the TV and HVAC on his phone...cry me a river.

wwww said...

We take the hit so the world doesn’t have to.

That's true. But American insulin and epi-pen prices don't make sense. Should cost a lot less. Generic drugs been around a long time cheap to make.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Re nicknames, I'd like to see individual ones for the three who aren't AOC. "Occasional Cortex" was good; "Chiquita Khrushchev" is even better.

Wags, get to work.

wwww said...

also pharm companies exist outside of the US. Basel for example. My cousins grew up there.

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