My Favorite #ObamaPseudonyms

I'm With Her LogoOn Friday we found out that President Obama not only knew that Hillary Clinton was using a private email server, he actually communicated with her on it using a fake e-mail address. This is too funny to pass up. Everyone is taking turns guessing which pseudonym he used. Greg Gutfeld chipped in with IamReallyAKenyan on The Five.  Jim Treacher volunteered BarryAwesomePresident and Carlos Danger in his post, Let’s Play: Guess Obama’s Email Pseudonym! My favorite e-mail pseudonyms are:

  • TheRealBo@whitehouse.gov This pays homage to Lois Lerner naming her private email after her dog. What can I say? Great minds think alike.
  • MichellesBFF@whitehouse.gov Who besides the President would find this funny?
  • hillaryclinton@state.gov Unlike most of the people in the country the President knew that this e-mail address was not being used.

How To Curb Violence At Trump Rallies

To curb violence at Trump rallies I think we should borrow some ideas from the success concealed carry licensing has had with reducing gun violence. To paraphrase my liberal friends, what we need are some common sense protest laws. If concealed carry laws are an appropriate accommodation for 2nd amendment concerns then a similar set of laws should be appropriate for the 1st amendment concerns. My proposal is that if a prospective protester wants to protest against a political candidate at the candidate’s rally, that protester should go through an eight hour training class, get a back ground check,  and apply for a registered protester card. To be fair it should be a photo identification card and cost about the same as a concealed carry license. Just the paperwork alone should scare off all but the serious protesters who actually have a legitimate issue they are protesting against. I am sure that if registered protesters demonstrate the same respect and courtesy that concealed carry holders have for the fellow human beings, the violence at campaign rallies can be avoided.

Just When You Thought The Presidential Campaigns Could Not Get Any Crazier, Hillary Lets The Dogs Out

You have to think comedians everywhere are praising God for the comedy gold these Presidential campaigns has brought forth. Although most of the gold has come from the Republican side, you have to wonder if Hillary Clinton’s current advisers are the same ones who signed off on the private email server idea. Who thought it was a good idea for her to bark at a Presidential campaign event? Are there any adults in the room? Am I the only one who remembers that Howard Dean’s scream doomed his presidential campaign? Since political missteps have consequences here is Greg Gutfeld taking advantage of this comedic gold mine. Let the piling on begin.

2014 Version Of The Nine Most Terrifying Words In The English language

The 2014 version of the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I am Professor Gruber and am here to help.”

I’m sorry I could not resist poking a little fun at Professor Gruber. I tend to agree with Ron Fournier who said that the combination of the Administration’s mistakes with Jonathan Gruber’s embarrassing comments have done more to undermine the Affordable Care Act than all of the efforts by conservatives combined. The Administration is probably thinking that with Professor Gruber as our “friend”, who needs enemies?

My confidence in science is not crumbling but it is shaken!

I was reading a post over at Fabius Maximus and could not resist myself. Here was my comment.

My confidence in science is not crumbling but it is shaken. I do not remember whether I was science skeptic before college but I definitely was a skeptic after getting my engineering degree. You had to be very, very careful to get the right answer in lab experiments. It was hard, tedious work. As a result I do not have the high and lows being experienced by some other people. I have seen how easy it is to be wrong despite your best efforts. I believe what you are seeing in crumbling confidence in science is that bad science is being penalized for being wrong and that is a good thing!

Climate science is interesting example of science going off the rails. I find it amazing that even after all of these years I still remember enough of a thermodynamics class I took 30 years ago to question the approach being used by climate scientists to solving what I would call a heat transfer problem. I was not surprised to see climate scientists struggle to explain global warming with temperature graphs. If thermodynamics is settled science, why did the scientists choose this alternate approach?

I think the scientists noticed that they could not unambiguously prove whether we are experiencing warming or cooling so they went with the political group with the most passion and money. There was a fifty-fifty chance they might get the science right without actually doing any science. All they needed was for Mother Nature to continue to do what she had been doing for a few more years. Unfortunately their prayers to Mother Nature went unanswered and the warming stopped. Now these researchers have to explain how they got it wrong. I think the worship of pagan goddesses took a real tumble when the climate scientists went back to doing real science again.

I hate to be picky but vaccinations, global warming, and economic “science” are not even close to what I see as the most serious confidence problems in science. Frankly, I am not surprised that most people get economics wrong. I still hold to the belief that economics is not a science but a conspiracy to make weathermen look smart. In my mind I have been able to write off the climate science problems as problems to be solved by my son’s generation. Unfortunately my generation gets to deal with the false positive problems in health care. Getting this right is a matter of life and death for healthy people like me. The false positive problem in prostate and mammogram testing is severe enough that one part of the medical profession is recommending less testing. At the same time another part of the medical profession thinks it is better to be safe than sorry so the over-diagnosis of prostate and breast cancer is a necessary evil. My inner engineer keeps wondering why doctors are advocating less testing rather than improving their testing? When did reducing false positives cease to be a noble scientific objective? So what is an otherwise healthy person to think in this environment? When I ask my doctor he shrugs his shoulders.

I think the fundamental problems affecting my confidence in health care can be best explained with the ulcer example. Just two months ago I learned via the TodayIFoundOut podcast that ulcers should be treated with antibiotics. I am old enough to remember when the standard diagnosis for ulcers was that it was caused by stress and could only be solved by surgery. This was settled science so it is not surprising that hospitals were the biggest force that prevented ulcers from being treated with antibiotics. Ulcer surgery was a money maker for many doctors and hospitals regardless of its efficacy. From 1984 to the early 1990s Dr. Marshall and his long-time collaborator, Robin Warren, were thought to be quacks. Finally in 1994 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) held a two day summit to discuss his research and the rest is history. In 2005 Dr. Marshall received the Nobel prize for Medicine for his discovery of the bacteria that leads to peptic ulcers. From settled science to a different settled science in 21 years. Doctors were absolutely, positively sure of their diagnosis and treatment until they changed their mind to a completely different treatment. It sounds like a House script. Does anyone wonder why so many people have become born again science skeptics?

So here is the bottom line if you are looking at prostrate and mammogram testing. You are damned if you do, damned if you don’t, and hospitals make money on either outcome. Even if you opt for the safe rather than sorry route, the hospital still has a chance to collect on the daily double. My father went into the hospital after a fall and got an infection. He never left the hospital alive. I am guessing that Tricare/Medicare paid a quarter of million dollars for this mishap. Sepsis is America’s dirty little secret. The NIH factsheet on sepsis says that the “Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists sepsis as the most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals, costing more than $20 billion in 20115.” It is the mistakes in health care that shakes my confidence in science.

We Will Defeat ISIL Just Like We Defeated Al Qaeda… Yeah, that’s the ticket!

As a person who has already expressed his misgivings about the Administration’s strategy to fight terrorism as a long counter-terrorism effort, this Duffel Blog post, We Will Defeat ISIL Just Like We Defeated Al Qaeda, is way too funny. Here it is included in its entirety.

Barack Obama Official PortraitThe following is an op-ed written by Barack Obama, President of the United States.

Just over a decade ago, under my predecessor, our forces embarked on a campaign to fight the Global War on Terror after Al Qaeda terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Our military performed flawlessly in Afghanistan, routing the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and ultimately, denied the terror group a sanctuary from where it could attack us again.

Today we stand secure, knowing that Osama bin Laden is dead, and his organization of Al Qaeda is decimated, unable to operate anywhere on the earth. And with our strike against Iraq, we have deposed a dictator and brought peace and freedom to a Middle Eastern country.

Now, I was critical of the Iraq war in 2003 and strongly opposed it for many years. I felt at the time that our actions in a country where we had limited understanding of the culture could see U.S. soldiers standing in the crosshairs of a sectarian divide between Shia and Sunni.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

The war came to a close, and by all accounts, it was a rousing success. Our American Army defied the naysayers who likened the conflict to a Vietnam quagmire. The comparison was laughable of course, considering our involvement in Vietnam was almost two years longer than in Iraq.

But sadly, a new terror group has emerged. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, a band of brutal thugs who have overtaken parts of Syria and Iraq, could potentially attack us at home again. Much like our medical professionals who have found a cure for cancer, we will find a cure for the cancer of ISIL.

While I don’t wish to arouse fear and hysteria amongst the public, let me be clear: ISIL is a threat to every interest we have and it is beyond anything we have ever seen. It has an apocalyptic end-of-days vision that threatens our very existence.

So that’s why I have ordered an extremely limited engagement against ISIL forces and am assuring the American people that we will not put boots on the ground. We are clearly at war with these extremists, and when faced with an enemy of such dangerous magnitude, it is the only choice we have.

You may have heard my primetime address where I outlined my strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL. In the speech, I used our efforts in Somalia and Yemen as models for what we can achieve. With drone strikes over the past few years, we have completely destroyed Al Shabaab in Somalia and AQAP in Yemen, although we’re still trying to figure out what that acronym stands for.

I’d like to highlight a few more points here to assure the American people that we will win this war against these terrorists — at some point in the future which may be three to four, or even maybe six to seven years from now, but it’s kind of hard to say at this point — and the threat will be diminished.

First, we will begin conducting airstrikes inside Syria at a time and place of our choosing. Under the direction of Gen. Lloyd Austin at Central Command, the military will target key militant facilities, armament, and weaponry, until they smarten up and completely blend in with the local populace.

While we bomb ISIL, which is fighting against the Free Syrian Army, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — who we don’t want to support because he’s a war criminal but we’re kind of supporting him but nevermind that — we will support moderate elements of the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Assad.

We will take great pains to not enter someone else’s civil war, because that’s a first class ticket to failure.

Second, we will train moderate Syrian rebels and Iraqi security forces to take the fight to ISIL. As our experience has taught us in Iraq, the key to winning a war in the Middle East is to train up locals to “own” the battle and take charge of their future. In Mosul, we saw how our training efforts truly paid off, as Iraqi Army units bravely held ground when attacked by militants.

Our troops have long shown what can be achieved with shifting objectives, no strategic foresight, andvigorous support from the American people who don’t have to sacrifice anything. I call on each and every American to tie a yellow ribbon around a tree, bake an American flag cake, and support the troops who are fighting for your freedom.

In closing, I must stress that our war on terror began with Al Qaeda, but it did not end there. I pray that we soon reach our limited objectives in time for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run.

Thank you, and God bless America.

The Creation Of The Affordable Care Act

In the Beginning was The Plan
And then came the Assumptions
And the Assumptions were without form
And the Plan was completely without substance
And the darkness was upon the face of the Congressional Staff Workers
And the Staff Workers spoke amongst themselves,
"It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh."

And the Staff Workers went unto their Supervisors and sayeth,
"It is a pail of dung and none may abide the odor thereof."

And the Supervisors went unto their Senators and Representatives
and sayeth unto them,
"It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."

And the Senators and Representatives went unto the Speaker of the House
and Senate Majority Leader and sayeth,
"It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."

And the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader spoke among themselves,
saying one to another,
"It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."

And the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader went unto the Vice President
and sayeth unto them,
"It promotes growth and is very powerful."

And the Vice President went unto the President and sayeth unto him,
"This new Plan will actively promote the growth and Efficiency of this Country,
and in this Area in particular."

And the President looked upon The Plan,
And saw that it was good,
and The Affordable Care Act became Policy.

And this is how Shit Happens.

Does Socialism Work? A Classroom Experiment

Here is a old joke Dan Mitchell posted in 2011. I thought it was worth keeping and repeating.


An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
It could not be any simpler than that.

There are five morals to this story:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Who Is The Better Forecaster, The Economist Or The Climate Scientist?

I was looking at this wonderful chart from Business Insider and from Bloomberg LP Chief Economist Michael McDonough and wondered who was the better forecaster, the economist or the climate scientist. As we can see from the chart the GDP forecasts for the last couple of years are particularly bad. In four out of four years the forecasts start out 50% to 100% too high. That is impressive! Winking smile

GDP_optimism1

Here is my favorite chart from that other dismal science, climate science. Although this is not a fair comparison the climate scientists are wrong only 95% of the time! They win!

CMIP5-90-models-global-Tsfc-vs-obs-thru-2013a

Justice Clarence Thomas upon learning that the Senate’s most powerful member said he is Caucasian

Justice Thomas is my favorite Supreme Court justice. I like all of the justices but my appreciation for him started after listening to his autobiography, My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir, several years ago. I checked out the audiobook from the local library for a long car ride to Virginia Tech. I enjoyed the book and over the years my appreciation increased as I read and agreed with his opinions on several court decisions.

Sometimes I wonder whether Vice President Joe Biden or Senator Harry Reid are in a friendly competition for the biggest gaffes. I think Harry just pulled ahead. Time to step it up, Joe!

A day after vowing to “do something” about the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reiterated Democrats’ desire to undermine the high court’s decision by attacking the “five white men” who voted in favor of the Christian, family-owned business.
There’s just one glaring problem with his statement .. .