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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Concern Sparked by Recent Changes to a Department of Energy Website for Kids


Almost 20 years ago, the U.S. Energy Information Administration had an idea: Make an educational website for children about energy sources and the science behind them.

In short order, the EIA created “Energy Kids,” which now features energy-themed sudoku and crossword puzzles, colorful pie charts and a know-it-all mascot called Energy Ant. Images of a school bus parked between a coal plant and an oil rig adorn the bottom of the web page, along with drawings of wind turbines, solar panels and an energy-efficient lightbulb.

During the Obama administration, Energy Kids even won multiple international awards for its content and design, as well as one from a digital publishing company that hailed it as “the best of the best in open and engaging government.”

In recent weeks, language on the website describing the environmental impacts of energy sources has been reworked, and two pie charts concerning the link between coal and greenhouse gas emissions have been removed altogether.


Big Pharma Quietly Enlists Leading Professors to Justify $1,000-Per-Day Drugs

[font size="3"]As it readies for battle with President Trump over drug prices, the pharmaceutical industry is deploying economists and health care experts from the nation’s top universities. In scholarly articles, blogs and conferences, they lend their prestige to the lobbying blitz, without always disclosing their corporate ties.[/font]


Over the last three years, pharmaceutical companies have mounted a public relations blitz to tout new cures for the hepatitis C virus and persuade insurers, including government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, to cover the costs. That isn’t an easy sell, because the price of the treatments ranges from $40,000 to $94,000 — or, because the treatments take three months, as much as $1,000 per day.

To persuade payers and the public, the industry has deployed a potent new ally, a company whose marquee figures are leading economists and health care experts at the nation’s top universities. The company, Precision Health Economics, consults for three leading makers of new hepatitis C treatments: Gilead, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and AbbVie. When AbbVie funded a special issue of the American Journal of Managed Care on hepatitis C research, current or former associates of Precision Health Economics wrote half of the issue. A Stanford professor who had previously consulted for the firm served as guest editor-in-chief.

At a congressional briefing last May on hepatitis C, three of the four panelists were current or former Precision Health Economics consultants. One was the firm’s co-founder, Darius Lakdawalla, a University of Southern California professor.

“The returns to society actually exist even at the high prices,” Lakdawalla assured the audience of congressional staffers and health policymakers. “Some people who are just looking at the problem as a pure cost-effectiveness problem said some of these prices in some ways are too low.”


Tricky Dick and the Don Con


[div class="excerpt" style="float:right;"]?1487074415

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” ― Mark Twain.

In December of 1972 former President Richard Nixon, declared the press, an “enemy” www.theguardian.com/... The parallels between the paranoia of Richard M. Nixon and the narcissism of Donald J. Trump are staggering and frightening. It also appears, much like Nixon, the press will eventually be the catalyst for the downfall of the Trump administration. The Washington Post, much like in the Nixon years, is again at the forefront with daily breaking news stories, followed closely by, the Trump labeled, “failing New York Times.”

Mr. Trump has saved Saturday Night Live and been the reagent for the recent resurgence of the Times. Being the media savvy personality that he is, he has even tried using the ‘controversy tactic’ to save the truly failing Celebrity Apprentice money.cnn.com/.... Steve Bannon, top aide to Trump, has manipulated his way onto the National Security Council by equaling his bigotry with his own paranoia. Bannon has attacked any group that challenges his jaundiced view of the world www.cbsnews.com/.... The recent ravings of Bannon, in an attempt to destroy the fourth estate, was to get the President to join him in his assertion that the press is the “opposition” nymag.com/... . The only problem with his theory is that it ignores the weekly protest that have attracted millions of people in disapproval.

Strawmen serve a purpose…

Donald Trump needs a hero as a counterpoint to his villain. Even his participation in the family owned business [WWE] of his new Small Business Administration head, Linda McMahon, is a play for attention. He participated in a loser gets his head shaved wrestling match billed as the “Battle of the Billionaires” in April of 2007 at WrestleMania

To keep Donald happy, Trump's staff has to ensure he's always receiving praise and adulation


Politico has a story explaining how Donald Trump's staffers are locked in a constant, daily battle to keep the barely coherent man-child from launching one of his famous incoherent tantrums. It's pathetic. It's deeply embarrassing. It's the story of a team constantly attempting to feed praise of Donald Trump to friendly outlets so that they could turn around and show it back to their boss, a constant scramble to feed his unending need for public praise. Because if they didn't do it he'd get sullen and cranky and lash out like a petulant little child.

The key to keeping Trump’s Twitter habit under control, according to six former campaign officials, is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk.

So whenever there were negative stories about Trump, which has been All The Damn Time, they'd go to outlets like "Breitbart, Washington Examiner, Fox News, Infowars and the Daily Caller" with alternative story ideas for how freakin' swell Donald Trump was, and then once they got one of those friendly (Infowars!) outlets to take the bait, the staff would tweet those stories out, then print out, for Trump, that friendly coverage to make the idiot manchild feel like he was getting sufficient praise for his little pronouncements and wars and fits. That, and only that, would calm him.

The whole thing reads like Trump's staff treats him like a dangerous zoo animal let loose in the White House. Gotta keep him happy. Gotta rub his belly when he says to. Don’t let anyone rattle the bars of his little cage or we’re all dead. And never, never leave him alone:

The in-person touch is also important to keeping Trump from running too hot. One Trump associate said it’s important to show Trump deference and offer him praise and respect, as that will lead him to more often listen. And If Trump becomes obsessed with a grudge, aides need to try and change the subject, friends say. Leaving him alone for several hours can prove damaging, because he consumes too much television and gripes to people outside the White House.

Part of the current problem is Trump is still adjusting to his new circumstances and has plenty of time to stew over negative reviews as he spends time alone in the evenings and early mornings as his wife, Melania Trump, continues living in New York as his youngest son, Barron, finishes the school year.


Donald Trump is dangerous when he's losing - Trumps failures at governing feed his illiberalism


A few weeks back, I wrote a piece about Donald Trump titled “How to stop an autocracy.” The essay began with the premise that Trump has a will to power and a contempt for the basic norms and institutions of American democracy, and then explored how to limit the damage. The answer, basically, was that Congress needs to do its damn job.

But after I wrote it, smart people argued the piece was built atop a mistake. Trump might have the will to power, but he doesn’t have the discipline for it. Grim scenarios suggesting his presidency would grow too strong missed the likelier scenario that it would be extremely weak.

Yuval Levin, editor of the journal National Affairs and a leading conservative intellectual, made the case to me over email:

I think the more plausible cause for worry is that he will be a dysfunctional president. He seems to have come in without a clear sense of the nature and character of the presidency in our system, and he's not playing that role but rather using the presidency as a platform for playing the role he has always played. And for now the White House team seems to be reinforcing that rather than counteracting it. The result of that seems more likely to be dysfunction than autocracy.

Levin’s argument is convincing. Trump’s White House is the picture of dysfunction. He isn’t focused or effective in his application of executive power. His staff is riven with infighting, inexperienced with the mechanics of government, and unable to corral their boss’s worst impulses. Trump’s slipshod executive orders are being easily batted back by courts, and his agenda hasn’t even made it to Congress yet. How is he going to go from here to strongman?

I felt better. And then I talked to Ron Klain.


Pharma bro, scumbag, Martin Shkreli in court as securities fraud case moves closer to trial


Thursday, 26 Jan 2017

[font size="1"]Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer for Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, left, arrives at Federal Court with his attorney Benjamin Brafman in Brooklyn, New York, U.S, on Thursday, July 14, 2016.[/font]

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli and his now ex-lawyer definitely want to be tried separately on criminal charges.

Lawyers for Shkreli and his co-defendant Evan Greebel confirmed Thursday that the duo want separate juries to decide their fate on fraud and conspiracy charges in Brooklyn federal court.

If Judge Kiyo Matsumoto agrees, Shkreli would be tried first starting June 26. Greebel's trial will take place in October.

If Matsumoto denies the severance motions, the joint trial will begin June 26. Severance motions by both men are due Feb. 17.

Accused fraudster Martin Shkreli's former lawyer, current co-defendant Evan Greebel blasts him as serial liar in bid for separate trials - Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017

[font size="1"]Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, center, and attorney Evan Greebel, left, exit federal court in New York, on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015.[/font]

Accused securities scammer Martin Shkreli's co-defendant said Shkreli is a serial liar who "is guilty of committing fraud" — and is creating a media "circus" to distract jurors from the evidence against him.

In scathing new court filings seeking to be tried separately from Shkreli, the former corporate lawyer for Shkreli's company claims the pharma bro's chronic lies included misleading his own business lawyers — and also said he used them as unwitting "pawns" in his "fraudulent schemes."

In addition, Shkreli, 33, has a long-term pattern and practice of blaming others for his own misconduct, according to criminal defense lawyers for his co-defendant, Evan Greebel.

Those lawyers go on to say that the "bizarre, one-of-a-kind spectacle" that Shkreli has created since his arrest — which includes trolling Hillary Clinton, journalists, women, celebrities and government officials — is an intentional effort to "become more polarizing" among the public and potential jurors for his trial so that he will win acquittal.

people trust news media to tell the truth over trump: 52% to 37%


Still, the Conservative Alternate Reality is alive and well among the Republican Faithful. 78% of these suckers believe Trump vs only 13% trusting news media.

This makes making any twisted sense of Republican Suckers really difficult. During the campaign I'm sure something like 95% of Republican Suckers bought the Biggest actual Fake News story ... that Hillary Clinton revealed classified information in some of the 30,000 emails that Comey had reviewed, after the fact.

M$M did it's part by not informing people that when questioned by Rep Matt Cartwright, Comey had to admit that NOT ONE of the emails in question had Classified Information header on it ... as is required by law. Comey further agreed it would have been a reasonable inference for Sec Clinton to make that the emails, therefor did not have any classified information in them.

Trump was happy to use the Fake News promoted (or not debunked) by M$M that Sec Clinton had recklessly handled classified information in emails (none of which were initiated by Sec Clinton, all were sent to, or forwarded to, her) to his advantage in the campaign. Now,when M$M report on his declarations Trump says it's all "fake" news.

It has now been a full week since Trump received an intelligence briefing

[font size="3"]While Donald Trump tries to frighten Americans into supporting his policies with the specter of real and imagined terrorism, the ostensible Commander-in-Chief has now gone a full week without scheduling a daily intelligence briefing.[/font]


It has now been a full week since Trump received an intelligence briefing
By Tommy Christopher | February 20, 2017

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

From the “Bowling Green Massacre” to “Atlanta” to the “Sweden Incident,” no terrorist attack is too fictional for Donald Trump and his administration to use in order to frighten Americans into supporting their the Muslim ban or “Deportation Force.”

When it comes to actually doing the job of keeping Americans safe, though, Trump is very publicly leaving the country vulnerable.

Last week, we reported that Trump had not received an intelligence briefing since the resignation and/or firing of disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. A review of Trump’s daily schedules shows that there were no intelligence briefings scheduled for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, either.

As we have also previously reported, the value of Trump’s re-branded intel briefings was already suspect, but now it has been a full week since Trump has received even that meager offering. Since Trump’s schedules are public, this also means that our enemies may be aware that Trump is not being briefed.


Federal judge blocks Texas from cutting off Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood


A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Texas can't cut off Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood over secretly recorded videos taken by antiabortion activists in 2015 that launched Republican efforts across the U.S. to defund the women’s health services provider.

An injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin comes after he delayed making decision in January and essentially bought Planned Parenthood an extra month in the state's Medicaid program.

Texas is now at least the sixth state where federal courts have kept Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for nonabortion services. However, a bigger question remains over whether President Trump will federally defund the organization.

Sparks' decision preserves Planned Parenthood’s cancer screenings, birth control access and other health services it provides for nearly 11,000 low-income women. Texas originally intended to boot Planned Parenthood in January, but Sparks told the state to wait pending his ruling.

Former Russian Foreign Minister Says Kremlin Is Nervous Trump Will Soon Be Ousted


While many Americans are worried about the odd moves made by Donald Trump since he took the oath of office, it turns out that Russian officials are also starting to get jittery about how tenuous a grip on reality and power the so-called president seems to have a month into his administration.

Former Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Fedorov told NBC News that the Kremlin thinks that Trump’s repeated attacks on the news media and slurs against American intelligence agencies have left him “dancing on thin ice,” and could lead to him being removed from office.

In addition to Fedorov, former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said the Russians do not view Trump’s stumbles in a humorous light at all:

“Absolutely not — not laughing. The situation is very serious and the whole of [Putin’s] team, they are nervous.”


Fedorov says the ultimate goal for Russia is to help Trump avoid looking like a Russian puppet but also securing his support for several important Russian policy goals. Fedorov added:

“We should avoid any kind of step that could damage Trump. Trump cannot come to a meeting with Putin as a loser — he must sort out his domestic problems first.”


[font size="+1"] Putin doesn't want to lose his pet....[/font]

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