Saturday, February 12, 2011

Duped by Duped America

Duped America | How Democrats And The Mainstream Media Have Duped The American People And Are Harming Our Country: "Author Richard Bernstein, a former lifelong Democrat, has organized this masterpiece into 31 short easy-to-read chapters. In each and every chapter Bernstein explains how the Democrat Party and their allies in the Mainstream Media have repeatedly attempted to dupe Americans. Each chapter is filled with enough facts to allow you to become more than just knowledgeable about each subject. Duped America is so thoroughly researched it has almost 1,000 footnotes."

McMegan gets upset by taxes

Own a Second Home in New York? Prepare for a Higher Tax Bill. - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic:
"I don't even see how New York can assert the authority to tax the same income after Connecticut has already (quite properly) levied its full income tax on legal residents of the state. I presume it envisions a situation like its revenue-sharing deal with New Jersey, or the US federal tax on corporate income earned abroad. But as I understand it, the revenue sharing deal means that people who live in one state and work in another pay the same as, or less than, they would otherwise in taxes. In this case, New York seems to be trying to levy a gratuitous 2% income tax on wealthy vacationers. "

One year I lived, and worked, in CT for a consulting company based in NJ for part of the year. I never set foot in New Jersey and had other income in CT. I had to pay CT income tax on ALL of my income as well as NJ tax on ALL my income. One was as a resident, one as a non-resident. This is kinda the way it is supposed to work isnt it?

Spare me the whining. The taxes owed were over 1 million dollars. The top tax rate in NY is 6.85% ... do the math on the amount of income involved.

Phrases I can do without hearing again

The New Normal

On Currency

South Carolina May Adopt Own Currency | Talking Points Memo:
"Picking up on the ancestral tradition, South Carolinians have spent much of the last two years asserting various forms of independence from the federal government and attempting to block different federal laws. Now a state senator from the Palmetto State has decided it's time for South Carolina to create its own currency."
So much for that trip to Hilton Head...

Ron Paul Wins the CPAC Straw Poll - Again

Ron Paul Wins the CPAC Straw Poll - Swampland - "Ron Paul 30%
Mitt Romney 23%
Gary Johnson 6%
Chris Christie 6%
Newt Gingrich 5%
Tim Pawlenty 4%
Michele Bachmann 4%
Mitch Daniels 4%
Sarah Palin 3%
Herman Cain 2%
Mike Huckabee 2%
Rick Santorum 2%
John Thune 2%
Jon Huntsman 1%
Haley Barbour 1%
Other 5%
Undecided 1%"

Ann Coulter is delusional

Ann Coulter: "The Left is Trying to Co-Opt Gays" - Political Hotsheet - CBS News: "Conservative commentator Ann Coulter brought today's audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington to its feet in applause after urging the Republican party to include gays - perhaps getting the last word on the place gays have in the conservative movement after a tussle that pitted social conservatives against libertarians at this year's conference.

'The left is trying to co-opt gays,' she said. 'They should be on our side.'"

Conor Friedersdorf misses the point

Understanding The Implications, Ctd - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan: "
Part of what I'm trying to persuade conservatives in journalism is that by being loyal to talk radio hosts, they're by necessity being disloyal to the rank and file; to any moral code that prizes truth over utility; to their professional obligation to be forthright with their audience; and ultimately to themselves. It is precisely the conservative who prizes the virture of loyalty, rightly understood, who should criticize Rush Limbaugh when it is warranted. It is a perversion of that virtue to do otherwise. The reader concludes, 'I just wanted to say that all of those conservative media figures are intelligent, worldly men, but some of them really do strongly believe in the value of in-group loyalty -- and this distorts their ability to think clearly about the world.' What I see are people being loyal to the elites at the expense of the group (see Limbaugh's lies, the sketchy Human Events advertisements that prey on elderly readers, and the Glenn Beck gold business, to cite three examples).

While I am pleased that Conor has taken up this noble cause I cannot help but think that he is doomed to failure. What looks to those of us that are not part of the top of the food chain as hypocrisy is in fact simply self-reinforcing behaviour. This is NOT a bug in the system as he seems to think. It is how the system is designed to work. I do not understand how someone as smart as Conor seems to miss the fact that the system is gamed in favor of the oligarchs and those that shine their boots. He may indeed be a true believer but he is surrounded by people that cynically support utter lunacy because it helps them maintain power, wealth or fame. Ethics, as most of us understand them, simply do not enter into their calculations.

ZVTS - The conservative problem for the GOP

Zandar Versus The Stupid: The New Schism In The Church Of The Conservative

The battle here is between the Corporate wing of the GOP, and the Religious wing. They both hate Democrats, but really that's as far as it goes. The Tea Party is the new brand for the Corporate wing, the "libertarians" who want no government regulation, and no government spending. They want to privatize as much of the day-to-day operations of America as possible, and they want to profit greatly from it personally. They really don't care about anyone other than their net worth and credit scores. They have no problems with gays, Muslims, minorities, or any race or creed, but if you're a net drain on taxpayers, you're on the way out. They want to run government as a business, and that means getting rid of the poor and destitute and want to rewrite the Constitution until they can do it.

The Religious wing on the other hand has a major problem with anyone who isn't a straight, white Christian evangelical. They're actually far more open to social and environmental spending to care for their fellow man (the straight, white Christian evangelical ones, anyway) and don't like to see the poor abused for profit. On the other hand, anyone who doesn't fit into their little clique can literally go to Hell as far as they are concerned. They believe in America being a Christian nation for and run by Christians, and everyone else is a second-class citizen.
I think that this take is about right

I love xkcd

On Superpowers

The Art of Non-Conformity » Superpowers: "no shortage of fun applications.
But if I can’t fly or be invisible at will, I’d like to have this superpower:
The ability to always know exactly what to do next.
Harnessing this superpower would be of immeasurable value. I would be unstoppable. Instead, I sit at my computer for hours and think, “What’s next, right now? What’s most important at this moment?”"

video - The Big LEGOwski

The Dude Abides ... in Lego

Video - Billy Joel Shameless Live

Even better version.

Video Billy Joel - Shameless

It is Valentine's Day ... nearly

On a personal note

My girlfriend (sounds weird to say that at 49, we need a better word) is out for the day and even though it is only a few hours I find myself missing her terribly. Is that strange or is it just love?

video - Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine

Simply the best rendition of this song ever

Georgians want Sunday alcohol sales, poll finds | The Augusta Chronicle

Georgians want Sunday alcohol sales, poll finds | The Augusta Chronicle: "But at least two thirds of men and women, people in every region and age group, and in both major political parties were in favor."

Facebook Status of the day

Tomorrow Facebook will change its privacy settings to allow Mark Zuckerburg to come into your house while you sleep and eat your brains with a sharpened spoon. To stop this from happening go to Account> Home Invasion Settings> Cannibalism> Brains and un-check the "Tasty" box. Please copy and repost.

because i like Dilbert

LaGrange track coach had sex with student, police say  |

LaGrange track coach had sex with student, police say | "Police say the suspect — 24-year-old Travis Hart — is a para-professional educator at the school."

Mayor Kasim Reed on ‘Meet the Press | Atlanta Business Chronicle

Mayor Kasim Reed on ‘Meet the Press | Atlanta Business Chronicle: "Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will be on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Feb. 13 to discuss budget impact on major cities and other topics."

Bank of America Plaza headed for default | Atlanta Business Chronicle

Bank of America Plaza headed for default | Atlanta Business Chronicle: "BentleyForbes, the Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company, bought the property from Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc. (NYSE: CUZ) in 2006 at the top of the market for $436 million. Since then, it has seen its namesake tenant, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), significantly downsize in the tower, and rents fall across the Atlanta office market as the Great Recession took hold, seriously undercutting the once lofty value of the building."

Report: Borders nearing bankruptcy | Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Borders nearing bankruptcy | Atlanta Business Chronicle: "Borders Group Inc., a national book and music retailer with 14 stores in metro Atlanta, is nearing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to the Wall Street Journal."

Commenter of the day at

GOP learns cost of Palin attacks - Andy Barr -
"Actually Obama is the thinnest skinned politician ever. When Malia--Markiesha--Squandeshia--oh whatever in the hell they call that sasquatch looking daughter of Michelle's. When that circus freak gets knocked up by one of his 'advisors' it'll be the end of Obama. Not really, that's normal in the 'black community.' Just ask his mama."

Wouldn't this fellow be charming at a party?

Ezra Klein - Do Republicans really oppose making health-care insurance cheaper?

Ezra Klein - Do Republicans really oppose making health-care insurance cheaper?: "To understand why, imagine a 62-year-old woman who works for IBM and beat breast cancer 10 years ago. She wants to retire. She has the money to retire. But no one will sell her health care under the status quo. Under the health-reform law, she can buy health care in an exchange because insurers can't turn her away due to her history of breast cancer. So she'll retire. Or imagine a 50-year-old single mother who wants to home-school her developmentally disabled child but can't quit her job because they'll lose health care. The subsidies and the protections in the Affordable Care Act will give her the option to stop working for awhile, while under the old system she'd need to stick with her job to keep her family's health-care coverage. That's how health-care reform can reduce the labor supply. If either case counts as a destroyed job, then so does my winning the lottery and moving to Scotland in search of the perfect glass of whiskey."

Conor Friedersdorf is NOT a hack

Mischief Or Justice, Ctd - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"I am out of my depth here, so consider Frum's argument and these rebuttals to be me airing both sides of the argument – and if David responds I'll let you all know."

I was mistaken about Conor. He is not a hack. I am not sure the proper word is for someone that can't decide which side of "it is a good idea to prosecute torturers" is likely to be correct but hack doesn't really do justice to the level of cowardice it takes to not make a choice.

Any intelligent person that cannot bring themselves to make a decision on this (one way or the other, there IS an argument to be made each way) doesn't deserve to have the size of megaphone that Conor has.

The worst part of this is that Conor seems to have started off thinking that it was NOT a bad idea and has somehow been moved to "gee I am not sure".

Sarah Palin on Rick Santorum

GOP learns cost of Palin attacks - Andy Barr -
"“My kids don’t hold me back from attending a conference,” Palin said in an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity. “I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. I’ll let his wife call him that instead.”"
It is rare that I agree with Sarah Palin. This is one of those occasions.

Egyptian activist creates image issues for Google | Reuters

Egyptian activist creates image issues for Google | Reuters:
"(Reuters) - A Google Inc executive who has become a hero of the Egyptian revolution is public relations gold for the Internet power, but analysts say the company must be careful not to overplay its hand."

Or he could get involved in the next govenment...

Teens Are Going 'Bare Floor' and I'm Concerned | The Stir

Teens Are Going 'Bare Floor' and I'm Concerned | The Stir:
"I mean, I'm sure it's not all, but the fact that a significant number of girls barely past puberty think going 'bare floor' or even Brazilian is desirable just kills me."

My take is ...

What parent has this as one of their top 100 worries about their teen.

Friday, February 11, 2011

On Crises and Control

Crisis Puts White House in Disarray -
WASHINGTON—The defiant tone taken by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak—and widespread confusion about the meaning of his speech—had White House officials stumbling for their next step in a crisis that was spinning out of their control.

this is the kind of story that i find particularly annoying because this crisis SHOULD be out of our control. It is NOT our place to be installing a new government in Egypt. The shape and form of the government, and even of the revolution itself is up to the Egyptian people.

This isn't even about American Exceptionalism, this is about not being an Empire. They are two very different things!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Future of the GOP

On Democracy and Republics

Republican Caucus-Goers Will Destroy America « Submitted to a Candid World:
As we’ve explained before, the incompatibility of “republicanism” with “democracy” is a view that Glenn Beck’s inculcated into his viewers, for some such reason, probably to equate the Democratic Party with some desire for the chaos of direct democracy, directly applied. I’ve even gotten comments about this site’s subtitle, which, I was told, indicates a subversive desire to build democracy in a constitutional republic like America. How dare I! Apparently the Tocqueville reference is lost on some. To set the record straight, in modern parlance, even in political science (cf. Arend-effing-Lijphart), a democratic republic may appropriately be described in shorthand as a democracy, or as a republic. “Democracy,” as a term of art meaning only direct democracy à la Athens, is archaic, but the kind of usage you’d expect from the unserious historical fanboys populating the populist right.

On Addictions

On Christine O'Donnell

Zandar Versus The Stupid: That Voodoo That You Do So...Badly, Actually: "
'The Left keeps after me because they consider strong, Republican women a danger to their status quo,' O'Donnell wrote. 'Your donation also enables me to speak out in many venues from Coast to Coast, thereby helping support a nationwide effort. This is a way that will help me counter attack our opponents and bring the battle to them.'"

Or alternatively it could be because she was a nut.

On Blue Dogs

Daily Kos: State of the Nation: "Listen, one of the founding principles of the Blue Dogs is that they maximize their power by voting or threatening to vote as a bloc in opposition to the Democratic leadership. It should be understood that the Blue Dogs -- at least when in the majority -- actually calibrate the size of their caucus such that it's capable of thwarting Democratic initiatives unless they get their ransom. That's how they differentiate themselves, that's how they make the headlines ('Dems in disarray!'), and that's how they wield what little power they have left. When they were part of the majority party, that mattered a little more. You could stop things from happening unless you were granted concessions. As part of a minority, they're not so interesting, since things the majority wants are going to happen with or without them. But if your club is all about showing how much you hate the leadership ruggedly independent you are, you can't really expect anyone to care when you cry that they won't come to your Tupperware parties."

How to be dishonest about metabolites

How Sweet It Isn’t! Cutting Through the Hype and Deception | Welcome to the Alliance for Natural Health - USA: "Jonathan V. Wright, MD (who contributed last week’s article on antioxidants), notes that 10% of aspartame is methanol, which is converted to formaldehyde which, in turn, is converted to formic acid—which is used to strip epoxy!"

on anti-vac propaganda

Vaccinations | Welcome to the Alliance for Natural Health - USA:
"As America’s infant mortality rate and the number of autistic and chronically diseased children rise, those responsible for inoculation schedules (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other organizations that are funded in part by vaccine manufacturers) fail to provide unbiased studies on the probable link between vaccines and illness in children. And yet, federal policy currently encourages — and in many cases requires — that all children receive up to 36 vaccines by the age of 18 months. We believe that parents have the right to refuse compulsory vaccinations and are entitled to make their own informed decisions about which inoculations, if any, they (and their children) receive."
it never ceases to amaze my how many folks on the left are also sucked in by alternative medicine bullshit. We tend to be reality based in so many things and yet when someone mentions "Big Pharma" we completely lose our minds and stop thinking critically.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Scott Beason is a Douchebag

Alabama lawmaker: Don't 'empty the clip' on illegal immigration - Jennifer Epstein - "Speaking at a Cullman County GOP event on Saturday, Scott Beason said advocates for cracking down on illegal immigration need to “empty the clip and do what has to be done.”"

Video - Tom Gabel - Against me

Monday, February 7, 2011

Michele Bachmann needs better breathing exercises

Rep. Bachmann blasts Obama, Democrats during GOP dinner in Helena: "'I take my first political breath every morning with one thought in mind - repeal Obamacare,' Bachmann said. 'That's my motivation in life. ... This bill is something else. It is the crown jewel of socialism. President Obama, and I'm willing to say it, ushered in socialism under his watch.'"

Politico Comment of the day - Feb 7 Edition

Facebook Firing Follies?

NLRB lets worker diss boss on Facebook - Jennifer Martinez - "The National Labor Relations Board reiterated on Monday that communicating with coworkers about the workplace is protected by law, even if it happens on Facebook instead of in the office break room. The agency approved a settlement with a medical transportation company that had been accused of illegally firing an employee for badmouthing her boss with other colleagues on Facebook."

On Althouse and her brand of stupid

The Apologist : Lawyers, Guns & Money: "Perhaps too charitably, let’s assume that not even Althouse could believe that the reporters were delivered to the resistance by…the Egyptian authorities themselves. So what we have to assume if we’re to buy Althouse’s conspiracy theory is that the nascent, largely ad hoc resistance 1)successfully impersonated one level of state authority convincingly enough to fool both experienced reporters and other Egyptian civilians, 2)successfully disguised a building to look like a detention center, 3)successfully impersonated another level of state authority, and 4)managed to cast a bunch of people to convincingly play torture victims. We’re already dealing with implausibility packed on implausibility here, with no convincing explanation (let alone evidence) to explain a single one. Conversely, there’s no underlying reason to doubt the account — the Egyptian state has detained and threatened a substantial number of journalists, and the Mubarak ’s extensive use of torture is well-documented."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On RINO Reagan

Meet RINO Reagan | Crooks and Liars: "Meet RINO Reagan:

Reagan tripled the national debt
Reagan raised taxes 11 times
Reagan expanded the size of government
Reagan supported the 'socialist' Earned Income Tax Credit
Reagan negotiated with terrorists in Tehran
Reagan sought to eliminate nuclear weapons
Reagan gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants
Reagan approved protectionist trade barriers
Reagan signed abortion rights law in California
Reagan eventually debunked AIDS myths Republicans continued to perpetuate"

On the black eyed peas and that horrific halftime show

On the so-called Pro Life Movement

Obsidian Wings: This is not the post I wanted to write: "C. The Anti-Sex League and/or Slut-Shamers, Inc.. As far as I can tell, *all* the PLM leadership is in this group, and they don't even realize that many of their followers are in groups A&B. Traditional Catholic doctrine is in this group, because it lumps abortion with contraception as Bad Unholy Slutty Sex Practices."

How to say "nice game"

Balloon Juice. This Blog Goes to 11...: "I hate that the Steelers lost, but congratulations to the Packers. I’ve said for two weeks I felt the Packers were the better team, but you still hope for the best. The Steelers have no one to blame but themselves, and losing was a team effort. You simply can not give up 21 points on turnovers to a dangerous team like the Packers and expect to win."

Learning to walk

World's Fastest Robot -- Computational Neuroscientists And Engineers Build Robot That Teaches Itself To Walk Up And Down Hills: "December 1, 2007 — Computational neuroscientists designed a robot that teaches itself how to walk on differing terrain. The RunBot uses an infrared eye to detect slopes, and adjusts its gait for the smoothest walk. From repeated attempts it matches the degree of slope to the appropriate length of step and movement of joints. Essentially, the robot learns to walk on uneven ground in the same way as a child."

on Robotic AI

For robust robots, let them be babies first: "In a first-of-its-kind experiment, Bongard created both simulated and actual robots that, like tadpoles becoming frogs, change their body forms while learning how to walk. And, over generations, his simulated robots also evolved, spending less time in 'infant' tadpole-like forms and more time in 'adult' four-legged forms."

Bill Kristol on Glenn Beck

ThinkProgress » Home Page: "But in a surprising move, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol used his column this week to scold his conservative brethren for refusing to support democracy. Kristol takes special note to call out Beck as a John Bircher who is “marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s”:"

Yglesias on how not to default

Yglesias » Who Gets Stiffed When The Debt Limit Isn’t Raised?: "How about the rest of the government? Well the real issue here, I think, is what happens if the President tells you that you can’t get paid just now because congress is being difficult, but he’d like you to keep on keeping on anyway. Soldiers in the field aren’t going to mutiny, the Pentagon will just keep track of what back pay they’re owed and families back home will complain to their members of congress. Similarly, the firms the Pentagon contracts with will recognize that the long-term viability of their contracting business is at stake and will keep fulfilling the terms of their contracts in exchange for IOUs. So nobody’s going to run out of bullets. And it seems to me that if you really wanted to, you could generally keep things more-or-less going on this basis. Instead of selling bonds to investors to get the cash needed to finance the government, you could de facto borrow money by giving IOUs to service providers. Financial institutions should be willing to buy the IOUs from their recipients, and then Wall Street will find itself lobbying congress to pay the government’s debts."

PLOrk - Very Cool

PLOrk: Biography: "Founded in 2005 by Dan Trueman and Perry Cook, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, or PLOrk, takes the traditional model of the orchestra and reinvents it for the 21st century; each laptopist performs with a laptop and custom designed hemispherical speaker that emulates the way traditional orchestral instruments cast their sound in space. Wireless networking and video augment the familiar role of the conductor, suggesting unprecedented ways of organizing large ensembles. In 2008, Trueman and Cook were awarded a major grant from the MacArthur Foundation to support further PLOrk developments. Performers and composers who have worked with PLOrk include Zakir Hussain, Pauline Oliveros, Matmos, So Percussion, the American Composers Orchestra, and others. In its still short lifetime, PLOrk has performed widely (presented by Carnegie Hall, the Northwestern Spring Festival in Chicago, the American Academy of Sciences in DC, the Kitchen (NYC) and others) and has inspired the formation of laptop orchestras across the world, from Oslo to Bangkok."

On Data

What Is Data? - BeyeNETWORK: "At this point we have thought through some of the elements in the starter definition of data being 'the stored representation of a fact.' More elements remain, especially whether we are even justified in having the term 'fact' in the starter definition. That will have to wait for another article. However, we can see that 'data' has been used, and is still used, to mean many things The 'data' of data management has only one of these meanings. It is symbols stored in a medium that can be read only by some form of technology that can relate these symbols to other symbols according to rules ultimately provided by humans. Not very elegant prose perhaps, but hopefully a step closer to a definition of data."

Sarah Palin shows she has a firm grasp of sound bites

Sarah Palin Blasts Obama's Handling Of Egypt:
"Referencing a 2008 campaign ad, Palin said Egypt was the White House's '3 a.m. phone call' but it 'went right to the answering machine.'"

Sadly she doesn't have a firm grasp on much else.

Really Sarah, STFU!

Potstickers ... yum

How to make potsticker dumplings, Mama Yang style - Eyewitness Cook - "But for those of you who like projects, or inviting a bunch of people over to chat, get tipsy, and make food, here are my friend Winnie's mom's famous dumplings (technically, they're potstickers if you pan-fry them). Made right, they're light, crisp, tender, meaty, crunchy with vegetables, sparky with ginger and aromatic with chives. That does sound like a pretty good evening, doesn't it?"

More on Being America

Are American Interests Getting In The Way Of Mubarak's Departure? | Crooks and Liars: "Oh, I think America understands. It's just that we don't really like democracy when it gets in the way of our plans!"

Yglesias on Presidents

Yglesias » The Trouble With Presidents: "By contrast, a system oriented around a parliament elected with some form of proportional representation is going to set the stage for new round of bargaining among political elites. That doesn’t guarantee a good outcome, but it does militate in that direction."

on men and moisure

Moisturizers make men a soft touch - ArtsLife - "'Men don’t want to look like the Marlboro man anymore. They don’t want a haggard look,' says Grady Laird, contributor to GQ magazine. 'Men are fighting looking older, too, and if they can look younger at a basic level, not by plastic surgery, then they’ll do it by using moisturizer, wearing sunscreen. They’re becoming comfortable with that.'"

Bill O'Reilly and Scientific Knowledge

Science > Bill O'Reilly : Starts With A Bang: "'How'd the moon get here? Look, you pinheads who attacked me for this, you guys are just desperate. How'd the moon get here? How'd the sun get there? How'd it get there? Can you explain that to me? How come we have that and Mars doesn't have it?' -Bill O'Reilly"

Everything you need to know about Fox News in one Sentence

What to expect from Bill O’Reilly’s Super Bowl interview of President Obama - National Political Buzz | "O’Reilly has gained a reputation as one of the more reasonable personalities at Fox News. "

Things that amuse me

Swiss Arrest Threats Scare George W. Bush Away:
"George W. Bush has cancelled an appearance at a Swiss charity gala after human rights groups put pressure on the government to arrest him for war crimes when he arrived. This is the exact opposite of a Roman Polanski situation."
via Zandar

Video - Stealing a PC from the wrong person

Part 1 Part 2

on the burden of being America

Booman Tribune ~ Wanker of the Day: David Broder: "I envy the Canadians that they don't have these responsibilities, or the blowback that comes as a consequence. But, I don't think things should be this way. America shouldn't be in the position of guiding the fate of nations. Not like this. Our allies should bear more of the burden. And, at the same time, they should have more say so. Reporters should be just as interested in what the Canadian prime minister thinks as what the president of the United States thinks."