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Showing posts from January, 2017

Politics: Emoluments Clause

There is a lot of talk about the "Emoluments Clause."

Here are a few items you could check out about this matter:
Here is an item from ConstitutionCenter.org giving the history of how the clause has been complied with over the years
WaPo legal opinion/analysis item from Volokh Conspiracy legal affairs blog
WaPo item from their news section giving a rundown of the lawsuit that has been filed

Am not a Constitutional scholar nor do I play one in the movies but my gut reaction is that the lawsuit will probably fail for the reasons mentioned in some of the above articles:
Standing issues - the plaintiff has to be harmed in some way to have standing for a lawsuit.
Non-applicability - routine business activity may not be covered under the clause.

Ultimately, the goal for Trump critics is to use the clause as a way to initiate impeachment and/or force a resignation. However, impeachment is not lightly undertaken. In the history of the US, only two Presidents (Andrew Johnson and Bill…

Politics: Trump Inaugural Address

I heard the speech on radio so I can't comment on the "optics" of the speech.

In no particular order, these were my impressions I scribbled after the speech. I have expanded on the initial thoughts for this blog post.

1. Vintage Trump - for better and for worse. Sounded very much like his campaign sales pitch. Very direct prose with just a few moments of poetry. In the past, we have come to expect "poetry" from Presidents in big moments. Even Bush 43 who was not known as a great orator would rise to the occasion. Trump, in the speech, was very much "the guy at the bar telling it like it is." I understand he has to be true to his own style and that is proper. However, he is now president of the whole country and will need to adjust his speaking style in big moments to include some "poetry." In big moments, POTUS needs to evoke some sense of the historical context of the moment, extend olive branches to the people who didn't vote for you, …

Politics: Trying to Understand Trump

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I've been trying to get my head around the Trump phenomena and I found listening to these two podcasts to be helpful.

Robert Costa (currently a reporter at the Washington Post) was one of the first reporters to start covering Trump and recognized he was a serious candidate during a little covered Trump visit to Iowa very early in the campaign process in 2013. In this interview, Costa shared many anecdotes that illustrates the traits of Trump that voters were drawn to. Costa has a plaque at his office that says, "Assume Nothing" that allowed him to observe and report on Trump without dismissing him like many other typical political reporters.



After seeing this episode, I looked for more episodes in the "Uncommon Knowledge" series and found this item about J.D. Vance and his memoir, "Hillbilly Elegy." Vance grew up in the "rustbelt" where some of the "rural white working class" live and that Trump often talked about and championed. I…

Politics: By the numbers Presidential popular votes

The electoral college is the official Constitutional body that votes for the President of the United States.

The national popular vote tallies gives us a window into how divided the nation was around the time of the election. Suffice to say, in most elections, the national popular vote reveals division among the voters.

For what it is worth, by the numbers, the percent of voters who did NOT vote for the elected President since 1980.

49% voted for candidates other than Reagan in 1980
41% voted for candidates other than Reagan in 1984
47% voted for candidates other than Bush in 1988
57% voted for candidates other than Clinton in 1992
51% voted for candidates other than Clinton in 1996
52% voted for candidates other than Bush in 2000
49% voted for candidates other than Bush in 2004
47% voted for candidates other than Obama in 2008
49% voted for candidates other than Obama in 2012
54% voted for candidates other than Trump in 2016

Health: My Story of Male Osteoporosis

The TV ads would suggest osteoporosis is a women's health issue.

However, men get osteoporosis also.

My diagnosis occurred by accident. Recently, had an episode of frozen shoulder. In order to be sure it wasn't something else, the orthopedic MD ordered an x-ray. It confirmed there was no overt structural problem in my shoulder. However, the radiologist commented on osteopenia.

The ball was thrown over to my primary care doctor (PCP) who then ordered a bone density scan.

The scan showed I had osteoporosis thus the PCP referred me over to the geriatrics department where I got blood tests for secondary osteoporosis. All of those tests came back negative and so the geriatrics MD recommended zoledronic acid by intravenous route. This medication is in the bisphosphonate class that is a very common approach to addressing osteoporosis.

Went to the infusion center on a Friday afternoon and got hooked up to an IV and the meds were delivered uneventfully. I was told that some percentage …

The Battle of the Burgers

Posted started on March 3, 2016 and will be updated periodically.

Like many people, I've reduced my red meat intake for health reasons. And am also making some effort to source conscientiously any meat item (poultry and fish included) at the market when I do. Am by no means hard core (i.e. not vegan/vegetarian) and can't afford to always buy stuff at Whole Paycheck (i.e. Whole Foods). Having said all that, I confess I still go for the occasional burger. With the reduced intake of meat products, my system really can't handle a big steak any more. But a nice burger is still a treat.

I confess I am a fan of In-and-Out Burgers. When on a road trip, I'll often make a note of where they are along the route and if it makes sense to take a lunch or dinner break at one of their outlets, I'll almost certainly stop there. So in my rating system, In-and-Out gets the A rating.

But what about other burgers out there?

Here is my highly subjective views on burgers at other places.