Meet Doctor Watson

Is there anything Watson can’t do?

IBM Watson supercomputer turns to medicine

After battling the flesh-and-blood know-it-alls on “Jeopardy!,” IBM supercomputer Watson is getting ready for its next big challenge – helping doctors navigate the increasingly complex world of medicine.

Watson is being groomed to be a bedside medical tool – digesting medical textbooks, journals, treatment guidelines as well as information from patients’ blogs to diagnose illnesses quickly and accurately.

IBM says Watson, with its ability to understand language, can absorb questions about a patient’s symptoms and medical history and quickly suggest diagnoses and treatments. They envision several uses, including a doctor speaking into a handheld device to get answers at a patient’s bedside or to serve as a second opinion. Watson could also link to electronic health records that the federal government wants hospitals to maintain.

See also:
IBM’s Watson Makes the Move From Answering Trivia Questions to Making Medical Diagnoses
IBM’s Watson leaves Jeopardy to become a doctor (Morning Read)
Jeopardy-Winning Supercomputer Watson Turns Its Sights To Medicine
IBM’s Watson supercomputer to help diagnose hospital patients
‘Jeopardy!’-Winning Computer Delving Into Medicine
Researchers Preparing IBM’s Watson Computer for Medical Applications
Watson (computer)
Watson homepage
Watson Wins!

Well, if Watson is anywhere near as good at medicine as it is at Jeopardy!, it should be a better doctor than most. Seriously, if Watson doesn’t make mistakes and gets the diagnosis right, does it really matter if it’s man or machine?

/I, for one, welcome our new doctor machine overlords

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Waddling Back To The Trough

Here comes a squealing Fannie Mae, begging to suck on the taxpayer teat yet again. Hey, I know, let’s throw some more good money after bad.

Fannie Mae Seeks $8.5 Billion in U.S. Aid After Reporting Loss

Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company operating under U.S. conservatorship, will seek $8.5 billion in Treasury Department aid to balance its books after reporting a $6.5 billion loss in the first quarter.

Fannie Mae is requesting the money to eliminate a net worth deficit of $8.4 billion for the three-month period that ended March 31, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today. The $6.5 billion loss for the quarter compares with an $11.5 billion shortfall in the same period a year ago.

. . .

Fannie Mae’s smaller rival, Freddie Mac of McLean, Virginia, posted a $676 million first-quarter profit on May 4. Freddie Mac reported a net worth of $1.2 billion and didn’t request additional aid.

The two companies, which own or guarantee more than half of U.S. single-family mortgages, have drawn more than $160 billion in Treasury aid since September 2008, when they were seized by the federal government amid losses that pushed them to the brink of insolvency.

See also:
Fannie Mae Falls Back Into the Loss Column
Fannie Mae to ask $8.5bn of Treasury
Fannie Mae seeks $8.5 billion from taxpayers
Fannie Mae Posts Deep Loss
Fannie Mae requests additional 8.5 billion dollars in government aid
Fannie’s Friday Earnings Release: $8.7-Billion Loss

And who’s responsible for this financial black hole?

Why are we continuing to prop up this bull[expletive deleted]? Let Fannie Mae fail. How much worse can the housing market get? In fact, the government’s insistence in meddling in the housing market. led by the Democrats, only prolongs the inevitable and prevents the free market from sorting itself out.

/take away the trough, wean Fannie Mae from the taxpayer teat, vote Republican in 2012, it’s the only way to be sure

The Path To Prosperity

Adult swim, Democrats out of the pool!

Republicans embrace Rep. Ryan’s government budget plan for 2012

House Republicans announced a far-reaching vision for a leaner federal government on Tuesday, presenting a 2012 budget blueprint that would privatize Medicare for future retirees, cut spending on Medicaid and other domestic programs, and offer sharply lower tax rates to corporations and the wealthy.

The proposal represents the most comprehensive philosophical statement by resurgent Republicans since they claimed control of the House in last fall’s midterm elections. It promises to define the party heading into the 2012 presidential election and to shape the policy debate in Washington as both parties grapple with a soaring national debt.

Drafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the proposal aims to eventually shrink federal spending, measured against the economy, to its lowest level since 1949. Ryan said the plan would create jobs, promote growth, and rebuild an economy ravaged by recession and “relentless government spending, taxing and borrowing.”

Read the budget proposal:

The Path to Prosperity

See also:
House Republicans unveil ‘Path to Prosperity’ budget cuts
U.S. Republicans present budget plan with massive cuts
Proposal Transforms Role of Government
The CBO scores Paul Ryan
The Ryan Resolution
GOP budget proposal would cut feds, extend pay freeze
Ryan Rides To The Rescue With Realistic Budget Plan
Editorial: Ryan’s Budget Plan Gets The Job Done
The GOP Path to Prosperity

Right on cue, the Democrats are already squealing like stuck pigs being electrocuted in an acid bath. Children will die, senior citizens will be forced to eat cat food! Brace yourself, because the cynical and deceitful doomsday din will only get louder. Gird yourself for the 2012 elections, Republicans need to oust Obama, take the Senate, and hold the House in order to wrangle this country back onto the road to fiscal sanity. The Democrats’ irresponsible and ruinous spending gravy train must be brought to an end, the status quo is unsustainable and not an option. Vote Republican to save this country’s future from the economic abyss.

/the Path to Prosperity won’t be painless, but it has to be taken, the other road leads the United States down the third world drain

Hitting Us Where It Really Hurts

Whether or not “outside forces” were a factor in our 2008 economic meltdown, in the age of cyber warfare, the possibility of such an attack on the U.S. financial infrastructure is a scenario worth paying extremely close attention to. It’s a huge target, it’s far from invulnerable, and the potential for crippling economic damage and chaos cuts to the core of our very way of life.

Financial terrorism suspected in 2008 economic crash

Evidence outlined in a Pentagon contractor report suggests that financial subversion carried out by unknown parties, such as terrorists or hostile nations, contributed to the 2008 economic crash by covertly using vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system.

The unclassified 2009 report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” by financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, states that “a three-phased attack was planned and is in the process against the United States economy.”

While economic analysts and a final report from the federal government’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission blame the crash on such economic factors as high-risk mortgage lending practices and poor federal regulation and supervision, the Pentagon contractor adds a new element: “outside forces,” a factor the commission did not examine.

“There is sufficient justification to question whether outside forces triggered, capitalized upon or magnified the economic difficulties of 2008,” the report says, explaining that those domestic economic factors would have caused a “normal downturn” but not the “near collapse” of the global economic system that took place.

Suspects include financial enemies in Middle Eastern states, Islamic terrorists, hostile members of the Chinese military, or government and organized crime groups in Russia, Venezuela or Iran. Chinese military officials publicly have suggested using economic warfare against the U.S.

Read the report:

Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses

See also:
Financial Terrorism Suspected in 2008 Economic Crash
Did ‘financial terrorism’ cause the economic crash?
Did China or Jihadists try to bankrupt America? Pentagon report reveals financial terrorists may have triggered economic crash
Report: Economic 9/11 May Have Taken Place
Financial terrorism suspected in 2008 economic crash
Was the U.S. a victim of an economic 9/11 in 2008?
Blame Terrorists, Not Wall Street, for the Recession?

If you think about it, there’s very little that could be called a paper trail regarding today’s financial records and transactions world wide, it’s all manipulated and stored electronically at a speed and complexity that defies human oversight.

/definitely a fertile battlespace for a sophisticated enemy looking to bring the United States down on her knees in financial pain

Typical Government Efficiency

And remember, this is the FBI, they’re on our first line of defense against terrorism.

Audit Cites FBI Technology Problems

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s struggles with technology are expected to continue to eat up millions of dollars and still leave agents and analysts wanting for a seamless electronic system to manage investigations, according to a federal audit released Wednesday.

Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine said the FBI has already spent $405 million of the $451 million budgeted for its new Sentinel case-management system, but the system, as of September, was two years behind schedule and $100 million over budget.

Thomas Harrington, FBI associate deputy director, said the audit uses an outdated and “inflated cost estimate” that is “based on a worst-case scenario for a plan that we are no longer using.”

The FBI’s technology problems aren’t new, but they have potential consequences for the bureau’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, particularly at a time when the domestic terrorist threat is growing.

The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks exposed the FBI’s troubles with information sharing, and the bureau accelerated plans to replace its unwieldy case-management system with new software.

That technology project was called Trilogy and was supposed to deliver software called Virtual Case File that was to help FBI agents share investigative documents electronically. The inspector general called the project a fiasco and said the FBI and its contractors wasted $170 million and three years.

FBI Director Robert Mueller canceled Virtual Case File in 2005 and started a new project called Sentinel to be completed in 2009.

The system is supposed to provide agents and analysts with a secure Web-based system to search and manage evidence and get approvals for documents.

According to Mr. Fine’s audit, the system is still far from completion.

In July 2010, the FBI issued a stop-work order to contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. and decided to take over management of the completion of Sentinel.

FBI officials now say they can complete the system by September 2011, with additional spending of $20 million, according to the audit.

Mr. Fine found cause to doubt those estimates. He cited a review conducted by Mitre, a research group that is funded by the federal government, that estimates it will cost another $351 million to complete the system.

Read the report:

Status of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Implementation of the Sentinel Project,
Audit Report 11-01, October 2010

See also:
FBI Sentinel project is over budget and behind schedule, say IG auditors
FBI behind schedule, over budget on computer system
Report sharply critical of delays, costs of FBI case management system
IG report hits FBI Sentinel program
FBI Computer System Behind Schedule, Over Budget After $405 Million Spent
FBI computer system years late and way over budget
More Computer Woes at FBI, New System Late Over Budget
IG: FBI’s Sentinel program still off-track, over budget
FBI’s computer woes continue, auditors say
Report: FBI case management system still falls short
FBI’s Sentinel project $100 million over budget, 2 years behind schedule
Report Finds FBI Computer System Over Budget, Behind Schedule

Are you telling me that it takes more than five years and over a half billion dollars to design a case management system and it’s still not finished? And why is Lockheed Martin designing the software, when did they become known as software designers? Even Microsoft, as crappy as they are, could have probably put out a product that works in less time and for less money.

/if this FBI computer system disaster is an example of how the U.S. government operates in this arena, I can only shudder to think what will happen and how much it’ll cost when they decide to upgrade the homeland security and military computer networks

Obama’s Continuing War On Arizona

This is the most despicable and ridiculous salvo yet in Obama’s all out assault on Arizona. Ratting out Arizona’s attempt to enforce existing Federal immigration law as a violation of human rights, to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, an unfunny joke of a U.N. panel packed with some of the planet’s worst human rights violators, who’s insane, crazy, warped idea was this travesty? It’s just stunningly, mind boggling, staggeringly, jaw dropping bizarre and stupid. Forget about Arizona’s state sovereignty, what the hell happened to the United States’ national sovereignty? What the [expletive deleted] is wrong with the Obama administration?

Brewer demands Clinton remove Arizona from human rights report

Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer is demanding that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remove an Arizona passage from the State Department’s report on human rights in America.

The State Department said in its report (PDF) that Arizona’s immigration law “has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world” and that the federal government was taking action in court against it.

In a letter to Clinton (PDF), Brewer called the inclusion “downright offensive.”

“The idea of our own American government submitting the duly enacted laws of a State of the United States to ‘review’ by the United Nations is internationalism run amok and unconstitutional,” she writes.

See also:
Clinton’s report to U.N. takes cheap shot at Arizona
Brewer rightly condemns report to U.N. as “Internationalism run amok”
Brewer Condemns Report to UN Mentioning Arizona Law
Gov. Jan Brewer condemns State Department report
Arizona’s Governor Brewer Blasts Obama-Clinton UN Report
Brewer fumes over U.S. report ripping AZ
Obama’s Human Rights Disgrace
State Department Stands By Decision to Include Arizona in U.N. Human Rights Report
Report of the United States of America
Submitted to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
In Conjunction with the Universal Periodic Review

Protest of State Department Report to United Nations Human Rights Council
The Human Rights Council
United Nations Human Rights Council

So, to recap, the Obama administration submitted a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, claiming that Arizona was committing human rights violations by enforcing U.S. immigration law.

/and, as if that isn’t bad enough, some of the members of the Human Rights Council, the entity to which the report was submitted and which will stand in judgment, are such noted world champions of human rights as China, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, just utterly unbelievable and unconscionable

Party Like It’s Tax Freedom Day

Happy Tax Freedom Day

According to the Tax Foundation, the average American needs to work 99 days – until today – in order to pay this year’s federal, state and local taxes. But, this calculation doesn’t include deficit spending.

“Today the average American has finally worked enough to pay off the tax collector, but it will be another thirty-eight days before Americans have covered the costs of reckless deficit spending by our federal, state, and local governments,” U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a news release. “That’s a heavy burden for hard-working families to carry at any time, especially when so many are still getting back on their feet.”

According to Price, the government needs to take upwards of 40 percent of Americans’ income to cover its debt and taxes this year, according to Price. If Tax Freedom Day also included deficit spending, it would be celebrated May 17 – “the second latest since World War II,” according to the Tax Foundation; 2009 was the latest (May 21).

“How many budding entrepreneurs and small business owners will decide the risk of following their dreams simply isn’t worth government debt and taxes taking almost forty percent of the reward?” Price said. “No nation in the world has ever taxed and indebted itself into prosperity. It’s time to unshackle our job creators from the bonds of reckless government spending.”

See also:
Happy Tax Freedom Day, Sort Of
Friday is Tax Freedom Day, if you feel like celebrating
Tax Freedom Day: The taxman still cometh
Today is Tax Freedom Day
Tax Freedom Day comes a little later this year
Tax ‘freedom’ comes a day later this year
Tax Freedom Day
The Price of Freedom
America Celebrates Tax Freedom Day
Tax Foundation
Tax Freedom Day

/enjoy it while you can, you’ll be working for the government longer next year because your taxes are going up