Idea For a Science Podcast

I think there should be a science podcast that focuses on one study a small number of related experiments/papers/studies to help teach people more about the scientific method.

There are plenty of podcasts that run through a bunch of unrelated studies, talking about recent discoveries. I think this is important, but I think that someone should go into what underlies all of this. Someone should talk about the scientific process and way of thinking.

Many scientists talk about how science is not just a collection of facts, but a method, a process, a viewpoint, a way of thinking. Many people are ignorant about both the facts and the principles. Many scientists touch upon these ideas, but only tangentially. One of the reasons this needs to be addressed is that today science is misunderstood, misrepresented and under attack.

In junior high school, I was told the basic steps are: Observation, hypothesis, experiment and conclusion.

Some podcasts do talk about some of the mechanics of science: the process of getting a degree, being a postdoc, getting funding.

I am proposing talking more about the scientific method and scientific thinking. One way would be to focus on one paper, or one study, talking to just the professors that were involved. (I know some physics papers can have a few hundred credited authors, so just a few will have to suffice.) Why did they do that experiment? Did they get the result they wanted? Did the experiment have to be halted? Was the paper accepted or rejected? How did they gather the data?

Perhaps a guest could be on to talk about a sequence of experiments they performed. Experiment A answered Question A, but that raised Question B, and answering that led to Question C, etc, etc.

The podcast could use each experiment to discuss themes such as: What makes an experiment a good experiment? What leads to success or failure? Why are some studies later retracted? Why do some stand the test of time?

We keep hearing that we need to get more young people interested in STEM and STEM careers, especially women and minorities. Talking about experiments in detail might give people a better idea of what it means to do science and what it means to be a scientist. When a lot of people think about what a scientist does, they think of someone in a lab wearing a white coat. A lot of scientists actually do work in labs and wear white coats (I think chemists and some biologists), but a lot do work in other settings (some biologists, geologists, climate scientists). And sometimes they are not very glamorous. There was a scientist on “Science Friday” who studied bats (I think it was Laura Kloepper; check her Twitter feed) and she said that when she goes into caves, she needs to wear a body suit because there are bats and bugs flying through the air and there are bugs and bat guano on the ground, and it’s loud, and you get hot in the suit. It does not sound like fun. There are many scientists on Antarctica. While Antarctica has a stark, austere beauty in photos, from what I have heard just being takes a lot out of you.

One part that could be covered is: what is “peer review”? (This might fit better with a paper that did not get published.) Once there was a guest on Science Friday who had done some peer reviews for a scientific journal. The first time he was given a paper to review, he asked the editor how to do a peer review, and the editor said that he didn’t know and the guest should just do a review. There are articles about it (see here and here),  so maybe that one guy just had a bad experience.

I prefer when science podcasts talk about the natural sciences. I am never interested in stories about social media, and while online privacy is important, I think that should be on a security podcast and not a science podcast.

Some people might say these things are covered by skeptic podcasts. I think the skeptical movement has not done a good job of explaining the concept of skepticism. Many people conflate it with cynicism. Granted, since the skeptical movement is using the term correctly, I do not have an answer for this.

And there are a lot of people who misuse the word “skeptic” intentionally, like the so-called “climate change skeptics“. They are not skeptics, they are deniers. The scientific consensus has only gotten stronger over time. The climate change deniers are ignoring or distorting the evidence, which is the opposite of skepticism. Some are against it because most of the solutions involve government involvement. Their worldview cannot offer a solution to a problem, so instead of admitting it, they pretend there is no problem. Given that scientists have been warning about climate change for years, there has been plenty of time for the private sector to come up with a solution.

One thing the climate change deniers have in common with the anti-evolution crowd is that they have misled the general public about what a “controversy” is in science. A scientific controversy is when scientists have a disagreement amongst themselves; I think the viability of string theory would count as a scientific controversy. If a scientific finding contradicts your religion, your ideology or your business model, it is not a scientific controversy. The problem is that you don’t like what reality is telling us.

Another issue is that the skeptical movement encompasses science, it can also include other topics, like religion, vaccination, alternative medicine, paranormal, New Age, the Law of Attraction, homeopathy, a large percentage of the guests on Oprah.

On the other hand, people generally have a positive attitude towards science. (At least until it tells them something they do not like.)

So I am suggesting looking at science at the micro level (a single paper, study or experiment, or a small, related group of experiments) to explain science at a macro level; to help explain the scientific method and the steps of the scientific process.

Big Jim knows if society was more rational, we could accomplish big things.

“Maternity” by Joan Miro (20 April 1893 – 25 December 1983), assumed allowed under Fair Use.

The Wicked Witch Is Dead

I actually jumped for joy when I read that Scalia is dead.

This is the best thing to happen to this country since Lee surrendered to Grant.

Some people are saying we should be respectful. Express condolences to his family.

Screw that.

Liberals have been nicer. Do we have anything to show for it?

As far as “respect”: A man who was disrespectful towards others in life deserves none in death. I hated the man before he died. Frankly it would be illogical not to be glad he’s dead.

As far as condolences to his family, from what I have read they have the same nasty views he did.

Someone on Twitter thought it was shameful for people to say bad things about Scalia since he had a family, and asked if we would say the same hateful things about our own fathers. I replied that since my father is a drunk who treated my mother like garbage, yes I do. Call a spade a spade.

One reason I really hated Scalia is that he claimed to believe in a religion whose founder told his followers to protect the poor and the powerless, yet he sided with the rich and the powerful every time. For a long time, Catholics in this country were discriminated against. Catholics were the other. Yet Scalia had no problem pulling the ladder up after himself. [1]

And I am tired of people saying how smart he was.

Scalia thought that there was more support for creationism than evolution. First off, this is not true. There is much more support for evolution. The Discovery Institute has had 20 years to make their case and publish some research. So far nothing. Anyone who says that evolution (or climate change) is not settled science frankly is not paying attention to science. (Yet, in true Taxicab Fallacy style, they have no problem enjoying the fruits of the scientific method.)

I am reminded of that episode of John Oliver‘s show where he starts moderating a debate on climate change. The denier says that the science is under debate. John Oliver says it is not, that at least 97% of climate scientists say that climate change is happening and that humans are causing it. He says in order to show the true scientific consensus he brings in a bunch of people wearing lab coats. As he said, this “debate” should not be happening. And the same is true for evolution.

Secondly, I think that goes against the position of the Catholic Church  [2].

I suppose it takes a lot of intellectual talent and effort to spend your life saying that up is down, night is day and black is white. But if you go through your life being wrong about a lot of things, and using your intellect to justify things that are not true, then you are really very stupid.

And now, the strict constructionists are not only telling us we should not politicize his death, but that Obama should not appoint the next justice. Where does the constitution say he has to wait? And would they tell a Republican president to wait?

Lastly, some nutjobs are saying that Obama had Scalia killed. They think it’s just “too convenient” that Scalia died. But let’s remember Scalia was

  1.  A nasty, spiteful person
  2.  79 years old
  3. Fat.

He’s lucky he lasted as long as he did.

[1] Sidenote: There are some things in the Bible that sound pretty good: Be nice to everyone, give to the poor, don’t pray in public. Yet many Christians act the exact opposite. Is there some grand conspiracy going on here? Atheists get the joke Bible that tells you to be nice, but once you convert you get the real Bible, the Jerk Bible.

[2] From the page cited:
Concerning biological evolution, the Church does not have an official position on whether various life forms developed over the course of time. However, it says that, if they did develop, then they did so under the impetus and guidance of God, and their ultimate creation must be ascribed to him.
So I guess they are not really affirming or denying evolution. Sort of like how they have no position on the Shroud of Turin. The Catholic hierarchy may not be smart, but they can be shrewd.

Cartoon image from the always-bizarre Uncyclopedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use and perhaps even Unfair Use (but who knows what the second one?).

Dancing skeletons from a 1493 woodcut by Michael Wolgemut, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Europeans considered many things up for grabs in that decade.

Image of crowd of scientists taken from Google search. It is a screen cap of John Oliver’s show on HBO, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

Thoughts On Skepticism And Atheism

In this article, “the skeptic movement” and “skepticism” refer to scientific skepticism. Broadly, this means using science to test claims. It does not mean being skeptical of science, or about its claims or methods. Many people who claim to be “climate change skeptics” are in fact climate change deniers.

Over a year ago, there was an email from a skeptics group that I attended a few times. The leader said she did not want the group to be too identified with atheism. She wanted the group to stay focused on broader, scientific, testable topics. She said atheist groups tend to talk about one topic.


But I have a few things to say from the other side, and I see a few things I don’t quite agree with about the skeptic movement. And I would like to see more cooperation between the two movements.

While the skeptic movements seems to have larger numbers, I think that skeptics tend to talk about topics that are irrelevant to larger society. A lot of skeptics seem to shy away from the topic of religion altogether, and are not willing to combat its influence in society. A lot of skeptics do not like to say they are atheists, which I find kind of odd.

Despite what the Religious Right would have people believe, religion has not always been a major influence in American society. If the Founding Fathers really wanted this to be a Christian nation, oddly it slipped their minds to every state that clearly. In the 1912 election, all four major candidates supported evolution.  Even in the 1960s/1970s, when the skeptic movement started, religion was not the big force it is today.

Skeptic groups tend to talk about less consequential topics: astrology, alternative medicine, homeopathy, big foot, anti-vaxers, card tricks Randi did in the 1970s. It is amazing to me that skeptics go on about logic, evidence and critical thinking, yet they have ignored this huge political and cultural shift in our society. And why not look at issues that affect people?

And religion should be tackled in a meaningful way. As some have pointed out, atheist groups win lawsuits against prayer in schools, the Wall Street/Bible Belt circus is passing legislation that is making life worse for just about everybody. Sometimes even people who claim to be for this stuff.

I honestly think some Dominionists want to line up all skeptics and atheists and have us all shot. Homeopaths don’t seem that aggressive.

Some skeptics think that atheist groups are a bunch of jerks for filing lawsuits about prayer in schools. At least atheist groups are taking some action, and counteracting a negative force in our society. Sure, skeptics got PowerBand taken off the market in Australia. As the Mocking Maori would say, “You rock.”

Religion is used to justify a lot of bad policy, and infects everything: birth control, justification for not paying teachers more, energy and climate change (jesus will come back before the oil runs out). Granted, the anti-vaxers are causing deadly diseases to come back. However, that seems to be all they are doing. Religion affects and infects pretty much everything.

Have you ever heard an argument against gay marriage that was not religious? Are astrologers trying to stop science from being taught in schools? And if they are, I don’t see bills about astrology being brought up in multiple states simultaneously, as you do with creationism. Or creation science. Or intelligent design. Or “academic freedom”. Or whatever they will call it next time. Are Big Foot Truthers taking over school boards? We have Representative Paul Broun saying evolution is a lie from the pit of hell. (How can you be a doctor and not accept evolution?) Alabama state senator Shadrack McGill said that teachers should not get a pay raise since teaching is a “calling”, and paying them a decent salary is unbiblical. Illinois Representative John Shimkus says climate change is real and happening, but we should not do anything about it because god promised not to destroy the world by flood again.

A lot of conservative politicians go on and on about this being a “christian nation”. When a bunch of elected officials say we are a Vedic Nation, get back to me.

Plus, skeptics are pro-science, pro-women’s equality, and generally pro-gay rights. We already like the things religious people hate. Other forms of pseudoscience are not trying to set policy in so many areas. Why pat yourself on the back for using logic, evidence and critical thinking to combat minor forms of pseudoscience, when you are ignoring the major one?

Perhaps advocating science education and promoting scientific literacy will help us make progress on a lot of issues. I just think that the two movements should work together more. And I think the two groups should become more politically active, even if all they do is contribute money to candidates and/or organizations. I think other ways are to fund scholarships and contribute to endowing university chairs/professorships.

Don’t think that pushing science won’t put you on the radar of religious folk. Look at the reaction to Cosmos. When people who see the world in black and white are against you, you have to deal with them whether you want to or not.

One thing throwing a wrench into the works (at least here in Austin) is the status of the Center For Inquiry. I guess a major donor stopped donating money, and a lot of their activities might get scaled back. So some of us in Austin are trying to decide if we should wait for CFI to figure things out, or do something on our own. There is the Texas Theocracy Watch and the Secular Texas group. One guy wants to raise enough to buy a building, and have enough left over to run it off the interest.

It will be a lot of work to educate the public. There is a group for women here in Austin called Secular Suzies. I heard that one woman signed up because she thought “secular” meant “religious”. I guess that is the way things are in Texas: If people don’t know what something is, they assume it’s Jesus.

Now to the other point: Are skeptics atheists?

Some do not want to call themselves atheists because the term “atheism” has a bad image. But by avoiding it, aren’t you compounding that problem?

Why do people say that skepticism does not equal atheism? You have to have a double standard: be skeptical of other religions besides your own.

I am okay with equating the two. (Although I have met a few atheists who say they believe in UFOs). So maybe not all atheists are skeptics, but I think that all skeptics are atheists. At least from a functional, pragmatic point of view.

Can I prove that no god exists? I guess not. But the ones I have heard about so far have not been too convincing. So I am okay with saying there are none. Let’s be precise about something else.

I find it odd when some skeptics say there might be some other god out there that we have not encountered, so we really cannot say there are none.

Most skeptics reject all religious/supernatural claims, so why insist that you cannot say there is no god? What god are you holding out for? This god-who-might-exist would have to be different than any conception of god anyone has ever had, or any god any human has ever believed in. A god who is not involved in events, or creation of world, or who interacts with people in any way. Which means you have to change the definition of god. Some people might call that “sophisticated theology”. I do not have a problem rejecting what you cannot define.

First image from LOLtheists, assumed allowed under Fair Use

Second image from My Confined Space, assumed allowed under Fair Use, frequently NSFW

Neil deGrasse Tyson On Science Deniers

Crooks and Liars embedded a video with Neil deGrasse Tyson on the place of science in our society. It’s a good interview.

I mention it here because he talks about the taxicab fallacy. He does  not use that term, but I think he expresses the basic idea.

The Immoral Minority had a post with another good NdT quote. There is a difference between scientific claims and political claims.

Just yesterday I listened to an episode of the Green News Report in which they covered the climate change “debate” between Bill Nye and Marsha Blackburn. Blackburn kept saying there is no scientific consensus on climate change. There is.

98% of climate scientists say it is happening and caused by humans. It is not a scientific controversy. A scientific controversy is when a sizable proportion of scientists in a field have not been able to make a determination. I do not know what the threshold is to stop saying a thesis is under debate, but I am guessing that it is lower than 98%.

A thesis might conflict with your political ideology. Or your religion. It might hurt your profit margin. It might inconvenience you. But all of those are different than scientific controversies.

Not everyone in this world believes in any sort of god or spirit. And not all who do are christian. And since there are so many denominations, obviously there is a lot of disagreement within christianity. So why don’t conservatives apply the same “there is no agreement” logic to their religion?

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use

Overheard Conversations On Airplanes

I have been travelling back and forth from Austin to Boise, Idaho for work over the past month. So I have spent quite a bit of time on airplanes and at airports. I have overheard a few interesting conversations.

On one flight, there was a guy who worked  for a “non-denominational” christian organization. It was either a school or a non-profit, I cannot remember. I think it’s kind of funny when christians label themselves “non-denominational”. They seem to think this implies an objectivity or neutrality that does not really exist.

At one point he said that as a society “we put too much faith in science.” I thought: You are in a metal tube filled with flammable liquid suspended thousands of feet in the air. You’d better have some faith in science. The taxicab fallacy at its finest.

If skeptics and atheists have “faith in science“, it is not faith in the sense of worshipping an invisible deity whose behavior is consistent with non-existence, or belief in things without proof. It is the assumption that since the scientific method has increased our understanding of the world in the past that it will continue to do so. I think that as long as religion claims to be a method for understanding the world, it will always be incompatible with science. Besides, if religion had anything to do with technology, why didn’t god tell people how to make airplanes 5,000 years ago?

Another conversation was with a guy who was a medical assistant at a clinic that did vision correction surgery. He said that Medicare reimburses them right away. But private insurance companies drag their feet. He said they have to submit claims to private insurance companies several times, but they only have to submit to Medicaid once. He said that about 50% of the people working at his clinic do nothing but deal with insurance companies. Do we really have the best health care system in the world?

Lastly, one time when I got back to Austin it was about 35 degrees Fahrenheit. I heard someone say that the day before it was in the 80s. Climate scientists have been predicting temperature volatility for years. Yet many people still think it’s a big hoax.

Image from Uncyclopedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. I do not have the time to determine if it is allowed under Unfair Use

Thoughts On The Taxi Cab Fallacy

A while back I came across a post on Wickersham’s Conscience about the taxicab fallacy. He said it is a fallacy for conservatives to question or deny science while using the fruits of science.

I am sure that many atheists and skeptics have found it odd that many fundamentalists say evolution is a lie, yet they continue to see a doctor. Or someone argues against science and technology on the internet. WC gave the example that Florida Senator Marco Rubio thinks the world is only 6,000 years old, yet he probably uses a cel phone with GPS. GPS relies on the concept of radioactive decay. Radioactive decay corroborates and confirms estimates which put the age of the earth at far beyond 6,000 years.

Phil Plait was on Are We Alone a few years ago, and he and the host were commenting on the fact that fundamentalists attack evolution, yet for some reason they do not talk too much about the Big Bang. If you are going to push bad biology, why not push bad chemistry and bad physics as well? If you think that the scientific method is not a good way of acquiring knowledge, then isn’t it hypocritical to enjoy the fruits of the scientific method? Isn’t it logically inconsistent to keep the parts of science you like, and discard the rest?

I think that if you believe in god and use electricity, you need to think long and hard about your life.

I did a little digging, and the taxicab fallacy was actually coined by fundamentalists. Here is a paragraph from Street Apologetics:
A detractor of the Christian worldview cannot hop into the Christian system of thought by erecting an objection grounded in the Bible and then demand an answer be given without the use of a Bible. – See more at:

For a more in-depth look, see Iron Chariots.

I think fundamentalists came up with it to justify circular reasoning. Something Surprising also came to this realization.

If you are going to try to convert me to your religion and get me to change my life, then I can set whatever rules I want. If I do not believe in the Bible, then demanding proof from outside the biblical worldview is justified. I do have one quibble with their definition: my objections to religion are not “grounded in the Bible.” My objections to religion are grounded in reality. I do not object from the Bible. I object to the Bible.

I think that WC is right to define the taxicab fallacy the way he does. I think the atheists and skeptics are using the taxi cab fallacy more appropriately than religious people. Christians accuse atheists of committing the taxicab fallacy when they are trying to convert us. We accuse them of committing the taxicab fallacy as they go about their daily lives, if not every minute of it.

I think another example of the taxicab fallacy is people in the oil industry who deny climate change. (Side note: most people who are called “climate change skeptics” are not skeptics. They are climate change deniers.) Oil rigs and refineries require a lot of advanced scientific and technological knowledge. Oil exploration uses a lot of seismic data, and also uses advanced software to analyze it. At the same time, the consensus of climate scientists is that climate change is happening, and it is caused by humans. I guess Upton Sinclair was right: A man cannot understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.

The “Are We Alone” podcast is now called “Big Picture Science“.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use

Yet More Austerity

Here are a few more links to articles about austerity.

This is an academic page on VoxEU.

Here is one from the New York Times by some professor at Cornell. At one point, he asks the question: If we are not going to spend money to repair infrastructure now, then when will we?

Here is one from Politicus that links to a Krugman article in which he points out that the pro-austerity crowd is not being honest. They really do not care whether it will help the economy. They just want to dismantle the welfare state and rip the safety net. If that is what they want, why not just argue for those things on their own merits?

He also makes an interesting point about motives: The pro-austerity crowd never seems to consider that the pro-stimulus crowd is pushing stimulus because the pro-stimulus crowd states and thinks that stimulus might be good for the economy. No, the austerity people insist the stimulus people have an agenda. After all, the austerity crowd has an ulterior motive. So they think that everybody else does as well.

We also see this in the climate change “debate”. I used quotes because from a scientific perspective there is no debate about climate change.

Image from Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use

Star Trek And Evolution

Star Trek has a history of touching on social issues. One of them is religion.

Although it is fiction, and deals with technology that may never exist and aliens who look a lot like humans, sometimes it does express a skeptical/scientific view on things.

There is a quote about evolution in the Enterprise episode “Dear Doctor” that I liked:

Evolution is more than a theory. It is a fundamental scientific principle.

Phlox, to Archer

Interesting that Memory Alpha has a page on evolution. Here is a quote from that page:

Ronald D. Moore commented: “Trek […] accepts evolution as a believable and valid theory. Gene himself felt this very strongly and although we do try to embrace many points of view and many beliefs, there are some matters on which we do make our feelings known. That said, I also think that anyone within the Trek universe who espoused a “creationist” or similar view as to the origins of life would find their beliefs respected — “respected” being fundamentally different than “believed.” (AOL chat, 1997)

I don’t know if Gene Roddenberry actually said these quotes, but his page on Wikiquotes has quite a few about religion. Here are two that I like:

  • I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will
  • We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

Image from Memory Alpha, copyright owned by CBS, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

Thoughts on the new pope and miracles

Here are a few thoughts inspired by the selection of a new pope. Who is probably not all that different than the last one.

Why is he elected by cardinals? This is another example of a thought that has occurred to me a few times lately: Why does god need people to do his work? Why can’t god put the name of the new pope into peoples’s heads? Why can’t every Catholic (or even every human being) just all simultaneously think, “I think the new pope should be so-and-so.” That would be pretty miraculous. I am guessing that most Catholics had never heard of this guy a week ago.

I saw an image on twitter recently of a woman holding a handwritten sign: “If I could I would end suffering. That’s the difference between me and god. I’m proud to be an atheist and ex-Muslim”. (If you are the woman who held this sign, you see this post and need a green card, contact me.)

To a certain degree, my idea and the sign are expressing the same idea as the question “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?”  Why aren’t there more true miracles? Why doesn’t god do something that can’t be explained any other way? (Sunrises and smiling babies aren’t miracles. They are natural phenomena that happen all the time.) Billions of people thinking that someone they have never heard of before should be pope. I am sure a lot of people would become believers then.

One objection to this is that we would be “forced” to believe in god, that god wants us to have free will.

Let me trot out the usual objections: That this “free will” is extortion. It’s Mafia free will: If you make the choice god does not want you to make, then you are punished.

Another problem I have with the “free will” objection is that a lot of christians think the ideal state for them is to do whatever god wants them to, to do his will and not their own. To be a slave. To be an automaton. I have not heard (or read) them using those exact words, but that’s the general idea. It sounds Orwellian: “Freedom is obedience.”

If it is good for people to choose to be mindless robots, why is it bad for god to make people as robots from the beginning? Why didn’t god just create a small number of people to be true believers, and spare everybody else a lot of suffering?

If we had this worldwide telepathic event, I don’t think that we would be “forced” to believe. I hope that I would at least reconsider things if it happened. But I think a lot of people would still come up with alternative explanations or just deny any evidence. We have people who still deny evolution (even though they use medicine) and climate change (even though over 99% of the articles say it is happening). I bet that a lot of people would think that papal telepathy would just be satan trying to deceive people. There are a lot of evangelicals who think that the catholic church is an arm of satan.

According to the bibles I have read, Jesus did a lot of miracles. But not everyone was convinced that he was the son of god. If people were not “forced” to believe while the son of man supposedly walked amongst the living, why wouldn’t people choose to accept or deny god in the face of miracles today?

2013-03-17 Quotes

From an editorial on the LA Times website, here is a quote from the comments addressing the idea of whether or not humans are affecting the climate:

Gee, I’m so confused.  Who should I believe?  The worlds largest ReInsurance companies,  the US Dept of Defense, the CIA, the National Science Foundation, every major public science institution, and 98% of climate scientitsts,  OR
some lame brained right-wing bloggers with home made websites  ??

In a related note, I do consider someone’s website when judging whether or not they know what they are talking about in general. I know a lot of people in technology love to slam WordPress, but it’s easy to use and there are a lot of nice themes for it. Maybe writing someone off as a kook for using the blink tag is wrong, but if you want me to change my life, at least put some thought into your message.

Here is another one, responding to the idea that Obama should compromise to “gain credibility” with conservatives:

Ah, the endless quest of the center left to give things away to “bolster credibility.” I wrote a whole post about this — “credibility is like a rainbow” — so I won’t write it all again. Suffice to say, Obama cut taxes for almost every American, presided over a massive expansion in oil and gas production (during a sharp decline in carbon emissions), deported millions of illegal immigrants, killed Osama bin Laden, and cut the deficit by almost half. Guess how much support and credibility it has gotten him among conservatives? That’s right: none.