John Ransom - Today, at 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance; Williams Edge Webinar for August 15th, 2014
Posted: 6/15/2014 12:01:00 AM EST

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Michael Schaus - In Other News: Chicago High School Accused of Murdering the English Language
Posted: 6/13/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

Nero played the fiddle. Obama golfs. Meh, different strokes for different incompetent leaders who let the world fall into chaos and ruin. (Press Enterprise)

Feminists are now calling for an end to Father’s Day because of sexism or something. Now, I don’t want to sound sexist (I’ll power through it though), but I really wish feminists would stop whining like a bunch of little girls. (Weasel Zippers)

Only Al Sharpton, or a second grader, could mutilate so many words in a mere 11 seconds. There is no way to clearly articulate this man’s struggle with the English language… Especially if you have him say it. (Weasel Zippers)

A school in Chicago is under fire after teachers and students promoted the prom theme for 2014: “This is ‘are’ story.”… “Are” story? Heck, no wonder Chicago resident, Al Sharpton, can’t read or speak. Those Chicago teachers shur do a grate job. Rite? (Western Journalism)

Mississippi GOP Senator Thad Cochran was apparently unaware of Eric Cantor’s loss. “I didn’t follow that race very closely” he told reporters. So… I guess it’s safe to assume he’s not a big consumer of news. Do they not get the Drudge Report in his corner of Mississippi, or what? (Fox News)

Strangely this isn’t all over the news: First quarter GDP might be revised down again… To something around -1.7 or -1.9 percent. But, yeah, I’m sure almost 2 percent contraction in first quarter GDP is because it snowed in February… Stuff like that never happens. (CNBC)

John Ransom - A Sharper, Not Bigger, Stick
Posted: 6/13/2014 2:27:00 PM EST

Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the June issue of Townhall Magazine.

I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue, and a subject for Cold War enemy propaganda.

–Harry Truman, December 26, 1963

Although apparently we live in a post- Cold War world, much of our world, like it or not, has been shaped by the 50-year struggle between communism and free markets. And as we wrestle with massive data collection on American citizens, the re-emergence of Russian power in the East, and what to do about the sleeping giant in China, it’s instructive at this point to go back to the beginning.

For our purposes the beginning is in 1947.

In 1947 President Harry Truman signed the National Security Act, which established the Central Intelligence Agency,

the National Security Council, and other coordinating agencies. Truman claimed to have never contemplated the Act to provide a framework for the modern intelligence community but only to allow the central collection and dissemination of intelligence information.

That being said, the Act did eventually provide the framework to control the mature intelligence capability that collects, analyzes, and provides operational capabilities in support of national security, even today.

In part, the Act sought to help support the Truman Doctrine, which according to the Truman Library, was first espoused in March of 1947 before a joint session of Congress. In short, the Truman Doctrine sought to contain communism by providing financial aid to those countries most in danger of succumbing to communism. The Truman Doctrine itself grew out of one of the most remarkable policy papers ever submitted to the president, NSC 68.

NSC 68 was a policy paper issued by the National Security Council that sounded alarm bells in the administration by alleging a broad conspiracy by the Soviets to establish “hegemony” over the rest of the world. Although NSC 68 overstated the Soviets’ ability to enact such plans by overt and covert means, it undoubtedly reflected the Soviets’ long-term faith in the future of their secular religion.

Much of the Marxist-Leninist dogma rested on the belief in a communist worldwide revolution. As events after World War II bore out, the Soviets were aggressive in expanding their spheres of influence. Far from “simplistic,” as critics claim, NSC 68 painted in better contrast the long-term aims of the Soviets than the president had considered previously. What NSC 68 failed to consider was that communism was not the monolithic state of Russia, but a worldwide association of communist countries in struggle with the West.

Although NSC 68 may have been right in some of its conclusions, its failure to imagine communism as something other than a monolith (just as some still think of al Qaeda as a monolithic organization) continued to point to its deficiencies in coordination.

But despite its flaws, NSC 68 is still remarkable since it provided the West with a successful containment strategy that more or less won the Cold War.

Where the U.S. sought only to contain, the country was successful.

Where the U.S. tried to dominate, however, such as in Korea and Vietnam, success was always doubtful. But even more than victory, NSC 68 also helped ensure survival.

When the Cold War began, with Russia and the United States both possessing nuclear weapons, it was crucial that leaders in both the East and the West have the most up-to-date intelligence with which to make decisions. Intelligence capabilities envisioned by NSC 68 enhanced the ability to not only make decisions, but also to make the correct decisions, real-time.

In a nuclear world it was increasingly important that neither side make a misstep, which could result in a nuclear war. Although it’s true that our military leaders contemplated the use of nuclear weapons in both Korea and Vietnam, those were flights of fancy, not strategic realities.

While many point to the Cuban missile crisis as a nuclear disaster averted, the wonder is that with 50 years of conflict, the United States and Soviet Union weren’t on the brink of disaster almost always.

Today the United States needs a new NSC 68.

We need a coherent and unified national security policy, intelligence community policy, and defense policy that reflects the changing needs of the United States, the West, Russia, and China.

We are fighting today’s newest conflicts with tools developed for a different time and different strategy. The strength of the Truman Doctrine and NSC 68 was that they painted a strategy that was comprehensible, executable, and sound.

Citizens will support stern defense measures. They will also support sound intelligence measures. But in the absence of comprehensible policy like the Truman Doctrine, citizens are most likely to support retreat, because that’s a policy that at least they understand.

Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. foreign and defense policies have often been unintelligible, whether conducted by Republican or Democratic administrations.

And the truth is that today the world is getting smaller not bigger.

Comprehensible, executable, and sound policies for defense and world affairs would go a long way toward allow- ing America to speak quietly while hold- ing a smaller, but sharper, stick. •

Michael Schaus - In Other News: Nevada Dems Pick "None of the Above" For Gubernatorial Nominee
Posted: 6/12/2014 4:01:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

CNN has drastically revised school-shooting stats that were provided to them by Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group. Apparently, the numbers were inflated by Bloomberg…but that’s not the shocking part. The fact that CNN tried to verify facts has the world of journalism completely floored. (Daily Caller)

Vladimir Putin just insists on provoking us. Two Russian bombers were “intercepted” when they wandered into US air space near Northern California. They said it was merely an accident. “Yeah… We didn’t think this looked like Ukraine…” (Free Beacon)

Nobody won the Nevada Democrat primary for Governor… No, really: More Dems chose “none of the above” rather than any of the candidates. First of all, it’s awesome that's a choice. Second of all, this basically hands the Democrat nominee an easy campaign slogan: “Nobody is better than me.” (Las Vegas CBS)

A Government Union wants two employees fired for putting “Duck Dynasty” stickers on their personal vehicles. Because obviously, liking a television program can be a fireable offense. (Why do we still call them labor unions? Why don’t we just call them the Jimmy Hoffa wing of the Democrat Party?) (Fox News)

Just a quick update on a former story: Remember how the Obama Administration accidently released the name of the CIA chief in Afghanistan (oops). Yeah, they still haven’t fired anyone over that… But, yeah, liberals are right: Scooter Libby totally got what he deserved. (The Fox Nation)

John Ransom - Hope and Change Assault Our Pocketbook, Still
Posted: 6/12/2014 2:30:00 PM EST

Retail sales and jobless claims continue to defy economists who have been telling us that the economy is improving. "Retail sales gained 0.3 percent in May," writes CSMonitor, "lower than economists had expected. Jobless claims also rose last week, according to the Labor Department. But experts continue to have faith in the economy."

Interesting choice of words, "faith" is.

Faith is defined as being belief that is not based on proof.

Good that the liberal social scientists who call themselves economists-- the experts in this case-- at least now are admitting that they really don't have a fact-based science but a religion...based on faith.

From CSMonitor:

In another report, the Labor Department stated initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000 for the week ended June 7, according to the report.

Though retail sales were less than expected and jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week, experts believe the economy strengthening.

Hope they are right. But count on them changing their tune.

It'll be something expected, like weather, that will betray their faith.

It will never be that they are just wrong.

Michael Schaus - In Other News: Hillary's New Book Moved to the Fiction Section
Posted: 6/11/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

Now the White House is blaming Hagel for the Bergdahl fiasco. The only person who is going to survive this administration mostly unscarred is Joe Biden; because, let’s face it, we all know that he never has any idea of what’s going on. (Fox News)

Code Pink held a rally in support of Bowe Bergdahl… Of course, “rally” is a strong word. Less than 2 dozen people showed up. The non-rally was held in DC, meaning that former Gitmo detainees were not able to attend. (And that’s too bad… It would have boosted their attendance by 50 percent.) (Daily Caller)

Hillary says that she won’t turn over her Benghazi notes, adding that lawmakers should simply read her book. (Wow… She’s getting pretty desperate to sell her latest piece of fiction, isn’t she?) (Daily Caller)

California’s teacher-tenure laws were deemed unconstitutional by a court. Naturally, unions are furious with the ruling. After all, tenured teachers pay union dues. Kids don’t. Guess which group the unions care about more… (CNN)

The wave of young illegal immigrants coming across the border is getting out of hand. I know deportation of kids is a touchy subject because no-one wants to “break up families”… But, in this case, we’d actually be reuniting kids with their parents. So, c’mon Liberals! Let’s bring families together, and ramp up deportation! (Judicial Watch)

John Ransom - Cantor Canned!
Posted: 6/11/2014 3:15:00 PM EST

Like most everyone else, I didn't see the Eric Cantor loss on my radar, although my radar is a little dim.

But I'm not sure that it really means that the Tea Party is BACK. I think it means that the GOP base is less than pleased with Republicans acting like Democrats. Not to discount the Tea Party, but rather to make the point that the Tea Party really is the GOP base.

It never left.

Hopefully, establishment Republicans understand that better now. There is no conceivable way for the GOP to be successful by alienating this important base.

As my colleague in Colorado, Bob Schaffer, used to say: You don't get elected as Republican by acting like a Democrat.

If you support immigration reform that has no penalties for people who break the law, you just say so. There is room for that in the other Party. But I think we have heard clearly from the GOP base that really we have to get serious about enforcing laws that we pass from immigration laws to Obamacare.

As a party, it does no good complaining about extra legal maneuvers from Obama, when the only real objection the GOP has is that Obama's the one doing it.

The easiest way to create a tyranny is this country is to pass laws and then selectively enforce them, and then encourage people to break the laws. In this way, DC gets to be the ultimate arbiter of who goes to jail for tax fraud and who gets to be Secretary of Treasury. Or who gets to stay in this country--illegally-- and who doesn't.

What do you call a law that everyone ignores?

The law.

Still... no matter what Obama might do with his pen and his phone.

Michael Schaus - In Other News: Eric Holder Wants to Focus on "Empowering" New Generation of Attorneys
Posted: 6/10/2014 4:13:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

Charlie Rangel apparently felt it was perfectly OK to use his i-pad during a recent primary debate. He then went on some rant about his opponent being Dominican… Let’s be honest: If he was in your family, everybody at the Thanksgiving Day table would be concerned that he wasn’t taking his medication regularly. (Breitbart)

Edward Snowden is involved in talks about a possible plea deal with the US. Apparently the former Soviet Republic isn’t the bastion of freedom and limited government that he was lead to believe. (Yeah… He had problems with the NSA, so he ran to Vladimir Putin. And this isn’t working out? Really?) (Freebeacon)

Eric Holder explained that providing young illegal immigrants with taxpayer-funded legal counsel is necessary to “empower new generations of attorneys”… Shakespeare wanted to kill all the lawyers, Eric Holder is giving them job security. I understand it’s impractical (not immoral) to kill all the lawyers… But could we maybe start by firing a few? Maybe someone in the DOJ? (CNS News)

Shockingly, the Antarctic ice sheet is not melting because of SUV’s and coal powered electricity. The fact that it has been melting for roughly 20,000 years should have been our first clue that it was not global warming. But the fact that it has a giant volcano underneath it should have been a dead give-away. (Al Gore was unavailable for comment.) (Breitbart)

Flashback audio of the day: Barack Obama said that Bush only thinks he won the presidency… Yeah. There were also a lot of people who wondered why so many people named “chad” live in Florida. (Daily Caller)

John Ransom - GE Bets on Solar, But I Don't Bet on GE
Posted: 6/10/2014 3:35:00 PM EST

Welcome to John Ransom’s Stocks in the News where the headlines meet the trendlines.

Click here to listen to Ransom Notes Radio live or for archives of previous shows.

Stock number one: Molson Coors

Molson hits new highs—Yahoo Finance

Molson Coors (TAP) is making all-time highs today. The growth - up 26% so far this year - is in part due to increased international sales and also helped by an improving employment picture here at home. When Americans have disposable income they use it to buy beer. It's as simple as that. Molson Coors, the second largest beer company in North America has had a better year than their top 15 competitors worldwide. The next round is on you Molson Coors.

Symbol: TAP

Trailing PE: 19; Forward PE: 17

PEG: 2.10

Dividend: 2.30%

Estimate Trend: Up

Ransom Note Trendline: Hold Molson Coors

TAP Chart

TAP data by YCharts

Stock number two: eHealth

Why Young Sign-Ups Aren't A Healthy Sign--Investor's Business Daily

But Internet-based eHealth (EHTH), which in May released data on ObamaCare plan applications over the prior six months, seemed to offer great news: 42% of enrollees were in the key young-adult demographic.

A Risk Pool Of Their Own

Yet a closer analysis explains why the eHealth enrollment data, rather than cause for celebration, reflect a largely missed opportunity in the near term and a likely cause of regret in years to come. The reason: 14% of eHealth enrollees opted for catastrophic coverage, including close to half of 18- to 29-year-olds. Under ObamaCare, catastrophic plans cover a younger and healthier risk pool that is separate from the main pool comprising bronze, silver, gold and platinum policyholders.

Symbol: EHTH

Trailing PE: NA; Forward PE: 85

PEG: 20.66

Dividend: NA

Estimate Trend: Flat

Ransom Note Trendline: If Anything is Still Holy in the World Avoid EHealth

SPLS Chart

SPLS data by YCharts

Stock number three: General Electric Company

The Dow Hits Another Record As United Technologies, General Electric Rise--Motley Fool

One of the things that has helped drive industrial stocks like General Electric and United Technologies is their focus on the highest-potential areas in their vast conglomerate businesses. For instance, General Electric has no shortage of industries it could seek to dominate, but for the most part, it has chosen to concentrate on the opportunities in the energy arena to define its future. Today, for instance, General Electric said that it had invested in a Japanese photovoltaic solar-power project, with 32 megawatts of capacity expected to begin producing power in early 2016.

Symbol: GE

Trailing PE: 22; Forward PE: 15

PEG: 1.89

Dividend: 3.30%

Estimate Trend: Flat

Ransom Note Trendline: Avoid GE

GE Chart

GE data by YCharts

John Ransom - Is GM Part of the Obama Curse?
Posted: 6/10/2014 2:35:00 PM EST

Obamacare, stimulus, IRS, budget, foreign policy, green jobs, student loans: the list of things screwed up by Obama is lengthy and growing longer.

Perhaps it's not just incompetence. Perhaps, like the Ancient Mariner, Obama is cursed.

As a colleague put it: Obama is like the other plague not mentioned specifically in the Bible.

General Motors, which benefited perhaps more than any other entity from Obama's largess--by being bailed out-- announced that they expect the death tally to go higher as a result of their ignition switch fiasco.

From the New York Times:

General Motors’ chief executive, Mary T. Barra, said Tuesday that the number of deaths and accidents linked to defective ignition switches could increase when an independent compensation plan is completed.

Speaking to reporters before the automaker’s annual meeting, Ms. Barra said that Kenneth Feinberg, a lawyer who specializes in victim compensation, would “independently determine” how many people died or were seriously injured in millions of small cars with faulty ignition switches.

The company was aware for years that these ignition switches were faulty but, kind of like the VA, ignored the problem even though it was killing people.

Does anyone else see the pattern?

Prior to the scandal GM stock had climbed to almost $42. But the defective ignition switch problem has knocked the stock back down again.

It's another in a series of missteps that's continuing the GM moniker of Government Motors.

GM has been a public relations disaster since turning to the government for money, and stiffing shareholders in a deal that was a big warm hug to the United Auto Workers. From their ill advised reliance on the Chevy Volt to re-brand the entire GM line, to their fake announcements that taxpayers have been paid off, the company has gone from one lie to the next.

And just shows that anything Obama touches is doomed, doomed I tell you!

Too bad Democrats don't come standard with ignition switches.