Holly Wrote: Why not also name all the other presidents who used this program?- Rand Paul Versus Barack Obama
Dear Comrade Holly,
I’m not sure if you’re asking me why I don’t name them in my column or if you are asking Rand Paul why he doesn’t name them in the lawsuit.
In either case, the answer is the same: The only president who actually can be forced to do something about it now is the president who sits in the Oval Office.
This isn’t a punitive suit seeking damages from the presidents for civil right violations. It’s as suit questioning the constitutionality of section 215 of the Patriot Act.
Or is your question just another form of "Bush did it too"?
Seriously: There are so many things that Obama does that "Bush did it too" I'm surprised that the Democrat Party hasn't started a fan page for Bush on Facebook.
I'm not sure how Democrats tell the two apart.
David3036 wrote: There is an important lesson here in how Townhall.com writers often distort facts or leave out relevant information in order to appeal to the most conservative readers. Sometimes you have to go to another source to balance the Townhall view. Ransom writes, "They did it because they're poor.” He also doesn't tell you that the couple is raising seven other children -- two related by blood and five special needs kids that they fostered and then adopted. If they were in it for the money, they could have continued receiving the foster-care funding and not adopted them.
Dear Comrade 3036,
This is the story where the Kansas court found a sperm donor liable for child support after two lesbians who had the kid applied for welfare benefits to support him.
I also left out the part where the two lesbians had been separated for over a year. I left it out because the original AP story said the impetus for the claim was that one of the parties became unemployed.
In fact, none of the parties have acted responsibly in this matter.
You don’t adopt eight kids, then use a sperm donor to get knocked up and then break up and leave the state to clean things up.Click here to listen to Ransom Notes Radio live or for archives of previous shows.
And as for the guy, the "donor": It’s like my granny used to tell me on her knee: “Johnny,” she used to say, “there are many things to avoid in this world. But the one absolute is: don’t spread your sperm around. Neither for love or money.”
And as much as any man can, I’ve tried to live by those words.
DoctorRoy wrote: I agree. But the real test for the Republicans is would they back this if there was a GOP President in office? I'm a little skeptical. Rand Paul Versus Barack Obama
Dear Comrade Doctor,
Gee, you skeptical?
I call it delusional.
If Barack Obama snorted cocaine on live TV during the State of the Union you’d say: “Bush did it too.”
You don’t have to worry about woulda, coulda, shoulda.
All you have to do is support what you know is right, right now.
Jokamura wrote: Conservatives like to throw the word morality around a lot, but when they do, it is only in certain cases, while ignoring the immorality of other acts. When are was the morally right thing to do? Is using a drone to drop bombs on peoples head, because you believe they are bad guys, the morally right thing to do? What happens when that bomb kills others around the target, is that morally right? Is the death penalty the morally right thing to do? Is preventing people who try to enter this country illegally, seeking to live a better life, the morally right thing to do? Rand Paul Versus Barack Obama
Dear Comrade Joker,
I didn’t throw around the word “morality.”
I observed that institutions don’t have the capacity to be moral.
Only people do.
And that’s why it’s dangerous to invest institutions like the NSA with broad powers; or the CIA with the power to use drones to kill people.
Obama has expanded the use of drones, by the way, and as a result our relations with Pakistan have never been worse.
I have grave reservations about the use of the death penalty but I can assure you that they disappear with the certainty that the people who committed the crimes are actually guilty.
Ted Bundy- death penalty. Jeffery Dahlmer- death penalty.
I have no moral qualms about that.
Nor do I have moral qualms about the use of war powers to secure U.S. security or the security of any other peoples that are important to our national interests.
There was death and destruction going on in Iraq long before we invaded; there has been death and destruction long since we left.
Iraq’s one chance to have a rational world was the USA.
They blew it. We did not.
DoctorRoy wrote: Sorry off topic. But since Ransom covered the NFL I wonder if he ever saw this. This is a first as far as I can recall. I don't ever remember a potential pick threatening a team with revenge if they don't draft him.
Dear Comrade Doctor,
No, but I remember John Elway saying he wouldn’t play for the Colts if they drafted him. And that is one of the reasons why the Colts left for Indianapolis, which subsequently drafted Peyton Manning, and then subsequently released him so he could end up in Denver and choke in the playoffs.
LiberalSuperTroll wrote: This is all balloney, the only reason more US troops are being killed [in Afghanistan] is because our enemy (created by Bush) has become more experienced with the ways our soldiers fight and hence are able to better preempt their actions and cause more casualties. This certainly has nothing to do with Obama, who has been extremely supportive of our troops and has actually gone out of the way to bring the focus back on military and modernize their weaponry and keep our troops happy.
Dear Comrade LSD,
What an idiot you are!
You must be Obama top thinker on Afghanistan.
The causalities expanded because we had more troops there, with a larger footprint to attack.
In the image "Shifting Plans" we see the surge under Obama.
I have always been against the surge policy in Afghanistan. And my problem is that so was Obama, but that didn’t stop him from campaigning on it, executing it and thereby getting troops killed.
Commanders in Chief have the unfortunate role of commanding young men into battle, and as a result some of them die. It really sucks when they miscalculate as happened in Iraq. It’s beyond the pale when they order them to battle even when they know they are doomed to die and fail.
From the USAToday:
In a passage about a key meeting in March of 2011, [then Sec of Defense] Gates writes that "as I sat there, I thought: The president doesn't trust his commander, can't stand (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai, doesn't believe in his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be his," according to the Times. "For him, it's all about getting out."
Bush didn’t “create” the enemy in Afghanistan either.
Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States in 1996 from Afghanistan when Bill Clinton was president.
Marie150 wrote: Changing the subject just a little, wondering about the guy Beck had on his radio program yesterday. He studies the natural ebb and flow of the market. He was mentioning highs and bottoms. The highs it seems are being unnaturally manipulated. Meaning when the market is high people normally react in a predictable manner but now someone or group is acting in the opposite manner. Can you explain this to me?-- Yellen Economist Says It Would Be Better if Unemployment Was Higher
That’s a good question.
So let me try to explain as simply as possible what I think he meant.
In order to do so, I have to give a little primer on quantitative easing, zero interest rate policy and the Federal Reserve (the Fed).
The Fed controls interests rates somewhat by determining what interest rate at which they loan money to banks. Right now they are following a zero interest rate policy, which means that banks can borrow from the Fed for little or no interest.
That makes borrowing money attractive because there is little to no cost to it.
In addition, the Fed is buying U.S. Treasury securities in the open market from investors. This is also known as quantitative easing (QE). QE also exerts a downward pressure on interest rates, keeping them low because it helps inflate bond prices. Bond prices have an inverse relationship to interest rates. High Bond prices equal low interest rates.
Now when investors cash out of United States Treasury securities, they won’t reinvest that cash in bonds, because interest rates are so low that bonds really don’t even keep up with inflation.
So that means that all that money that investors are getting when the Fed buys their U.S. Treasuries has to go somewhere else.
Right now it’s going to the U.S. stock market.
The premium investors are willing to pay for U.S. stocks versus other investments therefore is expanding. And depending how one might measure it, one could make the argument that stock prices are very high.
This expansion will continue, the theory goes, because the Fed is keeping interest rates low and making those bond purchases, which means that the cash from the Fed has to be reinvested in the stock market every month.
Now normally the stock market is supposed to act as a gage for economic activity, either as a leading or lagging indicator of the growth in the economy. But because of the policies of the Fed, we are seeing the stock market become completely divorced from the results of the economy.
Instead, it trades on the money it’s being supplied by the Fed.
Mark Hulbert, a publisher who follows stock market newletters, says that there are a number of indications that the market is at a top.
The Price-to-Earning ratio on the S&P 500, says Hulbert, was 18.6 as on January 17th,“which is higher than those that prevailed at 24 of the 35 bull market tops since 1900.”
So in only a third of cases does the market go higher when you compare today to bull markets since 1900.
A broader way of looking at the market is comparing the Wilshire, the market index with the largest number of companies, to GDP.
As of today, the Total Market Index is at $ 19665.8 billion, which is about 115% of the last reported GDP. The US stock market is positioned for an average annualized return of 1.9%, estimated from the historical valuations of the stock market. This includes the returns from the dividends, currently yielding at 2%.
As pointed by Warren Buffett, the percentage of total market cap (TMC) relative to the US GNP is “probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment.”
My own view is that the market still has a bit of room to go this year, but that 2014 will mark a major market top, followed by several years of below average returns, until after the 2016 election.
DBraum wrote: I thought that one of the two missions of the Fed was to promote full employment? So in Newspeak, is the equation thus: lots of unemployment = full employment? Please explain but don't bother telling me it's Bush's fault. 'Cause I already know that; they told me so themselves. Yellen Economist Says It Would Be Better if Unemployment Was Higher
Dear Mr. D,
No one really knows what the Fed’s mission is anymore.
Originally it was a reserve bank for commercial banks so that they wouldn’t run out of money. Then it was supposed to provide full employment; and then it was supposed to fight inflation.
I think it will be an important part of the discussion in campaigns over the next few years.
Many economists are saying that “natural” full employment rate is around 6 percent unemployment now. This despite the fact that during Bush’s presidency unemployment was only over 6 percent for a short period of time.
So congratulations America! You did it. You’re almost fully employed now that unemployment rate is at 6.6 percent.
Yup. Everyone who wants a job has one.
And you made the world’s best cup of coffee, too.
Jsingletary wrote: Did you read the book? The monster is never called Frankenstein. That was the name of his creator. Actually, the book is not anything like all the movies by the same name. I found the book much better. Sperm, Craigslist, Lesbians, and Welfare; What Could Go Wrong?
Dear Comrade J,
Yes, I have read the book. I first read it in an upper-level English literature class in college my junior year. Along side it we read Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Both stories are about rebellion against God, with man and the devil seeking to usurp His powers while neither being able to take responsibility for their actions. In Frankenstein, it’s man in rebellion; in Paradise, it’s Satan.
And yes I know that Frankenstein is the doctor not the monster. But explain to me why when you do a Google search of Frankenstein, you get images of the monster not the doctor. In popular culture we equate the name Frankenstein with the monster. But still even then my reference was to the doctor, not the monster.
The monster is only a symbol of the evil created by Frankenstein.
But Shelley’s is an important work and cited by me for a reason.
In that great Russian masterwork, Brothers Karamazov an aspiring socialist and atheist observes that man will find the capacity to love humanity, and have the power to carry on even without God.
Well as recent events have proved: They can’t even run an Olympics.
Or a website.
Or a sperm bank.
Maybe what they need is a tad more humility and a whole lot of God.
Ericynot wrote: As I understand Obama's tax proposals, they are to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 / year back to where they were before Bush lowed them in 2001 and 2003. The Bush tax cuts were sold to Congress as temporary measures, so why should they not be put back? That was the deal to begin with. Obama also wants to tax capital gains as ordinary income. That seems right to me, and almost all of my income is from capital gains. Income is income. Why should some of it be taxed at a different rate? The real solution? Dump the income tax and move to the FairTax (on consumption). -France’s “No Limit” Tax Perfect for Zero
Dear Comrade Y,
Face facts Y: Democrats in Congress extended the tax cuts and Obama approved the extensions…twice.
You know why? Because it’s really hard to make the argument that you are concerned with bringing in more government revenue when your tax policy is designed to bring in less in the interest of “fairness.”
Under Bush government revenues by 2005 had recovered from 9/11 so at they approximated 2001 receipts. By 2007, government revenue was $200 billion higher than 2005. Under Obama, we are still below the government revenue receipts from 2001. What Bush did on tax policy brought more money into the system. Obama would do well to cut taxes, not raise them as he has.
Why do you American Socialists have such a big problem with others making a ton of money when it will actually provide you more government revenue to fund the programs for the poor people you say you care about?
How long do you think a government with economic policies that foster social outcomes at the expense of the economy as a whole, government revenues as a whole, the wealth of the nation as a whole, last?
I’d say the third week of January 2013.
Yulee wrote: Sir and I say that losely obama was handed this screwed up economy from one george bush who got our country into such extreme debt I don't know if you remember his huge credit card press conferance but the moment I saw that I knew what kind of mentality the bush years were going to be on sept 11 alcada blew up some real estate here in america so what does bush do go after alcada no he invades iraq and our grandchildern will still be paying for that but that's ok because patriotic company's like halaburtan ha ha made a huge profit back in ww1 or ww2 that company would have been called a war profiteer and the leaders tryed in coart and found guilty and punished at the same time the great leader mitt romney had a little company called bane interprizes who liqudaed so many little bussiness acros america and out sorced all those jobs to china and india etc that he destroyed the middle class so be a real reporter and tell the truth not the party line you big fat liar -Obama’s God Fails Him Again
Dear Comrade Yulee,
The period; capitalization; complete sentences; spell check. These and many other innovations have been brought to you over the last 7,000 years of literary history sponsored in part by Halliburton.
That said, lets get to the meat of your argument.
Fat? Yes, guilty.
Liar? Sure, in a Mark Twain sort of way.
More than that, I’ll let readers decide.
CRW wrote:I think most of the public is too dumb to appreciate the sarcasm in this article. I think that most people will take your words at face value and believe what you have said. Hence I feel this is a POOR way to get your message across. -Obama’s God Fails Him Again
Dear Comrade CRW,
I think that you need to get your own column and write things dumbly to appeal to the dumb people you want to reach. Hence, I feel that this is a GOOD way to get your message across.
Ootvoswrote:If the wealthy understand economics, why did the banking system collapse? Many wealthy persons are also crooks. It's the best way to get wealthy. Financier now means manipulator of other peoples' money.-Obama’s God Fails Him Again
Dear Comrade Ootvos,
Many poor people are also crooks. It’s one of the best ways to stay poor actually. But being poor or rich is incidental to being a criminal.
Wealthy people may be clients of the banking system, but then so are you.
By your logic, poor people understand economics better because they have never caused a banking system to collapse. Dogs aren’t criminals and have never caused a banking system to collapse. In your world, maybe we should just put dogs in charge of our money.
If you were arguing that maybe we should send more dogs to Congress, or make a Labrador Retriever president, you might have had me.
Jose wrote: All religions have done more harm than good. Wars have been fought solely on religious believes. My Rx.believe in god but have no church-religion. All religions endoctrinate and the main message is to fear god. Based on fear and punishment.-Obama’s God Fails Him Again
Dear Comrade Jose,
As a type of reader you annoy me more than any other.
Pick up a freakin’ book and read about the world around you.
I thought agnostics and atheists were supposed to be “fact” based people? Isn’t science your religion?
If you added up all the people who died from all the wars gone before, including religious wars, it wouldn’t come close to the horror that the atheistic, materialist regimes of the 20thCentury produced.
So just in sheer numbers, you are in fact wrong.
231 million people died in the 20th Century from war and famine related to war, including civil war according to a study by Cornell. The total number of people who had lived on the earth by 1900 was 1.6 billion. To match the massacre from the 20thCentury, all other populations in previous century would have had to sustain 14 percent fatalities from war.
Whole armies that go into battle don’t sustain 14 percent casualties.
Then there is the matter of religion’s contribution to peace and refinement of humanity.
Some prominent thinkers who are neither religious nor even politically conservative — most recently the German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, who is both an atheist and a leftist — have expressed the view that the values of individual rights, moral equality, and human dignity might not survive the decline of the Judeo-Christian cultural framework within which they first developed. And there are very good reasons for believing that there's an essential connection between those values and the framework in question — a connection that ought to lead even non-believers to hope for the revival of the religious traditions of Western civilization. A thoroughly secularized Europe will not long remain a free and civilized Europe.
Scott S wrote:Please explain exactly how Quantitative Easing prints more money. -Obama Owns These Oil Prices
Dear Comrade S,
Money isn’t printed anymore because most of it is just a digital entry in a computer.
But where does the Federal Reserve Bank get the money to buy back U.S. Treasuries?
Well they just create it out of thin air. And they can do that too. They are the reserve bank for the entire banking system:
From the BBC talking about the UK’s Central Bank, but the principle applies:
These days the Bank doesn't have to literally print money - it is all done electronically.
However, economists would still argue that QE is the same principle as printing money as it is a deliberate expansion of the central bank's balance sheet and the monetary base.
This is why you see the value of currencies for countries do this go down.
“The Fed ceased publishing M-3,” writes Shadowstats, “its broadest money supply measure, in March 2006. The SGS M-3 Continuation estimates current M-3 based on ongoing Fed reporting of M-3’s largest components (M-2, institutional money funds and partial large time deposits) and proprietary modeling of the balance.”
The chart records only the rate at which the money supply is GROWING, not the money supply. There was a very brief period in 2010 when they money supply actually contracted, but otherwise the printing presses have been active.
When the economy is growing sluggishly less than 2 percent and you are increasing the money supply by 10-20 percent, the value of your dollar will go down.
Yactsman388 wrote: 81% of the "speculators" are nothing but bettors at the crude casino never touching the oil, never intending to touch the oil. Taking physical delivery of the oil would create a major expense and problems they don't need. -Obama Owns These Oil Prices
Dear Comrade Boat Snob,
Here’s a fact that won’t penetrate your skull, but I say it for the benefit of others.
On every trade, including those of speculation, there is another person on the other side either buying or selling. The relative value that each of the counterparties put on a thing being bought or sold determines the price, not the mere fact that people are speculators.
Having said that, there is a high degree of speculation in the markets, especially for oil, gold and other assets.
You know who their banker is? Barack Obama.
Two reasons why we are seeing oil prices remain high even though demand is coming down: 1) Central banks under direction of politicians like Obama are printing more money and that causes prices of assets to go up and currency values go down; and 2) There is more money out there as money supply chasing a smaller pools of assets around like gold and oil, meaning prices will go up.
Either way, it’s Obama’s fault.
Everyononesfacts4usall wrote: Dropout rate is correct. This seems about average across the US for a district that has 87% of students at or below poverty rate. Never understood why people care where others send their kids to school. The interesting thing here is that teachers are more likely to send kids to public schools than others with the same financial status. This is something I know, but don't particularly care about but Ransom & Kevlar I think will. -You Can't Teach Liberals Anything
Dear Comrade 4,
33 percent of students fall at or below poverty in Chicago. Could you at least not just make up “facts”?
I care where public schools teachers send their kids because it’s their political machine- the union- that has turned public schools into crap machines.
This is how stupid these people are. The Chicago Teachers Union cries that “42 percent of Chicago’s elementary schools lack full funding for arts and music teachers,” says Thinkprogress.org. Maybe it’s me, but shouldn’t the CTU be more concerned that only 20 percent of students are proficient at math and reading?
Seriously, we’ve public schools all the resources they need to teach our kids. If we left kids on their own in an empty classroom with books they’d probably produce a better outcome than what we are paying for.
Public schools in America need to start doing their job. To get that done we'd have deprogram a generation of liberals.
Dbrynes wrote: Lies. All lies. The CBO assumes the only difference, or benefit to electric engines is too save money on gas. But all else is NOT equal. All the other facts listed in this article were wrong as well. Apparently it is accepted in journalism to reference other articles or news even if the facts are wrong. This has happened repeatedly with the "losing $50k" on each Volt GM sells. This fact has already been debunked as that figure includes the fixed costs in production costs. The fixed costs were already spent. You don't keep losing that money on each sale of a car. -Even War and Rumors of War Can't Save Chevy Volt
Dear Comrade D,
Sure you keep losing your fixed costs. You lose your fixed costs until you recoup those costs. Duh. You have to see return on investment when you “invest” money into a new project like the Volt.
There are other products they could build with that money. Or here’s an idea: Maybe they could have paid the taxpayers back with the money?
No one would care if they were losing a little money if they could accomplish their own goals, or even tell the truth.
But they can’t do either.
For the Volt, they aren’t hitting their sales goals; they aren’t hitting their financial goals. They put out a press release telling us that sales for the Volt are at historic highs, yet neglect to mention that they have dropped the price 25 percent?
As a government program, the Volt will have to fit somewhere between Social Security and the US Post Office.
That said, the Volt would make an excellent, all-electric, US Postal stamp, collectors edition.
As a car though, it sucks.
Jerome41 wrote: Ransom is a joke. His beliefs have led to drug lords unleashing violence in Mexico and the U.S. He ignores growing support for legalizion of marijuana in the U.S. Recent polls show even majority support for outright legalization of marijuana. The fact is marijuana is very easily acquired on the black market by teens, because it is illegal. There is no regulation so drug dealers don't check I.D.s YOu want to continue a losing policy that costs us billions and destroys constitutional rights, than keep right on doing what Ransom says. If you say, enough, than he should be ignored. -Mile High Idea: Smoke Dope, Build Schools
Dear Comrade Jerome,
Sorry I don’t like pot. I have an aversion to substances that have links to mental illness.
I want the government out of the pot business and I want the sale of pot to have nothing to do with funding schools or anything to do with children.
You want to decriminalize marijuana, go ahead.
I won’t do it
That’s it for this week,