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Comment Archives: stories: Opinion: Ted Rall

Re: “U.S. Decline Inevitable?

Rall: "Romney's 2011 tax returns reveal that not only did he bet against the value of the American dollar, he received a quarter of his income from investments in other countries."

Now do you understand why Romney is reluctant to throw is tax returns open to public scrutiny? (Kinda like Harry Reid?) It's because of the ways it can be spun by his critics... often by people who are clueless about investing. (Obviously not Rall's strong suit.)

Investing in foreign enterprises is NOT "betting against the value of the American dollar." It's called diversification. I'm just a lower-middle-class guy, trying to put away a little for retirement, and my advisor recommended the same thing - put some of your investment in offshore - Brazil, India, Russia, China, etc.

The #1 reason I'm pessimistic about the future? The national debt, and the fact that our huge government is spending so much more than it's taking in. This house of cards will tumble... it's just a question of when... if the trend isn't changed. (I'm no financial genius, but I CAN balance a checkbook, which is something those clueless nitwits in DC can't do.)

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by bikeboy on 10/03/2012 at 8:42 AM

Re: “Prequel to a Beginning

The Occupy movement whose grievances are serious, namely income and wealth inequality , needs to take a lesson from the Tea Party whose grievances are imaginary but who have been able to take over the Republican Party and ruin the National Economy by way of Gridlock. Get a life or get serious and enter the political system. Camping out on public property doesn't change anything.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Mick on 09/26/2012 at 7:40 PM

Re: “Prequel to a Beginning

I was part of the Free Speech Movement and founded The Free Speech Movement Archives ( Anyone can look up the documents there, and I can't see how any of them would support Ted's statement that the Free Speech Movement had "failed" after a year.

The FSM (as we called it) had limited goals - the withdrawal of the university administration from control of the content of speech on campus - "First and Fourteenth (amendments) or fight" was our motto. On Dec. 8th 1964 the Academic Senate voted by a wide margin to support our position. The University yielded and, despite an unsuccessful attempt in 1966 to re-assert their authority, the campus has been treated as open space subject only to the constitution as far as freedom of speech.

Ted doesn't tell us why he thinks we were a failure - perhaps because all sorts of larger agendas didn't materialize, or because of Reagan's election as governor in 1966. Reagan would have run against the university and "the mess in Berkeley" regardless of what we did - so when they attacked us with new regulations designed to suppress civil rights organizing we coalesced across ideological lines, fought back and won.

So tell us, Ted, where did we fail?

Lee Felsenstein
President, The Free Speech Movement Archives
Berkeley CA

Posted by Lee Felsenstein on 09/26/2012 at 4:05 PM

Re: “Fear of a Right Planet

"Are you better off then you were four years ago?" Well, yes. Thanks for asking. I am.

Posted by Bootycall on 09/16/2012 at 9:18 AM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

I am with the canadian guy. Most americans are to ignorant to see what is happening or to follow more than half a link in a chain of events. The Rpugs have done tremendous damage to this country for years in the name of corporate and individual wealth. Bush caused the 9 / 11 attack by his inaction. The 99 % are just canon fodder. Get used to feudal rules.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Lou Weegie B on 09/12/2012 at 4:50 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

Look at all the comments from MomSaid, speaking from the safety of her suburban minivan. Ready to send the troops in to find someone, some people, somewhere.

How about figuring out who did it, get some intelligence on the ground, figure out where they are going to be and then kill them with Drones. That approach might actually work rather than declare war on someone somewhere.

Posted by Richard Remmele on 09/12/2012 at 3:49 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

Listening to the left regarding Muslims, you must conclude that they believe Muslims are animals, lacking a conscience. The left tells us we must filter speech and thought for the Muslim world because they might start massacres if offended.

Why do Christians and Jews just ask that public funding be stopped for offensive speech? We see that the Muslim world beheads people that offend... I know a minor difference.

No kids, the Muslim would needs to be held accountable for thug actions. The Islamist are orchestrating and inciting these riots. Why do libs immediately just to regulate speech or expression?

Hillary is finally learning that you don't appease the Islamist. NY Times Tom Friedman is nowhere to be found. Obama frankly has not a clue.

I have never seen such public dysfunction between the State Department and the White House. Obama and Hillary hate each other and don't speak. Serious time and we have a very unserious White House.

How does this clown get over 40% support?

Grab a helmet... it is just beginning.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by MomSaid on 09/12/2012 at 3:07 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

OK, jangno, National sales tax let's talk about that

To continue funding the bulk of existing federal programs, the new sales tax would have to be extremely high. An analysis by researchers at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that the sales tax rate required for revenue neutrality in 2005 would be between 45 and 53 percent, with higher sales tax rates in subsequent years. An analysis by the Brookings Institution found that matching expected federal revenues over the next decade with a national sales tax would require a sales tax rate of about 60 percent.

If the national sales tax were implemented for 2005, the middle-income fifth of Oregon taxpayers (where the analysis was done)(average income - $35,400) would pay $3,600 more in federal taxes than they'll pay with the current tax structure. Only the richest Oregonians would come out ahead. The richest one percent of Oregon taxpayers on average would save $164,000 in federal taxes next year.

It works out this way because the current federal tax system is progressive - it's based on your ability to pay. The current tax rates increase as your income increases. This principle is enshrined in our culture, and has Biblical roots.

Now let's talk about executive orders and the President not doing important things with Executive Orders. That is because Exec. Orders can only be used for certain things. There is separation of powers and the Constitution that gets in the way. If you want to make me King then we have something to talk about

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Richard Remmele on 09/12/2012 at 2:19 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

I am not only talking about helping people around the world. I am talking about helping people here at home. We need to offer people a hand up, not hand-outs.

Tax law can be simplified by removing all taxes other than sales tax. Sales tax is unavoidable whether you are legal or not. If you don't have any other taxes to file, then sales taxes cannot be written off by anyone (including big business and the "rich"). We can also reduce the taxes imposed on American businesses to operate business in the United States. Then we can keep jobs here. Also, taxing businesses who employ people in foreign countries would bring jobs back to Americans. Those are two seemingly simple things that can bring millions or REAL jobs and money back to America and the American people.

Obama is far more concerned with his agenda than with the American people. You can not "work with" a person who is not interested in working with you. Look at his Executive Orders and see if you find anything that addresses real issues that affect Americans. There are some that affect illegal immigrants, but I challenge you to find a single one that helps the American people.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jangno on 09/12/2012 at 2:01 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

Lamazoid - I am assuming you are talking about Clinton's signing Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act which effectively repealed the Glass -Steagall Act was legislation introduced by three Republicans.

It was part of the Republican philosophy that started with Reagan. Clinton's mistake was that he signed the law. He was a moderate Democrat that got things done by compromise with the Republicans when that was possible. It is funny to now in retrospect to think that was a time when Republicans would compromise.

Some financial historians say the repeal of the law paved the way for banks to invest in risky investments like mortgage-backed securities and colladteralize debt obligations that played a role in the 2008 financial meltdown. Others have argued that the activities linked to the financial crisis were not prohibited (or, in most cases, even regulated) by the Glass–Steagall Act.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Richard Remmele on 09/12/2012 at 1:27 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

"MIA: Obama's domestic and foreign policy agenda for a second term."
You spelled Romney wrong.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by nubwaxer on 09/12/2012 at 1:22 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

This time, I believe all voters can, and should, view Mr Obama's promises about his actions or "changes" in his possible second term in the light of the *probable* excuses to be re-run through that time: (1) GWB's fault, (2) Republicans' fault, (3) fault of the states that we (Federal gov) have sued, (4) extremist views of the (growing) Tea Party, (4) greedy capitalists' fault, (5) fault of colonialists (do see 2016 movie), etc, etc. He and his campaign staff seem not to worry about his being held accountable for anything, ever. History has shown, and pure logic suggests, if his adorers continue to believe all of that today, they will still be believing in 2016 that he was the best US President but accomplished nothing substantive and sustained because of everyone else.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Don Jarrell on 09/12/2012 at 1:05 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

Getting Obama out of office is not the answer, it is only the first step in rebuilding what has been lost over the last 15 years. In 1999 the banking regulations that had constrained the banks from going wild were removed. At the same time the democrats were pushing mortgages to people who obviously couldn't afford them. This built a huge housing bubble with the banks trading mortgages like they were stock shares. When this all came tumbling down as it must in 2008 the recession started and spread around the world. We elected Obama on the promise to reverse this trend. He would reduce the deficit by 4 Trillion Dollars. Has he? All new laws and bills would be posted on the internet for 72 hrs before he signed them. Has he? He promised Latinos that immigration reform would be addressed in the first year of his administration. Still not done!!! He had a veto proof majority for the first 2 years. What did he do with it. He started signing Executive orders that bypassed the Congress, the law, and the WILL OF THE PEOPLE!! We have dropped from #1 in the world to #7 behind Germany, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands. They recovered - we didn't. He saved the auto industry? GM still owes us over 20 Billion Dollars and Chrysler's profits now all go to Fiat in Italy. GREAT SAVE!
Obama is driving us into third world status and sending our riches overseas. He doesn't outsource jobs; he outsources all the profits.

10 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Ole Rellik on 09/12/2012 at 12:31 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

Very interesting, lol:…

Clearly many people don't do any research and rely solely on mainstream media, obama is clearly the laziest president that has ever been put into office. The economy went bad at the end of the bush term, very true but it was policies put in place by the former administration, clinton, that caused it to do so.

Liberal = Everlasting Jobstopper

7 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Lamazoid on 09/12/2012 at 12:24 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

Noone's saying it so I will...niether are in our or the constitutions best interest!! Both, will be puppets to corporate america and banks, niether has the charisma or the strength to stand up against a 'corporate comfort' america.

Demand, we start the process over, come up with someone who has brass balls , so when a lobbyist comes in carrying a bill that will further profit, but harm americans they are LAUGHED out of the chambers.

Google- African Aid and Military and you will suddenly see a new purpose to keep Obama around. The people of Africa are less apt to resist openly, if an African is dropping military in their country in the name of aid. We've seen this scenario before, some corporation has a hungry eye on African recourses and its strategic position if your going to keep launching attacks against the Muslim's.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rev Rich Swigert on 09/12/2012 at 12:21 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

If I were president I would:

• Take a salary equal to the median American wage.
• Not accept any political contributions. Zero.
• Subscribe to the same healthcare system as all of my fellow Americans.
• Subscribe to the same retirement system as all of my fellow Americans.
• Treat foreign countries with dignity, respect, and fairness.
• Implement policies to limit population growth.
• Treat the ...US budget like my own money with renewed focus on fiscal responsibility and long term sustainability.
• Propose a fair tax law that doesn’t allow corporations and the wealthy to pay less percentage than other Americans.
• Reward random acts of exceptional human kindness.
• Never cheat, compromoise, or tell a lie

I guess that’s why I’m not a politician!

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Kirk on 09/12/2012 at 12:21 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

One rarely gets to read such a hypocritical and delusional piece of propaganda. Perhaps it was satire or parody of Mother Jones? Calling Reagan's "It's Morning in America" "pure pablum" is indeed laughable when compared to "Change we can believe in". The rest just gets silly.

Remind me which part of Idaho is this messed up? It's can't be the whole state.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Able To Deconstruct on 09/12/2012 at 12:20 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

To James Hughes, I am not saying I like the idea, I am laying out the facts that it is a large group of people who think that any slight against Mohammad or a Muslim, justifies revenge and the most of the Clerics support that view. So how are you going to fight that many people. Even the ones that won't fight will support those that do fight. It will escalate quickly into a World War with 30% of the worlds population increasingly against us. What is your solution. You would have to have a first strike against all the nuclear facilities in all the countries and then you would be off to the races.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Richard Remmele on 09/12/2012 at 12:19 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

Strange article. is the author trying not to sound like a republican by insulting previous gop candidates and parts of Romney's campaign? And what is his about Bin Laden officially not being considered a threat since 2006. He was a threat at one point and could be again, he had dangerous ideas, and had followers willing to kill and be killed for Bin Laden and for their misconceptions about their own religion.
Back to Obama. he is running on a record that is the best we can hope for. McCain nor any other republican could have gotten our economy to a better place in four years than Obama did. He has spent a lot of money but most of it was necessary to keep the economy from hitting an even lower point than it did. Whether the recovery started in 2009 or later wont be known for years, but it has definitely started. The republicans want people to think that a recovery from such a deep recession can easily be fixed in four years or less, but that is a flat out lie. They assume that their constituents are too stupid to know better and will therefore vote for Romney. Regardless of who wins the election, the economy will recover in the coming years because of the policies implemented by Obama during his first term. Changes take time to actually take effect. Regardless, Obama is by far the better candidate to see his policies through. Romney's only interest is the upper class and big corporations. Nothing good can come from a Romney presidency. Obama 2012!

19 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by MUCbox on 09/12/2012 at 12:15 PM

Re: “The Rebranding of Obama, 2012

In contrast to "Worried" who says Pay Your Bills, If you have money left over do other things like Health Insurance -

Read ANY economist aside from those paid for by the GOP and the stimulus did what it was supposed to do, but it was too small.

Since the ballooning part of the deficit is made up of the Bush Tax cuts, the unpaid for wars and the recession and recovery efforts, most of this balloon can go away. The base deficit is actually projected to decrease from 30% of GDP to 20% by 2019 (Google "What's Really Driving The National Debt?" to see the actual chart.) Add to that that the World is buying our Treasuries right now at a net zero Return on Investment. because of perceived safety.

So you can see why I think it makes sense to stimulated rather than do what the Republicans want and Herbert Hoover did that cause us, back then, to go into a Deep Great Depression when we were actually coming out of the 1929 recession.

In Tampa there was comment that they, in the beginning, wished him well.

First, there’s lots of evidence belying the Tampa argument that Republicans had wished Obama well, even though they had supported a George W. Bush stimulus in 2008 that was smaller but still represented the larger Keynesian idea that government should spend in a recession because frightened individuals and businesses won’t do so.

The first Obama stimulus was even cut back by $38 Billion by the Republicans. It only got 3 votes in Congress, from moderate Republicans that won't be coming back. Then the second Stimulus was killed by Republicans.

From the Economist Magazine:

"All throughout this crisis, American officials played it safe, and in doing so they almost certainly made the economic situation more painful than it needed to be. Four years since the recession began and two years into recovery, they still haven't learned their lessons."

This is what Catholic University of America - Institute for Policy Research had to say:
According to Romney and Ryan, The stimulus had no positive impact on the economy and on jobs.

"Please understand this. These assertions are so much at odds with the preponderance of evidence that they can reasonably be considered as outright lies. There have been some 14 analyses of the President’s stimulus plan, excluding the study conducted by the President’s own Council of Economic Advisors.

Eleven of these conclude that the stimulus worked, one concludes that it may or may not have worked, and the remaining two conclude that it did not work. Of the two concluding that the stimulus did not work, one bases its conclusion on statistically insignificant results while the other’s results could also be interpreted as evidence that the stimulus was too small and should have been weighted more heavily towards direct government purchases.

If you don’t want to bother with looking at studies, just look at the data. Since the end of the recession (June 2009) almost 2.7 million jobs have been created. Even if one (unjustifiably) assigns the blame for the jobs lost from March 2009 through June 2009 to President Obama, there’s still been a net gain of 316,000 jobs.

Now, should the recovery be proceeding at a more rapid pace? Absolutely. And it would be if (1) the ARRA had been larger are more targeted to direct government spending and aid to state and local governments and/or (2) had Congress enacted Obama’s second stimulus proposal the American Jobs Act. ”.

13 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Richard Remmele on 09/12/2012 at 12:10 PM

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