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Even Comrades Can't Make This Up: Unions Exempt from Extortion Laws

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.


ModMark wrote: One of the coal plants shut down in Chicago was built ~90 years ago. While upgraded in the 1950's. it still did not meet EPA standards before Obama was elected. These plants were grandfather in when the clean air act was past. These ancient relics should have been converted to natural gas long ago.Do you really want to live next to one of these ancient plants? –in response to Obama Promise Kept: Coal Plants to go Bankrupt with New EPA Carbon Cap


Dear Comrade Mark,

The building was built 90 years ago, but the actual power plant generating electricity is considerably younger than that. And according to the company, the plant either meets “or exceed[s] federal and state emissions requirements” according to thePasadena Star.

And… oh, by the way… the plant did meet EPA standards well before Obama was elected. That’s why one of the largest buyers of renewable energy- Southern California Edison- bought the coal-fired plants in the first place: They generated cheap electricity from that plant that could be sold to the highest bidder, while staying in compliance with EPA requirements for their class. For the buyers it helped subsidize the costs of more expensive “green” energy.


Plane wrote: Re: "Because coal has just been given the death sentence"..... not quite correct....... coal users have to break down and make the capital investment to stop their spewing acid rain forming smoke and soot from their outdated furnaces. –in response to Obama Promise Kept: Coal Plants to go Bankrupt with New EPA Carbon Cap

Dear Comrade Plane,

Why do liberals have such an aversion to just telling the truth? Or reading an entire article? 

Enviro-Whackos are jubilant over the EPA regulation that would require coal’s carbon emissions to meet or exceed the carbon emissions that come from natural gas. Short of carbon sequestration- which isn’t really technically possible yet- coal can never match natural gas in carbon emission reductions.    

“If old King Coal isn’t dead already, he’s certainly teetering toward life support,” said Frank O’Donnell, president Clean Air Watch in Washington according to Bloomberg.

The capital investments that you are talking about make coal completely uneconomic, by design.

“So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can,” said candidate Obama “it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

And now he has basically tied this country to a single source of fuel: natural gas.

What happens when activists play the “health and safety” card on natural gas, like they have already started to? What happens when an LNG store goes boom in the middle of Boston Harbor?

Truth001 wrote: When anyone talks about division in this country the immediate thing that comes to mind is columns like this. It has little known value and only appeals to your faithful readers. So if these are the people you attempting to rally mission accomplished, but wait a minute Ransom it really didn't take you to get them there. They were already there. So all the "ad-a-boys" you just gave yourself appear to be just a means to pump up your own ego. –in response to Where's Obama's Outrage Over Murder of "My" Son?

Dear Comrade Pravda001,

You’re lecturing me about divisions?

Tax just the rich? We are the 99%? If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon?

None of that is meant to unite. That’s the fractional math liberals always do.

When people talk about division these days they only have to point to Obama as a prime example. The longer he’s president, the more reckless his policies have become.

I knew that Obama would pursue policies that I would hate, but I thought, based on his campaign rhetoric, that he would try to heal the racial wounds in the country.

But he’s done just the opposite.

Let’s face it, critics have a point: There is a reason why Obama was a member of Rev Wright’s church.      

Jim5522 wrote: Failed Obama policy in Afghanistan John? Do you even recall who and why we were led into this conflict some 10 years ago? Can you explain why Obama was left this war and the Iraq war to finish when he was sworn into office in January 2009? If Bush had accomplished what he swore to do in 2001, then we wouldn't have had to wait until May 2011 for Obama to kill OBL and just maybe this war could have ended years earlier and who knows ... he might still be known as Senator Obama! –in response to Where's Obama's Outrage Over Murder of "My" Son?

Dear Comrade 5522,

Yes. I do recall why we are in Afghanistan.

You don’t though.

19 fanatics hijacked airplanes and rammed them into immovable objects. Their training was in Afghanistan, under the protection of the regime run under Mullah Omar of the Taliban.


42 countries provided troops for the invasion although the core of the troops were provided  by NATO. In the combined House and Senate there was only one vote against the resolution authorizing the invasion of Afghanistan.

Obama’s had a year since the United States Navy killed Osama bin Laden, and the security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan has gotten worse, not better. Perhaps George Bush was right- he was by the way- that Osama bin Laden wasn’t that big a deal, strategically. I think events so far have proven that point of view correct. You don’t invade a country with troops from 42 nations to kill or capture a single man.

I mean, I know liberals are fond of big, unwieldy government programs for everything, but I guess until your comments I never understood how rooted the sickness was.

So your theory is that our whole purpose of invading both Afghanistan and Iraq was so that we could kill or capture bin Laden? And then everything would be OK?

I never thought that Obama would be that naïve, but maybe he really thought that too.  

The Iraq War was finished before Obama took office, so he can’t claim credit for that. He can get the blame for not keeping a presence in the region and turning Iraq over to Iran politically. That was a really stupid move on his part.

There was no way the Afghanistan war was going to ever end in anything other than defeat the way Obama went at it. Pouring troops into the country was exactly the wrong tack to take.     

Mike wrote: Governments are made up of people. Your post left you open to the question, what do you think is the difference between governments and corporations, as far as being invested with moral qualities? Point of reference: Citizens United. –in response to Gospel According to Democrats: Woman, Behold Thy Government Program!

Dear Comrade Mike,

Neither governments nor corporations are moral. Morality is distinctly a human quality. I think when Romney talked about corporations being people, he meant “made up of people,” not actual human beings.

But that distinction doesn’t mean that corporations can’t have standing in law or in politics. It just means that we should recognize in both governments and in corporations their inability to be moral. They will always act in their own selfish best interest, even if that best interest sometimes looks like it has a moral objective.

We see this in “green” marketing. Do corporations care about “green” because of the altruistic benefit it can give to others? Or do they see “green” as a marketing tool?

Behind “green” marketing is a series of balance sheet and cash flow calculations that, once they come out on the negative side of the ledger, will determine whether “green” marketing is a short-term thing or something that’s a long-term trend.

Take for example autos, which in the late 1970s and early 1980s were all about mile per gallon. As the price of oil went down relative to inflation, automakers stopped caring about miles per gallon and started selling amenities instead. Now that oil is more expensive automakers will care again about miles per gallon.

Human beings are different, in the sense that they have the ability to innately know the difference between right and wrong.

CS Lewis believed that it was this ability to understand the moral absolutes that was the most compelling proof of the existence of God. 

Liberals believe that governments are moral and corporations are immoral. Conservatives know that both are amoral.           

Jerome49 wrote: With the clarity of hindsight one can see that the Obama administration has manufactured an issue where none previously existed. Beginning with the George Stephanopolis questioning of Mitt Romney as to whether he believed that states had the right to forbid birth control. Romney said that birth control was not an issue and that it should be left alone, Stephanopolis continued begging the question until the audience began booing him –in response to Gospel According to Democrats: Woman, Behold Thy Government Program!

Dear Jerome,

Exactly right.

The campaign Democrats- mostly Obama- will put on will be a constant challenge to change the subject from the economy to anything that is more polarizing.

The more red meat they can show to conservatives, the better Obama will think things are going.


To the extent that Romney doesn’t fit that “red meat” conservative mold, he probably is the most electable of candidates from that perspective. He’s shown himself to be a pretty disciplined campaigner, content to stay on topic and be boring as long as voters continue to think about the economy. 

Conservatives will hate this, but the election is supposed to come down to who can best “manage” the economy. Romney wins that debate as long as he doesn’t make any serious mistakes.

Doctor Roy wrote: Well average income really isn't the gauge to look at. I mean you, me and Bill Gates have an average income of about 3 billion dollars a year. Median family income is the true measure of how most Americans are doing. And that has been falling steadily since 2000. It is part of the systematic assault on the American Middle Class by the Political, Corporate and Bought Priesthood class and doesn't have anything to do with temporary recessions. It is a long term trend and proves that there is class warfare going on but only one side is actually waging it.- Obama Abuses Words as Clinton Abused Women

Dear Comrade Doctor (or Wrong-Again Roy),

As our own contributor Political Calculations has pointed out that income inequality is a mathematical myth.

Personal income distribution has remained about the same:

In fact, the Gini curve associated with the fine PIDs is a constant near 0.51 between 1960 and 2005 despite a significant increase in the GPI/GDP ratio and the portion of people with income during this period (see Figure 1). This is a crucial observation because of the famous discussion on the increasing inequality in the USA as presented by the Gini coefficient for households (US CB, 2000). Obviously, the increasing G for households reflects some changes in their composition, i.e. social processes, but not economic processes as defined by distribution of personal incomes.

To put this more plainly, it’s the composition of households on the lower end of the income scale that has changed rather than income generated itself.

If more and more families, for example, are single parent households, there is only one income that is counted toward household income rather than two.

Since the number of households is skewed toward the lower side of the income scale, they would necessarily be more affected by the change in composition of households in general.

For example, a husband and wife both make $46,000 per year so their household income is $92,000. But if they get divorced their household income is only $46,000. Income inequality? No. Social factors here are contributing to changing the method of accounting.     

We have already confirmed that there has been absolutely no meaningful change in the inequality of individual income earners in the years from 1994 through 2010. If income inequality in the U.S. was really driven by economic factors, this is where we would see it, because paychecks (or dividend checks, or checks for capital gains, etc.) are made out to individuals, not to families and not to households.  

Roy, liberals really should embrace science rather than abuse it for political purposes. You want to support income equality for households? Then support marriage. 

Doctor Roy wrote: I asked this question somewhere last week but didn't get an answer. If Corporations don't really pay income taxes- but instead pass it on to consumers- if a particular corporation pays little or no income tax (and there are many of them) could it then be possible that they are just using the statutory rate instead of their actual rate as an excuse to raise prices and outsource jobs overseas?-Obama's Solution to High Taxes: Even Higher Taxes

Dear Comrade Roy,

To paraphrase the movie Billy Madison, I think we are all a little dumber for having listened to your question here today. Your question is another shining example why liberals should NEVER have anything to do with our economy.

Corporations may pass along corporate taxes to customers, but that doesn’t mean that the tax has no effect on them. When a corporation is saddled with high taxes, they raise the price of the products they sell, which means that they sell fewer products and they do so at a lower profit margin.   

Corporations write checks to the government all the time to pay for taxes on their profits.


If you looked at the financial pages all week last week, companies were reporting “earnings;” that is profits. And profits are what really drive the market.   

There are few GEs out there that pay nothing.

Even assuming that your blended mash of words makes some sense, one should ask why companies are going overseas to start with? Why are other countries lowering their statutory tax rates, as you call them, if it doesn’t make the companies more competitive?

Take Illinois for example- where you live.

Why did the state cut deals with Caterpillar and CME and Jimmy Johns to give them tax breaks AFTER raising the so-called statutory tax on corporate profits? The did it because they realized that if they didn’t those companies would leave the state.

Lois01 wrote: Capital-ISM; Conservat-ISM; Patriot-ISM; National-ISM; International-ISM; Deconscructiv-ISM; Antidisestablilshmentarian-ISM; Yes, all ISMs are exactly the same. - The Obamunist-Controlled Press Has a Job to Do on Jobs

Dear Comrade Lois,

I didn’t say that all isms are exactly the same.

What I wrote was: “Obamunism has the same problem that most isms share. People picked it based on emotion and have spent their lives- and their credibility- trying to justifying it based on logic. And emotion, in these cases, always wins out.”

Obamunism, unlike some of the isms that you pointed out (capitalism, conservatism, patriotism, nationalism) is a relatively short lived invention.

Let’s see if it can make it four more years.        

WotanofAZgard wrote: Always funny when GOP twits like Ransom cite the NYT as a credible source when its reporting can be used for rightwing propaganda. -Stop the Liberal Presses: New York Times/CBS Poll Finds Trouble for Obama

Dear Comrade Odin,

It’s nice when you take a break from listening to Zeppelin tunes in the basement and drop the Mein Kampf to make one of your intellectual arguments here on Townhall. You might be the last living person who actually thinks that calling someone a “twit” is going to carry an argument.

There are much better words than “twit.”

You should broaden your vocabulary.

For example, if I was that kind of guy who called names, I would call you names like: piker, pinhead, lemonhead, clod-patted moron, doofus, progressive pig-dog, lickspittle, ignoramus, dunce, dunderhead, or even the cystic mystic.

But instead I call you… comrade. Da?

I actually use the New York Times a lot in my articles.

In this particular case I was citing a poll in which the known New York Times’ liberal bias would tend to buttress my claim that Obama is in trouble.  

Bdogslo wrote: Ransom is misleading. Obama hasn't manipulated anything. Unemployment is one of many economic indicators, all of which appear to be improving. – in response to Obama Unemployment Magic Trick: Indefinitely Detain 4 Million People from Workforce


I stand by the article.

You may not like it, but I think it’s legitimate to point out that Obama is benefiting from the fact that he’s drawn out this recession. You don’t think his economic folks knew that the survey would show more people qualifying as “long-term discouraged,” thereby deflating unemployment numbers the longer the recession continues?

The real problem, and the one Obama and everyone else ought to be concerned about, is the diminished capacity for output that a long, drawn-out recession is taking on the economy, as noted by my friend and fellow Townhall writer, economist Dan Mitchell. What people should be very concerned about is that 4.4 million people have permanently left the workforce because of the length of the recession. That’s a population number that would qualify as the 26thlargest state in the country.

Imagine a state the size of Kentucky or Louisiana not having any jobs. That’s extremely harmful to the long-term future of the country and it will take at least a generation to repair the damage. And Obama praises it as progress?

The point is that the government unemployment number masks what is really going on in the economy. That’s the Obama magic trick, and it always has been.

He makes “investments” in green energy which even the Washington Post says is just graft. He “saves” healthcare by killing healthcare. As long as he continues to use words as a dodge against what he really stands for, people like me will be there calling him out about his real motives.


If you don’t like it, next time trying nominating a president who tells the truth and follows the constitution.

Summers wrote: When I was pregnant with my second child, I worked the Louisiana Legislature in 1976 to get 'Right to Work' passed. My experience with the thuggery of unions made me a committed advocate against unions. Our group was elated when we got the bill passed, but that was short-lived. Jim Leslie, who put so much work into 'Right to Work' was gunned down at the Prince Murat Hotel when he left the Capitol Building and went back to his room. The man who killed him was later found murdered. It was an experience that gave me sleepless nights and made a lasting impression. -in response to The Fitting End to the First President of the Universe

Dear Summers,

That’s why we all hate unions.

I grew up in Chicago. It was worse there.

The weird thing is that when it comes to union violence, the long arm of the law seems to short-arm everything.

From American Thinker:

Union violence is not rare. The National Institute for Labor Relations (NILR) has collected over 9,000 reports of union violence since 1975 and the actual number is much higher--by as much as a factor of ten. Only a fraction of such offenses result in arrest and conviction.

On Monday, Teamsters Union president James Hoffa proudly declared, "The one thing about working people is we like a good fight." (Fight, not good, being the operative word.). Echoing Hoffa, ILWU President Bob McEllrath said "It shouldn't be a crime to fight for good jobs in America."  

Oh, trust me, it’s not a crime to use criminal methods if you are in a union.

The fight crowd has certain federal legal precedent on its side of the ring. According to NILR, the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Enmons decision, among other factors, makes prosecution of union violence difficult. According to the Cato Institute, violence "deemed to be in furtherance of ‘legitimate’ union objectives” is exempt from prosecution under federal anti-extortion laws.

Exempt from anti-extortion laws?

Who do they think they are, Congress?

That’s all you need to know.

Doug3370 wrote: There are natural processes that will, ever so slowly, remove CO2 from the atmosphere. The sooner and the faster we reduce our emissions, the smaller the peak CO2 level will be and the sooner the atmospheric CO2 concentration will return to levels that make for a climate friendly to humanity. We can debate the cost, but it's just a fact that wind turbines don't generate CO2 but coal fired plants do.- Tired of that $2.6 Million Program that Teaches Chinese Prostitutes to Drink?

Dear Comrade No. 3370,

There are processes that will “ever so slowly” remove CO2, and we have to remove CO2 “sooner and faster?”

Never heard a liberal make so eloquent an argument that they have no idea what they are talking about. As you say, wind power and other renewable energy sources won’t do the magic that your global warming religion demands- because according to you guys, the global apocalypse is so close already- and the wind power remedy won't solve it  "sooner and faster."

So why even do it? Because a futile and expensive liberal attempt at doing, something-- anything-- is better than nothing?

Doing “something” in this case is far more destructive than doing nothing.

Why? Because it delays the day when other energy sources can compete on a cost basis with fossil fuels. When that day comes, the problems associated with fossil fuels will be over. 

Going back to my original premise, the Renewable Energy Standard is not expected to have any impact whatsoever on global warming, even if you accept the so-called science as “settled,” which I do not. The reason why is that the renewable energy is expected to make up only a very small fraction of energy production by 2040.

The issue is not how much the United States consumes. The issue is how much China, India and the rest of the developing nations will consume. Energy consumption will increase by about 40 percent by 2040, with the US energy demand remaining essentially flat.

If you assume that today renewable energy contributes about zero to energy production and assume by 2040 renewable energy will contribute an optimistic 20 percent of all energy production, you still get fossil fuel use of about 112 percent of today’s figure.     


And don’t expect developing countries to adopt more costly forms of energy production than coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear offer.

What the Renewable Energy Standard does do is ask American consumers to subsidize the development and use of cheaper fuels in developing nations.

There is only one word to describe such a policy: Stupid.

Doctor Roy wrote:  I already posted that article Matt and noted that those fools were in the Bush Administration. I notice you didn't. - Tired of that $2.6 Million Program that Teaches Chinese Prostitutes to Drink?

Dear Comrade Roy,

You might notice that in the article I do not mention either Bush or Obama. I also mention that I’m disappointed in politicians from the left and the right. Most of us on the right are pretty consistent about our disappointment with the GOP on spending issues. Are you saying that over-spending by Republicans is wrong and over-spending by Democrats is okay?

That’s the usual liberal, moral quicksand. It has trapped us in place so that our country is in over its head.

Because here’s the thing: You rightly object to the foolish spending in this program. But I can assure you that there are more, equally foolish programs under the Obama administration.

And to those you remain silent.   

Good job comrade.

Jerome41 wrote: No, I am not interested in the hundreds of billions of dollars in inflated defense spending fuled by defense contractor contributions, which nobody is talking about. - Tired of that $2.6 Million Program that Teaches Chinese Prostitutes to Drink?

Dear Comrade No. 41,

Yes, we know that you are not interested in the one of the indisputable constitutional duties that the federal government is required to provide: the common defense. We understand that you think freedom just “happens.” We know that you would gladly strip our entire defense spending, if you could divert the money into a program that is unquestionably unconstitutional, like forcing people to by government-approved products for “our own good.”

We know too that you are OK with Obama neglecting foreign policy and defense issues because he wants to make a name for himself for doing BIG things, like Hoover did.

Congrats. You will get your wish.       

Morphine wrote: This Worst Congress Ever (Republican) has done nothing but show that the United States can be a nonfunctioning democracy when it wants to, like Italy but with all-you-can-eat buffets. In a single demi-term, it shut down the government, fouled a fledgling economic recovery with a pointless fight over the debt ceiling, and then threatened to withhold spending money for 160 million working Americans by raising the payroll tax. Brinkmanship is its only game.- Number of US States, Journalists, Hit New Low under Obama

Dear Comrade Morphine,

Your handle reminds me of the quote from the Woody Allen movie Annie Hall: “I used to be a heroin addict. Now I'm a methadone addict.”

Sometimes you just have to go through withdrawal to kick the habit.

And you know what?

That’s how our government was designed. It was designed so that voters could periodically trim back the effects of government gone wild.  That’s what we saw in 2010 and what we’ll see in 2012.

This year Obama is going to get the butt-kicking he imposed on his party in 2010. And the Democrats are going to continue to lose seats in both the House and the Senate.

Diesel wrote: Wrong; you mus-interpreted this quote, read it again (are you really that stupid, or just manipulative?): From the AP: "And the spokesman said one large state accounted for much of the decline. The spokesman did not name the state." - Number of US States, Journalists, Hit New Low under Obama

Dear Comrade Diesel,

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Labor Department factors this trend into its seasonally adjusted figures. But last week, a Labor economist said one "large" state didn't report additional quarterly figures as expected, accounting for a substantial part of the decrease. The official wouldn't disclose which state, but said it would be released with next week's report as usual.

"One omission by one state--you wouldn't think it would be a big deal, but in this case it drove the number down by 10%," said analyst Stephen Stanley with Pierpont Securities.

Economists are speculating the state could be California, the most populous state in the nation.


"It was likely a state with a large population and we suspect that it was California based on the occasional massive swings that have occurred in its claims data in the past," said Daniel Silver, an economist with J.P. Morgan, in a note.

"In short, this reading is worthless in terms of informing on the general economy," Mr. Stanley wrote in a research note.

It would be waaaay to easy to slam you as “stupid or just manipulative.” So I’m not going to do that. 

I’ll just rest satisfied that you handled that all by yourself.

M1946W wrote: The number doesn't really matter. It used to be an indication that the economy was on the mend; that people were going back to work. Now it's just another tool to be used by a corrupt regime and their lapdog media in an attempt to retain power and control. The American people are not likely to be fooled a second time. - Number of US States, Journalists, Hit New Low under Obama

Dear M,

That’s right. We have entered a time when the tools that we used to use to measure our life are being manipulated in order to try to trick people into thinking things are different than they really are.

That didn’t save the Soviet Union, and it won’t save liberals either.

I’m a Lincolnian believer in our Republic.

Can’t fool most of the people all of the time.  

Greg 161 wrote: How could the FED have been so wrong about jobs? - Obama Makes Miracles Happen

Dear Greg,

I know. The job situation is improving so much that the Fed was so worried about it that they unleashed another round of quantitative easing because the job market was doing so well.

Hey, wait; that sounds like an Obama debate sound bite.  

“Vote Obama: Things are getting worse or they are getting better. And Obama is responsible for all the good stuff-- if things are getting better-- and all the bad stuff is happening-- if things are getting worse-- because of a mythical gremlin that we’ll just call Bush. Bush bad, Obama good, hope, change.”

Doctor Roy wrote: What's the deal with you guys and cell phones anyway? - Losing His Grip: Obama's New Theory of Freedom

The government gives away cell phones. It was a policy that started when Bill Clinton was president. Everyone is entitled to a phone with 250 minutes on it per month if they fall under a certain income threshold. It’s paid for by a tax on your phone bill called the Universal Service Fund.

So there was this viral video where a woman talked about how she’s voting for Obama because of the free cell phone.  It’s a dumb video.

I paste it below:

Wabbot wrote: Mr. Ransom, George Washington was a distant relative of mine and to suggest that he came from humble origins is simply not true. The general came from an ancient family of Anglo Norman gentry. He was connected to a large number of Virginia's aristocracy by blood and was considered one of them. The fact that in his childhood he went through a period of relative poverty only goes to prove that blood will out. We Virginians never judge others by their family's temporary and changeable financial circumstances, but rather by who their great great grandparents were. The Obama's and Soros' of this world will never be anything but inferiors no matter how much wealth they might accumulate. - Losing His Grip: Obama's New Theory of Freedom

Dear Comrade Wabbot,

You inherited none of Mr. Washington’s modesty or common sense, proving that blood may be thicker than water, but you can’t live off of blood.

That's it for this week,






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