In July I wrote about the possibility of QE3 and reported that Ben Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee during the semi-annual monetary policy report the economic recovery was being held back by anxiety over Europe’s debt crisis and the path of U.S. fiscal policy.
It is now being reported that Bernanke and the Fed may take action during its September 12-13 policymaking meeting. MarketWatch reports, “He downplayed the costs of quantitative easing and said the program has worked to ‘provide meaningful support’ to the recovery… Bernanke called current growth ‘tepid’ and said the economy was ‘far from satisfactory’.”
Bernanke concluded his speech in Jackson Hole by stating, “Over the past five years, the Federal Reserve has acted to support economic growth and foster job creation, and it is important to achieve further progress, particularly in the labor market. Taking due account of the uncertainties and limits of its policy tools, the Federal Reserve will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.”
Bernanke’s claim that Fed policy is needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and price stability is laughable.
Since the Fed’s creation in 1913 the value of the dollar has decreased by 96% based on the federal government’s official figures.
Even if the official government figures could be believed, they should be enough proof that Fed policy has failed.
However, the Fed and their international counterparts at the World Bank will likely do something in an attempt to fix the problem of growing food prices. Rueters reports, “World food prices jumped 10 percent in July as drought parched crop lands in the United States and Eastern Europe… From June to July, corn and wheat prices rose by 25 percent each, soybean prices by 17 percent, and only rice prices went down, by 4 percent.”
Colin Roche, a spokesman for the development group Oxfam International, said it was not clear whether governments were prepared to take action “before prices spiral out of control and push more people into hunger.”
“This ‘wait and see’ attitude is unacceptable especially when the World Bank report has warned that prices are expected to remain high and volatile,” Roche said.
The statements by Roche & Bernanke should cause you to think. Do you really want more government spending? Do you really want more inflation in the guise of quantitative easing?
I certainly don’t want either and will continue to advocate for more freedom, support honest money and voluntary interaction.
Ron Paul officially put to bed speculation he would be returning to the presidential stage this year as a candidate — or that he’d endorse any of the remaining candidates — on Tuesday’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
“The system is very biased,” Paul responded when asked by Leno whether he’d give it a shot as a third party or independent candidate.
“We talk a lot about democracy, and send our troops overseas, and want to spread democracy. But democracy isn’t all that healthy in this country. Because if you’re in a third party… you don’t get into the debates. The truth is I had tried to do for the last five years, what I have done, in a third party, I probably wouldn’t have gotten… made it to your show.”
Leno acknowledged Ron Paul’s refusal to be given a speaking role at the RNC last week, asking “If you had endorsed Romney, would you have gotten a speaking role?”
“I imagine I would have,” Paul replied, careful not to mention Romney by name.
Leno pressed for information on how negotiations went down with RNC event managers, Paul explained “the tent was too small and we had too many people.” Asked again if a Mitt Romney endorsement was a prerequisite, he confirmed it was, but “it’s not in writing.”
Leno cracked wise back, “kinda like NBC. Yeah okay, I get it.”
Libertarian Party Chair Geoffrey Neale, in an letter to members helping allay rumors that Ron Paul was planning to magically take over the LP ticket:
Many supporters of Ron Paul have asked what it would take to get Ron Paul included on the Libertarian Party Presidential ticket. The scenario envisioned by inquirers is either Ron Paul taking the Presidential slot, with Gary Johnson dropping to the VP slot; or Ron Paul replacing Jim Gray in the VP slot.
Either scenario requires certain things to happen, and many have serious implications for the LP Ticket:
First, we have no indication that Ron Paul is interested in or would be willing to pursue such a path. Without such an indication, this really remains an intellectual exercise.
The second consideration is found in our Bylaws regarding the role of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) in relation to our Presidential ticket. Article 14 Section 4 states: “The National Committee shall respect the vote of the delegates at Nominating Conventions and provide full support for the Party’s nominee for President and nominee for Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party.” In short, the LNC does not have the authority under our Bylaws to change the ticket unless “for cause”. No matter how strong an argument is made about the benefits of such a change to our vote totals, our delegates have set strict and strong limits upon our authority.
[…] I certainly can sympathize with the supporters of Ron Paul, and their hopes for being able to vote for Ron in November, but I think the feasibility of the LP being able to do so is difficult, and could be very costly to our Presidential Ticket results, due to the loss of ballot access in so many states. Even a large gain of Ron Paul supporters could be offset by the absence of our ticket on a large number of state ballots.
What I can say with certainty is that there will be a Presidential ticket on the ballot that supporters of Ron Paul can choose to vote for, and I urge each and every Ron Paul supporter to support the Libertarian Party ticket in November. [emphasis added]
With Ron Paul officially giving his farewell to the political race on Leno (both middle fingers metaphorically extended towards the bi-assed party system), not all is lost. Gary Johnson’s campaign may yet pick up some high-profile, willing endorsers now left without a candidate if they get out the lead and realize they don’t need Ron Paul to tell them it’s okay.
Kal Penn and John Cho — the comedy duo who made their successful film debut with Harold And Kumar Go to WhiteCastle — are high on hypocrisy:
the spot opens with a serious president making what seems to be a serious phone call. “Hey this is Barack,” Mr. Obama says after the unseen party on the other end picks up. “Listen, I need to know if you’re on board.”
How much do you know about US political convention history? A quiz.
Dramatic music begins to swell in the background. “I’m counting on you. Everybody is,” Obama continues. “We have to get this right there’s a lot at stake here. Just remember that I’m trusting you on this, and I’ll see you there.”
Swipe cut to Harold and Kumar’s litter-strewn living room, where they’re watching cartoons on TV. Kumar, quite, uh, out of it, slowly hangs up the phone.
“Who was that? It sounded intense,” says Harold.
“The president,” says Kumar.
“Sweet,” says Harold, with all the emotional intensity of a zombie.
Then something on the TV screen goes “boing,” the actors laugh at the cartoon, and the ad cuts away to a promotion of the campaign’s live stream of DNC events, which Kal Penn is going to host.
OK, is this really a good idea? Two guys whose most popular roles involve large amounts of illegal drug usage, hooked up with the Obama campaign?
After four years of continuing to pursue prohibitionist policies against legalization ambitious states — and working directly with Mexican cartels who trade in dope, dollars and blood — this is just pathetic and oddly surprising that two guys who both made their film debut in a stoner comedy would even go near Obama, much less get on a YouTube video with him hosting and promoting the party convention which will re-ratify prohibition and Obama’s second term undoubtedly full of more of the same.
Not to mention Obama’s own hypocrisy when it comes to recreational drug use.
Open Letter to Kal and John: I am disappointed in you and want to let you know you’ve both just lost a fan (and an entire stoner movie loving household). If you can’t hear me saying this, I’ll just let your accountants tell you later on after I’ve also told all my stoner friends about this and so on and so forth.
However, on the off chance Obama is holding you against your will and told you guys to do this commercial after revealing your parents have been taken to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, I apologize. If that’s the case, blink every time you say “president”.
The Daily Paul has the most wishful thinking opinion pieces up post-RNC:
So we all know Ron is making a special announcement on Jay Leno on September 4th. I know many of us are hoping it’s that Ron is running Indy or third party. Some are hoping he will endorse Johnson.
I just got off the phone with someone very close to Ron and want to tell everyone that a third party run is possible. At this point that is not what the announcement is going to be. It’s also not a Johnson or Romney endorsement, so says my well placed source. Again, take it worth a grain of salt, but I trust that this person is close enough to Ron to know.
Up until know I have believed that there was ZERO chance Ron would run third party. However, after my phone call I believe there is a glimmer of hope. It’s too late for Ron to get on the ballot as an Indy, however Johnson has said in the past that he would step aside for Ron.
Now for the bad news..Ron does not think the grassroots would fully back him because of all of the Rand and Benton bashing that has taken place, but RON would LOVE to make a last major push for Liberty in the presidential debates.
WE HAVE TO TELL RON BEFORE SEPTEMBER 4th THAT WE WILL SUPPORT HIM AND FUND HIM AND BACK HIM. If he knows that, there is still a chance he could change his mind, and if Gary really will step aside for Ron, Ron may take one final shot as a Libertarian. There is no chance Johnson will be anywhere near 15% and therefore no chance Gary is going to be in any debates. However, if Ron is the LP nominee and Gary as VEEP (as much as I dislike Gary, I could accept that) Gary would be debating Biden.
Sadly, Paul supporters (the ones that truly go full paultard) should properly educate themselves about the 50+ different ballot access hurdles before spouting off nonsense like this.
I love that little “not hype” at the end of the headline… pshaaaa! see more…
Last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Florida, the GOP proudly unveiled a new addition to their platform:
Protecting Internet Freedom
The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. Its independence is its power. The Internet offers a communications system uniquely free from government intervention. We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new and disruptive technologies such as mobile delivery of voice video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem. We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations. We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties; the only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector.
Most interestingly, the Libertarian Party has handily beat Republicans to the punch by more than two decades, having tackled the internet freedom message way back in 1991:
Stop Internet Censorship
Politicians are trying to take away your right to read what you want, and to say what you want.
The Internet is making it possible for new voices to be heard — the voices of people who simply could not afford to publish their ideas or display their artistic talents to a wide audience using older technologies. Established interests of both the left and the right fear new voices, and are trying to control what appears on the Internet through new laws and regulations.
America’s Founders couldn’t foresee the Internet, but they knew that government control of information was not only a violation of personal liberty — it was a threat to their hopes for a nation based on the principles of self-government. So they gave us the First Amendment.
The Libertarian Party carries on today in the tradition of the Founders:
- The Libertarian Party didn’t wait for the Internet to become popular to stand up for principle: The LP has always supported freedom of speech and the press, and has had language specifically supporting freedom of online communication in its Platform since 1991.
- The Libertarian Party joined with thousands of concerned Internet users in “turning its web pages black” in protest of President Clinton’s signing the unconstitutional “Communications Decency Act” in 1995.
- The Libertarian Party continues to speak out today against the attempts by Democrats and Republicans to find loop-holes in the First Amendment, so they can turn the Internet into a government-controlled medium.
Think about it: while the GOP has just given birth to a messy and still-diapered internet freedom policy, the LP’s plank is all grown up, growing a beard, and is old enough to drink.
Even for a totally empty rhetorical gesture, I suppose it’s better late than never.
Reason.tv reports: “Ron Paul-supporting delegates have accused the Republican establishment of changing the rules of the seating process in order to avoid embarassment for Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Their arguments are not without merit.”
“The Ron Paul faction did not go out quietly, cheering loudly whenever Ron Paul delegates were announced and yelling out the running tally of Paul votes every time the convention announcer failed to do so.”
“While Maine–and the broader Ron Paul movement–lost this symbolic battle, some delegates say that Republicans have made a bad mistake alienating the Ron Paul vote by picking this fight.”
“‘The party’s fractured. This was completely unnecessary, and it’s ridiculous,’ said Ron Paul supporter and Oklahoma delegate Steve Dixon.”
Paul supporters had vowed a floor fight, which has been handily snuffed out by procedural shenanigans.
“Work within the party,” they said. “You’ll be part of the process,” they said. Suckers.
UPDATE: The disunity has only just begun:
Members of Maine’s delegation to the Republican National Convention lost their battle to reseat 10 supporters of Ron Paul on Tuesday after a brief but boisterous floor fight, during which the hall echoed with chants of “Seat Maine now!”
Moments later, Paul’s delegates and alternates from Maine — some wearing clothespins on their noses — walked out of the convention hall in protest.
Eric Brakey writes:
After today’s exodus, the Maine Delegation held a rump national convention. I was elected National Convention Chair and we voted unanimously to nominate Ron Paul for President. It was over and done with in 60 seconds.
Our rump convention was held in jest, and yet it had more integrity and legitimacy than anything that took place inside that Tampa convention center.
UPDATE II: Ron Paul’s supporters had embarrassingly more enthusiasm than Romney’s supporters when Ron Paul walked onto the convention floor championing a wreath of flowers (Hawaiian lei, we presume) around his neck. Tell us NBC:
Ron Paul’s appearance Tuesday on the floor of the Republican National Convention evoked split conventions of the past as the retiring Texas congressman received a hero’s welcome from supporters.
The former two-time GOP presidential candidate walked out to greet a roaring group of supporters from the Nevada delegation, one of several he won during the detailed process of allocating delegates to this convention.
When asked by NBC News what he hoped to accomplish by visiting the floor, Paul said, “Just saying hi to some friends from Nevada.”
Paul supporters started chanted, “Let Him Speak!” When Romney supporters started chanting “Romney, Romney!” Paul backers screamed “Ron Paul! Ron Paul,” drowning out the delegates pledged to the Republican nominee-in-waiting.
HA! Even NBC can’t cover for Romney when the enthusiasm gap has been exposed by Paul supporters in grand fashion. At his own convention, where we can finish laughing at the GOP presidency ambitions of 2012 when he’s handily beaten by entrenched incumbent Obama (or gasp, Gary Johnson) at the polls in November.
Don’t forget this moment.
UPDATE III: Linda Bean, scion of the LL Bean clothing empire is letting fly at Romney over being a control freak. Via Esquire:
“They just don’t want us on the floor,” Bean says. “They’re afraid.”
The latest hassle was a document the Romney wants them to sign. “They want us all to sign that we will agree with everything in the convention.”
“Yeah, sign here that you will not oppose anything that Romney brings forth.”
That ain’t gonna fly with a bunch of libertarians, Bean says. “He’s too controlling.”
That’s not all.
“We aren’t even allowed to have our credentials for the next day — they’re passing them out new every day. What does that mean?”
Loyalty oaths are nothing new to the GOP, with George Bush bringing them in vogue during his 2004 re-election campaign. But Romney’s campaign seems to be getting ahead of themselves pushing such pledges at a contentious convention.
From an August 22-26 CBS election poll:
As many as 45 percent of registered now say they are paying a lot of attention, including slightly more Republicans (47 percent) than Democrats (42 percent). In April, 43 percent were paying a lot of attention. In August of 2008, 51 percent said they were paying a lot of attention.
Another 34 percent of voters say they are paying some attention, while 20 percent are paying little to no attention.
[…]There is some room for movement in the race – but not much. About four in five voters say they have made up their minds which candidate to support, but for about one in 10 the race is not yet over, as they say it’s too early and their minds could still change. Similar percentages of Obama and Romney voters could change their minds.
The conventions will undoubtedly offer reviews, from both sides, of the Obama presidency thus far. A slight majority of voters says that the Obama presidency has brought more disappointment (55 percent) than satisfaction (45 percent).
Democrats are satisfied, but more apt to be just somewhat satisfied (53 percent) than very satisfied (29 percent). Another 18 percent of Democrats are disappointed. Most independents (58 percent) are disappointed. Republicans, perhaps unsurprisingly, are very much so.
It’s safe to say the democrats and republicans have done their part to disenfranchise Americans with extreme ballot restrictions measures and psychological barrages of hate. Is it any surprise that one in five are taking refuge in complete political solitude (and thus, powerlessness).
Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy, isn’t pulling punches. But with hindsight super-abilities comes the flip side of preaching to new audiences who were first unaware of any of the facts (quasi-history).
Maybe they were tuned into TMZ, I mean TMI and not the issues of deficits run up by the imperial and christian alliance. But those audiences will look at this and think: “hmm, this looks about right.” Maybe they’ll get interested in getting up and giving a damn about their country direction — realizing it’s they who control that course.
Or maybe they’ll just hate news people a little more and realize what unhappy pathetic people they also are (fictional: feeling sorry for yourself after a hit piece in New York Magazine, oh boo hoo don’t console yourself with your millions… swallow pills).
Sadly enough, Sorkin has done a terrible job giving Ron Paul any credit for his true role as godfather of the tea party (before it was hijacked by every interest group and became a reactionary nationalist movement), relegating him to brief quips on economic issues and once again trudging through the racist views of others that were published under his banner without his knowledge. In a recent episode, going so far as to ironically have the only black man in the newsroom play Paul during a mock debate. The humor and jabs at everyone in the truth industry is indeed the most ironic thing about this show.
Still, I love them for trying to understand the republican narrative that’s developed since the 2008 crash and Obama’s presidency, but that’s the power of a hindsight fictional show far flung from the actual power centers covering the screwups in the news: even they won’t get the story right.
Newsday reviewer Verne Gay writes on the season’s finale:
But I was struck in a couple of instances by what some viewed as the series’ chief virtue — that it offered a candid look at how editorial decisions are made in the newsrooms of major television networks.
I didn’t have the heart to tell those readers, but . . . no, that is not the series’ chief virtue. That doesn’t even belong on the list of virtues. “The Newsroom” is a fairy tale, almost wholly disembodied from the real world of television journalism, even with its real world takes on newsmakers as diverse as Casey Anthony and Grover Norquist.
But Aaron Sorkin, in his defense, isn’t seeking verisimilitude as much as (if I may coin a new word) quasi-similitude, in which viewers are lulled into thinking this is a real world when in fact all Sorkin wants to do is mount an entertaining series and score a few points at the same time.
“The Newsroom” is kind of a Trojan horse of a series, ingratiating itself and then — once inside your head — unleashing its hordes of Sorkian notions of fairness, Democracy, the Tea party, threats to American life (as he sees them), and so on. Verisimilitude be damned.
That’s another way of saying there’s not much accuracy, but it’s entertaining as hell.