The Great Housing Boom and Bust: Lessons Relearned

The Great Housing Boom and Bust: Lessons Relearned was a presentation made at last week’s Eastern Secondary Mortgage Conference sponsored by the Florida Mortgage bankers Association.

Below are three slides from The Great Housing Boom and Bust: Lessons Relearned.  The take-aways include:

  1. Real estate leverage (both nominal and intrinsic) are at historically high levels.
  2. The National Mortgage Risk Index remains at a higher level than is conducive to long-run market stability.

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To learn more visit the AEI International Center on Housing Risk.

Florida’s Evangelicals on God and Government

Florida has one million Evangelicals who either were not registered or did not vote in both the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections. President Obama won Florida by a margin of 204,577 votes in 2008 and in 2012 by 73,189 votes.

The question: Will Floridians of faith stay home or vote in November 2014?

The RNC and DNC party platforms and looming social issues in Florida may hold the answer to this question. Which party platform mentions God the most? Answer: The Republican party’s platform refers to God twelve times. As recently as 2004 God was mentioned in the Democrat party’s platform seven times but that has declined to zero.

Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council in a 2012 email notes:

Commenting on the absence of God in the Democratic platform, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan said yesterday, “I guess you have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform … I would put the onus of the burden on them to answer why they did all the purges of God.”

Last month, FRC and our allies at the Liberty Institute issued a new report cataloging 640 cases of anti-religious activity in the “land of the free.” Now, the Democratic platform speaks of “faith,” but not of Him in whom true faith must be placed. In a nation whose motto is, “In God We Trust,” this is a sad commentary on the mindset of our present political leadership.

The current crisis of the usurpation of the Constitution, the administration’s anti-Israel stance and lies perpetrated by the President may cause Evangelicals to come to the polls on November in large numbers.

In 2012 the DNC took God and support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel out of their party platform. This change was approved by President Obama when he signed the platform. Immediately there after, this change became national news, drowning out the DNC message of more government, more social programs and more spending on green energy programs. When this change in the party platform became the narrative an attempt to add God and Jerusalem back into the platform was initiated but that led to even more controversy as many DNC delegates booed the change.

Julian Pecquet and Pete Kasperowicz from The Hill report, “The additions were approved by a voice vote that seemed to split the crowd evenly and confused Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was leading the proceedings. Villaraigosa looked around the stage and appeared uncertain over how to proceed after an initial vote, in which the “nays” to adding Jerusalem and God back into the platform sounded just as loud as the “ayes.”

“Villaraigosa called for a second vote with similar results. He then called for a third voice vote, and while it sounded evenly split, he proclaimed that two-thirds of the delegates approved the changes, which sparked some grumbling in the audience,” note Pecquet and Kasperowicz. All of this platform drama at the DNC was captured on video.

VIDEO: Boos And Multiple Votes, DNC Reverses Position And Reinstates Jerusalem

Perkins notes, “‘The same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.’ These words weren’t spoken by Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan, but John Kennedy in his inaugural address.”

Finally, pollster John Zogby found that 51.4 percent of voters back the GOP’s traditional marriage position that the “ideal family is built around a stable marriage between a man and a woman.” Florida passed a Constitutional amendment in 2008 by 61% which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Social issues are looming large in Florida in 2014. The ongoing attacks on marriage as between one man and one woman, the ballot initiative calling for the legalization of marijuana and attacks against the Church via Obamacare are of growing concern to those of faith.

RELATED COLUMNS:

Politics and the G-word by Jeff Jacoby

A Democratic Chorus of “No” Rejects Mention of Jerusalem in Platform – Huffington Post

Moving America Forward: 2012 Democratic National Platform

We Believe in America: 2012 Republican National Platform

Obama Attacked Over Party Platform on JerusalemWall Street Journal

Communism in America: The first Marxist President and hidden Muslims the Nation’s 230 Year History

At the 2014 South Carolina TEA Party, listen to two presentations about the first Marxist President and hidden Muslims. New Zealander Trevor Loudon warning of the ‘Enemies Within’.

Ben Smith former Navy SEAL is followed by a panel composed of those who all enlisted in the Cold Civil War that is going on in our homeland today. The assault By Communism, the assault by Socialism, the assault by Islam’s Muslim Brotherhood who are here and in the White House.

Frank de Varona, Director, Bear Witness Central, speaks in South Carolina about the first Marxist President and hidden Muslims:

Trevor Loudon at speaks at the 2014 South Carolina TEA Party, Warning of the ‘Enemies Within’:

ABOUT FRANK DE VARONA:

Frank de Varona is an educator, historian, journalist, and internationally known expert on politics,  economics, foreign affairs, and national security issues. He has written 20 books, including three on President Barack Obama. At the age of 17, he participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. After the defeat, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison and served two years. After his liberation, he came to the United States and received three college degrees.

america in decline book coverDe Varona is the author of “America in Decline”. The book discusses the reasons for the decline of America under Obama. The author presents the real Obama, who has been associated his entire life with Marxists, socialists, and radicals. The author provides an account of Obama’s connections with his racist and unpatriotic pastor, Jeremiah Wright, his friendship with the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers and with criminals such as Tony Rezco.

The author reveals the multitude of scandals that have marked Obama’s life before and after his election as president. The scandals of the purchasing of his house in Chicago, the Saudi Arabia’s financing his Harvard education, the IRS persecution of political opponents, the NSA spying on Americans, the Benghazi affair, and many others. He points out that any of these recent scandals could result in impeachment charges on the president.

The author explains that Obama is the first Marxist and hidden Muslim elected to the White House in the nation’s history. The author tells about Obama’s road towards a totalitarian socialist society and his disdain for the Judeo Christian values that made our nation great and his war against religion and Christianity. The book tells about Obama’s desire to take away the sovereignty and the wealth of the nation through U.N. laws and treaties and the eventual establishment of a one world government.

The author covers the misguided economic and foreign policies of the president who has placed our nation at risk of bankruptcy and seriously endangered our national security. The book covers the disastrous beginning of the first year of Obama´s second term. It includes chapters on the unlawful Common Core, the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood and communists in the Obama administration, the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and its goal to destroy our nation and the West, Obama’s multiple violations of the Constitution and electoral fraud in the two presidential elections.

The author discusses the volatile situation in Egypt and Syria as well as the increasing threat of al-Qaeda, China, and Russia. The book covers the government shutdown and the disastrous implementation of ObamaCare.

The author gives an account of the unlawful creation of the Federal Reserve Bank by a banking cartel and of the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank of all the private central banks which runs the world. He describes the New World Order and the powerful elite of the Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, and Council of Foreign Relations which runs the United States and the world.

Lastly, the author offers specific recommendations to rescue the nation from tyranny and the road ahead for winning the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016.

Buy the paperback at Amazon.com
Buy the Kindle edition

Study: Christians are world’s most oppressed religious group

“Islamophobia”-mongers such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Reza Aslan’s Aslan Media, the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) hardest hit. If the mainstream media were not as thoroughly corrupt and compromised as it is, it would pick up on this and stop furthering the Islamic supremacist line that the truth about Islamic jihad violence must be told for fear of increasing the victimization of innocent Muslims. No innocent people of any creed should ever be victimized; but it is actually the world’s Christians who are bearing the brunt of religion-based attacks.

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For a larger view click on the chart.

Pew Study: Christians Are The World’s Most Oppressed Religious Group,” by Barbara Boland for CNS News, February 6 (thanks to Mackie):

Restrictions, harassment, and intimidation towards people who practice their religion increased in every major region of the world in 2012 except the Americas, with Christians the major target, says a new report by the Pew Research Center.

“Muslims and Jews experienced six-year highs in the number of countries in which they were harassed by national, provincial or local governments,” the study found, but Christians continue to be the world’s most oppressed religious group, with persecution against them reported in 110 countries.

A recent report by the Christian group Open Doors noted that “North Korea remains the world’s most restrictive nation in which to practice Christianity,” followed by Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen.

Nine Muslim countries out of ten.

More than “5.3 billion people (76% of the world’s population) live in countries with a high or very high level of restrictions on religion,” Pew noted, “up from 74% in 2011 and 68% as of mid-2007.”

A fifth of the world’s nations (20%) also experienced religious terrorism or sectarian violence in 2012, Pew researchers found, which was “up markedly from 2007 (9%).”

President Obama expressed hope that the “Arab Spring” would give rise to greater religious freedom in North Africa and the Middle East, which has had the world’s highest level of hostility towards religion in every year since 2007, when Pew first began measuring it. However, the study finds that these regions actually experienced the largest increase in religious hostilities in 2012….

To read the full January 2014 Pew report “Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High” click here.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of Nheyob and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

Charlie Crist’s signature all over “money for judges” scheme

Charlie Crist and Scott Rothstein

Scott Rothstein and Charlie Crist. Image courtesy of Sunshine State News.

“Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida now seeking his old seat as a Democrat, has received the worst type of attention at the start of his campaign: a jilted former fundraiser testifying under oath that judicial nominations were up for sale on Mr. Crist’s watch,” reports Kellen Howell from the Washington Times.

Charlie Crist is the former Republican, turned Independent and now Democrat candidate for Governor, again.

According to Howell, “Rothstein testified that as a fundraiser he had a ‘quid pro quo’ relationship in which he was able to encourage Mr. Crist, then the Florida governor, to name judges to the bench in Broward County who would rule favorably for his law firm [Morgan & Morgan].” Morgan & Morgan is the driving force behind the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Crist is a lawyer in the Morgan & Morgan Tampa office.

“For certain contributions, people were appointed to the bench ,” Rothstein said in testimony reported by local news media. “I was able to convince him to do a lot of things. He knew how that game was played. I expected him to do certain things in exchange for large contributions.” Buying and selling seats on the bench in Florida may require Morgan & Morgan to defend one of their own?

Crist has always found ways to surround himself with those who break the law. Jim Greer is the crest fallen former Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

Tom Tillison in his February 2013 column “Charlie Crist looks the liar in Jim Greer trial” reports:

With past and present GOP leaders preparing to testify in former state Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer’s fraud and money laundering trial, it’s possible the political fallout could overshadow the trial itself.

A deposition by lobbyist Brian Ballard could offer a sampling of what’s in store.

According to details reported Thursday in the Orlando Sentinel, Ballard contradicted former Gov. Charlie Crist’s sworn statement that he did not know Greer would be paid extra to raise funds for the Republican Party.

When asked by Greer’s attorney if Crist was “aware of and approved of an arrangement for fund-raising wherein Greer … would be compensated,” Ballard responded, “That was my understanding.”

Ballard’s statement has been corroborated by the testimony of a second witness, yet when confronted with the contradictions during his March deposition, Crist replied, “I don’t believe that’s truthful.”

[ … ]

In another potentially damaging disclosure, Crist admitted “it’s possible” that he told Greer “to leak Marco Rubio’s American Express bill to the then-St. Petersburg Times,” according to the Sentinel.

Read more.

Charlie Crist’s signature is all over this scandal of money for judges. This may be not only the end of Crist’s campaign for Governor but also the end of his political career.

UPDATE: The Republican Party of Florida just released this ad titled “Charlie Crist: The Other Hug”:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/pqzjjtEFSrQ[/youtube]

RELATED COLUMNS:

Did Charlie Crist Sell Judgeships? – Sunshine State News

Ex-fundraiser’s testimony rocks Crist’s Florida campaign – Washington Times

How stupid does the government think we are?

obama biden laughingTwo weeks ago we had the State of the Union. This past week, we see Obama’s state of confusion. I mean really, do they actually believe the American people are imbeciles?

One minute we’re told President Obama is pivoting towards creating jobs and will use his pen and phone to create opportunity for the American people. Then this week the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that Obamacare will result in the loss of nearly 2.5 million full-time American jobs.

But the President’s Economic Council Chairman, Jason Furman, along with White House spokesperson, Jay Carney, now tell us it’s good to not work and have more time to stay at home and receive a subsidy from government.

Carney said Obamacare will free Americans from being “trapped by a job.” So does President Obama want Americans to work 40 hours, or just have a part-time $10 minimum wage job with a government subsidy.

Or how about the fact we’re told the economy is improving and we’re out of the worst recession that mean ol’ George W. Bush got us into. And we can prove that because the unemployment rate is 6.6 percent – as reported Friday.

So, if the economy is doing so well and unemployment is so low, then why is President Obama asking for the 11th “emergency” extension of unemployment benefits? Maybe this is the “subsidy” to which Furman was referring?

In the last two jobs reports we’ve had below anemic job creation numbers of 74,000 in December 2013 and 113,000 in January 2014. However, beware of the “revised” number that will somehow sneak in at a later date.

How many of you truly believe the unemployment rate in America is 6.6 percent? We still have a 40-year low for the workforce participation rate. And when those who have given up on the jobs market (the U6 computation) are included, unemployment in America is closer to 13 percent.

Now, I recall President Obama stating some 33 times, “If you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan, period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” So what happened when 5 to 6 million Americans were told by President Obama that their plans were substandard “junk plans” that didn’t meet Obamacare standards? Then less than two months later, President Obama comes out, waves his magic wand, and says folks can keep those plans and insurance companies need to reinstate them. Wait a minute, I thought they were not in compliance with the “law of the land” and were cancelled?

But wait, there’s more. Now President Obama is considering making those plans valid for three years. It’s more confusing, and lot less funny than the old Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first?” routine. Who keeps their plan? What’s the law? I don’t know what’s in the bill? Confused yet?

Or how about this one from the mouth of President Obama: “climate change is a fact” but “there is not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS.” Even worse, Benghazi is a phony scandal, never mind the “fact” that no one can answer why Ambassador Chris Stevens was there — or why there was CIA covert activity there.

I suppose it’s easier for the President to claim climate change is a fact, especially with all the UN supporting evidence. After all, it is a “fact” that a crude anti-islam video trailer was the impetus behind a spontaneous demonstration of fellas showing up with AK-47s, RPGs, and precision fired mortars. So who are you going to believe? Your lying eyes or the moving lips of President Obama?

Lastly, this has to go down as one of the greatest hypocrisies of the Obama administration — and that’s saying something. Consider this, during the State of the Union, President Obama said if Congress sent him any new sanctions legislation against Iran he would veto it. But this past week Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry threatened our best ally in the Middle East with the possibility of an economic boycott if they did not advance talks with the nomadic Arabs commonly referred to as Palestinians. So, Obama would veto the legislative will of the American people to hold Iran accountable, yet would use the threat of a boycott against our ally Israel? Totally confused?

And so it goes. President Obama and his administration have such contempt for the American people they think we can be told anything and accept it. Some may be confused but what’s going on is clear as day to me — and clear to many of you as well. I hope it will be very clear nine months from now, in November.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

Black on Black History Month and Race

Ah, another Black History Month, or should I say Annual Bash America Month. Every year the usual suspects (Democrats and liberal media) use the month to promote hate via false narratives such as young black men are routinely hunted by whites; Conservatives and Republicans hate a commercial that features a biracial couple, and so on. You know the drill. America sucks, is eternally racist and victimizes blacks.

The left’s solution: More government freebies and special concessions for blacks, higher taxes and a stronger determination to eradicate income inequality. In other words, like MLK Day, Black History Month is simply another opportunity to exploit race to further the left’s socialist/progressive agenda.

I offer a bizarre concept. Why not celebrate BHM by featuring extraordinary blacks and their contributions? For example: In 1872 Henry Brown amazingly escaped slavery by mailing himself to freedom in a box.

In the 1980s, Pillsbury Company appointed successful black business executive Herman Cain to be chairman and CEO of Godfather Pizza. Cain become the CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

Herman Cain is a black conservative which by definition means he disagrees with Obama’s agenda. This disqualifies Cain, a great role model for black youths, from being featured in a Black History Month PSA.

A black entrepreneurial magazine featured Obama on its cover as a champion of black empowerment. I thought, “Are these people delusional?” Obama’s presidency has devastated entrepreneurs, especially blacks. And yet, the black publishers chose to make race trump the truth.

Race. Race. Race. Folks, my head is flooded with thoughts on this highly emotional issue which causes rational people to behave irrationally. Emotionally enslaved to racial loyalty, Christian family and friends either ignored or twisted the Bible to support Obama, despite his anti-Christian agenda; same sex marriage, abortion, banning God from the public square and forcing Christians to betray their faith.

Void of reality, BET featured a show touting the Obama’s strong Christian faith.

Race is such an emotional issue. In a restaurant, a white waitress gave a chilly reply to my cheerful, “Good morning”. I know intelligent blacks, burdened with a black chip on their shoulders. They would have automatically assumed the waitress’s coldness was racially motivated. Later, white friends commented about the same waitress. “She waited on us yesterday. Man, was she cold.” Apparently, the waitress spread her unfriendly vibe indiscriminately.

For all intensive purposes, the GOP has surrendered its principles, values and the country to Obama due to racial intimidation. Remarkably, despite Obama’s unprecedented lies and scandals, race still prevents honest media coverage of his Administration.

Race is the Democrats and media’s most potent weapon to silence opposition to Obama’s war on the Constitution. I am a Tea Party activist. The left promotes the evil, divisive and irresponsible lie that my white Tea Party brothers and sisters call me a n***** behind my back.

Strong arguments exist on both sides about whether or not we should have Black History Month.

Racism will remain among the sins of humanity. But for the most part, you get what you give. Kindness and respect usually mirrors itself. Decent well-intentioned people find ways of working out their differences. I realize that this truth is too simplistic and individual-empowering for government social engineers, multicultural professors and race exploiters.

I pray for a day without PC police and race-exploiters; a day when Americans are allowed to interact like the crew of the star-ship Enterprise in the 60’s Star Trek TV show; various races living together without race being an issue.

Captain’s log 2014: Lloyd out.

Mainstream: Girls with Guns in America

Guns are no longer something icky you have to keep secret from your neighbors. They’re mainstream. – Iain Harrison, Editor of RECOIL Magazine.

Harrison writes, “During this past year we gun owners as a community have weathered one of the most serious threats to our proud heritage and way of life since the early ’90s. And we came out on top. Despite throwing enormous amounts of money and influence into passing firearms laws that would have done nothing apart from inconvenience the law-abiding, for the most part anti-gun politicians came away with the square root of bugger all to show for it.”

“The reasons for that are numerous, but one key difference between the Clinton era and the landscape today is that, in most of the nation, guns are no longer something icky you have to keep secret from your neighbors. They’re mainstream. When something becomes mainstream, it’s much harder to demonize,” notes Harrison.

I believe one of the major reasons gun ownership has become mainstream is because of American women. More women are buying, shooting and training to defend themselves with firearms. RECOIL Magazine has an entire section of their website titled “Girls with Guns“. If you Google the words “girls with guns” you will get 155 million links.

American women and men alike are now enjoying the camaraderie and friendships made at local shooting ranges.

I visit my local gun shop on a regular basis and recently met women there looking to purchase weapons for self-defense. This can be pepper spray guns to pistols, automatics, rifles and shotguns. One woman came in who lived in a minority neighborhood and I struck up a conversation with her. This wonderful black woman was there to purchase a handgun. I asked her what kind, sensing this was her first time in a gun shop. She said, “I don’t really know. Whatever my money can buy. I am really thinking of a .357 magnum.” I asked her why? She responded that she had lived in her minority neighborhood most of her life and for the first time she did not feel safe and wanted to protect herself. God bless her and the Second Amendment.

Women like Morgan Reese from Texas are outspoken about their love of guns and support for the Second Amendment. Morgan is pictured above in the featured photo for this column. Morgan reads books like American Sniper by Chris Kyle and Fearless by Eric Blehm. She is an American patriot and helping the cause in whatever way she can. Morgan was featured in RECOIL Magazine Issue #11.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:

“I have no hesitation in saying that although the American woman never leaves her domestic sphere and is in some respects very dependent within it, nowhere does she enjoy a higher station. And if anyone asks me what I think the chief cause of the extraordinary prosperity and growing power of this nation, I should answer that it is due to the superiority of their women.”

Tocqueville once observed that it is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth. The simple lie is guns are icky. The complex truth is men and women are buying guns is large numbers and guns are now mainstream.

One of the videos featured on the RECOIL website is the 2014 Magpul Calendar Shoot:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/gdK0y013mBc[/youtube]

Hey guys and girls, if this video does not get you down to your local gun shop I don’t know what will. Guys, girls, guns, motorcycles and fast cars. What else is there in life?

RELATED STORIES:

GUNS ON THE RISE: Federal Government’s Automated Weapon Registration System Swamped by Surge in Registration and Transfer of National Firearms Act Covered Weapons

Girls Just Wanna Have Guns: Gun Permits for Indiana Women Up 42%

Glenn Beck hammers national “toxic political system”

Pitchfork Patriots reports, “Glenn Beck skewered the GOP while delivering the keynote address at a local Texas GOP’s Reagan Day dinner, contending the Republican Party hasn’t demonstrated through action that it actually believes the principles it espouses.”

“He then likened the current situation in Washington, D.C. to the nuclear disaster that occurred decades ago at Chernobyl in the Ukraine. Beck offered the solution he said was employed to end that catastrophe as a way to repair our toxic political system,” notes Pitchfork Patriots.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/k9uOtYGLhHo[/youtube]

Pitchfork Patriots writes:

Beck previously warned Republicans that if they embrace establishment politicians such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the party would eventually cease to exist.

“If the GOP wants to not just win, if the GOP expects to survive — if you embrace John McCain and John Boehner it will not happen,” he said. “If you embrace the Mike Lees and the Ted Cruzes, you win big time.”

Read more.

CBO says 2 million will lose jobs because of Obamacare and your government thinks that’s great news

This week I’m in Washington DC and maybe you didn’t hear about it, but there was an earthquake here yesterday. It wasn’t a physical disaster but a political one and the epicenter was the White House.

Yesterday the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a report stating that Obamacare will cause some 2 million Americans to lose their jobs. According to a report by Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times,

Obamacare will push the equivalent of about 2 million workers out of the labor market by 2017 as employees decide either to work fewer hours or drop out of the job market altogether, according to estimates released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office.

The analysis set off a furious debate in Washington. The White House argued that the reduction is positive because it means Americans will forgo jobs or extra work to stay home with their children or strike out on their own as entrepreneurs.

Thanks to our friends at C-SPAN, you can view the video here.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/keKo6JyUxGM[/youtube]

This administration has more spin than a Maytag and endless weak stories to cover lies. But yesterday, watching Obama’s Chairman of his Economic Council try to explain it’s a good thing to lose your job or work less hours because you’ll be receiving more government subsidies or taxpayer largesse was unconscionable.

White House chief economic adviser Jason Furman said the health care law is about giving workers more choices and having more quality family time.

“Maybe a spouse who wanted to be part-time so they could spend more time with their family now is able to do that,” Mr. Furman told reporters. “Somebody else who wanted to start a business and become an entrepreneur and was terrified of doing it because they’d lose their health insurance, is now able to do that too, and switch and take a chance on creating jobs and growing the overall economy. So there’s a lot of new choices that this will facilitate.”

No Mr. Furman, Americans are fearful of starting a new business because of the horrific economic situation resulting from Obama administration policies and the regulatory environment that presents more obstacles than access to small business growth. And I don’t think any of the long-term unemployed would say they’re delighted to spend more time at home.

Americans were told Obamacare would create more jobs. That is a lie. Now Obama and his progressive socialist acolytes are working on “fundamentally transforming” the American work ethic.

Hard to believe the Democrats simply “misspoke” about this one. Nancy Pelosi said Obamacare would create nearly 4 million new jobs. President Obama stressed how this would be good for our economy and not add to our debt or deficit. So who is paying for the Obamacare ads?

You may recall our quick lesson on the Cloward-Piven strategy which is focused on ending poverty in America by overloading the welfare system to the point of collapse. The insane objective is to eradicate poverty by having the government provide direct income.

Sounds to me that’s exactly what the CBO has uncovered. The intent of the Obama administration is to force Americans into job loss or part-time employment and then provide government compensation. Obamacare is not a failure, sadly it’s doing exactly what it was intended to do, collapse the healthcare industry and health insurance markets.

The American people will not agree with an insurance bailout as written in the insurance corridor clause of Obamacare (I hope). Therefore, this nation will be forced into a single-payer system, Medicaid for all. And, that ladies and gentlemen, will just plain suck, regardless of what social utopian liberal progressives believe.

As Mr. Dinan reports, “The CBO said the number of workers dropping out of the labor force will grow from 2 million in 2017 to 2.5 million by 2024. Although part of those numbers are attributed to job cuts, the vast majority represent workers who decide it makes more sense to stay home or work fewer hours, weighing the higher taxes they pay in the workforce versus their qualifications for benefits if they drop out.

Welcome to Obama’s America where you choose government largesse over hard work. And as long as the progressives supply the government benefits, guess for whom those in this dependency state will vote? Of course voters will keep in power whoever feeds them. And that’s the insidious plan behind all of this. Power – over you, my friends.

We were told Obamacare would increase jobs and help the economy, not true. We were told we could keep our health insurance and doctors, not true. We were told it was meant to provide affordable health insurance, not true. We were told it would provide coverage to those without health insurance – but more people lost their insurance and most are just signing up for Medicaid. We were told it wouldn’t affect the debt or deficit, but the original cost of Obamacare in 2010 was $940 billion, and now it is over $1.7 trillion, and rising. We were told there would be a $2500 decrease in premiums, nah.

It all sounded good in theory, because liberal progressives are academics who don’t live in the world of reality and practical implementation — just like the “War on Poverty” which after $20 trillion has only expanded poverty.

Yep, an earthquake hit DC yesterday. But the real question is, will the tremors reverberate throughout the nation and shake people back to their senses?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

High-Speed Rail Fiasco will Break the Bank!

A national spider-web of high-speed rail is being pushed throughout America despite proof of “insolvency” and “never-ending subsidies.” Taxpayers need to know!

The fast-track towards US High-Speed-Rail was funded in the 2009 Stimulus, based on the President’s “80% High-Speed Rail 25-Year Plan,” even though the $10.1 Billion appropriate was quickly allocated, the high priority for deficit-reduction in the House of Representatives 2011 Budget, eliminated federal funds and High-Speed-Rail was derailed!

High Speed Rail Doomed: Too Expensive!

The Reason Foundation report forecasts U.S. High Speed Rail failure! European travel compared to America is apples-to-orange, because European rail transportation began pre-automobile, leading to the natural development of a full-service transportation system. This can’t be duplicated in America’s car-culture that provides cheaper and independent personalized travel. Reason.org reports the figures: Construction costs are $10 Million per mile and operational costs of $50,000 per seat, translating to $2.4 Billion for a 240-mile track that requires 6-to-9 million passengers to break even! The odds are against 25% of the country, as passenger ridership is concentrated in the highly populated New England corridor, monopolizing three-fourths of all US passengers, leaving all other projects scrambling for riders, subsidy-driven dollars and taxpayer obligations.
Treasure Coast Florida or New York’s Grand Central Terminal?

Similar to the Seven/50 Regional Planners in Florida, highly paid speculators pitch the Federal Railroad Administration and Department of Transportation goals for High-Speed-Rail to serve as a catalyst for growth, increase mobility, reduce national oil dependency, foster livable urban and rural communities, improve safety, maximize economic returns, environmental sustainability with US 33% greenhouse emissions.

On the other side of the fence! The International Energy Agency affirms that emissions in America are down to 1992 levels and California Air Resources Board recommends many more cost-effective ways to improve the air than through High-Speed-Rail! In truth, a massive train network will blast through America’s peaceful hometown communities: creating pollution, congestion, adding to higher density, enormous construction and funding costs while inflicting untold stress on overburdened economies!

Taxpayers Choose Savings: As Debt Rushes Towards $18 Trillion!

The ticket to rail success is selling tickets! On Amtrak’s Boston-Washington DC corridor, one-way tickets range from $146 – $420 per person, at $3.50 a gallon for the 438-mile trip, the $97.00 cost for car travel wins! Plus, the savings for door-to-door convenience, unlike train travel.

The Truth! There Are No High-Speed Trains in America!

In Ryan Holeywell’s 2013 article “Has High-Speed-Rail Been Derailed?” he emphasizes that High-Speed-Rail has not been achieved in America! The US Code defines high-speed as: “reasonably expected to reach sustained speeds of more than 125 miles per hour,” while Amtrak’s Acela Express, the only classified High-Speed-Rail, uses a flawed rating based on “sharing tracks with others trains.” Virtually the tracks alone create the need to average speeds, thus, preventing “sustained speeds of 125 miles per hour.” Travel speed times are easily distorted by adding, or dropping, train stops and, if the objective for HSR is to move people faster, High Speed Rail remains a fantasy!

California Budget-Busting High-Speed-Rail Boondoggle

While the California San Francisco-Los Angeles projects another $43 Billion from the Feds, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) argues that satisfying this obligation will be more than ALL national grants combined for subway, light-rail and bus transit. “Where is the money?”

California Congressman Jeff Denham, House Subcommittee on Rails, skeptical of the California business plan, forced transparency from Governor Jerry Brown who admitted his plan is to use Cap-and-Trade Pollution Trade Funds to match $2.5 Billion state obligation. This funding is highly controversial and Kathryn Phillips, Director of The Sierra Club, has aligned with the Tea Party against High-Speed-Rail. While the deadline for matching funds looms, the entire project hangs in balance, but Governor Brown aggressively pursues HSR!

Major problems are escalating in the first High-Speed rail state, even though Californians approved a $10 billion bond issue six years ago, they are now fraught with confusion and anger! Joe Nation, a public policy professor at Stanford University, reflected the frustration to the San Jose Mercury News “this could turn into a real nightmare.” Conflicts explode over imminent domain grabs, water issues delayed 20 years behind rail, inflated ridership projections and low ticket prices creating endless subsidies.

Yes Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid, presses to reactivate his $5.5 Billion stimulus monies cancelled when the supplier was revealed as the Canadian Bombardier Company, in direct violation of the Buy-America law.

All Aboard Florida – Private Industry Hijacks Taxpayers!

As soon as Florida turned down a federal grant for HSR, Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) conveniently introduced “All Aboard Florida” – the first private high-speed railway. Since FECI owns the rail corridor, and strategic building plots in Miami and Orlando, this will be profitable venture for their bottom line, but Treasure Coast taxpayers, with already-strained budgets, are required to pony-up millions to implement AAF’s private venture and then endure the environmental-assault of 35 round-trip “sort-of-high-speed trains” as they whiz through, once peaceful, beachside communities. No profit for Treasure Coast taxpayers!

Treasure Coast Vs. Grand Central Station?

Before “All Aboard Florida,” Florida Department of Transportation and Amtrak, were discussing new Miami-Orlando passenger service with seven new stations stops! If all of these projected plans eventuate, the lifestyle of paradise along the Treasure Coast will be transformed into the hectic pace of Grand Central Station! When tourism is Florida’s shining star, and money-maker, why would efforts continue to diminish this success?
Let Failure Be the Guide for the Wise!

Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute in his article: “Defining Success, The Case Against Rail Transit,” outlines what All Aboard Florida could have in store for their bottom line! The Miami-West Palm 1989-debacle that cost the SE Florida Regional Transportation Authority (Tri-Rail) $53 million, with a $9 million return and $1 Billion capital improvement for double tracking of 71 miles, was projected to create 30,000 new riders and, astoundingly in 2008, resulted in a meager 13,000 new riders. Pretty steep fare at $76,923 per new customer! The good news is that sensible riders chose the $14.62 car travel instead! Failure still looms with Tri-Rail’s $30 million deficit!

The heroes in this grand-picture are Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Governor John Kasich of Ohio and Florida’s Governor Rick Scott – who used wise judgment to reject federal grants and put taxpayer concerns above speculation. Governor Scott saw the writing on the wall, when comparing the proposed ridership of 3 million, to the busy New York Acela’s real riders of 3.2 million, highlighting a highly unobtainable goal. Hopefully this story rings-a-bell for politicians rushing towards a doomed financial fiasco!

Taxpayer Loyalty Pays, While Breaking the Bank Does NOT Pay!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of SignalPAD and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 GenericSignalPAD does not in any way  endorse this author or DrRichSwier.com and their use of SignalPAD’s original work.

The Gay Attack on American Values

In societies around the world, homosexuals encounter not just resistance, but the threat of death for their sexual orientation. In the West we regard this as barbarian and it is. I concluded long ago that gays—using their own term—have no choice over this sexual aberration from the norm of heterosexuality.

In America, gays—male and female homosexuals—represent about 3% of the population. That leaves 97% in a majority and that majority is now under a full assault on their traditional values concerning marriage—intended only for the opposite sexes—and in some cases on their religious faith that deems homosexuality a sin.

In recent years we have seen gays achieve a legal status for same-sex marriage, thus undermining centuries of tradition that understands marriage to be for the purpose of procreation and as the keystone of society. We have a President who changed his mind from his 2008 political campaign and announced that he not only approved of gay marriage but that his administration, the Department of Justice, would not enforce the Defense of Marriage law passed by Congress.

The Obama administration has pressed hard to alter the military that went from “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” under the Clinton administration, to the present status that sees no problem in the close living conditions under which heterosexual and homosexual troops must live and work together. This was always regarded as a problem of unit cohesion in the long years leading up to the 1990s and it likely still is. In a similar fashion, the infusion of women into combat units poses problems that the military understandably avoided for most of the last two hundred and twenty-eight years of the nation’s history.

The passage of Obamacare has posed significant problems for religious groups that oppose abortion and related practices. It has particularly affected Catholic institutions and, most recently, the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns who do not want to signal any concurrence with the law as it is written. The Supreme Court has granted that some respite, but their issue and others will surely have to be addressed by the Court at some point.

In Massachusetts, a homosexual legal group has filed papers to force a Catholic school to hire a man who is “married” to another man. As reported by MassResistance.org, “Back in July, Matthew Barrett of Dorchester applied for a job as the food service director at Fontbonne Academy, a Roman Catholic girls’ high school in Milton, Mass, and was subsequently offered the job. When he filled out a pre-employment form listing his ‘husband’ as an emergency contact the school told him that ‘the Catholic religion doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. We cannot hire you.’”

“Barrett claimed to be shocked by the school’s action,” noted MassResistance, “But it appears that he was purposefully dishonest. He told the Boston Globe that he was raised a Catholic and that he was informed by school officials during the interview process that employees are expected to follow Catholic doctrine. However, he did not tell the school that he was openly involved with homosexual behavior and was in a ‘gay marriage.’”

MassResistance regards the case as “the beginning of the homosexual movement’s legal assault on conservative churches, particularly Catholic, that have steadfastly refused to modify their religious convictions and comply with the homosexual movement’s demands on society. Up until now they’ve been largely left alone. But that is about to change.”

As the Boston Globe noted, “Barrett’s complaint, which may be the first of its kind in the country, comes at a time when religion-based schools in the increasing number of states where gay marriage is legal have been scrutinizing hiring and firing practices to ensure they conform with the pillars of their faiths”

“School administrators,” the Globe reported, “have been fired from Catholic schools and universities in Arkansas, California, New York, and Washington, among other states, after marrying their same-sex partners or announcing plans to do so.”

Bennett Klein, the lawyer for the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination, asserts that “Our laws carefully balance the important values of religious liberty and non-discrimination. When Fontbonne Academy fired Matt from a job that has nothing to do with religion, they came down on the wrong side of the law.” It has everything to do with the free practice of religion.

“We’re seeing religion-affiliated entities more and more trying to push the line toward discriminating against gay, lesbian, and transgendered people,” said Klein.

No, it is the homosexuals who are pushing the line against religious groups who believe that their belief in God and their faith precludes the destruction of the construct of marriage is a sin against mankind and society.

It is 3% of the population demanding that 97% toss aside their faith and their values to accommodate the aberration called homosexuality. And, yes, it is an aberration because homosexuality cannot be interpreted as “normal” in any species.

MassResistance correctly says “This is madness and should not have any legal leg to stand on.”

If the homosexual assault on values and practices that have existed for centuries in the Catholic Church and in other religious faiths succeeds, the whole of our society will suffer for it. The Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion—murder—has resulted in the deaths of millions of unborn children who had a right to life.

Now, in Massachusetts and other States where same-sex marriage is deemed to be legal, the whole of the nation’s defense of marriage is under assault.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED COLUMN: Questions You’re Asking About Cakes, Gays, and Religious Freedom

O’Reilly versus Obama: A Contentious Interview

Syndicated columnist Dana Milbank penned a recent article lambasting Bill O’Reilly for being unfair to President Obama in the now-famous Super Bowl Day interview. Not surprising, and certainly subjective.

What Mr. Milbank failed to point out, is that good journalism strives to elicit truthful answers on important issues, and when the journalist is limited to a ten-minute time frame, it leaves no time for lengthy discussion about anything, which is why O’Reilly had a short list of pointed questions, some of which were left hanging unanswered.

The president’s forte’ is speechmaking. Knowing this, O’Reilly was in a position to present as many questions as possible without allowing a time-consuming filibuster.

It was necessary for O’Reilly to interrupt the president. For example, he asked a question like: “Why didn’t you fire Sebelius, the secretary in charge of this?” (Re: Obamacare website fiasco) Obama dodged the question completely.

“You know my main priority right now is to make sure that it delivers for the American people…”

So, O’Reilly interrupted again: “You’re not going to answer that?”

To which, the president cited a litany of enrollment numbers, but nothing about Mrs. Sebelius. The president could have been more honest had he simply said, “I like Mrs. Sebelius, period.” End of discussion. Instead, he rambled about items unrelated to the question. Obama was simply not going to answer.

The president also tap danced around the question of when he was first informed that the Benghazi attack was terror related. That question still remains unresolved. Fortunately Obama did not retort, “What difference does it make?”

The president dishonestly dodged another question, submitted by a citizen: “Mr. President, why do you feel it’s fundamentally necessary to transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity and success?”

[youtube]http://youtu.be/mjZFl5-2N_A[/youtube]

Answer: “I don’t think we have to fundamentally transform the nation.”

Pinocchio!

O’Reilly: “But those were your words.”

Fact:  Five days before the election of 2008, in Columbia, Missouri, Mr. Obama made a campaign speech which included:  “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

The president never addressed the question

But the president did manage to get in his jab at Fox News about the IRS scandal: “These kinds of things keep surfacing, in part, because you and your TV station promote them.” (These are questions being asked by many millions of people Not a good time to be a cry baby.)

When asked about the IRS fiasco, the president sloughed it off to a few boneheaded decisions in the field, claiming there was no mass corruption. Adding, “Not even a smidgen of corruption.”

Really?

O’Reilly could have countered, “But it is still an on-going investigation, the answers are still unknown. How can you make such a conclusion?”

There were no softball questions, which other journalists are famous for. O’Reilly did his job well, considering his restraints. The columnist, Dana Milbank’s criticism should have been directed to the president for emulating Fred Astaire and wrongfully drawing conclusions about on-going investigations.

To his credit, the president did agree to the interview knowing it would be contentious.

To his credit, Bill O’Reilly was not intimidated by the president and did his job without backing down.

RELATED COLUMNS:

Bill O’Reilly’s Obama interview showed a nation still divided – The Washington Post

TRANSCRIPT: Bill O’Reilly interviews President Obama | Fox News

Jorge Bonilla Statement On Downgrade Of Puerto Rico’s Bond Rating

Jorge-Bonilla

Jorge Bonilla

Republican Congressional candidate Jorge Bonilla has issued the following statement in response to Standard and Poor’s recent downgrade of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s bond rating to speculative, or “junk” status.

“Generations of fiscal mismanagement have finally caught up to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and its bond rating was cut to speculative (also known as “junk”) status. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico’s political class has scrambled to get their talking points out instead of coming together and focusing on the island’s deep structural problems.

Puerto Rico’s bond market problems are relevant to all of us for several reasons. Puerto Rico’s rate cut may have been the first, but there are also many cities and states on equally precarious footing. Additionally, our federal government keeps piling on debt like there is no tomorrow. We must enact reforms that address our ballooning debt and deficits at all levels of government.

Also, it’s no secret that many of the residents of the 9th Congressional District have deep ties to Puerto Rico, whether of blood, affection, or both.

Instead of pandering to the Puerto Rican community, our Congressional District’s Representative must have a deep understanding of the failed policies that have wrecked the island and forced the equivalent of three Mariel Boat Lifts over the past fifteen years, as well as the resolve to fight the implementation of those very policies stateside.”

CNBC reports:

S&P said it worried that Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island populated by 3.62 million people, has limited ability to sell more debt in the U.S.’s $3.7 trillion municipal bond market and faced possible cash shortages.

“We believe these liquidity constraints do not warrant an investment-grade rating,” S&P said in a commentary.

The move could also squeeze the island commonwealth’s cash reserves. S&P peer Moody’s, in a Dec. 23 report, said Puerto Rico could face up to $1 billion in collateral demands and note accelerations in the case of a one-notch downgrade by any of the ratings agencies.

The Politics of Common Core: FL State Board of Education Poised to approve Common Core 2/18/14 at Orlando Board meeting

With breathtaking hubris, Governor Scott’s Education Commissioner, Pam Stewart, has ignored experts and citizens loud cries to stop the giant experiment called Common Core, which could damage a generation of children.  But this is not just a move born of benign ignorance, it is a political calculation.

The stakes in their games are enormous.  The Governorship and the Presidency could hang in the balance.  Early speculation comes from past experience.  Just what is happening behind the scenes?  It certainly doesn’t take a mental giant to see that Governor Scott is leaning on support from his predecessor, Jeb Bush and his new friends, who promised and delivered support and influence to win the last election.

The growing rift between the Republican Party groups and the Republican Party of Florida was nowhere more apparent than the recent annual state meeting.  County Executive Committees voted to oppose Common Core and were overruled in the end by the Executive Committee, Jeb Bush’s cabal, squeezing the grassroots out of the party in Florida.  They assert that we must blindly go along with Governor Scott’s adamant support of Common Core because we certainly don’t want a major rift in support to allow “Charlie Hippochrist” to steal the election.

Newsflash!  Charlie Christ is ahead of Scott in the polls and gaining.  Continuing his path of isolated decision making on this and other issues is not bolstering Scott’s campaign.  So WHY is he supporting this unpopular, anti-conservative position on Common Core?  Two words….Jeb Bush, and the promise his new support team will carry Scott over the finish line a winner.

You see, Jeb Bush is playing his own game here for yet a larger prize, the presidency, and this political calculation has worked for Jeb Bush before.  This interesting article from the St. Pete Times shows how Jeb Bush uses foundations to gather money and power to unleash a successful campaign.

When he narrowly lost his bid to be Governor, he needed a way to stay in the mix and build strength.  His foundation provided a way to collect money and support and it worked.  Flash forward, the conservative “education governor” of Florida embraces Common Core before the standards are even developed and his foundation gets $501,000 as a first installment.  He joins with Bill Gates Foundation, GE, Eli Broad Foundation, Pearson Education and many more multi-billion dollar groups who can provide as much money and power as he could ever need and a nationwide platform of education reform.

Just one problem, Common Core is a Trojan horse delivering poisonous messages to our children, not a “reform” at all.  His “team” includes unpopular multi-nationalist billionaires who stand to gain more money and power by “Transforming” America through the hearts and minds of the children.  The book recently written by Dr. Terrence Moore called “The Story-Killers” shows just how this is done.

Florida is ground zero for this high stakes game.  If Common Core collapses, his “money tree” coalition likely will suffer a similar fate.

This is all coming to a head as Anti-Common Core groups mobilize against this assault on their families and their future.  “Healthcare, concerns me.  But when they are contaminating the hearts and minds of our children, this is where we draw the line!”  Kathy Doan, co-founder of Stop Common Core FL,  said.

And she is joined by leaders from over 50 groups within Florida who are not fooled by the bait and switch maneuvers by this administration.  On the 18thof February, the State Board of Education plans to vote on changing the name of Common Core and adopting it in spite of huge opposition from parents, teachers, administrators and children.

A rally is planned for Feb 18th by these groups to demonstrate their disgust with the Department of Education, its Board, Governor Scott who appointed them, and Jeb Bush for promoting this campaign for his political gain.  For information, call Chris Quackenbush, 239-823-2980

We are also advertising on radio against Common Core and sharing our ads with others across the country to grow opposition everywhere. Tax deductible contributions may be made to www.ivbe.org to increase our ad coverage.