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PODCAST: How Mother Nature will Accelerate the Looming Fiscal Avalanche

Many are writing about the looming fiscal cliff that Congress and the Obama administration will deal with upon return from the Thanksgiving break. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) warns of a looming fiscal avalanche.

In After Fiscal Cliff Comes Fiscal Avalanche, Rejection of U.S. Debt, Senator Lee writes, “While Washington is preoccupied with the so-called fiscal cliff, little attention has been given to the fiscal avalanche that will occur if we continue down an unsustainable, long-term path, causing markets to turn sour on U.S. debt and leading to a spike in interest rates.”

Senator Lee states, “The Congressional Budget Office projects that under the most likely policy scenario, in 30 years, net interest payments on the debt could total $3.8 trillion in today’s dollars. That is more than total government spending for 2011.”

Robert Wiedemer co-author of America’s Bubble Economy – Aftershock wrote America has suffered through a number of financial bubbles and the aftershock following each. To date each of these bubbles, the most recent being the housing bubble, have burst and fallen onto two other looming bubbles. These two bubbles are the “dollar bubble” and the “debt bubble”. Wiedemer predicts these two bubbles will burst when pricked by the pin called “inflation”.

The government fiscal policies which have lead the US to the fiscal avalanche may be helped along by mother nature.

Relying heavily on the research of experts globally, as well as his own original research that correctly predicted the change in the Sun’s behavior, Mr. John L. Casey has spelled out in his book Cold Sun a convincing case that a new cold era has arrived. In Cold Sun, Mr. Casey presents the evidence showing:

1. Global warming ended years ago.
2. The Sun has entered an ominous state of ‘hibernation.’
3. The Earth’s ocean and atmospheric temperatures are dropping rapidly and are now on a long term decline for the next thirty years.
4. Glacial ice worldwide is growing again and the threat of rising sea levels is over.
5. Why we should be preparing now for the coming cold and its ill-effects including record earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions as well as global agricultural devastation.

Mr. Casey’s predictions of mother nature taking her own course fly in the face of current government policies at the national, state and local levels. In this exclusive interview Mr. Casey explains how mother nature will have her way no matter what we try to do:

While government is focused on reducing CO2 emissions to prevent global warming, the earth is in fact cooling. According to Casey this cooling will shorten the growing season causing food prices to increase, require more fuel and energy to heat homes and businesses. The US will experience an increase in the number of natural disasters costing human life loss and property damage on a grand scale. The US ability to recover from such natural disasters here and globally will be restricted by our debt and cost to service that debt in the long term.

The world’s growing population depends on food. Brian M. Carney in his article for the Wall Street Journal asks, “Can The World Still Feed Itself?“. Mr. Carney interviews Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestle’ the world’s largest food-production company. According to Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe, “Politicians do not understand that between the food market and the energy market, there is a close link.” That link is the calorie.

Carney reports, “The energy stored in a bushel of corn can fuel a car or feed a person. And increasingly, thanks to ethanol mandates and subsidies in the U.S. and bio-fuel incentives in Europe, crops formerly grown for food or livestock feed are being grown for fuel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent estimate predicts that this year, for the first time, American farmers will harvest more corn for ethanol than for feed. In Europe some 50% of the rapeseed crop is going into bio-fuel production, according to Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe, while “world-wide about 18% of sugar is being used for bio-fuel today.”

What does this all mean?

If John Casey is correct in his predictions, and SSRC always is, then cold weather brings with it a shorter growing season and increased demand for fuel to keep people warm. Therefore, we must have policies that increase calories, not decrease the food supply.

These natural events will occur during the same 30 year period where our payments on the national debt will increase to $3.8 trillion.

RELATED COLUMN: Are we living in the Hunger Games?

Enterprise Florida: Economic Development or Corporate Welfare?

Today, Integrity Florida, an independent ethics watchdog group, in partnership with Americans for Prosperity – Florida, released a research report titled “Enterprise Florida: Economic Development or Corporate Welfare”.

According to co-authors Ben Wilcox and Dan Krassner, “The report illustrates Enterprise Florida’s apparent conflicts of interest, appearance of pay-to-play and its practice of picking of winners and losers in the marketplace.”

The report states:

“Floridians have entrusted Enterprise Florida, a public–private partnership focused on economic development, with significant public resources to deliver high quality job creation results, yet the organization has failed to accomplish its goals. Why has Enterprise Florida struggled as an economic development program? To better understand its operations, we take a close look at the incentive agreements executed by Enterprise Florida in the 2012 fiscal year. We selected 2012 because it presents the most recent data. It’s also a year that the Florida Secretary of Commerce has boasted of being an exemplar of success, referring to previous years’ efforts as “marginal at best.”

In addition to illustrating the failure to meet legislative expectations, this report documents Enterprise Florida’s apparent conflicts of interest, the appearance of a pay-to-play scheme for winning favorable treatment and its repeated practice of picking winners and losers in the marketplace through targeted business, favoritism, and selective incentive deals.” [My emphasis]

The report finds:

1. Enterprise Florida has failed to meet its job creation objective: In 1992, the Florida Legislature created Enterprise Florida with an initial objective of creating 200,000 high-wage jobs by 2005. After operating for twenty years and despite negotiating more than 1,600 transactions involving economic development incentive agreements worth more than $1.7 billion,iv Enterprise Florida reports that only 103,544 jobs have been delivered since 1995 – half of their original target and eight years beyond its original target date.

2. Enterprise Florida has failed to obtain its required level of private sector support: As a public-private partnership, Enterprise Florida is expected to obtain private sector support to help pay for its costs of operation. The Florida Legislature required Enterprise Florida to obtain 50% private sector contributions by Fiscal Year 2000-01. As of Fiscal Year 2010-11, more than 85% of Enterprise Florida’s funding comes from government and less than 15% comes from the private sector.

3. Enterprise Florida has the appearance of pay-to-play: Enterprise Florida, while subject to the dominion and control of the Florida Legislature,viii collects on average $50,000 each from corporate members for about half of the seats on the organization’s board of directors.ix Several Enterprise Florida board member companies received incentive agreements and vendor contracts following negotiations with Enterprise Florida staff during the 2012 fiscal year giving the appearance of pay-to-play.

4. Enterprise Florida has apparent conflicts of interest: The Enterprise Florida Board of Directors and the organization’s staff have a relationship that may be a conflict of interest. Enterprise Florida staff bonus pay of nearly $500,000 ($427,500 for staff, $70,000 for President/CEO) in 2012 was provided by Enterprise Florida board member companies that were also Enterprise Florida vendors and others that were recipients of incentive deals in the 2012 fiscal year.

5. Enterprise Florida is picking winners and losers: A number of executed agreements detailed in the 2012 Enterprise Florida Incentives Report demonstrate clear state government favoritism of some companies and industries. Enterprise Florida issues unnecessary benefits packages to entice businesses that should already be attracted Florida’s business friendly environment. These benefits are not necessarily enjoyed by competitors across an industry or all businesses moving to or expanding in Florida.

Click here to read the full report.

Rep. Rooney (FL-16) Goes After Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Two Members of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressmen Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Duncan Hunter Jr. (R-CA), sent a letter to General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff questioning why Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Matthew Dooley was given a negative Officer Evaluation Report (OER) on the grounds his instruction of a course on Radical Islam was offensive to Muslims and Islam.

Their letter dated October 10, 2012 states in part:

“It appears that LTC Dooley led this course well within the scope of NDU’s professorial guidelines, as NDU’s own Faculty Handbook states: “Academic Freedom at National Defense University is defined as freedom to pursue and express ideas, opinions, and issues germane to the University’s stated mission, free of limitations, restraints, or coercion by the University or external environment.”

It is our understanding that LTC Dooley did not violate any established University practices, policies or DoD regulations to merit a negative OER.”

The Congressmen’s letter concerns actions taken by General Dempsey earlier in the year when he publicly excoriated Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley at a May 10, 2012 news conference claiming the course LTC Dooley was teaching at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) was offensive to Muslims. General Dempsey caused LTC Dooley to be fired as an instructor, ordered his course, Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism, to be discontinued and that all material considered offensive to Islam be scrubbed from military professional education within JFSC and elsewhere within his command. General Dempsey further ordered that LTC Dooley be given a negative Officer Evaluation Report—the death knell for a military career.

Click here to read entire letter.

Rep. Rooney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. Prior to that time, he served four years in the United States Army Staff Judge Advocate (SJA). During his years in SJA he served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney at Fort Hood, TX prosecuting all civilian crimes on post. In 2002, Tom was selected to teach Constitutional and Criminal Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Prior to his election as a congressman from California, Duncan Hunter Jr. served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He served three combat tours overseas: two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

The Congressmen’s letter asks “[W]hy the DoD was compelled to further discipline LTC Dooley by jeopardizing his reputation and his future in the service.”

LTC Matt Dooley

LTC Matt Dooley attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, Armor Branch in May 1994. His assignments included deployment to Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq for a total of six operational and combat tours over the course of his career. He served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Tank Company Commander, Headquarters Company Commander, Aide-de-Camp (to three General Officers), and Instructor at the Joint Combined Warfare School. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College as well as the Joint Forces Staff College.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm, based in Ann, Arbor, Michigan, represents LTC Dooley.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center observed, “The purpose of the Army is to fight and win wars. So what happened to LTC Dooley is more than a personal miscarriage of justice. When instructors are prohibited from teaching military officers about the true threat posed by Islamic Radicalism, it is a threat to our national security. Our warfighting potential is thus being crippled by the political correctness and appeasement of radical Muslims currently in vogue at the upper echelons of the Pentagon.”

A review of LTC Dooley’s OERs going back several years, including his OER as an instructor with JFSC, paint a picture of an outstanding officer with unlimited potential:

“LTC Matt Dooley’s performance is outstanding and he is clearly the best of our new instructors assigned to the JFSC faculty over the last six months. . . . A must select for battalion command. . . . LTC Dooley possesses unlimited potential to serve in positions of much higher authority.”

“MAJ Dooley is unquestionably among the most dedicated and hard working officers I have ever known.… Unsurpassed potential for future promotion and service.”

“Our soldiers deserve his leadership.”

“This officer possesses unlimited potential for future assignments. He must be promoted ahead of his peers and selected for Battalion/Squadron Command at first opportunity.”

“Superb performance.”

“Matt is a consummate professional with unlimited potential;”

LTC Dooley’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Star, Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Two Stars, both the Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Parachutist Badge, the Air-Assault Badge, and two Army Superior Unit Awards.

Which Presidential Candidate Sides With You?

Charles Schelle and Mark Maley in their Sarasota Patch column “Online Tool Matches Voters with Ideal Presidential Candidate” note that “Floridians’ presidential preference leans more Libertarian in this online free quiz that takes an in-depth look at your stance on a range of issues, then compares them to candidates’ responses … A new website launched earlier this year to help voters match up with their ideal candidate, and it’s quickly gaining popularity through social media channels. In fact, according to iSideWith.com’s homepage, more than a million people have taken the free quiz to determine their ideal candidate since it launched in March.”

The free quiz may be taken by going to iSideWith.com.

According to Schelle and Maley, “The selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate has put presidential race into overdrive now that we know who all the players are.”

“But do you really know which presidential candidate best matches your stance on those issues? It may surprise you to find out who Floridians’ beliefs support,” note Schelle and Maley.

According to the iSideWith.com’s website Florida goes with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson on domestic policy, healthcare and immigration issues. Who Florida sides with by party are: 51% are Democrat, 41% Green,  39% Republican and 37% Libertarian. This non-scientific survey shows Florida’s favorites in order: Libertarian Gary Johnson, Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Ron Paul and Republican Mitt Romney. Note that the three conservatives are most in line with how Floridians stand.

The question is will the Libertarian and Ron Paul vote go for Romney in November? Ideology may trump candidate support once inside the voting booth.

 

Sixty-Five Percent of Floridians Purchased “Red” Books

Amazon.com released a “Heat Map” showing purchases of political books by state. The map breaks down all purchases into “blue” or “red” book categories. According to the map nation wide 44% of purchases are “Blue” Books and 56% of purchases are “Red” Books. In Florida 65% purchased red books.

Minnesota and Maryland came in even with 50% blue and 50% red. Mississippi has the distinction of having the highest number of red book buyers at 73%. Only four states and the District of Columbia have a majority of blue book buyers. These blue book buyer states are: New York (54%), Massachusetts (58%), Rhode Island (52%)  and Vermont (61%). The District of Columbia has the highest number of blue book buyers at 68%. California may be in the political tossup column with 51% buying red books.

Amazon.com website did this because, “[G]iven the high interest we’ve seen in political books during election years, we thought our customers would like to see what general book buying patterns emerge across the country, and how they change over time.”

According to their website here is how Amazon.com created the Heat Map:

Amazon customers, as we know, read widely and often buy books that don’t necessarily fit their own views. Books aren’t votes, and a map of book purchases can reflect curiosity as much as commitment, but we hope our 2012 Election Heat Map will provide one way to follow the changing political conversation across the country during this election season.

How do we calculate the red and blue percentages on our Heat Map?

Our 2012 Election Heat Map colors each state according to the percentage of red and blue book purchases, based on shipping address, that have been made on Amazon.com during the past 30 days. We take the top-selling political books on Amazon.com and categorize them as “red,” “blue,” or neutral. We classify books as red or blue if they have a political leaning made evident in book promotion material and/or customer classification, such as tags. We compute percentages, updated daily, for each state and the US by comparing the 250 best-selling blue books during the time period against the 250 best-selling red books during the same time period, including new book launches. If the same book title has multiple formats (paperback, Kindle books and Audible Audio), each format has a separate sales calculation. The list only includes paid, not free Kindle books. All orders during the period are given equal weighting in the calculation. States with higher percentages of red or blue purchases are colored more darkly, and states with an even 50-50 split are colored neutral.

What is the definition of a “red state” and a “blue state” in the US?

In recent years, thanks to the color-coded maps the networks use on election night, “red state” has come to represent a state favoring the Republican Party, while “blue state” represents one that favors the Democratic Party. We know that states are not all red or all blue, and readers aren’t either. And books are often too complex to fit into such neat categories. But given the high interest we’ve seen in political books during election years, we thought our customers would like to see what general book buying patterns emerge across the country, and how they change over time.

Will the Amazon Heat Map be factored in by pundits and Real Clear Politics? We shall see.

BRICKS, PIPES AND ANARCHIST GRAFFITI FOUND NEAR RNC CONVENTION CENTER

Tampa Bay Online is reporting that graffiti (pictured right) was found on a downtown rooftop at Florida Avenue and Tyler Street, along with bricks and pipes. The building is just one mile from the Tampa Bay Forum where the Republican National Convention is being held. The potential weapons were accidentally found by local chiropractor Joseph Papilla. His offices are in the building where the potential weapons were found. “It was quite disturbing,” Papilla said.

A National Terror Alert was issued stating, “Federal authorities are urging law enforcement agencies across the country to watch out for signs that extremists might be planning to wreak havoc at the upcoming political conventions — by blocking roads, shutting down transit systems and even employing what were described as acid-filled eggs.”

Tampa Bay Online notes, “The graffiti included the numeral ’99’ and an image of a person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, similar to those worn by Occupy protesters last year. Fawkes was an Englishman who tried to bomb Parliament in the early 1600s. The masks became symbols for the Occupy protesters after the film ‘V for Vendetta,’ in which an anarchist models himself as a modern Fawkes and rebels against a fascist government.” An attempt to bomb the Republican National Convention was foiled in 2008.

The Occupy The RNC official website states, “Security will be concentrated in the Green Zone which will establish a legalized police state up to a 5 mile radius around downtown Tampa. This leaves the rest of the city and Bay area open and available for decentralized actions. People that require the law enforcement to be everywhere, ensure law enforcement cannot be effective anywhere.” [My emphasis]

Bricks, pipes or acid filled eggs thrown from roof tops could be aimed at either law enforcement providing protection for convention attendees or the attendees and the press. Tampa Chief of Police Jane Castor notes, “Finding those items for us was not a surprise. This is historically how these things proceed before a large political event such as the RNC.” Not very comforting to attendees.

The recent case of vandalism in nearby Sarasota, Florida has locals nervous and on edge. The placement of potential weapons before the security cordon is enforced could be a sign of future violence against police and convention attendees. It is difficult to determine how many caches of potential weapons have been placed already by the anarchists on surrounding roof tops, in alleys and even within local buildings. This discovery bodes ill for a peaceful time next week during the Republican National Convention and at the Democrat National Convention in September.

The Occupy The RNC official website Action page has warlike phrases and quotes from Sun Tsu’s the Art of War. This quote appears:  ”Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.” -Sun Tzu, Art of War.

The Occupy The RNC official logo (below) is dark and foreboding with a raised fist coming out of a  dead GOP elephant with red letters announcing a “counter RNC protests”. It reminds one of the “Dark Knight” movie that ended in tragedy. Among the organizations endorsing Occupy the RNC include groups that have caused violence and death both in the United States and overseas such as: CODEPINK, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition and Occupy Wall Street.

Tampa gird your loins for history tells us that vandalism always precedes violence.

RELATED COLUMN:

Feds warn anarchists could blockade roads, use acid-filled eggs to protest conventions

Rasmussen: Mack Leads Nelson by 9 Points

A Rasmussen Report survey of 500 likely voters in Florida taken July 9, 2012, shows Republican Representative Connie Mack IV (FL District 14) with a nine-point lead over incumbent Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, 46 percent to 37 percent.

Representative Mack’s Senatorial campaign manager Jeff Cohen said, “The momentum is on our side. Rasmussen now considers the Florida Senate race ‘Leans Republican’ for the first time.”

The poll was taken after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Likely voters may have been influenced by a statewide advertising campaign from Freedom PAC – Florida, which labeled Senator Nelson as a “lockstep liberal” alongside President Barack Obama.

Rasmussen Report notes, “Fifty-two percent of Florida voters favor repeal of the health care law, while 36 percent oppose repeal. Mack earns 85 percent of the vote from those who ‘Strongly Favor’ repeal. Nelson gets 78 percent support from the smaller group of voters ‘Strongly Opposed’ to repeal.”

On July 11, 2012, two days after the Rasmussen survey, Congressman Mack (FL-14) voted to repeal ObamaCare, a measure that passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 244 – 185. Congressman Mack recently introduced two pieces of legislation that would repeal the law in its entirety and block funding for the law’s implementation: the “NObamacare Act” and the “NObamacare Funds Act.”

“Florida, with its large number of retirees, has consistently registered high opposition to President Obama’s national health care law and was one of the leaders in the recent unsuccessful constitutional challenge of the law before the U.S. Supreme Court,” according to Rasmussen.