Obama Signs To Extend Patriot Act

Due to expire today unless approved by Congress and signed by President Obama, the extension of the Patriot Act was approved by the House, the Senate, and signed by the President Saturday, Feb 27, 2010. Well alright!

Let’s not let our guard down and scrap the best tool in the toolbox to fight terrorism where it counts most. Within our own borders.

I’m so proud of my President today. It shows it is still possible for him to put the country’s interests ahead of what he ran on as a candidate. I must be more proud of the signing than the President though, because The White House didn’t put news of the signing into law on its website. Maybe hoping his base won’t notice?

In what could (but it won’t) be characterized in the media as a welcome sign of bi-partisanship, the House voted 319 to 97 in favor of the measure. Unwilling to put their name to it, the Senate passed it on a voice vote Wednesday night.

Stand back and watch the fur fly when Obama’s political Left base finds out about it. Like it or not, believe it or not, we are at war. It was the right thing, and the adult thing, to do.

Link: Obama signs one-year extension of Patriot Act | Senate votes to extend Patriot Act

Geithner, Maybe Next Year We'll Fix It

The next time you hear anyone in this administration tell you how we’ve turned the corner, and that all the deficit spending that has been done has prevented the economy from sinking further, consider where housing markets and foreclosures are going.

  • Fannie Mae will seek $15.3 billion in U.S. aid, bringing the total owed under a government lifeline to $76.2 billion, after its 10th consecutive quarterly loss.
  • “Our financial results for 2009 reflected the continued adverse impact of the weak economy and housing market, which has resulted in record mortgage delinquencies and contributed to our recording significant credit-related expenses and net losses during each quarter of the year.
  • For the full year, Fannie Mae’s loss widened to $74.4 billion from $59.8 billion in 2008.
  • After the next government payout, Fannie Mae’s borrowings will carry an annual dividend cost of $7.6 billion, which the company said it will repay by borrowing more money from the Treasury. “This amount exceeds our reported annual net income for all but one of the last eight years, in most cases by a significant margin,” the company said.

What? Fannie Mae (owned by the government) will repay its bailout money by borrowing from the Treasury. Huh? This is illegal if you tried this scam. That’s why Bernie Madoff is in jail.

  • Losses at Fannie Mae are likely to grow with rising unemployment and costs to implement President Barack Obama’s plans to reduce foreclosures, the company said.

Here’s a Obamanomics for dummies refresher. Replace the word ‘investment’ with ‘bailout.’ Then replace the word ‘bailout’ with ‘takeover.’ This should make you feel better.

  • Fannie Mae and McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac survived last year on investments the government made in the companies. The Treasury on Christmas Eve removed a $200 billion aid limit on each company, extending unlimited backing through 2012.
  • A record 3 million U.S. homes will be repossessed by lenders this year as unemployment and depressed home values leave borrowers unable to sell or make their house payments.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a job to keep from losing your home, it may take awhile. I think that’s the HOPE that candidate Obama was talking about. Right now, Obama is concentrating on taking over the health care decisions of all Americans instead of economic recovery through the private sector.

When President Barack Obama signed his $787 billion “stimulus” bill into law last year, he said the bill was “the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs; to provide relief for families worried they won’t be able to pay next month’s bills; and to set our economy on a firmer foundation.”  The actual results of the stimulus tell a different story. I guess he just lied to us all. I think that’s the CHANGE part.

  • The amount of nonperforming loans that Fannie Mae guarantees for other investors rose to $174.6 billion from $163.9 billion in the third quarter.

But this might make you feel better. Or not. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told the House Budget Committee on Feb. 24.

“We are going to propose reforms to the Congress next year to try to make sure we bring about fundamental change in the housing market and get ourselves in a position where the government is playing a less risky, but more constructive role in supporting housing markets,” Geithner said. “That’s going to be a difficult set of reforms.”

No doubt it will be to borrow our way into hyperinflation. Let’s put this old dog to sleep. Save some money on that Debt Commission Mr. President. Try this simple method. Look in the checkbook. If you see red, don’t spend. Don’t borrow. And don’t steal.

Updated 2/28/2010

Link: Fannie Taps Treasury for $15.3 Billion More After a 10th Loss – Bloomberg.com.

Dem's Power Grab For Health Care Deform

Where the nuclear option is concerned, this short video shows who was against it then, and are for it now. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) becomes the Democrat’s fortune teller for what then Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) called a ‘naked power grab,’ when she said . . .

It begins with judicial nominations, next will be executive appointments, and then legislation.


Back in 2005, the fight was over judicial nominations which had never before been subject to a 60 vote filibuster. McCain invented the gang of 14. Bush backed down. Bush did not pursue exempting judicial nominees from the process, the nuclear option, and the rest is history.

Today, it is about legislation, not a judicial nominee. That, and trillions of dollars in borrowed debt, ultimately the end of the private health insurance industry, and the beginning of government run health care. In short, it is the taking over of about 20% of the nations private sector economy. That’s all.

h/t Breitbart.tv

related links:

Farid Khavari Interview, Florida Gubernatorial Candidate

Tampa community radio station WMNF 88.5 FM did their due diligence last week by informing their listeners on a candidate running for governor of the State of Florida. They broadcast a telephone interview with Dr. Farid Khavari in Miami.

There are two audio links below. The first one contains the interview. The show begins with listener comments about a previous show about oil drilling in Florida. The Khavari interview begins about 5 minutes into the show. The second link starts with the listener comments about the Khavari interview.

The interview: RadioActivity for 2/16/10
Listener comments: RadioActivity for 2/17/10

As Dr. Khavari explains his plans, his platform, you can also find it in writing on his website. You won’t find any smoke and mirrors there. You will find smoke and mirrors on the websites of his challengers, Alex Sink and Bill McCollum.


Note: Those within reach of Pensacola may pick up a Khavari for Governor campaign data sheet and bumper sticker at Philly’s, 3900 Creighton Road.

Alex Sink's Plan, More Of The Same

Last week, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, and the Florida Democratic Party’s anointed choice to replace Governor Charlie Crist, Alex Sink, had a sit-down with some small business owners to discuss how they can prosper in this tough economic climate. I don’t support Alex Sink. I support Farid Khavari. The reason I’m including this article about Alex Sink is that it does show you how ill-equipped and unprepared she is to help small business and Florida’s economy.

She stressed the need for small businesses to be able to get loans for their businesses. Unfortunately, there were no new ideas from her, just more of the same bailout mentality.

And when asked about Dr. Farid Khavari’s plan for a State bank, she flat-out ignored his existence and said we have plenty of banks already, including national and international ones. And haven’t they done so well for us?

Hear her Q&A at this LINK.

What Alex Sink is talking about amounts to just more smoke and mirrors. In response to Sink’s confidence in the federal solution and big banks, Khavari spokesperson Bob Waterstripe called her out for a debate and said this . . .

Sink hears businesspeople tell her they can’t get capital/credit. Then, when asked about the Khavari plan including a state bank, she says we have plenty of banks and they can meet the needs of business. FL’s share of $30 bln TARP money is about 2 bln, $100 per FL citizen. This will have no impact, at best a few thousand jobs. We need a MILLION.

In fact, $2 billion is almost 4 times LESS than the banks made in overdraft charges in FL last year. Over a MILLION are unemployed in FL and over 800,000 FL homes in foreclosure. Khavari has a plan to create a million FL jobs without subsidies and the proposed state bank will stabilize and rejuvenate the housing market as well as the entire economy, saving $100s of $1000s per family.

Sink declines to even acknowledge Khavari? No surprise; she won’t even answer a straight question on anything. As CFO she stood by while $10s of BILLIONS were lost by the SBA on phony deals. Crist, McCollum and Sink, as the 3 trustees, met twice a month for 15 minutes to oversee the SBA (per Crist, St. Pete Times). Most of us take more time than that on our household bills. Sink’s well-publicized Blackberry crackdown nets $250K, enough to pay the interest on $50 billion for about 40 minutes. YAY! Now she’s counting paper clips. You can bet the cost of counting them is 200x the cost of the paperclips.

Here is a little advice to Ms. Sink: Take care of the tens of billions, and the paperclips can take care of themselves. What about a debate between Sink and Khavari with Rob Lorie as moderator?

Links: Sink at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Aside from losing $60 billion of Floridians’ pensions (along with Crist and McCollum), she has a record in BIG BANKING too.

Khavari For Governor – Press Release

Below is a press release from the Khavari For Governor of the State of Florida Campaign, because you’re likely to not see it anywhere else in the Panhandle. That, and because he is the only candidate from either party who has a plan for Floridians.  Press release follows . . .

There is hope for Florida Democrats, despite Alex Sink

Miami, FL Feb. 16 —  Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s candidacy for governor in 2010 has many Democrats worried. Polls show her 10 points or more behind the leading Republican candidate, state Attorney General Bill McCollum. After months of campaigning, it is becoming clear to Florida Dems that Sink has no message and no plan to lift Florida out of its economic mess.  Voters look at her lackluster performance as CFO, and many assume that the next occupant of the governor’s mansion will be a Republican.

However, more Democrats are turning to the number two Democratic candidate in the primary race, noted economist Farid Khavari. Khavari’s plan to create 1,000,000 new private sector jobs in Florida, without subsidies, is winning support from Democrats and Republicans alike. His plan to create a state-owned bank has gained national acclaim, and candidates in other states are jumping on the public banking bandwagon.

“Many Democrats are outraged that the state party leadership anointed Sink as the favored  candidate without any input from the local chapters,” said Khavari. “The Democratic Party of Florida has thrown over $1.2 million in support behind Sink, making her look like a champion fundraiser. In Florida, the media only pay attention to which candidates have raised the most money, not where it came from. The Party is not supposed to support any candidate until after the primary.

“But people from all parties are disgusted with crony politics,” Khavari continued. “They have gotten sick and tired of politicians who look after the interests of banks and insurance companies, while neglecting the people.  We have a different approach. We’ll never get – or take–  a dime from a bank or an insurance company, but our plans will help millions of Floridians get jobs and achieve real financial security, without higher taxes.”

Noting Sink’s focus on counting paper clips while over a million Floridians are out of work and 800,000 Florida homes are in foreclosure, Khavari said, “As CFO, Alex Sink stood by while the State Board of Administration lost tens of billions of dollars. McCollum is also responsible, along with Charlie Crist.
The only people who profited from the SBA in the past three years are investment bankers who sold so-called securities to the geniuses at the SBA.” Sink, McCollum and Crist are the three trustees of the SBA, which handles state retirement funds and other funds from about 1,000 government-related entities.  “Ignorance, neglect, or corruption?” asked Khavari. “The results are the same. We can’t afford crony politics any more.”

Farid A. Khavari, Ph.D. is an economist and author of nine books, including Environomics. His latest book, Toward a Zero-Cost Economy, is available in stores or for free download at his website, www.khavariforgovernor.com.

related link: Pensacola News Journal, related story of how to get off of the grid

Daniel Nocera, the MIT Ph.D. who enthralled a standing-room only IHMC audience last week with his matter-of-fact confidence that he and his research colleagues have solved the world’s energy problem.

Note: Dr. Khavari wrote the book on it, Towards a Zero-Cost Economy

Not to make this a ‘who invented the internet’ discussion, self chest-pounding is not important here. Forget that. But isn’t it good that we have a candidate running for Governor of the State of Florida who is not only knowledgeable about the technology, but knows how to incorporate it in Florida’s economy?

Examiner: Dr. Farid Khavari just what Dems ordered for Florida governor?

Democrat Governors Want "New Strategy"

Democrat governors at the National Governors Association’s weekend meeting, are troubled about President Barack Obama’s track record on responding to Republican political attacks and urged him to better connect with anxious voters. Some calling for ‘a new election-year strategy focused on the economy.’

A new strategy? Focused on the economy? The truth finally comes out. Despite what the administration said all last year, and the media dutifully repeated, the focus never was about reviving the economy. Contrary to what candidate Obama said to get elected, that turning the economy around, fixing the home mortgage crisis, and creating jobs was going to be his top priority, once in office that priority quickly shifted to a takeover of health care .

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered this advice to Obama: “Rapidly decide what we’re doing on health care and then move to jobs and the economy.”

Bad advise Governor Bill. Democrats’ best chance of saving their political butt is to drop their version of health care. Recognize the fact that the folks (after 70 years) still don’t like it. Stop attacking businesses, and do something to promote economic activity outside of government deficit spending. Do something to help in the private sector, where money is made and jobs, permanent jobs, are created.

Unfortunately, the governors showed no regrets for the huge debt incurred with little to no results. Gov. Richardson, I think that’s Obama’s problem.

Not taking responsibility for anything he messes up is another. Community organizers like to form commissions. Takes the heat off of them, puts it elsewhere. Obama doesn’t need a commission to tell him how not to spend money he does not have. All he needs to do is what we have to do. Look in the checkbook. If you see red, don’t spend, don’t borrow, and don’t steal.

AP: Democrats worried about Obama track record.

Let Me Be Clear, Liberals And Free Speech

Liberals, including the so-called mainstream Democrats in Escambia County, continue to demonstrate how very un-democratic they are. Their actions speak louder than their words.

The new Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee, James Turner, endorses Alex Sink in his first press release. Months before the Democratic Primary, bypassing the ‘democratic’ process. Not totally surprising either when you consider that the Florida Democratic Party has already given one candidate, Alex Sink, $1,321,502.20. What’s the point in the primary process again?

Then there’s the way Liberals treat Conservatives. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve had the pleasure of being banned from Mike Papantonio’s website, ‘by popular demand’ according to Scotty the administrator.  That’s lawyer-speak for Mike doesn’t want any conservatives posting on his website, which tends to be populated by a handful of lemmings that are just as rabid as he is. I guess the big talker can’t handle it. The Pensacola News Journal however, tends to respect political discourse even though they don’t engage in it themselves. I’m still waiting, however, for their editors to engage in some. Nine months and counting. . .

My next experience of being ‘banned in Pensacola’ is on Escambia Democrats.org. The official website of the Escambia County Democratic Party. They have a peculiar way of welcoming users. I was a registered user there yesterday. After participating in the public forum for registered users, today I get this:


Your login is blocked.

And when I go to any other page on the website, this blurb pops up.

“Login denied! Your account has either been blocked or you have not activated it yet. Did you not get an activation e-mail and follow the validation link?”

Showing an unwillingness to deal with, discuss, or debate issues seems to be a soft spot over there. Here is the explanation from the admin, Henry Coe, Jr.

The reason you were blocked is because what you typed in response to the article had nothing to do with the article. Being that you are treasurer for Escambia County Libertarian Party, what ever that is, I suggest you post your political spin crap on your own website.

I’m not apposed to real debate or real conversation in relation to articles, but you were redirecting the topic and interjecting spin with your posting on our forum. I have better things to do than to spend my time keeping up with people who are manipulative and abusive.

Have a nice day.

The forum article was about man-made global warming mis-statements or some such. I suggested that, in light of more revelations from the Jones guy, that that post should be updated, and something like isn’t it time to move on? But since it and my comments were removed, I think Mr. Coe’s note makes my point. And for further clarification, here is a portion of the Escambia Democrats’ ‘about’ page . . .

This web site is designed to help people be informed.

Specifically it is designed for Escambia County Florida Residence. More specifically than that is it is use to help support, educate and inform Democrats in Escambia County Florida, though we are glad to share and thank you for finding and using our web site.



We have a forum where topics can be started by anyone and forum conversations can be had by anyone who is a member of this web site.

So you can see why I was surprised to see the ‘blocked’ response. I didn’t see a ‘Democrats Only’ notice. I wonder if I would be accepted if I changed my voter registration to Democrat? They have such an open tent. At least that’s what they claim. RicksBlog is not as sensitive to speech, although all of my comments there are queued for moderation, including one on the ‘IN rising star.’

Other traits, aside from the normal name-calling, of Left-oriented blogs or websites is the tendency to keep their blogrolls free of conservative blogs. There seems to be this need to create a cocoon of liberal opinion and not allow opposing views or blogs that may contain an opposing view. Reference Coe’s comments above, and RicksBlog and the Pensacola Beach Blog blogrolls for example. The latter of which has some old and inactive blogs listed. You will see that The Lunch Counter is not on either of their blogrolls. And it’s not because I haven’t politely asked.

Now let me be clear, (oh I like that pompous phrase, don’t you?) bloggers have control over what they include or exclude on their sites. I’m not suggesting otherwise. I’m merely noting the pattern of liberal bloggers as I see it. Your mileage may vary.

A look at the LINKS page here will show that I encourage all opinion, no matter how nuts it is. I have a special category for The Left because I think people ought to be able to see what others have to say. So I offer up the most vocal and rabid among them. Especially since some of them have the eyes and ears of The White House.

Aren’t political blogs in Pensacola fun?

The FairTax Basics

The FairTax happens to be the most thoroughly researched tax reform plan in recent history. Below is a quick introduction to the FairTax and tax reform. Note also that the implementation of the FairTax and the subsequent increase in economic activity that ensues will all happen without increasing the debt or selling bonds to foreign countries. It is a pure economic stimulus all on its own.

Scholarly research tells us that . . .

  • The FairTax rate of 23 percent on a total taxable consumption base of $11.244 trillion will generate $2.586 trillion dollars $358 billion more than the taxes it replaces.  [1]
  • The FairTax has the broadest base and the lowest rate of any single-rate tax reform plan.  [2]
  • Real wages are 10.3 percent, 9.5 percent, and 9.2 percent higher in years 1, 10, and 25, respectively than would otherwise be the case.  [3]
  • Disposable personal income is higher than if the current tax system remains in place:  1.7 percent in year 1, 8.7 percent in year 5, and 11.8 percent in year 10.  [4]
  • The economy as measured by GDP is 2.4 percent higher in the first year and 11.3 percent higher by the 10th year than it would otherwise be.  [4]
  • Consumption increases by 2.4 percent more in the first year, which grows to 11.7 percent more by the tenth year than it would be if the current system were to remain in place.  [4]
  • The increase in consumption is fueled by the 1.7 percent increase in disposable (after-tax) personal income that accompanies the rise in incomes from capital and labor once the FairTax is enacted.  [4]
  • By the 10th year, consumption increases by 11.7 percent over what it would be if the current tax system remained in place, and disposable income is up by 11.8 percent. [4]
  • Over time, the FairTax benefits all income groups.  Of 42 household types (classified by income, marital status, age), all have lower average remaining lifetime tax rates under the FairTax than they would experience under the current tax system. [5]
  • Implementing the FairTax at a 23 percent rate gives the poorest members of the generation born in 1990 a 13.5 percent improvement in economic well-being; their middle class and rich contemporaries experience a 5 percent and 2 percent improvement, respectively.  [6]
  • Based on standard measures of tax burden, the FairTax is more progressive than the individual income tax, payroll tax, and the corporate income tax.  [7]
  • Charitable giving increases by $2.1 billion (about 1 percent) in the first year over what it would be if the current system remained in place, by 2.4 percent in year 10, and by 5 percent in year 20.  [8]
  • On average, states could cut their sales tax rates by more than half, or 3.2 percentage points from 5.4 to 2.2 percent, if they conformed their state sales tax bases to the FairTax base.  [9]
  • The FairTax provides the equivalent of a supercharged mortgage interest deduction, reducing the true cost of buying a home by 19 percent.  [10]


[1] Bachman, Paul, Jonathan Haughton, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Alfonso Sanchez-Penalver, and David G. Tuerck, “Taxing Sales under the FairTax:  What Rate Works?” published in Tax Notes, November 13, 2006. Click here to read the full paper.

[2] Tuerck, David G., Jonathan Haughton, Paul Bachman, and Alfonso Sanchez-Penalver, “A Comparison of the FairTax Base and Rate with Other National Tax Reform Proposals,” The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, February 2007.  Click here to read the full paper.

[3] Tuerck, David G., Jonathan Haughton, Keshab Bhattarai, Phuong Viet Ngo, and Alfonso Sanchez-Penalver, “The Economic Effects of the FairTax: Results from the Beacon Hill Institute CGE Model,” The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, February 2007. Click here to read the full paper.

[4] Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics, “A Macroeconomic Analysis of the FairTax Proposal,” July 2006.  Click here to read the full paper.

[5] Kotlikoff, Laurence J. and David Rapson, “Comparing Average and Marginal Tax Rates under the FairTax and the Current System of Federal Taxation,” NBER Working Paper No. 12533, revised October 2006.  Click here to read the full paper.

[6] Jokisch, Sabine and Laurence J. Kotlikoff, “Simulating the Dynamic Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Effects of the FairTax,” National Tax Journal, June 2007.  Click here to read the full paper.

[7] Tuerck, David G., Jonathan Haughton, Paul Bachman, Alfonso Sanchez-Penalver, and Phuong Viet Ngo, “A Distributional Analysis of Adopting the FairTax:  A Comparison of the Current Tax System and the FairTax Plan,” The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, February 2007.  Click here to read the full paper.

[8] Tuerck, David G., Jonathan Haughton, Alfonso Sanchez-Penalver, Sara Dinwoodie, and Paul Bachman, “The FairTax and Charitable Giving,” The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, February 2007.  Click here to read the full paper.

[9] Tuerck, David G., Paul Bachman, and Sylvia Jacob, “Fiscal Federalism:  The National FairTax and the States,” The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, June 2007.  Click here to read the full paper.

[10] Walby, Karen, and Dan Mastromarco, “Promoting home ownership:  How the FairTax’s benefits for homeowners exceed the mortgage interest deduction,” Americans For Fair Taxation White Paper, August 2006. Click here to read the full paper.

Karen Walby, Ph.D., Director of Research, Americans For Fair Taxation, Jan. 5, 2008.

Biden Re-writes History On Iraq

Seems like only yesterday that the current administration, before they became the current administration, was poo-pooing General Paetreaus’s plan for the surge in Iraq, which he expected would bring about the change needed to prepare Iraq for self-governance. From the moment it was proposed to months before Gen. Petreaus’s first progress report, the mantra was, the surge won’t work and the war is lost. In fact, Sen. Biden’s plan was to partition Iraq into three pieces.

But last week on the Larry King Show, Vice President Joe Biden said this about Iraq . . .

I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.

Why the sudden shift in strategy when they could just blame Bush? For some evidence in Vice President Biden’s re-writing of history, follow any of these links:

Link: Biden Takes Credit for Iraq’s Progress