We will have a mirror site at http://nunezreport.wordpress.com in case we are censored, Please save the link

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cliffhanger: Still hanging

If the global economy could vote, would it have voted for the messy budget compromise that US politicians cobbled together in the first hours of 2013?

The answer is it probably would. But like the authors of the deal, it may well live to regret it.

The world's financial markets are in favour, if early moves in Asian and European share prices are anything to go by.

But some will say that only goes to show how short-sighted those markets really are.

Think about it. There were three things about America that were troubling investors a week ago: the dysfunctional relationship between its two most important branches of government; the uncertainty over its short and long-term budget policies; and finally, the fear that the combination of these two things might accidentally tip the economy into a recession.


This week's deal lifts the risk of an accidental recession - at least for a while. But it does little to address the first two issues: in fact, it makes another scary stand-off, over spending cuts and raising the amount of debt that the Federal government can legally issue, almost inevitable.

There are two big numbers that are helpful in thinking about what Congress and President Obama did, or did not, achieve this week.

The first is $2.3 trillion (£1.41 trillion). That is a lot of money, but it is what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reckons the US federal government would have needed to borrow over the next 10 years if Congress and the President had done nothing.

In other words, $2.3 trillion is the borrowing that would happen under the "tight", fiscal cliff scenario: with roughly 4% of gross domestic product in spending cuts and tax rises in 2013, and more after that.

The second number is $7.9 trillion.

That is roughly what the Federal government would need to borrow between 2013 and 2022, if Congress and President Obama had agreed to keep tax rates and spending policies more or less the same as they were at the end of 2012, minus temporary stimulus measures such as President Obama's payroll tax cut, which have now been allowed to expire.


Illinois Gun Ban Advances to Senate Floor

Legislation in Illinois that would outlaw many modern firearms has advanced to the Senate floor and could face a vote today as second amendment activists cry foul over the legislation’s draconian provisions.

HB 815 amendment 1 & 2 and HB 1263 amendments 5 & 6 were passed out of the Illinois Senate Public Health Committee last night, advancing to the full Senate floor for a debate and possible approval later today.

As we highlighted yesterday, the legislation would ban a plethora of firearms including semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns, and pump action shotguns, forcing residents to register them with State Police as a pre-cursor to confiscation.

The two bills, which are being spearheaded by Democratic Senate leader John Cullerton and have a 50-50 chance of passage, would also severely restrict private gun ranges by placing them under government regulation.

“If passed the bills would ban most all semi-auto handguns, rifles, and shotguns as well as pump rifle and shotguns. The proposed legislation would also close down most shooting ranges and clubs that are open to the public or conduct events open to the public. Included in the legislation is a ban on ammunition magazines with a capacity to hold more than 10 rounds, a requirement to register all guns and magazines with the Illinois State Police,” reports IllinoisCarry.com.

In the video clip above, State Senator Dale Righter outlines the details of the two bills and notes that they represent a violation of second amendment rights. “I will not support any legislation….that requires anyone in Illinois to register their firearms with State government,” said Righter.

The legislation represents an effort to apply Chicago’s restrictive gun control laws to the rest of the state of Illinois. Given the fact that the vast majority of Chicago’s law-abiding citizens have been disarmed via gun control, it’s unsurprising that the Windy City has a soaring gun violence rate because only the criminals are allowed to own firearms.

In 1982 Chicago passed a ban on all handguns except for those registered with the city before the ban was enacted. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the ban was unconstitutional, but city officials rushed to re-write the law.

Since the handgun ban took effect, the number of murders in Chicago committed using handguns has been 40% higher than before the ban, and has spiked even higher in recent years, proving that the gun ban actually served to cause an increase violent crime.

Infowars is encouraging residents of Illinois to call Senate President Cullerton at 217-782-2000 and contact state representatives at ilga.gov to voice their opposition to the legislation.


One U.S. Marine was more than a little displeased with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s draconian gun control proposal, which includes an assault weapons ban and provisions on handguns and even “grandfathered weapons.”
The letter, written by U.S. Marine Joshua Boston, was titled “No ma’am” and was first posted on CNN iReport on Dec. 27. The letter has since gone viral and has been shared extensively on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as it seemingly has resonated with a segment of the American population.
Read Boston’s entire “No ma’am” letter below and then share it with others:
Senator Dianne Feinstein,
I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.
I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.
I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.
I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.
We, the people, deserve better than you.
Respectfully Submitted,
Joshua Boston
United States Marine Corps

Israel preparing hospitals for mega-mass casualty incidents

According to a report published by the Israeli daily theJerusalem Post on Thursday, a senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Israeli military's Home Front Command is preparing the hospitals to confront with what he called a chance of chemical and missile attacks.

The report also said that the arrangements have been planned three years in advance and are not connected to the recent events in the region.

The report added that the Israeli military trains hospital personnel to confront with conventional missile attacks, mass-casualty incidents and “mega-mass casualty incidents,” which involve 1,000 or more injuries.

All 27 hospitals in Israel have reportedly gone through chemical weapons incidents drills - including surprise exercises. They experience a total of 25 emergency drills per year.

The Home Front Command has also created underground areas in major hospitals so that intensive care cases can be sent there in case of missile attacks.

The report further added that assumed patients are brought to the hospital with notes attached to them describing their particular condition during the drills.

The Israeli hospitals deal with an average of 200 “patients” during the exercises.

Press TV

Russian Navy to Get Over 50 New Warships by 2016

MOSCOW, January 3 (RIA Novosti) – TheRussian Navy will get over 50 new warships by 2016, including strategic nuclear submarines and special operations support vessels, the Defense Ministry reported on Thursday.

“By 2016, the combat strength of the Navy will be replenished with 18 surface warships of various ranks and designation, and also 30 special-purpose and counter-subversion vessels. It is also planned to put 6 multi-purpose and strategic submarines into operation,” the ministry said in a statement.

The quality of new generations of surface warships and submarines being built for the Russian Navy will improve with stronger state acceptance control at the shipyards involved in the Navy’s shipbuilding program, the statement said.

“The implementation of the shipbuilding program envisages serial construction along with the introduction of new technical and modernization solutions into each subsequently built warship,” the statement said.

Russia is currently in the middle of a huge rearmament program, with $659 billion to be spent on arms procurement by 2020, according to the Defense Ministry.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday unprecedented naval drills in the Mediterranean and Black Seas in late January with the involvement of warships from the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific Fleets.

“The Russian Navy’s drills of this scope will be held for the first time over the past few decades and are designed to improve control, ensure and practice multiservice force interaction of the fleets in the far-off maritime zones,” the ministry’s press office said.

The drills will be held in line with the Russian Armed Forces’ 2013 combat training plan and will aim to “practice the issues of establishing a multiservice grouping of forces (troops) outside Russia, planning its use and conducting joint actions as part of a united naval grouping based on a common plan,” the press office said.

RIA Novosti

Doc Marquis on The Hagmann & Hagmann Report

The coming of the Antichrist....

The coming of the 10 nations....

The coming Microchip implant....

Jordanian minister accuses Israel of planning to erect the third Temple

A Jordanian minister accused Israel on Wednesday of planning to partition the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount plaza surrounding it in order to erect the third Temple.

Islamic Endowments Minister Abdul Salam Abadi told a visiting clerical delegation from Australia that he received instructions from the “Hashemite leadership” to safeguard the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem, Jordanian media reported.

Abadi said Israel was planning to divide the mosque from its courtyards with a 144-dunam structure.

Jordan, which extended its sovereignty to East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950, continues to administer the Islamic holy sites on the Temple Mount. Abadi told the Australian delegation that his ministry employs 600 civil servants in Jerusalem and oversees 40 Jerusalem schools.

According to the independent Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, Abadi stressed the need to support the residents of Jerusalem “in their steadfastness in the face of the repeated Israeli attacks on the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.”

He did not expand on what he meant.

Jordan and Israel signed a peace agreement in 1994.

Jews are banned from praying on the Temple Mount by the Jordanian department of endowments, known as the Waqf, which administers the plaza surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Times of Israel

US and Israel Cyber Warfare Against Iran Is Very Much Underway

As 2013 rolls around, many unanswered foreign policy questions remain lingering for President Obama to tackle in his second term. But none are arguably as complex and potentially explosive as Iran and its troublesome nuclear program, which it claims is for peaceful purposes, but most of the international community worries is actually a weapons program in disguise.

Talk of war between Iran and Israel, ever fretting over the possibility of a nuclear armed or even nuclear capable Iran, dominates the discourse on the subject. It’s well noted that a potential war over Iran’s nuclear program in the Middle East would not only likely spread and escalate, but also drag the United States into yet another major conflict in the troublesome region, a predicament unimaginable to an American public tired of war and bloodshed after the invasion of Iraq and ongoing operations in Afghanistan.

Yet with the internal political pressure of the right in Israel pushing for a more concrete response to the Iranian threat, and the clock ticking, the future is as uncertain as ever. Will Israel launch a preventative strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2013? Will another war engulf the region, and the US?

Or are we already there?

Beneath the public surface of six-party negotiations, inspections and reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, and repeated promises from Iran and threats from the U.S., a quieter war is already underway. A covert campaign of assassination, offensive cyber operations, sabotage, and other forms of coercion is being waged among the U.S., Iran, and Israel. But two fundamental questions arise from this unspoken conflict: what effect might this have on rising tensions and the prospects for war in 2013 with Iran? And what precedent might this set, both for future conflicts with pariah states and the future of warfare as we know it? The answer to both of these fundamental questions, whatever they are, might make this complex policy problem more critical than even a nuclear-armed Iran.

The economic warfare, to the contrary, has been very public. The crippling effect of that U.S.-led sanctions are preventing the Iranian regime from meeting basic economic needs, and have induced a critical loss of control of the regime, illustrated by the extreme drop in value of the Iranian currency in October.

Israel is known for not being shy about taking the chance to target members of enemy groups, whether that’s in the Palestinian territories or abroad. The recent war in Gaza shows, however, the potential ramifications of unabashedly opportunistic strikes, and the triggering power they have for escalations into broader conflicts. While this may explain the uncharacteristic silence of Israel and its intelligence service, Mossad, with respect to ongoing operations against Iran, it also showcases the fragility of the situation. Since the mysterious and officially unaccredited targeting of its nuclear scientists began, Iran has not stayed quiet; unofficially, that is. Through its standard proxy group, the Shia Lebanese resistance organization Hezbollah, it struck back at “soft” Israeli targets around the world, including a tour bus in Bulgaria with Israeli citizens, as well as Israeli diplomats in India and Thailand.

But perhaps the most unpredictable element of the West’s covert campaign is the cyber war that has become its centerpiece. The e-invasion first came to light in November of last year with the accidental but highly public discovery of the cyber attack that became known as “Stuxnet,” a cyber instrument of war designed to do unprecedented damage to Iran’s ability to control its uranium enrichment via its spinning centrifuges. The virus, for lack of a better term, showcased the best of U.S.-Israeli joint cyber war efforts, and experts believe it has barely scratched the surface of possibilities in this new and rapidly expanding battle space.

These elements are no longer covert, but the effects are still being discovered and explored on a daily basis. The cyber war is not new, of course. Beginning in 2007 toward the end of the Bush administration, and code named Operation Olympic Games, New York Times reporter David Sanger notes in his new book on Obama’s foreign policy that it was one of the two national security programs the 43rd president urged the incoming Obama to keep — the other being the now expanded drone strikes in Pakistan.

Sanger also notes that Obama is keenly aware of the precedent each swipe of the combat keyboard potentially sets in this battle of new and untested ground, but one must wonder how central the Iranian conflict will be in the waters of future war. And, more than ever, what implications a virtual war will have on the chances of a “real” war, with “real” destruction and “real” death.

The stakes are high, and will doubtless continue to be so. While its exact implications remain to be seen, the covert war against Iran that has been actively taking place has been contained to date. The new year will prove whether it can remain as such. Beyond that, the deeper ramifications of the Iran cyber war might not come to light right away, but when it does, it will prove decisive for the future of war as we know it.


Iran to Citizens: Flee Isfahan

Iranian officials have instructed residents of Isfahan to leave the city, renewing concerns that a nearby nuclear site could be leaking radioactive material.

An edict issued Wednesday by Iranian authorities orders Isfahan’s one-and-a-half million people to leave the city “because pollution has now reached emergency levels,” the BBC reported.

However, outside observers suspect that the evacuation order may corroborate previous reports indicating that a uranium enrichment facility near Isfahan had been leaking radioactive material.

Tehran went to great lengths in December to deny these reports, tellingstate-run media outlets that “the rumors about leaking and contamination at Isfahan’s [Uranium Conversion Facility] are not true at all.”

November reports indicated that a radioactive leak might have poisoned several workers at the nuclear plant, which converts highly toxic yellowcake uranium into material that could be used in the core of a nuclear weapon.

The head of Iran’s emergency services agency said at the time that residents have no reason to worry about possible contamination resulting from a possible leak.

Stories about the potential leak soon disappeared from state-run news websites, Trend reported in late November.

Iranian officials denied that a leak has occurred and blamed Western media outlets for creating “tumult” in the region.

Wednesday’s evacuation order is now fueling concerns that Iranian officials are trying to hide something, including further fallout from a possible radioactive leak.

“Pollution in Isfahan is a problem but in the past, Iranian authorities respond by closing schools and the government to keep people at home and let the pollution dissipate, not by evacuating people,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq who has written about Isfahan’s battle against pollution.

“Mass evacuations suggest a far more serious problem,” Rubin explained. “There are two possibilities here: There is a radiation leak and the regime is lying or there is really bad pollution and no one believes the regime’s explanations.”

Rubin also pointed out that Iranian officials have a history of lying to both Western officials and their own citizens.

It remains unclear whether the technology has been properly inspected for safety because Iran has denied Western officials access to many of its nuclear sites.

The nuclear site at Isfahan has been targeted for attack in the past.

An unexplained explosion at the plant in 2011 is reported to have damaged the facility.

The nuclear plant also sits on an active fault line. The city of Isfahan has been destroyed at least six times from past earthquakes, a point of concern among regional experts.

“Given that Iran is on an earthquake zone and has lost tens of thousands of people with regularity suggests that a devastating nuclear accident is only a matter of time,” said Rubin.

Washington Free Beacon

Real analysis of the crime stats

IDF and Syrian rebel officers meet clandestinely in Jordan

Israeli officials have been holding talks in Jordan with Syrian opposition officials “in advance of a possible Israeli-U.S. operation in Syria to protect the Golan Heights,” Western intelligence sources reported Tuesday, Jan. 1. There was no further information about this operation or how rebel commanders were involved in military plans “to protect the Golan Heights.”

Altogether, the goings-on on the Israeli and Jordanian borders with Syria are in deep hush. But European intelligence sources, some of them French and Russian, reveal nightly clashes taking place between US, Jordanian, Israeli special forces and Syrian rebels, on the one hand, and Syrian special forces, on the other.DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose what they are fighting for:
1. Each of the four is jockeying both for control of the buffer strips along those borders and for keeping their opposite numbers from establishing intelligence-gathering posts there. US forces, the IDF and the Jordanian army have a major tactical interest in keeping Syrian observation posts from settling in the border sectors, where they would be in position to mark out military and civilian targets if the Syrian conflict spilled over.

2. The Assad regime has two special interests in gaining a foothold in Jordan’s border area.

The first is to block the path of Syrian rebels heading back into the country and joining the various warfronts. At least five military facilities in Jordan are training special units of the Syrian opposition. They are managed by American, British, French, Czech and Polish military instructors. They are imparting tactics for capturing Syrian military chemical weapons caches and combating Syrian units armed with chemical or biological weapons.

Some of the rebel trainees return to Syria when they graduate; others are attached to units standing by in Jordan in case the Syrian conflict slides into hostilities with Israel and Jordan.

The second is back-up for the spy and sabotage networks the Assad government is running in Jordan’s refugee camps – just as they are in Turkey. Jordan houses some 60,000 Syrian refugees, most of them in the big Zaatari camp on the Syrian border. To facilitate communication with its undercover networks and the free passage of information, instructions and funds, Syria needs control over both sides of the common border.

Monday, Jordan imposed a blackout on the capture of four Syrian soldiers in the zone between the two countries. The security spokesman in Amman revealed only that they were unarmed and being interrogated - but not whether they were entering the kingdom or on their way out. Earlier that day, a senior Jordanian military spokesman warned of an attempt to expand the Syrian war into Jordan. He did not attribute the attempt to any party.

Military sources in Moscow are more forthcoming about happenings on Syria’s southern borders. Tuesday, Jan. 1, those sources reported that the Syrian army had repulsed a Syrian rebel assault from Jordan. They added that “Syrian border police had also seized a large pile of weapons, some of them Israeli-made, designated for the Free Syrian Army in the southern city of Deraa.

3. Extensive preparations are secretly afoot by US special forces, the IDF and the Turkish and Jordanian armies ready for President Bashar Assad to hand down the order to his army chiefs to launch a chemical war offensive on the military concentrations of Syrian rebels and their allies in the lands neighboring on Syria. Jordan’s training facilities for rebels are seen as likely to be Assad’s initial targets. Western military sources explain that, for this purpose, the Syrian ruler requires maximum control of Jordan’s borders, including the section abutting the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.

The London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported that, when Israel officials met Syrian opposition commanders in Jordan this week, they asked for help to locate the remains of Eli Cohen, one of Israel’s most celebrated spies. He was caught and publicly hanged on May 18, 1965 after an epic career. For years, Cohen, posing as a wealthy Arab businessman, gained the confidence of Syrian officials at the highest levels of government and managed to obtain its secret war and political plans.

Debka File