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Thursday, September 19, 2013

5.3-magnitude earthquake hits Japan's Fukushima

Islamabad and Peshawar earthquake

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake has hit the Japanese prefecture that is home to the nuclear power plant crippled in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck early Friday at a depth of about 13 miles (22 kilometers) under Fukushima Prefecture and about 110 miles (177 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.

The Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported that the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., observed no abnormality in radiation or equipment after the quake.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday ordered TEPCO to scrap all six reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant and concentrate on tackling pressing issues like leaks of radioactive water.

The 2011 disaster caused three reactors to melt and damaged a fuel cooling pool at another. Officials have acknowledged that radiation-contaminated groundwater has been seeping into the Pacific Ocean since soon after the meltdowns.

The region lies on the "Ring of Fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim. About 90 percent of the world's quakes occur in the region.

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/Story/23477582/53-magnitude-earthquake-hits-japans-fukushima#ixzz2fNTmS6Om

Whatever the Fed Does, Gold Will Rally

Fed’s QE Unlimited Will Lead to “Total Collapse”

Paul Joseph Watson
September 19, 2013

Financial experts have slammed the Federal Reserve’s decision to proceed with “QE unlimited” by refusing to taper its money printing madness, with famed investor Mark Faber predicting the move will lead to a “total collapse” of the economic system.

Despite expectations amongst many that the Fed would scale back its $85 billion a month bond purchase plan, the central bank announced yesterday that it would prolong the policy.

Investment guru Mark Faber reacted by telling Bloomberg that the decision not to taper was all about protecting the financial interests of the elite while ordinary Americans will suffer the consequences through higher gas, food and energy prices.

“My view was that they would taper by about $10 billion to $15 billion, but I’m not surprised that they don’t do it for the simple reason that I think we are in QE unlimited. The people at the Fed are professors, academics. They never worked a single life in the business of ordinary people. And they don’t understand that if you print money, it benefits basically a handful of people maybe–not even 5% of the population, 3% of the population,” he said.

“And when you look today at the market action, OK, stocks are up 1%. Silver is up more than 6%, gold up more than 4%, copper 2.9%, crude oil 2.68%, and so forth. Crude oil, gasoline are things people need, ordinary people buy everyday. Thank you very much, the Fed boosts these items that people need to go to their work, to heat their homes, and so forth and at the same time, asset prices go up, but the majority of people do not own stocks. Only 11% of Americans own directly shares,” added Faber.

Asked what the endgame was, Faber responded, “The endgame is a total collapse, but from a higher diving board. The Fed will continue to print and if the stock market goes down 10%, they will print even more. And they don’t know anything else to do. And quite frankly, they have boxed themselves into a corner where they are now kind of desperate.”

Veteran investor Jim Rogers also slammed the Fed’s excessive money printing, warning, “The world will suffer very badly when this comes to an end. It’s an artificial sea of liquidity.”

The chairman of Rogers Holdings added that the only factor that may stop central banks around the world from printing money is if markets say, “we’re not going to take your garbage paper anymore.”

Rogers also emphasized how it doesn’t really matter who gets the top job at the Fed because the same policies would still be pursued.

“This is all a farce. They’re both of the same ilk,” he said, adding, “As long as the regular people are running things, it’s going to be the same thing…. This is not good for the world. It’s good for them and their friends.”

With Larry Summers out of the picture, Janet Yellen is firmly in the frame to be the first woman ever to chair the Federal Reserve. As Michael Snyder documents, Yellen, the architect of many of Ben Bernanke’s monetary policies, represents “Bernanke on steroids,” and is a firm believer in regular government intervention in financial markets.

Despite the media claiming Yellen has a “good track record,” in February 2007 she dismissed the notion of a housing market collapse and completely failed to anticipate the 2008 financial crisis.

“She will make Mr. Bernanke look like a hawk,” said Faber, noting that Yellen is so obsessed with artificially low inflation rates that she once advocated negative interest rates.

“She, in 2010, said if could vote for negative interest rates, in other words, you would have a deposit with the bank of $100,000 at the beginning of the year and at the end, you would only get $95,000 back, that she would be voting for that,” said Faber, adding that the Fed has no clue about the real rise in the cost of living and that the consequences of such policies inevitably lead to bigger government and less freedom.

Both Rogers and Faber said they continue to buy gold, even thought it may currently be in a “rest” period, as a protection against the ludicrous policies of the Fed and general global instability.

Meanwhile, in a bizarre Orwellian twist of logic, President Obama gave a speech in which he argued that raising the debt limit did not raise the debt of the United States.

Credit To Infowars

Hurricane Manuel slowly moves closer to Mexico's western coast

Hurricane Manuel slowly moves closer to Mexico's western coast

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Hurricane Manuel slogged very close to Mexico's Pacific coast Thursday, prompting a hurricane warning and a tropical storm watch, forecasters said.

Manuel, a small tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, was about 20 miles northwest of Altata and 85 miles southeast of Los Mochis, traveling north at 3 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported in its 5 a.m. EDT advisory.

Mexican authorities posted a hurricane warning for La Cruz to Topolobampo and a tropical storm warning north of Topolobampo to Huatabampito.

Manuel was expected to move northward in the next 24 hours then shift toward the northwest. On its forecast track, Manuel's center is expected to gradually move a small distance inland over western Mexico during the next 24 hours, forecasters said.

Manuel is expected to produce 5- to 10 inches of rain over Sinaloa state, with isolated amounts of 15 inches possible, forecasters said. Manuel also could produce 1- to 2 inches of rain over the Baja California Peninsula and Nayarit state.

A storm surge with large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 2- to 4 feet above normal tide levels along the coast near and south of where Manuel's center makes landfall.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/09/19/Hurricane-Manuel-slowly-moves-closer-to-Mexicos-western-coast/UPI-20911379588298/#ixzz2fMEvnke2

The Greatest Financial Conspiracy In American History

There is a conspiracy being perpetrated against the American people with regard to the true nature of America’s financial situation. To most people, America appears to be on her last economic legs and the future looks hopeless. On the other hand, America has never been wealthier. However, the wealth has been horded and hidden from the American people.

This article exposes why the central bankers and the corporate controlled media are attempting to make it appear as America is dead broke with no hope of recovery. The central bankers, through the government, have indeed hijacked and are hording and hiding substantial assets as they are planning to take the surface economy down as early as this fall/winter. The globalist strategy consists of convincing the people, in advance of the collapse, that there is no hope of economic recovery. Under this scenario, the perpetrators of the collapse will meet with less direct resistance, both in the collapse phase and in the recovery phase in which we will all witness the establishment of a world government and a one world economic system.

Which side is correct? Are we broke or do we have substantial hidden assets? Both sides are correct. The visible economy, which is obvious to all (e.g. the health of the fiat currency, the unemployment rate, national GDP relative to the planet’s GDP), clearly indicates that a collapse is imminent. However, there is also substantial wealth that is being horded on behalf of the banks and corporations by their governmental partners, which could make a significant difference in the health of our economy. The wealth is substantial and has successfully been hidden from most Americans
The Case for a Looming Economic Collapse
The undoing of the America currency has been a century in the making. In 1913, the most evil organization on the earth was created by an unconscionable act of Congress with the creation of the Federal Reserve. The United States national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created, and this fact has served to turn nearly all of us into debt slaves with each of us vulnerable to the manipulation of the global elite.

The bankers who helped to create the Federal Reserve intended to permanently enslave the U.S. government to a perpetually expanding spiral of debt, and their plan has worked and their final victory is nearly at hand.

Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff, stated that the U.S. government is facing a “present value difference between projected future spending and revenue” of 222 trillion dollars in the years ahead. Where are we going to come up with 222 trillion dollars? The short answer is that we won’t under the existing set of economic rules that we are forced to live under.

In 2001, the United States represented 31.8 percent of the world’s economic activity. By the end of 2011, that share had dropped to 21.6% in 2011, which means that America’s portion of the world’s economy is 32% smaller than it was a decade ago and it is declining more with each passing day. With economic indicators such as these, there is no way to climb out of the economic hole we have entered courtesy of the globalist inspired free-trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA, CAFTA and now the MEFTA, AFTA and the TPP). With these kinds of economic indicators, more Americans will be competing for a smaller number of jobs which are significantly declining in pay.

Over one hundred million unemployed Americans are no longer even looking for work. The next time you go into the Department of Motor Vehicles, please realize that you are subsidizing a drivers license for about a third of the people in that building. You are also paying for their health care, food stamps and shelter. And many of these lower class, poverty-stricken “Americans” are living a higher standard of living than you are and this is by design courtesy of Chairman Obama.

It Does Not Pay to Go to Work
Wayne Emmerich found that the family breadwinner who works only one week a month at minimum wage makes 92% as much as the breadwinner grossing $60,000 a year. Emmerich’s stats demonstrate that by working only one week a month one can save a lot of money in child care expense. But topping the list is Medicaid, which is accessible to minimum wage earners and the program has very low deductibles and co-pays. In short, by working only one week a month at a minimum wage job, a minimum wage earner is able to get total medical coverage for next to nothing courtesy of you and me.

The middle class is not as lucky as the $60,000 breadwinner pays out approximately $12,000 per year in health insurance costs with an addition $4,500 in co-pays. And if anyone in the part-time minimum wage earning family is disabled, SSI pays out an additional $8,088 per year. When one begins to calculate the expenses incurred by a typical breadwinner making $60,000 per year, compared to the part time minimum wage worker, coupled with minimum wage earners tax supported federal bailouts for these freeloaders, the poor have more discretionary income than those who pay the taxes that run the country. And if the part time minimum wage worker is willing to cheat and participate in the underground economy, they will have significantly more discretionary income than their hard-working $60,000 per year counterpart who actually works for a living. In short, if you are a full-time employee making above minimum wage, you are paying for your own economic demise. The numbers here suggest that we’d be better off staying home and living off of the labors of what’s left of the middle class and of course this would help to collapse the economy.

Unbearable Taxes Are Leading to Record Expatriation Rates
Overwhelmingly, the number one reason that Americans are fleeing the country is because of high taxes. The income tax rate rose this year to 39.6% from 35% for individuals earning more than $400,000 a year and married couples earning more than $450,000. As of this year, 77% of Americans will pay higher federal tax rates because the cuts in Social Security payroll taxes expired when Congress passed its tax package on New Year’s Day. The Tax Policy Center estimates that those who earn more than $1 million would pay an average of $170,341 more in taxes. The tax burden is adding crushing weight to a beleaguered upper and middle class America.

Hiding and Hording Massive Assets That Could Rescue the Country’s Economy

Americans are lamenting the fact that our budget deficit is now over $17 trillion dollars. Our national debt and deficit is a drop in the bucket compared to the assets that our government controls. However, far beneath the ground, the federal government owns the rights to mineral and energy leases, from which they receive royalties, rents, and bonus payment, states the Institute for Energy Research, an industry group. According to their estimates, government states that the assets are worth $128 trillion. That’s almost eight times the national debt. This is a hard asset which could be collateralized and matched against the deficit.

“These resources could be leased to third parties and could subsequently earn the state and national government huge royalties, rents, and bonus payments that it is estimated could total almost $150 billion over 10 years, just for the oil and gas leases alone.” Then why isn’t this being done? Simple, ask yourself who would lose money if these idle assets were to brought to fruition? The oil companies would lose money, that’s who! The same oil companies that block oil drilling on the North Shore of Alaska. The same oil companies who preserve the existing relationship with Middle Eastern nations, which someday, will pull us into a devastating world war with Syria and Iran.

Further, the unleashing of these assets would reduce the costs of energy for consumers and businesses. Now, the owners of the utilities, the same people who are the owners of the oil companies, could not permit that. The utilities have invested billions toward the installation of smart meters and a new infrastructure smart grid, in which they control all energy pricing.

Another factor that comes into play on why these assets are not being unleashed is because plentiful, reliable and cheap energy supplies would greatly accelerate economic growth and jump start the economy out of the doldrums. But when the globalists’ goal is the creation of a one world economic system, based upon keeping nations in debt, controlled by a tyrannical one world government, the old government and economy must be brought down and this economic boon to the economy cannot be allowed to transpire. Therefore, the government acts as a procurement agent for the globalists, who will eventually unleash these assets to themselves, after the collapse of the dollar.
CAFR’S the Source of Untold Wealth

For over a decade, accountant Walter Burien, has been trying to raise public consciousness over what he says is a massive conspiracy, totaling trillions of dollars. The conspiracy, Burien says, is one in which governments at all levels have hidden away funds in a practice commonly called CAFR’s. Burien’s numbers may be questioned, but there can be no doubt that significant hidden funds clearly exist. The existence of CAFR’s are evidenced by the existence of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs). CAFR’s are a required aspect of every government agency accounting practices. Therefore, the existence of this underground slush fund is a matter of public record.

The subject of CAFR’s first came to light when Colonel Gerald Klatt alerted Burien to their existence. Coincidentally, Klatt died under very mysterious circumstances, in 2004, which lent credence to the claim that there was a conspiracy to cover up the scope and true nature of CAFR’s. Just what is a CAFR and how does it explain how the American are being lied to about how much money truly exists within the control of the government?

To help you understand the nature and process of CAFR’s, let’s pretend that you were to have a checking account with $100 and a savings account with $1,000 in two different banks. Let’s further imagine that you only reported to the IRS, that you only had $100 dollars as your net worth because you don’t want to use your savings account to pay bills (i.e. taxpayer obligations). Subsequently, you’d be audited and put in a federal prison for failure to report the larger amount. However, the government grants itself permission to play by its own rules and to make up the CAFR rules as they go along. The government, as described in the above example, simply designatesthat it has two accounts (i.e. the $100 account and the $1,000 (CAFR) savings account). However, the larger CAFR account is designated as “non-governmental” or “non-taxpayer” income and this allows the government to hide all of this wealth from the people as reported in the government’s Budget Report. In this economic scenario, only the smaller account is the one that gets declared. And the reason that governments continue to engage in this shady practice, is that they want to be able to justify the taking of a greater portion of your income through increased taxation. I call this highway robbery. As an aside, have you noticed that many counties are building monumental justice centers which defy description of where the funds came from given the present state of economic affairs. These centers are being built with CAFR’s which are monetized in a variety of ways.


The subject of CAFR’s is something that has come into my life with an explosion. In Maricopa County (greater Phoenix area), former county attorney, Andrew Thomas, was disbarred eighteen months ago. A three-member panel found that former County Attorney Andrew Thomas violated the professional rules of conduct for lawyers in bringing criminal charges against two county officials and a judge in December 2009. What gets lost in the media reporting of Thomas sudden departure from office and his disbarment is why Thomas was prosecuting two county officials, County Supervisors Dan Stapely and Mary Rose Wilcox as well as Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe. Thomas initiated the investigation with allegations of financial wrong doing on the part of the three individuals. The second phase of his investigation was to attack the use of off the books funds (i.e. CAFR’s).Thomas was gone from office before phase two of his legal action could be commenced and Arpaio was neutralized.

A few years ago, Maricopa County just completed the building of an expensive justice center worth more than 500 million dollars. Where did the money come from as it has repeatedly been reported in the Phoenix media that the County is broke? Who benefitted? Thomas found evidence of money being kept off of the books and was attempting to expose it and the forces of the establishment had him expelled from office and disbarred within months of the first accusations. Simultaneously, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was complicit in the ill-fated Thomas investigation by carrying out the investigation and participating in the arrests of the three officials. Shortly thereafter, Arpaio was the source of a massive Eric Holder led justice probe into his department’s alleged racial profiling of illegal immigrants in Maricopa County. Arpaio brilliantly retaliated with an investigation into the authenticity of Obama’s long form birth certificate. Obama was declared, by Arpaio, to be ineligible to appear on Arizona’s ballot for President in 2012. Then the controversy went dark and the back and forth between the Feds and Arpaio disappeared from the front page of the newspapers. Obama eventually appeared on the ballot and Arpaio received a mere slap on the wrist from the Department of Justice. Can anyone say “a deal was struck?” Apraio survived because he had leverage against Obama and Andrew Thomas did not and subsequently, Thomas’ license to practice law was revoked by a three judge panel which operated in the spirit of the worst of any kind of Kangaroo court.

If the Thomas case had been fully exposed to the media, the subject of CAFR’s would have been irrevocably exposed. The obfuscation of public funds issue appeared to be dead. However, I had an inside source come forward and his name is Doug Rhoads. Doug is a former Maricopa County prosecutor. He approached me in early June of 2013 after reading a multipart series that I had published on my website regarding the privatization of for profit prisons and the fact that many states were promising private corporations a 90% prison occupancy rate, thus driving up zealousness of criminal prosecutions aimed at keeping the prisons full and profits high.

Doug Rhoads informed me that these everyone of these criminal cases were being monetized as a traded commodity on the market and that the earned money went off of the books. Doug subsequently appeared on my talk show for two hours and exposed the fact that this was indeed taking place and we also discussed the Andrew Thomas affair. Since the airing of this interview with Rhoads, I have been personally threatened on two occasions that if I continued to report on prison privatization and the Rhoads revelations of hidden public assets, there would be “grave consequences.” Also, since the Rhoads interview, I have been contacted by several people, each with a different angle on this situation. However, all of them are afraid for their careers and their lives if their whistle-blowing were to ever be exposed.

The issue and existence of CAFR’s is being zealously guarded. The release of CAFR’s, alone, could erase our national debt and return financial affluence to America. For example, California Governor Brown, claims that the California’s state budget deficit of $16 billion requires austerity actions. However the state’s CAFR funds revealed $600 billion in undeclared assets. When all the CAFR surplus accounts are totaled, Californians have been overtaxed by $8 trillion dollars in a sampled study. This is being done at every level of government, two sets of books and two sets of figures. You do not have to be living in California and Arizona to be the victim of this deception, it is in every state. This makes the national debt appear to be meaningless.

And whatever happened to Col. Klatt, the man who first revealed the existence of the CAFR’s? He suffered a worse fate than Andrew Thomas, he was likely murdered as Klatt served for a long time as an Air Force auditor and federal accountant, and it’s likely that he got too close to some military CAFR’s being used for “off the books” operations and he died under very mysterious circumstances. Google “Walter Burien” and be prepared to get really upset about how much money is being withheld by government in this unholy accounting practice.
What Does It All Mean?
Through CAFR’s, the government is clearly hording money. Where does the money go? Nobody can be certain except that it makes the lion’s share of money collected eligible to be used as off the books spending.

This is where the plot thickens and things get very interesting. If the economy is collapsed due to the well-publicized debt listed in the first part of this article, it is not known what would happen to the CAFR’s, the underground mineral resources, etc. Since these assets are technically off the books and under the control of local governments and many of their corporate NGO’s, they would presumably be unaffected in an economic collapse scenario. And wouldn’t that be the goal of banking interests who would want to collapse the economy in that they would want to procure as many hard assets as possible before the collapse. Since government at all levels has repeatedly proven itself to be agents of the megabanks and the corporations, these institutions would survive an economic collapse with a great deal of hard assets.
I have concluded that the powers that be are hording hard assets as a means to maintain power following the economic reorganization which would follow a collapse. Further, this theory is further bolstered by the fact that Federal Reserve continues to buy $40 billion of mortgage backed securities every month and MERS is continuing their theft of home mortgages at record rates. This scenario looks like the globalists are following a massive wealth transfer scenario and the pace of this wealth transfer is accelerating. What is the rush? Could it be that what I wrote about two weeks ago is indeed coming into play?

The GRID EX II drill in which the power grid is being “taken down in a simulation,” is something that cannot be easily dismissed as the next false flag event. However, this is eerily similar to what happened in 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings as well as the Boston Marathon bombing in which a drill culminated in a false flag attack. If the grid is taken down, and as I have stated before, a false flag within a false flag can be executed and the banks can be collapsed and the country will barely notice. Who would notice the missing digits in their bank accounts when the grid is down and the people are starving by the third day following the blackout? Meanwhile, government as well as their banking and corporate partners would hold most of the hard assets in the country following an economic collapse and would stand to be in a position of extreme power when the smoke eventually clears.

In this scenario, the largest remaining asset that the banks would not totally control would be the privately owned homes and businesses. But after a collapse, how would people pay their mortgage? The short answer is that they could not. And who would the deeds revert to? They would revert to the banks.

Although I think this scenario is likely, this is only a theory regarding the tie in with GRID EX II, hidden wealth and collusion to collapse the economy in order to transfer wealth and to consolidate holdings. However, what is not a theory is the fact that our hidden assets outnumbers the sum total of our debt as a nation and the debt and the deficit could be paid off overnight should the people wake up and force the government to release the true wealth of the country.

Credit to The Common Sense Show

Parents in Siberian City Call for Ban on Psychics

GOD BLESS RUSSIA for fight this....

MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – A group of parents in Russia’s oil-rich Tyumen Region has called on local prosecutors to investigate two self-proclaimed psychics, known for participating in a popular TV show, who are planning to practice their supernatural skills in the region.

The Western Siberian city’s Tyumen Parental Committee, which says that its aim is to defend family values, appealed to officials with a public statement to ban US-born Veet Mano and Iranian Mohsen Norouzi from holding private consultation sessions in the region later this month.

The two men gained fame in Russia after taking part in Russian reality TV show “Bitva Ekstrasensov” (Battle of the Psychics), which is similar to US television’s “Psychic Challenge,” in which people claiming to be psychics and mystics compete against each other.

The parental committee released a statement Wednesday saying that Mano and Norouzi might do more harm than good, and noting that the Russian Orthodox Church opposes any psychic activities. The committee also proposed a bill that would ban the promotion and work of sects and psychics in the region.

Tyumen prosecutors have not yet commented on the request.

According to the committee, the psychics, who claim to have supernatural abilities that enable them to help people with health and emotional problems, charge between 9,000 rubles ($283) and 130,000 rubles ($4,100) for their consultations.

Mano claims to be a follower of Osho, a controversial Indian spiritual leader, while Norouzi’s Russian website describes him as being able to exorcise demons and help people come out of comas.

Last month, the same Tyumen parental committee protested against a beauty pageant for young girls in the region, saying it could harm the “spiritual and moral development” of the children.

Credit to RIA Novosti

Debt Ceiling real Problem

Everyone in Washington and on Wall Street is fixated on the potential for a government shutdown in less than two weeks.

But those in power and closest to the situation say a debt default is a bigger threat. That’s the thinking at the highest levels of Congress as Washington dives headfirst into a contentious fall.

Here’s the reality: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will eventually have to bring a funding bill to the House floor that keeps the government — and Obamacare — running. That’s the bill the House will most likely receive from the Senate shortly after Boehner’s chamber resumes work on Wednesday, just days short of an Oct. 1 government shutdown.

(Also on POLITICO: White House, GOP battle over Obamacare fraud)

That’s because the Senate will not accept the entirety of the three-month $986 billion continuing resolution that Boehner will attempt to pass Friday. The Senate will strip the language that’s meant to defund President Barack Obama’s health care law — strong language that was drafted to appease Boehner’s right wing. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), however, can remove that Obamacare provision with a simple majority vote in the upper chamber.

If Reid is successful and the Senate clears the revised continuing resolution, Boehner and House Republicans will then be back in the spotlight. And the speaker may need the support of House Democrats to pass the measure.

It won’t be pretty, but that so-called clean CR could pass the House with roughly 180 Republican votes with the remainder coming from the Democratic side of the aisle, according to senior GOP sources. White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors met with the House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday to walk through government funding scenarios. Although some Democrats are pushing to turn off the sequester as part of any CR deal, White House officials believe they can count on between 40 and 50 Democratic votes for a clean CR at the $986 billion level, giving House leaders enough to reach the key 217 vote level.

(WATCH: Chuck Schumer: 'We are not negotiating on the debt ceiling')

Over in the Senate, the chamber’s rules dictate that Reid will face at least one expected Republican filibuster on the government funding bill — meaning he has to muster 60 votes to cut off debate. Senate Democratic aides are hopeful — although not fully confident — that they can get there after they remove the Obamacare language.

“[Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell is the wild card here,” said a Senate Democratic staffer. “He hasn’t told us what he’s going to do yet.”

Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida are also wild cards. If Lee and Cruz can persuade at least 38 of their colleagues to support a sustained filibuster of the funding bill, that would block any of Reid’s potential maneuvers and put a shutdown within reach.

In a statement, the Senate GOP troika praised Boehner for offering the House bill, but they noted that Reid would strip out the Obamacare language. In short, it’s a signal they don’t have the votes — or wherewithal — to sustain a filibuster. Their statement urged House Republicans to “stand firm, hold their ground and continue to listen to the American people.”

(Also on POLITICO: Senate GOP mum on House CR plan)

But House Republicans saw the statement as a sign their Senate colleagues were waving the white flag on getting rid of Obamacare.

“We trust Republicans in the Senate will put up a fight worthy of the challenge that Obamacare poses,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement.

There are unpredictable elements for House Republicans, as well. The most worrisome involves defense funding. If Reid needs to increase money for the Pentagon to earn the votes of hawkish senators like John McCain, passing a funding bill will become a lot trickier in the House.

House GOP aides expect between 150 and 180 Republicans to eventually support a CR that comes back from the Senate — just enough support to keep Boehner out of hot water.

(Also on POLITICO: House GOP CR to fund — and defund)

The nation will be perilously close to a government shutdown, and Boehner and his leadership team — bolstered by a raft of polling — will make the case that a shutdown will cost Republicans their House majority.
Credit to Politico

Striking Nation: Anarchists, riot police clash outside Athens

Government shutdown dangerously close......

Putin Urges Russian Weaponry Makers to Keep Up With Demands

Russian President Vladimir Putin

IZHEVSK, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his country’s arms manufacturers on Wednesday to produce weapons that are superior to those of possible adversaries.

“Our past successes are no reason to sit back and relax,” he said during a visit to the Kalashnikov gun maker. “We must constantly strive to stay on top of current demands.”

He added that many of Russia’s legendary weapons were “no longer able to make the grade.”

He urged the Defense Ministry and weapons makers to redouble their efforts to develop new models of arms and military equipment, especially precision weaponry and fire-control systems.

Putin’s remarks came soon after a senior Defense Ministry official said Russia’s defense industry technology was largely outdated, lagging decades behind competitors.

Lt. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko said earlier in September that many defense firms were still not ready for mass production of high-tech weapons systems and many military technologies were still at 1980s levels.

There has been a disturbing decline in the quality of weapon production, he said, adding that this was mainly due to obsolete equipment and an extremely low pace of modernization.

The Russian government has reportedly allocated 20 trillion rubles ($640 billion) for the comprehensive rearmament of the country’s Armed Forces. The measure is expected to make the share of modern weaponry rise to 30 percent by 2015, and exceed 70 percent by 2020.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday that Russia would spend $650 billion for the rearmament and modernization of its armed forces through 2020.

Credit to RIA Novosti