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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mega Financial Collapse Can't and Won't Be Stopped

An Executive Order Has Added $10.2 Billion in Costs to Economy

An executive order issued by President Barack Obama that was designed to “cut red tape” has added $10.2 billion in regulatory costs to the economy, according to a new report.

Tuesday was the third anniversary of Executive Order 13563, prompting the American Action Forum to examine the effects of the order. It was intended to reduce “redundant, inconsistent, or overlapping” regulations.

The order was hailed as “unprecedented” by the president and former Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) administrator Cass Sunstein. However, Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at American Action Forum, found that the action was hardly unique and has had the opposite effect of its intended purpose.“Has Washington actually cut red tape? On net, final rules from Order 13563 have addedmore than $10.2 billion in costs, mostly from new regulations labeled as ‘retrospective,’” Batkins said. “Final rules have cut 7.9 million hours of paperwork, but Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act have easily outpaced those deregulatory gains.”

The “deregulatory measures” resulting from the executive order actually add over $10 billion in costs to the economy. For example, a final rule imposing energy standards for transformers carries a $5.22 billion cost to comply and 58,320 hours of paperwork.

Taken with the proposed regulations under the executive order, the total burden to the economy would reach $13.7 billion.

President Obama promised that the order would reduce paperwork in a January 2011Wall Street Journal editorial.

“We’re also getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money,” he wrote. “We’re looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent, and redundant regulation.”

The order has added 1.5 billion hours of paperwork to comply with its regulations. “As for the aggregate level of red tape, in fiscal year 2010, the federal government imposed 8.8 billion hours of paperwork,” the report said. “Today, that figure is 10.3 billion hours, a 17 percent increase, despite this ‘unprecedented reform.’”

“It would take more than 750,000 employees working full-time to complete the new annual paperwork added since 2010,” Batkins said.

Credit to The Washington Free Beacon

Ukraine police brutally beating protesters

America’s Dying Economic Freedom

By Arnold Ahlert

For the first time in the 20 years the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journalhave complied their annual “Index of Economic Freedom,” the United States no longer occupies a spot among the top ten nations.

After seven straight years of decline, America comes in at number 12, just behind Estonia. Sadly, America’s decline is occurring even as the level of economic freedom throughout the 186 countries analyzed by the Index has reached record highs.

The Index analyzes four different categories in order to determine a country’s ranking. They are the rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency and open markets. The subheadings under those general headings reveal much of the reason the United States continues to decline.

Under the “Rule Of Law” heading, America has improved with regard to freedom from corruption, but property rights have declined. Heritage explains that the increasing use of government regulatory agencies to manage economic activity has led to increased perceptions of cronyism and corruption. And while they contend the judiciary functions independently and predictably, there has been an “uneven” protection of property rights that fosters charges of favoritism.

Under the “Limited Government” heading, Heritage reveals that spending has increased even as fiscal freedom has declined. The contributing factors are the increase in the personal income tax rate to 39.6 percent, and a corporate tax rate of 35 percent (the world’s highest). Far more ominous, America’s overall tax burden is 25.1 percent of gross domestic income, government expenditures total 40 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, and total public debt is “over 100 percent of the size of the economy.”

In terms of “Regulatory Efficiency,” labor and monetary freedoms have increased, while business freedom has declined. Heritage reveals that incorporating a business takes an average of five days, but 130 regulations imposed since 2009 have increased the overall burden of compliance by $60 billion. And while labor markets remain “flexible,” there has been an increase in “price distortions” caused by Quantitative Easing, as well as subsidies for agriculture, welfare and healthcare programs.

Under the category of “Open Markets,” trade freedom has increased, while the ratings for financial and investment freedom remain unchanged. Heritage attributes those conditions to relatively new “non tariff barriers” such as restrictions on the importation of tomatoes from Mexico, the capping of foreign investment in media and airlines, and the partial imposition of the Dodd—Frank financial regulation bill. They also note that a “backlog” of ongoing rulemaking” has led to “prolonged business uncertainty” that inhibits economic growth.

“It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground,” writes Terry Miller, one of the study’s directors, in the Wall Street Journal. “Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.”

Miller further notes the irony behind the reality that the level of freedom has increased for 114 nations over the last year, including 43 that have now reached their highest economic freedom ranking since the Index was started, even as the United States languishes. Those nations are embracing the same policies “that made the U.S. economy the most powerful in the world,” he explains. Furthermore, he considers it “inexcusable” that we continue to pursue policies antithetical to the nation’s growth, even as we wield our influence “to encourage other countries to chart the same disastrous course.” He concludes that America needs “a drastic change in direction.”

Barring a miracle, that’s not about to happen. The Obama administration remains mired in the populist politics of wealth redistribution and income inequality.

Yet beneath that populist facade, reality bites. Despite Obama’s lamentations about “fairness,” the gap in employment rates between the nations highest- and lowest-income families is the widest it’s been since the Great Depression. Those on the bottom end of the scale, as in families earning less than $20,000, are enduring an unemployment rate of 21 percent. Those at the top end, with household earnings of more than $150,000 a year have an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent. All of this has occurred during the five years Obama has made at least 21 promises to pivot towards economic growth.

Unfortunately, the unemployment rate only paints half the picture. As a disturbing studyby Emmanuel Saez, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley reveals, there has indeed been wealth redistribution during the Obama years—upward. From 2009 through 2010, the the top 1 percent of U.S. earners garnered 93 percent of all income growth in the nation. By comparison, from 2002-2007 the top 1 percent of earners garnered only 65 percent. Four years after the study, Wall Street remains close to record highs, even as 92 million Americans have stopped looking for work.
Obamanomics ever-expanding government

In 2010, Timothy P. Carney, author of “Obamanomics,” explained why the ever-expanding government favored by the American left is inimical to the interests of the nation as a whole. “Every time government gets bigger somebody is getting rich,” he noted. He further explained that the increasing influence of lobbyists is only possible as government worms its way into more and more aspects of American life, and increasing regulation favors big business because they are better able to absorb the costs, even as those costs crush their smaller, would-be competitors.

In other words, the more government grows, the more economic freedom diminishes. Dr. Kim R. Holmes, a founding editor of the Index affirms this reality. Commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the undertaking, he reveals his key finding: “More than any other political or policy approach, economic freedom generates more opportunities and greater well-being for more people.” And Holmes defines economic freedom as a combination of free markets, limited government and rules-based capitalism.

As Miller counters, the least economically free nations also have similar defining characteristics. “All are governed by crony-populist regimes pushing policies that have made property rights less secure, spending unsustainable and inflation evermore threatening,” he writes.
Obama administration. Crony-populism

Examples of these dubious qualities are not particularly hard to find within the Obama administration. Crony-populism, for example, might describe giving $535 million ingovernment loans to a fiscally unstable company like Solyndra, in pursuit of a populist “green” agenda favored by radical environmentalists. Private property rights are being threatened right now, as the Obama administration pursues a massive expansion of the EPA’s Clean Water Act authority. That expansion would give the EPA control over any body of water that has any effect on downstream “navigable waters,” and the Obama administration’s unprecedented control over private property. With regard to unsustainable spending, four years of trillion dollar-plus deficits, and a $17 trillion national debt are self explanatory. 

As for inflation, the QE policies pursued by the Federal Reserve will eventually debase the currency to the point where massive inflation may be unavoidable. That same QE policy has enriched Wall Street investors, while its counterpart, the Fed’s Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP), has killed any possibility of Main Street Americans getting decent return on their savings.

All of these interventionist factors have taken their toll. In 2010, for the first time since the Index began keeping track of economic freedom, our nation fell below the cutoff number of 80 on a scale of 1-100. A score of 80 or above separates the “free” economic nations from the “mostly free.” Our score at that time was 78.0, and we have declined steadily ever since.

Now it is 75.5. What it will be by the end of the Obama administration’s second term is impossible to say. But as long as this administration continues to pursue policies aimedat “fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” there is little doubt which direction the nation will be headed for the next three years.

Credit to Canada Free Press

India & Japan Strengthening Ties

It is useful to remember that way back in 2006 U.S. President George Bush and Shinzo Abe, then in his first term as Japanese prime minister, each in their own way achieved far-reaching changes in their respective ties with India. While George Bush helped end the nuclear apartheid against India, Abe unambiguously declared (in 2007) that “a strong India is in the best interest of Japan and a strong Japan is in the best interest of India.”
Since then, after the initial euphoria, India-U.S. ties have plummeted perhaps to their lowest level in the past two decades, not least because of the recent Khobragade affair. The relationship between India and Japan, on the other hand, has found new momentum in the past couple of years. It is no surprise to find that Shinzo Abe is at the helm in Tokyo again.
Abe’s visit to New Delhi as Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day Parade on January 26 will in fact cap a series of high-level visits by Japanese leaders over the past few months. This included the historic visit of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to India in December 2013. They were returning to the country 53 years after their 1960 trip as the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan. Their symbolic visit apart, the fact is that during the last five years, bilateral trade has increased 80 per cent; currently it is at 18 billion dollars. Although this is nowhere near the India-China bilateral trade figure, which is now inching towards 100 billion dollars, Japan and India have set a goal of $25 billion this year. 
It must also be remembered that in recent decades, Japan has quietly extended financial and technical support to several  infrastructure projects in India, helping to build metro railway systems and industrial corridors, dedicated freight corridors, highways, bridges and power plants.
Now the two countries are finding new avenues of cooperation. Last week Japan’s Defense Minister Itsonuri Onodera spent four days in India exploring and finalizing various ways to take the fledgling defense cooperation between New Delhi and Tokyo to the next level. Onodera and his Indian Defence Minister AK Antony said at the end of their meeting in New Delhi that India and Japan will “further consolidate and strengthen their strategic and global partnership in the defense arena through measures ranging from regular joint combat exercises and military exchanges to cooperation in anti-piracy, maritime security and counter-terrorism.”
As a first follow up India and Japan will hold their third “2 plus 2″ Dialogue and fourth Defense Policy Dialogue in New Delhi later this year, along with the third bilateral exercise between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Indian Navy to be held in Japanese waters. Two plus two is a dialogue involving both foreign and defense ministry officials. On January 14, a small exercise involving Coast Guard ships from India and Japan was in fact held in the Arabian Sea.
Joint exercises apart, India and Japan are expanding their defense ties in other ways. For instance, the two sides will also conduct “expert exchanges” in counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief between the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defense Force. The possibility of conducting staff talks between Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Indian Air Force as well as professional exchanges of test-pilots, flight safety experts and others is also in the offing.
Unstated in the future road map is the aim to achieve convergence in security matters to counter an increasingly belligerent China bent on asserting itself in long-standing issues with not just India and Japan but with other smaller nations in Asia as well. New Delhi, inherently leery of becoming part of any alliance or bloc, is hoping to create enough synergy with Tokyo and other ASEAN nations to deter China. The rising profile of the Indo-Japanese relationship is certainly an outcome of the collective unease in Asia over what many think is China’s rambunctious behavior.
With tensions exacerbating in the South China Sea and East China Sea, it is natural that all those affected by a rising China would strive to build a “strategic deterrence” against the rapidly expanding PLA Navy. Further efforts to stitch together pan-Asia security architecture to keep China in check may be in the offing given that the U.S. has showed a reluctance to take China on directly, despite its much-discussed pivot or rebalance to Asia. The recent standoff over China’s decision to unilaterally enforce an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, including the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, appeared to show the limits of U.S. intervention.
In fact, Asian nations may be better off finding their own solutions to the regional disputes. Individually they may not be able to stand up to China’s bullying but together there is a chance to keep China in check. India and Japan, along with South Korea, may have to take the lead in this respect. Nothing rattles China more than other nations “ganging up” on it. It is worth recalling what happened during Exercise Malabar, 2007. Normally a bilateral naval exercise between India and U.S., that year, for the first and last time, it also involved the Singaporean, Australian and Japanese navies. Beijing, sensing an anti-China naval platform in the making, promptly issued a demarche to all five participants. Since then, Exercise Malabar has reverted to being a bilateral venture.
Those days of humoring China may now be over, at least judging by the way Abe has beenreshaping Japan’s foreign and defense policies in recent months. A new document, prepared by a group of experts that Abe had appointed, has suggested Japan “strengthen its own capabilities and expand its own roles” by bolstering its antimissile defenses and its ability to defend the freedom of navigation in its surrounding seas, a reference to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute with China. As Japan beefs up its defenses against China, both New Delhi and Tokyo seem to have decided to reenergize their relationship to ensure a strategic balance in Asia. India inviting Abe as Chief Guest for the Republic Day Parade – an honor normally reserved for its closest allies – is a clear signal that Asia’s two biggest democracies may be ready to work together in containing if not confronting China in the years to come.
Credit to Zero Hedge

China Makes Another Move Which Threatens The US Dollar

The Muslim Waqf's All-New Holy Temple Denial Pamphlet

Muslim Waqf Holy Temple Denial

The Muslim Waqf, in whose able hands the government of Israel has placed the practical management of the Temple Mount, has this week begun distributing on the Mount a printed pamphlet entitled "Al Aqsa Mosque: Clarifications for Misconceptions," whose contents offer up a complete and utter denial that the Holy Temple ever existed on the site of the Temple Mount. The booklet contains the following headings:

"Dome of the Rock and NOT the Holy of Holies"

"Ribat Al-Kurd and NOT the Little Wailing Wall"

"Marwani Prayer hall and NOT Solomon's Stables"

"Al Buraq Wall and NOT the Wailing Wall"

"Al Aqsa Mosque and NOT the Temple"

This, of course, is a complete reversal of the Wakf pamphlet "A Brief Guide to Al Haram Al Sharif" which was published before the establishment of the State of Israel, in which it is stated emphatically that the site of the Temple Mount is "universally recognized" as the location of the Holy Temple and that its identity with location of Solomon's Temple is "beyond dispute." The material presented in "Al Aqsa Mosque: Clarifications for Misconceptions" is simply astounding by virtue of the utterly ludicrous, Kafkaesque lies that are stated within.

Why is the Waqf doing this now? Is it because they are terrified by the great increase in Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, and by the successful media campaign that the Temple Institute has waged in the international media, clearly demonstrating the centrality of the location and its importance to the Jewish people? In other words, we are winning, and they are running scared, trying even harder than ever to undermine Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. This is a testimony to the progress the Temple movement is making in spreading Holy Temple consciousness and reviving the love felt by every Jew for the Holy Temple.

Credit to The Temple institute

Muslim Waqf Holy Temple Denial
Muslim Waqf Holy Temple Denial

Iran Sends Warships to Atlantic Ocean

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Navy dispatched its first fleet of warships to the
Atlantic Ocean in a ceremony participated by Navy Commander Rear Admiral
Habibollah Sayyari and his deputy Rear Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi in
Southern Iran on Tuesday.

The flotilla, which is the first dispatched to the Atlantic, but the 29th
one dispatched to the international waters, consists of Khark logistic and
helicopter-carrier warship and Sabalan destroyer. The warships should sail
25,000 nautical kilometers in the next three months.

Addressing Iranian commanders, Navy personnel, sailors and crews in a
ceremony to bid farewell to the flotilla, Admiral Moussavi said Iran has a
message of peace and friendship for the world states and seeks to show its
defensive power to the world by sending its fleets of warships to the
international waters.

In December another senior Iranian commander announced the country’s plans
to deploy warships in the Atlantic Ocean.

“The previous flotillas of warships were sent to the Mediterranean Sea and
passed the Suez Channel and even sailed through the Pacific Ocean and the
China Sea,” Commander of the Navy’s Fourth Naval Zone Admiral Afshin Rezayee
told FNA last month.

“Now we intend to enter the Atlantic Ocean and this will be materialized
after dispatch of the next flotillas of warships,” he added.

In relevant remarks in November, Sayyari said that Iran plans to dispatch
its next flotilla of warships to the high seas in early 2014 to protect the
country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirate attacks.

“The Navy’s next flotilla will be dispatched to either the Pacific Ocean or
the Atlantic on January 21-Feb 20,” he said.

He underlined that the Navy’s flotilla will pass through the Mediterranean
Sea to reach the Atlantic Ocean.

Credit to Independent Media IMRA

Actual unemployment is 37.2%, 'misery index' worst in 40 years

Don't believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.

In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.

Marotta, who recently advised those worried about an imploding economy to get a gun, said that the government isn't being honest in how it calculates those out of the workforce or inflation, the two numbers used to get the Misery Index figure.

“The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work,” he said. That leaves out a ton more.

“Unemployment in its truest definition, meaning the portion of people who do not have any job, is 37.2 percent. This number obviously includes some people who are not or never plan to seek employment. But it does describe how many people are not able to, do not want to or cannot find a way to work. Policies that remove the barriers to employment, thus decreasing this number, are obviously beneficial,” he and colleague Megan Russell in their new investors note from their offices in Charlottesville, Va.

They added that “officially-reported unemployment numbers decrease when enough time passes to discourage the unemployed from looking for work. A decrease is not necessarily beneficial; an increase is clearly detrimental.”

Then there is the Misery Index, which is a calculation based in inflation and unemployment, both numbers the duo say are underscored by the government. He said that the Index doesn’t properly calculate how Uncle Sam is propping up the economy with bond purchases and other actions.

“These tricks, along with a host of other dubious accounting schemes, underreport inflation by about 3 percent,” they wrote, adding that the official inflation rate is just 1.24 percent.

“Today, the Misery Index would be 7.54 using official numbers,” they wrote. But if calculations tabulating the full national unemployment including discouraged workers, which is 10.2 percent, and the historical method of calculating inflation, which is now 4.5 percent, ‘the current misery index is closer to 14.7, worse even than during the Ford administration.”

Credit to The Washington Examiner

2,900 flights cancelled as winter storm Janus sends country into another polar plunge

Thousands of flights were canceled, students got an extra day off from school or were being sent home early, and the federal government closed its offices in the Washington area on Tuesday as another winter storm bore down on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The National Weather Service said winter storm Janus could bring 10 to 14 inches of snow to Philadelphia and southern New England and up to a foot in New York City, followed by bitter cold.

An arctic air mass will plunge the eastern half of the United States into a deep freeze, with wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero, the weather service said.

About 2,900 flights were canceled and thousands more delayed today, with airports from Washington to Boston affected. An additional 450 flights for Wednesday were already canceled.

Scroll down for videos

Sheriff's deputies cover the scene after a car slid off the road and into a ditch today in Henderson, Kentucky

Students are dismissed from Bunker Hill Elementary School as snow begins to fall in Middletown, Delaware

A pedestrian walks through a snow storm on Tuesday in south Philadelphia

Felix Santos clears snow from a sidewalk in the Humboldt Park neighborhood today in Chicago, Illinois. A weather system moved through the area overnight dumping from 6 to 12 inches of lake-effect snow on the windy city

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2543074/Flight-cancellations-mount-polar-plunge-set-freeze-Midwest-Northeast-DC-prepares-worst-snowstorm-three-years.html#ixzz2r4bDQLtF