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Saturday, April 12, 2014

US Has Serious Challenges To Continue To Be Leading Economic Power And To Maintain Dollar As Reserve Currency.

Death By a Thousand Cuts — US Credibility and Dollar

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 07:46 AM
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Each day we wake up and see the credibility of the United States being eroded further and further. Each day the United States is snubbed by the rising powers of the world and all we seem to do is stand by and watch the world thumb their noses at us.

We have Russia, which is waving the aggressor flag at us with impunity. While the annexation of Crimea was a foregone conclusion in my mind, I was fearful of it being only the first step in the resurgence of the old Soviet-era power grab.

It now seems that my worst fears are coming true. As predicted, Russia is manifesting chaos within Ukraine before it takes it over under the guise of rescuing the Russian minority/majority populace. The sanctions by the United States and European Union seem to have no consequence. The warnings by NATO also seem to have no effect so far.

Will there be all out war? Will Russia take over Ukraine? Will Moldova or Belarus be next? While I do not know the answers, what I do know is that this is not boding well for the United States as a super power who appears helpless to stem the tide.

Next we have the constant battle (below the surface though) with China. I have mentioned to you several times that China wants to knock off the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency mantle. It has signed dozens of bilateral agreements with small and large countries to trade with them in local currency. So many trades China conducts that are priced in U.S. dollars worldwide are now being transacted in non-U.S. dollar terms. For example copper, coal, zinc and other commodities that are quoted in U.S. dollars worldwide are being traded in Australian dollars or renminbi when China buys from Australia.

The ultimate threat to the U.S. dollar is now at our doorstep. It is now rumored that China is negotiating a similar bilateral trade agreement with Saudi Arabia. When that agreement is signed (mind you I am saying not IF but WHEN), we can start counting on the end of the dollar, as oil will start getting priced in renminbi by the largest buyer and seller of crude oil.

So what is the root cause of the United States being ineffective in exerting its influence?

In my view, the result of ignoring the rising tidal wave of debt is the primary cause of this degradation of U.S. reputation around the world. The madness of printing unlimited money and debasing our own currency has begun to take its toll. While the world watched anxiously for the signs of inflation to appear, the manifestation of this wanton debt increase has appeared in geopolitical terms at the onset. We may see economic turmoil still, but the first casualty of the increase in debt has started already.

It is only a matter of time before we see the shockwaves ripple through the financial markets. We will see the U.S. stock markets decline. We are already seeing the S&P 500, Nasdaq and NYSE all in the red for the year. We have also seen gold rise a little bit here. This is only the beginning.

I am certain that the most lucrative trade of the year will be short U.S. stocks and commodities (gold, silver, platinum and palladium).
© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

Solar Farm Is The Reason For BLM StandOff.

BLM Cover-up Exposed! They Want Bundy’s Ranch to Build a Solar Farm

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is working overtime to hide documents that reveal the real reason why they want Cliven Bundy’s cattle off the land in Gold Butte, Nevada.
In fact, federal employees have already deleted many of the damning documents from the BLM.gove website. Thankfully, the text of those documents and source links have been saved and republished on Free Republic.
Kit Daniels provides some of the most relevant information:
Deleted from but reposted for posterity by the Free Republic, the BLM document entitled “Cattle Trespass Impacts” directly states that Bundy’s cattle “impacts” solar development, more specifically the construction of “utility-scale solar power generation facilities” on “public lands.”
Solar Farm in the Desert
Forget the desert tortoises! It appears the BLM wants Cliven Bundy’s land to build a solar farm.
“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,” the document states.
Another BLM report entitled Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (BLM Technical Note 444) reveals that Bundy’s land in question is within the “Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and surrounding area” which is part of a broad U.S. Department of Energy program for “Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States” on land “managed” by BLM.
Previously, I had reported that corporate interests may have been working with the government to get access to the minerals under Bundy’s ranch. This may still be true, as former land broker Rusty Hill first speculated.
But it seems the real reason is tied up in plans for a massive solar farm to be built on the land surrounding Cliven Bundy’s ranch… the same land where Bundy’s cattle have been freely grazing for decades.
It is of interest then that the newly appointed Director of the BLM is Neil Kornze, a former senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Both Kornze and Reid are Nevadans.

Patroits Win--Govenment Backs Down. Cattle Can Still Graze!

Rancher Prevails in 'New Ruby Ridge' Battle as Feds Back Down

Image: Rancher Prevails in 'New Ruby Ridge' Battle as Feds Back DownRancher Cliven Bundy speaks after the Bureau of Land Management announced it was ceasing its roundup of Bundy's cattle. (Landov)
Saturday, 12 Apr 2014 01:52 PM
By Drew MacKenzie
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The Bureau of Land Management said Saturday it will stop the roundup of cattle owned by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

The BLM says the animals have been illegally grazing on public lands for 20 years.

The BLM announcement came a after rangers started gathering the animals from land near Gold Butte, Nev.

The agency says it is concerned about the safety of its employees and the public.

Earlier this week, BLM officers and supporters of the Bundy family were involved in a scuffle. Cliven Bundy's son, Ammon Bundy, was shot with a stun gun twice by federal agents. Another woman said she was thrown to the ground by an officer.

With Bundy supporters pouring in from around the country, safety concerns began to grow.

BLM said it would not enforce a court order to remove the cattle and was pulling out of the area.

"Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public," BLM Director Neil Kornze said, reports ABC News.

"We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner," he said.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie brokered a deal to end the roundup, reports CBS News Las Vegas.

Tea party groups and Libertarians had joined in the widening battle in recent days.

Elected officials in states ranging from Arizona to Washington were rushing to Nevada on Thursday night after watching a startling video of an angry clash between protesters, including private militias, and U.S. Bureau of Land Management rangers, according to theLas Vegas Review-Journal.

The 10-minute video showed Bundy's son Ammon being tasered and Cliven's sister Margaret Bundy-Houston, a cancer survivor, being tackled to the ground by a ranger.

"Watching that video last night created a visceral reaction in me," said Arizona Rep. Kelly Townsend, a tea party Republican who drove from Phoenix to take part in a protest rally in Bunkerville near Bundy's 160-acre ranch. "It sounds dramatic, but it reminded me of Tiananmen Square. I don't recognize my country at this point."

Story continues below video.

Townsend is associated with a patriot group known as the Oath Keepers, which advocates that its members, mostly current and former U.S. military personnel and law enforcement officials, disobey any orders that they are given if they believe they violate the Constitution.

The Arizona lawmaker told the Review-Journal that Bundy "may be in the wrong as far as the law is concerned," but the manner in which the roundup is being handled is "un-American."

The video showed law enforcement officers holding yellow tasers and barking dogs as BLM trucks involved in rounding-up Bundy's cattle attempted to drive through State Route 170 into Bunkerville

Nevada Republican Assemblywoman Michele Fiore called the footage "horrifying," and said that she had been twice to the protest site in a show of support, as well as to "protect our Nevadans and keep the peace."

Fiore said, "I'm highly offended by the feds coming in as aggressively as they have.
But officials for the BLM have claimed that the high level of security is necessary due to the ongoing violent threats from the Bundy clan and their supporters."

BLM has shut down a 1,200-square-mile area while hired cowboys round up 900 cattle "trespassing on federal land that has been deemed a protected habitat for an endangered desert tortoise.

Although federal authorities claim that Bundy has been illegally allowing his cattle to graze on 600,000 acres of federal property for 20 years, the rancher says the land belongs to the state, and it's been used by his family to graze cattle since the late 1800s.

Bundy has compared the protest to the 1992 standoff at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the 1993 raid on David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, which ended with dozens of deaths.

"Mr. Bundy is breaking the law, and he has been breaking the law for 20 years," said BLM spokeswoman Amy Lueders. "He owes the taxpayers of the United States over $1 million."

BLM rangers had rounded up more than 350 head of Bundy's cattle by Thursday.

The Oath Keepers' Facebook page instructed members planning to join the protest to bring cameras and "film everything but not to wear military camouflage or openly carry rifles," according to the Review-Journal.

"Any rifles people may have with them need to stay in the vehicles," the post said.

Fearing that the showdown could turn into an even more dangerous situation, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval warned, "Although tensions remain high, escalation of current events could have negative, long-lasting consequences that can be avoided."

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Burwell Was Obama Budget Director Whose Budgets Were Voted Down By Significant Majorities Of Democrats! Poor Choice.

Grover Norquist: Sebelius' Replacement Is Unfit for Job

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 03:59 PM
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Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, is resigning her post as secretary of Health and Human Services, but Grover Norquist, founder and president of the conservative advocacy organization Americans for Tax Reform, says Sebelius' potential replacement isn't up to the responsibility of the post.

President Barack Obama announced Friday he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius. But Norquist told John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Friday on Newsmax TV that Burwell isn't fit for the job.

"To bring the Obama budget person in, Obama hasn't put forward a serious budget in years … you wonder what she does with her time because she doesn't write serious, grown-up budgets that even the modern Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, they're not willing to vote for her budget, which had over a trillion dollars in higher taxes. And now she's going to run HHS …" Norquist said.

Story continues below video.

Norquist also lamented the legislative logjam in Congress, which he blamed on a left-wing president and Senate that prevents the passage of meaningful bills.

"Conservatives are understandably frustrated that you cannot pass conservative legislation through the Senate or get it signed by the presidency. To be angry at [House Speaker John] Boehner and the House Republicans, who just passed the most radical, fundamental, limited government budget in the history of the United States, given where we are today — our problem's not the House.

"Our problem is a left-wing Senate and a left-wing president, and to lose focus on what we need to change is self-destructive and silly. We need a different president, a different Senate," Norquist said.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

ObamaCrapCare Being Oversold By Administration. Who Believes Anything They Tell You. Remember, If You Like Your Doctor....

Cruz: Obama's 'Final Score' Praise to Sebelius Was 'Smug,' Political

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 07:02 PM
By Cathy Burke
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Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday ripped into President Barack Obama's "smug" boast that 7.5 million signups for Affordable Care Act coverage indicated a "final score" of success.

In an interview with Fox News, the Texas Republican said the president was willfully ignoring the myriad problems with Obamacare.

Story continues below video.

"He's trying to sweep all of those problems under the rug," Cruz charged.

But Obama's comments praising outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were particularly irksome, Cruz said.

In a White House Rose Garden speech, the president said his administration "lost" the first quarter of the six-month open enrollment period for Obamacare because of the problems.

But, he added, "Under Kathleen's leadership, her team at HHS turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done, and the final score speaks for itself. There are 7.5 million people across the country that have the security of health insurance, most of them for the very first time, and that's because of the woman standing here beside me."

Cruz said those numbers don't account for the millions who are left out in the cold.

"You know, I thought the most revealing statement that the president made was the smug statement about the … 'final score,'" Cruz told Fox News. "He has viewed Obamacare from day one as just a political battle.

"This is not a political battle," Cruz raged. "Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, have been forced into part-time work and lost their health insurance and lost their doctor or are seeing their premiums skyrocket. Every time I travel home to Texas, I see men and women who are scared and [have] lost their health insurance."

Cruz said the real reason Sebelius resigned is "because Senate Democrats are scared."

"They're running scared because every one of them in their races across the country, they're underwater," he said. "They're losing because Obamacare has hurt so many millions of people, and I think it was Senate Democrats who demanded Kathleen Sebelius' head, and I think that's exactly what we saw what happen [Thursday]."

Cruz said he would use the confirmation hearing of the next HHS secretary to call for the repeal of Obamacare. "I think [nominee Sylvia] Burwell presents an ideal opportunity to examine the failures that are Obamacare. And four years ago, reasonable minds could have differed over whether this thing might work.

"Today, seeing the disaster, seeing the train wreck that is Obamacare, in my view, it is the essence of pragmatism to acknowledge this thing isn't working. We need to start over, repeal every word of it. Start over."

Cruz said the confirmation hearings on Burwell will be not only "time for the Senate to assess [her] qualifications" but "to examine the failures of Obamacare."

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Southern Border Is Porous. US Government Ignores Problem. Is there a Reason?

Arizona Sheriffs Rip DHS for Not Giving Info on Released Illegals

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 08:46 PM
By Todd Beamon
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Arizona's top two sheriffs told Newsmax that they are fighting an uphill battle against illegal immigration in their state because the federal government has still not provided information about the illegals they released from local jails last year due to budget cuts.

"They released 2,000-plus criminals who were on their way to deportation," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in an interview. "These are the same people that even President Obama said needed to be deported out of the country.

"We have illegals who we are arresting every day," Babeu added. "We don't know if these are the same people. They won't give us the names."

"We turn them over to ICE, and they keep coming back to jail," said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Either they're letting them out the back door — or they're deporting them, and they keep coming back. There's a problem with this."

In February 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — which manages ICE — released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants from jails in Arizona, California, Georgia, and Texas just days before federal budget cuts were to take effect through sequestration on March 1.

The effort was halted in those states after Arizona officials — including Gov. Jan Brewer, GOP Sen. John McCain, and the sheriffs — expressed outrage over the release of criminals into the general population.

The illegal immigrants had their cases reviewed by ICE before they were released, spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told Newsmax at the time, and they were classified as low-security threats.

They also were placed on supervised release, under which they must abide by a strict reporting schedule that could include attending appointments at regional ICE offices and telephone and electronic monitoring, Christensen said.

The sheriffs' concerns were heightened by news reports on Friday that thousands of illegal immigrants are crossing the Rio Grande into South Texas every month in anticipation of comprehensive immigration reform.

U.S. Border Patrol agents told The New York Times that 90,700 illegal immigrants were arrested in the Rio Grande Valley in the past six months, up 69 percent over last year. The agency said it could not estimate how many crossed over successfully and dispersed throughout the United States.

The number of illegal immigrants crossing into South Texas has suddenly soared this year after six years of relatively deep declines across the southwest region, the Times reports.

The Center for Immigration Studies reported last month that ICE seized and released 68,000 illegal immigrants last year with criminal records, according to a review of agency information.

Agents questioned 722,000 potentially deportable immigrants in 2013, but filed immigration charges against only 195,000 of them.

Immigration officials then eventually freed 35 percent, or 68,000, of the illegal immigrants with criminal histories into the U.S. general population when they could have been deported, according to the review.

In their Newsmax interviews, Babeu and Arpaio said that — more than a year after the illegal immigrants were released from local jails and ICE detention operations in Arizona — they still do not have any critical information about who was released, including data on their criminal histories.

Perhaps the only thing the sheriffs know are numbers. Babeu told Newsmax that as many as 300 illegal immigrants had been released into Pinal County last February — and Arpaio said he conducted his own survey of his jail's 1,300 inmates in recent weeks.

In total, 2,226 illegal immigrants were released in February 2013 — and 622 had criminal records, according to information provided after McCain and Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan wrote the agency in light of news reports.

Thirty-two of those with records were convicted of multiple felonies, and 24 were again arrested by Border Patrol agents and detained by ICE, the senators said.

McCain and Levin included the specifics in a request for more information sent last month to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who succeeded Janet Napolitano in December.

"We write today to seek additional information on last year’s detainee release and inquire whether ICE or the Department of Homeland Security … has taken any actions to ensure accountability for what occurred," they said in their March 13 letter.

The senators also noted recent news reports that disclosed that discrepancies had existed in information DHS gave to them and Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which also is investigating the releases.

In a recent interview, Christensen confirmed the 2,226 figure to Newsmax.

"The individuals released in February 2013 continue to be monitored individually by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations deportation officers to determine the appropriate level of supervised release for each specific case," she said in a statement.

This is "standard ERO procedure for any detainee released from custody," Christensen said.

She added that information on the criminal backgrounds of the released illegal immigrants was "not readily available, as it would require pulling 2,200-plus individual case files to collate information specific to those releases."

Of the McCain-Levin letter, "ICE will respond to the senators' letter directly," Christensen said. The senators sought a response by April 3.

Queries to McCain's office by Newsmax on Friday were not answered. McCain is the ranking Republican on the Senate Investigations Subcommittee. Levin is the panel’s chairman.

Queries to McCain's office by Newsmax on Friday were not answered.

Meanwhile, the dearth of federal information makes battling illegal immigration in Arizona a lot tougher, Babeu and Arpaio told Newsmax. Whatever the sheriffs now know about any illegal immigrants who may have been released last year comes from background checks after they’ve been arrested again.

"When anyone's released from jail, there's always a concern about recidivism," Babeu said. "If there's not some kind of a planned release that will support the prisoner … the recidivism rate is off the charts.

"These are people who aren't from the United States of America," he added. "They're simply released to the street, and they have nowhere to go.

"They said it was a supervised release, but the likelihood of them checking in is next to none," Babeu said.

Arpaio — the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America" — said that of the 1,300 illegal immigrants he counted in his jail, 400 had been previously deported and re-arrested for other crimes — including murder. "Some have come back 18 times, eight times, 10 times," he said.

"You've got all these guys walking out on the streets, but we don't have a record of why they're on the street. Where are these people? We don't know where they're at.

"I can't figure out why these guys keep coming back to jail charged with other crimes all the time," Arpaio said. "I can't figure it out."

Babeu cited, for instance, the recent arrest of a 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico with three others who had "just dropped off a drug load. The guy said he had been deported 14 times" — which ICE confirmed in a background check.

Two days later, another Mexican, 25, was arrested with a fake driver's license and a .40-caliber revolver, the sheriff said. He was deported in 2012 for transporting drugs and illegally carrying a handgun.

"We're running into these people all the time," Babeu said. "It stands to reason that if somebody can break into the country 15 times, at will … what about people from countries of interest or terrorist organizations?

"This is what is so insane about this whole discussion of immigration reform," he added.

"They say: 'Look the other way. There is no problem at the border. The border is more secure than ever' — and it is a complete lie."

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