Russian Ruble Collapses

Russian Currency Collapses – Conservative Daily News

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The Russian Ruble has taken a turn for the worst as an overnight move by the Russian central bank increased mistrust of the entity and the buying power of the Russian currency. America may feel the pinch before long.

At 1:00am in Moscow, the Russian Central Bank increased interest rates from 10.5% to 17% – a 650 basis point move in moments. That move sent the Ruble into free-fall.

Upon the banking move, the currency went from about $58 dollars per ruble to a low of $79.66 per Ruble.

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The Ruble has been steadily declining in value since late summer due to the crude oil glut and ensuing price decreases engineered by OPEC.

Russia is not a heavy manufacturing or intellectual property production nation. It’s gross domestic product comes almost entirely from commodities – oil and precious metals making up a huge part.

As oil declines, so does the ability of the Russian economy to grow. For each $10 drop in the price of crude, Russia loses approximately .8% of GDP. The price of oil has dropped from a high of about $110 to a current value of about $56 which could equate to an almost 5% loss of GDP.

Adding to headwinds, Vladimir Putin’s incursions into Ukraine have brought on international sanctions that make it nearly impossible for Russian businesses to roll-over their Euro and Dollar-denominated debt which could cause a huge number of defaults over the next 12-18 months.

The effects on the American economy may be soon to follow.

Russian oil drillers earn dollars for the oil exports, but spend locally in the Russian currency. That hedges their production budgets against falling crude prices. Unlike America, where producers earn and pay in the same currency.

Because of the currency move, it could be advantageous for Russia to increase production to enhance revenues and tax receipts. This would increase the supply of cheap oil and push crude prices below $45. American shale oil producers will feel the brunt of cheap oil.

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Raging Douchebag Update: Spineless House RINOs Fully Fund Obama’s Executive Amnesty Scheme

Conservatives Express Anger That Amnesty Not Defunded In Omnibus: ‘The Fix Is In’ – Big Government

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Conservatives who had wanted to see language to block President Obama’s executive actions inserted into the massive, must-pass government funding bill are expressing frustration and anger at House Republican leadership’s lack of an appetite to fight amnesty now.

“The fix is in, which I’ve been saying all along,” Rep. Matt Salmon said after leaving the GOP’s conference meeting Wednesday morning.

Tuesday night the House Appropriations Committee posted its $1.1 trillion spending package. The measure is expected to receive a vote Thursday. If no funding bill is passed by that night, the government would shut down.

“Promises around here – regardless of who they are made by – don’t seem to mean anything,” Salmon told reporters.

He explained that lawmakers’ phones have been “lighting up” with constituents asking them “do what [they] were elected to do.”

The Arizona lawmaker is spearheading an amendment with other conservative lawmakers to attach an amendment to the funding bill that would prohibit funding for Obama’s executive amnesty. His spokesman estimated to Breitbart News that the amendment currently has 55 co-sponsors. The amendment is, however, unlikely to receive a vote.

Leadership’s spending package instead is designed to fund most of the government through September, but only fund the Department of Homeland Security into February, when Republicans will have more reinforcements in the Senate to pursue a fight against Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

“Without a threat of a government shutdown, this sets up a direct challenge to the president’s unilateral actions on immigration when we have new majorities in both chambers of Congress,” House Speaker John Boehner explained to reporters.

Conservative lawmakers Wednesday not only expressed frustration with the short amount of time given to consider the 1,603 page bill and the fact that it does not defund executive amnesty immediately, but they also questioned whether leadership would actually give a full-fledged fight next year.

“What is there to suggest that a few months from now you will oppose the amnesty that you have today funded?” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), also a co-sponsor of the defund amendment, asked.

“My biggest concern is that there are a significant number of Republicans who support amnesty, they just don’t support the way in which the president did it. That is a big distinction,” the Alabama conservative said.

Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), another of the defund amendment’s co-sponsors, told Breitbart News that his constituents have been calling him to support of defunding executive amnesty.

According to Fleming “an avalanche” of calls from constituents could move the needle to get more members to push for defunding amnesty now.

“That’s what it takes. Otherwise I think Republicans are at serious risk of going out there and supporting something the American people do not support,” Fleming said.

He anticipated that many of the co-sponsors of the defund amendment will vote no on the package.

“For every one of us they’re going to have to find one [Democrat],” Fleming said.

Some of the ability to fight Obama on executive amnesty will be lost if House Republicans go along with allowing it to be funded, if only for a short time, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) argues.

“My point is you either defend the Constitution when the president violates it or you lose some of your ability and traction to do so later,” King said. “I think its better to fight now than it is later. So therefore I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, that’s for this Congress and I expect to be standing on the floor January 6th taking another one. I don’t want to have voted to fund the lawless, unconstitutional act by the president and then I could take an oath and mean it.”

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), another defund amendment co-sponsor, said stopping amnesty is “the issue of the day,” saying the executive actions will already be implemented come next year when leadership hopes to have the fight against them.

“That’s probably impossible to undo it in late February. This idea we’re going to take it up next year, it’s too late if you’re going to wait until after the DACA has been implemented,” he argued.

The defund amendment will be presented to the House Rules Committee by another leader in the effort, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), later Wednesday according to Salmon’s spokesman.

While Salmon told reporters he “is sure [Rules] won’t” accept the amendment, he stressed that conservatives still have to try. He added that he still expected the overall funding measure to pass despite the opposition from conservatives frustrated over funding amnesty.

King told Breitbart News that he is not co-sponsoring the Salmon and Mulvaney effort but will instead try to get the House Rules Committee to take up an effort that that goes even further, to target not only Obama’s most recent executive amnesty but also DACA and the Morton Memos.

“Somebody’s got to preserve our constitutional argument and if I don’t bring my amendment there is a concession,” he explained.

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Related video:

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Infernal Revenue Service Paid Out More Than $20B In Erroneous Low-Income Tax Credits

Watchdog Report: IRS Paid Out More Than $20 Billion In Erroneous Low-Income Tax Credits – Big Government

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The Internal Revenue Service paid out $14.5 billion in erroneous Earned Income Tax Credit payments and between $5.9 billion and $7.1 billion in improper Additional Child Tax Credit payments in Fiscal Year 2013, according to a new government watchdog report.

The EITC and ACTC are refundable tax credits intended for lower-income Americans. In Tax Year 2012, the IRS paid out $63 billion in EITCs and $26.6 billion in ACTC payments.

A Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released Tuesday, however, reveals a high risk level for improper payments for both programs.

According to the report, TIGTA estimates that in Fiscal Year 2013, 24 percent or $14.5 billion EITC payments were made in error and between 25.2 percent and 30.5 percent or between $5.9 billion and $7.1 billion ACTC payments were made in error.

The report notes that since FY 2011, the IRS has rated the ACTC risk rate as low. However this most recent report shows that is not the case.

“The IRS has continually rated the risk of improper Additional Child Tax Credit payments as low; however, TIGTA’s assessment of the potential for improper payments in this program indicates that its improper payment rate is similar to that of the Earned Income Tax Credit,” J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, said in a statement in conjunction with the report’s release.

“It is imperative that the IRS take action to identify and address all of its programs that are at high risk for improper payments,” George added.

TIGTA reports that while the IRS has “not developed a strategy to identify the root causes of ACTC improper payments” TIGTA believes the causes to be similar to those they have identified for erroneous EITC payments, which include “authentification and verification” issues.

The watchdog made recommendations aimed at resolving some of the improper payment issues.

“TIGTA recommended that the IRS ensure that the results of the ACTC Improper Payment Risk Assessment accurately reflect the high risk associated with ACTC payments, identify the root causes of the improper ACTC payments, and establish a plan to reduce erroneous payments,” the report reads. “Furthermore, if correctable error authority is granted, the IRS should contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain the complete National Directory of New Hires database.”

It further recommend that the IRS should seek “expanded National Directory of New Hires database authority to systemically verify claims for other income-based refundable credits.”

While the IRS agreed with the recommendations dealing with the explained National Directory of New Hires database, it disagreed with the rest of the body’s recommendations.

“The IRS disagreed with TIGTA’s other recommendations, stating that it follows Departmental and Office of Management and Budget guidance in conducting the Improper Payment Risk Assessment for the ACTC,” TIGTA detailed in a release. “Further, OMB acknowledges that the IRS already conducts an analysis of the Tax Gap that incorporates those credits. Finally, the IRS stated that obtaining the complete NDNH database is not cost effective.”

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Emails Show FDIC Scheming To Target Legal Businesses That Obama Regime Finds Objectionable

These 7 Revealing Emails Show Federal Officials Scheming To Target Legal Businesses – Daily Signal

Senior officials at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation actively sought to crack down on legal businesses that the Obama administration – or the officials themselves – deemed morally objectionable, a new congressional report finds.

Released today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the 20-page investigative report details how the FDIC worked closely with the Justice Department to implement Operation Choke Point, a secretive program that seeks to cut off the financial lifeblood of payday lenders and other industries the administration doesn’t like.

The FDIC is the primary agency responsible for regulating and auditing more than 4,500 U.S. banks.

Emails unearthed by investigators show regulatory officials scheming to influence banks’ decisions on who to do business with by labeling certain industries “reputational risks,” ensuring banks “get the message” about the businesses the regulators don’t like, and pressuring banks to cut credit or close those accounts, effectively driving enterprises out of business.

The House panel’s investigation, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, cites confidential briefing documents that show senior Justice Department officials informing Attorney General Eric Holder that, as a consequence of Operation Choke Point, banks are “exiting” lines of business deemed “high risk’” by regulators.

“It’s appalling that our government is working around the law to vindictively attack businesses they find objectionable,” Issa, chairman of the Oversight Committee, said in a press release. Issa added:

Internal FDIC documents confirm that Operation Choke Point is an extraordinary abuse of government power. In the most egregious cases, federal bureaucrats injected personal moral judgments into the regulatory process. Such practices are totally inconsistent with basic principles of good government, transparency and the rule of law.

For example, email reveals FDIC employees opposing the payday lending industry on “personal grounds” and attempting to use their agency’s supervisory authority to drive the entire industry out of business.

One email from Thomas Dujenski, FDIC’s Atlanta regional director, to Mark Pearce, director of the Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, was particularly concerning to investigators.

In it, Dujenski writes:

I have never said this to you (but I am sincerely passionate about this)… but I literally cannot stand the pay day lending industry… I had extensive involvement with this group of lenders and was instrumental in drafting guidance on stopping abuses.

In another example, a senior official insisted that FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg’s letters to Congress and talking points always mention pornography when discussing payday lenders and other targeted industries, in an effort to convey a “good picture regarding the unsavory nature of the businesses at issue.”

Payday loans are small, short-term loans supposedly made to hold borrowers over until their next payday.

Norbert Michel, research fellow in financial regulations at The Heritage Foundation, said payday lenders, along with some other industries targeted by Choke Point, all have been criticized for taking advantage of the poor or financially strapped by charging exorbitant fees or leaving customers in more debt than they started with.

The Obama administration contends that Operation Choke Point combats unlawful, mass-market consumer fraud. However, an earlier report by the House Oversight Committee found that the Justice Department initiative’s targets included legal businesses such as short-term lenders, firearms and ammunition merchants, coin dealers, tobacco sellers and home-based charities.

Today’s report, investigators said, confirmed that the FDIC originated the controversial list of “high risk” industries that it posted on its website, as previously reported by The Daily Signal.

Critics of the program argue that equating legal industries such as ammunition and lottery sales with explicitly illegal or offensive activities such as pornography and racist materials transforms the FDIC into the moral police.

Apparently, FDIC officials were aware of the “inherent impropriety” of these policies, the report indicates. In another email, David Barr, assistant director of the FDIC’s public affairs office, wrote:

[S]ome of the pushback from the Hill is that it is not up to the FDIC to decide what is moral and immoral, but rather what type of lending is legal.

Read a sample of emails unearthed by investigators here:

Correspondence between “Chief, Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, Div. of Risk Management Supervision,” to the “Deputy Director, Div. of Risk Management Supervision, FDICHOGR00002183,” about the list of targeted “high risk” industries:

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Email from Marguerite Sagatelian, senior counsel, Consumer Enforcement Unit, FDIC to James L. Anderson, assistant general counsel, Consumer Section, Consumer, Enforcement/Employment, Insurance & Legislation Branch, FDIC:

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Email from “Counsel, Legal Division, FDIC,” to Marguerite Sagatelian, senior counsel, Consumer Enforcement Unit, FDIC:

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Email from David Barr, assistant director, Office of Public Affairs, FDIC to Mark Pearce, director, Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, FDIC:

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Emails between Thomas J. Dujenski, regional director, Atlanta, FDIC, and Mark Pearce, director, Division of Consumer Protection, FDIC:

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>>> Read the Entire Report

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Obama’s EPA Paid 8 Employees $1 Million To Do Nothing

Taxpayers Paid 8 EPA Employees $1 Million To Do Nothing – Washington Free Beacon

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kept employees on paid administrative leave for years, costing taxpayers more than $1 million.

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An “Early Warning” report released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Wednesday revealed that eight employees racked up 20,926 hours of paid administrative leave, including some employees who were paid not to work for four years.

The eight employees cost taxpayers $1,096,868 alone. The report is in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis released last month that found government-wide paid administrative leave cost $3.1 billion from 2011 and 2013.

The GAO report detailed that the EPA paid 69 employees to not work for 4,711 days between 2011 and 2013, costing $17,550,100.

The OIG analyzed paid leave for this year, focusing on eight employees who took the most paid leave. Half of the employees were on paid administrative leave for more than a year, including one EPA employee who was paid from May 2010 until September 2014, costing taxpayers $351,300.

The amount of paid leave taken by these employees may be higher, the OIG said, since several were missing timesheets during their period of paid leave.

The OIG report was categorized as addressing the goal of “Embracing EPA as a high-performing organization.”

The EPA allows for paid administrative leave for voting, funerals, donating blood, and bad weather. However, all eight employees were on paid administrative leave for at least four months.

The EPA’s leave manual offers no determination for what is considered an “acceptable amount of administrative leave.”

The OIG pointed out that employees could be placed on long-term paid leave for disciplinary reasons.

“The leave manual also provides that one authorized use of administrative leave is when an employee’s removal or indefinite suspension is proposed, and the employee’s continued presence at the work site during the notice period would constitute a threat to public property or the health and safety of coworkers or the public.”

The EPA has had to deal with employees who have threatened the work environment for their fellow workers before.

The OIG presented its findings to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Oct. 30, and the agency is currently reviewing background information on the employees in question.

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According To The New York Times, Al Sharpton Owes $4.5M In Taxes And Steals From His Charities

New York Times: Al Sharpton Owes $4.5 Million In Taxes And Steals From His Charities – Downtrend

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Man, I really thought the race hustle was a lucrative line of work. You make up racism and guilty liberal assholes send you money. There’s really no overhead; just profit. It may be that race hustling is a good line of work, but apparently Al Sharpton sucks at it or at least the money management side of it. The New York Times is reporting that Big Al owes a ton in back taxes and “borrows” from his various charities to support his lavish lifestyle.

Last month I reported on Sharpton’s birthday bash, which was really just a fundraiser to pay down his debt. At the time, Sharpton’s people said they had a handle on the money he owed, but the NYT paints a much different picture:

Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills. Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses.

Then there’s the stealing:

With the tax liability outstanding, Mr. Sharpton traveled first class and collected a sizable salary, the kind of practice by nonprofit groups that the United States Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration recently characterized as “abusive,” or “potentially criminal” if the failure to turn over or collect taxes is willful.

Oh, and even more stealing:

Mr. Sharpton and the National Action Network have repeatedly failed to pay travel agencies, hotels and landlords. He has leaned on the generosity of friends and sometimes even the organization, intermingling its finances with his own to cover his daughters’ private school tuition.

Sharpton is also likely guilty of campaign finance fraud:

With Mr. Sharpton focused on the 2004 presidential race, National Action Network’s finances were reaching crisis levels, tax documents and other public records show. The group’s revenues totaled just over $1 million in 2004, about half of what they had been two years earlier. Nevertheless, it picked up expenses from Mr. Sharpton’s presidential bid: $181,115 in consulting and other costs that should have been charged to his campaign, the Federal Election Commission later found.

More theft:

The group also faced court judgments for several hundred thousand dollars in unpaid office rent and hotel bills.

And tax fraud:

To stay afloat, the nonprofit became reliant on money that was supposed to go to payroll taxes, according to its financial statements. The amount National Action Network underpaid the federal government in taxes went from about $900,000 in 2003 to almost $1.9 million by 2006, records show.

In addition, Sharpton is constantly being sued by his landlord for not paying his rent. Since 2006 he’s been sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars on properties he occupies but doesn’t pay for.

It’s probably not shocking to most who are reading this that Al Sharpton is a POS schemer and charlatan, but it is kind of surprising that the liberal PC New York Times has published a piece critical of him. Especially considering that Sharpton is a White House consultant and Obama’s go-to guy on race relations.

This article makes you wonder why anyone would donate to an Al Sharpton charity. As far as I can tell, the only purpose of his National Action Network is to keep him in the lap of luxury. You never hear about Sharpton feeding people, sending kids to college, or building homes for the underprivileged; just about him jetting across the globe to condemn the latest instances of made-up racial injustice.

So not only is Sharpton a race hustler, he’s a regular hustler too: defrauding his charities and the government for personal gain. It’s lucky for him he has friends in high places because anyone else in his position would be in jail by now.

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