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HALF-FULL REPORT 02/12/16

The loser:

HillaryThis week: the magnitude of Hillary’s debacle in New Hampshire, the defection of women and young people to Sanders, Cruz’s frugality, Rubio’s fragility, and Jeb and Marco’s “War on Women”: their call to draft teenage girls. Also, Cruz’s status as a natural born citizen defended by none other than James Madison and George Washington (no kidding: it’s definitive), “the most right-wing Supreme Court in U.S. history” (or its opposite), “rapefugees”, and the hidden cost of socialism: this one will leave you unsure whether to rage or to cry.

It’s all right here, in this week’s Half Full Report.

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HOW DID THE ANCIENT GREEKS KNOW WHAT AMERICA’S FATE IS?

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first drive insane.”

 It’s a proverb of the Ancient Greeks so old it predates their great poets such as Sophocles (496-406 BC) who quotes a version of it in Antigone. They applied it to individuals, especially kings.

Yet it applies with equal force to countries, societies, nations, and civilizations. Turn the pages of a historical atlas to see the evidence, as they emerge, rise, flourish, subside, then vanish from history – century after century for thousands of years, all over the world.

This terrible truth is being applied to America today. There is a now-famous quote – attributed to many but its author is so far unknown – that observes:

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

The Greeks if observing today would note that this quote applying to Zero could apply equally to Donald Trump.

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WHY HILLARY WON IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

This is not one of those stupid, contrarian takes where I’m saying something just for shock value just to get clicks. Make no mistakes – Hillary Clinton may have lost by about 20 points last night, but she emerged from New Hampshire as the biggest winner of the night, and it was not close.

Let’s make one thing clear: Hillary Clinton does not give a crap about Bernie Sanders, or about losing this election last night. Bernie Sanders wins one group of voters in the Democrat party: white liberals. Moving forward through Super Tuesday, those voters will be extremely hard to find.

Clinton is going to beat Sanders by 30 points in South Carolina and probably by about as much in Nevada. Super Tuesday will feature a bunch of Southern states that Bernie Sanders is going to lose his shirt in. This was the first, and last, primary that Bernie Sanders will win (or even come close to winning).

Hillary Clinton is already looking forward to the general election, as she should. She knows good and well that she will likely lose that contest against any contest not named Donald Trump. It’s not just that Trump polls the weakest against her out of anyone in the field (although he does) – it’s the more important metric (at this point of the race) of favorability.

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2017 WILL BE BETTER FOR ISRAEL WITH A GOP PRESIDENT

Obama’s visit to a pro-terrorist radical Moslem mosque last week (2/03) is a clear signal of how he intends to spend his last year in office. It tells us that during this period, Obama will adopt ever more extreme positions regarding radical Islam.

 Obama’s apologetics for radical Islamists is the flipside of his hostility for Israel. This too is escalating and will continue to rise through the end of his tenure in office.

 The US Customs authority’s announcement on January 23 that it will begin enforcing a 20-year old decision to require goods imported from Judea and Samaria to be labeled “Made in the West Bank,” rather than “Made in Israel,” signals Obama’s intentions.

 Part of the reason Obama is acting with such urgency and intensity is that he knows that regardless of who is elected to replace him, the next president will not be as viscerally hostile to Israel or as emotionally attached to Islam as he is.

This is true even if it is a Democrat – but far more so if it is a Republican.

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THE $3 TRILLION OIL DEBT BUBBLE

The global oil industry is caught in a self-feeding downward spiral as falling prices cause producers to boost output even further in a scramble to service $3 trillion of dollar debt, the world’s top watchdog has warned.

The Bank for International Settlements fears that a perverse dynamic is at work where energy companies in Brazil, Russia, China and parts of the US shale belt are increasing production in defiance of normal market logic, leading to a bad “feedback-loop” that is sucking the whole sector into a destructive vortex.

“Lower prices have not removed excess capacity from the market, but instead may have exacerbated it. Production has been ramped up, rather than curtailed,” said Jaime Caruana, the general manager of the Swiss-based club for central bankers.

The findings raise serious questions about the strategy of Saudi Arabia and the core OPEC states as they flood the global crude market to knock out rivals in a cut-throat battle for export share. The process of attrition may take far longer and do more damage than originally supposed.

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PROGRESSIVES ARE ANYTHING BUT

What does a "progressive" stand for? How does this differ from what a liberal, conservative or libertarian stands for?

More so than in most years, the presidential candidates are debating about labels. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders got into an argument last week about what a progressive is, and Mrs. Clinton enlightened everyone by telling us "the root of that word, progressive, is progress."

There are two conflicting philosophical views as to the proper role of government. One sees the role of the state to protect the individual from the transgressions of others, while at the same time protecting the individual from the state in order to ensure individual liberty.

The other view is that the function of government is to protect the collective, and to directly provide for individual needs.

Correctly said, there is an endless struggle between "libertarians" and "statists."

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LOVE AND VISIBILITY

When we love someone, and they enter a room, that room gets a little brighter for us, like the lights have been turned up a notch.

What brings that glow, that brightness from another fellow human being? Love is too rich and complex to boil down to some single facet or data point; but one of the essential elements that goes into feeling love for one another, is the experience of being seen.

Love is fundamentally about seeing, hearing, and knowing another human being deeply. We cannot do that from within our own idealistic fantasy. We have to come out and look into the eyes; listen to the voice, the thoughts, the dreams; and feel the heart of another.

That’s when we get to feel that great resonance; that sublime emotion of being touched with love by the soul of another; and reciprocating that love back in a benevolent cycle of visibility and trust.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 02/05/16

The winner:SenTedCruz

Believe it or not, the New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. So it probably matters to fully grasp the fallout from Iowa first.

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In the aftermath of Monday’s shellacking, the one and two percenters started dropping like flies ...

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You have probably heard a lot about the Carson flap in Iowa, in which Cruz staffers sent out an email repeating a CNN story that seemed to indicate Carson was done. While the Carson flap has indeed hurt Cruz somewhat, Iowa has helped him more.

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It’s worth noting that Trump did not err in skipping the Fox News debate. It was a gamble, and it certainly would have paid off much better if Rupert Murdoch had caved, leaving Trump the master of the deal and even the media (“if he can negotiate that, he can negotiate anything!”).

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DID IOWA JUST SAVE AMERICA?

Hyderabad, India. I just arrived, so just this short note having watched the CNN feed on an all-night Emirates flight to here.

Yes, I’m jubilant that Cruz torpedoed Trump yesterday. Trump is now officially a loser, barely escaping a third place finish behind Rubio. Trump fever has broken, and increasing numbers of his cultists will now regain their senses.

Yet there is a far bigger story here than Trump flaming out. It’s still a race, he’s still in it, it’s far too early to count him out. It’s clear, however, that the Pub race is fast becoming Cruz vs. Rubio, with Trump risking being sidelined.

That means a race between real conservative principles and the GOP ruling elite. Yesterday was a schwerpunkt, the decisive turning point between the two – and the reason is ethanol.

The cronyists, led by Iowa’s chief RINO, Gov. Terry Branstad whose son is an ethanol lobbyist, were determined to smash Cruz for having the temerity to oppose their making Iowa’s farmers wards of the state. Cruz of course was the only Pub who wants the cronyist mandate terminated.

Simply put, you cannot advocate economic freedom and reducing the size of government intrusion into our lives, if you advocate the very opposite in Iowa pandering for votes.

To see the schwerpunkt in action, of how Cruz did it, advocating the elimination of all energy subsidies, and thereby converting an angry Iowa farmer into a supporter right on the spot at a Iowa gas station, watch this video clip:

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