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HALF-FULL REPORT 09/30/16

It was a half-full kind of week for Donald Trump, who had a mixed debate performance, and then allowed himself to be sucked into an unending flap over former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Yet despite this...

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So first, the debate, which proved what I thought: both Trump and Hillary are bad debaters. But there's a difference.

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The moderator, of course, was evil: the Candy Crowley of 2016. That didn’t help.

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Trump may have seemed like he was spewing word salad at times, but he actually got in some highly-repeatable, highly-replayable soundbites (WATCH THEM!)

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So who the heck is Alicia Machado? It turns out that Ms. Machado has been a very bad, or at least a very stupid, girl.

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I always give you polling data, and I won’t disappoint you this week.

Despite everything, Trump is still in good shape. Check out the L.A. Times poll this afternoon...

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Shortly before the less-than-great debate, Elon Musk – by a mile our HFR Hero of the Week!

HERE WE GO WITH THIS WEEK'S HFR!!!

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TRUMP WIMPS OUT

Despondent Charlie BrownAs Charlie Brown would say, “Rats!”  Now we have to go back to just voting against the nightmare of Hillary.

Conservative pundit John Podhoretz summed it up: “Trump’s Debate Incompetence a Slap in the Face to His Supporters.”

The best editorial page in the country, that of Investors Business Daily, put it this way, “Trump and Clinton Debated, But It’s the Nation that Lost.”

And what’s with all the whining on the right about Lester Holt being pathologically biased?  Of course he was – and the sun rises in the east.  Trump was surprised by this?  He let some hack Clintonista moderator take charge of the debate and steamroller him? 

After the debate, Trump tweeted how it was an outrage that Holt didn’t ask about the Clinton Foundation or Benghazi.  Say what?? It’s Politics 101 that if you’re asked a question you don’t want by some schmuck reporter, you give the answer to the question you do want. 

It's Trump's fault, not Holt's, that there was no discussion of Benghazi, of Syria, of Obamacare, of the Clinton Foundation, of immigration, of the four recent acts of Moslem terror, of the rioting in Charlotte and Hillary's effective endorsement of the rioters.

His new nickname should be “Holding Back” Trump.  Last night (9/27) in Orlando, he claimed he was “holding back” because he didn’t want to “embarrass” Mrs. Clinton.  Anyone who believes that should be easy to sell a bridge to.  Is there a Trump supporter on earth who wanted to see him “hold back” in the Monday night debate and not embarrass her to the moon?

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THE GREATEST POLITICAL SCANDAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY

 

American Political Scandal

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As a young reporter for the Dallas Times Herald, I covered the trials of two of the smaller fry in Watergate. What’s going on now makes me wonder what all the fuss was about back then.

The Clinton Foundation and associated email scandals dwarf Watergate – and every other political scandal in American history.

Besides Watergate (1973-74), the other biggies are Iran-Contra (1985-87), Teapot Dome (1921-22), the Whiskey Ring (1875), and Credit Mobilier (1872-73).

These five combined together don’t come remotely close to the massiveness of the Crooked Clinton Foundation.  Why then was all we heard about it in the debate last night was… crickets?

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UTTERLY UNFIT

Unfit PresidentDonald Trump is utterly unfit to be president, the New York Times and the Washington Post said in editorials on the eve of the first presidential debate.

Trump “dwells in bigotry, bluster and false promises,” said the Times. He’s “amply demonstrated his unworthiness,” said the Post.

Though of course neither the Times nor the Post mentioned it, Hillary Clinton also has amply demonstrated her unfitness to be president – and far more so than Mr. Trump..

In 24 years as a national public figure, Hillary’s most significant accomplishment was to orchestrate smears of women Bill molested. As First Lady, she botched the only big job Bill gave her (a health care “reform” that presaged Obamacare). The only bill she got enacted into law during eight years in the Senate was to rename a courthouse. She was the worst secretary of state ever.

A novice can get better with experience. Incompetence is incurable.  So is a complete lack of morality.

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ISLAMIC TERRORISM AND MOSLEM MIGRATION

Captured Moslem Terrorist Ahmad Khan Rahami

Captured Moslem Terrorist Ahmad Khan Rahami

The wave of Moslem refugee terror began with a bomb targeting a U.S. Marine charity run in New Jersey. By evening a pressure cooker full of shrapnel has exploded outside a Manhattan building for the blind.

An hour later, a rampaging Moslem terrorist began stabbing people inside a Macy’s in Minnesota, asking them if they were Moslem and shouting the name of “Allah,” the genocidal Islamic deity of mass murder.

And that was one Saturday (9/24), two Moslem refugees and a wave of national terror 1,200 miles apart.

What did Elizabeth, New Jersey and St. Cloud, Minnesota have in common?

New Jersey is a map of Moslem terror plots because of its huge Moslem population.  Minnesota has suffered from the presence of the largest Somali migrant population in the country. And so a state which used to be known for its Swedish and German immigrants instead became a recruiting ground for ISIS and Al-Shabab.

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SANDSTORM OVER THE HOUSE OF SAUD

Sandstorm over Riyadh

Sandstorm over Riyadh

Saudi Arabia has injected $5.3bn of liquidity into the banking system to stave off a financial crunch as the oil slump drags on and capital continues to leak out the country.  This just as the US Congress overrides Obama’s veto allowing 9/11 families to sue the Kingdom.

Three-month interbank offered rates in Riyadh - the stress gauge watched by traders - have reached the highest since the Lehman crisis,  ratcheting up 145 basis points over the last year.

The M3 money supply has contracted by 8% in twelve months. The loan-to-deposit ratio has already blown through the government's safety ceiling of 90%, touching an all-time high.

"Deposits are falling and liquidity has been tightening for month after month," says Patrick Dennis from Oxford Economics.

Foreign exchange reserves have slipped to $550bn from a peak of $746bn as the regime sells off the family silver to pay the bills. The International Monetary Fund says the budget deficit reached 15.9% of GDP last year and will be an estimated 13% this year.  

The reserve loss automatically tightens monetary policy and can be painful. Fitch Ratings said there may have to be a state bail-out of construction firms sinking into deeper trouble. The Bin Laden Group is laying off 77,000 workers.

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COUNTERING CHINA’S PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE

Chinese soldier guarding US “Flying Tiger” P-40 fighters during WWII

Chinese soldier guarding US “Flying Tiger” P-40 fighters during WWII

An American narrative is needed to disarm China’s victimization rhetoric.

The government in Beijing claims that China is the long-suffering victim of Western powers, Japan, and other countries. In this narrative, China’s rulers bear hardly any faults.

Without any sense of irony, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) repeats its Orwellian twist that China is the “victim” in the South China Sea, though it is the strongest claimant and bullies others to submit to China’s control of areas by using militarized, environmentally-damaging claims to fragile reefs, rocks, islands, and maritime areas within an egregious “nine dash line.”

The PRC propaganda machine manipulates messages by citing a so-called “century of humiliation.” In a self-serving story supposedly speaking for the people, the PRC’s English-language mouth-piece, China Daily, used this convenient definition this past August: “For many Chinese, the ‘century of humiliation’ started with the First Opium War (1840-1842) and lasted until 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was founded.”

A historically-grounded narrative is needed to counter China’s charges, which have real implications for American and other national policies. The PRC plays the “victim” card to its advantage, seeking to compel compliance by putting others on the defensive, to undercut American leadership, to deflect blame, to incite others to regurgitate its case, to indoctrinate internal opinion to support the regime, to stoke “nationalism” for leverage, and to arm psychological warfare that positions Beijing as “just.”

In fact, in a fuller history of more than 100 years, the United States has supported reforms in China for progressive government, liberalization, and education for generations of people, as well as integration of China into the international community (even for the regime of the Communist Party of China).

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HOW TO SEPARATE SENSE FROM NONSENSE IN ECONOMICS

Basic EconomicsIt is always disheartening to hear politicians propose policies that will not make citizens richer with more opportunities as claimed, but make them less wealthy with fewer options.

Politicians who advocate for higher capital gains tax rates, higher taxes on the “wealthy,” higher inheritance tax rates, higher tariffs, more government spending and more regulations, fail to recognize, or admit, that all of this has been tried many times before, with disastrous results. They are either ignorant of economic history or are relying on the ignorance of the press and the people to buy such claptrap.

Even more disconcerting are those economists who try to make an argument of why this time the outcomes from bad policies are going to be different — apparently to curry favor with the political and media class.

The high priests of many academic disciplines, with the intent of making it seem more difficult, create many unnecessary new words, when simple, commonly understood words in the English language will suffice in most cases.

Here’s how to easily acquire basic economic literacy without the jargon, so that you’ll know more about economics than many in academia and most anyone in politics.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 09/23/16

So he finally did it. Moments ago, Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump for President.

In a public Facebook post, the Texas Senator and conservative lion wrote...

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Ted’s endorsement comes just before Monday night’s first-ever debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, a cage match if there ever were one.

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Egypt was not Illery’s only foreign policy embarrassment this week. Former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda declared...

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If that weren’t bad enough, Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan dismantled Barack Obama this week. You just have to watch it to believe it (SEE THE VIDEO)

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Kaepernick’s story is not merely glass-half-full: it’s close to brimming over. The NFL’s ratings are tanking, with the opening game down 8% from 2015, and Sunday’s numbers down a whopping 13%.

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The left needs to distract us with looming, future disasters. The real disasters – riots in Charlotte, “rapefugees”, Iran and North Korea getting the Bomb – are all their own doing.

Worst example of the week: “Democratic Socialist” Venezuela

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Will it end like 1980?  Let's see! Here we go with this week's Half-Full Report!

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