Date: August 1st 2014

To The Point Weekly Report for August 01st 2014

Jack Kelly  
Half-Full Report
Friday, 01 August 2014

Jack Wheeler is on a boat to Russia, so I'm filling in for him on the HFR on what's been a truly eventful week.

If a documentary were made about John Kerry's performance as Secretary of State, it ought to be entitled: "The Putz." In an administration in which the most common characteristics of senior officials are arrogance and incompetence, Kerry sticks out.

It isn't often we can be grateful our president and his secretary of state are international laughingstocks, but in this instance we can.

Some suspect Kerry was made secretary of state in order to make Hillary Clinton's performance seem better. Here, here and here are reminders it wasn't.
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Democrats were gleeful last night after House Republicans failed to pass a bill to address the border crisis. But their joy was short-lived.
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Zero's downsizing of the military leaves America too weak to counter rising global threats, said an independent panel appointed by DoD and Congress.
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If you weren't fretting about the Ebola virus before, you will be after reading this.
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House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a VA "reform" bill that does a little to relieve the plight of veterans; more to reward the bureaucrats who've neglected and abused them
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be in really big trouble. With the law, not the voters. Watergate type trouble, thinks the very left wing Nation magazine.
* * * *
The administration's argument Congress intended for those who sign up for Obamacare on the federal exchange should get subsidies too has been torpedoed by a video of remarks made in January of 2012 by one of Obamacare's leading architects.
Read more ...
Dr. Jack Wheeler  
Behind The Lines
Wednesday, 30 July 2014


How's this for irony?  I'm on my way to Amsterdam, soon to land at Schiphol Airport - from where MH17 took off on July 17 to be shot down by Putin's Proxies over Ukraine.  From there, I join our Baltic Cruise bound for... St. Petersburg, Russia.  This will be interesting.

When the Soviet Union dissolved at the end of 1991, signaling America's victory in the Cold War, there were high hopes that a now-free and non-Communist Russia would embrace freedom and democracy, joining the West along with other liberated Soviet colonies.  But no.  The Russians didn't celebrate, they immersed themselves in bitter resentment instead.

Thus Putin described the breakup of the Soviet Union as a "tragedy," the "greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century."  Not World War II, not Nazism or Communism, not the existence of the USSR but its termination.

Thus he and his millions of Russian admirers are motivated by a passionate revanchism (French from revanche, "revenge") - the dream of reversing territorial losses.  It is exactly the same motivation as the Mexican Nazis (May 2005) of the Reconquista movement. 

Last Friday (7/25) in the pages of the Washington Post, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko called for "a worldwide coalition of nations in support of Ukraine" against Russian revanchism, led by the US and the EU.  Yesterday (7/29), both the US and EU together with Canada, responded to Poroshenko's plea, announcing a new round of economic sanctions on Russia.

Next, expect to see Poroshenko call for a composed of those nations that were once under the Russian boot and will be again unless they unite to prevent it.  

He will argue that it's not just Ukraine's freedom at stake - it's all of Eastern Europe's.  He will remind his fellow Eastern European leaders of Benjamin Franklin's famous quip during the signing of the Declaration of Independence, "We must, indeed, all hang together, gentlemen, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

How many will heed his call?  There are 23 Former Russian Colonies in Eastern Europe.  Let's take a look at them.
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Daniel Hannan  
Guest Authors
Thursday, 31 July 2014

"How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-Semite?" Adolf Hitler asked his party members in 1920. No one thought it an odd question. Anti-Semitism was at that time widely understood to be part of the broader revolutionary movement against markets, property and capital.

The man who coined the term "socialism," the nineteenth-century French revolutionary Pierre Leroux, had told his comrades: "When we speak of the Jews, we mean the Jewish spirit - the spirit of profit, of lucre, of gain, of speculation; in a word, the banker's spirit."

The man who popularized the term "anti-Semitism" had taken a similar line. Wilhelm Marr, a radical nineteenth-century German Leftist, may not have been the first person to use the word, but he certainly - and approvingly - brought it to a wide audience: "Anti-Semitism is a Socialist movement," he pronounced, "only nobler and purer in form than Social Democracy".

It's a measure of the modern Left's cultural dominance that simply to recite these quotations is jarring.

That we have largely edited such facts from our collective memory says a great deal about the assumptions of modern politics. In the puerile formula that seems to dictate our definitions, Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty so, since anti-Semitism is nasty, it must be of the Right.

Such reasoning is not confined to self-righteous seventeen-year-olds; it has, bizarrely, taken over a large chunk of our public discourse.
Read more for free...
Jack Kelly  
Kelly's Panorama
Thursday, 31 July 2014

Starvation has claimed the lives of 128 people - 18 of them children or babies - in the Palestinian refugee camp since the conflict began. But the Yarmouk camp is in Syria, where images of atrocities go viral only when misrepresented as coming from Gaza, so the world has paid little attention to their suffering.

"My Twitter and Facebook feeds would have me believe that the only noteworthy military conflict in the world today is that between Israel and Hamas," said Jonathan Messing of the Stanford Business School.

"Either many of you care about war only when it involves a Jew holding a gun, or you are woefully unaware of what else is going on in the world," Mr. Messing said. At the time he wrote, about 170,000 had died in ongoing violence in Syria; 600 in Gaza.

"It must be so awkward having to check whether the dead child is from Gaza or Syria before deciding whether to be morally outraged," tweeted Marc Lynch, director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University.

The sequence of events triggered by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers reminds Clarice Feldman that "Providence isn't just a city in Rhode Island."
Read more for free...
Jack Kelly  
Kelly's Panorama
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

CNN's Drew Griffin, whose reporting on secret waiting lists at the medical center in Phoenix led to the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, concluded that VA dysfunction and corruption are so widespread and deeply ingrained that just making a change at the top won't change much. 

 "I don't know how you fix this...other than I would throw out every senior manager in the VA," Mr. Griffin told CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin June 23.

When he made that remark, the Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency set up to protect whistleblowers, was investigating 10 cases where VA employees said they were punished after reporting abuses to management. OSC now is investigating 67 charges of retaliation at 45 VA facilities in 28 states, its chief told the House Veterans Affairs Committee July 12.

After she told Congress data was being falsified to hide long delays and errors in processing veterans' claims, she was retaliated against, Kristen Ruell, a quality review specialist in Philadelphia, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee July 14.

"The VA's problems are the result of morally bankrupt managers that through time and grade have moved up into powerful positions where they have the power to, and continue to, ruin people's lives," Ms. Ruell said.
Read more ...
Richard Rahn  
Rahn on Econ101
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Do you want the Obama administration sharing all of your financial information with the Russian, Chinese and Saudi Arabian governments? You may be thinking, not even President Obama would go that far. Not so, read on.

This past week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its full proposal for a global standard for the automatic exchange of financial information. The rationale behind this despicable idea is to more effectively enable governments, such as that of France and the United States, to identify tax evaders.

This might sound like a good idea until one realizes that every individual and business will be stripped of all of their financial privacy if this becomes the law of the land - and it is very close to being just that.

Under the OECD proposal, all of the information that financial institutions now report to the U.S. government to try to ensure income-tax compliance, including your account balances, interest, dividends, proceeds from the sale of financial assets - would be shared with foreign governments.

The United States and other governments will, of course, claim that your sensitive financial information will remain confidential - and that you can trust the governments.

It is bad enough when American officials leak or misuse sensitive financial information about U.S. citizens and businesses, but just think what is going to happen when all of those corrupt officials in foreign governments get ahold of it.
Read more ...
To The Point News  
Humor File
Friday, 01 August 2014


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