Thursday, December 18th 2014
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To The Point News
Written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Vladimir Putin has lost control of Russia's economy and may be forced to impose Soviet-style exchange controls after "shock and awe" action by the central bank failed to stem the collapse of the ruble.

"The situation is critical," said the central bank's vice-chairman, Sergei Shvetsov. "What is happening is a nightmare that we could not even have imagined a year ago."

The currency spiked from 71 to 98 against the euro yesterday (12/16) in the biggest one-day drop since the default crisis in 1998 as capital flight gathered pace, despite a drastic rise in interest rates to 17% the day before (12/15) intended to crush speculators and show resolve. It closed at 87, and at this writing today (12/17) is at 83.

Yields on two-year Russian bonds spiraled to 15.36%, while credit default swaps are pricing in a one-third chance of a sovereign default. The shares of Russia's biggest lender, Sberbank, fell 18%.

Neil Shearing, from Capital Economics, said the spectacular failure of the rate shock may bring matters to a head. "If a rise of 650 basis points won't do the job, we are near the end. That means stringent capital controls," he said.

In Washington, the White House said it had no intention of easing pressure on Russia to halt the freefall. "It is President Putin's decision to make. The aim is to sharpen the choice that he faces," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest yesterday.

After years of bluster and suggestions by Mr. Putin that the US is a paper tiger, the Kremlin is now coming face to face with the cataclysmic consequences of what it has done by invading Ukraine and changing Europe's borders by force.
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Written by Richard Rahn   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Why do very successful nations often adopt policies that lead to their undoing?

After a revolution or major reform, some countries allow a high degree of economic freedom, establish the rule of law, protect private property rights and establish low tax rates with strict limits on government spending and regulation.

The economy takes off, the citizens become far richer and then the government mucks it up, usually by attempting to redistribute income and expand state control.

Is Chile, which has been one of the bright spots in the world economy, falling into this pattern under socialist President Michelle Bachelet?

For the past three decades, Chile has outperformed the other South American countries and now has the highest per-capita income in South America, averaging approximately $22,000 per year on a purchasing power parity basis.

The World Bank lists Chile as a "developed economy," and it was the first Latin American country to become a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The average Chilean has a per capita income about three times higher than in 1983.

And now the Chilean people seem poised to let Ms. Bachelet throw it all away.
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Written by Michael Ledeen   
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

I kept asking myself, why would DiFi - Senator Dianne Feinstein - approve a "report" whose main effect inevitably would be to damage America? 

And it occurred to me that it might be a mistake to try to understand this bizarre event in the usual context of domestic politics.  It probably belongs to a different realm of analysis:  national security, international affairs, and espionage.  Maybe that was really the point of the operation.

It benefits our enemies, after all.  It undermines other countries' willingness to share information, and to work with us "in the field."  Anyone who takes life seriously must acknowledge that, quite aside from the merits of the "case" brought by Democrat staffers on the Senate Intel Committee, we've been damaged. 

The real scary question is:  Did DiFi and her Democrat colleagues issue the "Torture Report" for no other purpose than to damage their own country?  The report itself contains a very large clue why the answer may be yes.
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Written by Jack Kelly   
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

"How many legs does a calf have, if you call the tail a leg?" Abraham Lincoln asked a Congressman during a discussion of whether he had the authority to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

"Five," the Congressman replied.

"Four," Lincoln corrected him. "Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

We can assume that Lincoln would similarly correct Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee who have as expansive a definition of "torture," as he would those feminists who include consensual sex in their definition of "rape."

Foremost of the "tortures" Democrats decried in a 500 page report was the waterboarding of three senior al Qaida leaders. CIA interrogators were themselves waterboarded before using the technique on terrorists.

Grandstanding journalists have volunteered to be waterboarded to "prove" it's torture. Which should prove conclusively it isn't. No journalist has ever volunteered to have his fingernails pulled out.
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HALF-FULL REPORT 12/12/14 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 12 December 2014

"Boehner Wins Funding For Obama's Amnesty." 

Welcome to this morning's headline.  It's hard to imagine more nauseating news, confirming all of our suspicions about what Rino rectum sellout corrupt scumbags are John Boehner and the House GOP leadership.

It is now clear that Boehner and the GOP Establishment is in collusion with Zero to grant unconstitutional amnesty to millions - uncountable millions with subsequent chain migration - of illegal non-Americans....

It's hilarious that no member of the Enemedia has ever questioned Zero's intelligence.  For while he has the ruthless cunning of a mafia gangster or narcissistic sociopath, he shows no evidence of being either educated or very bright. A case in point is...

With the exposure of the UVA Rape Hoax, the question now is what effect will that have on the other FemiLeft Rape Cause, that of the destruction of Bill Cosby?....

Get comfortable for what's coming next, preferably with a tumbler of your favorite adult beverage within easy reach.  This is one of those gems that by itself is worth a year's subscription to TTP.....
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Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 11 December 2014

The treasonous release of the Democrats' "Senate Torture Report" this week (12/09) is definitive proof that they lack any patriotism or even basic decency whatever.  If they had any integrity - of which they don't have a picogram - they'd change their name to the HateAmerica Party.

Like most normal Americans, I couldn't care less how a Moslem terrorist is interrogated, other than what he knows about terrorist attacks on Americans be extracted from him as efficiently and dependably as possible.  The monsters of Al Qaeda and ISIS et al have divested themselves of any claim to human rights.

The only practical argument against torturing terrorists is that it's so undependable: the guy will say anything to stop the torture. Often, a dramatic presentation of the threat of torture works better. Take the Israeli way:

When a Palestinian terrorist is captured, how many Israeli lives can be saved depends on how quickly Shin Bet (Israeli Security) agents can make him squeal. They strip him naked and sit him in a chair with his legs forced apart. They bring in a large Doberman pincher whose muzzle is placed inches from his genitals. They explain:

"This is Herman. Herman is a very unusual dog. Herman can smell when someone is lying. When someone lies, it gets Herman very mad. And when Herman gets mad, he bites - really hard. So we suggest you tell us the truth."

Works like a charm.  At least in many cases.  In those that don't, the consequences are really gross and the Palestinian is rendered useless in the needed time-frame.  A more reliable method is required.  Here are three. Buckle your seat belt.
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Written by Ralph Peters   
Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Tuesday's (12/09) willful, unnecessary and gratuitously destructive release of the one-sided "torture report" at the insistence of outgoing Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - backed by the White House -  amounts to nothing less than providing aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime.

Can anyone cite one practical good accomplished by releasing this gratuitously destructive report at this time? Will revealing successful practices make us more secure? No.

The report provides a propaganda windfall for Islamist fanatics. Will it benefit our allies? No.

It exposes those who took great risks to help us in the wake of 9/11. Will it "set the record straight?" No. It distorts the record grotesquely in the interests of political correctness, blame-shifting and short-term political advantage.

Of course, the release of this report just now - which may lead to the deaths of more Americans, as the senator has been warned - is another sign of the Obama administration's desperation.

Team Obama's genius for failure in every policy field, foreign or domestic, has left the administration's inner circle frantic to deflect attention from its parade of deceptions, derelictions and disasters.
Written by General Michael Hayden   
Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Yesterday (12/09), the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence chaired by Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein (CA) publicly issued an unclassified Executive Summary of its classified report to Congress on the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program in response to the terror attack on America of September 11, 2001.  It has been dubbed the "Torture Report" by the media.

As CIA Director from May 2005 to February 2009 I'm not here to defend torture. I'm here to defend history.

The Senate Democrat report is exceedingly graphic in its description of several interrogations; it is designed to shock and it does. So too would an equally detailed description of drone strikes, which are currently supported by these same lawmakers and, by the way, deemed lawful by the Department of Justice.

The Senate Democrat document reads like a shrill prosecutorial screed rather than a dispassionate historical study. What happened here seems clear. The staff started with a conclusion and then "cherry picked" their way through 6 million pages of documents, ignoring some data and highlighting others, to make their case.
Written by Jack Kelly   
Friday, 12 December 2014

The testimony Monday (12/8) of Jonathan Gruber, professor of economics at MIT and a leading architect of Obamacare, posed a delicate problem for ABC, CBS, and, especially, NBC News.

The House Oversight Committee wanted to hear more from Prof. Gruber about how the administration deceived Congress, CBO and the American people to get Obamacare passed. The hearing was great theater.

"Gruber groveled. Gruber regretted. Gruber apologized. Gruber was sorry," said Scott Johnson of the Power Line blog. "He squirmed. He dodged. He apologized," said Politico.

The problem for the broadcast networks was how to explain to their viewers who Gruber is and why he was squirming, dodging and groveling, because before Monday, they'd reported next to nothing about the things he'd said.
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Written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard   
Tuesday, 09 December 2014

China's stock market boom has reached outright mania, with equities galloping higher at a parabolic rate, despite threats of a crackdown by regulators and the continued slowdown of the national economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index has risen 32% in the past six weeks, blowing through 3,000 to a three-and-a-half-year high even though corporate earnings are declining steeply.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission said late last week that it would "increase market supervision, resolutely crack down and earnestly safeguard normal market order." It warned that stock manipulators had been "raising their head" and would be dealt with.

The cautionary words have been ignored by retail investors as they throng brokerage offices, lured by momentum trades. For the stock boom comes as Chinese industry battles with massive overcapacity in everything from steel to shipbuilding, coal output, cement and solar panels.

The bottom line is that it may be impossible for China to deflate its epic bubble painlessly.
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Written by Matt Ridley   
Tuesday, 09 December 2014

As somebody who has championed science all his career, carrying a lot of water for the profession against its critics on many issues, I am losing faith.

Recent examples of bias and corruption in science are bad enough. What's worse is the reluctance of scientific leaders to criticize the bad apples. Science as a philosophy is in good health; science as an institution increasingly stinks.

This past week has seen three egregious examples of poor scientific practice. The most recent was the revelation last week that scientists appeared to scheme with environmental activists to get neonicotinoid pesticides banned, rather than open-mindedly assessing all the evidence.

Second example: last week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a supposedly scientific body, issued a press release stating that this is likely to be the warmest year in a century or more, based on surface temperatures. Yet this predicted record would be only one hundredth of a degree above 2010 and two hundredths of a degree above 2005 - with an error range of one tenth of a degree.

In any case, the year is not over with 16% of the 2014 data not yet recorded, so why the announcement now? Oh yes, there's a political climate summit in Lima this week.
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Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 12 December 2014

Now for something completely different.

Gary Cherone is well known to fans of hard rock music.  He's been a lead singer and guitarist for rock bands like Van Halen and Extreme.  His current group is called Hurtsmile.

Recently, Cherone and Hurtsmile released a music video called Big Government.  It's been described as "a body blow against liberal tactics and policies."

The song slams nanny state policies, class warfare rhetoric, Utopian ideologues and bloated bureaucracies.  It even quotes Dennis Praeger, of whom Cherone is a fan.

Rock on!

HALF-FULL REPORT 12/05/14 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 05 December 2014

Before we start tearing our hair out by the roots over House Rino perfidy, let's take a look at some good news this week.  Yes, there is some.

The New York Times finally began - just began - catching up to To The Point on Sunday (11/30) with Russian Money Suspected Behind Fracking Protests.  TTPers have known about this since April 2012 in Is Obama on Putin's Payroll? 

Yet that was just the prelude, for the next day, Monday (12/01) is when, as one headline put it: Putin's Luck Runs Out.  Here's how rapid the Putin Collapse has been...

There will be marvelous news in Louisiana tomorrow (12/06).  Scary Mary Landrieu is going to get crushed by Dr. Bill Cassidy - he's ahead by 24 points (!).

I grew up in the days of the Solid South completely run by Yellow Dog Democrats.  With Landrieu gone tomorrow, Democrats will be left without a single Governor, Senator, white Congressman, or state legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas.  Think about that...

Okay, time to wallow in the mire with a clothespin blocking the stench from our noses.  Thomas Sowell noted yesterday that it will take a psychiatrist to explain why Boehner & Co want millions of illegal foreign workers to compete with Americans for jobs...

There are other things we could get upset about this week, but instead, I need to tell you a story.  It's about how I met an extraordinary man and became friends with 45 years ago.  On Wednesday (12/03) at age 84 he passed away.  His name was Nathaniel Branden.
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Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 04 December 2014

On November 18, a senior at Georgetown University in DC named Oliver Friedfeld wrote a letter published in the campus newspaper, The Hoya, headlined "I Was Mugged And I Understand Why."

The kid blamed himself  for being robbed at gunpoint by two black muggers.

He's being such a living caricature of liberal candy-ass white guilt has caused a deluge of conservative media contempt, from Breitbart to Rush to FoxNews' Greg Gutfeld who belittled him as "a discredit to his race - the human one."

Yet how different from Oliver the Pajama Boy is every talking head on TV News save for Fox?

The "narrative" or meme of Racist America is all that counts for the white media-academia establishment.  Everything must be twisted into it or ignored. 

What is clear is that the white media-academia establishment is determined to aggravate racial tension and hatred of blacks against whites in America - they want violence and riots and protests against whites. 

Why?  It's too facile to simply answer, "white guilt."  For that begs the question, "What is the cause of white guilt?"  Why should whites feel guilty?  Guilty for what?
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Written by Jack Kelly   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014

Of 1,265 people killed in St. Louis between 2003 and 2012, 1,138 (89.9%) were black.  90% of them were killed by other blacks. Thirty two of them were killed by police officers; 22 of those 32 (1.93% of 1,138) by white cops.

To assert - as the Obama administration and so many in the news media have - that racially motivated shootings by police are commonplace, and this was one of them - is vile.

Even more despicable are those who've made excuses for what took place after the grand jury refused to indict Officer Wilson for a crime it was clear he hadn't committed. 

Rioters and looters - who destroyed mostly black businesses and burned down a black church - aren't "protesters" who are "trying to make their voices heard." 

They're criminals. And they are Obama's legacy.
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