Tuesday, September 2nd 2014
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HALF-FULL REPORT 02/28/14 Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Friday, 28 February 2014

For the time being, the good guys have won in Ukraine, no thanks to the pusillanimous wimps in Washington and the European Union.

"The seismic shift in Ukraine was achieved by its people, not outside forces, and not its politicians," said Andrew Wood.

It may not last long. Russia is conducting "military maneuvers" near the Crimea in southeastern Ukraine, where Russia has an important naval base. Armed men seized the regional parliament building in the Crimea, and the regional airport.

"The eruption in Kiev could set off a tsunami that will engulf us all," warned British historian Mark Almond. 
* * * *
As gutsy and determined as the protestors in Kiev - but recipients of far less attention - are the protestors in Venezuela.  Anti-government demonstrations have grown since the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez Feb. 18.

A gun-toting ex-general has become a hero to the protest movement. 
* * * *
This time of rising international tensions is a good time to gut the U.S. military, the Obama administration thinks. 
* * * *
It was, said Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald, the best speech of Marco Rubio's career.  Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan is impressed he gave it with so little preparation:
* * * *
Obamacare is certain now to fall far short of the administration's original goal of 7 million signups by the March 31 deadline, so HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is trying to more the goalposts.

She should try telling the truth for a change, recommends Charles Krauthammer.  "It's easier to memorize."
* * * *
All the Obamacare horror stories are untrue, Dingy Harry Reid said in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday. 

"I wonder if Reid calling millions of Americans liars will show up in any ads," said Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin. 

I'd bet on it.
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Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Monday, 24 February 2014


Lijiang, Yunnan, China.  I'm in the midst of conducting my Hidden China II adventure when an extraordinary opportunity has suddenly materialized.

What you  see above is an actual unretouched photograph, not a painting.  It was taken by National Geographic photographer Franz Lanting at sunrise at the base of the world's biggest sand dune in the world's oldest desert in Africa's most spectacularly unknown country: Namibia.

Namibia is as big as Texas and Oklahoma together, yet only has 2 million people.  The former German colony of Southwest Africa, it gained independence in 1990.  While it is one of Africa's cleanest, safest, and best-run countries, it only now is beginning to be discovered by savvy international travelers as the place to have an African Safari like nowhere else.

Even if you have been to the Serengeti of Tanzania, the Masai Mara of Kenya, or the Okavango of Botswana, Namibia's unique beauty, wildlife, and tribes will astound you.  The opportunity is this:

I have been able to arrange a safari to Namibia's most spectacular places and tribes - The Namib Desert, the Skeleton Coast, the Painted Himba Nomads, the Etosha Pan with such a profusion of wildlife it's known as Africa's Last Eden - at a stunningly low cost for a luxury private air safari. 

What's more, the Hidden Africa Safari is at the best time of year for game viewing, after the rainy season with the grass drying up and the wildlife congregating at the waterholes.  And we can do it all in little more than one week, departing the US on Friday May 23 and arriving back in the US on Sunday June 01.

The catch is that I only have until March 15, then the opportunity goes away.  And I can only take 8 TTPers.  I can't post more than a few photos with the connection I have here in China.  Here's a brief summary.
Written by Michael Ledeen   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014

It's all about winning and losing, but the best man doesn't always win, and outcomes frequently have more to do with luck than with merit.  Brilliant strategies fail, and fools stumble into glorious victories.  Napoleon preferred a lucky general to a brilliant one.

Which brings us to today.  The headlines are grim, the pictures from Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine are blood-chilling, executions and demonstrations are mounting in Iran, and Obama doesn't know what to do about anything.  So he doesn't do anything; he and his strategists just dither.  And yet...

And yet, our enemies may be on the verge of losing.  Big time.

The global anti-freedom alliance consists primarily of jihadis and radical leftists, the two principal forces committed to the destruction of what is sometimes known as the Western world.

That alliance is cracking, because many millions of people are fighting the anti-Western tyrants.  Here's the scorecard.
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Written by Jack Kelly   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014

As America suffers through a brutal winter as well as a political/economic winter with Curse of Zero, let's step back and take a longer look at the historical era we are enduring.

His research from 1789 on indicates capitalist economies go through a cycle of boom and bust roughly every 50 to 60 years, Russian economist Nikolai Kondratieff wrote in 1925. 

The "Kondratieff Wave," K-Wave, for short, was given its name by Joseph Schumpeter, arguably the greatest economist of the 20th Century, who based his work on business cycles on it.

Kondratieff offered no opinion about why the long waves he'd identified existed, but said they are "a very important and essential factor in economic development, a factor the effects of which can be found in all the principal fields of social and economic life."

The "seasons" within a K-Wave each last for roughly the same amount of time, but the length and strength of each vary somewhat, depending on how people behave.

The last Kondratieff "Spring" began around 1950.  "Winter" started around 2000.  Earlier K-Wave "Winters" (since 1789) have lasted from 9 to 20 years.  The last three have averaged 16 years.  They always end in depression.  Buckle your seatbelts.  Hard times - really hard times - are fast approaching. Yet...
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Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 27 February 2014

Leaders of other countries don't respect President Barack Obama, say 53 percent of respondents in Gallup's annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 3-6.

That only 53 percent of Americans think this is a clear indictment of the news media's coverage of foreign affairs.

He would lead the world by "deed and example," not try to "bully it into submission," Sen. Obama wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in 2007.

In a major foreign policy speech in 2008, Mr. Obama said he would focus on: "ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century."

No president has talked the talk so well, or walked the walk so badly.  Here's a compendium of just how badly.
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Written by Caroline Glick   
Thursday, 27 February 2014

In its annual survey of American Jewry published last October, the American Jewish Committee found that 75 percent of American Jews agree with the statement, "The goal of the Arabs is not a peaceful two-state agreement with Israel, but rather the destruction of Israel."

And yet, American Jews supported the establishment of a Palestinian state 50% to 47%.

Next week over 10,000 predominantly Jewish American supporters of Israel will gather in Washington at AIPAC's annual policy conference. Given their high commitment to Israel, probably most of those gathered belong to the 47% of American Jews who opposed Palestinian statehood.

These committed supporters of the Jewish state have been sternly lectured that Israel is doomed if it doesn't give the Palestinians an outlet for their political impulses outside of Israel, because within a year or two there will be more Palestinians than Israelis west of the Jordan.

The same day AIPAC's delegates meet with members of both houses of Congress, my new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East will be released by Crown Forum, a division of Random House.
In my book, I show that the demographic time bomb is a dud, and a malicious one at that.
Written by Richard Rahn   
Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Few express opinions different from what they are paid to say, and such is equally true for those who work for government. On an almost daily basis, the world is treated to presidential spokespeople denying what most people understand to be true.

Last week, Jason Furman, President Obama's chief economic adviser, who used to have a reputation as a competent economist, embarrassed himself by trying to deny - in response to a Congressional Budget Office report - that the president's proposal to increase the minimum wage would cost jobs.

All too many professionals are willing to ignore empirical evidence when it conflicts with their beliefs or those of their employers. Perhaps in no place do we see greater evidence of this than in the field of climate science.

If the climate scientists who produced their grossly defective, predictive models had been employed by private companies that depended on the accuracy of their predictions, they would have been fired.

Private economic forecasters who are consistently wrong tend to lose their credibility and at least some of their income.  There is one group of economic forecasters, though, who suffer very little loss of prestige or income, even though they may often be wrong. They are those who work for the Federal Reserve and other government agencies.
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Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 28 February 2014


HALF-FULL REPORT 02/21/14 Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Friday, 21 February 2014

The violence in Ukraine, during which 75 were killed, nearly 600 injured, is over - for now.  President Viktor Yanukovich, who ordered the crackdown, has agreed to early elections, and to a return to the constitution of 2004, which has a weaker presidency.

Yanukovich made the concessions after the widely televised brutality of the crackdown - including snipers shooting down unarmed protesters -- bled away critical political support.
* * * *
With Ukraine descending into chaos, Venezuela already there, the situation bleak in Afghanistan, bleaker in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry has his attention focused squarely on...climate change.  It's the "most fearsome" weapon of mass destruction of them all, he said in Jakarta Sunday.
* * * *
Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell lied to Congress about Benghazi, say Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee. 
* * * *
President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour (from $7.25) would cost half a million jobs by 2016, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday (2/18).

The White House and prominent Democrats responded to the CBO report as you might imagine.  Even NBC's Chuck Todd says the White House response was "petty."
* * * *
In what the Detroit Free Press called a "devastating defeat" for the United Auto Workers, workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted against union representation, 712-626.

Volkswagen management was officially neutral, in practice sorta kinda supportive of the union organizing effort. The liberals at In These Times asked: How could the UAW lose an unopposed campaign? Michael Barone, the Labor Union Report and National Review's John Fund provide answers.
* * * *
Slow Joe Biden
signaled this week Obamacare signup numbers will fall well short of predictions. 

 To boost the numbers, the Obamunists are pursuing the uninsured the way they did lofo voters in Broward County, Florida, but aren't having much success.  Slightly less than one percent of those contacted have signed up.
* * * *
Common Core is now so unpopular, even liberals are dumping on it.
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Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 20 February 2014

This Saturday, February 22, is the 282nd anniversary of the birth of America's founder, the equal in nobility, heroism, and virtue of any human being who ever lived -- George Washington.

What it is not, nor is any day such as last Monday (2/17), is the phony holiday called "Presidents Day."  Let's be quite clear on this.  There is no such holiday.  It exists only in the minds of furniture dealers, car salesmen, and Hate-America leftists.

It wasn't until 1870 that there were any national holidays at all, recognized by the federal government and granting federal workers a day off, although four were recognized by most states:  the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  In 1870, Congress declared them national.

In 1879, Congress added Washington's birthday to the national list, which had been unofficially celebrated by most Americans for many decades. 

Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day after the custom of decorating Civil War soldiers' graves with flowers), was traditionally celebrated on May 30, but had no formal designation until 1968 with a law called the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.  It was the Democrat Congress and President who damaged the memory of George Washington with this act of anti-patriotism.  Here it is:
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 20 February 2014

"Beware the Ides of March," the soothsayer warned in Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar."

A Roman religious holiday, the Ides (15th) of March was the day on which Roman consuls assumed office -- and the day Caesar was assassinated.

For the United States, and the world economy, the Ides will be around March 4, Grady Means predicted in October of 2012.

Mr. Means isn't a doomsayer who's predicted 11 of the last two recessions.  He isn't trying to sell gold, silver, or freeze-dried food.  He was Managing Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, wrote well regarded books on international finance.

And he isn't alone.  The decline in manufacturing orders in January was the steepest in more than 30 years, the latest evidence the U.S. economy is "exhausted," said David Goldman, who headed bond research at the Bank of America. A little nudge could push it into recession.

Obamacare could provide that nudge -- in March.  Here's why.
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Written by Ron Kessler   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014

I'm Ron Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect.

This week, we celebrated something called "Presidents Day."  I thought you might enjoy the most revealing comments the many Secret Service agents I interviewed made regarding the Presidents and First Ladies they protected.  They are all quotes from my book.

We start with John and Jacqueline Kennedy and end with Barack and Michelle Obama.  Here is what Secret Service agents actually think of them.
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014

All of us think about what's going to happen in the future.  The more accurately we can estimate what is likely to happen, the more effective we can be in navigating the course ahead.

There is a downside, however. Since we can anticipate what may happen in the future, this also allows us to worry about the future. And we tend to give our imaginations more credit than they deserve.

Anticipating events to come so that we can take effective action is invaluable. But worry is a different animal; worry is what we do when we don't know what to do, when we don't have enough information, or when events are outside of our control.  Here's how to worry more effectively.
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Written by Michael Ledeen   
Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I don't think it's hard to understand Obama's foreign policy.  Although there's a lot we don't know about him, his basic impulses are clear enough.  He's told us what they are (although, to be sure, he often misleads and obfuscates), and his actions are in keeping with his announced impulses. 

Furthermore, there's nothing unique or surprising about them - you can hear them in our classrooms and our college dorms, and read them in the establishment press every day.  He's an establishment member in high standing.

Voilá: He believes that most of the serious problems in the world are the result of past American actions.  Call it imperialism.  Call it meddling.  Call it arrogance (as the Iranians do).  Whatever you call it, it means that pre-Obama policies were bad.

Ergo, it's mostly Bush's fault. (Shorthand for "before me, they didn't understand.  Anything.")  It follows that the single most important action to ensure good policies is...
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Written by Richard Rahn   
Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Among the general public, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and their lesser known younger sibling, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), have reputations far exceeding their actual achievements.

The OECD was originally set up as an organization to promote trade among the developed countries and to build statistical databases. It has now morphed into an organization whose principal goal appears to be the collection of more taxes for its member governments.

Last week, Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the OECD, said it was the "duty" of international companies to stop employing tax-reduction strategies -- aiming some of his comments directly at Apple and Google.

Mr. Gurria seems to think the purpose of business is to pay taxes. Not so. The purpose of a business is...
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