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IS CHINA REALLY BITING ITS ECONOMY'S BULLET? Print E-mail
Written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014

China’s leaders have brushed aside warnings of an incipient credit crunch in the Chinese economy, determined to purge excesses from the financial system despite falling house prices and the deepest industrial slowdown since the Lehman crisis.

Industrial production dropped 0.4% in August from a month earlier, a rare event that highlights how quickly China is coming off the boil. The growth of fixed asset investment fell to record lows.

“It is a shockingly sharp deceleration,” said Wei Yao, from Societe Generale. “What is surprising is the calm response from Beijing. The new leadership’s tolerance for short-term pain seems to have jumped by another big notch.”

Electricity output has dropped 2.2% over the past year as the authorities continue to force dinosaur industries into closure, chipping away at excess capacity.

New credit has fallen 40%, and there has been an outright contraction of trust loans and undiscounted bankers acceptances over the past two months, the result of a clampdown on parts of the shadow banking nexus.

Premier Li Keqiang has so far refused to blink, determined to drive through deep reforms and wean the economy off exorbitant levels of debt before the damage becomes irreversible. “We are restructuring instead of expanding the monetary supply,” he said last week, warning markets not to expect easy money to ignite a fresh boom this time.

But will he and his fellow Communist Party leaders keep not blinking?

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THE LAPDOG Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 19 September 2014

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HALF-FULL REPORT 09/12/14 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 12 September 2014

Can't resist starting this HFR off with Red State's Erick Erickson's comment on Zero's Nothingburger speech to the nation Wednesday night (9/10):

"This speech is what I imagine you'd try to say to your mom if she walked in on you playing with yourself. It was awkward and we've caught the President with his pants down."

Amidst a lot of dumb stuff, Zero's dumbest claim of all was: "ISIL is not ‘Islamic.'  No religion condones the killing of innocents."

The Koran does just this and repeatedly. A quartet of samples from a myriad...

A perfect example of what we discussed in 9/11 and the 10th Commandment - emerged this week in Oklahoma.  Leave it to a Marine, State Rep. John Bennet, to provide it.

You'd think that John Bennett would be a lay down for HFR Hero of the Week.  Problem is, there's a trio of other contenders...

Actually, however, there is good news in the Islamic world this week.  Disgusted and enraged by ISIS barbarism in the name of their religion, Moslems all over the world are partaking in their version of the "ice bucket challenge" craze - the ISIS Flag Burning Challenge.

I particularly like the topless Femen feminist flag burners.  Good for them all.
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9/11 AND THE 10TH COMMANDMENT Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 11 September 2014

Any adult in America knows where they were 13 years ago today. 

In the days following the Moslem Atrocity of 9/11, if someone had predicted 13 years hence that instead of having wiped Islamic Terrorism from the face of the earth, we'd still be cowering in fear of its threat, they would have been thought deranged.  Yet we are.

How is this possible? 

Let's ask another question.  In his TTP column this week, Richard Rahn contrasted "aspirational societies" where productive work and success are not punished, with societies consumed by envy.  He sums up America's crisis with one devastating observation:
"The United States used to be an aspirational society, but has increasingly become an envious society."  
How did this happen?

It turns out that these two questions - among the most critical questions we can ask of our country today - have the same answer.

The answer starts with our society's failure to follow the 10th Commandment of Exodus 20:17 -
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THE ASPIRATIONAL SOCIETY VS. THE ENVIOUS SOCIETY Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Tuesday, 09 September 2014

Hong Kong.  Why is Hong Kong succeeding while New York City is receding?

They are both world-class cities with about the same per-capita income and great natural harbors. New York is about 15 percent larger in population, while Hong Kong is about one-third larger in area (but unbuildable because of the steep terrain). Both have large immigrant populations who are seeking better lives.

Last week, I explained how much of Hong Kong's success was a result of it having the freest economy in the world, with low levels of government spending, low tax rates, a minimum of government regulation and the rule of law. There is more.

Hong Kong, like Singapore, South Korea, Chile and Switzerland are aspirational societies, rather than societies consumed with envy, like France. Work, saving and investment are not punished in aspirational societies, and there tend to be less social conflict and a higher level of civility.

(It was U.S. venture capitalist Terry Anker who first used the term "aspirational society" to describe Hong Kong during our meetings in this glorious city this past week. It is a more inclusive term than "opportunity society" that Newt Gingrich and Jack Kemp frequently used to describe their vision for the United States.)

The United States used to be an aspirational society, but has increasingly become an envious society.
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THE GOP WAVE ON THE HORIZON Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Republican "wave" has yet to emerge in the midterm elections, which is causing angst in some conservative circles.  This should shake any Republicans out of their complacency, but isn't a cause for alarm.

For as they look out to sea, bigfoot analysts Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook think they spot it on the horizon rolling in to wash Democrats out of office on Nov. 4.

36 races for governor and all 435 House seats are up, but far and away the most important are the 36 races for the U.S. Senate, where the GOP needs a net gain of six to take control away from Dirty Harry Reid.

Analysts concede GOP pickups in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. What's causing the angst is that every other race in which Republicans expected to be competitive is rated a tossup, or the Democrat has a lead.

So let's scan the horizon and see just how big this wave could be.
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DISGUSTINGLY VILE DEMOCRATS Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 11 September 2014

"Rand Paul, who will likely run for President as a stay-at-home Republican, went to Guatemala recently and performed eye surgeries as a means of displaying his foreign-policy bona fides," wrote New Yorker Editor and Obama hagiographer David Remnick. "Was Bashar al-Assad, Syria's ophthalmologist-in-chief, impressed?"

Since the mid 1990s - long before his election to the Senate in 2010 - Sen. Paul has been going to Guatemala to provide free surgical care to poor people in desperate need of it. He's never claimed his charitable work is a foreign policy credential.

It's kosher to criticize Sen. Paul's foreign policy views; to suspect expediency motivated the recent shift in them; to consider his inexperience in foreign affairs a handicap. (I have, I do, and I do.) But to attack him for his charitable work is unspeakably vile.

Here are more examples of how disgusting Democrats and their toadies can be.
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EGYPT'S EXTRAORDINARY PEACE PROPOSAL TO THE PALESTINIANS Print E-mail
Written by Caroline Glick   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Something extraordinary has happened.
 
On August 31, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told an audience of Fatah members that Egypt had offered to give - give, as in cede sovereignty to - the PA some 1,600 square kilometers (625 square miles) of land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza, thus quintupling the size of the Gaza Strip. Egypt even offered to allow all the so-called "Palestinian refugees" to settle in the expanded Gaza Strip.
 
Then Abbas told his Fatah followers that he rejected the Egyptian offer.

On Monday (9/08), Israeli Army Radio substantiated Abbas's claim.
 
According to Army Radio, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi proposed that the Palestinians establish their state in the expanded Gaza Strip.
 
In his speech to Fatah members, Abbas said, "They [the Egyptians] are prepared to receive all the refugees, [and are saying] ‘Let's end the refugee story.'" "But," he insisted, "It's illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt's expense. We won't have it."
 
In other words, Sisi offered Abbas a way to end the Palestinians' suffering and grant them political independence. And Abbas said, "No, forget statehood. Let my people suffer."
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THE BREAKUP OF BRITAIN? Print E-mail
Written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard   
Tuesday, 09 September 2014

Powerful investors across the world have woken up to the possibility that Scotland may vote to break up the United Kingdom next week (9/18), with some already preparing defensive action that risks a potentially dangerous flight from sterling and Britain's bond market.

Japan's biggest bank, Nomura, has advised clients to slash financial exposure to the UK and brace for a possible collapse of the pound after polls showed the independence campaign running neck and neck, warning that the separation of England and Scotland after more than 300 years would be a "cataclysmic shock."

Stephen Jen, head of SLJ Macro Partners and a Chinese-speaker from Taiwan, said Asian investors are flabbergasted by the sight of an ancient and successful union tearing itself apart for no obvious reason. "It is totally bizarre. They simply don't understand it, and nor do I. Until a week and half ago everybody thought there was a zero probability of Scotland voting Yes," he said.

"We have always assumed the United Kingdom would stay united, but now everything we thought about the UK has suddenly been tested, and will have to be repriced."

Simon Derrick, from Bank of New York Mellon, said the UK is leveraged to global financial cycle and has become a magnet for the "carry trade", sucking in funds from Japan, the Middle East and other regions searching for yield.

Mr. Derrick said a 15% plunge in sterling is "quite conservative" given the dangers of a messy divorce. "We think the high $1.40s against the dollar is entirely feasible. People always underestimate how far sterling can fall when the tide turns," he said.
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THE BEST GIFT Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 12 September 2014

During the recent cease-fire, the leader of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, Khaled Mashal, sent a gift to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, in an elaborate box with a note.

After having the box checked for safety reasons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the box and saw that the content was human feces.

He opened the note, handwritten in Arabic by Mr. Mashal, which said, "For you and the proud people of the Zionist Entity."

Mr. Netanyahu, literate in Arabic, pondered the note and decided how best to reciprocate.

He quickly did so by sending the Hamas leader a very pretty package with a personal note.
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HALF-FULL REPORT 09/05/14 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 05 September 2014

One of Hollywood's legends is that their deaths always come in threes.  This proved true when Joan Rivers' came yesterday (9/04), which followed that of Lauren Bacall (8/12), and one day earlier, Robin Williams (8/11).  They were marvelously gifted, and we should be grateful for the joy they brought to our lives.

As Howie Carr of the Boston Herald notes this morning (9/05), in Massachusetts bad news also come in threes - as it did this week.  On Wednesday (9/03), Secretary of State Lurch hinted he might run in 2016, as did Governor Incompetence and Senator Talking Bull.

...Two months from today we'll know if we're going to suffer the undiluted Curse of Zero for another 28½ months, or if it will be diluted enough to render Zero impotent.  Here's this week's Sitrep.

...You can't blame Mitt Romney for capitalizing on his clairvoyance.  The entire Zero-worshipping Enemedia made fun of his "gaffe" when, during the 2012 campaign, he told Wolf Blitzer that Russia was "without question, our number one geopolitical foe.  They fight every cause for the world's worst actors."

Since it's now blindingly obvious he was right, you can't fault his timing by penning a piece in the WaPo yesterday (9/04):  The Need for a Mighty US Military.

However, Mitt is playing catch up with Rick Perry.  Right now, Rick's the Pub front-runner for 2016.  He showed why in his fabulous speech in Dallas last Friday evening (8/29).  I encourage you take 24 minutes to watch it all.  He quotes Thomas Paine:  "The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government" - and goes from there.  Enjoy:
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A POST-ZERO FOREIGN POLICY Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 04 September 2014

It's hard to see how US foreign policy under Zero could get much worse - but it certainly can as it continues to spiral downward.  President Pandora, as Jack Kelly calls him today (9/04) won't close his box of evils until he no longer infests the White House.

Nonetheless, the world is filled with opportunities, and it's helpful to focus on how a pro-American president could maximize them.  Then we can see how candidates as they enter the 2016 fray stack up in their understanding of them and how they would implement their maximization.

At the top of the list, of course, is repairing the monumental damage Zero has done to the American economy, and concomitantly, the willingness of foreign companies and countries to do business with it.  This means repealing FATCA as step one, with many steps to follow - such as those listed in The Speech I'd Give If I Were Running for President (July 2011).

Next comes rebuilding alliances with our friends.  Zero's policy has been to spit on them, as he has done with Israel.  A post-Zero pro-American foreign policy would be to spit on our enemies instead.  Naturally, this starts with ISIS and other assorted Islamic crazies.

ISIS, it turns out,  is a perfect example of the Chinese "danger=opportunity" equation.
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PRESIDENT PANDORA Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 04 September 2014

The first big step President Barack Hussein Obama took to implement the new strategy he outlined in his much ballyhooed speech in Cairo in June of 2009 was the war of dubious legality he waged to oust Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

He wouldn't fight Islamists, as George W. Bush had done, Mr. Obama said. He came to Cairo "to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect."

Islamists seized control of Libya's capital, Tripoli, Aug. 25. The descent of Libya into a bloody civil war Islamists are winning is fraught with symbolic significance, because it was here President Barack Hussein Obama opened Pandora's box.

In Greek mythology, the god Zeus gave Pandora, the first woman or Greek Eve, a box (a jar in Hesiod's original story), and a warning never to open it. When Pandora cracked it open, out rushed all the evils that plague mankind.

In the modern version, Americans in an act of masochistic naïveté gave such a box to Obama in 2008, who promptly opened it - and then to compound the masochism, they insisted he keep it open in 2012.
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AMERICA'S CRISIS OF GREEDY GOVERNMENT LOOTERS Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Tuesday, 02 September 2014

America is in crisis because the people responsible for governing the country are looting it instead.

Obamacare has sent health insurance premiums and budget deficits soaring, clobbered employment, dragged down economic growth. But it's been a bonanza for big health insurance companies, to whom President Obama plans to hand $8 billion more taxpayer dollars.

"Renewable" energy firms produce little electricity at exorbitant cost, but reap billions in taxpayer subsidies.

Illegals have committed more than 3,000 murders and 8,000 sexual assaults in Texas since 2008, the governor said. More flood across the border because Democrats see them as future Democrat voters; big business sees cheap labor.

More than 500 veterans died or were seriously injured last year due to "inappropriate" care at Veterans Administration hospitals, according to internal documents. The Office of Special Counsel is investigating 67 claims of retaliation against whistleblowers at 45 VA facilities in 28 states. Managers altered records to conceal neglect, and to obtain bonuses they hadn't earned.

It's hard to find a government agency anywhere that isn't run mostly for the benefit of those who staff it.
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"WE DO NOT HAVE A STRATEGY" IS OBAMA'S LATEST LIE Print E-mail
Written by Michael Ledeen   
Tuesday, 02 September 2014

He does have a strategy, but prefers to appear indecisive.  That's because the strategy would likely provoke even greater criticism than the false confession of endless dithering.

The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. 

During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. 

The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the Shah's rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine.  Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.

Ever since, President Obama's quest for an alliance with Iran has been conducted through at least four channels: 
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