God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving. —Randy Alcorn
Dec. 9, 2014
Forty-five percent of Americans say they now view the Republican Party favorably, while 47 percent hold an unfavorable view. That’s the best showing the party has had since the inception of the poll in September 2009. Opinion about the Democratic Party has plunged, with a favorable rating of 41 percent and an unfavorable rating of 50 percent. This was Democrats’ worst showing in more than five years. President Barack Obama struggles with his lowest job approval rating, at 39 percent and just 24 percent say the country is on the right track, the lowest rating since September 2011.
The Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee are preparing to issue their 6,200-page report on the harsh interrogation tactics the CIA used on terrorism suspects, defying the objections of current and former U.S. officials including former President George W. Bush.
Congressional negotiators plan today to release a bipartisan U.S. government spending proposal, just days before current funding ends, after resolving disputes over Republican policy proposals.
U.S. states are taking advantage of an expanding economy to cut taxes by the most in 14 years while spending more on education and other programs, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.
The world’s monetary policy makers are set to open the cash spigot by the most in four years in 2015. Major central banks will together add almost three times more liquidity next year than they did in 2014, according to Credit Suisse Group AG analysts.
Representatives from Iceland’s government, central bank and parliament discussed imposing a tax as high as 40 percent on investors exiting the island.
Gold futures rose to the highest in more than five weeks as declines in equity markets revived demand for the metal as a haven. More than $100 billion was wiped from the value of world equity markets yesterday, and global shares are falling again today. The dollar headed for the biggest loss in a month against a basket of 10 currencies.
An estimated 6.6 million malaria cases and 20,000 deaths from the disease affected Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013, the WHO said.
Home prices in Dubai are set to decline next year as buyers from Russia, Europe and Asia exit the market and fewer secondhand properties are sold
AP Top Stories
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday that his army is taking the offensive against the Islamic State group but needs more air power and heavy weaponry to prevail.
A Florida sheriff called for calm after a 28-year-old unarmed black man in a stolen car was shot and critically wounded early on Monday by a white officer, after witness reports that the man had his hands up and amid racially charged protests nationwide about police violence.
Mexican demonstrators blocked or slowed traffic near at least four busy entry points along the United States’ southern border on Monday to protest against new Mexican fees and rules on imports of used cars from the United States.
An executive jet crashed into a Maryland house on Monday, killing all three people aboard the plane and a mother and two children inside the house, a fire official said.
Islamic State fighters have lost the initiative in Iraq and are now “on defense” with far less ability to generate the kind of ground maneuvers that enabled the extremists to capture large chunks of Iraq earlier this year, a senior U.S. general said Monday.
Cruise ships dump about 1 billion gallons of sewage overboard every year, and much of it is raw or poorly treated, according to federal data.
The last French hostage held by Islamist militants, Serge Lazarevic, has been released, French President Francois Hollande announced.
Uruguay said it is granting complete freedom to six former Guantanamo Bay inmates released by the US to the South American country over the weekend.
Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels in the east suspended fighting, but new peace talks remain uncertain.
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe sacked his vice-president, Joice Mujuru, after accusing her of plotting to kill him.
Global efforts over the past decade have halved the number of people dying from malaria – a tremendous achievement, said the World Health Organization.
The US Senate backed a bill which would impose travel bans and economic sanctions on Venezuelan officials found to have violated protesters’ rights.
The Internet is revolutionizing news consumption, with more than seven in 10 telling Pew Research Center that they are better informed than they were five years ago because of the news websites they visit daily. In Pew’s latest survey of Internet use, 75 percent said they are “better informed” about national news, and a near equal 74 percent on international news.
An Arizona county’s board of supervisors will vote this month on whether to refuse to hire smokers and penalize current employees who smoke.
A new study finds that men who smoke lose the Y chromosome in blood cells more frequently than nonsmokers – and the heavier their cigarette use is, the fewer Y chromosomes they have.
After causing an uproar with the taking of ethnic minority Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves in Iraq, the Islamic jihadist group ISIS issued a pamphlet justifying its actions by citing the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and authoritative Islamic scholars. It states Islam permits conquering Muslim soldiers to have sexual intercourse with non-Muslim slaves, including young girls, and also allows them to be beaten and traded.
Daily Digest for Tuesday
December 9, 2014
“To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity would be to calculate on the weaker springs of human character.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34, 1788
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
MIT professor and ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber is testifying before Congress today regarding his comments about “stupid voters” and the deception Democrats employed to cram through the “Affordable” Care Act. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) slammed Gruber, though mainly for exposing Democrats’ methods. He decided to discredit Gruber: “As far as I can tell, we are here today to beat up on Jonathan Gruber for stupid — I mean absolutely stupid — comments he made over the last few years. Let me be clear, I am extremely frustrated with Dr. Gruber’s statements. They were irresponsibly, incredibly disrespectful, and did not reflect reality. And they were indeed insulting.” Cummings then denied having anything to do with deceiving Americans: “I was in Congress when this law was debated, and Dr. Gruber does not speak for me, or the chairman of the other committees who worked tirelessly on this bill. We debated this legislation for nearly a year before it was finally passed and signed by the president! Never once did I believe or did anyone suggest that we were somehow hiding our goals from the American people!” At least he can’t say so with righteous indignation, but we all know ObamaCare is the biggest of the BIG Lies foisted on this country. “But worst of all,” Cummings concluded, “Dr. Gruber’s statements gave Republicans a public relations gift in their relentless political campaign to tear down the ACA and eliminate health care for millions of Americans!” Gruber just spoke too candidly.
Barack Obama interviewed with Black Entertainment Television (BET) and addressed the furor that followed the recent decisions by two grand juries not to indict police officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo. The president said America has made significant progress when it comes to racism — then alluded to continued racist behavior among some communities. “We can’t equate what is happening now to what was happening 50 years ago,” he explained. “And if you talk to your parents, grandparents, uncles, they’ll tell you that things are better. Not good in some cases, but better.” Nevertheless, “When you’re dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society you’ve got to have vigilance but you have to recognize that it is going to take some time, and you just have to be steady.” If this is about racism, why did Eric Garner’s widow admit her husband’s death isn’t a “black and white thing”? According to a recent poll, if anyone is to blame for fanning the race card flame, it’s Obama. Bloomberg Politics reports, “[A] majority of Americans, 53 percent, say the interactions between the white and black communities have deteriorated since [Obama] took office.” More…
Barbie of the Left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), told a group of Democrat donors in the Boston area that the subprime mortgage crisis unfairly “targeted” minority families looking to buy a home. She also lambasted what she saw as an unholy alliance between Wall Street and government, with people moving from — in leftist eyes — the evil corporate banks into government work, tainting the vaulted work of orchestrating plebeians’ lives. Politico reports, “She ascribed some of the problem to a worsening climate of economic opportunity for African-Americans than existed even a decade ago, according to attendees. And she said that the mortgage crisis affected black and Hispanic families more heavily, describing those groups as being ‘targeted.'” Warren neglected to mention those subprime mortgages were created by the government — Democrats, in particular — and then the government forced banks to adopt risky lending practices as a way to encourage minority homeownership. So were minorities “targeted”? Absolutely. By Democrats. More…
The National Bureau of Economic Research is out with a new paper showing once again that raising the minimum wage has a high cost for workers. In October, Hillary Clinton summed up the Left’s argument that raising the minimum wage is a no-brainer: “[D]on’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. They always say that.” But what University of California, San Diego, researchers Jeffrey Clemens and Michael Wither found is this: “[B]inding minimum wage increases had significant, negative effects on the employment and income growth of targeted workers. … We also present evidence of the minimum wage’s effects on low-skilled workers’ economic mobility. We find that binding minimum wage increases significantly reduced the likelihood that low-skilled workers rose to what we characterize as lower middle class earnings.” In other words, the minimum wage often has the opposite of the intended effect. No wonder the best argument liberals can come up with is “because we said so.” More…
It seems like Iran has the upper hand in the negotiations with world leaders over its nuclear program. First, the talks failed to bring a deal by the Nov. 24 deadline. During the negotiations, the Iranian diplomats shouted at Secretary of State John Kerry so violently that his bodyguards thought the “negotiations” would go beyond words. But as the talks failed, the countries at the table agreed to move the deadline to June 30. And according to Kerry, a former peace protester, diplomats will be joining hands, singing Kum Ba Ya within a few months time. But that’s not what Iran has been indicating. It has shopped for materials to build a heavy-water reactor that could make weapons-grade plutonium. And while the U.S. announced Iran made concessions, Iran publicly corrected the White House. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his state-run media, “Of course we bypass sanctions. We are proud that we bypass sanctions because the sanctions are illegal.” By these indications, it seems like Kerry can add the Iranian nuclear talks as a smashing failure to his résumé.
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Check out Obama and Santa.
|This is why interrogation is necessary|
The Senate Intelligence Committee will release a report today detailing the CIA’s use of what those on the Left call torture — otherwise known as enhanced interrogation techniques used against several members of al-Qaida during the Bush administration. The 6,000-page report (with a 500-page executive summary) took more than five years and $40 million to produce, and it’s sure to spark much debate for weeks to come.
Did we mention the release is conveniently timed to obscure today’s congressional testimony from ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber? As Democrats might say, “Gee, was that today?”
In 2009, Barack Obama deliberately undermined the CIA and ordered a stop to the techniques used to gather intelligence from three key members of al-Qaida. As Mark Alexander noted at the time, “Intelligence gathered from these detainees, particularly KSM Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, saved American lives and property — especially information that thwarted planned attacks on Los Angeles and New York, as well as actionable intelligence that led to the arrest of an al-Qa’ida cell in the U.S. and the capture or death of a succession of al-Qa’ida principals in the Middle East and Africa.”
By the way, Osama bin Laden is dead thanks to information obtained through enhanced interrogation. Obama likes to spike the football on that one, while repudiating the techniques that made it possible.
The president and his fellow NeoComs say that even though waterboarding and other enhanced techniques worked, they are just too inhumane, too evil. The president said in August, “We tortured some folks.” He further lectured, “When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line. And that needs to be understood and accepted.”
So let’s get this straight: Obama simply kills terrorists with drones rather than try to gather intelligence by interrogating them. His Iraq policy failure was driven by 2012 electoral politics and gave rise to the Islamic State. And yet he now wants us to believe he has credibility regarding what intelligence operations are good or bad for America.
CIA operatives did what was asked of them and what was necessary to gather actionable intelligence. Rather than give praise to these and other Patriots who have helped keep America safe, however, this president, with his rhetoric and policies, is choosing once again to knock America down a few pegs.
Secretary of State John Kerry anticipated outrage from terrorist organizations that could lead to an increase in atrocities overseas, and he personally phoned the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Diane Feinstein, asking that she “delay the imminent release of her committee’s report.” To be sure, Kerry “still supports releasing the report, just not right now.”
Intelligence officials and Republicans in Congress are concerned for the safety of U.S. personnel and facilities overseas. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden warned of the report’s questionable content and its betrayal of our overseas intelligence partners: “This report will lead to a … CIA that is timid and friendless, and that is a very dangerous situation.”
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said releasing the report “is a terrible idea.” He added, “Foreign leaders have approached the government and said, ‘You do this, this will cause violence and deaths.’ Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths.”
Feinstein is undeterred. She praised the “societal and constitutional values that we are very proud of,” while contesting, “Anybody who reads this is going to never let this happen again.”
Far from such high-minded concerns, she knows it wouldn’t see the light of day once she’s demoted from being chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. And, not uncommon with leftists, she would rather see her years of political work in the headlines than be concerned about the lives of U.S. personnel overseas.
Although many of the specifics of the soon-to-be released report are unknown, they are controversial enough to bring former President George W. Bush out of his deliberately chosen quiet retirement. During an interview on Sunday, he made it clear he was fully behind the actions of the CIA: “These are patriots. Whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off base.”
Retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had some choice words regarding the release of the report as well. He stated, “I’m not sure how much in the way of so-called new material might be forthcoming, but what the report does say … is that there was no actionable intelligence gathered through the process of interrogation of these terrorists. That’s wrong. It’s simply just not true.”
According to Jose Rodriguez, former CIA national clandestine service director, “We got a lot of information from the detainees that eventually led us to bin Laden. And that is a fact. … There was someone we captured in 2004, who told us about bin Laden’s courier, and gave us his pseudonym.”
Recall if you will that it was Rodriguez who destroyed interrogation tapes in order to protect CIA case officers, methods and sources — and that’s what got Feinstein on a roll.
To cap off the idiocy that comes out of this administration, Press Secretary Josh Earnest declared during a press briefing Monday, “Even if enhanced interrogations did help find bin Laden, it wasn’t worth the damage that it did to the U.S.” Excuse us Mr. Earnest, but what would the damage to the U.S. had been if we had not used enhanced interrogations to help find bin Laden and other terrorists?
This report was written by Democrats for the sole purpose of damaging the Bush administration and America. The release will embolden our enemies. And it’s shameful.
America is being roiled by racial huckstering. Huckstering that would be all but impossible absent the avalanche of mainstream media malfeasance that aids and abets it.
Such malfeasance is nothing new. In 1991, when Los Angeles TV station KTLA received what is arguably the nation’s first viral video of police beating Rodney King, they edited out the first few seconds showing King charging the officers. KTLA shared the video with CNN, which distributed it to networks that played it over and over. Virtually everyone used the same edit. Thus when the four officers involved were acquitted of assault — based in large part on King’s actions — people were infuriated. So infuriated they engendered three days of utter mayhem that killed 55 people, injured almost 2,000, and led to 7,000 arrests. In addition there was nearly $1 billion in property damage that included nearly 4,000 buildings being set ablaze.
It didn’t matter that in a subsequent federal trial for violating King’s civil rights, two of the four officers were found guilty and served prison time. The damage was done — and the media never accepted an iota of culpability for it.
The treatment the media afforded George Zimmerman proves they’ve sunk even lower. It began when one of their own, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, a tax-evading, hoax perpetrating, Harlem riot instigating, racial arsonist of the first order turned Zimmerman’s shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin into yet another utterly misguided and erroneous national referendum on black/white race relations. Erroneous because Zimmerman was of Hispanic descent. That “problem” was “solved” by both CNN and The New York Times, which referred to Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic.” At least they got it half right. The AP, CBS News and the Martin family lawyer — appearing on Sharpton’s show — referred to Zimmerman as white.
Soon after, the media malfeasance reached gargantuan heights. NBC edited Zimmerman’s phone exchange with a 911 operator to make him sound racist. CNN suggested Zimmerman said “f–king coon” before it became apparent it was “f–king cold,” and the network was forced to walk back their “expert” audio analysis. ABC News showed video of Zimmerman’s head, but covered his lacerations with a chyron, even as they claimed he appeared uninjured.
None of it mattered. Zimmerman was acquitted. But that still wasn’t enough for much of the media that insisted the acquittal was due to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, even though it was never presented as part of Zimmerman’s defense. Nor did it matter that the media’s despicable framing of the story led to a plethora of black-on-white violence by thugs using “payback for Trayvon” as their rationale.
One would think such media-engendered violence would cause those who report the “news” to be more diligent and careful. As Ferguson proves, the media were not only unrepentant but willing to double down on creating and collaborating with a racially charged narrative completely at odds with reality. As was the set-up with regard to Trayvon Martin, and the widely disseminated picture of him used to create the impression of innocence — despite the fact that it was three or four years old — “gentle giant” became the media catchphrase immediately associated with Michael Brown. In fact, the phrase was so ingrained that many people, including U.S. Attorney General and Sharpton-admirer Eric Holder, became indignant when Ferguson police released the video showing Brown participating in a strong-arm robbery just prior to his fatal encounter with Police Officer Darren Wilson.
That particular bit of reality became even more problematic when the media’s “star witness,” Dorian Johnson, not only confessed to being Brown’s accomplice in the robbery, but was subsequently revealed by irrefutable physical and eyewitness evidence to be lying when he insisted Brown was shot in the back with his hands up. CNN tried to debunk the video, which was bad enough. But the media’s lionization of Johnson perpetrated the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” meme that was an utter lie, and yet made it to the NFL field and the very floor of Congress.
With regard to Eric Garner, the media are once again attempting to keep the racialist angle front and center. And like the Rodney King case, the omission of critical information drives the agenda. One can have legitimately differing opinions about the grand jury’s decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Garner, along with the proper or improper training of the police, Garner’s own culpability in resisting arrest, and even the absurdity of a cigarette tax so high that selling “loosies” becomes a viable, if illegal, enterprise.
What there is no question about is the reality that race was not part of the equation here. The reason we know that is because black business owners called the police to report Garner’s disturbance, while a black NYPD Police Sergeant named Kizzy Adoni oversaw Garner’s arrest and apparently did nothing to stop the officers participating in his takedown.
Again, one would think this information, which might go a long way toward defusing Sharpton and his equally contemptible race-baiting colleagues, would be widely disseminated. And again, one would be wrong. New York’s PIX11 mentioned Adoni back in July, but only in regard to a police report on Garner’s arrest. Her race was never revealed. Only Denis Hamill of the Daily News revealed that reality, even as he admitted the Garner arrest “can’t be called a racial incident” as a result. Several different Google searches reveal other third tier news outlets disseminating the info, but all of them source Hamill.
Hence we have an effective blackout.
And the bet here is most Americans know why. The same media with a decades-long investment in a race-bating, progressive worldview isn’t about to let go. And if Americans must endure everything from misguided protests based on lies, to widespread mayhem and murder precipitated by the withholding of critical information, so be it. The racialist narrative must be served — without reservation or remorse.
It won’t last. A Gallup report released Sept. 17, 2014, reveals public trust in the media has tied its all-time low of 40%. Coupled with the advance of streaming technology and alternative media sources, it won’t be long before our dinosaur establishment media faces the ultimate choice: become accurate, or irrelevant. Decent Americans of every ethnicity, who yearn for genuine truth and justice, won’t have it any other way.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Thomas Sowell: Is Law Optional?
- Arnold Ahlert: Optimism and Decency: Progressive Kryptonite
- William Murchison: Standard Practice
- Ken Blackwell & Bob Morrison: December 7, 2014: Hillary’s Day of Infamy
- Tony Perkins: …ANDA Happy New Year?
OPINION IN BRIEF
Economist Ludwig Von Mises (1881-1973): “The essential characteristic of Western civilization that distinguishes it from the arrested and petrified civilizations of the East was and is its concern for freedom from the state. The history of the West, from the age of the Greek polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders.”
Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Every society has orders and rules, but not every society has the rule of law — ‘a government of laws and not of men.’ Nor was it easy to achieve even an approximation of the rule of law. It took centuries of struggle — and lives risked and sacrificed — to achieve it in those countries which have some approximation of it today. To just throw all of that overboard because of mobs, the media or racial demagoguery is staggering. A generation that jumps to conclusions on the basis of its own emotions, or succumbs to the passions or rhetoric of others, deserves to lose the freedom that depends on the rule of law. Unfortunately, what they say and what they do can lose everyone’s freedom, including the freedom of generations yet unborn. If grand juries are supposed to vote on the basis of what mobs want, instead of on the basis of the evidence that they see — and which the mob doesn’t even want to see — then we forfeit the rule of law and our freedom that depends on it.”
Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “From the racialized mayhem in Ferguson and beyond, to the sexualized mayhem ostensibly rampant on our college campuses, the nation is witness to a common theme: the truth is ‘not important’ if it creates a ‘conflict of interest’ with the progressive agenda. Fortunately, it is an agenda increasingly defined by its desperation, and the plethora of lies and unfounded allegations it needs to sustain the all-important narrative necessary for its survival. The racial component of that narrative was dealt yet another blow Sunday when Eric Garner’s widow, Esaw Snipes, insisted the death of her husband wasn’t ‘a black-and-white thing,’ seriously undercutting the efforts of racial arsonists like Al Sharpton, Eric Holder and President Barack Obama who insists racism and bias remain ‘deeply rooted’ in American society. Baloney. It remains deeply rooted in a progressive agenda on the verge of complete collapse.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “House Republicans threatened to shut down the U.S. government over Obama’s executive order Friday. That’d be catastrophic. Roads won’t be repaired, home loans won’t get approved, and bureaucrats won’t be reachable by phone, and that’s if we can get the government up and running again.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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Anyone That Believes That Collapsing Oil Prices Are Good For The Economy Is Crazy
Are much lower oil prices good news for the U.S. economy? Only if you like collapsing capital expenditures, rising unemployment and a potential financial implosion on Wall Street. Yes, lower gasoline prices are good news for the middle class. I certainly would rather pay two dollars for a gallon of gas than four dollars. But in order to have money to fill up your vehicle you have got to have an income first. And since the last recession, the energy sector has been the number one creator of good jobs in the U.S. economy by far. Barack Obama loves to stand up and take credit for the fact that the employment picture in this country has been improving slightly, but without the energy industry boom, unemployment would be through the roof. And now that the “energy boom” is rapidly becoming an “energy bust”, what will happen to the struggling U.S. economy as we head into 2015? (Read More….)
ShadowStats Recent Headlines
December 6, 2014
No. 679: Labor Numbers, Trade Deficit, Household Income and Construction Spending
• Widening Fourth-Quarter Trade Deficit Should Hit GDP Growth Hard
• October Median Household Income in Continued Low-Level Stagnation
• Full-Time Employment Is 2.4 Million Shy of Pre-Recession Peak
• Headline Unemployment Really Increased by 0.1%, But Gain Was Hidden in Rounding Details
• November Payroll and Unemployment Data Heavily Skewed Again By Volatile and Inconsistent Seasonal Adjustments
• November Unemployment Rates: 5.8% (U.3), 11.4% (U.6), 23.0% (ShadowStats)
• Downtrend in Inflation-Adjusted Construction;Annual Growth Turned Negative in September and October
• November Money Supply M3 Annual Growth Surged to Five-Year High
November 26, 2014
No. 678: October Durable Goods Orders, New-Home Sales, November Consumer Conditions
• No Economic Boom in Durable Goods Orders or Housing Activity
• Real Durable Orders Goods Set Early Pace of Flat-to-Down Activity for Fourth-Quarter 2014
• New-Home Sales Revised Lower in Third-Quarter; October Broad Sales Activity Remained Stagnant
• Consumer Confidence and Sentiment Remain at Levels Consistent with Historical Recessions
November 25, 2014
No. 677: Third-Quarter 2014 GDP, First Revision
• Gross Domestic Product Upside Revision Was Nonsense
• Initial Gross Domestic Income Reporting Suggested Major Revision Shenanigans that Boosted Headline GDP
• Underlying Reality Remains Down-Trending Stagnation in Broad Economic Activity
November 20, 2014
No. 676: October CPI, Real Retail Sales and Earnings, Existing-Home Sales
• October Annual Inflation: 1.7% (CPI-U), 1.5% (CPI-W), 9.4% (ShadowStats)
• Inflation Held at 1.7% for Third Month, Despite Tumbling Oil Prices That Reduced CPI-U by 0.5%
• Annual Real Retail Sales Growth Fell Back to Recession Level, Amidst Suggestions of Much-Slower Fourth-Quarter Activity
• Third-Quarter GDP Headline Growth of 3.5% Should Revise to Below 2.5%; Fourth-Quarter GDP Activity Fair Bet for Outright Contraction
• Existing-Home Sales Gained 1.5% for the Month, 2.5% Year-to-Year, But Fell 3.7% in the Trailing 12 Months of Activity
November 19, 2014
No. 675: October Housing Starts, PPI
• October Housing Starts Indicated Fourth-Quarter Contraction
• PPI Headline Inflation of 0.2% Reflected Peculiarities of New Reporting Approach
• October PPI Will Dampen Real Growth in New Orders for Durable Goods and Construction Spending
Lava flows toward Hawaii village, threatens major intersection
Slow-moving lava from an erupting volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island continued to flow toward a small village, advancing about 250 yards on Monday, and threatened to reach a major traffic intersection before year’s end. While the main flow from Kilauea’s June 27th eruption has stalled yards from the main road through Pahoa Village and just feet from a recycling transfer station, the breakout upslope is active and lava is crawling toward the area, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The flow front is 2.3 miles upslope and does not pose an immediate threat to the community, Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said. Last month, the river of lava incinerated a house, the only home devoured by the stream of molten rock. More
China Conducts Third Test Of Game-Changing Missile
China conducts its third test in a year of a hypersonic glide vehicle designed to evade our missile and other defense systems, including the Aegis defense system guarding our carrier battle groups. As we downsize our military, scale back weapons procurement and development, China proceeds at top speed towards weapons designed to counter our once-huge technical advantage and qualitative superiority. Case in point is the third flight test of a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), dubbed the WU-14 by the Pentagon, following earlier tests on Jan. 9 and Aug. 7 of this year. The U.S. Navy is particularly concerned, as an HGV would be a potent weapon against U.S. carrier battle groups in the western Pacific. More
Study finds early warning signals of global ocean conveyor belt collapse
We could see early warning signs of the collapse of a key component of the global climate up to 250 years in advance, a new study has shown – ample time to either prevent or prepare for the consequences of abrupt climate change. The University of Exeter study analyzed the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), sometimes referred to as the global ocean conveyor belt, in a highly-complex and realistic simulation model, and identified the likely mechanisms that would drive such a collapse. The AMOC is crucial to Earth’s climate. It transports heat from the tropics to the cooler North Atlantic and then up into the atmosphere, driven by differences in density in ocean layers that are caused by salinity and temperature variations. Without it, the surface air temperature of the North Atlantic region would cool by around 1-3 degrees Celsius, with isolated pockets cooling by up to 8°C. More
Iris ID Announces ESI Biometric Voter Registration Integration
During last week’s iCPS Symposium, Iris ID and Electoral Services International (ESI) announced that the former’s iCAM T10 and Iris Accelerator solutions are now integrated with the latter’s Biometric Voter Registration (BVR). Iris ID, formerly the Iris Technology Division of LG Electronics, will be providing its biometric platform to allow for enrollment in the voter registration process. ESI provides mission critical voter services and technology for over 66 countries. Those clients can now benefit from the assurance of iris biometrics when registering voters. ESI’s president, Dwight Casson, stated in a press release that a large part of the decision to choose iris recognition had to do with its very low failure to enroll rate. More
Could Seattle And Portland Soon See A Gigantic Earthquake?
The fault zone where the next big Pacific Northwest earthquake is expected to occur lies 40 to 80 miles off of the Pacific Northwest coast. The area is called the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Accordingly, earthquake scientists have put listening posts along the coast from Vancouver Island to Northern California. Now, the seismometers have gone eerily silent. Typically, there is noise from the plates coming in contact with each other. University of Oregon geophysics professor Doug Toomey labels it a “a puzzle” and says: ” What is extraordinary is that all of Cascadia is quiet. It’s extraordinarily quiet when you compare it to other subduction zones globally.” More
Six triggers that could renew a eurozone crisis in 2015
The latest instalment of the eurozone crisis could be back on the table as early as next year, as political tensions threaten to boil over. Several potential breaking points in the euro area have been identified by the Nordic bank Nordea, each of which could create new rifts in an already fractured monetary union. Jan von Gerich, chief strategist for developed markets at the bank, said that “even though many of the risks may seem remote, there are plenty of them”. More
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar benefits are plentiful. Its wide-ranging uses (rivaling the number of uses of tea tree oil and other nifty natural helpers) include everything from curing hiccups to alleviating cold symptoms, and some people have turned to apple cider vinegar to help fight diabetes, cancer, heart problems, high cholesterol, and weight issues. Read on for more reasons to keep apple cider vinegar handy in your pantry. More
Tumbling euro not enough to save Germany’s factories
Germany’s factories posted a meagre rise in output this November, as the slumping euro failed to lift exports. As the value of the currency has depreciated, Germany’s exports have become relatively cheaper, yet hopes of a corresponding jump in manufacturing have yet to be realised. Industrial production grew by just 0.2pc in October on a month earlier according to official data, falling short of the 0.3pc growth expected by economists. The rise in production from euro weakness was “modest”, said Jennifer McKeown, senior European Economist at Capital Economics. October’s monthly increase marked a second month of growth, taking annual growth to just 0.8pc. More
Banks urge clients to take cash elsewhere
Banks are urging some of their largest customers in the U.S. to take their cash elsewhere or be slapped with fees, citing new regulations that make it onerous for them to hold certain deposits. The banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings PLC, Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp., have spoken privately with clients in recent months to tell them that the new regulations are making some deposits less profitable, according to people familiar with the conversations. More
Islamic State Claims ‘Radioactive Device’ Now in Europe
An alleged weapons maker for the Islamic State (IS) claimed that a “radioactive device” has been smuggled into an undisclosed location in Europe, according to an intelligence brief released Monday by the SITE Intelligence Group. “A Radioactive Device has entered somewhere in Europe,” according Twitter user Muslim-Al-Britani, who claims to be a freelance jihadist weapons maker now working alongside IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS), according to tweets captured and disseminated by SITE. More
OF MESSIAHS FALSE AND TRUE
From Jesus to Obama, why we gravitate toward real – or fake – saviors. “We thought that he was going to be – I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime – but the next messiah,” veteran broadcast journalist Barbara Walters told CNN. Newsweek editor Evan Thomas told MSNBC.
Germans take to the streets to protest against ‘Islamisation’
A new type of anti-immigration protest is sweeping across Germany, as thousands take to the streets against what they say is the growing “Islamisation” of the country.
Obama renews NSA snooping for 90 more days
President Obama has renewed the NSA’s phone-snooping program for another three months, with the administration saying Monday that it’s too important to let it expire right now, defying members of Congress who said it was time to ax the controversial program. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper said Monday they’ve won a 90-day extension of the snooping authority from the secret court that oversees intelligence activities.
Sharyl Attkisson: Obama Officials’ Profanity Is Nothing New
Emmy Award-winning journalist and former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson says she’s been the victim of profanity-laced tirades by Obama administration officials. Attkisson was asked about the revelation by recently-retired ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton that President Barack went on a profane, off-the-record outburst over scandals he believed the press was overblowing.
If thine eye offend thee…
In the book of Matthew (18:9), it states, “If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hellfire.” It seems to me that many Americans have plucked out both their eyes and cast them away, given that many seem unable to see the precipitous cliff for which we are heading.
Obamacare’s Destruction of Primary Care Doctors Continues
Before Obamacare was pushed through Congress in 2010 by Democrats unwilling to consider opposition voices to the legislation, conservatives and doctors repeatedly warned the bill would destroy the ability for physicians to properly function inside a government controlled system. Those warnings went unheeded and now patients and those in need of medical care are experiencing even less access to primary care doctors specifically assigned to them under new healthcare regulations. From AP:
Christian Affection for Islamic Terrorism
PCUSA ties to Hezbollah were exposed a few days ago by the Israeli legal organization Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center). Contrary to the vague allegations raised by Cruz, on December 5 Shurat Hadin filed a detailed IRS complaint against PCUSA for conducting prohibited activities under US tax law that included meetings between PCUSA members and Hezbollah terrorists.
How Did They Miss His Coming?
A question that always used to cause me problems is this one: How did the religious leaders of Jesus’ time miss His coming?
These were highly educated men. Men who spent entire lives from early youth memorizing and learning Scripture, especially the Torah—the first five books of the Bible. Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious and legal experts of the day. They were very intelligent men.
How then did they miss the importance of Jesus of Nazareth?
We Have Been Warned
By Jan Markell
Learn some of these facts and have these and other questions answered:
* What was behind Franklin Roosevelt’s abandonment of the Jews during WWII? Why wouldn’t he bomb the railroad tracks into the camps to slow down the carnage?
* What happened when 900 Jews fleeing the Holocaust in 1939 on the St. Louis appealed to enter the U.S?
* What prompted Harry Truman to be such a champion on behalf of Israel unlike Franklin Roosevelt? How did he literally save tens of thousands of Jews?
What’s Really Going on with Holder’s Civil-Rights Crusade against Police Departments
By Andrew McCarthy
Holder and his constitutional-scholar boss are not banging the civil-rights drum because they believe these are prosecutable cases. It is just a pretext for unleashing Justice Department community organizers on state and municipal police departments.
Headlines of Interest
The Eight Themes of Liberation Theology
Letter to the Editor From Missionary Couple: Young Missionary Women From AIM (Adventures in Missions) Being Taught Contemplative Prayer
LTRP Note: We have removed a couple identifying elements in this letter to protect the identity of a group of young missionary women who responded favorably to warnings about contemplative prayer practices that they have been taught by their missionary sending organization.
Allah “The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful” Praised on US House Floor (Video)
The United States House of Representatives allowed a Muslim imam to give the opening prayer on Thursday morning, in which he praised Allah, the demonic god of Islam, who is the enemy of Christ and America. Imam Hamad Ahmad Chebli of the Islamic Society of New Jersey was invited by Democrat Rep. Rush Holt (NJ). Chebli praised Allah as, “The most gracious, the most merciful” and then declared “Praise be to Allah, the cherisher, the sustainer of the world; the most gracious, the most merciful master of the day of judgment.” He then went on to declare, “Thee do we worship and thine do we seek. Guide us to the safe path.”
Rick Warren at the Vatican Humanum Conference: “We All Love Jesus Christ”
Rick Warren spoke on the “Biblical Meaning of Marriage” Tuesday at the Vatican, where he is among 30 global religious leaders examining the changing roles of marriage and family in the world. Warren joined leaders from 23 countries and 14 religions invited by Pope Francis on at the kickoff Monday to The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium. “It’s great to be with leaders from different streams of Christianity from all over the world,” Warren said from the Vatican on Monday. “Although we have some differences, we all love Jesus Christ and we all want marriages and families to be healthy and strong.” Upon meeting Pope Francis, Warren said: “Up close, you can feel the humility and compassion that others see from afar.”
Rob Bell and Oprah Wrap Up New Age Tour-EQUALLY YOKED
This past weekend, former evangelical pastor Rob Bell and former television icon Oprah wrapped up their national 8-city “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” New Age tour. Joining Bell and Oprah on the tour were other two New Age sympathizers – Deepak Chopra and Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). There was a time, not too many years ago, when Bell’s best-selling book Velvet Elvis was being read by millions of young evangelicals, and the book was touted by Christian leaders and college professors. It was a disaster in discernment in the church as even back then Bell was promoting the New Age. In a 2007 article, a Lighthouse Trails stated, “Velvet Elvis and Bell’s Noomas are a trojan horse that will deliver to young unsuspecting kids from Christian homes a hearty helping of the New Age (i.e., mysticism and panentheism). And if they are introduced to the New Age under the guise of Christian literature, many of them will be seduced by ‘doctrines of devils.'” Bell, who stepped down from the evangelical pastorate in 2011, has finally openly shown his true New Age colors by yoking himself with Oprah Winfrey, the most influential New Ager in the world today.
Religious Affections: Living to God-Worship
by David de Bruyn
“Let me seek Thee in longing, let me long for Thee in seeking; let me find Thee in love, and love Thee in finding.” – Anselm
Once humbled and repentant, the human soul finds, as Tozer put it, that God is easy to live with. God’s presence is more than humbling, it is also compelling. After humbling comes hunger, and after lowliness, longing. Men whose posture was yielding to the supremacy and centrality of God found themselves seeking God’s beauty.
One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)
O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. (Psalm 63:1-2)
If the cross-like attitudes of humility and repentance acknowledge and respond to God’s supremacy and holy goodness, then the corresponding resurrection-like attitudes acknowledge and respond to God’s beauty. The life of faith not only prostrates itself in sincere, dependent reverence and repentance, it pursues God vigorously. From the ashes of humility and repentance rises the joyful life of seeking and submission.
The Painful Lessons of Mars Hill – This will certainly not be the last word on Mars Hill, but it’s still a very interesting account of the church’s downfall, along with some important lessons.
‘Twas the Night Before the Last Christmas!
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