*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST
The Freedom Movement’s Daily Newspaper

Volume XVI, Issue #3,906
Thursday, February 8th, 2018
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In the News:

1) Newly revealed FBI texts suggest Obama involvement in Clinton Servergate whitewash
2) CA: Judge rules that a wedding cake is a constitutionally protected “artistic expression”
3) VA: Senate unanimously approves medical marijuana bill
4) US Senate reaches two-year budget deal
5) Report: Ozone layer continues to thin over Earth’s populated areas
6) US DoJ claims it shut down cyber crime ring launched by Ukrainian
7) NY: Cornell fraternity under fire for “pig roast” sex contest
8) WI: GOP leader says tolling needed to get federal roads money
9) CA: Regime says it will ban crude from Trump offshore drilling plan
10) NJ: Teacher accused of ordering students to exercise naked at private school
11) FDA gang escalates kratom scare tactics — now the lying sacks of crap say it’s an unsafe opioid
12) Trudeau: “Peoplekind” correction was a “dumb joke”
13) Report: Oregon senator won’t resign amid groping claims
14) White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigns amid abuse allegations
15) Pornhub is banning AI-generated fake porn videos because it doesn’t know what “nonconsensual” means
16) Pakistan: Court convicts 31 over campus lynching of student accused of blasphemy
17) AL: Moore wants hearing before judge in accuser’s lawsuit
18) Kenya: Regime deports opposition figure as judicial row intensifies
19) TX: Court rejects appeal from British woman on death row
20) Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong close to deal to buy LA Times, San Diego Union-Tribune
21) Trump orders Pentagon to plan grand military parade
22) Kim Jong Un’s influential sister to attend PyeongChang Olympics
23) Missed deadline lets Trump skate for just $25 million on “university” con
24) Germany: Merkel finally reaches coalition deal with SPD
25) Wynn steps down as CEO of Wynn Resorts after misconduct allegations

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) War on drugs is just like Prohibition, and it won’t work either
27) The populist right’s elitist approach to surveillance abuses
28) Laws frequently only cause harm
29) The Falcon Heavy: A milestone in humanity’s march toward the stars
30) Washington, DC desperately needs a dose of fiscal restraint
31) Pro-trade economists helped elect Trump the protectionist
32) Blaming Trump for stock market drop and … well, everything
33) Hating the North Korean reds
34) A stock market tumble is the correction we need
35) Markets provide care for an aging population
36) Treason talk is reckless, whether it’s coming from Trump or Democrats
37) What is behind the International Criminal Court? A carousel of lies and on-paper victories
38) Quantum Vibe, 02/07/18
39) Really, Mr. Trudeau? “Peoplekind?”
40) There’s still no big “there” in the Russia probe
41) A warning knell from the housing market — inciting a riot?
42) SpaceX launch opens new frontier in space commerce
43) The First Amendment transcends the law. It gives us strength in dark times.
44) The dangers of cartel government
45) Students around the world targeted for their advocacy
46) The menace of Trump: Not McCarthyism, but Hooverism
47) Twilio demonstrates why courts should review every National Security Letter
48) Captured Congress
49) Two genetic arguments
50) Wells Fargo gets what it deserves
51) Why debating about feminism is important
52) Even in his absence, McCain’s influence is strongly felt
53) Legends of the Fall: The liberal longing for a lost normality
54) Former NFL player running on progressive agenda to flip a red district in Texas
55) In search of enemies
56) Jokes about economics reflect myths, misunderstanding
57) Five recent movies that explore race in America
58) Lessons from my narcissist father: Kleptomania and the boundaries of needs-based consumerism
59) The problem with conservatism
60) Collateral allegory

The Sound and the Fury:

61) Dilbert’s Scott Adams explains how he knew Trump would “Win Bigly”
62) Editor’s Break, episode 56
63) The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 80
64) Electric Libertyland, episode 58
65) Intercepted, 02/07/18
66) Essential Libertarianism, episode 21
67) Fresh Air, 02/06/18
68) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 152
69) Free Talk Live, 02/06/18
70) bloggingheads.tv, 02/06/18

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***** In the News *****

1) Newly revealed FBI texts suggest Obama involvement in Clinton Servergate whitewash
Source: Fox News

“Newly revealed text messages between FBI paramours Peter Strzok and Lisa Page include an exchange about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, who wanted ‘to know everything we’re doing.’ The message, from Page to Strzok, was among thousands of texts between the lovers reviewed by Fox News. The pair both worked at one point for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Page wrote to Strzok on Sept. 2, 2016, about prepping Comey because ‘potus wants to know everything we’re doing.’ According to a newly released Senate report, this text raises questions about Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation. … The newly uncovered texts reveal a bit more about the timing of the discovery of ‘hundreds of thousands’ of emails on former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop, ultimately leading to Comey’s infamous letter to Congress just days before the 2016 presidential election.” (02/07/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/07/more-texts-between-strzok-and-page-uncovered-lead-to-more-questions.html

—–

2) CA: Judge rules that a wedding cake is a constitutionally protected “artistic expression”
Source: Washington Post

“Forcing a baker to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage over her religious objections violates her right to free speech, a California judge has ruled. ‘A wedding cake is not just a cake in a Free Speech analysis,’ wrote Superior Court Judge David R. Lampe in a decision late Monday. ‘It is an artistic expression by the person making it that is to be used traditionally as a centerpiece in the celebration of a marriage. There could not be a greater form of expressive conduct,’ he said. As a result, a state anti-discrimination law, which applies to all kinds of other goods and services, does not apply to the baker, who lives in Bakersfield. The judge’s reasoning is similar to that of the ‘cake artist’ awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.” [hat tip — David Klaus] (02/07/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/02/07/a-wedding-cake-is-an-artistic-expression-that-a-baker-may-deny-to-a-same-sex-couple-calif-judge-rules/

—–

3) VA: Senate unanimously approves medical marijuana bill
Source: Smell the Truth

“Virginia is set to allow anyone in need to use cannabis for medical purposes. The Virginia state Senate on Monday passed Joint Commission on Health Care bill SB 726 with a 40-0 vote, reports the News Leader. The newly approved bill allows doctors to prescribe oils rich in CBD or THCa for any ‘diagnosed condition or disease.’ Previous legislation only allowed medical access for ‘intractable epilepsy.’ A companion bill was also passed unanimously in the Virginia House of Delegates last week. SB 726 will now head to the desk of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who promised to legalize medical use and decriminalize recreational possession of marijuana during his campaign.” (02/06/18)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2018/02/06/virginia-lawmakers-unanimously-approve-medical-marijuana-bill

—–

4) US Senate reaches two-year budget deal
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The US Senate has reached a two-year, $400bn budget agreement that raises spending for defence and some domestic programmes. The bipartisan deal was negotiated by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and his Democratic counterpart Senator Chuck Schumer. The bill needs to pass the Senate and House of Representatives, where it is expected to face opposition. It comes ahead of a looming deadline to avoid another government shutdown. Congress has to reach a deal before government funding runs out at midnight on Thursday, when a one-month stopgap spending bill is set to expire. Both Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives have sounded their disapproval for the bill.” (02/07/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42981072

—–

5) Report: Ozone layer continues to thin over Earth’s populated areas
Source: USA Today

“The ozone layer that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation continues to thin over populated areas of the world, a new study warns. Scientists say the layer is in better shape, however, over the North and South Poles. Ozone has been declining globally since the 1980s. While the banning of the chloroflourocarbons that cause the thinning is leading to a recovery at the poles, “the same does not appear to be true for the lower latitudes,” study author Joanna Haigh of Imperial College in London said. Located in the stratosphere, the ozone layer blocks potentially harmful ultraviolet energy from reaching our planet’s surface. Without it, humans and animals could experience increased rates of skin cancer and other ailments. Scientists first discovered the dramatic thinning in Earth’s protective sheet in the 1970s and determined the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), used in refrigerators and aerosol sprays, caused the anomaly. The infamous ozone hole over Antarctica was discovered in the late 1970s.” (02/07/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2018/02/07/ozone-layer-continues-thin-over-earths-populated-areas/315405002

—–

6) US DoJ claims it shut down cyber crime ring launched by Ukrainian
Source: Raw Story

“The U.S. Justice Department announced one of its largest-ever takedowns of a global cyber crime ring on Wednesday, saying it had indicted 36 people accused of trafficking in stolen identities and causing more than $530 million in losses to consumers. The cyber crime network, operating as an online discussion forum known as ‘Infraud,’ ran a sophisticated scheme that facilitated the purchase and sale of Social Security numbers, birthdays and passwords that had been stolen from around the world, the department said. The group worked under the slogan ‘In Fraud We Trust’ and was created in 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian, according to the indictment. In launching it, the indictment alleges he referred to online forum as a ‘comfortable and safe’ place to ‘bring together professional people for who carding and hacking become a lifestyle.’ He created a hierarchy within the organization, and vetted proposed advertising on the site for stolen wares. He also banned members from buying or selling stolen devices or other items that belonged to Russian victims, according to the indictment.” (02/07/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/us-shuts-cyber-crime-ring-launched-ukrainian

—–

7) NY: Cornell fraternity under fire for “pig roast” sex contest
Source: USA Today

“Cornell University’s Zeta Beta Tau fraternity is on probation after university officials were made aware of a sex contest some fraternity members were conducting called the ‘pig roast.’ An investigation that concluded in January found that fraternity members held a contest where new members were encouraged to accumulate ‘points’ by sleeping with women. If members tied, the winner was chosen by whoever had sex with a woman who weighed the most. Vice president for student and campus life Ryan Lombardi said in a statement that the fraternity’s behavior was ‘abhorrent,’ The Cornell Daily Sun reported. ‘Behavior that degrades and dehumanizes women contributes to a climate and culture of tolerance for sexual violence,’ Lombardi said. According to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, officials received multiple reports of Zeta Beta Tau misconduct in 2017. Women involved in the ‘pig roast’ were not aware of the contest, according to the investigation.” (02/07/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/02/07/cornell-fraternity-under-fire-pig-roast-sex-contest/314319002

—–

8) WI: GOP leader says tolling needed to get federal roads money
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Allowing open-road tolling on Wisconsin’s interstates is the only viable way to raise state money to match whatever federal funding could be coming for transportation, Republican state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told county officials Wednesday. President Donald Trump last month called on Congress to approve a $1.5 trillion federal infrastructure plan that likely would require states to put up some money to receive the federal funds. Trump’s plan would rely on state and local governments working with private investors to come up with much of the cash. Republican legislative leaders have long been supportive of tolling in Wisconsin and they reiterated that again Wednesday. Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that while he would be open to tolling if there’s a corresponding tax decrease, he’s ‘not in any way suggesting support’ for it.” (02/07/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Republican-Senate-leader-predicts-chaos-at-end-12558164.php

—–

9) CA: Regime says it will ban crude from Trump offshore drilling plan
Source: Reuters

“California will block the transport of petroleum from new offshore oil rigs through its state, officials told Reuters, a move meant to hobble the Trump administration’s effort to vastly expand drilling in U.S. federal waters. California’s threat to deny pipeline permits for transporting oil from new leases off the Pacific Coast is the latest step by states trying to halt the biggest proposed expansion in decades of federal oil and gas leasing. Officials in Florida, North and South Carolina, Delaware and Washington, have also warned drilling could despoil beaches, harm wildlife and hurt lucrative tourism industries. ‘I am resolved that not a single drop from Trump’s new oil plan ever makes landfall in California,’ Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, chair of the State Lands Commission and a Democratic candidate for governor, said in an emailed statement.” (02/07/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-drilling-offshore/california-says-it-will-ban-crude-from-trump-offshore-drilling-plan-idUSKBN1FR2UY

—–

10) NJ: Teacher accused of ordering students to exercise naked at private school
Source: Raw Story

A former teacher at one of New Jersey’s most prestigious private schools is accused of repeatedly taking students into the showers and ordering them to perform naked pushups and other exercises as he watched decades ago, according to the school. From 1960-1984, Bruce Presley was a teacher and housemaster at the elite Lawrenceville School, where former students say he offered alternative punishments as a way to avoid detention or other formal discipline, the school said. ‘Mr. Presley’s conduct towards our former students is abhorrent, unacceptable, and contrary to all the values of Lawrenceville,’ the school said in a statement. ‘We offer our heartfelt sympathy and apologies to those affected by his behavior.’ Presley, 79, now a prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist in south Florida, is president of a media company that produces videos for the LGBT community.” (02/07/18)

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/teacher-accused-ordering-students-exercise-naked-new-jersey-private-school

—–

11) FDA gang escalates kratom scare tactics — now the lying sacks of crap say it’s an unsafe opioid
Source: Patch

“The FDA says that kratom, an herbal supplement used as a pain reliever and to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms, is an opioid and that claiming it is benign because it’s ‘just a plant’ is shortsighted. In an announcement Tuesday, the FDA said it has taken significant steps to advance scientific understanding of the product and how it works in the body because much remains unknown about the product. The FDA said it has identified adverse affects related to the use of the product and learned about deaths [allegedly] related to its use.” [editor’s note: In English, the biggest fear of the Big Pharma toadies at FDA is people getting off opioids and/or getting pain relief without paying a toll to Big Pharma and getting a permission slip from FDA – TLK] (02/07/18)

https://patch.com/us/across-america/fda-says-kratom-opioid-not-safe-medical-use

—–

12) Trudeau: “Peoplekind” correction was a “dumb joke”
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his much-mocked comment last week on using ‘peoplekind’ instead of ‘mankind’ was just a joke. Mr Trudeau was accused of ‘mansplaining’ after he told a woman she should say ‘peoplekind’ because it was ‘more inclusive.’ His correction was panned by various media as overly politically correct. His spokesman initially said Mr Trudeau was ‘a proud feminist’ whose policies reflect ‘commitments to equality.’ But after finding himself the butt of jokes the prime minister backed away from his comments on Wednesday during a scrum with reporters before he headed into a Liberal caucus meeting. ‘I made a dumb joke a few days ago that seems to have gone a little viral in the room, on the peoplekind comment,’ Mr Trudeau told reporters. ‘It played well in the room and in context. Out of context it doesn’t play so well, and it’s a little reminder that I shouldn’t be making jokes even when I think they’re funny.’” [editor’s note: can’t have it both ways, folks; either both JT and DT made jokes, or they are both idiots – SAT] [additional editor’s note: On the contrary, it’s ENTIRELY possible for one of them to be making a joke while the other one’s being an idiot – TLK] (02/07/18)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42980511

—–

13) Report: Oregon senator won’t resign amid groping claims
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A newspaper has reported that an Oregon state lawmaker accused of groping women at the Capitol said he won’t resign, despite calls from the governor and others that he leave the Legislature. Sen. Jeff Kruse, a Republican from Roseburg, told his hometown newspaper The News-Review on Wednesday that he will not step down. Kruse was absent from the Senate floor as it met, and no one was in his office. Kruse didn’t immediately return an email from The Associated Press late Tuesday seeking comment. An official investigative report released Tuesday said he had subjected two female senators to unwanted touching and groped or gave lingering hugs to many women working at the Capitol.” (02/07/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/The-Latest-Report-Oregon-lawmaker-won-t-resign-12559240.php

—–

14) White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigns amid abuse allegations
Source: The Hill

“Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary, announced he would resign Wednesday after he was accused of abusing two of his ex-wives. The decision came one day after the ex-wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, told The Daily Mail they experienced physical and emotional abuse during their marriages to Porter. … Porter’s departure is a major blow to the White House staff. He was a member of chief of staff John Kelly’s inner circle and was responsible for the paper flow to President Trump’s desk, handling nearly every document Trump signed. The influential aide frequently traveled with Trump aboard Air Force One and was seen as helping carry out Kelly’s efforts to bring order to a chaotic West Wing.” (02/07/18)

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/372758-white-house-staff-secretary-resigns-amid-abuse-allegations

—–

15) Pornhub is banning AI-generated fake porn videos because it doesn’t know what “nonconsensual” means
Source: Motherboard

“In its search of a platform that will host fake porn videos of celebrities created with a machine learning algorithm, the deepfakes community briefly turned to Pornhub, a porn site that gets over 75 million visitors a day. Tuesday, Pornhub told Motherboard that it considers deepfakes to be nonconsensual porn and that it will ban these videos. ‘We do not tolerate any nonconsensual content on the site and we remove all said content as soon as we are made aware of it,’ a spokesperson told me in an email.” [editor’s note: Images and bits don’t and can’t consent (or decline to consent) – TLK] (02/06/18)

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/zmwvdw/pornhub-bans-deepfakes

—–

16) Pakistan: Court convicts 31 over campus lynching of student accused of blasphemy
Source: euronews [EU]

“A Pakistani court on Wednesday convicted 31 people over the campus lynching of a university student who was falsely accused of blasphemy, and sentenced one of them to death, a defence lawyer said. The killing of student Mashal Khan, 23, last year sparked an outcry and raised fresh questions about the misuse of a harsh blasphemy law, which carries a death sentence for insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad. Barrister Ameerullah Chamkani told Reuters one of the 31 accused had been sentenced to death, five were jailed for life and the other 25 were jailed for four years. The court acquitted 26 others out of a total of 57 people indicted by a court late last year. … Khan was known as an intellectually curious and religious student who liked to debate controversial social, political and religious issues. He was attacked and killed by a mob on the campus on April 13 after a dormitory debate about religion.” (02/07/18)

http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/07/pakistan-court-convicts-31-over-campus-lynching-of-student-accused-of-blasphemy

—–

17) AL: Moore wants hearing before judge in accuser’s lawsuit
Source: AL.com

“Roy Moore is ready to go to court. The attorneys for the 2017 U.S. Senate candidate filed a motion in Montgomery Circuit Court on Tuesday asking for a hearing before Judge Roman Ashley Shaul. The purpose of the hearing, according to the motion, is to address responses from Moore to the lawsuit filed last month by Leigh Corfman, who alleged in a Nov. 9 Washington Post story that Moore sexually molested her when she was 14 years old and he was in his 30s. Corfman filed a defamation lawsuit against Moore and his Senate campaign committee. In response to the lawsuit, Moore’s attorneys have filed motions seeking to change the case’s venue from Montgomery County to Etowah County as well as a motion to dismiss the lawsuit over the issue of the venue as well as a separate motion to dismiss because Corfman did not state a claim for relief to be granted.” (02/06/18)

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/02/roy_moore_wants_hearing_before.html

—–

18) Kenya: Regime deports opposition figure as judicial row intensifies
Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Kenyan authorities have deported a senior opposition figure in a wide-ranging crackdown on political opponents and an intensifying confrontation with the judiciary. Miguna Miguna, who had been held in police custody in defiance of a court order demanding his release, was put on a flight to Canada via Europe at about 10pm on Tuesday. The lawyer was arrested last week in a dawn raid on his home in Nairobi. He had participated in a mock ceremony attended by thousands of people in the capital last month, where Raila Odinga, who leads the main opposition coalition in Kenya, was sworn in as a ‘people’s president.’ Government lawyers called the ceremony an act of treason. … Judges ordered the authorities to free Miguna, but instead they presented him in court in a small town 60km (37 miles) from the capital on Tuesday, to be charged with ‘being present and consenting to the administration of an oath to commit a capital offence.’” (02/07/18)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/07/kenya-opposition-lawyer-miguna-miguna-deported-crackdown-row-judiciary

—–

19) TX: Court rejects appeal from British woman on death row
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Texas'[s] highest criminal court on Wednesday rejected the appeal of a condemned British national who was convicted of arranging the killing of a neighbor so she could take the woman’s baby. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the ruling of a lower court, which rejected Linda Carty’s arguments that prosecutors had coerced witnesses and improperly hidden information that could have affected the outcome of her capital murder trial. Carty, a native of St. Kitts and Nevis and the only British woman on death row in the United States, was convicted in the 2001 suffocation of 20-year-old Joana Rodriguez.” (02/07/18)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Court-rejects-appeal-from-British-woman-on-Texas-12558740.php

—–

20) Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong close to deal to buy LA Times, San Diego Union-Tribune
Source: Los Angeles Times

“Los Angeles biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is nearing a deal to buy the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune from their owner, Tronc, according to two people familiar with the talks. The nearly $500-million cash deal, if consummated, would return The Times to local ownership after 18 years and end a tumultuous relationship with its corporate parent in Chicago. A sale also would represent a major strategy shift for Tronc, which has said that better promoting the Los Angeles Times brand and journalism was a key to its corporate growth.” (02/06/18)

http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-los-angeles-times-patrick-soon-shiong-20180206-story.html

—–

21) Trump orders Pentagon to plan grand military parade
Source: Irish Times [Ireland]

“Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to plan a military parade that would see soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the streets of Washington, it was reported on Tuesday. The move was instantly criticised, with one veterans’ group comparing the US president to ‘a wannabe banana republic strongman.’ Mr Trump is seeking a grand parade similar to the Bastille Day celebration in Paris, according to the Washington Post. … The White House confirmed that an event was in the works, though it did not offer further details.” (02/07/18)

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/donald-trump-orders-pentagon-to-plan-grand-military-parade-1.3383173

—–

22) Kim Jong Un’s influential sister to attend PyeongChang Olympics
Source: NBC News

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, who is an increasingly prominent figure in the country’s leadership, will be part of the North’s delegation to South Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. South Korea’s Unification Ministry said North Korea informed it Wednesday that Kim Yo Jong, 1st vice director of the Central Committee of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, would attend. North Korea also said the delegation will include the country’s nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, as well as Choe Hwi, chairman of the country’s National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North’s agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.” (02/07/18)

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/winter-olympics-2018/kim-jong-un-s-influential-sister-attend-pyeongchang-olympics-n845406

—–

23) Missed deadline lets Trump skate for just $25 million on “university” con
Source: Los Angeles Times

“A federal appeals court on Tuesday refused to derail a $25-million Trump University settlement to allow a former student to take the president to trial. … The settlement stemmed from lawsuits charging the now-defunct real estate school with fraud. The 9th Circuit called the settlement ‘highly favorable’ to former students. The suits accused Trump University of falsely advertising that it would teach students Trump’s ‘secrets of success.’ Instead, the attendees said, they received three-day seminars in which they were aggressively urged to invest tens of thousands of dollars more for a mentorship program. Sherri B. Simpson, a Florida lawyer and former Trump University attendee, wanted to drop out of the class action and pursue the president in another lawsuit. But the 9th Circuit said she had missed a deadline for exiting the class.” (02/06/18)

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-trump-university-20180206-story.html

—–

24) Germany: Merkel finally reaches coalition deal with SPD
Source: Deutsche Welle

“They needed an extra few days, but negotiators from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), their Bavarian partners the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) appear to have finally hashed out a contract for a new grand coalition government — probably ensuring that Angela Merkel will stay in office for a fourth tenure as German chancellor. … Early reports suggested that the SPD would be handed the Finance Ministry – a major gain for the Social Democrats — while CSU leader Horst Seehofer, one of the most conservative figures on Merkel’s side, would become Interior Minister. The SPD also look set to keep control of the Foreign Ministry and the Labor Ministry.” (02/07/18)

http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-angela-merkel-finally-reaches-coalition-deal-with-spd/a-42459353

—–

25) Wynn steps down as CEO of Wynn Resorts after misconduct allegations
Source: CNN Money

“Steve Wynn has stepped down as the CEO of Wynn Resorts after allegations of sexual misconduct piled pressure on the billionaire casino mogul and sent the company’s stock tumbling. ‘It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn,’ one of the directors, Boone Wayson, said in a company statement late Tuesday. Wynn, 76, has denied the accusations of misconduct, which gained widespread attention in late January after an investigative report by The Wall Street Journal detailed numerous allegations against him, citing dozens of sources. … Wynn Resorts (WYNN) said it has appointed Matt Maddox, who currently serves as the company’s president, as its new CEO effective immediately.” (02/06/18)

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/06/news/companies/steve-wynn-stepping-down-ceo-wynn-resorts/

***** Everybody Has An Opinion *****

26) War on drugs is just like Prohibition, and it won’t work either
Source: Fox News Forum
by John Stossel

“Ross Ulbricht was a quiet nerd — an Eagle Scout who never cursed. Then he became a libertarian, and he decided, ‘I want to use economic theory as a means to abolish the use of coercion.’ By coercion, Ulbricht meant force. He viewed laws against drugs as coercion — government force that stops people from living the way they want. So he created a website called Silk Road. Silk Road let people buy and sell contraband — mostly drugs — using bitcoin. The site became successful quickly. It soon carried a billion dollars in transactions. Because Silk Road didn’t use dollars, it was also private, said Ulbricht. ‘The State is unable to get its thieving murderous mitts on it.’ But he was wrong. Ulbricht slipped up, using his real name in an internet forum, and the FBI found him and jailed him.” (02/07/18)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/07/john-stossel-war-on-drugs-is-just-like-prohibition-and-it-wont-work-either.html

—–

27) The populist right’s elitist approach to surveillance abuses
Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“[I]f the FBI is staffed by people who target those with political beliefs different than their own, mislead federal judges when applying to spy on Americans, and who are not stymied by the checks and balances already in place, it follows that all sorts of bygone federal surveillance efforts ought to be investigated; that all sorts of Americans have had their rights violated; that all sorts of people ought to be fired from the FBI; and that stronger checks and balances, or other significant reforms, are required in order to prevent future abuses. Republicans are urging none of those steps. [Devin] Nunes, who chairs the congressional committee that oversees American intelligence agencies, has not made any effort to better protect regular Americans — only the head of his political party. Either he doesn’t believe his own claims or he is shockingly negligent.” (02/07/18)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/the-populist-rights-elitist-approach-to-surveillance-abuses/552611/

—–

28) Laws frequently only cause harm
Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“Laws can’t solve anything, and often destroy things that worked. Sometimes this is due to the unintended consequences of trying to stop something that might actually be harmful, but more often it is due to the person who made the rule simply not understanding how things work in the real world. Being harmed by laws is probably more common than being helped or protected by them. It’s a consequence of meddling; one I have personally experienced.” (02/07/18)

http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2018/02/07/voices/laws-frequently-only-cause-harm/156087.html

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29) The Falcon Heavy: A milestone in humanity’s march toward the stars
Source: Niskanen Center
by Ryan Hagemann

“At 3:45 p.m. EST, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral with a payload that included [Elon] Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster blaring David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ and a space-suited mannequin. As of this writing, the two reusable side core boosters had landed successfully — and in amazing fashion — south of the launch site. The momentous event is so notable primarily for two reasons: first, the Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket the world has seen since the Saturn 5 launched astronauts to the moon (the Falcon Heavy is capable of delivering more than twice the payload tonnage — about 140,000 pounds — as the world’s next-most-powerful rocket, the Delta IV Heavy — and at a third of the cost); and second, it represents the first privately-funded rocket delivering a private payload into low-earth orbit.” (02/07/18)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/falcon-heavy-milestone-humanitys-march-towards-stars/

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30) Washington, DC desperately needs a dose of fiscal restraint
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“[W]hile Congress and the media were obsessed with Devin Nunes’s much-ballyhooed memo late last week, virtually no one noticed a new Congressional Budget Office report that the federal government is on track to borrow $955 billion this year, an 84 percent increase in the deficit over last year. That’s the highest budget deficit since 2012. And while the trillion-dollar deficit of six years ago was driven in part by one-time events — TARP, the stimulus bills tied to the Great Recession — the current flood of red ink, driven as it is by much more intractable structural problems, seems unlikely to recede any time soon. Next year’s deficit could top $1.1 trillion, and by 2027 we could see deficits as high as $2 trillion per year. The reaction from Congress and the Trump administration has been a bipartisan shrug.” (02/07/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/washington-dc-desperately-needs-dose-fiscal-restraint

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31) Pro-trade economists helped elect Trump the protectionist
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Max Gulker, PhD

“People tend to crave direct cause-and-effect narratives, with a small number of protagonists who know what they’re doing. It frequently leads us to make mistakes, especially when talking about economic policy. It’s the mistake Bernie Sanders makes when he talks about all the ‘billionaires rigging the system,’ rather than understanding the myriad ways big business and big government connect and give further advantages to both. Whether that’s his worldview or just pure politics, it’s a much easier story to tell on the campaign trail. But we on the free market side of the debate, even the children of Hayek and spontaneous order, make the same mistake, and in the area of free trade it’s come back to bite us.” (02/07/18)

https://www.aier.org/blog/pro-trade-economists-helped-elect-trump-protectionist

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32) Blaming Trump for stock market drop and … well, everything
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“The media have used the stock market plunge not as an opportunity to enlighten readers how our markets work, but as yet another occasion to bash Trump. Don’t they ever get tired of it? Given Trump’s brash, take-no-prisoners nature when it comes to the media, it’s probably not surprising they might want some payback. But they do their readers no favor by politicizing yet another essential part of American life: the stock market. After three days in which the bellwether Nasdaq stock index fell 6.7%, anti-Trump schadenfreude was pervasive on the web and in the media. We ran a quick Google screen of ‘trump stock market crash’ and in less than a second got 1.62 million hits.” (02/06/18)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/blaming-trump-for-stock-market-drop-and-well-everything

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33) Hating the North Korean reds
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Among the U.S. government’s worst nightmares is the participation of North Korean athletes in the Winter Olympics, which are being held in South Korea. That’s because Americans might get to know some of the North Koreans, who might just come across as regular people, perhaps even likeable. That’s not a good thing for a regime that has been committed to regime change for almost 80 years. Given the brutal sanctions that the U.S. government enforces against North Korea and given the distinct possibility that U.S. officials could still initiate a surprise military attack on North Korea or provoke an attack, the last thing U.S. officials want is for the American people to personalize any North Korean citizen.” (02/07/18)

https://www.fff.org/2018/02/07/hating-north-korean-reds/

—–

34) A stock market tumble is the correction we need
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jonathan Newman

“Is the stock market indicating that we are on our way to another bust? Will we finally go through the healthy correction we need to have a stable, sustainably growing economy? These are questions we cannot answer with certainty today. What we can say with certainty is that the decade-long rally in stock prices cannot be based on a new era of sustainable growth and productivity. In fact, the stock market indices have grown just as much as the Federal Reserve has inflated, and this is borne out by multiple measures of both.” (02/07/18)

https://fee.org/articles/a-stock-market-tumble-is-the-correction-we-need/

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35) Markets provide care for an aging population
Source: Independent Institute
by Raymond March

“According to the Pew Research Center, in 2017 about 19 percent of households were composed of at least two adult generations. Further, between 2010 and 2030, the percent of the population at least 80 years old is expected to increase 79 percent while the number of family caregivers is only expected to rise one percent. Providing care for the elderly is a challenging endeavor, and many families are not equipped to handle. … While individual caretakers are ideal for many reasons, they are one of the most costly options and can be difficult to monitor. This helps to make the prevalence of caregiver abuse disturbingly common. Arlyn and Jim personally confronted this issue when one of Jim’s caregivers called him a ‘bastard.’ Fortunately, Arlyn and many others have found help from a service called CareCoach. CareCoach uses a human-powered avatar to monitor homebound individuals and others needing additional assistance 24/7.” (02/07/18)

http://blog.independent.org/2018/02/07/markets-provide-care-for-an-aging-population/

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36) Treason talk is reckless, whether it’s coming from Trump or Democrats
Source: USA Today
by Jonathan Turley

“Suddenly Washington appears to be a den of traitors. For months, various Democratic politicians and commentators have all but accused President Trump or his family of treason. Now Trump has said [sic] Democratic lawmakers who failed to clap at his State of the Union address are ‘un-American’ and traitors. These accusations reflect the distemper that has taken hold of our politics. Calling opponents traitors has a long and dark history in our country — a history we would be wise not to repeat. Not long after the president’s inauguration, Democrats began alleging more and more serious crimes committed by Trump and his family. For months, commentators and lawmakers referred incorrectly to the crime of collusion with Russians — despite the absence of such a crime in the federal code. It then became allegations of obstruction or loosely defined conspiracies or election fraud.” [editor’s note: Once more, Trump’s joking response to an audience member who shouted this was NOT him “saying” it – SAT] (02/06/18)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/02/06/treason-talk-reckless-both-trump-and-democrats-jonathan-turley-column/311391002

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37) What is behind the International Criminal Court? A carousel of lies and on-paper victories
Source: PanAm Post
by Sabrina Martin

“The International Criminal Court (ICC), the one everyone talks about and deposits their hopes onto in regard to war crimes and crimes against humanity, is now little more than a bureaucratic institution that has been systematically corrupted. Following Nicolas Maduro’s most recent massacre against captain Oscar Perez and his team, many people discussed the ICC as a way of prosecuting and convicting the Venezuelan dictatorship. However, for the democrats of the world, the truth is harder to accept. The ICC has proven to be ‘useless.’ … Though it is true that every legal, diplomatic, and international recourse need be exhausted to achieve justice, it is also necessary to acknowledge the fact that since its creation in 2002, the ICC has only executed four judgments in fifteen years.” (02/07/18)

https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2018/02/07/what-is-behind-the-international-criminal-court-a-carousel-of-lies-and-on-paper-victories/

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38) Quantum Vibe, 02/07/18
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (02/07/18)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1755

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39) Really, Mr. Trudeau? “Peoplekind?”
Source: Town Hall
by Michael Brown

“I’m not sure how this is faring on your side of the border, but here in America (and, apparently, elsewhere, see here and here), your use of the word ‘peoplekind’ has raised some eyebrows. I’m referring, of course, to your interaction with a woman in your live audience who stated that ‘maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind.’ You interrupted her to say, ‘We like to say ‘peoplekind,’ not necessarily ‘mankind,’ because it’s more inclusive.’ Now, I don’t mean to be pedantic, but I think the word you wanted to use was ‘humankind,’ an acceptable alternative to mankind. To my knowledge, ‘peoplekind’ has not yet gained currency, nor do I expect that it will. … But is it possible, sir, that your decision to correct this woman was ill-timed, especially since it was a female speaking about the power of maternal love to change the future of mankind? Surely she understood the already inclusive nature of the word.” (02/07/18)

https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2018/02/07/really-mr-trudeau-peoplekind-n2445705

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40) There’s still no big “there” in the Russia probe
Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Peter Strzok, an FBI agent who called Donald Trump an ‘idiot’ and rooted against him in 2016, was nevertheless reluctant to join the investigation of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russians who sought to influence the presidential election. Strzok, who was removed from the probe after his anti-Trump comments came to light, expressed his qualms in a May 19 text message to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, his girlfriend at the time: ‘I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big ‘there’ there.’ It is looking more and more like Strzok’s gut was right. The FBI’s surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, which Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee criticize in a memo that was declassified last week, shows investigators putting a lot of time and effort into a line of inquiry that apparently led nowhere.” (02/07/18)

http://reason.com/archives/2018/02/07/theres-still-no-big-there-in-the-russia

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41) A warning knell from the housing market — inciting a riot?
Source: Cobden Centre
by Colin Lloyd

“As anyone who owns a house will tell you, all property markets are, ‘local.’ Location is key. Nonetheless, when looking for indicators of a change in sentiment with regard to asset prices in general, residential real estate lends support to equity bull markets. Whilst it usually follows the performance of the stock market, this time it may be a harbinger of austerity to come.” (02/07/18)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2018/02/a-warning-knell-from-the-housing-market-inciting-a-riot/

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42) SpaceX launch opens new frontier in space commerce
Source: Reuters
by Peter Apps

“The successful launch of entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy on Tuesday marks a major turning point in humanity’s approach to space exploration. For the first time since the United States and Soviet Union began their race into orbit, the world’s most powerful rocket was designed and built by a private corporation. It’s a sign of what increasingly looks to be a massive shift in the dynamics of human activity in space. Up until recently, such rockets were very much a government business. The Saturn Five rockets that took Neil Armstrong and his colleagues to the moon were produced by one of the largest and most expensive government projects of all time. Private companies have long seen potential business opportunities in space. … Indeed, it now seems likely that if and when humans do eventually reach Mars, it may well be under the flag of private enterprise.” (02/07/18)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apps-space-commentary/commentary-spacex-launch-opens-new-frontier-in-space-commerce-idUSKBN1FQ38W

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43) The First Amendment transcends the law. It gives us strength in dark times.
Source: The Intercept
by Jamie Kalven

“On December 13, I entered the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago prepared to be taken into custody and jailed for contempt. At issue was a subpoena demanding I answer questions about the whistleblower whose tip prompted me to investigate the fatal 2014 police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. … My refusal to comply with the subpoena, it appears, provided a vehicle for others to express their anxieties about and commitment to the First Amendment. The experience has left me brooding about the power of civil society to sustain First Amendment freedoms in challenging times. In this country, we tend to take a legalistic view of those freedoms: to see them as being defined by legislatures and courts. That orientation is at once a strength and a weakness.” (02/07/18)

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/07/laquan-mcdonald-case-first-amdendment/

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44) The dangers of cartel government
Source: The American Conservative
by Doug Bandow

“Europe is fracturing, and establishment leaders across the continent believe the answer is to suppress dissent and strengthen the European Union. EU critics point to a ‘democratic deficit,’ but the so-called Eurocrats who dominate the organization believe that consent only matters within Brussels, not without. This tin-eared thinking is shrinking the center throughout European politics. British voters backed exit from the EU; in Austria the far-right Freedom Party has joined the governing coalition. The extremist National Front surpassed France’s traditional socialist party during the last French election. In the Netherlands only a disparate coalition has kept Geert Wilders’ anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim Freedom Party out of government. Italy appears likely to take a rightward, Euroskeptic turn in its upcoming election. Stable government has become impossible in Spain with the collapse of support for the once-ruling socialists. Something similar is happening in Germany, the continent’s largest economy and de facto banker.” (02/07/18)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-dangers-of-a-german-cartel-government/

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45) Students around the world targeted for their advocacy
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Sarah McLaughlin

“If you want to get a sense of the power of student activists’ voices, simply look at the lengths to which authoritarians will go to ensure they can’t be heard. In just the past few weeks, students around the world have faced investigations, expulsions, and arrests — all because they spoke out. It’s no surprise that students in China — where censorship is the rule, rather than the exception — face consequences for their expression. This time, it’s for sharing their thoughts on the growing #MeToo movement. … In Myanmar, protests over government funding have resulted in dozens of expulsions. … The situation is similar in Iran, where students taking part in widespread protests of the country’s current political state have been detained by authorities — and so have students who simply petitioned for their release.” (02/06/18)

https://www.thefire.org/students-around-the-world-targeted-for-their-advocacy/

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46) The menace of Trump: Not McCarthyism, but Hooverism
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“When Senator Joseph McCarthy died in 1957, he was one of the biggest failures in American political life, an alcoholic wreck censured by his fellow legislators and treated as a pariah by most in his own party, with his very name a byword for demagoguery and character assassination. ‘McCarthyism’ has become a common (indeed too common) accusation today, wielded across the political spectrum whenever there’s a whiff of overreach. But if anyone in recent American history is deserving of the term, it would be President Donald Trump, who has called [sic] congressional Democrats ‘treasonous’ for not clapping during the State of the Union address and has attempted to purge the FBI and Justice Department of those he sees as disloyal conspirators. ‘Today’s McCarthy figure is not a mere senator, but the president,’ Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen argued on Monday. ‘Still, the modus operandi is similar. McCarthy railed against communists in government and Trump and his allies inveigh against something called “the deep state.”‘” [editor’s note: So now TNR’s flacks find a new historical shibboleth for analogies, since “McCarthyism” is the province of the Dems on “Russiagate” – SAT] (02/07/18)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146973/menace-trump-not-mccarthyism-hooverism

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47) Twilio demonstrates why courts should review every National Security Letter
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Andrew Crocker & David Ruiz

“The list of companies who exercise their right to ask for judicial review when handed national security letter gag orders from the FBI is growing. Last week, the communications platform Twilio posted two NSLs after the FBI backed down from its gag orders. As Twilio’s accompanying blog post documents, the FBI simply couldn’t or didn’t want to justify its nondisclosure requirements in court. This might be the starkest public example yet of why courts should be involved in reviewing NSL gag orders in all cases. National security letters are a kind of subpoena that give the FBI the power to require telecommunications and Internet providers to hand over private customer records — including names, addresses, and financial records. The FBI nearly always accompanies these requests with a blanket gag order, shutting up the providers and keeping the practice in the shadows, away from public knowledge or criticism.” [editor’s note: No, NSLs shouldn’t be reviewed by courts. They should be banned, period – TLK] (02/06/18)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/02/twilio-demonstrates-why-courts-should-review-every-national-security-letter

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48) Captured Congress
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“‘Do you think party leaders exert too much control over members of Congress and over the agenda,’ Full Measure host Sharyl Attkisson asked retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, ‘in a way that might be motivated by donations and corporate influence and special interests?’ … ‘It happens every day,’ he replied, ‘that a lobbyist calls the majority leader, the minority leader, the speaker, and some chairmen or ranking member gets a call saying, ‘hey go light on that.” Issa pointed out that the committee chairs ‘really don’t control the committees. More and more it’s controlled out of the speaker’s office and out of the minority leader’s office. You know, they pick who gets the committees and then they pick really what you get to do.’ And it’s getting worse, he said.” (02/07/18)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2018/02/07/captured-congress/

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49) Two genetic arguments
Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan

“Some people think this is a good argument against school vouchers: Vouchers Are Racist …. What I find odd is that certain people on the Left find the Vouchers Are Racist argument sound, but then at the same time do not accept this parallel argument: Minimum Wage Laws Are Classist, Racist, and Eugenicist …. This second argument has the same structure as the first. The main difference is that premise 1 is clearly true in the second argument but not in the first. Still, many on the Left find the first compelling but the second argument not compelling. They can’t have it both ways. ‘Genetic arguments for me but not for thee!’” (02/07/18)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2018/02/two-genetic-arguments/

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50) Wells Fargo gets what it deserves
Source: The American Prospect
by Peter Dreier

“On Friday, Janet Yellen’s last day as chair of the Federal Reserve, the central bank imposed harsh penalties on Wells Fargo — the nation’s fourth-largest bank and its leading home lender — as punishment for its long-term abuse of consumers and employees. Much more than a slap on the wrist, the Fed announced that it would replace four members of Wells Fargo’s 16-member board, which it accused of failing to oversee the bank and fix problems that have transformed it from a corporate icon to a public disgrace. It also prohibited Wells Fargo from growing any larger than its current asset size ($2 trillion) until the regulator is persuaded that the bank has changed its ways. That means that Wells Fargo won’t be able to keep pace with rival banks engaged in mergers and acquisitions with other financial firms. … The Fed’s decision was unprecedented, but it was also the last hurrah for Yellen, whom President Trump replaced with Jerome Powell, a former partner at the private equity firm The Carlyle Group.” (02/07/18)

http://prospect.org/article/wells-fargo-gets-what-it-deserves-and-just-time

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51) Why debating about feminism is important
Source: Students For Liberty
by Sukanti Bhave

“On 4th February, the debating society of my alma mater, St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai), announced a debate on the motion ‘Feminism is becoming a movement of convenience.’ Students and ex-students of the college were not happy and many wanted the motion to be abandoned altogether. Most students seemed to be extremely surprised that this motion was being debated in 2018. This is a dangerous cult-like allegiance to a political movement; where students find it inconceivable that people can hold views that contradict their own let alone imagine that there can be any merit to those views.” (02/06/18)

https://www.studentsforliberty.org/2018/02/06/debatingfeminism/

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52) Even in his absence, McCain’s influence is strongly felt
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Francine Kiefer

“Republican Sen. John McCain may be thousands of miles from Washington, receiving cancer treatment at home in Arizona. But his influence in the nation’s capital has hardly diminished. This week, Senator McCain, along with fellow Sen. Chris Coons (D) of Delaware, unveiled a new bipartisan attempt at an immigration compromise that would protect so-called ‘Dreamers’ from being deported while beefing up border security. Last week, as Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee prepared to release a memo detailing alleged abuses in the surveillance of a Trump campaign official, McCain weighed in with a sharply critical statement, saying: ‘The latest attacks on the FBI and the Department of Justice serve no American interests — no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.’ And when it comes to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman McCain is still very much in control. As Sen. John Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma, who is running committee meetings in McCain’s absence, told C-SPAN: ‘He’s calling the shots.’” (02/06/18)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2018/0206/Even-in-his-absence-McCain-s-influence-is-strongly-felt

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53) Legends of the Fall: The liberal longing for a lost normality
Source: Empire Burlesque
by Chris Floyd

“This week, liberal activist Amy Siskin tweeted this message of yearning nostalgia for the good old days before the Orange Ogre befouled the sacred temple of the Oval Office: ‘I miss our country. I miss normal and days of non-crisis.’ … When were those normal days? The first public event I remember was the JFK killing. Then war, riots, oil embargo, Watergate, Reagan’s depredations … Then Gulf War, hundreds of thousands killed by Clinton sanctions, impeachment, 2000 election crisis, Enron, 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq invasion, torture, death squads, drone wars, mass surveillance, Gitmo, Tea Party, continuing death lists & drone wars under ‘liberal’ management, Wall St bailout, torturers and war criminals embraced, Honduras coup, Libya, Somalia, the US-backed atrocity in Yemen, militarization of police, rise of far-right violence & hatred, the brutality of bipartisan neoliberalism, mass deportations, corporate news media giving endless airtime to a fascist clown and admitting they did it for ratings and cash, etc etc. I’ll soon be in my seventh decade and I’ve never known any of these normal days you pine for.” (02/06/18)

http://www.chris-floyd.com/home/articles/legends-of-the-fall-the-liberal-longing-for-a-lost-normality-06022018.html

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54) Former NFL player running on progressive agenda to flip a red district in Texas
Source: In These Times
by Kate Aronoff

“When it comes to Texas, for many years national political pundits have focused on one question: When will the state turn blue? This year, a number of Democrats are running in the Lonestar State, from Beto O’Rourke, who is challenging Ted Cruz for a U.S. Senate seat, to several candidates vying for House seats considered newly up for grabs. Among them is Colin Allred, a civil rights attorney and former Tennessee Titans linebacker who has thrown his hat into the ring for the 32nd Congressional District. Like many other districts in the state, the 32nd, containing parts of Dallas and its suburbs and exurbs, was so aggressively gerrymandered that Allred’s staffers joke it looks like a dog, albeit a less friendly one than his office’s resident Rhodesian Ridgeback, Scarlett. The 32nd has been represented by Republican Pete Sessions since it was created in 2003 as a safe Republican seat. That safety was called into question in 2016, when voters in the district chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by one point.” (02/07/18)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20892/colin-allred-nfl-pete-sessions-texas-32-primary-progressive

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55) In search of enemies
Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“China is too big to be governed efficiently, and too populous for a totalitarian dictatorship to keep tabs on everyone — or even most people. In short, it’s all the Chinese leaders can do to keep a lid on their own population, never mind absorbing any of their neighbors. [Victor Davis] Hanson’s nonsensical characterization of China as a ‘real threat’ betrays a complete ignorance of the subject — and tells us more about the conservatives’ need for an enemy than anything substantive about the politics of the region. The Chinese don’t want to invade us — except with cheap (and increasingly high quality) goods. Why would they want to make war on one of their principal markets?” (02/07/18)

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/02/06/in-search-of-enemies/

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56) Jokes about economics reflect myths, misunderstanding
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Donald J Boudreaux

“Every profession is the subject of tired jokes. Perhaps I’m overly sensitive, but to me, an unusually large number of jokes and self-righteous quips seem to target economists. Nearly all those jokes reflect misunderstanding of economics. One of the most famous involves an economist, a physicist and a chemist stranded on a desert island with only canned beans to eat. Trouble is, they have no can opener. The physicist proposes opening the cans by catapulting them hard onto a tree stump. ‘But that’ll cause the beans to spill out,’ the others observe. The chemist suggests using acid to eat through the metal. ‘But the acid will mix with the beans, making them inedible,’ the others note. Finally, the economist says, ‘I’ve got an ideal solution: Assume that we have a can opener!’ Hardy har har. The implication is that economists’ conclusions about reality spring from absurdly unrealistic assumptions, rather than from realistic assessments of facts.” (02/06/18)

http://triblive.com/opinion/donaldboudreaux/13252455-74/donald-j-boudreaux-jokes-about-economics-reflect-myths-misunderstanding

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57) Five recent movies that explore race in America
Source: Independent Institute
by Sam Staley

“February is African-American History Month in the United States and Canada. This series of events celebrating African-American achievements and their experience has been controversial since it was founded by historian Carter G. Woodson on a smaller scale as Negro History Week in 1926. Nevertheless, regardless of where one falls on its importance, the month provides an opportunity to think more deeply about the diverse and varied experiences of people of African descent in the U.S. as well as other minorities. One way to examine this experience is through the provocative lens of narrative film. Several excellent recent movies explore important dimensions of African-American history in nuanced and layered ways.” (02/06/18)

http://blog.independent.org/2018/02/06/five-recent-movies-that-explore-race-in-america/

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58) Lessons from my narcissist father: Kleptomania and the boundaries of needs-based consumerism
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Isobel Ducasse

“My father has been stealing for as long as I can remember. As a child I witnessed him simply walking out of bookstores, one hand clasped in mine and a pile of magazines and books in the other. Nobody ever stopped him and I never said a word. Years later, as an adult, I watched from a distance as he carried reusable shopping bags stuffed to the brim straight past the cashiers of a well-known health food chain and out into the parking lot. My father’s behavior is undeniably pathological — the result of a narcissism that renders him unable to differentiate between himself and the rest of the world. The store is full of products and — to him — these products exist for his use. He takes what he needs without considering the moral implications of his actions. There is a certain appeal to my father’s pathology.” (02/06/18)

https://c4ss.org/content/50477

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59) The problem with conservatism
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

“The inconsistency and hypocrisy of conservatism is legion. Every bad thing that conservatives say about drugs could be said about alcohol. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of premature deaths in the United States. It is also a factor in many fires, violent crimes, child-abuse cases, sex crimes, and accidents. Does Schlueter believe that alcohol pushers should be jailed? Does he think that alcohol should be prohibited? Of course he doesn’t. Although Schlueter maintains that not ‘every moral wrong must be legally prohibited,’ in the end conservatives always defer to the government to decide which moral wrongs should be prohibited and what punishment should be meted out to violators.” (02/07/18)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-problem-with-conservatism/

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60) Collateral allegory
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen

“We see officers obeying orders simply because ‘that’s my job.’ We see peaceful families suffering the collateral damage of a prolonged war. We see ‘good Indians’ and ‘bad Indians’ representing the difference between good Muslims and jihadist Muslims. We see soldiers ravaged by PTSD and torn by the guilt of having killed. We see other soldiers struggling with the realization that in one circumstance killing is considered murder, but in another it’s considered heroic. Most of all, we see the importance of judging individuals by their character and their actions, not by their label or their group. Hostiles asks us to focus on what makes us human instead of what makes us enemies. Whether this was director Scott Cooper’s intent or not, it’s about as perfect an antiwar film as we’re going to get.” (02/06/18)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1811

***** The Sound and the Fury *****

61) Dilbert’s Scott Adams explains how he knew Trump would “Win Bigly”
Source: Reason

“[Scott] Adams’s new book, Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter, is both a detailed analysis of how Trump reframed political rhetoric during the 2016 campaign and a guide to how all of us can communicate more effectively and persuasively. Adams sat down with Reason’s Nick Gillespie in front of a live audience in San Francisco to talk about his book, his ‘extreme liberal’ views, the popularity of his live broadcasts with followers via Twitter, and why Trump is a ‘master persuader.’” [Flash video] (02/07/18)

https://reason.com/reasontv/2018/02/07/dilberts-scott-adams-explains-prediction

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62) Editor’s Break, episode 56
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Editor’s Break 056 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: the obligations children have toward their elderly parents, his commitment and the importance of providing a multi-generational household for his children and grandchildren, the phenomenon of immigration and the crimes committed by immigrants and refugees, and whether or not incestuous relationships and their reproduction should be considered crimes.” [various formats] (02/07/18)

http://everything-voluntary.com/familial-obligations-immigration-incestuous-relationships-32m-editors-break-056

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63) The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 80
Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“A handful of criminal cops have been caught and are facing justice, but this is the exception, not the norm. What’s in the News with stories on TSA bumbling, cops stealing clothes, Constitutional abuse, Sessions fighting a kid, and education or else. Also, a brand new Ask Me Anything segment with some awesome questions from you guys, and another new trailer for another new podcast from Pax Libertas Productions.” [various formats] (02/07/18)

http://thelavaflow.com/criminal-cops-tlf080/

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64) Electric Libertyland, episode 58
Source: Lions of Liberty

“On this week’s Electric Libertyland, host Brian McWilliams staples together his thoughts on Trump’s State of the Union address, the latest on the Nunes memo, Venezuela’s impending military coup, and afterthoughts on his beloved Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl. Also, the Libertarian Party made quite a few enemies after ostracizing Ron Paul.” [editor’s note: No, the LP didn’t “ostracize” Ron Paul — that’s another bit of fake news from the alt-right entryists in the mis-named “Mises Caucus” and Co. – TLK] [various formats] (02/07/18)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2018/02/07/electric-libertyland-ep-58-sotu-memos-super-bowl-hangovers/

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65) Intercepted, 02/07/18
Source: The Intercept

“This week on Intercepted: Former State Department official Peter van Buren and civil liberties advocate Julian Sanchez offer provocative analysis on warrantless surveillance, the Nunes memo, and the FBI’s role in the 2016 election. Jeremy blasts the use of former CIA and NSA officials as news analysts and the hypocrisy surrounding the FISA debate. In 1953, CIA scientist Frank Olson jumped to his death from a Manhattan hotel after an LSD experiment gone wrong. But is that the real story? Academy Award winner Errol Morris and actor Peter Sarsgaard talk about their new hybrid-documentary series Wormwood and present their case that Olson was murdered by the CIA. Yemen continues to burn in the fires of a U.S.-fueled Saudi bombing campaign, as cholera and famine spread. How did the world allow it to get so bad and who is really responsible? An in-depth discussion with Yemeni analyst Nadwa al Dawsari detailing the key events of the past 20 years that have led to the current hell in Yemen.” [various formats] (02/07/18)

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/07/intercepted-podcast-memo-and-memoer-the-bipartisan-love-affair-with-mass-surveillance/

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66) Essential Libertarianism, episode 21
Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“If you have a tool, you’ll probably use it: On the evolution of tax-supported schools in certain parts of the United States,” by Carl Watner. [various formats] (02/07/18)

https://www.essentiallibertarianism.com/2018/02/07/if-you-have-a-tool-youll-probably-use-it-el21/

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67) Fresh Air, 02/06/18
Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

“Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll warns that there is no end in sight to America’s longest war: ‘Most of the generals … say in public, “There’s no military solution to this war.”‘ His new book is Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” [Flash audio] (02/06/18)

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/381444908/fresh-air

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68) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 152
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“Trey Weaver joins Foreign Policy Focus to discuss war propaganda. The war propaganda changed Americans minds on the Syrian Civil War. Bush used fear to scare Americans into the Iraq War. A media blackout masks the genocide in Yemen. Kyle and Trey also identify some key war propaganda words and how the state and media use those words.” [various formats] (02/07/18)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-152-war-propaganda-with-trey-weaver

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69) Free Talk Live, 02/06/18
Source: Free Talk Live

“Zoltan Istvan Criticizes Libertarian Party :: Mainstream Media Covering Libertarians :: Libertarian Ideal :: Newbie Experience :: Non-Aggression Principle :: Slave Mentality :: Regional Planning Commission :: Leaders :: Edgington Post — Bruce Fenton :: HOSTS — Ian, Will, Johnson.” [Flash audio or MP3] (02/06/18)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2018-02-06

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70) bloggingheads.tv, 02/06/18
Source: bloggingheads.tv

“Glenn Loury (Brown University) and John McWhorter (Time, Columbia University, Talking Back, Talking Black) … It’s Black History Month and Glenn feels miserable … Race and the NYC subway system … Is it race, class–or both? … Are John’s kids black? … Are we all, deep down, the same?” [Flash video] (02/06/18)

https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/50589

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

Editors Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
R. Lee Wrights
*****