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

Volume XV, Issue #3,710
Friday, May 12th, 2017
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In the News:

1) New acting FBI director contradicts White House on Comey
2) Security theater, trans-Atlantic edition: US DHS “likely” to expand laptop ban on flights
3) US Senate intel panel subpoenas Flynn for Russia-related documents
4) Coats: Your blender is going to murder you in your bed because !THEM RUSSIANS!
5) Report: Trump to create panel to “study” voter fraud, suppression
6) Vermont nears recreational cannabis legalization
7) First Amendment backers [sic] see free speech fading at colleges
8) Fed official: Trade protectionism “a dead end”
9) FL: Brown convicted of 18 felonies, could be sentenced to decades in prison
10) Spain: Parliament urges government to exhume Franco’s remains
11) Bitcoin crosses $1,800 for the first time adding $3 billion in market cap in just four days
12) Will SCOTUS rescue Trump’s immigration travel ban?
13) US Senate confirms Trump’s chief trade negotiator
14) HIV life expectancy “near normal” thanks to new drugs
15) Moon, Abe agree to co-operate on North Korea
16) Venezuela: Government calls feces bombs launched in protests “biochemical weapons”
17) Arctic governments to set target for reducing climate-warming soot pollution
18) LA: Second Confederate-era monument removed
19) NH: Legislator switches from Democratic to Libertarian Party affiliation
20) Russia: Blogger convicted for playing Pokemon Go in church

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Comey firing justly knocks FBI off its pedestal
22) The US Postal Service is dying. Let it.
23) The high cost of not owning your healthcare
24) Patriotism and conscience: The Edward Snowden affair
25) Constitutional crisis
26) rump fires away — again
27) The war on Yemen and the “self-defense” lie
28) Trump makes himself look guilty
29) Our rendezvous with authoritarianism has arrived
30) Trump, Comey, and the rest of us
31) Curiosity is the best educator
32) Trump’s Comey firing is all about timing
33) The lessons of the Rebecca Tuvel witch hunt
34) Osaka steps toward accepting same-sex families
35) Taking innovation seriously
36) The essential link between consumers and financial markets
37) Trump “signing statement” risks funding for all tribal housing
38) The Pope’s cartoon libertarians
39) Two dead canaries in the coal mine
40) “Starve the Beast” enables the Bankrupt-in-Chief
41) The politics of power
42) Democrats desperate to turn Trump into Nixon
43) Romania chooses prosperity over populism
44) Trumped or stumped? The tax cut, the debt ceiling and riding the gravy train
45) The silent slaughter of the US air war
46) The consensus echo chamber take on Trump firing Comey is all wrong
47) Who is Jair Bolsonaro and why you should care
48) Why are you waiting? Get them out!
49) An inconvenient empire
50) Is the Greek public [sic] debt actually “unpayable?”

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Remy: The Venezuela Diet!
52) Philosophy of Voluntaryism, episode 3
53) War College Podcast, 05/11/17
54) Freedom Feens Radio, 05/11/17
55) Free Talk Live, 05/10/17
56) Heartland on the Radio: Isaac Orr on the Paris climate treaty
57) Whencast of the Comey timeline
58) The Tom Woods Show, episode 906
59) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 598
60) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 38

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

1) New acting FBI director contradicts White House on Comey
Source: CNN

“Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe Thursday rejected assertions by the White House that FBI employees had lost faith in James Comey and that the bureau’s probe into Russian election meddling was one of its most minor concerns. ‘I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity,’ McCabe told members of the Senate intelligence committee. He said Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, enjoyed ‘broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.’ … McCabe also contradicted another statement by [White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee] Sanders in Wednesday’s White House briefing when she said that the Russia investigation was ‘probably one of the smallest things’ on the FBI’s plate. ‘We consider it to be a highly significant investigation,’ McCabe said, but declined to give details of the manpower involved in the probe.” (05/11/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/11/politics/andrew-mccabe-hearing-senate-intelligence-committee/

—–

2) Security theater, trans-Atlantic edition: US DHS “likely” to expand laptop ban on flights
Source: Computerworld

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is considering expanding existing bans on laptops and other large electronic devices on flights, a situation that could pose a nightmare for many business travelers. DHS spokesman David Lapan said via email early Thursday that ‘no decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however it is under consideration.’ … DHS in March ordered that passengers coming to the U.S. from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa were required to check into the baggage hold any personal electronics larger than a smartphone. At the time, the agency said, it was reacting to the threat that terrorists could smuggle explosive devices in various consumer items. Expanding the ban to and from other countries, including European countries, is being weighed by DHS, according to various reports.” (05/11/17)

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3196146/it-industry/dhs-likely-to-expand-laptop-ban-on-flights.html

—–

3) US Senate intel panel subpoenas Flynn for Russia-related documents
Source: Fox News

“The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Wednesday for papers related to the panel’s investigation into alleged meddling by Russia in the 2016 election. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the Republican chairman, and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the committee of Democratic vice chairman, said the panel had first requested the papers from Flynn on late on April 28. Burr and Warner said in a joint statement Flynn ‘declined, through counsel, to cooperate with the Committee’s request.’ … Flynn attorney Robert Kelner declined to comment on the newly issued subpoena to the Associated Press. Flynn had previously been in talks with the committee about agreeing to be interviewed as long as he was granted immunity.” (05/11/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/10/senate-intel-panel-subpoenas-flynn-for-russia-related-documents.html

—–

4) Coats: Your blender is going to murder you in your bed because !THEM RUSSIANS!
Source: Engadget

“Hackers aren’t the only ones bypassing the weak security of the Internet of Things. According to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, smart devices could also be used to shut down US intelligence operations in the future. At an open hearing today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) heard testimony on the worldwide threat assessment of the US intelligence community. Coats'[s] opening statements included a warning of the dangers of poor smart device security as well as the continued inevitability of Russian cyber threats. Coat[s]’s testimony lists these concerns first, with Russia topping the list of enemy actors. Coats says that the Kremlin has taken a much more aggressive ‘cyber posture,’ which ‘was evident in Russia’s [alleged without evidence] efforts to influence the 2016 US election.'” (05/11/17)

https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/11/director-of-national-intelligence-iot-security/

—–

5) Report: Trump to create panel to “study” voter fraud, suppression
Source: Raw Story

“President Donald Trump plans to create a commission on Thursday to investigate voter fraud and voter suppression, a White House official said, a move that follows Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of massive voter fraud in the 2016 U.S. election. Trump planned to sign an executive order creating the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, which would be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, ABC News reported. Trump, who took office in January, has said that there was widespread voter fraud in the November election. The Republican won the White House through victory in the Electoral College, which tallies wins in states, but lost the popular vote to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, by some 3 million ballots.” (05/11/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/trump-to-create-panel-to-study-voter-fraud-suppression-official

—–

6) Vermont nears recreational cannabis legalization
Source: Smell the Truth

“Vermont is now poised to become the next state to allow recreational marijuana use. The state’s House of Representatives on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill to legalize marijuana use for adults, reports the Burlington Free Press. The bill has already been approved by the state’s Senate and now awaits the approval of Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who believes pot legalization is not ‘a priority for Vermont,’ although is expected to sign the bill. The governor’s signature would make Vermont the ninth state to allow recreational marijuana use, but would earn the distinction of being the first state to do so through a legislative process rather than a voter-approved ballot initiative.” (05/11/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/05/10/vermont-lawmakers-near-recreational-marijuana-legalization

—–

7) First Amendment backers [sic] see free speech fading at colleges
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“In campus clashes from California to Vermont, many defenders of the First Amendment say they see signs that free speech, once a bedrock value in academia, is losing ground as a priority at U.S. colleges. As protests have derailed speeches by controversial figures, including an event with Ann Coulter last month at the University of California, Berkeley, some fear students have come to see the right to free expression less as an enshrined measure of protection for all voices and more as a political weapon used against them by provocateurs. ‘I think minority groups and those who feel alienated are especially skeptical about free speech these days,’ said Jeffrey Herbst, leader of the Newseum, a Washington group that defends the First Amendment. ‘But the powerful can get their message across any number of ways. It’s those who feel powerless or alienated who really benefit from enshrined rights.'” [editor’s note: Pretty much anyone who believes in free speech sees this – SAT] (05/11/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/education/article/First-Amendment-backers-see-free-speech-fading-at-11138925.php

—–

8) Fed official: Trade protectionism “a dead end”
Source: Reuters

“Trade protectionism is a ‘dead end’ that may score political points but will ultimately hurt the U.S. economy, one of the most influential Federal Reserve officials said on Thursday in the central bank’s strongest defense yet of open borders in the face of a skeptical Trump administration. William Dudley, head of the New York Fed, did not mention U.S. President Donald Trump by name in a speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange. But he gave a full-throated economic and even political argument for resisting trade barriers that he said would hurt growth and living standards in both the United States and around the world. ‘Protectionism can have a siren-like appeal,’ said Dudley, a close ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen and a key decision-maker on U.S. interest-rate policy. ‘Viewed narrowly, it may be potentially rewarding to particular segments of the economy in the short term,’ he said in prepared remarks. ‘Viewed more broadly, it would almost certainly be destructive to the economy overall in the long term.’ The Fed is independent but answerable to Congress, and its governors are appointed by the White House and confirmed by the Senate.” (05/11/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-dudley-idUSKBN187184

—–

9) FL: Brown convicted of 18 felonies, could be sentenced to decades in prison
Source: St. Augustine Record

“A jury convicted former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown today of financial crimes that could put her in prison for years, potentially the rest of her life. The verdict was reached three days after closing arguments in a trial where Brown was painted as living the high life on secret cash that aides deposited in her bank account after passing it through other accounts. … Jurors were told the brash 70-year-old Democratic icon, who spent 24 years in Congress before losing reelection last year, received $141,000 in untraceable cash over several years through sources including the sham charity One Door for Education and her Friends of Corrine Brown campaign committee. An FBI accountant testified Brown, who earned around $175,000 a year as a member of Congress with a pension from the Florida Legislature, spent an average of $1,438 per month more than her reported income.” (05/11/17)

http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2017-05-11/corrine-brown-convicted-18-felonies-could-be-sentenced-decades-prison

—–

10) Spain: Parliament urges government to exhume Franco’s remains
Source: Reuters

“Spain’s opposition parties voted on Thursday to move the remains of fascist dictator Francisco Franco out of a state-funded mausoleum, in a non-binding parliamentary motion the government is likely to resist. The motion, backed by parties on the left and center, reflected growing pressure from campaign groups and politicians to turn the site into a broader memorial honoring those who died on both sides of Spain’s 1936-1939 civil war. It was passed by 198 votes to one, while 140 lawmakers abstained, including those from the conservative People’s Party (PP) of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The PP has long opposed attempts to exhume Franco’s body, saying this would only stir up painful memories more than four decades after his death and nearly 80 years after the end of the war.” (05/11/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-franco-idUSKBN1871TQ

—–

11) Bitcoin crosses $1,800 for the first time adding $3 billion in market cap in just four days
Source: CNBC

“Bitcoin surpassed $1,800 on Thursday to a fresh record high, rising more than $100 in just two days, driven by comments from policy makers and positive noises around the future of the cryptocurrency. The price of the digital currency was trading at around $1,824 by early morning in London, according to Coindesk’s bitcoin price index. It breached $1,700 for the first time on Tuesday. Since Monday, the market capitalization of bitcoin has risen over $3 billion to $29.53 billion. The price of bitcoin has soared 81 percent since the start of the year.” (05/11/17)

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/11/bitcoin-price-1800-record-high.html

—–

12) Will SCOTUS rescue Trump’s immigration travel ban?
Source: USA Today

“As President Trump’s effort to ban some travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries heads to yet another federal appeals court next week, the federal government’s lawyers can’t be blamed for looking further ahead — to the Supreme Court. Nearly all the judges who have heard the administration claim the right to restrict immigration from countries it deems as security risks have said the travel ban discriminates against immigrants based on their religion. As proof, they have cited statements Trump made during the election campaign. The 4th Circuit and 9th Circuit appeals courts now considering the case are likely to agree, based on their makeup; both have a majority of judges nominated by Democratic presidents. But the Supreme Court may be another story.” (05/11/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/11/supreme-court-rescue-trump-immigration-travel-ban/101523088

—–

13) US Senate confirms Trump’s chief trade negotiator
Source: The Hill

“The Senate on Thursday easily confirmed President Trump’s nominee for United States trade representative. After months of delays, Robert Lighthizer sailed through in an 82-14 confirmation vote. The bulk of the Trump administration’s trade agenda has been in a holding pattern, leaving issues such as the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the direction of future global deals up in the air while Lightizer waited for Senate approval.” (05/11/17)

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/332977-lighthizer-confirmed-as-chief-trade-negotiator

—–

14) HIV life expectancy “near normal” thanks to new drugs
Source: BBC [UK state media]

“Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments, a study in The Lancet suggests. Twenty-year-olds who started antiretroviral therapy in 2010 are projected to live 10 years longer than those first using it in 1996, it found. Doctors say that starting treatment early is crucial to achieve a long and healthy life. Charities say there are still too many people unaware they have the virus. This is particularly true in the developing world, where the majority of HIV deaths occur because access to drugs is limited. The study authors, from the University of Bristol, said the extraordinary success of HIV treatments was a result of newer drugs having fewer side effects and being better at preventing the virus from replicating in the body. It is also more difficult for the virus to build up a resistance to the most recent drugs.” (05/11/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39872530

—–

15) Moon, Abe agree to co-operate on North Korea
Source: Washington Post

“Japanese officials have described the first telephone call between new South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe as ‘positive and meaningful,’ with the two agreeing to cooperate closely to deal with North Korea. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that the two leaders talked for 25 minutes and did not go into details of the outstanding issues, and agreed to meet as soon as possible for further talks. Suga refused to confirm whether Moon told Abe that south Korea’s public has difficulty accepting a 2015 agreement and Japan’s compensation over the wartime sexual abuse of South Korean ‘comfort women’ by the Japanese military.” (05/11/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/the-latest-moon-tells-abe-history-cant-hamper-co-operation/2017/05/11/8c1d9722-362d-11e7-ab03-aa29f656f13e_story.html

—–

16) Venezuela: Government calls feces bombs launched in protests “biochemical weapons”
Source: Fox News

“The Venezuelan government is accusing the opposition of breaking international treaties on biological and chemical weapons by throwing feces during the increasingly violent street protests across the country. Many demonstrators have started carrying so-called ‘Poopootov cocktails’ (feces stuffed into small glass bottles) they throw when National Guard troops block their path with tear gas and water. During an interview Wednesday night on state television, Courts Inspector General Marielys Valdéz called the new ‘bombs’ biological weapons. ‘It is a biological weapon … The use of biochemical weapons is a crime, it is completely typified, and it carries high penalties,’ she said.” (05/11/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/05/11/venezuela-says-feces-bombs-launched-in-protests-are-biochemical-weapons.html

—–

17) Arctic governments to set target for reducing climate-warming soot pollution
Source: Alaska Dispatch News

“Sea ice is disappearing rapidly, permafrost is thawing faster than predicted and shorelines are eroding away, but scientists say there is one simple step that can slow Arctic warming — clearing the air of black carbon, also known as soot. Now the Arctic nations are poised to set targets for reducing black carbon, a pollutant that hurts human lungs, traps atmospheric heat and dirties the Arctic ice and snow. The eight-nation Arctic Council, convened in Fairbanks for a high-level ministerial meeting, is expected to release those targets on Thursday, the day the United States ends its two-year chairmanship and transfers that authority to Finland.” (05/11/17)

https://www.adn.com/arctic/2017/05/10/arctic-nations-to-set-target-for-reducing-climate-warming-soot-pollution/

—–

18) LA: Second Confederate-era monument removed
Source: ABC News

“Dozens of people gathered in New Orleans on Thursday morning to witness the removal of the Jefferson Davis Memorial, the second of four Confederate-era monuments that are set to come down. The statue, erected in 1911 in honor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, was taken down at around 6 a.m. Thursday by workers wearing masks and helmets. The area was heavily guarded by police officers, presumably to prevent clashes between pro- and anti-monument groups. New Orleans voted to remove four Confederate-era monuments in 2015 because the statues for many residents are symbols of racism and white supremacy. … Proponents and opponents of the removal plan have taken part in sometimes tense demonstrations at monument sites in the past.” [editor’s note: According to the New Orleans Code of Ordinances, Section 54-313, it is “unlawful for any person to use or wear in any public place, a hood or mask or anything of the nature of either or any facial disguise of any kind or description, calculated to conceal or hide the identity of the person or to prevent ready recognition of such person” outside the context of parades/parties a la Mardi Gras. Have the workers been arrested yet? – TLK] (05/11/17)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/orleans-school-warns-parents-confederate-statue-removal/story?id=47339045

—–

19) NH: Legislator switches from Democratic to Libertarian Party affiliation
Source: Ballot Access News

“On May 10, New Hampshire Representative Joseph Stallcop held a press conference to say he is switching party registration from Democratic to Libertarian. He represents the Cheshire County 4th district, and had been elected without opposition as a Democrat in 2016. He is 21 years old. Because the Libertarian Party now has two state representatives, it is entitled to be recognized as a caucus, with its own room in the capitol. Stallcop has become a dues-paying member of both the national and state Libertarian Parties.” (05/10/17)

http://ballot-access.org/2017/05/10/new-hampshire-legislator-switches-from-democratic-party-to-libertarian-party/

—–

20) Russia: Blogger convicted for playing Pokemon Go in church
Source: Yahoo! News

“A Russian court on Thursday convicted a video blogger of inciting hatred against believers by posting videos online showing him chasing Pokemons in a church, giving him a suspended sentence. Ruslan Sokolovsky, a militant atheist who posted the videos on his YouTube channel, was detained in August 2016 and spent nine months in jail and under house arrest. His case, heard in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, highlighted the role of the powerful Orthodox Church and sparked comparisons with the scandalous case that saw members of the Pussy Riot punk group sent to prison for a performance critical of President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral in 2012.” (05/11/17)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/russian-blogger-convicted-playing-pokemon-church-101155691.html

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

21) Comey firing justly knocks FBI off its pedestal
Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“President Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey provides a welcome chance to dethrone the FBI from its pinnacle in American politics and life. Last September, Comey denounced Twitter ‘demagoguery’ for the widespread belief that the FBI was not ‘honest’ or ‘competent.’ But the FBI has a long record of both deceit and incompetence. Five years ago, Americans learned that the FBI was teaching its agents that the bureau ‘has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others.’ This has practically been the FBI’s motif since its creation.” (05/11/17)

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2017/05/11/usa-today-time-to-dethrone-the-fbi/

—–

22) The US Postal Service is dying. Let it.
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“Like most monopolies, the US Postal Service isn’t interested in changing its business model. An enterprise hemorrhaging cash in a free market would cut prices, improve service, look for new revenue streams, or simply close its doors. The USPS solution, as usual, is to raise prices and hope for the best. Alternative proposal: Let’s put it out of its misery.” (05/11/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/10496

—–

23) The high cost of not owning your healthcare
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Rachel Mills

“When you ask or force some other entity that doesn’t love you to pay for your healthcare (or education for that matter) for how long will you suffer under the illusion that you also retain control or that decisions made for you are truly in your best interest? Put a large layer of bureaucracy between you and your doctor and what do you imagine you might get? I promise you it won’t be more control. Health insurance companies routinely deny this or that course of treatment, for whatever reason and they largely get their way. They are paying the piper.” (05/11/17)

https://fee.org/articles/the-high-cost-of-not-owning-your-healthcare/

—–

24) Patriotism and conscience: The Edward Snowden affair
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Genuine patriotism encompasses taking a stand against the wrongdoing of your own government. That’s what the Declaration of Independence was all about — a group of English subjects taking a stand against the wrongdoing of their own government. It’s what the White Rose group in Nazi Germany was all about — taking a stand against the wrongdoing of their own government. The conversion of the federal government to a national-security state turned that notion upside down, at least for national-security statists, who hold that a citizen has the solemn duty to unconditionally and blindly come to the defense of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, no matter what they are doing, because whatever it is they are doing — murdering, kidnapping, torture, bribery — they’re doing for national security. They are keeping Americans safe from the enemies that their policies are producing.” (05/11/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/patriotism-conscience-edward-snowden-affair/

—–

25) Constitutional crisis
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“It’s been fun watching Democrats who were calling for Comey’s head just a few days ago suddenly loving the man. Keith Ellison went so far as to call Trump’s firing of Comey a Constitutional crisis …. But it’s not a Constitutional crisis. Not by a long shot. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is a department of the Executive Branch. As president, Donald Trump is the current head of the Executive Branch. As head of the Executive Branch, Trump has the power to appoint and dismiss heads of departments of the Executive Branch. Dismissing Comey was well within Trump’s constitutionally granted powers.” (05/11/17)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2017/05/11/constitutional-crisis/

—–

26) rump fires away — again
Source: Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders

“Washington is buzzing with talk of Watergate. In a town nostalgic for the days when reporters didn’t run in packs and Republicans and Democrats would raise a pint together, many cannot resist the temptation to compare President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey to President Richard Nixon’s 1973 Saturday Night Massacre, when a besieged executive fired his special prosecutor and his attorney general and deputy attorney general resigned in protest. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did not want to feed the press corps’ yearning to be Woodward and Bernstein when she walked into a jammed briefing room Wednesday. The press corps wanted to know why Trump had soured on Comey. After all, days before the 2016 election Trump praised Comey for having the ‘guts’ to re-open an investigation, closed in July, into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ‘extremely careless’ (Comey’s words) handling of classified emails. Two days before the election Comey announced the re-opened investigation found nothing.” (05/11/17)

https://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2017/05/11/trump-fires-away–again-n2325197

—–

27) The war on Yemen and the “self-defense” lie
Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“The claim that Saudi Arabia is ‘simply defending itself’ by attacking Yemen is utter nonsense, and it is easily exposed as such. The Saudis and their allies were not being threatened from Yemen by the Houthis or anyone else when they initiated their bombing campaign and blockade against the country. There were no attacks on Saudi territory that warranted retaliation, nor were there attacks on any other member of the coalition. The coalition was organized with the express purpose of reimposing a discredited, unpopular leader on the country after he had been forced from power. From the start, the Saudi-led war was an aggressive campaign waged against the bulk of the population of Yemen by a group of outside governments.” (05/11/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-war-on-yemen-and-the-self-defense-lie/

—–

28) Trump makes himself look guilty
Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

Among Donald Trump’s many shortcomings are the vast amount of history he doesn’t know and the little he does. Perhaps someone told him that when Richard Nixon faced an unwelcome investigation, he fired the investigator. Perhaps no one told him it only made Nixon’s plight worse. Trump owes most of his achievements to his talent for getting attention. Whether the attention was positive or negative was immaterial. His fame became larger and more lucrative either way. In the White House, though, making yourself conspicuous is not always a winning tactic. By firing the FBI director who was in charge of the investigation of the Trump camp’s connections to Russia, the president did not douse the flames licking at his administration; rather, he fed them. He instantly turned a problem into a calamity.” (05/11/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/05/11/trump-makes-himself-look-guilty

—–

29) Our rendezvous with authoritarianism has arrived
Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

“The firing of James Comey has restarted a conversation about the vulnerability of public institutions in America that had gone largely dormant. Before Tuesday, one of the most remarkable things about Donald Trump’s presidency was how sturdy it had shown competitor institutions, and the larger system of checks and balances, to be. Courts have beat back his power grabs; media, for all its flaws, has been more skeptical of the claims and actions of the Trump administration than of any administration in recent history. Civil society organizations have flourished, and a vital protest movement has both slowed the GOP legislative agenda, and forced some Republicans in Congress to expect a measure of accountability from the White House. For those who were relieved by this, Comey’s firing should be a frightful awakening from complacency.” [editor’s note: LMAO … that “rendezvous” has been ongoing since about the time I was born, if not long before – SAT] (05/11/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/142652/rendezvous-authoritarianism-arrived

—–

30) Trump, Comey, and the rest of us
Source: The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson

“There’s a very good reason why President Trump’s inner circle and his apologists have had trouble defending their chief’s firing of James Comey: Neither the stated reason for the firing nor the real reason is actually a prudent case to make if you don’t want to undercut the president–and, in the case of administration officials, if you don’t want the Donald to fire you, too. Suppose you defend the firing on the grounds stated in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s brief: Comey trampled over Hillary Clinton’s rights when he trashed her last summer, violating Justice Department rules. Then he rode roughshod over those rules again when he announced the FBI was reopening the case last October. That’s a dicey case to try and defend when you land on CNN, because Trump applauded Comey’s October announcement.” (05/11/17)

http://prospect.org/article/trump-comey-and-rest-us

—–

31) Curiosity is the best educator
Source: Everything Voluntary
by Aaron White

“We give Cambria free reign over Netflix and Amazon Prime. She is regularly finding new shows. Several days ago she challenged us slightly for a minute. She found Family Guy and was burning through some episodes, and I forgot how vulgar the show was. After a little discussion, I thought it was fine and tolerable and Rose decided it was best to not restrict things. This morning I thought about it a little more while watching some episodes of Blue’s Clues with Cambria. I think Family guy is vastly better than Blue’s Clues for her. Blue’s Clues is basic and redundant. It doesn’t represent life in any meaningful way. It addresses very few concepts of the world in a sterilized fashion without context.” (05/11/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/curiosity-best-educator

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32) Trump’s Comey firing is all about timing
Source: USA Today
by Christian Schneider

“William F. Buckley once wrote of the importance of context when determining the seriousness of someone’s actions. For Buckley, comparing the actions of America’s intelligence operation with those of the Soviet KGB was like ‘saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus,’ on the grounds that ‘in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.’ Naturally, moral equivalence between actions falls apart when context and timing are considered. This is certainly the case when considering President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey on Tuesday night.” (05/11/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/05/11/trump-comey-firing-fbi-timing-christian-schneider-column/101516630

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33) The lessons of the Rebecca Tuvel witch hunt
Source: spiked
by Sean Collins

“Hypatia was a female mathematician and philosopher in 4th-century Egypt who was murdered by a Christian mob after being accused of stirring up conflict between the governor and bishop in Alexandria. Her death ‘effectively marked the downfall of Alexandrian intellectual life,’ wrote Stephen Greenblatt in The Swerve. Today, a female professor in Memphis, Tennessee, writing in the feminist philosophy journal Hypatia, has also been attacked by zealots, this time a mob of pro-trans women academics. Rebecca Tuvel has not suffered Hypatia’s fate (only perhaps the death of her career), but the controversy over her article certainly marks a new low in our intellectual life.” (05/11/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-lessons-of-the-rebecca-tuvel-witch-hunt/

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34) Osaka steps toward accepting same-sex families
Source: Students For Liberty
by Conor Fogarty

“In a move unprecedented by the central government, the city of Osaka, Japan granted a gay couple the ability to legally adopt a child. While no law officially stands preventing same-sex couples from adoption, their applications would usually be turned away unless they specifically adopted as individuals. While this at least allowed same-sex couples to raise a child, being unrecognized as a family presented them with a lack of legal representation. Additionally, the notion that an unmarried couple was unable to legally consider themselves a family most likely contributes to social isolation. LGBT rights activists have struggled to maintain a vocal presence in Japan.” (05/11/17)

https://www.studentsforliberty.org/2017/05/11/osaka-steps-toward-accepting-sex-families/

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35) Taking innovation seriously
Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Dumitriu

“[W]hat would actually change if politicians and regulators were forced to take innovation seriously? [Matt] Ridley suggests we’d have cheaper, safer food thanks to genetically modified crops and fewer people would smoke as burdensome EU rules on vaping would never get past the innovation commission. I think there are two other areas where taking innovation seriously would lead to fundamental regulatory changes.” (05/11/17)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/taking-innovation-seriously

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36) The essential link between consumers and financial markets
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Frank Shostak

“Recently one of the most successful Wall Street investors Warren Buffet urged investors to forget about active investment and simply put their money into index funds. Contrary to his previous ideas that one should strive to make investment decisions based on the understanding of fundamentals, now he is of the view that it is better to embrace a passive approach and follow the index. It seems that Buffet has succumbed to the popular view as presented by Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) that financial asset markets always fully reflect all available and relevant information, and that adjustment to new information is virtually instantaneous.” (05/11/17)

https://mises.org/blog/essential-link-between-consumers-and-financial-markets

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37) Trump “signing statement” risks funding for all tribal housing
Source: Our Future
by Mark Trahant

“The flurry that is the Trump Administration continues to impact Indian Country in ways that are expected — as well as those that surprise. A nasty surprise at that. The latest offering is a presidential signing statement that targets federal programs that serve American Indians, Alaska Natives, as well as those that fund historically black colleges. Because this statement is attached to the spending bill that just passed Congress, H.R. 244, it gives the Trump Administration legal cover to cancel grants and funding streams already in motion.” (05/10/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20170510/trump-signing-statement-risks-funding-for-all-tribal-housing

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38) The Pope’s cartoon libertarians
Source: Libertarianism.org
by David S D’Amato

“With all due respect to His Holiness, Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ is profoundly ignorant of even the most basic features of libertarian thought, as conceived by the people who actually urge its adoption in public policy. In this, of course, he has plenty of company. And this is nothing new for the Pope, who has been warning the faithful of the dangers posed by greedy, malevolent freedom-lovers for years. But in disseminating his views, the Pope has only regurgitated, apparently without much thought, various superficial and long-exploded caricatures of libertarianism. He attacks a bizarre version of libertarian thought that few, if any, actual libertarians espouse–one in which thoughtless and self-centered borderline sociopaths seek to live shallow, atomized lives of material consumption and accumulation.” (05/10/17)

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/popes-cartoon-libertarians

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39) Two dead canaries in the coal mine
Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“Every so often, a canary in a coal mine must have died of natural causes. But circumstances being what they were, the prudent course was never to presume a benign explanation. Common sense and self-preservation called for presuming the worst. This is not a time that affords the luxury to wait and see what Trump does next, or who Trump appoints to be the next Director of the FBI. This is a time to act. It is a time for Congress to force a special prosecutor. … Ask any Trump ex-wife, creditor, or subcontractor if he deserves to be given the benefit of any doubts. His entire life suggests the answer is no. Americans should start acting like it.” (05/11/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/two-dead-canaries-in-the-coal-mine/526230/

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40) “Starve the Beast” enables the Bankrupt-in-Chief
Source: Niskanen Center
by Will Wilkinson

“Other than containing less detail, Donald Trump’s notes toward a sketch of a ‘tax plan’ is similar to his campaign tax proposal, which analysts estimated would add $3-5 trillion to the budget deficit. That is to say, Trump does not have a corresponding plan to reduce spending. Republicans often rail against deficits, but when the rubber hits the road, they reliably increase deficit spending by cutting taxes. This has often been rationalized by the idea that reducing revenue and driving up deficits creates pressure to ‘Starve the Beast’ and reduce spending. But big tax cuts create no pressure at all to balance the books. On the contrary, they ease the main pressure that keeps spending and the size of government in check. In the hands of a big-spending, serial bankrupt like Donald Trump, Republican supply-side fiscal policy dogma, of which Starve the Beast is a central element, poses a serious threat to the growth and stability of the American economy.” (05/10/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/starve-beast-enables-bankrupt-chief/

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41) The politics of power
Source: CounterPunch
by Andrew Kahn

“Power itself is not the problem. It never has been and never will be. Power is a constant and will not disappear within any society whether capitalist, socialist, communist or anarchist. There will always be a power, a controlling force of some nature. Even anarchism is subjected to the power of those within such a system to decide that such society will be anarchist. For if someone decided they wished to live within a communist society or a capitalist society, the power of the prevailing anarchist society would deny such change that the person wished.” (05/11/17)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/11/the-politics-of-power/

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42) Democrats desperate to turn Trump into Nixon
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“Democrats, who just weeks ago were screaming for James Comey’s scalp, have now reversed themselves after President Trump fired the FBI director. Instead of thanking Trump, Dems are likening him to Richard Nixon, and calling for a ‘special prosecutor’ into the firing. Can politicized calls for impeachment be far behind? Watching the Democrats splutter in splenetic rage in recent days has been priceless, a lesson in instantaneous political outrage whipped up not out of legitimate moral indignation but purely for political ends. Things sure change. Back in November, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wanted Comey’s head after he reopened his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server and then, just two days before the election, promptly closed it down. ‘I do not have confidence in him any longer,’ Schumer said.” (05/11/17)

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/democrats-desperate-to-turn-trump-into-nixon

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43) Romania chooses prosperity over populism
Source: Acton Institute
by Mihail Neamtu

“After Brexit and in the wake of Donald Trump’s improbable victory, France has rejected the nationalist economic agenda of Marine Le Pen. It is not just Emmanuel Macron who reprimanded populism as an unfeasible solution to globalization. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has endorsed the virtues of capitalism as part of an open political system, which promotes the freedom of movement for goods, capital, services, and peoples. And he did so in perhaps the most pointedly cosmopolitan way possible: by welcoming foreign investors to become part of the Romanian economy.” (05/10/17)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/05/10/romania-chooses-prosperity-over-populism

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44) Trumped or stumped? The tax cut, the debt ceiling and riding the gravy train
Source: Cobden Centre
by Colin Lloyd

“The current US debt ceiling is set at $19.8trln. Debt levels are already close to that level and special accounting measures have already been implemented by the US Treasury. This year alone total federal expenditures will be $3.7trln — leaving a tax shortfall of $559bln. Meanwhile, last week, Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin announced the long awaited tax cut plan. It included a proposal to reduce the US corporate tax rate to 15% from the current level of 35%. This, it is estimated by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, will increase the government deficit by $5.5trln over the next decade. The Trump administrations other spending plans remain on the agenda, including $1trln for infrastructure, $54bln for the military and — assuming the Mexicans can’t pay and won’t pay — $10bln for the Southern Border Wall. How can this possibly add up? Through spending cuts, is the simple answer.” (05/11/17)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/05/trumped-or-stumped-the-tax-cut-the-debt-ceiling-and-riding-the-gravy-train/

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45) The silent slaughter of the US air war
Source: Antiwar.com
by Nicolas JS Davies

“There is almost no political debate in the US over the rights and wrongs of the US bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. Never mind that bombing Syria without authorization from its internationally recognized government is a crime of aggression and a violation of the U.N. Charter. The freedom of the United States to violate the UN Charter at will has already been politically (not legally!) normalized by 17 years of serial aggression, from the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, to drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. So who will enforce the Charter now to protect civilians in Syria, who already face violence and death from all sides in a bloody civil and proxy war, in which the US was already deeply complicit well before it began bombing Syria in 2014?” (05/11/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/nicolas_davies/2017/05/10/the-silent-slaughter-of-the-us-air-war/

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46) The consensus echo chamber take on Trump firing Comey is all wrong
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“The unanimous very smart person take on Trump’s firing of James Comey is that it’s a political disaster which will lead to total ruin and possibly his impeachment. I disagree. The key factor that will determine how this ultimately turns out hinges largely on whether or not there was actual coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to sway the election through hacking or other nefarious means. Personally, I don’t think there was, which is why I don’t expect Donald Trump to be removed from office. The consensus view right now is that Trump’s firing of Comey offers further circumstantial evidence that he’s trying to cover up coordination with Russia in order to end the ongoing investigation. This is certainly a possibility to consider, but it’s definitely not the only possibility, nor is it the most likely explanation.” (05/10/17)

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/05/10/the-consensus-echo-chamber-take-on-trump-firing-comey-is-all-wrong/

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47) Who is Jair Bolsonaro and why you should care
Source: Notes On Liberty
by Bruno Goncalves Rosi

“Since 1994, Brazilian presidential elections follow a pattern: PSDB and PT candidates are the main competitors, with a third candidate falling between the main leaders and countless dwarf candidates. Although this third candidate does not reach the presidency and does not even dispute the second round of the elections, its political influence tends to increase and its support happens to be disputed by the candidates of the PSDB and the PT. So it was mainly with Marina Silva in 2010 and 2014, and possibly will be so with Jair Bolsonaro in 2018.” (05/10/17)

https://notesonliberty.com/2017/05/10/who-is-jair-bolsonaro-and-why-you-should-care/

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48) Why are you waiting? Get them out!
Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“You have children (or grandchildren) of school age in your family, your home, your church, or your neighborhood. They probably go to ‘public schools’ (that is, government-run, tax-supported schools). Ninety percent of American children do. Let us look at some very recent events at these schools. From Edgewood Ohio, we have this tale of a thirteen-year-old male student and criminal. According to AOL News his crime was clicking ‘like’ on a photo on Instagram. … The photo was of a ‘gun’ — an AirSoft pistol. Bowlin’s parents received a note that cited the reason for the suspension as, ‘Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence.’ Welcome to Tyranny in Schools[TM] in the Fifty States of 2017. It isn’t just the suspension for a harmless act, in a kind of Thought Crime that fits well in the 1984 universe. It is that this school apparently has the time and technology to constantly monitor their students’ social interactions — and in close to real time. (Or deploy a network of informers.)” (05/10/17)

https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/05/10/why-are-you-waiting-get-them-out/

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49) An inconvenient empire
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“‘Don’t look to the United States for hope. Our values make us sympathetic to your plight, and, when it’s convenient, we might officially express that sympathy. But we make policy to serve our interests, which are not related to our values. So, if you happen to be in the way of our forging relationships with your oppressors that could serve our security and economic interests … You’re on your own.’ That’s Senator John McCain’s New York Times op-ed mockery of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson … The inconvenient truth? American foreign policy has long pursued certain political and economic interests at the expense of extolling human rights.” (05/11/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/05/11/an-inconvenient-empire/

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50) Is the Greek public [sic] debt actually “unpayable?”
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“When it comes to public debt and deficits, I sometimes feel like people go to one extreme or the other. Japan has a public debt equal to about 250% of GDP, but many people wave it away as a minor inconvenience, even calling for more fiscal stimulus, despite the failure of previous efforts. In contrast, the Greek debt is often assumed to be obviously unpayable, despite being a far lower percentage of GDP. And maybe it is, but I’m not entirely convinced. Of course my opinion does not matter–what does matter is the view of bond market participants. And they are becoming increasingly optimistic about Greek debt.” [editor’s note: “Public debt” is a propagandistic term intended to imply that “the public” borrowed the money. In fact, “the politicians” borrowed it and want to stick “the public” with the check – TLK] (05/10/17)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/05/is_the_greek_de.html

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

51) Remy: The Venezuela Diet!
Source: Reason

“Using an ancient Soviet method, 75% of Venezuelans have lost an average of 19 pounds and so can you! Who needs human rights and a free press when you can get back to your old college weight? Watch the video and let Remy show you how it all works.” [Flash video] (05/11/17)

http://reason.com/reasontv/2017/05/11/remy-the-venezuela-diet

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52) Philosophy of Voluntaryism, episode 3
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Philosophy of Voluntaryism 003 is a look at taxation, by Danilo Cuellar and Jim Limber Davis. ‘The unintended consequences of taxation are nearly infinite. What doesn’t have to be is our nescience about them. By understanding wealth, how it is created, and what its purpose is we can break down the idea of taxation and show the world what it really is: a practice befitting a less civilized, intelligent, and courageous period of humanity’s history.'” [various formats] (05/11/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/philosophy-voluntaryism-003-unintended-consequences-taxation-60m

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53) War College Podcast, 05/11/17
Source: Reuters (War College)

“America is at war with the Islamic State. Typically, citizens think this war comes in the form of drone strikes, signals intelligence and cooperation with regional partners. But that’s only part of the story. Even while popular opinion has shunned U.S. ‘boots on the ground’ in the Middle East, U.S. Special Operations Forces are the boots. They conduct complicated operations that take the fight to the Islamic State, fighting and dying in covert operations all across the globe. But the strategy might not be sustainable. This week on War College, freelance journalist Joseph Trevithick walks us through the ins and outs of the SpecOp’s war on Islamic State and the trick journalists have to use to uncover information about a class of warriors that does its best to go unnoticed.” [Flash audio or MP3] (05/11/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-warcollege-10may-idUSKBN1862JT

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54) Freedom Feens Radio, 05/11/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Lou, Dianna and MWD talk about old man Nick Hazelton, and about what’s wrong with Venezuela.” [various formats] (05/11/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=14478

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55) Free Talk Live, 05/10/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Major Libertarian Party History Made Today as Democrat Sitting State Rep Flips to Libertarian! :: Party Politics :: Bail Reform :: Strange Reputation Currency Idea :: Immigrant Labor Comments Offend :: Bank Tax Escrow Accounts :: Secessionist Ricky :: Trolley Sarah :: Mr. Rogers :: Chelsea Manning to be Released in One Week :: HOSTS — Ian, Darryl, Kallen.” [Flash audio or MP3] (05/10/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-05-10

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56) Heartland on the Radio: Isaac Orr on the Paris climate treaty
Source: Heartland Institute

“Heartland Institute research fellow Isaac Orr discusses why the Paris Climate Treaty is a bad deal for Americans and why the United States would be better to leave the treaty than stay in it, as has been suggested by various officials in the Trump Administration. Staying in the treaty legitimizes an illegal process used by President Obama to commit the United States to an agreement that siphons wealth from the United States and destroys opportunities for American workers.” [Flash audio] (05/10/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/05/heartland-on-the-radio-isaac-orr-on-the-paris-climate-treaty/

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57) Whencast of the Comey timeline
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

“James Comey: Everything that led to his firing.” [some video format that my Chromebox doesn’t seem to support] (05/10/17)

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/160522006066/whencast-of-the-comey-timeline

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58) The Tom Woods Show, episode 906
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“Judd Weiss discusses the inside story of the 2016 campaign for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, and it’s explosive.” [various formats] (05/10/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-906-judd-weiss-john-mcafees-vp-pick-on-what-really-happened-behind-the-scenes-and-its-not-pretty/

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59) The Jason Stapleton Program, episode 598
Source: The Jason Stapleton Program

“It’s a long track record and pattern of corruption going back to the election. That’s the story coming out of Washington when discussing Russia and the Trump campaign team. Never mind there’s no evidence. That is just a formality. To the left (and the left wing media) Comey’s firing is proof that the FBI is getting close to tightening the noose around Donald Trump’s neck. Those were the words of former VP hopeful Tim Kaine. So is there any truth to the Russia, Trump ties and the firing of FBI Director Comey? Today I’ll tell you.” [various formats] (05/10/17)

https://jasonstapleton.com/598-the-comey-firing-the-facts-and-the-fiction/

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60) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 38
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #38, I discuss the trend of US soldiers moving towards the front lines. Obama and Trump moved US soldiers towards the front lines in Iraq and Syria. Now the Pentagon is looking to move US troops closer to the front lines in Afghanistan and Somalia. I examine the past and future outcomes of this policy. I also update South Korea, Yemen, Somalia, and Turkey.” [various formats] (05/10/17)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-38-us-soldiers-on-the-front-lines

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
R. Lee Wrights
Steve Trinward

Editor Emeritus:
Mary Lou Seymour
*****