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

Volume XV, Issue #3,761
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
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In the News:

1) China: Regime reportedly boosts defense preparations along North Korean border
2) Sessions announces plan to strip sanctuary cities of federal funds
3) Trump taking aim at Sessions for “weak” position on Clinton, reportedly discussing firing
4) US Navy fires warning shots at Iranian ship in Gulf
5) Republicans block Democrats’ bid to see Treasury files on Trump
6) CTE found in brains of 110 out of 111 deceased NFLers
7) Coulter to Trump: “Be a man” and fire Jeff Sessions
8) US judge refuses to halt New York nuclear power plant subsidies
9) Trump, Hariri pledge solidarity against terrorism
10) Musk and Zuckerberg clash over future of AI
11) Former NFL star Marvin Washington files cannabis lawsuit against Jeff Sessions
12) US Senate dives into health-care debate despite deep divisions within the GOP
13) Criminal probe opened into DoD purchase of Afghan Army “camouflage”
14) Trump regime considering arms to Ukraine, says envoy Volker
15) LedgerX completes bureaucratic process, approved for Bitcoin options
16) Trump blasts “fabricated” Syria story, appears to confirm covert CIA program
17) Profits at Google’s parent slump on huge extortion payout
18) US House Democrats stun GOP by sinking veterans, intel bills
19) Kushner contradicts Trump team’s denials of Russia contacts
20) Snopes, in heated legal battle, asks readers for money to survive

Everybody Has An Opinion:

21) Socialism is dead; participatory fascism has triumphed
22) Send in the clown: Scaramucci versus the leakers
23) The Russia sanctions are about controlling Americans
24) If the teens who filmed the disabled man drown were cops, they would not be charged
25) The case for gender anarchy
26) Mueller’s Russia probe is a political hit job. Either rein him in, or fire him
27) Trump should veto Congress’s foolish new sanctions bill
28) The future is now: Europe’s power market to start blockchain trading this year
29) What every Bitcoiner should know about “Bitcoin Cash”
30) If Hell had a budget: The GOP breaks Ten Commandments
31) The most effective way to reduce child poverty
32) MSNBC mercilessly mocks the Democrats’ new slogan
33) The full scope of the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause
34) GOP health bill: Freedom of choice vs. freedom from fear
35) Was the “Russian hack” an inside job?
36) Why the anti-war left should attack Putin too
37) Making people mad
38) Buchanan the Wicked?
39) This left challenger showing how progressive economics can flip Trump country
40) Why Trump might fire Robert Mueller
41) Do you really want to include capital gains?
42) Demagoguery and Trump
43) Shocking twist: Harvard club ban had only seven votes from 27-member committee
44) The conservative case for universal healthcare
45) Betsy DeVos is right about Title IX
46) Politics of the next four years, part 1: Rise of the “dirtbag left”
47) Is direct action transformative?
48) Syria and sanity
49) Policing for profit: Jeff Sessions and Co.’s thinly veiled plot to rob us blind
50) The ban on flavored tobacco: San Francisco’s nannies are at it again

The Sound and the Fury:

51) Why President Trump is on the verge of total victory
52) Reason Podcast, 07/24/17
53) PanAm Podcast, 07/24/17
54) Free Talk Live, 07/24/17
55) The Tom Woods Show, episode 959
56) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 70
57) The Bob Zadek Show, 07/23/17

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

1) China: Regime reportedly boosts defense preparations along North Korean border
Source: CNBC

“China has ramped up its defenses along its border with North Korea to ready itself for a potential crisis on the peninsula …. Beijing has increased surveillance of the border region as well as a ‘combat readiness-level big data disaster recovery center.’ The military has also conducted drills and transferred units from other regions …. these measures parallel President Donald Trump’s comments that he is considering military action to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions and that Beijing should do more to handle the matter.” (07/24/17)

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/24/china-reportedly-boosts-defense-preparations-along-north-korean-border.html

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2) Sessions announces plan to strip sanctuary cities of federal funds
Source: Raw Story

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced cities that refuse to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will lose significant federal grants ‘So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,’ Sessions said in a statement announcing the decision. The federal government will only provide Byrne JAG grants ‘to cities and states that comply with federal law,’ the statement reads. This means allowing ICE access to detention facilities and providing 48 hours notice before releasing undocumented immigrants.” [editor’s note: Cannabis crackdown, asset forfeiture rampup, now this? Sure gonna be nice to see him fired, but is it all just a setup for the next guy? – SAT] (07/25/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/sessions-announces-plans-to-strip-sanctuary-cities-of-federal-funds

—–

3) Trump taking aim at Sessions for “weak” position on Clinton, reportedly discussing firing
Source: Fox News

“President Trump took his criticism of Jeff Sessions to a new level Tuesday morning, describing his stance on Hillary Clinton’s alleged misdeeds as ‘VERY weak’ — amid reports the president has spoken with advisers about the possibility of firing the attorney general. The president unleashed a battery of tweets berating Sessions for the absence of an investigation into Clinton’s connections to Ukraine and Russia. … The Associated Press, citing three people who have recently spoken to the president, reported that Trump continues to rage against Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation — and has talked to aides about the possibility of firing him.” (07/25/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/25/trump-reportedly-spoke-to-advisers-about-firing-sessions.html

—–

4) US Navy fires warning shots at Iranian ship in Gulf
Source: BBC [UK state media]

“A US Navy ship has fired warning shots at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel in the Gulf, US officials say. It happened at around 03:00 local time (00:00 GMT), as the Iranian ship began to approach the USS Thunderbolt. A US defence official said the boat came within 450ft (137m), and ignored radio calls and the ship’s whistle. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard is a paramilitary force that answers directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. ‘The IRGCN boat was coming in at a high rate of speed. It did not respond to any signals, they did not respond to any bridge-to-bridge calls, they felt there was no choice except to fire the warning shots,’ the official told AFP news agency. The Iranian ship stopped after the warning shots, and the Thunderbolt (accompanied by several US Coast Guard vessels) continued on its way.” (07/25/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40720323

—–

5) Republicans block Democrats’ bid to see Treasury files on Trump
Source: Reuters

“U.S. House Republicans on Tuesday shot down a legislative effort by Democrats to obtain Treasury Department documents that could show any ties between the finances of President Donald Trump, his inner circle and the Russian government. The bill was rejected amid intense sparring with Democrats openly wondering whether or not Trump, a Republican, is compromised by a foreign power and Republicans dismissing it as a political stunt. Representative Jeb Hensarling, the Republican chair of the House Financial Services Committee that rejected the proposal, said the panel would not be spending any time exploring Trump’s financial network. Hensarling cited open investigations by congressional committees and a special counsel into conclusions by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election campaign to help New York businessman Trump win. Moscow has denied any meddling and Trump has denied and collusion between his campaign and Russian officials.” (07/25/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-treasury-idUSKBN1AA2D7

—–

6) CTE found in brains of 110 out of 111 deceased NFLers
Source: Fox News

“Researchers studying the brains of 202 former football players discovered traces of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in nearly all of them, with the highest instances occurring in players who had reached the professional level. While the report, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, doesn’t confirm that the condition is common in all football players, the Boston brain bank researchers diagnosed CTE in 177 former players, or nearly 90 percent of the samples studied. Many donors or their families contributed to the studies because of the players’ repeated concussions and symptoms before death, The Associated Press reported. CTE is a brain disease linked with repeated head trauma and is a concern among many for professional athletes as well as combat veterans.” (07/25/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/07/25/cte-found-in-brains-110-out-111-deceased-nflers.html

—–

7) Coulter to Trump: “Be a man” and fire Jeff Sessions
Source: Raw Story

“Ann Coulter reportedly petitioned for the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday, according to Washington Post reporter Robert Costa. Coulter reportedly emailed the Washington Post with a message for President Donald Trump regarding Sessions. Costa took to Twitter Tuesday, citing that Coulter emailed the Washington Post asking for President Trump to ‘be a man’ and fire Sessions. ‘Ann Coulter emails WashPost w/ msg for Pres. Trump: “Be a man – if you don’t want Sessions, then fire him. You’re the PRESIDENT,”‘ Costa’s tweet read.” [editor’s note: Broken clock right twice a day for the wrong reason; Coulter less often – SAT] (07/25/17)

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/ann-coulter-tells-president-trump-to-be-a-man-and-fire-jeff-sessions

—–

8) US judge refuses to halt New York nuclear power plant subsidies
Source: Reuters

“A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by energy companies and trade groups to stop New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from providing billions of dollars in subsidies to prop up struggling nuclear power plants in the state. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan rejected claims that federal law preempted New York and its Public Service Commission from offering credits to promote clean energy and reduce reliance on fossil-fueled or gas plants. The plaintiffs said the credits could boost electric bills for New York’s ‘captive ratepayers’ by $7.6 billion over 12 years, and violate the “dormant” Commerce Clause by impeding Congress’ power to regulate commerce among states. But the judge said New York’s ‘zero-emissions credits’ program was ‘plainly related to a matter of legitimate state concern’: the production of clean energy, and reduction of emissions from other energy that could add to global warming.” (07/25/17)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-new-york-nuclearpower-idUSKBN1AA2VF

—–

9) Trump, Hariri pledge solidarity against terrorism
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“President Donald Trump said Tuesday that supporting Syrian refugees as close to their home as possible is the best way to help them. Trump commented during an appearance with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose country is burdened by an influx of refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria and who is counting on continued U.S. assistance to help manage that burden. During Hariri’s first visit to the Trump White House, the leaders also pledged continued solidary against terrorism from the Islamic State group and other militant groups. ‘Our approach supporting the humanitarian needs of displaced Syrian citizens as close to their home country as possible is the best way to help most people,’ said Trump, standing alongside Hariri in the Rose Garden after their talks. The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance to help supply displaced and other Syrians with clean water, food, shelter and health care since the civil war broke out in early 2011.” (07/25/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Trump-welcomes-Lebanese-prime-minister-Hariri-to-11385426.php

—–

10) Musk and Zuckerberg clash over future of AI
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Elon Musk has accused Mark Zuckerberg of failing to understand artificial intelligence. It comes after the Facebook boss said that the doomsday scenario put forward by Mr Musk was unhelpful. Mr Musk tweeted: ‘I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.’ The pair represent two distinct groups, those saying AI’s benefits will outweigh its negatives and those saying it could ultimately destroy humanity. Mr Zuckerberg’s comments were made as part of an informal Facebook Live chat, aired during a barbecue at his Palo Alto home.” (07/25/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40716301

—–

11) Former NFL star Marvin Washington files cannabis lawsuit against Jeff Sessions
Source: Smell the Truth

“Jeff Sessions is about to feel the heat from a former NFL defensive end. The attorney general will soon have to face ex-San Francisco 49er Marvin Washington, one of five plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against Sessions, the DOJ and the Drug Enforcement Agency, reports the New York Post. The lawsuit challenges the 1970 Controlled Substances Act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value, alongside far more dangerous drugs such as heroin and meth. ‘Classifying cannabis as a ‘Schedule I drug’ is so irrational that it violates the U.S. Constitution,’ the lawsuit contends. Washington has become a vocal advocate of medical marijuana use since his retirement in 1999, and joins a growing number of former football players who have lobbied for the NFL to allow cannabis as a non-addictive alternative to prescription opiates.” (07/25/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/07/25/ex-nfl-star-marvin-washington-files-marijuana-lawsuit-against-jeff-sessions

—–

12) US Senate dives into health-care debate despite deep divisions within the GOP
Source: Washington Post

“The Senate embarked on a freewheeling process to rewrite the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, as Republicans overcame deep divisions to bring their proposals up for debate by the narrowest possible margin. But those same schisms threatened to leave the party far short in the coming days of its ambitious goal to undo major parts of the ACA, which the GOP has been vowing for seven years to dismantle. The vote to begin debate marked a momentary political victory for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and President Trump.” (07/25/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/gop-leaders-press-ahead-with-health-care-vote-in-hopes-of-sustaining-repeal-effort/2017/07/25/2525470c-7126-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html

—–

13) Criminal probe opened into DoD purchase of Afghan Army “camouflage”
Source: Fox News

“The top government watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction testified Tuesday that a criminal investigation has been opened into the controversial purchase of forest camouflage-patterned uniforms for Afghan National Army soldiers. The U.S. military has been accused of wasting millions on the dark green ‘relish’ uniforms that stand out in the desert setting. Only 2 percent of Afghanistan is covered by forests. ‘These problems are serious,’ Special Inspector General John Sopko told the House Armed Services Committee. ‘They are so serious that we started a criminal investigation related to the procurement of the ANA uniforms.’ Sopko said he also wants a review of all organizational clothing and individual equipment contracts made by the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A), which is responsible for the bulk of the training, advising and assisting of Afghan security forces. Sopko said CSTC-A bought more than 1 million uniforms with a proprietary pattern without testing its effectiveness between 2007-2015.” [editor’s note: Oncve again trying to distinguish “incredibly stupid” from “criminal;” one would realy hope this was just the former – SAT] (07/25/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/25/criminal-probe-opened-into-dod-purchase-afghan-army-camouflage-that-didnt-blend-in.html

—–

14) Trump regime considering arms to Ukraine, says envoy Volker
Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The new US special representative for Ukraine says Washington is actively reviewing whether to send weapons to help those fighting against Russian-backed [new states in territory formerly part of Ukraine]. Kurt Volker told the BBC that arming Ukrainian government forces could change Moscow’s approach. He said he did not think the move would be provocative. Russia warned that anything that heightened tension could jeopardise a solution to the conflict.” (07/25/17)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40712385

—–

15) LedgerX completes bureaucratic process, approved for Bitcoin options
Source: Coin Telegraph

“In news that will certainly change the Bitcoin marketplace of the future, LedgerX, the institutional trading and clearing platform for Bitcoin, has received full approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission to be a derivatives clearing organization (DCO). The company had previously been granted approval as a swap execution facility (SEF) but was not able to offer options until the DCO approval was granted. With this approval, LedgerX becomes the first platform cleared for trading by the CFTC.” (07/25/17)

https://cointelegraph.com/news/ledgerx-completes-cftc-process-approved-for-bitcoin-options

—–

16) Trump blasts “fabricated” Syria story, appears to confirm covert CIA program
Source: Washington Post

“President Trump lashed out at The Washington Post in a string of tweets Monday night, saying the newspaper had ‘fabricated the facts’ about his decision to end a covert program aiding Syrian rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. ‘The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad,’ Trump wrote in one tweet. Trump appeared to be referring to a Post story last week on the phasing out of a covert Obama administration program in which the CIA armed and trained moderate Syrian rebels battling forces loyal to Assad in the country’s civil war.” (07/25/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/07/25/trump-blasts-fabricated-syria-story-appears-to-confirm-covert-cia-program/

—–

17) Profits at Google’s parent slump on huge extortion payout
Source: Fortune

“Alphabet reported a 27.7% drop in quarterly profit as the company recorded a previously announced charge related to a record $2.7 billion fine imposed on its Google unit by the EU. EU antitrust regulators last month hit Google with a record 2.4-billion-euro ($2.7 billion) fine for favoring its own shopping service, taking a tough line in the first of three probes of its dominance in searches and smartphone operating systems.” (07/24/17)

http://fortune.com/2017/07/24/google-earnings-fine-quarter/

—–

18) US House Democrats stun GOP by sinking veterans, intel bills
Source: Politico

“House Democrats sank two key bills on the House floor Monday, embarrassing Republican leaders who were banking on the noncontroversial legislation sailing through — in a new sign of the opposition’s party’s frustration with the majority’s approach. Kicking off a busy week in the House, most Democrats and a handful of Republicans joined forces to deny GOP leaders big-enough majorities to pass an annual intelligence policy bill and legislation to restore funding for a key veterans health care program. Both bills came to the House floor Monday under suspension of the rules, an expedited process that allows for less than an hour of debate and no amendments but also requires a two-thirds majority for passage.” (07/24/17)

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/24/house-republicans-democrats-bills-240914

—–

19) Kushner contradicts Trump team’s denials of Russia contacts
Source: CNN

“For nearly a year, President Donald Trump and several of his top advisers have repeatedly denied that there was any contact between members of the Trump campaign and individuals tied to the Russian government. But the veracity of that story appears to be crumbling under contradictory revelations from the President’s son, son-in-law and the current attorney general. … Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have all confirmed (on-record) that they had Russia meetings during the campaign, despite all these denials.” (07/24/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/24/politics/kushner-russia-statement-trump-denials/index.html

—–

20) Snopes, in heated legal battle, asks readers for money to survive
Source: New York Times

“Snopes, the fact-checking website that once focused on debunking flimsy internet rumors but has expanded into a 16-person operation that calls out political leaders for dishonesty, is locked in a legal battle that it says has drained the money it needs to survive. The site, which gets all of its revenue from advertising, created a crowdfunding page on Monday, seeking $500,000 from readers to remain operational indefinitely. It says that Proper Media, the vendor that runs its advertising services, has withheld the site’s revenue and has refused to relinquish control of the site. … Proper Media and its lawyers tell a starkly different story. They say that Snopes employees will continue to be paid from the advertising revenue, and that Mr. Mikkelson should be removed from the company because of wasteful spending. The two sides, which have sued each other in separate claims, present entirely conflicting descriptions of who owns the company and what is being withheld from whom.” (07/24/17)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/business/media/snopes-crowdfunding-proper-media.html

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

21) Socialism is dead; participatory fascism has triumphed
Source: Independent Institute
by Robert Higgs

“Many people continue to perceive the presence or impending advent of socialism here, there, and everywhere and to lament the prospect. But full-fledged socialism is almost extinct. Aside from North Korea, hardly any country now has socialism’s essential attributes: government ownership, management, and direct control of all the major means of production; central planning of resource allocation and income distribution; and an almost complete absence of private property rights except for very small properties and some personal items. Almost all countries on earth now permit major elements of private property, combined with extensive government intervention and regulation of private property use and extensive taxation, subsidization, and government provision of a variety of ‘public goods,’ ‘welfare,’ infrastructure, and many other types of goods and services. Moreover, almost all countries have elections of public officials; hence the term I’ve used for more than 30 years (borrowed from my Ph.D. student and friend Charlotte Twight), ‘participatory fascism.'” (07/24/17)

http://blog.independent.org/2017/07/24/socialism-is-dead-participatory-fascism-has-triumphed/

—–

22) Send in the clown: Scaramucci versus the leakers
Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“In Italian comic theater, Scaramouche is a clown, the boastful poltroon whose antics frequently bring him to grief. Presumably new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s name is related to that tradition. His personality seems tailored to it as well: He’s off to a running start with the boast that he’s going to put a stop to White House leaks. How? ‘I’ll fire everybody, that’s how I’m going to do it. You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re going to be fired.’ That would be cool, if he meant it and if the people he pink-slipped wouldn’t be replaced. But even draconian measures like mass firings won’t stop the leaks.” (07/25/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/11043

—–

23) The Russia sanctions are about controlling Americans
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“What sanctions forget is that nearly all people are subject to nationalist fervor and that every man and woman is proud of his or her country. Everyone is inclined to believe that his or her country is the best and that others are insufficiently valuing their homeland. When a foreign country inveighs against your country, the tendency is not to feel bad but rather get mad. For dictators, sanctions emanating from a foreign imperial power are a gift, an ideal scapegoat and a way to tap into a powerful source for political support. This is why sanctions so often foreshadow hot war. But let’s talk about a feature of sanctions hardly ever mentioned: they ensnare Americans and others who are completely innocent. This might actually be the biggest feature of sanctions. They enhance the power of government over people outside the target country, thus reducing the freedom of everyone.” (07/25/17)

https://fee.org/articles/the-russia-sanctions-are-about-controlling-americans/

—–

24) If the teens who filmed the disabled man drown were cops, they would not be charged
Source: Libertarian Institute
by Matt Agorist

“This week, headlines across the country lambasted the Florida teenagers for filming and taunting a disabled man as he drowned in a lake. On Friday, the Cocoa Police Department (CPD), in conjunction with the Florida State Attorney’s Office, announced they are pursuing criminal charges against the five teens. … What those teens did was repugnant, disgusting, and an insult to all that is good. Their actions, or rather inactions, caused the suffering and death of an innocent life and they will have to live with that for the rest of their lives. That being said, however, if those despicable teens had been cops, they would not have been charged at all. As the Free Thought Project has reported on numerous occasions, police officers can and will watch adults and children alike drown and not face charges.” (07/25/17)

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/articles/teens-filmed-disabled-man-drown-cops-not-charged/

—–

25) The case for gender anarchy
Source: Reason
by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

“Philadelphia used to require every public transit pass to say whether a rider was female or male. For Charlene Arcila, a transgender woman, it didn’t matter which option she chose; either way, some bus drivers deemed her pass illegitimate. Left to decide on the spot whether Arcila qualified as a man or woman, individual city workers would come to different conclusions — but every one of them had the power to refuse to let her ride the bus. Instituted in the 1980s as a protection against fraud, Philadelphia’s sex-identifying transit cards didn’t cause trouble just for transgender passengers. Plenty of cisgender folks — those whose gender identity conforms to the norm for their biological sex — fail to present as obviously male or female, and passengers of androgynous or ambiguous gender expression also found themselves at the mercy of the public transit sex police. Following a lawsuit from Arcila and an outcry from local activists, Philadelphia removed sex identification from its transit passes in 2013.” (for publication 08/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/07/25/the-case-for-gender-anarchy

—–

26) Mueller’s Russia probe is a political hit job. Either rein him in, or fire him
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“If recent reports are true, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has veered sharply off course to investigate matters that have nothing to do with Russia’s tampering with our 2016 election. He either has to be reeled in to do the job he was hired to do, or fired. America has always been different. We have defined our nation as a nation guided by the rule of law — ‘a nation of laws and not men,’ as our Founders liked to say. When Mueller was first named to look into allegations that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian officials to tilt the election, we thought it was a bad idea driven by the Democrats’ rage, not by any real concerns about Russian collusion. … Now, with his investigation linking the Trump campaign to any kind of actual collusion with the Russian government apparently going nowhere, Mueller has decided to broaden the investigation, according to news reports.” (07/24/17)

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/muellers-russia-probe-is-a-political-hit-job-either-rein-him-in-or-fire-him

—–

27) Trump should veto Congress’s foolish new sanctions bill
Source: Antiwar.com
by Ron Paul

“This week’s expected House vote to add more sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea is a prime example of how little thought goes into US foreign policy. Sanctions have become kind of an automatic action the US government takes when it simply doesn’t know what else to do. No matter what the problem, no matter where on earth it occurs, the answer from Washington is always sanctions. Sanctions are supposed to force governments to change policies and do what Washington tells them or face the wrath of their people. So the goal of sanctions is to make life as miserable as possible for civilians so they will try to overthrow their governments. Foreign leaders and the elites do not suffer under sanctions. This policy would be immoral even if it did work, but it does not.” (07/25/17)

http://original.antiwar.com/paul/2017/07/24/trump-veto-congress-foolish-new-sanctions-bill/

—–

28) The future is now: Europe’s power market to start blockchain trading this year
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by James Mosher

“The decentralization of the blockchain contrasts sharply with the centralized approached of traditional regulation, creating the prospect of a significant clash, Rilett of S&P Global Platts noted. ‘Yes, it’s a big issue, and it’s not just antitrust,’ he said. ‘I mean, blockchain creates a fully decentralized environment for trading. There’s no central authority or permissioning system, everyone has a copy of their own distributed part of the ledger, and that’s encrypted. And how do you regulate a decentralized environment? This is completely new territory for regulators.’ Since its liberation from being an arm of the government, the internet has done exceedingly well without a regulatory apparatus.” (07/24/17)

https://www.aier.org/research/future-now-europe%E2%80%99s-power-market-start-blockchain-trading-year

—–

29) What every Bitcoiner should know about “Bitcoin Cash”
Source: Bitcoin.com
by Jamie Redman

“In a few days the notorious August 1st is approaching, and it’s likely this day will be remembered for a long time. This week Bitcoin.com discussed the possible scenario of a user activated hard fork called ‘Bitcoin Cash’ as much of the community doesn’t realize this fork will likely still happen despite Segwit2x’s current progress.” (07/25/17)

https://news.bitcoin.com/what-every-bitcoiner-should-know-about-bitcoin-cash/

—–

30) If Hell had a budget: The GOP breaks Ten Commandments
Source: Our Future
by Richard Eskow

“A heat wave gripped Washington D.C. last week, its bright sun delineating each building’s sharp corners with Edward Hopper-like clarity. Commuters waited listlessly for trains and buses, fixed in their moments of misery like flies in amber. If the city seemed like Hell, the resemblance was only heightened by the shadowy figures passing by in black chauffeured vehicles, their faces hidden by smoked glass as they glided through the city in air-conditioned comfort. Some of those vehicles carried the Republican Congressional leaders who were finalizing the House GOP’s 2018 budget, which the House Budget Committee sent to the floor last Wednesday. If hell had a fiscal policy, it would look a lot like that document. This budget is a wish list for millionaires, billionaires, and corporate special interests. It also breaks most of the Ten Commandments, which is more than a little ironic for the GOP, a party that prides itself on its Christian piety.” (07/24/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20170724/if-hell-had-a-budget-the-gop-breaks-the-ten-commandments

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31) The most effective way to reduce child poverty
Source: Acton Institute
by Rev. Ben Johnson

“A vital fact lies buried in the recent IFS study on income inequality: the most effective way to alleviate poverty. This was true even though the IFS study, and UK government statistics, don’t actually measure poverty but rather inequality. Maybe it’s best to say the IFS study contains the secret to reducing both phenomena. Whichever metric one uses, according to the IFS report the most effective way to reduce that number is through work.” (07/24/17)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/07/24/most-effective-way-reduce-child-poverty

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32) MSNBC mercilessly mocks the Democrats’ new slogan
Source: Town Hall
by Cortney O’Brien

“In case you missed it (you probably did because it was a scarce showing), Democrats unveiled their new agenda for the American people. ‘The Better Deal’ initiative, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, is the change the Democrats need after losing big in both 2014 and 2016. To his credit, he admitted that Hillary Clinton did not lose because of Russia. This time, the Democrats are ready to ‘articulate a strong, bold economic program for the middle class.’ As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explained, they have the right message, they just need a ‘presentation correction.’ Yet, even the anchors on MSNBC were unimpressed with their new effort. Their first problem, analyst Eugene Robinson said Tuesday on ‘Morning Joe,’ is the uninspiring slogan.” (07/25/17)

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2017/07/25/msnbc-mocks-the-democrats-new-agenda-n2359676

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33) The full scope of the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause
Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by TJ Martinell

“Due process is regarded as a fundamental right articulated the Fifth Amendment. Yet, controversy exists as to who, where, and under what circumstances, this right exists. Modern, mainstream interpretation of the Fifth Amendment holds that it does not apply to aliens outside of U.S. jurisdiction. However, Nathan S. Chapman at the University of Georgia School of Law argues this isn’t the case. In an essay titled ‘Due Process Abroad,’ he makes the case that the founding fathers intended for the amendment to extend to non-Americans outside the U.S. accused of violating U.S. laws under peacetime conditions. Furthermore, he frames this right as a key grievance the colonists had against England just prior to the War for Independence. And one they still had on their minds as they wrote the Bill of Rights.” (07/25/17)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/07/25/the-full-scope-of-the-fifth-amendments-due-process-clause/

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34) GOP health bill: Freedom of choice vs. freedom from fear
Source: USA Today
by Ezekiel J Emanuel

“What is the health care debate all about? Freedom. Specifically two different conceptions of freedom. One is freedom to buy what you want. In this view, the country is a collection of 325 million individuals, and freedom is everyone pursuing their lives without interference. The other is freedom from worry. It views America as a community, and freedom is knowing you can get help when you are sick and in need. … There is no way of sugarcoating it: The other people buying insurance were subsidizing Ms. Ahern’s care. Eventually, when they had an illness or accident requiring expensive medical care, that in turn would be subsidized by still others. Ms. Ahern’s freedom to have health insurance at an affordable premium required other people to buy health insurance. That is how all insurance works. Lots of people buy car, homeowners or flood insurance (paying premiums) but only a few people use the insurance in any given year. Those who don’t file claims are subsidizing those who do.” [editor’s note: This is actually a decent analysis of liberty v. “protectionism” on this issue, even if the conclusions are off – SAT] (07/25/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/07/24/republican-health-care-bill-freedom-choice-vs-fear-ezekiel-emanuel-column/493975001

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35) Was the “Russian hack” an inside job?
Source: CounterPunch
by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

“Forensic studies of ‘Russian hacking’ into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2017, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.” (07/25/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/25/was-the-russian-hack-an-inside-job/

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36) Why the anti-war left should attack Putin too
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“The investigation into Russia’s interference in last year’s election is causing a slow-motion meltdown in President Donald Trump’s White House and making life increasingly uncomfortable for elected Republicans. But the issue is also causing problems, albeit less existential ones, on the political left. As Peter Beinart notes in The Atlantic, some anti-war leftists fear that the Russia scandal will push the Democratic Party toward a more hawkish foreign policy, so they’re trying to ‘minimize Russia’s election meddling to oppose what they see as a new Cold War. It’s a genuinely principled position. The problem is that principles are blinding them to facts.’ Beinart cites writers Max Blumenthal and Glenn Greenwald, but he also could have named linguist Noam Chomsky, filmmaker Oliver Stone, and scholar Stephen Cohen. In a recent interview, Chomsky derided the Democrats for attacking Trump’s attempts to improve ties with Russia, saying, ‘It’s one of the few decent things Trump has been doing. So maybe members of his transition team contacted the Russians. Is that a bad thing?'” [editor’s note: This writer is part of the problem; if avoiding World War III by trading openly with the (lest we forget, former Soviet Union) is “a bad thing” … – SAT] (07/25/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/144009/anti-war-left-attack-putin

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37) Making people mad
Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
by Kent McManigal

“People are tired of me harping on cops. I know it. They’ve told me so. It makes them mad. It hurts their feelings. It makes them … uncomfortable. They don’t want to hear it. I understand why. But I’m not sure I want to stop. It’s just too important for liberty to make sure to drive the point home, and to never let up. To never give an inch. Cops are where the boot heel of tyranny meets the human face. Without their active aggression, there would be no such thing as political power. The opinions of the bullies of the State would be nothing but a bit of hot air, quickly lost to the gentlest breeze. Next to cops, presidents are nothing.” (07/25/17)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2017/07/making-people-mad.html

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38) Buchanan the Wicked?
Source: Liberty Unbound
by Leland B Yeager

“Morbid curiosity tempts me to buy and read Nancy MacLean’s new book Democracy in Chains, but I have resisted so far; for I don’t want to add to the unearned wealth that her book’s notoriety will probably bring her. I know enough from reviews, favorable and unfavorable, and from a published interview with the author herself, to understand that one main theme is the supposed wicked influence of James Buchanan.” (07/25/17)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1738

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39) This left challenger showing how progressive economics can flip Trump country
Source: In These Times
by Kate Aronoff

“The mid-term elections are more than a year away, and already four Democrats in Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional district (long-held Republican territory) have entered into the running for Trump loyalist Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s seat. Since the election, the city has seen an upwell of support for progressive politics, and primary candidate Jess King is hoping to ride that energy all the way to Washington. King is a newcomer to electoral politics, but a veteran of community initiatives like Lancaster’s Coalition to Combat Poverty and the economic development non-profit Assets, where she’s served as executive director since 2010 and worked closely with the town’s small business community. In These Times spoke with King by phone about Bernie-to-Trump voters, her district’s sizable immigrant community and the future of the Democratic Party.” [editor’s note: Step one, don’t act like a mainstream Democrat? – SAT] (07/25/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20352/Lancaster-trump-democrat-congress-pennsylvania-progressive-economics-povert

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40) Why Trump might fire Robert Mueller
Source: The Atlantic
by Peter Beinart

“Why do Donald Trump and his advisors keep floating the possibility of firing Robert Mueller, an act that would spark the greatest constitutional crisis since Watergate, perhaps the greatest in modern American history? Partly, it’s simple rage. Mueller threatens Trump. And when Trump sees someone as a threat, he tries to discredit and destroy them — conventional norms of propriety, decency and legality be damned. But there’s another, more calculated, reason. Trump and his advisors may genuinely believe that firing Mueller is a smart move. And if you put morality aside, and see the question in nakedly political terms, they may be right.” (07/25/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/why-trump-might-fire-robert-mueller/534732/

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41) Do you really want to include capital gains?
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“I frequently argue that income is a meaningless concept, as it includes capital gains (and losses) in asset values. Indeed the problem is even more basic, as income mixes labor income and all investment income, which is like adding apples and oranges. No, it’s even worse, like adding strawberries and watermelons, and talking about the number of ‘fruit.’ Because income is a meaningless concept, income inequality is also meaningless. But let’s say I’m wrong, and let’s assume that capital income actually measures something interesting. What then? In that case, the income of the top quintile would almost certainly be highly cyclical.” (07/25/17)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/07/do_you_really_w.html

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42) Demagoguery and Trump
Source: Reformed Libertarian
by C Jay Engel

“For decades we have been told by the Experts that Global Security must be decided by the Well-Trained, that economics is a subject relegated to those with PhD’s and special mathematical-statistical models. We have been told that parents don’t know how to educate their children and that they therefore need to be handed over to the Union-coralled teaching class. What America needs is a good dose of demagoguery, full of irreverence toward the American civil religion. Not because it teaches men what to believe, but because it flusters the Experts who aren’t used to being completely and flatly ignored in their nonsensical propaganda. That’s why Trump won.” (07/24/17)

http://reformedlibertarian.com/articles/society/demagoguery-and-trump/

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43) Shocking twist: Harvard club ban had only seven votes from 27-member committee
Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Ryne Weiss

“In the Harvard social organization ban/blacklist saga, it is not an exaggeration to say that each development has been more outrageous than the last. The latest one comes from what former Harvard College Dean Harry R. Lewis described as ‘the blockbuster news story of the year by the [The Harvard] Crimson.’ On Friday, the Crimson reported that the surprising recommendation to ban all social organizations received only 7 votes from the 27-member Committee on the Unrecognized Single-Gender Social Organizations, which had been empaneled to review implementation of last year’s plan to blacklist members of off-campus single-gender clubs. And according to the Crimson, despite other proposals garnering more support, the committee ‘never conducted another vote.’ This seems to directly contradict the committee’s 22-page report, which claimed that the recommendation it detailed had ‘strong majority support in the Committee’ and that only a ‘small minority’ disagreed with the recommendation to ban all social organizations.” (07/24/17)

https://www.thefire.org/shocking-twist-harvard-club-ban-had-only-7-votes-from-27-member-committee/

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44) The conservative case for universal healthcare
Source: The American Conservative
by Chase Madar

“Don’t tell anyone, but American conservatives will soon be embracing single-payer healthcare, or some other form of socialized healthcare. Yes, that’s a bold claim given that a GOP-controlled Congress and President are poised to un-socialize a great deal of healthcare, and may even pull it off. But within five years, plenty of Republicans will be loudly supporting or quietly assenting to universal Medicare. And that’s a good thing, because socializing healthcare is the only demonstrably effective way to control costs and cover everyone. It results in a healthier country and it saves a ton of money.” (07/25/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-conservative-case-for-universal-healthcare/

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45) Betsy DeVos is right about Title IX
Source: spiked
by Luke Gittos

“Campus sexual assault is back in the news. Last week, Betsy DeVos, the US secretary of education, came under fire for suggesting that federal law related to campus sexual violence needed to be reformed. Part of the outrage was due to the fact that, as well as meeting with anti-rape activists, DeVos reportedly met with some men’s rights groups who had been known to publish pictures of complainants online, calling them false accusers. DeVos’ comments were focused on the use of a federal law known as Title IX. Title IX forms the basis of campus investigations into sexual-assault allegations in the US, which often begin after the police conclude there is insufficient evidence to progress a criminal investigation. Title IX has been criticised for creating kangaroo courts on campus that undermine due process. DeVos did not spell out specific plans but did say this was an area that the Department of Education was ‘not getting right.'” (07/25/17)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/betsy-devos-is-right-about-title-ix/

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46) Politics of the next four years, part 1: Rise of the “dirtbag left”
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“A lot of people remain in denial about the current political environment. Whether it’s a neocon Never Trumper, or a manic Hillary dead-ender, what these people all have in common is they firmly and passionately think their world is somehow coming back. They still don’t understand that the party’s over. In our foolish apathy, we entrusted the country to these ‘very smart people’ and they handed the entire thing over to crooked oligarchs, while simultaneously cheerleading us into a never-ending stream of reckless, inhumane imperial wars. They hollowed out and feasted on the entire nation and now, incredibly enough, have rebranded themselves as leaders of a toothless resistance to the mess they created. Delusional doesn’t even begin to describe these people. They genuinely think Trump’s rise represents some bizarre historical blip, and once the hideous blemish is removed, things can carry on as they were. That’s not going to happen.” (07/24/17)

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/07/24/politics-of-the-next-4-years-part-1-rise-of-the-dirtbag-left/

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47) Is direct action transformative?
Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Emmi Bevensee

“To be a radical is often to feel hunted and vulnerable, but it can also be the pinnacle of what it means to be held in a beautiful way that the world represses. Much of how our radicalism feels is a question of with what we are engaging in our search for freedom, empathy, and truth. Direct action is often posited as the apex of anarchist radicalism. It is seen as the font through which alternative worlds are glimpsed and from which they spring — the soil where theory is tested and seeds are planted. Much as there is a fetishization of theory in academia, there can be a fetishization of action in organizing.” (07/25/17)

https://c4ss.org/content/49598

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48) Syria and sanity
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“‘President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, the Washington Post first reported last week, immediately adding that it was ‘a move long sought by Russia.’ This insinuation that the policy change was simply a concession to Russia belies the recent history of U.S. involvement — and failure — in Syria. President Barack Obama had intervened. Very ineffectively.” (07/25/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/07/25/syria-sanity/

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49) Policing for profit: Jeff Sessions and Co.’s thinly veiled plot to rob us blind
Source: LewRockwell.com
by John W Whitehead

“Let’s not mince words. Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would not recognize the Constitution if he ran right smack into it. Whether the head of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department enjoys being the architect of a police state or is just painfully, criminally clueless, Sessions has done a great job thus far of sidestepping the Constitution at every turn. Most recently, under the guise of ‘fighting crime,’ Sessions gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul.” (07/25/17)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/07/john-w-whitehead/jeff-sessions-co-s-plot/

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50) The ban on flavored tobacco: San Francisco’s nannies are at it again
Source: Independent Institute
by William F Shughart II and Josh T Smith

“Not content to impose a heavy tax burden on cigarette smokers and to outlaw sales to anyone under 21, on June 20th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors finalized the ban on all sales of flavored tobacco, flavored vaping liquids and menthol cigarettes in the city. Prohibition never makes for good public policy, even if well-meant, because buyers and sellers are not chess pieces that politicians can move around the board at will. Banning the sale (but not possession) of flavored cigarettes, moist smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes containing menthol or other flavors would facilitate smuggling and hurt local businesses, producing only minor reductions in tobacco use.” (07/24/17)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=9132

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

51) Why President Trump is on the verge of total victory
Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

Adams with his usual bigger-picture long-range approach … the key claim might surprise you (but I still wanna know if he can do the fandango) [Flash video] (07/25/17)

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1BRJjyDgbnBGw

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52) Reason Podcast, 07/24/17
Source: Reason

“Duke University historian Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, combines conspiracy theories, accusations of racism, and dire warnings about a libertarian plot to create an American oligarchy. It’s a historical story that’s a ‘product of [MacLean’s] imagination,’ with a reading of sources that’s ‘hostile and tendentious to the point of pure error,’ as Reason’s Brian Doherty put in a review we published last week. In today’s podcast, Doherty joins Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Andrew Heaton to discuss how MacLean fundamentally misunderstands her subject matter; this year’s Freedom Fest (an annual convention for libertarians in Las Vegas that just wrapped up); conservative-leaning libertarians vs. left-leaning libertarians; the constitutional ramifications of Donald Trump potentially pardoning himself; and whether or not we’re living in the panopticon.” [various formats] (07/24/17)

http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/24/maclean-freedom-fest-panopticon

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53) PanAm Podcast, 07/24/17
Source: PanAm Post

“PanAm Post English editor David Unsworth recently sat down with President Jedlicka at FreedomFest in Las Vegas to discuss recent developments in the Liberland project.” [Flash video] (07/24/17)

https://panampost.com/david-unsworth/2017/07/24/freedom-fest-liberland-vision/

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54) Free Talk Live, 07/24/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Hater Dating App :: Man’s Stairs in Park Torn Down By City :: Microchips at Work :: Chipping Animals :: State Takes Children from Couple With Low IQ :: Ferrari Child :: Kidnapping Kids in a Free Market :: Supporting Lemonade Crackdown :: Mark the Regulator :: Zipcar :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark, Melanie.” [Flash audio of MP3] (07/24/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-07-24

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55) The Tom Woods Show, episode 959
Source: The Tom Woods Show

“One of my most significant intellectual influences was the extraordinarily productive polymath Murray N. Rothbard. In this kickoff talk at Mises University 2017, I discuss what he taught me, what it was like to meet and interact with him, why he’s worthy of study, admiration, and respect, and why it’s impossible in the world of ideas not to have enemies.” [various formats] (07/24/17)

http://tomwoods.com/ep-959-what-i-learned-from-murray-rothbard-opening-lecture-at-mises-u-2017/

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56) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 70
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #70 I discuss the new travel ban is preventing Americans from going to North Korea. The travel ban can have a lot of outcomes and consequences. I update the possibility of Trump starting a private war in Afghanistan. Look into the unrest and protests in Israel. I also update Mosul, Nigeria, and Yemen.” [various formats] (07/24/17)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-70-trumps-new-travel-ban

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57) The Bob Zadek Show, 07/23/17
Source: The Bob Zadek Show

“[Joyce Cord] joins Bob to debate why health care reform is stalled, and what it would take to avert the looming disaster of ObamaCare’s insurance cost death spiral. She argues that the new health insurance entitlement is here to stay, but that government need not control every aspect of the healthcare industry.” [various formats] (07/23/17)

http://www.bobzadek.com/past-shows/2017/7/20/joyce-cordi-of-reimagine-america-on-government-dysfunction

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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