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

Volume XV, Issue #3,870
Thursday, December 21st, 2017
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In the News:

1) Congress sends minor tax code tweaks to Trump in generational “reform” kabuki
2) NV: Judge declares mistrial in case of rancher’s standoff with federal government
3) Franken finally sets January 2 as date for his Senate exit
4) Trump suggests US will cut off aid for countries that vote for UN resolution
5) US Postal Service bans images of marijuana on stamps
6) UK: Key May ally resigns over pornography scandal
7) White House expects Congress to waive spending cuts triggered by tax bill
8) Uganda: Parliament votes to scrap presidential age limit
9) Poll: San Francisco voters support new transit taxes, especially on Uber, Lyft
10) Fight over Alaska Arctic drilling has just begun, opponents vow
11) McCabe draws blank on Democrats’ funding of Trump dossier, new subpoenas planned
12) US TV host Catt Sadler quits over equal pay dispute
13) Trump orders boost in production of critical minerals
14) VA: Court rules state house race tied, winner to be picked “by lot”
15) Security theater: North Korea regime said to be testing anthrax-tipped ballistic missiles
16) EU triggers Article 7 versus Poland over judicial reforms
17) Coinbase halts Bitcoin Cash transactions amidst accusations of insider trading
18) FL: State senator resigns over harassment allegations
19) Mosul battle: Iraqi regime and US coalition troops killed ten times more civilians than they claim
20) Myanmar: Regime bars UN human rights investigator
21) IN: “Nightmare” hotel reeked of sewage — and charged guests $350 for complaining, lawsuit says
22) CA: San Francisco cop being probed for sex with a minor kills self in mall parking lot
23) South Korea: Regime asks US to delay joint military drills until after Winter Olympics
24) Bernard Law, 1931-2017
25) EU: New blow for Uber as top court says it’s a taxi company

Everybody Has An Opinion:

26) An impressive level of corruption
27) The tax bill shows the GOP’s contempt for democracy
28) How Drug Free School Zones backfired
29) Strange bedfellows: Critics left and right oppose warrantless wiretapping renewal
30) The essential goodness of the crypto community
31) Obama’s high-speed rail fantasy led to deadly derailment in Washington
32) The risks and rewards of welfare reform
33) When Washington assured Russia NATO would not expand
34) It’s time to nationalize the Internet
35) A penny for your thoughts
36) Christmas good holiday for outlaws
37) Tax bill a lifeline for Democrats; will they sink or swim?
38) The tyranny of The Econocracy
39) Trump is offering the country a Sophie’s choice on Dreamers
40) After tax cuts, GOP may suddenly find Trump more trouble than he’s worth
41) Ten things liberty activists should do over winter break
42) Bitcoin is deflationary, transparent, and antifragile
43) Take action on FISA vote now
44) Global warming: Fake news from the start
45) On the road to kleptocracy
46) Constitutional right to install bulletproof glass?
47) The Bolshevik revolution still influences Italy 100 years later
48) Divorce conservatism from the Republican Party
49) Quantum Vibe, 12/20/17
50) Republican attacks on Robert Mueller are absurd. But the GOP has been lawless for decades.
51) The Internet is already broken
52) What unlimited government costs us
53) A seasonal nod to identity politics
54) A wonky note on price controls and substitute goods
55) US border crossings have become authoritarian testing grounds

The Sound and the Fury:

56) Resolved: 15 million Americans would be better off without welfare
57) Editor’s Break, episode 38
58) The Libertarian Angle, 12/20/17
59) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/20/17
60) Electric Libertyland, episode 51
61) Political Research Digest, episode 6
62) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/20/17
63) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 133
64) Free Talk Live, 12/19/17
65) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 141

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

1) Congress sends minor tax code tweaks to Trump in generational “reform” kabuki
Source: Business Insider

“The House passed the final version of the Republican tax bill on Wednesday, capping off a furious seven-week push to bring about the most sweeping changes to the US tax code in decades. The nearly $1.5 trillion tax cut [sic] required a second vote in the House after a Senate rule forced Republicans to remove three minor details from the bill on Tuesday. The bill now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for a signature to enact it, though it’s unclear when that will happen.” [editor’s note: If spending isn’t being cut, neither are taxes. Payment may be deferred for a little bit by borrowing, or secretly taxed through inflation, but every dollar spent is a dollar taxed. Claims of “cuts” or “reform” are just the usual political scams – TLK] (12/20/17)

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-gop-tax-reform-bill-pass-house-bracket-rates-changes-2017-12

—–

2) NV: Judge declares mistrial in case of rancher’s standoff with federal government
Source: Los Angeles Times

“A federal judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case involving Cliven Bundy and his two sons after she found that prosecutors ‘willfully’ failed to turn over evidence related to an armed standoff three years ago. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro pointed to several violations of the Brady rule — which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence that could be favorable to a defendant — and then dismissed the jury. … It marks yet another setback for federal prosecutors, who have struggled to obtain convictions against the Bundy family and its supporters, and the cases have become a rallying point for those who believe the federal government has overstepped its authority by controlling public lands operated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.” (12/20/17)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-bundy-trial-20171220-story.html

—–

3) Franken finally sets January 2 as date for his Senate exit
Source: Fox News

“Sen. Al Franken has finally set a date for his departure from Congress. Fox News has learned that Franken’s last day will be Jan. 2. Officials with his office say that Franken, D-Minn., plans to make official his resigation at that time. His appointed successor, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, will be sworn in the next day. The resignation is set to come nearly a month after Franken announced his plan to leave the Senate. Others in the Senate had called on him to bow out following a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations against him. In his Dec. 7 resignation speech, Franken said only that he would be leaving ‘in the coming weeks.’ The two-term senator, first elected in 2008, initially intended to let a Senate ethics committee investigate the allegations against him. Then came a seventh claim against him, on Dec. 6, from a woman claiming that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006. And a chorus of female Democratic senators — including New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand and California’s Kamala Harris — calling for his resignation, effectively forcing his departure.” (12/20/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/20/al-franken-finally-sets-date-for-his-senate-exit.html

—–

4) Trump suggests US will cut off aid for countries that vote for UN resolution
Source: The Hill

“President Trump suggested on Wednesday that the United States could withhold foreign aid for countries that vote in favor of a United Nations (U.N.) resolution calling on the U.S. to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Trump echoed a comment made by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley a day earlier, saying that the U.S. would take stock of the countries that voted for the resolution, which is set to go before the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday. … Trump said at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that Americans were ‘tired of this country being taken advantage of’ by other nations willing to oppose the U.S. on the world stage. ‘This isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you, and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they’re doing,’ he said.” (12/20/17)

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/365825-trump-suggests-us-will-cut-off-aid-for-countries-that-vote-for-un

—–

5) US Postal Service bans images of marijuana on stamps
Source: Smell the Truth

“Your local post office wants absolutely no marijuana sent through the mail. Even in stamp form. A final ruling by the U.S. Postal Service expected this week includes a ban on images of cannabis, reports Marijuana Moment’s Tom Angell. According to a new filing from the agency: ‘To be eligible for use in Customized Postage products, images and/or text must meet criteria established by the Postal Service. Acceptable commercial or social images or text must not contain content that is unsuitable for all-ages audiences, including but not limited to … [a]ny depiction of controlled substances, including but not limited to marijuana.’ The ban does not apply to alcohol, tobacco and guns, despite being included in the agency’s first proposal in January. The postal Service then decided to include ‘incidental depictions’ after receiving public comments.” (12/20/17)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/12/19/postal-service-bans-images-of-marijuana-on-stamps

—–

6) UK: Key May ally resigns over pornography scandal
Source: Fox News

“Britain’s First Secretary of State Damian Green was forced to resign Wednesday because of a pornography scandal. He was being investigated because of pornographic images found on a Parliament computer in his office in 2008. The key ally to Prime Minister Theresa May was ousted from his post on Wednesday night even though he maintained he had not used pornography on his office computers. However, he acknowledged he had not been forthcoming in earlier statements about the investigation. ‘From the outset, I have been clear that I did not download or view pornography on my Parliamentary computers,’ Green said in his resignation later. ‘I accept that I should have been clear in my press statements that police lawyers talked to my lawyers in 2008 about the pornography on the computers, and that the police raised it with me in a subsequent phone call in 2013,’ he said. May said she asked Green for his resignation after an investigation concluded he had not been open about the matter.” (12/20/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/12/20/key-theresa-may-ally-resigns-over-pornography-scandal.html

—–

7) White House expects Congress to waive spending cuts triggered by tax bill
Source: Raw Story

“The White House expects the U.S. Congress to soon waive a rule known as ‘Paygo’ that could trigger deep spending cuts in areas such as Medicare and agriculture in order to cover the costs of the recently passed tax overhaul, a White House official said on Wednesday. Congress will likely waive the rule, which requires the Senate to find offsets for the large tax cuts in the bill, through the spending resolution it must soon pass in order to keep the government open, the official added. The official said the Internal Revenue Service, the country’s tax agency, can immediately begin implementing changes called for in the $1.5 trillion overhaul of the U.S. tax code and does not need to wait for President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law.” [editor’s note: Once again, no responsibility for paying for the increases in spending, except on the shoulders of future generations – SAT] (12/20/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/white-house-expects-congress-to-waive-spending-cuts-triggered-by-trump-tax-bill

—–

8) Uganda: Parliament votes to scrap presidential age limit
Source: USA Today

“Cheers, jeering and commotions filled Uganda’s parliament as members of parliament openly voted 317-97 on the draft bill to scrap Uganda’s presidential age-limit. Now President Museveni has to sign off the bill and it will then become law. The timing for the debate is crucial. In three years, Uganda will hold general elections, Museveni who has been in power for 31 years, would technically be too old run for office again. Do we want to end up like the government of Libya, a supporter of scrapping the age-limit asked during the debate. The example of Nelson Mandela was called up — after all, he was over 75 when he took office. Kenya, Tanzania and the U.S. don’t have presidential age-limits, one lawmaker argued; they do however have term limits, she added.” (12/20/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/12/20/ugandas-parliament-votes-scrap-presidential-age-limit/970958001

—–

9) Poll: San Francisco voters support new transit taxes, especially on Uber, Lyft
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A majority of San Franciscans want improvements to the city’s roads and Muni system — and they think businesses, including Uber, Lyft and food-delivery services, should pay for them, according to a survey by the San Francisco Transportation Authority. The poll is part of an effort to figure out how to pay for an estimated $22 billion in transit and street improvements, which a mayoral transportation task force says are needed between now and 2045. Pollsters Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates of Oakland conducted the survey of 1,013 registered San Francisco voters considered likely to cast ballots next November. The survey was taken Dec. 1-7 by phone and online. The margin of error is 3.1 percent.” [editor’s note: User fees, tying actual use of said roads to paying for them, never occurred to them? – SAT] (12/20/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Poll-Voters-support-new-transit-taxes-12443035.php

—–

10) Fight over Alaska Arctic drilling has just begun, opponents vow
Source: Raw Story

“Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, won a decades-long battle on Wednesday to open part of an Arctic wildlife reserve in her state to oil and gas drilling, but Democratic senators and conservationists vow the war has only begun. The tax bill passed by Congress contains language pushed by Murkowski and supported by President Donald Trump to hold two lease sales in the 1.5 million-acre (600,000-hectare) 1002 area on the northern coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR. Democrats and environmentalists deplore the prospect of development in ANWR, home to polar and grizzly bears, 200 species of birds, and where Gwich’in natives depend on migrating herds of porcupine caribou. Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, said the fight over the drilling was not over. ‘In fact I would say today is the beginning,’ she said, adding that Democrats would make sure the Trump administration follows all environmental laws before allowing drilling.” (12/20/17)

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/fight-over-alaska-arctic-drilling-has-just-begun-opponents-vow

—–

11) McCabe draws blank on Democrats’ funding of Trump dossier, new subpoenas planned
Source: Fox News

“Congressional investigators tell Fox News that Tuesday’s seven-hour interrogation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe contained numerous conflicts with the testimony of previous witnesses, prompting the Republican majority staff of the House Intelligence Committee to decide to issue fresh subpoenas next week on Justice Department and FBI personnel. While HPSCI staff would not confirm who will be summoned for testimony, all indications point to demoted DOJ official Bruce G. Ohr and FBI General Counsel James A. Baker, who accompanied McCabe, along with other lawyers, to Tuesday’s HPSCI session. The issuance of a subpoena against the Justice Department’s top lawyer could provoke a new constitutional clash between the two branches, even worse than the months-long tug of war over documents and witnesses that has already led House Speaker Paul Ryan to accuse DOJ and FBI of ‘stonewalling’ and HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., to threaten contempt-of-Congress citations against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray.” (12/20/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/20/mccabe-draws-blank-on-democrats-funding-trump-dossier-new-subpoenas-planned.html

—–

12) US TV host Catt Sadler quits over equal pay dispute
Source: BBC New [UK state media]

“US TV news presenter Catt Sadler has quit her role with E! News after learning that she earned about half of what her male co-host does. Sadler, who has worked at the network since 2006, said an executive had made her aware of the pay gap. In a statement, she said she subsequently asked for ‘what I know I deserve and [was] denied repeatedly.’ She made her final appearance on the network on Tuesday, fronting daytime programme Daily Pop and later E! News. Sadler said in a post on her website: ‘There was a massive disparity in pay between my similarly situated male co-host and myself. He was making close to double my salary for the past several years.’” (1`2/20/17)

www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42432235

—–

13) Trump orders boost in production of critical minerals
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“President Donald Trump is ordering the government to boost production of critical minerals used for manufacturing everything from smartphones to wind turbines and cars. An executive order to be issued Wednesday directs federal agencies to find ways to increase exploration, mining and processing of critical minerals and streamline permits for private mining companies. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the order in advance of its release. The order follows a report Tuesday that says the United States is reliant on China, Russia and other nations for the overwhelming majority of minerals such as platinum, manganese and rare-earth elements.” (12/20/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Trump-orders-boost-in-production-of-critical-12445258.php

—–

14) VA: Court rules state house race tied, winner to be picked “by lot”
Source: NBC News

“Grasping at straws is one way to win an election, at least in Virginia. A Democrat’s stunning one-vote victory in a hotly contested race for the Virginia House of Delegates this week suddenly became a tie on Wednesday after a three-judge panel ruled that an additional ballot should have been counted for the Republican. Now, the winner will be determined ‘by lot,’ according to state law, and that could mean pulling a name out of a hat, a coin toss — or drawing straws. The state Board of Elections said it hadn’t decided on the next move.” (12/20/17)

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/court-rules-virginia-house-race-tied-winner-be-picked-lot-n831586

—–

15) Security theater: North Korea regime said to be testing anthrax-tipped ballistic missiles
Source: The Asahi Shimbun [Japan]

“North Korea has begun tests to load anthrax onto intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to an intelligence source here. The United States also has come to the same conclusion. The White House, in its new National Security Strategy issued Dec. 18, stated that North Korea is pursuing ‘nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland.’ The source in South Korea said Pyongyang is conducting heat and pressure resistance tests to see whether anthrax germs can survive at temperatures of 7,000 degrees or higher, the level an ICBM encounters when it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere. There was an unconfirmed intelligence report that North Korea has already succeeded in such experiments. Washington had apparently been aware for some time that North Korea is culturing anthrax.” [editor’s note: Remember when Colin Powell showed the UN a bunch of blurry photos that he claimed proved Saddam Hussein was producing anthrax? Remember how much anthrax US invasion forces found? None. This reminds me of that – TLK] (12/20/17)

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201712200036.html

—–

16) EU triggers Article 7 versus Poland over judicial reforms
Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“The European Commission has launched proceedings against Poland for breaching European common values and rule of law. While only a warning, Article 7 could lead to sanctions and a suspension of EU voting rights. The European Commission will suggest member states recognize that Poland’s judicial reforms seriously risk breaching the bloc’s common values. … Polish President Andrzej Duda rejected the EU’s rhetoric as lies and said its push to invoke Article 7 was driven by political motives.” (12/20/17)

http://www.dw.com/en/european-commission-triggers-article-7-against-poland/a-41873962

—–

17) Coinbase halts Bitcoin Cash transactions amidst accusations of insider trading
Source: The Verge

“Coinbase has launched an internal probe to identify whether its employees engaged in insider trading of Bitcoin Cash shortly before the cryptocurrency was officially introduced to the exchange yesterday. Increased trading led to a spike in Bitcoin Cash’s valuation, and just four hours after its introduction, Coinbase suspended trading of the digital currency. Coinbase’s ethics policy prevents employees from ‘trading on ‘material non-public information,’ such as when a new asset will be added to our platform,’ wrote Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong in a Medium post today. That includes sharing that information with friends and family. In the hours before Coinbase added Bitcoin Cash to its exchange, the price of the cryptocurrency had already begun to rise. The price for a single Bitcoin Cash coin soared past $8,000, or more than double its price a day earlier.” [editor’s note: Perish Coinbase anyway — they’re on the leading edge of trying to move crypto under the state’s regulatory oversight and nobody should trust or do business with them – TLK] (12/20/17)

https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/20/16800940/coinbase-bitcoin-cash-fork-insider-trading-probe

—–

18) FL: State senator resigns over harassment allegations
Source: Orlando Sentinel

“Jack Latvala, a powerful senator and Republican candidate for governor, resigned Wednesday after two reports of allegations he sexually harassed and made demeaning and vulgar comments to female staffers and lobbyists. Latvala, 66, sent a letter to Senate President Joe Negron continuing to deny any wrongdoing and condemning the dual investigations into his conduct. ‘I have had enough,’ Latvala wrote. ‘If this is the process our party and Senate leadership desires, then I have no interest in continuing to serve with you.’ The resignation is effective at midnight Jan. 5. He made no mention of the fate of his candidacy for governor.” (12/20/17)

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-latvala-gov-scott-resign-20171220-story.html

—–

19) Mosul battle: Iraqi regime and US coalition troops killed ten times more civilians than they claim
Source: Newsweek

“The number of civilians killed by the U.S.-led coalition’s campaign against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was almost ten times higher than the coalition claims, a new investigation has found. According to an Associated Press count, which cited the reports of grave diggers, morgue workers and volunteers, between 9,000 and 11,000 Mosul residents were killed in the nine-month battle to liberate the city that ISIS held for three years. Of those killed, Iraqi or coalition forces were responsible for at least 3,200 civilian deaths in airstrikes or ground fire conducted from the beginning of the offensive in October 2016 to July 2017. The coalition says it is responsible for only 326 of the deaths, but also claims that it does not have adequate resources on the ground to investigate the total number of deaths.” (12/20/17)

http://www.newsweek.com/mosul-battle-us-coalition-killed-ten-times-more-civilians-it-claims-753349

—–

20) Myanmar: Regime bars UN human rights investigator
Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“The Government of Myanmar on Wednesday announced that it would not cooperate with or grant access to a United Nations special rapporteur who was due to assess human rights abuses in the country, including abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. Yanghee Lee, who was expected to visit the country in January, has been denied access to Myanmar for the duration of her tenure. … The Myanmar Government cited Lee’s end-of-mission statement in July as the reason for not cooperating. It said the statement was biased and unfair. In the July statement, Lee said ‘As well as increasing restrictions on my access, individuals who meet with me continue to face intimidation, including being photographed, questioned before and after meetings and in one case even followed. This is unacceptable.’” (12/20/17)

http://www.dw.com/en/myanmar-bars-un-human-rights-investigator/a-41871920

—–

21) IN: “Nightmare” hotel reeked of sewage — and charged guests $350 for complaining, lawsuit says
Source: Miami Herald

“The hotel room wasn’t just dirty. It was ‘a nightmare,’ the guest said. The air smelled like sewage. Hair and dirt covered the bed sheets, as if the linens hadn’t been cleaned after the last guests had left the Abbey Inn & Suites room that Katrina Arthur and her husband were renting in Nashville, Ind in March 2016. The air conditioner and shower in the room didn’t work right, either, Arthur told WRTV. ‘We were just wanting to get away and have some alone time,’ Arthur told the TV station. ‘It looked really pretty on the website.’ But what Arthur and her husband found was far from pretty, they said. And when they complained about the hotel online, the hotel charged them $350 for the negative review, Arthur said — prompting Indiana’s attorney general to file a consumer protection lawsuit against the hotel on Dec. 15.” (12/19/17)

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article190643479.html

—–

22) CA: San Francisco cop being probed for sex with a minor kills self in mall parking lot
Source: New York Daily News

“A San Francisco police officer who killed himself after being pulled over by police in a neighboring city was under investigation for child sexual abuse in Las Vegas, authorities said Tuesday. Antonio Cacatian, 49, shot himself Monday afternoon after San Francisco police requested help arresting him. Police in the nearby city of Richmond, where Cacatian lived, pulled him over in a shopping mall parking lot and officers retreated to their cars when they heard a gunshot, Lt. Felix Tan said. … Cacatian was under investigation over allegations that he may have committed sexual acts with a child under the age of 14 in 2014, Las Vegas Metropolitan police spokeswoman Laura Meltzer told the San Francisco Chronicle.” (12/20/17)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/san-francisco-probed-sex-minor-kills-article-1.3710594

—–

23) South Korea: Regime asks US to delay joint military drills until after Winter Olympics
Source: Washington Post

“South Korea is considering delaying its next round of joint military exercises with the United States until after the Winter Olympic Games to avoid provoking North Korea, the presidential office in Seoul said Wednesday. … South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he had asked the U.S. military to postpone joint military exercises until after the Olympics, and the American command in Seoul said it was considering the request.” [editor’s note: Why make it a request? “Joint exercises” by definition require the participation of South Korea’s military, which Moon can forbid. And he can let the US commanders know that any “exercises” conducted solo will be considered attacks on South Korea and responded to accordingly – TLK] (12/20/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/south-korea-asks-us-to-delay-joint-military-drills-until-after-the-winter-olympics/2017/12/20/71d37634-e55f-11e7-9ec2-518810e7d44d_story.html

—–

24) Bernard Law, 1931-2017
Source: CNN

“Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Boston archbishop who resigned in disgrace during the church sex abuse scandal, has died, the Vatican has confirmed. Law died in Rome, where he served as archpriest of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major after he was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston in 2002. The scandal broke when it was revealed by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative reporting team that Law and other bishops before him had covered for pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese.” (12/20/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/20/world/former-boston-cardinal-bernard-law-dead/index.html

—–

25) EU: New blow for Uber as top court says it’s a taxi company
Source: US News & World Report

“Ride-hailing service Uber suffered a new blow Wednesday as the European Union’s top court ruled that it should be regulated like a taxi company and not a technology service, a decision that could change the way it functions across many countries in the continent. Uber, which is wrapping up a particularly punishing year, sought to play down the ruling Wednesday by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice. The company insisted it will try to keep expanding in Europe anyway.” [editor’s note: Classifying Uber as a taxi company is like classifying TV Guide as a television network – TLK] (12/20/17)

https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2017-12-20/top-eu-court-uber-should-be-considered-a-transport-company

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

26) An impressive level of corruption
Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“People often talk about the amount of corruption present in so-called third world nations. They mention how police officers in Latin American will pull you over but not issue a ticket if you slip them $20 or how getting a building permit in a timely manner in Africa requires a bit of grease to get the gears moving. However, this kind of corruption is amateur hour compared to the corrupt here in the United States of America, especially around Washington DC. Consider this story. It involves a state government giving permission to a foreign company to operate a tollway at an area that suffers from significant traffic congestion. As part of this deal the state government gets a kickback and in exchange it prevents improvements from being made to either the nearby roadways or mass transit systems. On top of that a local level of government pretended to fight the deal until it was given a kickback of its own …” (12/20/17)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2017/12/20/an-impressive-level-of-corruption/

—–

27) The tax bill shows the GOP’s contempt for democracy
Source: New York Times
by Will Wilkinson

“The hostility to redistributive democracy at the ideological center of the American right has made standard policies of successful modern welfare states, happily embraced by Europe’s conservative parties, seem beyond the moral pale for many Republicans. The outsize stakes seem to justify dubious tactics — bunking down with racists, aggressive gerrymandering, inventing paper-thin pretexts for voting rules that disproportionately hurt Democrats — to prevent majorities from voting themselves a bigger slice of the pie. But the idea that there is an inherent tension between democracy and the integrity of property rights is wildly misguided. The liberal-democratic state is a relatively recent historical innovation, and our best accounts of the transition from autocracy to democracy points to the role of democratic political inclusion in protecting property rights.” (12/20/17)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/20/opinion/tax-bill-gop-democracy.html

—–

28) How Drug Free School Zones backfired
Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“In 1970 a new trend in narcotics law began to spread: Legislators began creating Drug Free School Zones, imposing harsh penalties on drug crimes committed within them. The theory behind these zones was straightforward: kids are the last people we want drug dealers to target; schoolyards are the last place we want them plying their violent trade; so why not create an incentive to keep drugs elsewhere? ‘Drug-free zones around schools offer communities one way to give students a place where they can play and talk without being threatened by drug dealers and drug users,’ one sheriff’s department declares on its webpage. Then the same webpage offers some confounding advice: ‘Don’t stop at the school’s boundaries. Expand your drug-free zone efforts to any area besieged by problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse.’ You can see the problem: If a community subjects all areas with drug abuse to harsher penalties, the incentive to keep drugs away from schoolyards vanishes.” (12/20/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/just-say-no-to-drug-free-school-zones/548714/

—–

29) Strange bedfellows: Critics left and right oppose warrantless wiretapping renewal
Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Peter Grier

“Congress is struggling to reauthorize key rules that govern National Security Agency wiretapping, without a warrant, of foreign targets outside the United States. The rules are set to expire at the end of the year, though the NSA believes it could legally continue the program through April while lawmakers continue to debate the subject. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the issue Thursday. It’s unclear when or if the Senate will follow suit. The rules in question are set out in Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In US national security discussions they’re usually referred to as ‘Section 702’ (‘702’ for short). Under this program, the National Security Agency (NSA) can vacuum up the electronic communications of foreign intelligence targets deemed likely to be located outside US territory. Officials don’t need a court-issued warrant for individual targets. Instead, the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court annually approves a list of proper categories of foreign intelligence collection.” (12/20/17)

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/1220/Strange-bedfellows-critics-left-and-right-oppose-warrantless-wiretapping-renewal

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30) The essential goodness of the crypto community
Source: Freeman’s Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg

“Quite a few people have been complaining about the cryptocurrency community lately. And, to be fair, they have legitimate reasons: Many get-rich-quickers, corporate sell-outs, and outright scammers have shown up recently. But it’s far too easy for us to focus on the malicious and the misguided. The bulk of the crypto community are decent people, even if they’re unsure of the best paths forward. (No surprise in that, with perfect knowledge remaining scarce on this planet.) What I want to point out today is that most of these people are caring and decent. And here’s why I say that …” (12/20/17)

https://www.freemansperspective.com/the-essential-goodness-of-the-crypto-community/

—–

31) Obama’s high-speed rail fantasy led to deadly derailment in Washington
Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

“The Amtrak train derailment near Tacoma, Wash., was on a stretch of just-completed track that was the direct result of President Obama’s lofty vision for high-speed rail and his so-called stimulus plan. In accounts of Monday’s crash, which killed three and injured many others, news reports noted that the derailment involved a “high-speed Amtrak train” on its first run on a new stretch of track that bypassed an existing rail line. The train was reportedly going 80 mph when it hit a curve engineered for speeds of only 30 mph. If neither speed sounds particularly ‘high speed,’ join the club. Yet this stretch of track was paid for by Obama’s 2009 $787 billion stimulus plan, of which Obama directed $8 billion to nearly a dozen rail projects around the country that were supposed to transform how Americans get around. ‘My high-speed rail proposal will lead to innovations that change the way we travel in America,’ Obama boldly proclaimed at the time.” (12/19/17)

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/thank-you-obama-deadly-train-derailment-was-on-tracks-built-with-stimulus-money

—–

32) The risks and rewards of welfare reform
Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

“Few areas of government are as ripe for reform as our bloated, inefficient, and ineffective welfare system. The United States has spent more than $23 trillion fighting poverty, roughly $1 trillion last year alone. Yet all this spending has bought us surprisingly little. Although far from conclusive, the evidence suggests that our welfare system has marginally reduced the number of people living in poverty, while helping to reduce its deprivations for millions of others. This shouldn’t be a big surprise. No matter how dim a view one takes of governmental competence in general, it would be virtually impossible for the government to spend $23 trillion on welfare without helping at least some poor people. But by the broader and more important benchmark — enabling people to rise above poverty, to become self-sufficient and able to care for their families, to achieve all that they can achieve — welfare has clearly failed.” (12/20/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/risks-rewards-welfare-reform

—–

33) When Washington assured Russia NATO would not expand
Source: The American Conservative
by Andrew J Bacevich

“By the end of 1989, the issue facing policymakers on both sides of the rapidly vanishing Iron Curtain was not whether reunification should occur, but where a reunited Germany would fit in a radically transformed political landscape. … For Washington, London, and Paris, the solution was obvious: keep the Germans in a warm but firm embrace. Ensuring that a united Germany remained part of NATO would reduce the likelihood of it choosing at some future date to strike an independent course. The challenge facing the Western allies was to persuade Gorbachev to see the wisdom of this proposition. After all, twice within memory, Germany had invaded Russia, inflicting almost unimaginable damage and suffering. That the Soviets might view with trepidation the prospect of a resurgent Germany remaining part of an explicitly anti-Soviet military alliance was not paranoia. It was prudence.” (12/20/17)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/when-washington-assured-russia-nato-would-not-expand/

—–

34) It’s time to nationalize the Internet
Source: In These Times
by Julianne Tveten

“Defying widespread popular objection, on December 14 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality. The principle regulates broadband as a utility, thus forbidding cable companies and Internet service providers (ISPs) from throttling, blocking or otherwise discriminating against online traffic. While net neutrality was only enacted in early 2015, it swiftly proved a key component of an open Internet. While the assault on net neutrality is formidable, it’s not without formal opposition. The Republican-helmed FCC’s two Democrat Commissioners, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, have censured the decision and urged dissent. A number of state attorneys general (including those in New York, California, and Illinois) have vowed to sue the FCC over the ruling. Congressional Democrats, shepherded by Mass. Sen. Ed Markey, plan to file legislation to reverse the repeal.” [editor’s note: This would be hilarious, were it not so sad how many believe this – SAT] (12/20/17)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/20784/fcc-net-neutrality-open-internet-public-good-nationalize

—–

35) A penny for your thoughts
Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“If raising prices would actually raise revenue for grocery stores, then why not do it even before the penny is eliminated? One answer is that it’s a game theory problem; this action only benefits stores if all firms raise prices from $9.99 to $10.00. Any firm that did not cooperate would steal business from other firms. But in that case, if the penny is removed then a non-cooperative firm could just lower the price to $9.95 and steal business away from other firms. Sure, they’d lose 4 cents by doing that, but I notice that an increasing number of stores already just give me a few pennies for free to avoid the hassle of counting out each coin. If it’s truly a good strategy, then why not price at $XX.95? Wouldn’t the failure to do so cost sales; dare I say ‘penny wise, pound foolish?’” (12/20/17)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/12/a_penny_for_my.html

—–

36) Christmas good holiday for outlaws
Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“hristmas is a good holiday for outlaws. No, not for criminals. For outlaws. What? You don’t know the difference? Let me explain why outlaws are not your enemy and why Christmas is a great outlaw holiday.” (12/20/17)

http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2017/12/20/voices/christmas-good-holiday-for-outlaws/155387.html

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37) Tax bill a lifeline for Democrats; will they sink or swim?
Source: Our Future
by Richard Eskow

“This simple rule of thumb has rarely failed: When Democrats get confident, I get nervous. That’s true, even when Republicans inflict disaster on the country — and potentially on themselves. ‘This tax bill will be an anchor around the ankles of every Republican,’ says Sen. Chuck Schumer. ‘If they haven’t learned it yet, they’re going to learn it next November.’ It must have been satisfying image for Schumer to conjure up: legions of Republicans dragged down to Davy Jones’ locker, like a spectral corpse crew from The Pirates of the Caribbean. And it certainly should be true of the bill currently being finalized by Republicans. After all, we’re at a crossroads in American history. We are experiencing historic levels of inequality, where two families (the Waltons and the Koch brothers) own more wealth than 115 million people, or more than a third of the population. Over 40 million Americans live in poverty, more than 27 million are without health insurance, wages for most people have stagnated, and the middle class is dying.” (12/20/17)

https://ourfuture.org/20171220/the-tax-bill-is-a-lifeline-for-democrats-will-they-sink-or-swim

—–

38) The tyranny of The Econocracy
Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Matthew McCaffrey

“The Econocracy [by Joe Earle, Cahal Moran, and Zach Ward-Perkins] is a study of the economics profession and how it came to monopolize the sphere of expert opinion in politics. There is much that could be said about this book, so here I’ll limit myself to a few general points …. Its main thesis is that economics is no longer a diverse community of inquiry, but a detached profession that sees the world only in light of its own tools and goals. In fact, according to the authors, the world is fast heading toward ‘econocracy,’ defined as, ‘A society in which political goals are defined in terms of their effect on the economy, which is believed to be a distinct system with its own logic that requires experts to manage it …’” (12/20/17)

https://mises.org/wire/tyranny-econocracy

—–

39) Trump is offering the country a Sophie’s choice on Dreamers
Source: Reason
by Shikha Dalmia

“President Donald Trump is presenting lawmakers with a Sophie’s Choice on Dreamers (those who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children): Acquiesce to his draconian immigration enforcement designs or watch him banish them. There are two ways that decent members of both parties can avoid that dilemma: Either insist on attaching a clean Dreamer fix to a government-funding bill or pass one separately ahead of the funding bill. If they wait till after the funding bill is passed, they will lose all negotiating leverage to stop this administration’s assault on immigrants.” (12/20/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/12/20/trump-is-offering-the-country-a-sophies

—–

40) After tax cuts, GOP may suddenly find Trump more trouble than he’s worth
Source: USA Today
by Bruce Bartlett

“President Trump believes he has just won a great victory in Congress with final passage of huge tax cuts in sight. He should not be so cheerful; it could mark the beginning of the end for him and his party. The reason is that signing the tax cuts and some judicial appointments were the only things Republicans in Congress ever needed Trump for. Republican insider Grover Norquist has long said that Republican presidents are just nuisances because they tend to muck up the finely tuned plans that Republicans in Congress have been working on for decades to downsize government. The perfect Republican president, he has always said, has enough working digits to sign his name on legislation and that’s it. Trump himself is a perfect example of how Republican presidents screw things up.” (12/20/17)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/20/all-republican-needs-trump-sign-their-tax-bill-appoint-conservative-judges-bruce-bartlett-column/962971001

—–

41) Ten things liberty activists should do over winter break
Source: Students For Liberty
by Gabi Maylock

“When authority figures during the academic year tell you what to read, when to read and how to read it, reading can lose its charm. Now that you’re on winter break, you should have plenty of time to enjoy a book or two for pleasure. It doesn’t hurt to reread a good liberty-minded book, either. … Blow-off some of the steam that you might have felt during this past semester and practice your 2nd Amendment rights at the same time! Focusing your attention on a target and practicing a skill can reduce some of that finals stress.” (12/20/17)

https://www.studentsforliberty.org/2017/12/20/10-things-liberty-activists-winter-break/

—–

42) Bitcoin is deflationary, transparent, and antifragile
Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Mark E Jeftovic

“What we are experiencing today is a technological innovation that is moving the nature of money itself from one form to the next, and that is something that has only happened a few times throughout recorded history. It is because we are talking about a fundamental restructuring of the nature of money, and not an asset bubble occurring within the confines of the prevailing monetary system, that we can apply the ‘this time is different’ label to Bitcoin. Centralized, opaque, and debt-based, money is being disrupted by decentralized, open-source, competitive crypto-currencies.” (12/20/17)

https://fee.org/articles/bitcoin-is-deflationary-transparent-and-antifragile/

—–

43) Take action on FISA vote now
Source: Campaign For Liberty
by John McCardell

“The House of Representatives has suspended the rule requiring legislation be publicly available for at least three days before a vote is held. This means the House leadership can put any bill on the House floor and vote on it before members have a chance to even read it. And House leadership is already plotting to use this power to violate your liberties!” (12/20/17)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/take-action-fisa-vote-now

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44) Global warming: Fake news from the start
Source: Heartland Institute
by Tom Harris

“President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change because it is a bad deal for America. He could have made the decision simply because the science is false. However, most of the American and global public have been brainwashed into believing the science is correct (and supported by the faux 97% consensus), so they would not have believed that explanation.” (12/20/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/12/global-warming-fake-news-from-the-start/

—–

45) On the road to kleptocracy
Source: The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan

“With the passage of the Republican tax bill, there’s no longer room for doubt: The big heist is on. The looting of the national commons is well underway, and now those behind it feel no need to hide it. Let’s face it — this is why they allowed President Donald J. Trump to happen. He may not have been the first pick of GOP leaders, who would have preferred a more subtle approach, something that looked more like the invisible hand of the market than outright pillage. But once Trump had the nomination locked up, they fell in line. However ugly things might get, a bonanza awaited the crowd that carried Trump across the White House threshold.” [editor’s note: Funny how that “road” has been there a long time now, as the predecessors and their regimes paved it in imperial gold – SAT] (12/20/17)

http://prospect.org/article/on-road-kleptocracy

—–

46) Constitutional right to install bulletproof glass?
Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Eugene Volokh

“The opening section of the Pennsylvania Constitution (first enacted in 1776, but reenacted since) [recognizes rights to defend life and liberty and to protect property] …. And Pennsylvania courts have taken this seriously; a long line of cases, going from 1917 to 2000 … recognizes that this is a serious constraint on government power — for instance, landowners have the right to kill wild animals that are threatening crops, even despite state game laws that bar such killing. But despite this, Philadelphia seems to be trying to restrict one important form of defending life and liberty (and protecting property): bulletproof barriers that help shield employees from robbers or other attackers.” (12/20/17)

http://reason.com/volokh/2017/12/20/right-to-install-bulletproof-glass

—–

47) The Bolshevik revolution still influences Italy 100 years later
Source: Acton Institute
by Stefano Magni

“Today, nearly a century after the founding of the Italian Communist Party (ICP) by Antonio Gramsci in 1921, few Italian Communists want to use that name. Their parties have little or no representation in local and national institutions. Nonetheless, Communism in Italy is the biggest ‘elephant in the room’ in Italian politics, exerting an influence even to this day. The cause is not only deeply embedded in Italian history — e.g., Communist partisans contributed to win World War II against the Nazis. The cause is also cultural.” (12/19/17)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/12/19/bolshevik-revolution-still-influences-italy-100-years-later

—–

48) Divorce conservatism from the Republican Party
Source: The New Republic
by Jeet Heer

“With the passage of a sweeping tax bill on Wednesday, Donald Trump gets the first major legislative achievement of his presidency and deepens the debt the Republican Party owes to him. Despite a rocky first year, Trump has also delivered on a promise to fill the courts with conservative nominees, and Republicans are repaying him by more vociferously defending him against special consul Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Trumpism and Republicanism once seemed an uneasy fit, but now they are increasingly fused. This tightening of bonds is causing a rift among a small band of Never Trump conservative intellectuals, who are torn between their revulsion with the president and their desire see the Republican agenda enacted. Some Never Trumpers are becoming alienated not just from the president, but the Republican Party, which they see as complicit in Trumpism.” (12/20/17)

https://newrepublic.com/article/146377/divorce-conservatism-republican-party

—–

49) Quantum Vibe, 12/20/17
Source: Big Head Press
by Scott Bieser & Lea Jean Badelles

Cartoon. (12/20/17)

http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1736

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50) Republican attacks on Robert Mueller are absurd. But the GOP has been lawless for decades.
Source: The Intercept
by Jon Schwarz

“Washington is all abuzz with rumors about the fate of Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to examine ‘any links and/or coordination’ between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. According to some reporting, Donald Trump’s allies believe he will have a ‘meltdown’ and try to fire Mueller if the special counsel does not quickly wrap up the investigation and exonerate the president. (It wouldn’t be a simple procedure for Trump to get rid of Mueller, but if he’s determined to do so, he almost certainly can.) Meanwhile, elected Republicans and conservative news outlets news are obsessively attacking Mueller in a clear bid to lay the groundwork for Trump to pardon any of his subordinates convicted on charges growing out of the Russia probe. But one thing’s for sure: If Trump does take some kind of outrageous action against Mueller, the Republican Party will mumble, look down at its shoes, and then do nothing whatsoever.” [editor’s note: Schwarz would have a stronger case if Mueller’s fishing expedition had, after seven months, produced so much as a single crumb of evidence for the alleged “links and/or coordination” – TLK] (12/20/17)

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/20/republican-attacks-on-robert-mueller-are-absurd-but-the-gop-has-been-lawless-for-decades/

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51) The Internet is already broken
Source: CounterPunch
by Nick Pemberton

“Near the end of 2014 Kim Kardashian set out to ‘break the internet.’ She posed naked for pictures. This went great, getting 1% of entire internet activity on the day she did it. Now the worry is that such expressions of democracy will be gone when we lose net neutrality. Net neutrality is a funny phrase. There certainly was net neutrality when leftist websites were blacklisted from Google. And when Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. Not to mention that all the content we receive come from six large companies who own just about all the media we consume. It is odd to see people who solely consume corporate outlets such as MSNBC bemoaning the loss of net neutrality. … The US has always been pretty good about free speech, we just are dumb enough to believe what we hear.” (12/20/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/20/the-internet-is-already-broken/

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52) What unlimited government costs us
Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“In 2007, [Tim] Eyman and the citizen group Voters Want More Choices petitioned onto [Washington’s] statewide ballot a requirement that any tax increase must receive a two-thirds vote from both legislative chambers. Voters passed the measure in 2007, 2011 and 2012. In an email to supporters this month, Eyman presents data — an ‘amazing real-world comparison’ — to help us understand how effective the limits were … while they lasted.” (12/20/17)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2017/12/20/what-unlimited-government-costs-us/

—–

53) A seasonal nod to identity politics
Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Andrew Cohen

“My main problem with identity politics should now be clear. Those favoring identity politics don’t talk about identity as something individuals choose, but as something individuals are born with. Individuals are born into groups, whether they be ethnic, racial, religious, or other. Whichever group they are in, then, is meant to be their identity. The group, that is, is primary. There is no concern with whether or not people can choose to reject the group and the identity it (supposedly) imposes. Instead, there is an implicit assumption that our group makes us what we essentially are — and that what it makes us into is what we must be. I don’t know if any serious political philosophers accept that view now. I hope not. But that sort of communitarian view has a way of coming back every now and then — and must be repeatedly refuted.” (12/19/17)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2017/12/seasonal-nod-identity-politics/

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54) A wonky note on price controls and substitute goods
Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“With a government-imposed ceiling on the price of good X, there results a shortage of good X. Good X becomes more costly for the typical consumer to acquire, despite the fact that the nominal price of good X is held down artificially by government diktat. With a price ceiling on good X, a queue for good X will likely arise. But whether or not a queue arises, some rationing mechanism must arise.” (12/19/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/12/wonky-note-price-controls-substitute-goods.html

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55) US border crossings have become authoritarian testing grounds
Source: Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger

“The U.S. government is effectively saying the fourth amendment doesn’t apply at the border, and CBP agents are increasingly compelling citizens to give the government their electronic devices to scroll through without a warrant or probable cause. This is truly insane and not remotely reflective of a ‘free’ people. While we can hope the courts or public pressure ultimately puts an end to this practice, we can’t count on it. As such, it’s important to know what CBP officers cannot do. There are limits and you should know what they are.” (12/19/17)

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/12/19/u-s-border-crossings-have-become-authoritarian-testing-grounds/

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

56) Resolved: 15 million Americans would be better off without welfare
Source: Reason

“That was the provocative proposition debated at the most recent Soho Forum debate, held on December 11 at New York’s Subculture theater in the East Village. Sponsored by Reason and moderated by Gene Epstein, the Soho Forum is a monthly, Oxford-style debate series that explores issues of particular interest to libertarians. At the December 11 event, the Foundation for Government Accountability’s Tarren Bragdon defended the proposition while Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress opposed it.” [Flash video] (12/20/17)

http://reason.com/reasontv/2017/12/20/soho-forum-welfare-neera-tanden-tarren-b

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57) Editor’s Break, episode 38
Source: Everything Voluntary

“Editor’s Break 038 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: political vs. public interest, forgiving others of the mistakes they make, Trump’s foolish approach to national security, trusting people to choose political leaders but not to take care of themselves and others, moral imperialism, and much more.” [various formats] (12/20/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/political-interests-national-security-moral-imperialism-24m-editors-break-038

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58) The Libertarian Angle, 12/20/17
Source: Future of Freedom Foundation

“What happens when the national government starts handing out presents to everyone? FFF president Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling discuss socialism in America.” [various formats] (12/20/17)

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/libertarian-angle-americas-santa-claus-video/

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59) Cato Daily Podcast, 12/20/17
Source: Cato Institute

“Ike Brannon describes the tax reform that didn’t happen, but should have.” [various formats] (12/20/17)

https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/toward-more-robust-tax-reform

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60) Electric Libertyland, episode 51
Source: Lions of Liberty

“Host Brian McWilliams talks Roy Moore’s Alabama defeat, the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the Congressional Office of Compliance’s apparent lack of any records about sexual harassment settlements. Brian then discusses Section 702 of FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), which allows the NSA & FBI to spy on Americans’ electronic communications. Section 702 was scheduled to expire/sunset on Dec 31st, 2017. However, the likelihood of that happening is slim, and Brian explains why and how it will likely live on. On the bright side, however, the Pentagon is finally getting audited!” [various formats] (12/20/17)

http://lionsofliberty.com/2017/12/20/electric-libertyland-51-fisa-section-702-will-never-die-congress-doesnt-keep-harassment-records/

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61) Political Research Digest, episode 6
Source: Niskanen Center

“In many U.S. cities, Latinos and Asians are gaining population share in previously white or black dominated areas. But the vast majority of cities still have white mayors, even those with majority-minority populations. So when do racial minorities gain representation and do they ally to support the same candidates? Paru Shah finds that majority-white and majority-black cities have resisted representation for new immigrant populations. Andrea Benjamin finds that Blacks and Latinos do sometimes vote for the same candidates, but their alliances depend on elite endorsements and racial cues. The results shed light on racial politics in our diversifying nation.” [Flash audio] (12/20/17)

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/episode-6-multi-racial-electoral-coalitions-minority-candidates/

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62) Freedom Feens Radio, 12/20/17
Source: Freedom Feens Radio

“Randy England and Jeremy Heisenberg yak about the holidays, The FCC’s new ‘Blue Alerts,’ the neo-Nazi BTC stalkers, Coinbase launching Bitcoin Cash support, and Cody Wilson continuing to do more for freedom than any politician ever could.” [various formats] (12/20/17)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=15419

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63) Foreign Policy Focus, episode 133
Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #133, Biran Saady comes on the show to discuss the drug war and how it devastates Mexico. Brian explains how the American drug habit creates a $100 billion black market for deadly cartels to get rich on. Brian describes how the cartels influence Mexican politics, media, and police. Brian focuses on the impact of the drug war on Mexican citizens.” [various formats] (12/20/17)

http://foreignpolicyfocus.libsyn.com/fpf-133-the-drug-war-with-brian-saady

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64) Free Talk Live, 12/19/17
Source: Free Talk Live

“Ron Paul Signs Shire Society Declaration :: Marc and Jodie Emery Sentenced to $195,000 in Fines, Probation for Selling Cannabis :: Bitcoin Core Fan Calls to Attack Bitcoin Cash, Roger Ver :: OTAL :: Legal Tender :: Bitcoin vs Fiat vs Gold :: Cannabis Culture Under Attack By Canadian Government :: Local Governments Killing Internet Competition :: Coinbase Adds Full Bitcoin Cash Support :: Stinky People on Buses :: HOSTS — Ian, Johnson, Will.” [Flash audio or MP3] (12/19/17)

https://www.freetalklive.com/podcast/2017-12-19

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65) Punk Rock Libertarians Podcast, episode 141
Source: The Daily Liberator

“Net neutrality, Bitcoin, Norway dicriminalizes drugs, sexual harassment and more.” [various formats] (12/20/17)

http://www.thedailyliberator.com/prl-podcast-episode-141-bitcoin-boner/

*****
RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST

Editors:
Thomas L. Knapp
Steve Trinward

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