Commentary

Electoral horror picture show

December 19, 2016
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"Did you know that the official 2016 presidential election did not happen on November 8th; that Donald Trump hasn't been elected yet and might not be; that the real election happens on Monday December 19th; that the result is up to only 538 people; and that Hillary Clinton might still become our next President? Now, I'm not going to panic about this situation. I'm confident that Trump will be elected on Monday by more than the required 270 electoral votes. But I'm afraid that someday, unless it is fixed, our constitutional Electoral College procedure could conceivably turn into an electoral horror picture show which might lead to another civil war." (12/18/16)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2016/12/electoral-horror-picture-show.html  

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The LAVA Spurt, episode 26

December 19, 2016
posted by

The LAVA Flow Podcast The LAVA Flow Podcast
by  

"The DEA is one of the worst agencies in the history of the federal government. It is the embodiment of evil and should be destroyed. This is the twenty-sixth episode of The LAVA Spurt, The DEA is Cancer Edition." [various formats] (12/16/16)

http://thelavaflow.com/dea-cancer-edition-tls026/  

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The revenge of the gatekeepers

December 19, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"We saw glimmerings last year when Twitter began to selectively enforce 'policy' against some (Milo Yiannoupolis) and not against others (the hordes of leftists who threatened to assassinate Donald Trump). You could see it in Hillary Clinton's campaign; after Trump won, it loomed to eclipse all reason. And on Thursday I noted Congress's reaction. I refer to the hysteria over non-Democratic 'memes' and 'fake news' that trumped the erstwhile gatekeepers of the Fourth Estate and the political classes -- including the lobbying and bureaucratic cliques -- and stymied the ascension of Mrs. Clinton to the Most Powerful Office in the Whole Wide World." (12/16/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/12/16/the-revenge-of-the-gatekeepers/  

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spiked podcast, 12/17/16

December 18, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by  

"On this week's spiked podcast, Brendan O'Neill discusses the war in Syria; Joanna Williams looks at the rise of gender-neutral language; and Sean Collins debunks the hysteria around Russian hacking." [Flash audio or MP3] (12/17/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/aleppo-confirms-that-the-first-casualty-of-war-is-truth/  

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Why it could be good for Trump to skip some intelligence briefings

December 18, 2016
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by John Mueller  

"As he does with considerable regularity, Donald Trump has elevated the eyebrows of the foreign policy establishment with his practice of undergoing intelligence briefings only once a week on average, instead of daily. ... As he put it on Fox News Sunday a few days ago, 'I'm, like, a smart person. I don't have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years .... I don't need that.' But the problem with intelligence briefings is not so much that they cause boredom in the recipient as that they routinely induce terror." (12/16/16)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-it-could-be-good-trump-skip-some-intelligence-briefings  

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Subversion blues: Chasing will-o’-the-wisps while the junta gathers force

December 18, 2016
posted by

Empire Burlesque
by Chris Floyd  

"I'll say it again: there WAS a systematic undermining of democracy in 2016. It was carried out in some part by the Clinton camp's collusion with the DNC and, on a much larger and decisive scale, by the years-long GOP vote suppression campaign. But instead of attending to these genuine -- and open -- subversions of democracy, our political-media class are chasing Kremlin will-o'-the-wisps that will never be nailed down ... even as Trump assembles an earth-raping, liberty-stripping, treasury-beggaring, hate-mongering junta the likes of which this nation has never seen." (12/17/16)

http://www.chris-floyd.com/home/articles/subversion-blues-chasing-will-o-the-wisps-while-the-junta-gathers-force-17122016.html  

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NSA to reveal depths of Section 702 spying

December 18, 2016
posted by

Darryl W Perry Free Press Publications
by Darryl W Perry  

"Since 2005 families across the country have been using The Elf on a Shelf to watch their children and report back to Santa about whether the kids should be on the Naughty List or the Nice List. Not to be out-done by the Big Guy at the North Pole, Congress added a provision to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 2008, known as Section 702. However Section 702 was never supposed to be used to spy on Americans; and unlike the fictional elf that doesn't actually send intelligence data to Santa, the NSA is actually collecting data on an untold number of Americans. The number may not be a secret much longer, though." [text, Flash audio or MP3] (12/18/16)

http://fpp.cc/nsa-to-reveal-depths-of-section-702-spying/  

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The last barricade

December 18, 2016
posted by

Strike The Root
by Terry Hulsey  

"So much of life is compromise. Rare is the one who maintains his integrity to the end of his life. In this national election year when not one candidate stands for a consistent set of principles, it's good to ask the question: What is worth fighting for? What must absolutely never be given up?" (12/17/16)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/last-barricade  

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Tillerson could shine as Secretary of State

December 18, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Armand V Cucciniello III  

"President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to serve as the next secretary of State has caused another post-election panic attack. Looking beyond Tillerson’s engagement with Russia, however, reveals someone with a distinguished education, a notable leadership record and substantial foreign affairs experience. It's a fact that Tillerson is a businessman with a history of looking out for corporate interests such as access to energy, growth, sustainability and profit. But assessing his candidacy on that basis would be akin to saying the president of the United States should be judged for a business position on a record of looking out for the American people, national security and the U.S. economy. In both cases, the leaders have their organization’s top priorities and strategic goals in mind. The assertion that Tillerson has no diplomatic experience is myopic." [editor's note: Check out the competence and skills required for this position, not the political offices one has normally held - SAT] (12/16/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/12/16/tillerson-could-shine-secretary-state-column/95443982  

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Putin’s dangerous fan club

December 18, 2016
posted by

Reuters
by John Lloyd  

"A clutch of leaders who will certainly or likely be in power next year have made clear their admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin. It may not last; we should hope it doesn't. Donald Trump, leader-elect of the leaders of the free world, has repeatedly said that he likes the Russian autocrat’s governing style, and that he has always 'felt fine' about Putin. 'He's a strong leader. He's a powerful leader.' As Russia commentator Masha Gessen observed, the two are strikingly similar in their disregard for the facts. 'It’s not just that both Putin and Trump lie,' writes Gessen, 'it is that they lie in the same way and for the same purpose: blatantly, to assert power over truth itself.' In France, both the main presidential challengers from the right also regard Putin, and Russia, with fondness. National Front Leader Marine Le Pen, who benefited from the generosity of one of Russia's state banks after taking a $9.8 million loan to help fund her run for the Elysee Palace, has expressed her admiration of Putin’s 'cool head' when faced with 'the West's new Cold War.'" (12/16/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lloyd-putin-commentary-idUSKBN1451QW  

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The party that cried wolf

December 18, 2016
posted by

Aria DiMezzo The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo  

"Everything from gay acceptance to climate change to fake news to Russian hacking -- it has become not a matter of facts and information but a matter of which side of the aisle one stands on. Truth is now in the eye of the beholder; the details of what a person believes now seem to be determined by the simple question of their party affiliation. So, of course and predictably, the question of whether Russia had anything at all to do with the 2016 election results is similarly polarized. Except it's kinda not, because there was not and has never been anything to the allegation in the first place, beyond the accusation itself." (12/16/16)

https://anarchistshemale.com/2016/12/16/the-party-that-cried-wolf/  

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How one college professor learned to love homeschoolers

December 18, 2016
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Annie Holmquist  

"College professor Ali Gordon wasn't always a fan of homeschool students. Like many others, he believed that homeschoolers were sheltered individuals, unable to fend for themselves once they left the comfort of their own home. But Dr. Gordon's mind began to change as he encountered homeschool students in his courses in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department of the University of Central Florida." (12/18/16)

https://fee.org/articles/how-one-college-professor-learned-to-love-homeschoolers/  

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Johnny Rocket Launch Pad, episode 111

December 18, 2016
posted by

Johnny Rocket Launch Pad
by  

"This week we rock out with Connor Boyack! Connor talks to us about his book series for children, 'The Tuttle Twins.' Connor also founded and grew the Libertas Institute, a libertarian think tank in Utah. The Launch Pad crew also talks about religion with Connor. Can the godless heathens at the Launch Pad be moral? At least we think we are! Connor is an amazing speaker, and philosopher, this is an episode you cannot miss!" [various formats] (12/17/16)

http://jrlp.podbean.com/e/johnny-rocket-launch-pad-episode-111-connor-boyack/  

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Monopolies don’t listen

December 18, 2016
posted by

Kent McManigal Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal  

"The only reason anyone still puts up with the US Post Office is because of ridiculous 'laws' forbidding anyone from competing with them in 'first class' mail delivery. This government-mandated monopoly offers poor, and sometimes surly, service. Around here, one thing they don't offer is home delivery. If we get mail, it will be addressed to a PO Box. However, more and more companies refuse to accept a PO Box as an address .... Last week I was standing in line to pick up a package when he started lecturing the guy at the counter about the lack of a PO Box on the box he was handing over -- warning him that starting soon, such packages would be returned to sender as 'undeliverable.' The 'customer' explained how some companies won't accept a PO Box. Postmaster smugly said 'They'll accept it.' The next woman in line spoke up and said 'No, they won't.' Postmaster: 'They'll accept it.'" (12/17/16)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2016/12/monopolies-dont-listen.html  

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Free Thoughts Podcast, 12/16/16

December 18, 2016
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarian Institute
by  

"Timothy Sandefur joins us this week to talk about his new book, The Permission Society. When you should you need a permit to do certain things?" [various formats] (12/16/16)

https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/permission-society-how-ruling-class-turns-our-freedoms-privileges-what-we-can-do  

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Can we use blockchain to enable true free trade?

December 18, 2016
posted by

Cobden Centre
by Vishal Wilde  

"I recently wrote about how Blockchain could potentially be used to make optional licensure a feasible reality (though I also professed that this was based on my cursory understanding of the technology and the suggestion was in spite of my corresponding technical deficiency regarding expertise on it). However, that same logic could be applied to making Free Trade more feasible, manageable and cost-effective." (12/16/16)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2016/12/can-we-use-blockchain-to-enable-true-free-trade/  

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“Corruption” then and now

December 18, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Remember how the 'news' media was going on and on about the Clinton Foundation -- at least when they weren’t going on and on abut Hillary Clinton’s emails, or airing entire Trump rallies for free? Media 'coverage' of the 2016 campaign was almost entirely devoid of discussion of the important issues. Climate change? Housing policy? Instead it consisted of media coverage of anything Donald Trump said (including repeatedly giving free time to air entire Trump rallies) insinuations about the activities of the Clinton Foundation and insinuations that Clinton did something illegal with her emails. (Even FBI Director Comey got in on that game.) What were voters to think? The 'corruption' accusation was that Clinton was 'selling access' by having meetings with people who had donated money to the Clinton Foundation charity. That was called a 'criminal enterprise.' That was then this is now." [editor's note: This "column" is "disappointing;" Mr. Johnson usually sees through this kind of bullshit - SAT] (12/16/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161216/corruption-then-and-now  

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The intergenerational effects of the Trump tax plan

December 18, 2016
posted by

Pamela Villarreal National Center for Policy Analysis
by Pamela VIllareal  

"Donald Trump's tax plan will create three million new jobs and 5 percent economic growth in the first year alone, according to an analysis using the NCPA-DCGE dynamic model. But the Trump plan also increases the federal deficit over time. How will these accumulated fiscal imbalances translate into debt burdens for taxpayers into the future?" (12/16/16)

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=26675  

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Rogue One: The most leftist Star Wars film yet

December 18, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Kate Aronoff  

"If you're conscious and over 17, you probably have pretty clear expectations for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: a flashy, well-made and not terribly intricate action movie featuring a young hero with a tragic and/or mysterious past, a multitude of Easter eggs for die-hard fans, and -- more than likely -- some sort of nefarious infrastructure project. Rogue One makes good on those expectations. The surprising thing is that this, the eighth film in the franchise, might be the most politically substantive yet." [editor's note: This review is making me want to see the film, after all, to see where she interpreted it right and where she missed it entirely - SAT] (12/16/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19744/the-rogue-one-may-be-the-most-leftist-star-wars-film-yet  

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What do markets tell us about US presidents?

December 18, 2016
posted by

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner  

"It's important to keep in mind that stock prices can at best tell us something about the likely economic impact of a new administration, not its overall impact. Thus if an administration increases the risk of nuclear war from 0.4% to 0.8%, that's a really bad thing, but it won't significantly impact prices, partly because the probability is so low, and partly because even money may be worthless after a nuclear war. The same is true if a new President emboldens the Russians to slaughter 1000s of Syrians, or if they reduce civil liberties, or stop trying to address global warming, or harass illegal immigrants, or 100 other policies that some might object to for non-stock market reasons. Lots of bad things don't impact the stock market." (12/17/16)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2016/12/what_do_markets.html  

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The leak that came in from the cold

December 18, 2016
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"As the frantic attempts by die-hard Democrats, the media, and the CIA to prevent Donald Trump from being sworn into office reach a fever pitch, Hillary Clinton's anguished cry seems like the only appropriate response. Trump won the election, he's now announcing his Cabinet, and that's the end of the matter. Or is it only the beginning? When the CIA targets a country for regime change, I wouldn't bet the farm on the targeted government surviving. And while this isn't quite Allende's Chile, America's increasing resemblance to a banana republic is augured in the CIA's refusal to appear at a congressional oversight committee to explain leaks in the press charging that Russian intelligence actively worked to elect Trump. So who's in charge here -- the CIA or the people's elected representatives?" (12/16/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/12/15/leak-came-cold/  

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The collectivist mindset in an age of empire

December 18, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"An article in the New York Times criticizing Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be U.S. secretary of state, sums up perfectly the collectivist mindset in our time, in the era of empire. Tillerson is the chief executive of Exxon Mobil and, therefore, doesn't fit the mold of the standard political or bureaucratic hack that is normally chosen to become secretary of state. Not surprisingly, given that he comes from the private business sector, his perspective about life is different from that of the standard collectivist." (12/16/16)

http://www.fff.org/2016/12/16/collectivist-mindset-age-empire/  

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The art of the infrastructure deal

December 18, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gabrielle Gurley  

"For policy wonks, the only bright spot of the dismal 2016 election campaign was the unprecedented attention given the pitiful state of American infrastructure. It was the only area of common ground that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were able to carve out, although quality of the discussion never rose beyond a grade-school tug-of-war over who would spend the most. In the waning days of the Trump transition, hopes are dwindling that the president-elect can deliver, even though he recognizes that the country’s transportation, water, and other infrastructure assets need an historic overhaul and that innovative, new projects could use some federal juice. There are indications that infrastructure policy expectations may have to be significantly dialed back, despite the fact that transportation is the one sector where Trump’s views align with reality." (12/12/16)

http://prospect.org/article/art-infrastructure-deal  

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Democrats need to oppose Trump’s cabinet picks en masse

December 18, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Eric Sasson  

"Now that President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet choices have mostly been announced—the latest being Russia BFF and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, and ready-to-run-the-agency-he-forgot-he-wants-to-abolish Rick Perry for secretary of energy—progressives are understandably apoplectic. It’s not just that Trump’s choices give new meaning to the term “radically conservative,” it’s that so many of them are either wildly inappropriate for or vehemently at odds with the respective departments they’ve been selected to run. While Trump can certainly be said to be 'shaking up' Washington with his picks, it is also true that, by nominating so many fringe candidates at once, Democrats (and a handful of Republicans) will only be able to muster up real opposition to two or three of them at most, allowing the others to slide in." [editor's note: It's this kind of blanket thinking that will doom the truly "progressive" movement; instead of looking for places where some ground has been gained (inadvertently or not, Tillerson is less likely to start "the next war with Russia" than either Bolton or Giuliani ... or Hillary for that matter), they whine on about "forces of evil" (leaving out their own "side" of course) - SAT] (12/16/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/139353/democrats-stop-talking-bipartisanship-start-fighting  

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If you have nothing to hide …

December 18, 2016
posted by

Mary Theroux Independent Institute
by Mary Theroux  

"For years, the national security establishment has been telling us, 'If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.' Ergo, the feds ought to be provided complete access to all of our emails, cell calls, internet browsing records, location, private in-home conversations, banking records, credit card transactions, etc., etc., etc., held forever, without question. Yet suddenly, this same apparatus is aggressively promoting its findings that Russia 'hacked' emails that negatively influenced the recent election outcome -- with the DNC, Obama, Hillary, et al. screaming outrage at this foreign interference with our free and fair electoral process. ... if the Clinton insiders had nothing to hide, why do they care?" (12/16/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/12/16/if-you-have-nothing-to-hide/  

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