Commentary

Bernie’s Army is running for Congress

February 4, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen  

"Bernie Sanders’s political revolution is predicated in part on mobilizing the public to change the direction of the country. Naysayers carp, and not without reason, that this is impossible, with Republicans having a lock on the gerrymandered Congress for the near future. But to change that state of affairs, you need Sanders Democrats: progressive leaders willing to compete for marginal seats and battle from inside the Capitol Building." [editor's note: It's hard to decide whether this roster is good for oppo research or recruitment; some could go either way - SAT] (02/03/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/129047/bernies-army-running-congress  

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$19 trillion and counting: The dangers of unlimited debt

February 4, 2016
posted by

Veronique de Rugy Reason
by Veronique de Rugy  

"The statutory limit on how much debt the federal government can accumulate is back in the news, but this time it's not because Washington is close to breaching it. That's not a present concern thanks to the year-end bipartisan spending spree that included a suspension of the debt limit until March 2017. The news is that a report from the House Financial Services Committee found that the Obama administration's Treasury Department has been repeatedly misleading the American public on the matter." (02/04/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/02/04/19-trillion-and-counting-the-dangers-of  

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Iowa reminds: Have faith in the voters

February 4, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Iowa was like a rainstorm that cleared away some of the nasty pollution clogging the air. Those last 10 polls that predicted Donald Trump would finish in first place? Wrong. The conventional wisdom about a high turnout sealing the deal for Trump proved -- repeat -- wrong. I am not a fan of the winner, Ted Cruz, but I appreciate how he used Trump's decision to skip the last debate to puncture the billionaire's balloon. If there's one thing I've learned in my years of column writing, it's to have faith in voters. Sometimes they see something in a candidate I don't see. Sometimes there is a gulf between what they tell pollsters and what they do in the voting booth. The closer the election, the more sober the assessment." (02/04/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/02/04/iowa-reminds-have-faith-in-the-voters-n2114400  

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Revealed: Federal partnership with local agency gives rise to spy cameras

February 4, 2016
posted by

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Kelli Sladick  

"Information obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests revealed federal agencies used a partnership with a local government-run utility to install spy cameras in Seattle, circumventing a city ordinance intended to prevent surveillance. State action could stop this kind of cooperation." (02/04/16)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/02/04/revealed-federal-partnership-with-local-agency-gives-rise-to-spy-cameras/  

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How Sanders has transformed the Democratic race

February 4, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by staff  

"It is little less than astonishing that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (a politician who, not long ago, was widely branded as almost irrelevant, a marginal gadfly from the left) secured a virtual tie with establishment favorite Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Democratic primary. There is no longer any question that
 the Sanders movement—led not so much by the candidate but by the thousands of young people who first turned out for his rallies and are now turning out to vote—is transforming the Democratic race. Indeed, Clinton eked out a razor-thin victory in Iowa because she veered left and finished her campaign with calls for wage hikes to address income inequality and new taxes on the rich -- what The Des Moines Register referred to as 'populist fire.' But the result gave Sanders a chance to declare: 'I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment and, by the way, to the media establishment.'" (02/04/16)

http://www.thenation.com/article/populist-fire-in-iowa  

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The report of libertarian populism’s death was an exaggeration

February 4, 2016
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp  

"The paleo strategy was the idea that the libertarian movement could do a smash-and-grab on the electoral benefits of Nixon's 'southern strategy' and, before that, the Dixiecrat phenomenon. They'd ride their old nags (first Pat Buchanan, then Ron Paul) into a moral cesspool and come out the other side with a pile of money and on the road to political victory, without getting any slime on their libertarian boots. Instead the muck sucked those libertarian boots right off them ... and then they got soaked head to toe in the nasty stuff they were messing around in ... and then it turned out that the other side of the cesspool was a strategic cul-de-sac, not a freeway to libertopia. Apparently the money was OK, though. At least for awhile." (02/04/16)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-report-of-libertarian-populisms.html  

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An emerging new narrative for education

February 4, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"The big news about education policy in the presidential race is that there is no news. As Laura Moser writes for Slate, 'None of the candidates are talking about education. Like, at all.' At Salon, parent and public school activist Bertis Downs argues that even the few times Democratic Party candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have mentioned education, their 'words don’t seem to resonate with many of the largely untapped public education parents and teachers who are in search of a candidate.' (I’d submit the one candidate who has made education prominent in his campaign is Jeb Bush. But his weak showing in the Iowa caucus and bottom-feeder status in polls might be enough evidence to convince other candidates to see Bush as less of a role model and more of a warning sign.)" (02/04/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160204/an-emerging-new-narrative-for-education  

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Rand Paul would have enlarged GOP tent

February 4, 2016
posted by

David Boaz USA Today
by David Boaz  

"Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign has ended, like most presidential campaigns, short of the White House. The Republican debate will be poorer without him. Polls show substantial support for libertarian ideas in the Republican Party. Gallup found that libertarian strength in the GOP had risen from 15% in 2002 to 34% in 2012. In surveys in 2012 and 2013, David Kirby, then at FreedomWorks, found libertarians had grown from 35% to 41% of the party. Paul obviously didn’t capture that vote." (02/03/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/02/03/rand-paul-ends-presidential-campaign-2016-libertarians-gop-column/79755372  

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Bloomberg’s White House hurdle is Wall Street

February 4, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Rob Cox  

"Hillary Clinton’s schedule, the rhetoric from Bernie Sanders and the entanglements of Ted Cruz will be especially instructive for one person: Michael Bloomberg. Three times this week, Clinton repudiated her ties to the financial-industrial complex. She put off a visit to mega-fund manager BlackRock and a fundraiser hosted by a Bain Capital affiliate in Boston. The former U.S. secretary of state, senator from New York and first lady also backed away awkwardly from town-hall questions about paid speeches she made to Goldman Sachs. Clinton is struggling to fend off accusations by her chief rival for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, that she is a slave to the billionaires and Wall Street titans who brought the world to the brink of apocalypse only to emerge with more of its spoils." (02/04/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/02/04/cox-bloombergs-white-house-hurdle-is-wall-street  

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Government drags us back in time — because cronies and ideology tell it to

February 4, 2016
posted by

Seton Motley Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley  

"Government by ideological fantasy -- at the expense of actual facts -- is a terrible idea. So too is government of, by and for the donors. Far too often government regulators and bureaucrats ignore Reality -- to tilt at ideological windmills. And WAY too often government becomes one giant stenographer for contributors -- writing laws and regulations to accommodate their check-cutters' every whim and wildest dream. Thus does equal protection before the law -- become special treatment for Friends of Government (FOG, if you will). Donors and dumb ideas are favored -- at inordinate expense to the rest of us." (02/04/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/02/government-drags-us-back-in-time-because-cronies-and-ideology-tell-it-to/  

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No longer an excuse not to start your own monopsony-power-exploiting company

February 4, 2016
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"In my selfless efforts to help believers in the reality of monopsony power do well while doing good, I not only remind them yet again of Mike Long's generous offer of free-of-charge business advice, I myself now offer (also free of charge) a sure-fire idea for a profitable business that uses as its key input the talents of most of these monopsony-power believers: Put yourself in business, as a consultant, offering to identify those locales and industries where monopsony is real. You yourself don't have to open and dirty your hands by operating the likes of restaurants, lawn-care companies, or junk-removal services." (02/04/16)

http://cafehayek.com/2016/02/no-longer-an-excuse-not-to-start-your-own-monopsony-power-exploiting-company.html  

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Is Julian Assange’s detention arbitrary?

February 4, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic
by Krishnadev Calamur  

"In 2012, Assange, who had been arrested two years earlier in the U.K. under a European Arrest Warrant, sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London so he could avoid being extradited to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over claims of sexual assault -- claims he denies. It's worth pointing out here that last year Swedish authorities dropped two cases of sexual assault against him, though a claim of rape still stands. Assange has been holed up in the embassy since that time. In 2014, he appealed to the UN panel, saying his situation was tantamount to arbitrary detention because he couldn’t leave the embassy without being arrested." [editor's note: There's a certain amount of bias baked into the language of this article. Swedish authorities didn't "drop" any claims against Assange; the statute of limitations ran out on those claims. The clear intent here is to get the reader to mentally insert the word "charges" as a substitute for "claims," when in fact Assange has never been charged with them. The Swedish authorities just claimed to want to question him, pursuant to which they issued a fraudulent European arrest warrant and have since declined to question him in the UK or in the embassy, both of which he's cheerfully volunteered his cooperation with - TLK] (02/04/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/02/assange-wikileaks-un/459927/  

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An idiot’s guide to prosecuting corporate fraud

February 4, 2016
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by David Dayen  

"Say you're the newly elected president of the United States, and you want to make prosecuting corporate crime a top priority. Where do you start? Here would be good. A new group called Bank Whistleblowers United have just pushed out a comprehensive plan they think would put the executive branch back in the business of enthusiastically identifying, indicting, and convicting financial fraudsters -- restoring accountability while protecting the public." (02/04/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/04/an-idiots-guide-to-prosecuting-corporate-fraud/  

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In praise of gentrification

February 4, 2016
posted by

Sam Bowman Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman  

"In a column for Inside Housing I've looked at some of the data around how gentrification affects existing residents to see if there's any reason to worry about it. Surprisingly, it doesn't look as if gentrification really does push out existing residents very much -- involuntary movement out of a gentrifying neighbourhood is about 0.6 percentage points higher than city-wide averages ..." (02/04/16)

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/planning-transport/in-praise-of-gentrification/  

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No, Senator Sanders, the Fed was ALWAYS a creature of cronyism

February 4, 2016
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by David Flemming  

"In his letter to the New York Times on Dec. 23, Sanders claims that the Federal Reserve is 'an institution that was created to serve all Americans (which) has been hijacked by the very bankers it regulates.' 'Hijacked' is misleading terminology. The Fed was created on behalf of bankers seeking government favors. Sanders unwittingly propagates the myth that it was created to 'serve all Americans.'" (02/04/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/02/04/no-senator-sanders-the-fed-was-always-a-creature-of-cronyism/  

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The best defense is a good … defense

February 4, 2016
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by A Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner  

"During the week leading up to the Super Bowl it seems like a good time to discuss the American foreign policy establishment's love affair with the old saying: 'The best defense is a good offense.' But football fans know: as fun as it is to watch the offense score, it is defense that wins championships. The same is true when it comes to terrorism. Smart foreign policy makers should know that a good offense is no substitute for a good defense when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks." (02/014/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/best-defense-gooddefense  

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Low-skilled workers flee the minimum wage

February 4, 2016
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Corey Iacono  

"What happens when, in a country where workers are free to move, a region raises its minimum wage? Do those with the fewest skills seek out the regions with the highest wage floors? New minimum wage research by economist Joan Monras of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) attempts to answer that question. Monras theoretically shows that there should be a close relationship between the employment effects of raising the minimum wage and the migration of low-skilled workers." (02/04/16)

https://fee.org/freeman/low-skilled-workers-flee-the-minimum-wage/  

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Rubio’s accomplishments in the Senate

February 4, 2016
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"[Rick] Santorum's stint as a Rubio surrogate got off to a shaky start this morning. When pressed to name Rubio's top accomplishment in the Senate, he couldn't come up with one .... Santorum couldn't come up with anything because there aren't any accomplishments to be named. This isn't a case where a new surrogate hasn't been sufficiently briefed on the minutiae of a candidate's record. There's simply nothing that Santorum could have cited as an example, because Rubio doesn't have any significant legislative accomplishments since he entered the Senate five years ago. Even Obama managed to join up with Richard Lugar on a serious piece of nonproliferation legislation during his brief time in the Senate. Rubio can't point to anything comparable. Neither can his rival Ted Cruz, whose even shorter Senate career has been defined entirely by obstructionist theatrics." (02/04/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/rubios-accomplishments-in-the-senate/  

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The Tom Woods Show, episode 586: Why capitalism is morally superior to socialism

February 4, 2016
posted by

The Tom Woods Show The Tom Woods Show
by  

"Defenders of capitalism often wind up making arguments that implicitly concede the moral superiority of socialism -- sure, socialism is a fine system, but we can't live up to it. What kind of defense of capitalism is that? Jason Brennan makes a powerful moral case for capitalism that avoids this pitfall." [various formats] (02/04/16)

http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-586-why-capitalism-is-morally-superior-to-socialism/  

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Political revolution and the third-party imperative

February 4, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Scott McLarty  

"Genuine systematic change is always called unrealistic and too radical to be taken seriously, as the political mainstream's critical onslaught against Bernie Sanders proves. The history of progress in the cause of justice and freedom in the U.S. is the history of parties whose ideas were both marginal and indispensible. ... Green, Libertarian, and other alt-party contenders have overcome the prohibitively difficult ballot-access requirements designed by D and R legislators to privilege their own candidates and hinder others. Voting for an alt-party presidential nominee pushes the party forward regardless of his or her chances of winning the White House." (02/04/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/04/political-revolution-and-the-third-party-imperative/  

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Standing with Rand

February 4, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky, suspended his presidential campaign yesterday. He took fifth place in Iowa, but garnered just four percent of the vote. I'll miss him." (02/04/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/02/04/standing-with-rand/  

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Would the Pentagon and CIA permit Sanders to be president? Part 2

February 4, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Last December, I asked a very simple question: Would the U.S. national-security state permit self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders to serve as president and, if so, would they permit him to finish out his term? Now that it looks like Sanders is going to give Hillary Clinton a run for her money, the question becomes even more relevant." (02/04/16)

http://fff.org/2016/02/04/would-the-pentagon-and-cia-permit-sanders-to-be-president-part-2/  

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End this phoney war over Europe

February 4, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by Mick Hume  

"Nobody in the UK political and media class appears keen on David Cameron's draft deal on European Union reform. So why are they all going along with it?" (02/04/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/end-this-phoney-war-over-europe/  

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Hillary Clinton, conscription, and militarized feminism

February 4, 2016
posted by

Lucy Steigerwald Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald  

"For hundreds of years in America, women did not have the same rights as men. They -- more or less -- do now and for some, the final flourish of equality is seen in decisions such as the Pentagon's 2015 choice to open up all combat jobs to females. While the military exist, it makes practical sense to admit anyone who can hack it. However, this week the logical consequences of equality in all things, good and bad, came up in a news item. Turns out there are several important officials who believe that women should be required to register for the Selective Service if they are let into any branch of the military." (02/04/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/lucy/2016/02/03/hillary-clinton-conscription-and-militarized-feminism/  

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The cozy relationship between the Treasury and the Fed

February 4, 2016
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by David Howden  

"Last year was a tough one for investors. Gold was down 10 percent. The Dow Industrials fell 2.5 percent, and most bond indexes finished down by at least that much. One institution that performed remarkably well in 2015 was the Federal Reserve. It just finished its most profitable year on record." (02/04/16)

https://mises.org/library/cozy-relationship-between-treasury-and-fed  

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