Campaign for Liberty

Liberty at the Movies: Spider-Man Homecoming
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming is the latest, and best, Spider-Man movie. It is also provides a case study in crony capitalism that illustrates why so many Americans are rejecting the big government status quo. Homecoming is not just a reference to the [...]

Ron Paul: Trump Must Tackle the Renewable Fuel Standard
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul recently penned an op-ed for Fox News urging President Trump and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt to work to repeal, or at least modify, the renewable fuel standard (RFS). This is the [...]

The Feds should leave online gambling to the states
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Joey Bradford, campaign consultant and former staffer for Rand Paul and Gary Johnson, has penned an op-ed at the Foundation for Economic Education explaining why a federal ban on online gambling is both dangerous to liberty and [...]

Oppose the Con in Minnesota
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

I’m afraid I have some bad news to report. The Minnesota state legislature is being targeted by powerful, well-financed insiders, who are determined to “revise” the U.S. Constitution at an Article V Constitutional Convention. I need [...]

Oppose the Con in Illinois
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

I’m afraid I have some bad news to report. The Illinois state legislature is being targeted by powerful, well-financed insiders, who are determined to “revise” the U.S. Constitution at an Article V Constitutional Convention. I need [...]

Oppose the Con in South Dakota
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

I’m afraid I have some bad news to report. The South Dakota state legislature is being targeted by powerful, well-financed insiders, who are determined to “revise” the U.S. Constitution at an Article V Constitutional Convention. I [...]

Oppose the Con in Ohio
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

I’m afraid I have some bad news to report. The Ohio state legislature is being targeted by powerful, well-financed insiders, who are determined to “revise” the U.S. Constitution at an Article V Constitutional Convention. I need your [...]

This Week in Congress
Posted on Tuesday December 12, 2017

The House is in session Monday through Thursday this week. Among the bills the House will consider is H.R. 3971 which creates “safe harbors” for small financial institutions to exempt them from some federal regulations. The House will also [...]

Government Should Leave Bakers Alone
Posted on Monday December 11, 2017

Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case stems from the refusal of Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery, to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The bakery [...]

Liberty at the Movies: Wonder Woman
Posted on Saturday December 09, 2017

Wonder Woman is the latest super-hero blockbuster and is one of the best "comic book" movies ever. It is certainly the best DC movie -- and, yes, I am including the Christian Bale Dark Knight trilogy and the early nineties Tim Burton-Michael [...]

Newsbusters

Daily Caller: NBC Paid Off Woman Who Accused Chris Matthews of Sexual Harassment
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

<p>Burning the midnight oil on Saturday night, The Daily Caller’s media reporter Amber Athey uncovered the latest case of sexual misbehavior in the news media as she explained how a former employee of Hardball host Chris Matthews was given “a separation-related payment...after the woman complained about sexual harassment.”</p>

MSNBC's Steele Blames Republicans When Dems 'Have to Raise' Taxes
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

<p>Appearing as a guest on Saturday's <em>MSNBC Live</em>, frequent Republican guest and MSNBC contributor Michael Steele was critical of Republicans pushing to cut taxes and blamed GOP tax cuts for making Democrats "have to raise" taxes later. He also declared that, while congressional Republicans present the tax cut plan as a "Christmas present," it actually amounts to "coal." Host Alex Witt was also befuddled at why people believe "trickle-down economics" works as she claimed that "we've not seen it work before."</p>

Ed Asner in Salon: 'The U.S. Was Actually Founded on Gun Control'
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

<p>In a late Saturday morning column, wannabe constitutional scholars Ed Asner and Ed. Weinberger (yes, there's a period after his first name) weighed in on the Founders' intent relating to citizens' right to bear arms. Asner and Weinberger, an actor and a comedy joke and script writer, respectively, in real life, deigned to tell us that the Second Amendment was really a gun control measure designed to keep guns out of the hands of anyone who wasn't a member of a militia.</p>

New York Times' Latest Flimsy 'Fact-Check' on Trump 'Deceit' Falls Flat on Its Face
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

<p><em>New York Times</em> “fact-checker” Linda Qiu's latest lame “gotcha” attempt against President Trump appeared under a strongly hostile headline, “Deceit and Confusion In Talk on Law and Order.” It comes on the heels of a backfired <em>Times</em> investigation -- a graph purporting to compare the lies of Donald Trump (103 after 10 months in office) and Barack Obama (just 18 during eight full years).Qiu has previously used a misleading argument to falsely slam a defense of gun rights as “spurious.” On Saturday, she focused on four alleged Trump falsehoods on Saturday, two of which aren’t actually false, and the other two of which are sufficiently vague as to avoid classification entirely:</p>

'Nation' Writer on Russia 'Hacking': 'I’ve Never Seen Media Malpractice Like This'
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

<p>On Friday, Fox News's Tucker Carlson interviewed Stephen F. Cohen, a contributing editor at <em>The Nation</em>. Cohen sharply criticized coverage at the <em>Washington Post</em> and the <em>New York Times</em>, and more generally stated that he has "never seen media malpractice" like the establishment press's year-long effort to breathe life into what he insists has been a completely ginned-up claim that Russia tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.</p>

Daily Caller

NBC Made Payment To Staffer After Sexual Harassment Claim Against Chris Matthews
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

An MSNBC spokesman confirmed Saturday the company made a separation-related payment to one of Chris Matthews employees after the woman complained about sexual harassment. Two sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” in 1999 after she […]

Poll Shows Nation Divided Between America First And Blame America First [VIDEO]
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

'Huge impact'

Mueller Reportedly Obtains Trump Transition Emails
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

'Unlawful conduct'

Final Tax Bill Contains Language Allowing Illegal Immigrants To Get Tax Credit
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

'It’s a mystery to me'

CNN Contributor Accuses Georgetown Student Of Anti-Semitism
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

CNN political commentator Hilary Rosen accused a Georgetown student of anti-semitism and bigotry because he wore a bacon-themed onesie to a basketball game. The Georgetown Hoyas basketball team played the Syracuse Orange at Verizon Center on Saturday, and Rosen was apparently on the lookout for anything she could deem offensive. “Look at the guy in […]

John Locke Foundation

Charting a New Course for Transportation Planning in North Carolina
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

Transportation planning in North Carolina took a wrong turn in 1987 when the General Assembly approved a controversial piece of legislation known as the Map Act. The Map Act gave the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) the power to impose absolute, permanent development moratoria on land within designated transportation corridors, thereby suppressing the value […]

Cafe Hayek

Protectionism Is Immoral
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

(Don Boudreaux) TweetHere’s yet another letter to the “proud Trump man” (his term) – Nolan McKinney – who now e-mails me almost daily to accuse me and other economists of all manner of intellectual and ethical failings: Mr. McKinney: You now accuse me, when I defend free trade, of “work[ing] from a narrow materialistic basis.”  You allege […]

Freeman Columns
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

(Don Boudreaux) TweetFor more than 15 years (1997-2012) I wrote a regular column for FEE’s iconic magazine, The Freeman, and before that, several other essays.  Mostly to better enable me in the future to easily gain access to these columns, I’ll start today to post them here at Cafe Hayek.  I’ve already, in the past, posted here […]

Some Links
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

(Don Boudreaux) TweetGeorge Will calls out the hypocrites at Whirlpool and warns Americans to reject their – and similar – cronyist pleas for punitive tariffs on imported home appliances punitive taxes on Americans who choose to buy imported home appliances.  Here’s Will’s opening paragraph: A household appliance will be the next stepping-stone on America’s path to restored […]

Quotation of the Day…
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

(Don Boudreaux) Tweet… is from page 158 of Douglas Irwin’s exhaustive and important 2017 book, Clashing Over Commerce (footnote excluded; link added); the “American System” to which Doug refers was the economic-nationalism ‘movement,’ led by Henry Clay (1777-1852), that featured, as central projects, discretionary protective tariffs and other efforts by government to forcibly direct resources toward particular projects […]

A Public Choice Truth
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

(Don Boudreaux) TweetA simple sentence on pages 155-156 of Douglas Irwin’s monumental 2017 book, Clashing Over Commerce, tells a familiar public-choice truth: The growth of manufacturing and relative decline of shipping and shipbuilding in New England [after the War of 1812] helped turn the region from one supporting open trade to one supporting protective tariffs, although its […]

Some Links
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

(Don Boudreaux) TweetPierre Lemieux reviews, in Regulation, Doug Irwin’s great new book, Clashing Over Commerce.  (Scroll down at this link.) Speaking of commerce, Inu Manak and Colin Grabow explain some basic realities of commerce to U.S. Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, who – judging by his repeated statements on the matter – appears, like Trump, to know nothing […]

Quotation of the Day…
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

(Don Boudreaux) Tweet… is from page 307 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague Jim Buchanan‘s 1977 paper “Political Equality and Private Property,” as this paper is reprinted in Moral Science and Moral Order (2001), Vol. 17 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan (link added): As Knut Wicksell wisely pointed out nearly eighty years ago, most economists […]

Spot On
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

(Don Boudreaux) TweetFrom Morgan Frank:

Newsmax


Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969


Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969


Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969


Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969


Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Advocates for Self-Government

Missouri May Soon Close Loophole Allowing Government-Sponsored Theft
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Missouri May Soon Close Loophole Allowing Government-Sponsored Theft This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here. Missouri state legislators are looking into putting an end to state-sponsored theft of private property by closing a loophole that allows state officials to go to the feds for [...]

What Lives Matter?
Posted on Tuesday December 12, 2017

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here. During Thanksgiving dinner the NFL protests came into the conversation, unsurprisingly many around the table thought the players were “unpatriotic” and they should be fired. Naturally, I defended the NFL player’s freedom to not stand and mentioned [...]

The Peaceful Transition To Stateless Societies Is Already Happening
Posted on Monday December 11, 2017

The Peaceful Transition To Stateless Societies Is Already Happening This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here. Libertarianism provides us with the understanding that decentralization of power works best, but only if the goal is to maximize prosperity, growth, ingenuity, and yes, peace. That’s why [...]

Libertarianism.org

How Conscious Capitalism Can Solve Global Poverty
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

Michael Strong joins us this week to talk about the role that capitalism and social entrepreneurship play in alleviating global poverty.

We also discuss special economic zones, startup cities, the right of exit, mechanisms of public choice, and seasteading.

Show Notes and Further Reading

Strong is the author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems (2009) and The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice (1997).

Strong’s articles “Naomi Klein, Young Earth Creationist” and “Towards a Hierarchy of Moral Outrage”.

Here’s our Free Thoughts episode with Bruce Benson.

John Hasnas’s essay “The Obviousness of Anarchy”.

 

Cato Op Eds

Revisiting the EPA Endangerment Finding
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Ross McKitrick

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is mulling over how, or whether, to respond to demands from climate skeptics that he reexamine the science that obligates the EPA to issue costly carbon-emission regulations. While he has recently acknowledged that agency staff short-circuited the science review early in the regulatory process, he may not realize that the EPA inspector general’s office flagged this problem years ago, and the agency staff blew him off by means of a preposterous legal fiction that has long been in need of correction.

In 2009 the EPA issued the Endangerment Finding, which created a statutory obligation to regulate carbon emissions. In the lead-up to this decision the EPA had published its Technical Support Document. Numerous petitions for reconsideration were subsequently filed with the administrator citing evidence of bias and cherry-picking in this report, but all of them fell on deaf ears.

In April 2010, Senator James Inhofe (R., Okla.) asked the EPA’s Office of the Inspector General to review the adequacy of the peer-review process behind the Technical Support Document. The EPA was not happy with what he unearthed.

It turns out that the federal government has rules in place governing how the scientific basis for regulations should be reviewed. Guidelines from the Office of Management and Budget issued under the Information Quality Act impose varying requirements depending on the uses to which a scientific assessment will be put. The most rigorous process is for so-called Highly Influential Scientific Assessments (HISA). These are scientific assessments that will, among other things, lead to rules that have an annual economic impact exceeding $500 million.

The inspector general issued a lengthy report in 2011 concluding (pp. 15-22) that the EPA’s science assessment for the Endangerment Finding was highly influential, but the peer-review process fell short of the required standard. It even violated internal EPA guidelines, by failing to publicly report the review results and cutting corners in ways that potentially hindered the work of reviewers.

The EPA argued back, rather brazenly, that their report was not an assessment at all, merely a summary of previous findings by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Climate Assessment, and other reports, and these documents — not any original research by the EPA — underpinned the Endangerment Finding.

The inspector general rejected this argument for several reasons. First, the EPA study clearly was an assessment, since it selected certain lines of evidence for emphasis or exclusion and used data not found in the underlying reports. Second, the guidelines do not allow an agency such as the EPA to rely on peer reviews conducted by outside groups such as the IPCC or the National Climate Assessment team. Third, the inspector general noted (p. 53) numerous occasions when the EPA cited the Technical Support Document as the basis of its Endangerment Finding.

The EPA then argued that even if it was an assessment, it was not “highly influential.” Since the Endangerment Finding was being issued on a “stand-alone” basis with no specific regulations attached, the investigation ended without resolution.

Thereafter the EPA proceeded to issue rules like the Clean Power Plan with impacts far exceeding $500 million annually. By declining to designate its science assessment as highly influential, the EPA skirted the need to conduct the required peer review, but in so doing it thwarted the intent of the statutory guidelines and undermined the ethical basis of its actions.

While the courts may not demand that this situation be rectified, Pruitt himself should. Administrative honesty demands it, especially since the determination has large potential economic ramifications. Specifically Pruitt needs to declare that the Technical Support Document was a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment that should have been reviewed as such in the first place, and he should see to it that such a review now takes place.

While climate activists may object, they have also spent years insisting that the science is settled, so if they are right, they have no reason to worry about the outcome. And if they are unhappy that this might delay the next round of rule-making, they should direct their ire at Pruitt’s predecessor, who ought to have undertaken the review back in 2011 rather than playing semantic games to justify evading statutory peer-review requirements.

Regardless of Pruitt’s views on climate science, he should agree that the regulatory process needs to be honest and procedurally sound. This alone gives him sufficient grounds to initiate the review that was supposed to have been done years ago.

Ross McKitrick is a professor of economics at the University of Guelph and an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.

NRO

Jerusalem and Middle Eastern Christians
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Christian leaders in the Middle East oppose U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The underlying issue is that Christians in the region side with the Palestinian cause against the Jewish state, on the whole. Exceptions exist, and one could argue that pro-Israeli Christians ought to be the majority in the churches of the Middle East, but that would be another blog post, or a book. Some American Christians, particularly Evangelicals, seem unaware that any tension exists between the Israeli flag on their wall and the Arabic letter nun — N, for Nazarene, a symbol of solidarity with persecuted Christians in
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Whirlpool Has Trapped Washington in a Spin Cycle
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

A household appliance will be the next stepping stone on America's path to restored greatness. The government is poised to punish many Americans, in the name of protecting a few of them, because, in the government's opinion, too many of them are choosing to buy foreign-made washing machines for no better reason than that the buyers think they are better. If you are wondering why the government is squandering its dwindling prestige by having opinions about such things, you have not been paying attention to Whirlpool's demonstration that it is more adept at manipulating Washington than it is at making
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If Robert Mueller Will Ultimately Vindicate Trump, Why Fire Him?
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

We are seeing two trends in the Robert Mueller matter that should be pulling in opposite directions, but aren't: 1) As far as we can tell at the moment (and this is necessarily speculative), Mueller doesn't seem to be closing in on a collusion conspiracy. If that's true, he's also unlikely to be closing in on a real obstruction-of-justice case. In other words, the best bet right now is that, after catching up people guilty of various, extraneous crimes, the Mueller investigation will leave President Trump relatively untouched. 2) Momentum is building for the idea of firing Robert Mueller. This is a
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On the Nomination of Matthew Petersen
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Matthew Petersen, President Trump’s most recent nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (“D.D.C.”), has come under fire following an exchange with Senator Kennedy, in which Senator Kennedy asked a series of questions designed to demonstrate that Peterson has not practiced as a trial lawyer. Following that exchange, a parade of critics have argued that he lacks the qualifications to serve on the D.D.C. But does he? Petersen currently serves as a Commissioner on the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”), and previously served as its Chairman, jobs that gave him significant exposure to the sort of regulatory cases that
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Listen to the Great Books Podcast
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Next week we'll post the final Great Books podcast of 2017. Subject: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Subscribe for free today and have it delivered to your device immediately upon release. Also, catch up on podcasts from recent weeks, such as: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain; and The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. We'll be back in 2018 with more episodes

The Clinton Impeachment Is Finally Getting the Hollywood Treatment
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared at Acculturated. It is reprinted here with permission. American Crime Story show runner Ryan Murphy recently announced that he is planning a series on President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. The History Channel just gave the green light to a show on the same subject. And Amazon Studios is slated to do a film related to what has proven to be the biggest crisis to hit the American presidency in the last 45 years. Murphy’s take is based on CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin’s 2000 book, The Vast Conspiracy. The book appears to pin the blame for Clinton’s
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Net Right Daily


Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Thomas Sowell

'Tax Cuts for the Rich'? for 05/01/2017
Posted on Monday May 01, 2017

One of the painful realities of our times is how long a political lie can survive, even after having been disproved years ago, or even generations ago.

A classic example is the phrase "tax cuts for the rich," which is loudly proclaimed by opponents, whenever there is a proposal to reduce tax rates. The current proposal to reduce federal tax rates has revived this phrase, which was disproved by facts, as far back as the 1920s — and by now should be called "tax lies for the gullible."

Updated: Mon May 01, 2017

The Real Lessons of Middlebury College for 03/13/2017
Posted on Monday March 13, 2017

Many people seem shocked at the recent savagery of a mob of students at Middlebury College, who rioted to prevent Charles Murray from addressing a student group who had invited him to speak. They also inflicted injuries requiring hospitalization on a woman from the faculty who was with him.

Where have all these shocked people been all these years? What happened at Middlebury College has been happening for decades, all across the country, from Berkeley to Harvard. Moreover, even critics of the Middlebury College rioters betray some of the same irresponsible mindset as that of the young rioters.

The moral dry rot in academia — and beyond — goes far deeper than student storm troopers at one college.

Updated: Mon Mar 13, 2017

Education at a Crossroads for 02/04/2017
Posted on Saturday February 04, 2017

In just a matter of days — perhaps next Monday — a decision will be made in Washington affecting the futures of millions of children in low-income communities, and in the very troubled area of race relations in America.

An opportunity has arisen — belatedly — that may not come again in this generation. That is an opportunity to greatly expand the kinds of schools that have successfully educated, to a high level, inner-city youngsters whom the great bulk of public schools fail to educate to even minimally adequate levels.

What may seem on the surface to be merely a matter of whether the U.S. Senate confirms or rejects the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be head of the U.S. Department of Education involves far bigger stakes.

Updated: Sat Feb 04, 2017

Education at a Crossroads: Part II for 02/04/2017
Posted on Saturday February 04, 2017

One of the painful realities of our time is that most public schools in most low-income, inner-city neighborhoods produce educational outcomes that are far below the outcomes in other neighborhoods, and especially in more affluent neighborhoods.

Attempts to assign blame are too numerous to name, much less explore. But as someone who has, for more than 40 years, been researching those particular minority schools that have been successful, I am struck both by their success and by how varied are the ways that success has been achieved.

In doing research for a 1976 article, "Patterns of Black Excellence," I discovered that the educational methods used to educate low-income, minority children in successful schools ranged from very traditional and strict methods in some parochial schools to very different approaches in other schools.

Updated: Sat Feb 04, 2017

American Thinker

Midnight at the Democracy Dies in Darkness Café
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

...and the coffee was pretty bad, too.

Trump's Reality Therapy on Jerusalem
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

President Donald Trump broke free of the self-absorbed fantasies of the "international community."  He spoke truth to it with his acknowledgment that it "was time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel" and adopt a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. 

Culture Wars: Our Fading Hope
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

With the new Star Wars movie out, it's time for another round of Hollywood liberals describing their plans to brainwash us.

Why the God-Haters Hate Israel
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Though Christianity teaches that we are all under a new covenant with our Creator, the nation of Israel still stands as a testimony to the Truth.

A Quick Fix to Restore Faith in Democracy
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

The following proposal is offered only half in jest.

The Jordan Option
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

There is nothing to stop Jordan from changing its name to Palestine and making Amman its capital city.

Comey Should Be Indicted
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Comey's FBI attempted to interfere in a presidential election to materially aid the candidate of its choice.

It's not a federal crime. It's just 'intrigue.'
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

The way the media have portrayed the recovery of Rand Paul reveals a huge problem.

The Morality Sweepstakes
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

I have a theory.  It is not that the scales have fallen from our eyes about sexual harassment.  It’s that the cultural left has run out of game. 

The Temptation of Terror
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

When the media and the mob rule, no one is exempt from accusation and condemnation. 

Michelle Malkin

SNL cast member proves Trump wrong to call show biased by getting a Hillary tattoo
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

The comedy never stops

770 fewer people driving cars to work at EPA spells good news for the environment!
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Good news for the environment!

Shocker: Comey statement on FBI’s Hillary probe was heavily edited (guess who helped)
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

Nothing to see here

CNN sounds alarm about 26-year-olds falling off parents’ insurance, blames Trump
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Oh my...

Still dawdling over deadly diversity visas
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Still dawdling over deadly diversity visas by Michelle Malkin Creators Syndicate Copyright 2017 Capitol Hill’s national security priorities are screwier than a Six Flags roller coaster. Instead of immediately shutting down one of America’s stupidest visa programs, which helped bring us yet another murder-minded jihadist this week, bipartisan Beltway politicians are pushing to preserve and […]

The Schiff’s hitting the fan
Posted on Tuesday December 12, 2017

Dem narrative broken record

AYFKM? Family of NYC terrorist ‘outraged’ (by police response)
Posted on Tuesday December 12, 2017

You can't make this up

Trump’s drink of choice has CNN swinging for Pulitzer fences (again)
Posted on Monday December 11, 2017

Obsession

NBC News churns out spin N. Korea State Media might want to pick up on
Posted on Monday December 11, 2017

Unreal

SCIENCE! Jerry Brown knows who to blame for Calif. wildfires
Posted on Sunday December 10, 2017

Predictable

Twitchy

George Takei looking for MASSIVE and SUSTAINED protests if Mueller’s fired
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Will George Takei take to the streets if Robert Mueller is fired, or will he hang back on the ship while the red shirts do the work?

The post George Takei looking for MASSIVE and SUSTAINED protests if Mueller’s fired appeared first on twitchy.com.

‘This is an actual emergency’: Let’s all watch a law professor melt down over Robert Mueller’s (rumored) firing
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

The post ‘This is an actual emergency’: Let’s all watch a law professor melt down over Robert Mueller’s (rumored) firing appeared first on twitchy.com.

SICK BURN: Chelsea Handler compares President Trump to a ‘remedial penguin’
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Looks like Chelsea Handler's new vocation as a political activist is going smoothly.

The post SICK BURN: Chelsea Handler compares President Trump to a ‘remedial penguin’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

OK, who wants to hear Harry Reid tweet about UFOs?
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

He doesn't tweet often, but when he does, it's about extraterrestrials.

The post OK, who wants to hear Harry Reid tweet about UFOs? appeared first on twitchy.com.

Cato Weekly Video

Opioid Myths
Posted on Thursday November 09, 2017

Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer discusses the four myths of the ongoing opioid crisis. To learn more, please visit: https://www.cato.org/people/jeffrey-singer.

Trade Terrorism Hits the Global Aircraft Industry
Posted on Tuesday October 24, 2017

Trade terrorism hits the global aircraft industry as Boeing takes trade law abuse to a new level.

Unforced Error: The Risks of Confrontation with Iran
Posted on Friday October 06, 2017

The Federalist

Podcast: The Crisis Of Modern Political Parties And A Broken Government
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Dr. Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College discuss the political lessons and consequences of a dysfunctional system of government.

‘The Last Jedi’ Is A Good Movie Wrapped Around A Bad Movie
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

The Last Jedi explores the nature and purpose of the force in the universe, but is distracted with drab and childish conflict between characters you don’t really care about.

8 Worst Defenses Of FBI Agent’s Anti-Trump ‘Insurance Policy’ Texts
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

How do the media handle dramatic updates that counter their narrative? This week, text messages sent by Peter Strzok, a chief investigator of the Clinton and Russia collusion probes, were released to Congress.

Why Criminalizing Sexual Harassment Fosters Witch Hunts
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Sexual harassment digests a degenerate thug like Harvey Weinstein with a college student who makes an awkward pass or a well-intentioned boss who compliments a dress.

How Christmas Baptizes Norse Mythology Into Powerful Christian Archetypes
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

As long as we bring trees into our homes every December, the gospel is being scandalously preached to he or she who has an ear to hear their sermon.

The Federalist’s Notable Books of 2017
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

If you're looking for something new to read over the holidays and into the new year, The Federalist's staff and contributors have lots of great suggestions.

No, Lifting ‘Net Neutrality’ Doesn’t Hurt Gay People
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

It is unnerving to realize that the leaders of the LGBT movement seem to believe average gay people are utterly dependent on them for seemingly everything.

If You’re Sick Of Pointless Holiday Songs, ‘Hymns And Carols’ Has You Covered
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

If you’re desperate for an alternative to the thin musical gruel of holiday playlists, then the hymns and carols of Advent offer a remarkable and lovely respite of truth and preparation.

Read The #MeToo Article By A Rape Survivor That A Texas Attorney Was Fired For Posting On Facebook
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

A top lawyer resigned from the Texas Attorney General's Office just hours after posting a Federalist article criticizing aspects of the #MeToo movement. 

Why Americans Are In Love With ‘The Crown’
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Why should America, by vocation and war a republic, love a show about the British monarchy? It is not merely the great success of the show, but the alternative, too, that we should consider.

In Wake Of NYC Bomber, How Can The U.S. Better Identify Domestic Terrorists?
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Unassimilated, alienated, underpaid, or unemployed young Muslim men appear to be most vulnerable to radicalization, and chain migration seems to frequently assist.

Trump Admin To Remove Climate Change From List Of National Security Threats
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

The National Security Strategy to be released on Monday will emphasize the importance of balancing energy security with economic development and environmental protection.

Liberals Suddenly Rediscover Federalism Over Obamacare. Will Conservatives?
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Liberals have suddenly discovered the benefits of federalism to ‘resist’ a Trump initiative, even as Republicans want to dictate to states how their insurance markets should function.

Why Attacking Christmas Is Bad For America
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

America needs Christmas as a public expression: not only for its magic and delight, but as a testament to the Judeo-Christian roots upon which this country was founded.

John B. Taylor

A Policy Rule Presented at a Conference 25 Years Ago Today
Posted on Tuesday November 21, 2017

Ed Nelson sent me a nice note today saying that the past two days (November 20-21) mark “the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Carnegie-Rochester Conference at which you laid out your rule.” I had forgotten about the specific dates, but his … Continue reading

New Results on International Monetary Policy Presented at the Swiss National Bank
Posted on Friday September 22, 2017

This week I gave the Swiss National Bank’s  Annual Karl Brunner Lecture in Zurich, and I thank Thomas Jordan who introduced me and the hundreds of central bankers, bankers, and academics who filled the big auditorium. Karl was a brilliant, … Continue reading

Still Learning From Milton Friedman: Version 3.0
Posted on Monday July 31, 2017

We can still learn much from Milton Friedman, as we celebrate his 105th birthday today.  Here I consider what we can learn from his participation in the monetary policy debates in the 1960s and 1970s. I draw from a 2002 … Continue reading

Debate Over the Very Principles of Economics
Posted on Monday July 17, 2017

Today is the launch of the online version of my Economics 1 course (and namesake of this Blog and my Twitter handle) on the Principles of Economics for summer 2017. This year is also the tenth anniversary of the start … Continue reading

Economics 1 Online. No Charge.
Posted on Saturday July 15, 2017

This summer I will be offering my Stanford course Principles of Economics online for free.  You can find out more and register for the course, Economics 1, on Stanford’s open on-line platform Lagunita.  The course starts at 8 am PT … Continue reading

A Whole New Section on Policy Rules in Fed’s Report
Posted on Tuesday July 11, 2017

The Federal Reserve Board’s semi-annual Monetary Policy Report issued by Chair Janet Yellen last Friday contains a whole new section called “Monetary Policy Rules and Their Role in the Federal Reserve’s Policy Process.” The section contains new information and is … Continue reading

Seeing Through the Fog of Federal Budget Forecasting
Posted on Wednesday July 05, 2017

Every summer since 2010 I’ve charted the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) long-term projection of the federal debt, noting the similarity with the Fourth of July fireworks. But during these years, the CBO has changed its procedures several times, fogging … Continue reading

Macro Model Comparison Research Takes Off
Posted on Thursday June 29, 2017

Last week a new Macroeconomic Modelling and Model Comparison Network (MMCN) was launched with a research conference at Goethe University Frankfurt. Economists from the IMF, the Fed, the ECB, and other central banks presented and compared policy models along with … Continue reading

Outside The Beltway

Another Incompetent, Unqualified Trump Judicial Nominee

Meet Matthew Peterson, a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia who apparently doesn't know much about trials.

Lessons from the Alabama Special Election

Let's not forget how unique the Moore-Jones contest was.

AL Exit Polls

WaPo has ’em:  Exit poll results: How different groups voted in Alabama.

Summary of GOP Tax Bill

The NYT has a useful, comparative break-down:  What’s in the Final Republican Tax Bill.

Republicans Release Final Version Of Tax Bill, And It Appears Likely To Pass

The final version of the tax bill appears to be on track for passage, but the devil is in the details.

2018 Is Looking A Lot Tougher For Senate Republicans

With the results from Alabama. the GOP faces a hard road ahead defending its majority in the Senate.

OTB Site Suggestions

We're looking for reader input on site functionality and features.

A Photo for Friday: “Remnants”

“Remnants” November 22, 2017 Shelby, AL

Trump’s Job Approval Hits Record Low In New Poll

As he nears the one-year anniversary of his Inauguration, President Trump is getting increasingly bad reviews from the public.

Roy Moore’s Loss Portends New Battles In The GOP’s Civil War

Roy Moore's loss in Alabama is bringing out into the open a civil war that has been going on for seven years now.

Comparative Falsehoods: Obama v. Trump

The difference is, dare I say, huge.

Republicans Say They Have a Final Tax Bill, But Senate Democrats Want A Delay

House and Senate Republicans say they have reached agreement on a final tax bill, and Democrats are engaging in an effort to delay a vote in the Senate until Doug Jones can be seated.

Minnesota Governor Names Lt. Governor Tina Smith To Replace Al Franken.

As expected, Minnesota's Governor has named his Lt. Governor to replace Al Franken in the Senate.

Foundation for Economic Education


Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Downsizing Government

It’s the Last Stop on the Light-Rail Gravy Train
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

  • Randal O'Toole

When it comes to mass transit, politicians never learn. Last month, Nashville Mayor Megan Berry announced a $5.2 billion proposal that involves building 26 miles of light rail and digging an expensive tunnel under the city’s downtown. Voters will be asked in May to approve a half-cent sales tax increase plus additions to hotel, car rental and business excise taxes to pay for the project.

San Antonio’s mayor, Ron Nirenberg, also wants to lay rail, even though his city’s voters blocked light-rail plans in 2000 and 2015. In 1933, San Antonio became the first major city in America to replace its streetcars with buses, which are faster, more flexible and cheaper to buy and operate. Nevertheless, Mr. Nirenberg has strongly supported rail construction on “high density corridors,” though he wants the transit agency to work out the specifics.

In the Tampa, Fla., area, transit planners are proposing a 35-mile light-rail line to St. Petersburg. They don’t know how to pay for it, especially since Tampa voters rejected a sales tax for light rail in 2010 and St. Petersburg voters rejected one in 2014.

These proposals are questionable at best and reckless at worst, given that transit ridership-including bus and what little rail these regions have-is down in all three jurisdictions. This is a nationwide trend: Data released this week by the Federal Transit Administration shows that ridership is falling in nearly every major urban area (with Seattle as a notable exception).

Some regions have seen catastrophic drops in ridership since 2010: 30% or more in Detroit, Sacramento and Memphis; 20% to 30% in Austin, Cleveland, Louisville, St. Louis and Virginia Beach-Norfolk ; and 15% to 20% in Atlanta, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio and Washington.

Adding rail service hasn’t helped. To pay for new light-rail lines that opened in 2012 and 2016, Los Angeles cut bus service. The city lost nearly four bus riders for every additional rail rider. Atlanta, Dallas, Sacramento and San Jose have seen similar results. The rail system in Portland, Ore., is often considered successful, but only 8% of commuters take transit of any kind to work. In 1980, before rail was constructed, buses alone were carrying 10% of commuters.

The main reason for this drop-off is that low gas prices and ride-sharing services have given people better options. Census data show that 96% of American workers live in households with at least one car, and anyone with a smartphone can summon an Uber or Lyft.

That said, transit ridership has been sliding for decades as jobs have become less highly concentrated in city centers. Since 1970, the number of transit trips taken per urban resident has fallen more than 20%. Outside the areas of New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, transit carries less than 1% of passenger travel. This belies the claim that mass transit is vital to urban economies.

Yet the subsides go on, seemingly forever. Since 1970, taxpayers have plowed more than $1.1 trillion (adjusted for inflation) into transit systems. Critics may reply that roads are also subsidized. But measured per passenger-mile, the subsidies for transit are more than 40 times as great as for driving.

The transit industry has compounded its problems by going heavily into debt, allowing unfunded pensions and health-care obligations to snowball, and failing to maintain the rail lines they already have. According to the Department of Transportation, the nationwide transit maintenance backlog is approaching $100 billion, causing exactly the problems you’d expect: derailments of New York City subways, slowdowns of Chicago’s elevated train, smoke in Washington metro tunnels, and other operational and safety issues. Even if all the money now spent on new construction were redirected to maintenance, according to the department, it would take 20 years to rehabilitate America’s rail transit systems.

Instead of spending billions on new rail lines, cities like Nashville, San Antonio and Tampa ought to use buses to move people faster, more safely, and for far less money. Rail is simply a bad investment.

That’s especially true given the bets being made by companies like Ford, Google and Uber on driverless cars. Some analysts predict that by the middle of the next decade, calling a driverless car will be as easy as hailing an Uber today. Why walk in the heat or cold for a bus or streetcar when you can hail a driverless car to your door for less money than the transit fare? Nashville’s first light-rail line won’t even open until 2026. By then, who’s going to want to use it?

This article appeared on The Wall Street Journal on November 10, 2017.

Econ Talk

John Cogan on Entitlements and the High Cost of Good Intentions
Posted on Monday December 18, 2017

John Cogan of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Cogan's book, The High Cost of Good Intentions, a history of U.S. entitlement policy. Cogan traces the evolution of government pensions beginning with Revolutionary War vets to the birth and evolution of the Social Security program. Surprises along the way include President Franklin Roosevelt as fiscal conservative and the hard-to-believe but true fact that there is still one person receiving monthly checks from the Civil War veterans pension program. The conversation concludes with Cogan's concerns over the growing costs of financing social security payments to baby boomers.

Cato Headlines

Has the Fed Been a Failure?
Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

As the one hundredth birthday of the Federal Reserve System approaches, it seems appropriate to once again take stock of our monetary system. In the latest issue of Cato Policy Report, economists George Selgin, William D. Lastrapes, and Lawrence H. White survey the relevant research and conclude that the Federal Reserve System has not lived up to its original promise. Also in this issue, new president John A. Allison shares his thoughts on joining the Cato Institute.

Liberty Unbound

Why Do Economists Disagree?
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

The inside information.

The influence of economics suffers from the idea that economists disagree to the point of uselessness. George Bernard Shaw supposedly complained that “if all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.” A similar old adage says that if you ask the advice of five economists, you will get five different answers, or, if Keynes is one of the five, six answers.

Such talk may be fun, but it is unfair. "The first lesson of economics,” said Thomas Sowell, “is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics." Why? With characteristic exaggeration, H.L. Mencken observed that “no educated man, stating plainly the elementary notions that every educated man holds about the matters that principally concern government, could be elected to office in a democratic state, save perhaps by a miracle . . . by a combination of miracles that must tax the resourcefulness even of God” (Notes on Democracy, 1926, pp. 103, 106). A politician who understands economics and tries to apply it loses votes. One who understands it but conceals that fact is dishonest. Honest ignorance is an electoral advantage.

Externalities, monopoly, inflation, recessions, mistakes, inadequate foresight — all do occur. Economists are tempted to damn reality for being real.

Economists agree on the basics of their subject; disagreement on policy has other sources. The following list merely names the main points of agreement. Explaining them would go beyond this note, although, toward the end, it does expand on the most fundamental of them.

  1. Scarcity and the need for choice; opportunity cost.
  2. The division of labor, gains from trade, and comparative advantage.
  3. Marginalism and diminishing marginal returns.
  4. The role of the price system in exploiting the fragmented knowledge and coordinating the productive efforts of millions and billions of people in the nationwide and worldwide economy. The task includes allocating resources between the present and the future. The midget economy of the Swiss Family Robinson on its desert island contrasts instructively with the vast capitalist world of diverse resources, abilities, and preferences.
  5. “Economic calculation,” which is more than the mere dovetailing of such activities as automobile production and tire production, suitably proportioned. It refers, further, to producing the chosen amount of each good and service at minimum sacrifice of other desired things. Efforts at such calculation without genuine markets and prices, whether in theory or in the real world, have failed.
  6. Money as an institution that vastly promotes specialization and gains from multilateral trade. Money prices express opportunity costs, convey information and incentives, and ration scarce resources and goods.
  7. Private property, innovation, and entrepreneurship as essential to a thriving economy.
  8. Refutation of fallacies that have contaminated policy for centuries, especially ones relating to international trade and to a supposed self-regulation of money — the “real-bills doctrine” that the money supply will be correct if based on short-term bank loans to finance the production or marketing of real goods.

Shared understanding does not end there. Economists agree that reality has “imperfections” in comparison with an imaginary perfectly working price system. Externalities, monopoly, inflation, recessions, mistakes, inadequate foresight — all do occur. Economists are tempted to damn reality for being real, and they agree on many such matters. Price inflation traces above all to creating too much money.

Recessions are episodes of snowballing impediments to transactions, and economists explain them in various ways. In no field do professionals totally agree. An example in macroeconomics is the opinion of central bankers worldwide, shared by many but not all economists, that 2% inflation — a halving of money’s purchasing power every 36 years — is a proper objective of policy and that lower inflation is a cause for concern. Some technically valid arguments do exist for chronic mild inflation, but they are not decisive. Economists disagree on the weights to be accorded to agreed considerations.

Disagreement on policy traces overwhelmingly to matters other than economics.

But disagreement makes news while agreement does not. Lack of total agreement parallels what also occurs in the natural sciences: total understanding and consensus never are reached; room always remains for further research. As in other disciplines, economists disagree, when they do, on details and at the “frontiers” of research but not on the basics.

Disagreement on policy traces overwhelmingly to matters other than economics. Economists are not equally bold in predicting the future. They (as well as political scientists) hold differing opinions about how well government and politics function. Scientific issues join in policy disagreement, as about how serious a problem global warming is.

Economists are not equally knowledgeable about history, as about periods of advance and stagnation, crises, recessions, and monetary systems. Historical knowledge is valuable for making judgments about prospective population growth and technical and other innovation, but agreement cannot be expected to the extent that it can be expected on the basics of economics.

Psychology is sometimes at issue. Not all economists have the same understanding of people’s psychological quirks and of whether policy “nudges” might improve their decisionmaking.

Economists sometimes yield to wishful thinking. An example is the belief that proposed tax-rate cuts will so stimulate economic activity as to increase, not reduce, tax revenues.

Sociological questions arise, such as whether and to what extent welfare programs foster a culture of dependency and undermine the traditional family. So do issues of ethics and social philosophy, as about inequality of wealth and income, concern for future generations, how progressive the tax structure should be, whether the estate tax is fair, and what claims poor people at home and abroad are entitled to make on the more fortunate. “Bleeding-heart libertarians” do exist and have a web site of that name.

Like other people, economists sometimes yield to wishful thinking. An example is the belief that proposed tax-rate cuts will so stimulate economic activity as to increase, not reduce, tax revenues. Such a belief does not mean rejection of economic principles; in rare circumstances, that happy result could occur.

Career advancement can be a factor. Some economists seek distinction in cleverly working on the “frontiers” of research, in deploying impressive mathematics, or in finding exceptions to generally agreed applications of basic principles. Alternatively, some may be paid for rationalizations about policy that selectively emphasize some valid principles while disregarding (though not denying) others.

Some economists, perhaps seeking influence and fame, make compromises by taking account of political feasibility (i.e., votes), endorsing policies other than those they truly consider best. Full honesty would require openly acknowledging what they are doing (see Clarence Philbrook’s eloquent article in the American Economic Review, December 1953).

If enough demand exists, wouldn’t private enterprise satisfy it, and in a less costly and otherwise more suitable part of town?

Not all so-called economists are real ones who have completed graduate studies in the field and try to keep up with and occasionally contribute to the professional literature. It is not enough to hold an economics-related government position or to be prominent on TV. Disagreement among such people shouldn’t be allowed to disparage the professionals.

The most basic economic principles concern scarcity and opportunity cost. The city council of Auburn, Alabama, has voted to build an outdoor ice-skating rink downtown, where it will gobble up scarce parking space, worsen traffic problems, and otherwise inconvenience nonskaters. Evidently the council has not made a full cost-benefit analysis. Might not the money be better spent for other city purposes or left to taxpayers for their own purposes? How intense, anyway, is the demand for ice-skating here in the Deep South, where, by the way, the ice would have to be artificial? If enough demand exists, wouldn’t private enterprise satisfy it, and in a less costly and otherwise more suitable part of town?

I conjecture that the city council simply agreed with someone’s idea that a rink would be a good thing. So why not build it? It is easy to forget asking how desirable it would be and how great the opportunity cost in sacrifice of other public or private use of resources.

Disregard of opportunity cost is disregard for a principle accepted by all economists.

Such blitheness about opportunity cost shows up on the big-city and national levels. If a proposed museum would be nice or another overseas military base would seem to be a wise precaution, why not vote for it? A new sports stadium might please the fans, and consultants will conceive of side benefits for nearby restaurants, so why not support it with city money? An individual legislator pays practically nothing himself and might gain some votes.

James L. Payne shows how disregard of opportunity cost supports thinking that government money is somehow “free” (The Culture of Spending, 1991). Lobbyists not only for governors and mayors but also for industries swarm Washington seeking local projects and grants of money. Understandably, witnesses calling for such favors in congressional hearings far outnumber those who dissent. A similar explanation applies to firms and industries seeking protection from competition. But disregard of opportunity cost is disregard for a principle accepted by all economists.

Nothing said here denies that economists have expertise in contributing to policy judgments and that they — and quasi-economists — often disagree. Such disagreement rarely hinges on core principles and does not excuse disregarding them. Specialists cannot and should not have the decisive vote on policy, but that judgment does not excuse neglecting the basic principles that concern everybody and on which economists emphatically do agree.

Overlawyered

D.C.’s childcare credentialism, cont’d
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

From Jarrett Dieterle and Shoshana Clara Weissmann of R Street Institute in a comment on a Washington, D.C. government rulemaking (see earlier): Even in a nation overwhelmed by well-intentioned but misguided occupational licensing laws, the District of Columbia’s childcare degree requirement has achieved particular notoriety. … Specifically, the requirement that childcare workers obtain an associate […]

D.C.’s childcare credentialism, cont’d is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Federal judges and trial experience
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Ken White sheds light on the current flap about a nominee for U.S. District Court who hasn’t argued a motion and had trouble at a hearing identifying some reasonably well-known elements of current federal civil procedure. As Ken points out, those gaps are in some ways much more serious in an aspirant for the trial […]

Federal judges and trial experience is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Labor and employment roundup
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Spotted in Senate tax bill: what sounds like an excellent proposal to cut off worker-classification lawsuits [Shu-Yi Oei and Diane M. Ring (who take a very different view of the provision) via Caron/TaxProf] Federalist Society convention video on future of federal workplace agencies with Alex Acosta and Nicholas Geale of DoL, Victoria Lipnic of EEOC, […]

Labor and employment roundup is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Ted Folkman, “Some Thoughts On Consumer Arbitration”
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

The campaign against consumer arbitration has sought over the years to establish a number of propositions: that the process favors business over consumers, that the arbitrator is in the pocket of the corporate repeat player, that you can’t get discovery in arbitration, that arbitration is unfairly secretive, and so forth. Ted Folkman, who in addition […]

Ted Folkman, “Some Thoughts On Consumer Arbitration” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Can online media resist “creeping censorship” from EU?
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

Pressure from EU to keep extreme speech off social media risks “creeping censorship” affecting users in the U.S. How can and should companies push back? [Danielle Citron, Cato Policy Analysis] Tags: Europe, Facebook, free speech, Google, hate speech, social media

Can online media resist “creeping censorship” from EU? is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Philadelphia may ban bulletproof glass in delis
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Today the Philadelphia city council may vote on a bill to ban bulletproof glass at hundreds of small delis. My New York Post take: are they crazy? “Have you ever been served food at a sit-down restaurant establishment through a solid barrier? That is not acceptable.” There’s an “indignity” to it, she adds, and it […]

Philadelphia may ban bulletproof glass in delis is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

“Last-Minute Whistle-Blowing Before An Expected Termination to Create A ‘Retaliation’ Claim”
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Some lawyers actually train potential clients to find something to blow the whistle on when the prospect of termination is nigh. “But perhaps in the future this may change and ambush firings will become the norm to avoid this kind of thing.” [Coyote] Tags: retaliation, whistleblowers

“Last-Minute Whistle-Blowing Before An Expected Termination to Create A ‘Retaliation’ Claim” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

December 13 roundup
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Cakes and coercion: “Endorse the state’s right to coerce speech or conscience and you have ceded a principle that can so easily come back to haunt you.” [Andrew Sullivan, New York mag] “The legal course has some advantages. You can use state power, ultimately the barrel of a gun, to compel people to do what […]

December 13 roundup is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Conservative Tribune

Fmr FCC Chair Takes Down Cocky MSNBC Anchor on Hysteria Over Net Neutrality
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission voted this week along party lines, 3-2, to roll back “net neutrality” regulations imposed in 2015 by former President Barack Obama, and just like that, ill-informed liberal heads exploded as they exclaimed the internet was now destroyed, Armageddon had arrived and so on. Of course, that simply isn’t the case, and…

The post Fmr FCC Chair Takes Down Cocky MSNBC Anchor on Hysteria Over Net Neutrality appeared first on Conservative Tribune.

General Says “Gloves Are Off,” Sets New Record Unleashing Hell on Taliban
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

America’s longest serving bomber, the U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, just set a new record under the Trump administration. In a combat mission last month, the U.S. bomber unleashed a fury of 19 Joint Direct Attack Munitions on the Taliban in the Hemland Province in Afghanistan. The bombs targeted money making products that have helped finance the…

The post General Says “Gloves Are Off,” Sets New Record Unleashing Hell on Taliban appeared first on Conservative Tribune.

Islamic Tolerance: Miss Iraq Forced to Flee Country Because of Selfie With Miss Israel
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

In an epic showing of just how tolerant Islamists are of anyone who dares defy their strict religious and political beliefs, an Iraqi beauty queen was recently forced out of the country over an apparently unacceptable, death-worthy photograph. Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, and her family had to flee their homeland after receiving death threats over…

The post Islamic Tolerance: Miss Iraq Forced to Flee Country Because of Selfie With Miss Israel appeared first on Conservative Tribune.

The New American

Franken Replacement in Senate Is Former MN Planned Parenthood VP
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

franken-replacement-in-senate-is-former-mn-planned-parenthood-vp

The woman replacing Senator Al Franken is a former vice president with Minnesota’s Planned Parenthood franchise.

Pornographic Books for Kids Spark School Board War
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

pornographic-books-for-kids-spark-school-board-war

A series of wildly inappropriate books forced on school children in California turned into a war between concerned parents who want to be notified, on one side, and tax-funded proponents of sexualizing children without parental consent on the other.

Chicago Politician Requests Child-raping UN Troops ... in America
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

chicago-politician-requests-child-raping-un-troops-in-america

Under the guise of stopping “gun violence” and “genocide,” a fringe County Commissioner in Cook County, Illinois, went to New York City to request that the United Nations deploy “peacekeeping” troops in Chicago. Seriously. These would be the same ruthless soldiers who have come under fire around the world for systemic rape of children, spreading deadly diseases, murdering unarmed protesters, overthrowing elected leaders, waging war on Africans who did not want to live under a Soviet-backed dictator, and countless other atrocities — especially atrocities targeting black people, and always perpetrated with impunity.

Why the California Wildfires Are Not Due to So-called Climate Change
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

why-the-california-wildfires-are-not-due-to-so-called-climate-change

The wildfires currently ongoing in California are not due to global warming. They are a natural occurrence, the tragic aspects of which are caused, at least in part, by poor governmental decisions.

Trump Nominates LGBT Activist to Head EEOC — Which Shouldn’t Even Exist
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

trump-nominates-lgbt-activist-to-head-eeoc-which-shouldn-t-even-exist

In yet another swamp victory, the Trump administration has decided to re-nominate a radical LGBT activist and Obama-era holdover for commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — a bureaucracy that shouldn’t even exist.

Hoover Institution

3Q: Institute Professor John Deutch On Maintaining US Leadership In Technological Innovation
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Image credit: 
istock
In the News
via MIT News

Putting limits on foreign students or technical publications would be counterproductive, write Deutch and Condoleezza Rice.

Independent Institute

FDA Greenlights Testing ‘Ecstasy’ for PTSD Therapy
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

MDMA, more commonly called “ecstasy” or “Molly,” is an illicit substance often taken to induce euphoria. The Controlled Substance Act considers MDMA a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which has no known medicinal benefits and a high likelihood of abuse. Penalties for using or distributing MDMA are considerably high even for a Schedule 1 substance....
Read More »

New Blood-Pressure Guidelines Raise Concerns about Interest-Group Lobbying
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

On November 13, millions of Americans had high blood pressure for the first time. It wasn’t even Thanksgiving. That day the American College of Cardiology (ACC), working with the American Heart Association (AHA), released new guidelines regarding what constitutes high blood pressure. Since 2003, a reading below 140/90 was considered normal. Now, any blood...
Read More »

A Reconsideration of “The Personal Is Political”
Posted on Tuesday December 12, 2017

“The personal is political” is a slogan that has been around for a long time, used especially though not exclusively by radical feminists. In practice it has served as an exhortation that people make ideology the sole dimension of their personal identity, that they set aside all other bases on which to evaluate their...
Read More »

Against the Maternal State
Posted on Monday December 11, 2017

In the late nineteenth century, many Americans took pride in living in a country that boasted so much freedom. In describing their society and polity, they often contrasted them with what they called paternalism, which they believed was the rule in certain European countries, such as Germany, where a proto-welfare state began to be...
Read More »

Fundamental Principles of Income Tax Reform
Posted on Thursday December 07, 2017

As 2017 was rushing to its end, the U.S. House and Senate passed different versions of income tax reform legislation, one of the Trump Administration’s top policy priorities. If a reconciled bill emerges from conference committee and is approved by majorities in both chambers of Congress before year’s end, the legislative effort would fulfill...
Read More »

Mises.org

A Word of Thanks, Lew
Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Many Mises.org readers know that Lew Rockwell, founder of the Mises Institute and quiet benefactor to countless individuals in libertarian circles over the decades, continues to recover from a recent back injury. While the episode has not quelled his enthusiasm for liberty, recovery is no picnic.

Apparently medicine remains in the Dark Ages when it comes to backs, especially lower backs. Some treatments are sketchy and unreliable, cortisone injections provide only fleeting benefit, pain management is fraught with nausea and other nasty side effects, and surgical options portend Armageddon. All that said, Lew is in great hands with innovators at Emory University (yes, xenophobes, we have wonderful doctors down South) and feeling much better. A procedure performed earlier this week appears to have yielded tremendous benefit, and we expect Lew back at 100% very soon.

My point in writing this is twofold: first, to update friends and supporters of the Institute on Lew’s progress, and second to remind all of us of the tremendous debt of gratitude we owe him.

Let me risk Lew’s wrath by sharing a few personal details about him.

Few people know that his much older brother was killed as a young pilot during World War II—by friendly fire. The family never fully recovered, of course, and the event instilled a deep antiwar sentiment in Lew as a boy even though he could not fully grasp the depth of the tragedy and his parents' grief. And while he grew up as a Taft and later a Goldwater conservative, Lew soured on the GOP during the Nixon era and dismissed it as a hopeless and even malevolent force.

Lew and Mardi Rockwell are adoptive parents to a wonderful special needs daughter, who came into the world lacking the devoted parental care she would need. It was Ron Paul who brought her to Lew’s attention, and with his medical partner, facilitated everything.

I’m always puzzled when Lew is attacked as a “right winger,” especially by libertarians. This is a charge made by those who insist on attaching a left-cultural component onto political libertarianism, and thus find Lew’s commitment to his Catholic faith and the natural rights tradition suspicious if not disqualifying. But political liberty is about state power, not extra-libertarian cultural preferences. Lew’s America would allow any and all voluntary social arrangements; that he would not endorse all of them is beside the point.

As mentioned above, his antiwar bona fides are beyond reproach. He opposed the vicious war on Vietnam, and was, and remains, among the earliest and most effective voices against the (latest round of) US wars in the Middle East. While conservatives, progressives, and many libertarians spent 2003 and 2004 merely debating the parameters of Uncle Sam’s domination in Iraq and Afghanistan, LewRockwell.com was busy decrying empire altogether. The silence from those who clamor endlessly about “brown people,” by contrast, was deafening.

For his troubles he was labeled an “unpatriotic conservative” by none other than the deplorably un self-aware David Frum, writing in the addled pages of National Review. At least Lew was in good company, as our great friend Justin Raimondo was attacked in the article as well. Lew never accepted either the stated aims of these invasions nor the pyramid of corpses they wrought. He has been consistently friendly toward the cause of self-determination in the Islamic world, always seeking to understand and ameliorate conflicts between religions and civilizations through his advocacy of peaceful trade and diplomacy (see, e.g., this terrific conversation about Islam and capitalism).  

We need not delve into decades of Lew’s written work to dispense with the right-wing charge, as his seminal article “The Reality of Red State Fascism” does the job in one neat package. It is hard to imagine Code Pink or Salon issuing a more damning indictment of the Bush II era—and in fact they could not, because they lacked Lew’s ability to capably diagnose modern conservatism.

More than anything, we owe Lew gratitude for having the foresight to create the Mises Institute in 1982. It was his relationships with people like Margit von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, Ron Paul, and Leonard Read that finally convinced him to give up a far more lucrative think-tank career and undertake the thankless task of building a radical new organization.

Without a salary, without a building, and without wealthy benefactors, Lew set about using his typewriter and kitchen table to put Austrian economics back on the map. Remember that while Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State and the famous South Royalton conference both helped resuscitate the flagging Austrian school in the 1960s and 70s, the landscape for Austro-libertarian thought remained extremely challenging. The creation of the Mises Institute provided a sorely-needed beacon of hope and visibility. Henry Hazlitt especially appreciated Lew’s “giving Murray a platform.”

In the 35 years since, many thousands of individuals, students, and scholars from every walk of life have benefited from the organization Lew created. It put Austrian economics online and made its foundational texts available free to all. He created undergraduate and graduate programs that helped launch hundreds of careers.

Quietly, always working behind the scenes, Lew helped (and continues to help) countless Austrian and libertarian scholars with paid jobs, stipends, speaking fees, scholarships, tuition assistance, research fellowships, book publishing, office space, library access, letters of recommendation, and travel expenses. In sum, he provided much-needed help for libertarian intellectuals to grow and make a name for themselves.

It’s no exaggeration to say many of those individuals would not have succeeded without the help of Lew and the Mises Institute. Lew’s beneficiaries work at organizations across the libertarian spectrum, including many well-known people at:

American Institute for Economic Research
Campaign for Liberty
Cato Institute
George Mason University
Grove City College
Hillsdale College
Independent Institute
Institute for Humane Studies
Libertas Institute
Loyola University New Orleans
Mercatus Center
Mises Brasil
Mises Canada
Mises Deutschland
Mises UK
Mont Pelerin Society
Nevada Policy Research Institute
Property and Freedom Society
Ron Paul Institute
Society for the Development of Austrian Economics
Students for Liberty
University of Angers
Universidad Francisco Marroquín
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Young Americans for Liberty

As Dr. Gary North points out, Lew has proven unique in his ability to raise money and build a viable libertarian organization without compromising on principle or watering down the message. He deserves appreciation for helping to right the Austro-libertarian ship, for creating an intellectual space to consider anarcho-capitalism, and for resisting the siren song of “public policy” and deep-pocketed donors with agendas. He provided an intellectual home for Rothbard and Hoppe, Salerno and Gordon, Raico and Hülsmann, De Soto and Klein, Herbener and Thornton, Woods and Murphy, and many more, plus thousands of lay readers of mises.org just like you. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.

The Progressive Era
Posted on Thursday November 09, 2017

Progressivism brought the triumph of institutionalized racism, the disfranchising of blacks in the South, the cutting off of immigration, the building up of trade unions by the federal government into a tripartite of big government, big business, big union alliance, the glorifying of military virtues and conscription, and a drive for American expansion abroad. In short, the Progressive era ushered the modern American politico-economic system into being.

From the Preface by Murray N. Rothbard

Busting Myths About the State and the Libertarian Alternative
Posted on Monday August 14, 2017

In non-technical terms, the libertarian is simply someone who is against the use of force against peaceful people in civil society. You would think that this would be a universally accepted idea but, as will be discussed in greater depth in this paper, to believe in government as we know it is to be at odds with this idea.

Walter E Williams

Moral Values and Customs vs. Laws for 12/13/2017
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

I'm approaching my 82nd birthday, and my daughter will occasionally suggest that modernity is perplexing to me because I'm from prehistoric times. As such, it points to one of the unavoidable problems of youth — namely, the temptation to think that today's behavioral standards have always been. Let's look at a few of the differences between yesteryear and today.

One of those differences is the treatment of women. There are awesome physical strength differences between men and women. To create and maintain civil relationships between the sexes is to drum into boys, starting from very young ages, that they are not to use violence against a woman for any reason. Special respect is given women. Yesteryear even the lowest of lowdown men would not curse or use foul language to or in the presence of women. To see a man sitting on a crowded bus or trolley car while a woman is standing used to be unthinkable. It was deemed common decency for a man to give up his seat for a woman or elderly person.

Updated: Wed Dec 13, 2017

Independence Hypocrisy for 12/06/2017
Posted on Wednesday December 06, 2017

Officials in Catalonia, Spain's richest and most highly industrialized region, whose capital is Barcelona, recently held a referendum in which there was a 92 percent vote in favor of independence from Spain. The Spanish authorities opposed the referendum and claimed that independence is illegal. Catalans are not the only Europeans seeking independence. Some Bavarian people are demanding independence from Germany, while others demand greater autonomy. Germany's Federal Constitutional Court ruled: "In the Federal Republic of Germany ... states are not 'masters of the constitution.' ... Therefore, there is no room under the constitution for individual states to attempt to secede. This violates the constitutional order."

Germany has done in Bavaria what Spain and Italy, in its Veneto region, have done; it has upheld the integrity of state borders. There is an excellent article written by Joseph E. Fallon, a research associate at the UK Defence Forum, titled "The Catalan Referendum, regional pressures, the EU, and the 'Ghosts' of Eastern Europe" (http://tinyurl.com/y8dnj6s6). Fallon writes that by doing what it's doing in Bavaria, "Berlin is violating international law on national self-determination. It denies to Bavaria what it granted to the 19 states that seceded from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. In fact, Germany rushed to be first to recognize the independence of Slovenia and Croatia." It did that, according to Beverly Crawford, an expert on Europe at the University of California, Berkeley, "in open disregard of (a European Community) agreement to recognize the two states under EC conditionality requirements."

Updated: Wed Dec 06, 2017

Black Self-Sabotage for 11/29/2017
Posted on Wednesday November 29, 2017

The educational achievement of white youngsters is nothing to write home about, but that achieved by blacks is nothing less than disgraceful. Let's look at a recent example of an educational outcome all too common. In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore's 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the state's mathematics exam. In six other high schools, only 1 percent tested proficient in math. In raw numbers, 3,804 Baltimore students took the state's math test, and 14 tested proficient (http://tinyurl.com/y7f56kg2). Citywide, only 15 percent of Baltimore students passed the state's English test.

Last spring, graduation exercises were held at one Baltimore high school, 90 percent of whose students received the lowest possible math score. Just one student came even close to being proficient. Parents and family members applauded the conferring of diplomas. Some of the students won achievement awards and college scholarships (http://tinyurl.com/ydb3v2ya). Baltimore is by no means unique. It's a small part of the ongoing education disaster for black students across the nation. Baltimore schools are not underfunded. Of the nation's 100 largest school systems, Baltimore schools rank third in spending per pupil (http://tinyurl.com/ybzglbyp).

Updated: Wed Nov 29, 2017

Anti-War

More Yazidi Victims Found in Mass Graves; 97 Killed in Iraq
Posted on Saturday December 16, 2017

Despite recent declarations concerning the defeat of the Islamic State, Iraqi forces launched a new operation against the militants in a region around Metabijh. At least 97 people were killed or found dead, and six people were wounded: A pair of mass graves in Sinjar yielded about 90 Yazidi victims, mostly women and children. Locals … Continue reading "More Yazidi Victims Found in Mass Graves; 97 Killed in Iraq"

The post More Yazidi Victims Found in Mass Graves; 97 Killed in Iraq appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

Towards a New Palestinian Beginning
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

Now that the American mask has completely fallen, Palestinians require an urgent rethink in their own political priorities, alliances and national liberation strategy. Business should not go on as usual after US President Donald Trump accepted Israel’s definition of Jerusalem as its capital, thus violating the overwhelming international consensus on the matter. The Fatah movement, … Continue reading "Towards a New Palestinian Beginning"

The post Towards a New Palestinian Beginning appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

Why Leave Well Enough Alone in Jerusalem?
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

“Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” President Donald Trump said. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.” Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital, reversing some seven decades of American policy, is arguably the most unnecessary decision of his time in office, and the clearest … Continue reading "Why Leave Well Enough Alone in Jerusalem?"

The post Why Leave Well Enough Alone in Jerusalem? appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

The FBI Is Not Your Friend
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

One of the unfortunate ironies of the manufactured “Russiagate” controversy is the perception of the FBI as a friend of liberty and justice. But the FBI has never been a friend of liberty and justice. Rather, as James Bovard writes, it “has a long record of both deceit and incompetence. Five years ago, Americans learned … Continue reading "The FBI Is Not Your Friend"

The post The FBI Is Not Your Friend appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

Suicide Bomber Attacks Militia; 15 Killed in Iraq
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

A suicide bomber near Samarra attacked militiamen.

The post Suicide Bomber Attacks Militia; 15 Killed in Iraq appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

Dozens of Sunnis Executed on Terror Charges; 53 Killed in Iraq
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

Iraq executed dozens of Sunnis convicted on terror charges.

The post Dozens of Sunnis Executed on Terror Charges; 53 Killed in Iraq appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

On Aug. 9, 1974, Richard Nixon bowed to the inevitability of impeachment and conviction by a Democratic Senate and resigned. The prospect of such an end for Donald Trump has this city drooling. Yet, comparing Russiagate and Watergate, history is not likely to repeat itself. First, the underlying crime in Watergate, a break-in to wiretap … Continue reading "Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly"

The post Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

Peace on the Far Side of Nuclear Weapons
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

“. . . real security can only be shared . . .” I call it news in a cage: the fact that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. In other words, how nice, but it has nothing to do with the real stuff going on across … Continue reading "Peace on the Far Side of Nuclear Weapons"

The post Peace on the Far Side of Nuclear Weapons appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

A Wider World of War
Posted on Thursday December 14, 2017

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Ambassadors of the traditional kind? Who needs them? Diplomats? What a waste! The State Department? Why bother? Its budget is to be slashed and its senior officials are leaving in droves ever since Donald Trump entered the Oval Office. Under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, hiring is frozen, which means those … Continue reading "A Wider World of War"

The post A Wider World of War appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

ISIS Attacks Troops, Mass Grave Found; 68 Killed in Iraq
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Militants staged an attack on Iraqi troops near the Syrian border.

The post ISIS Attacks Troops, Mass Grave Found; 68 Killed in Iraq appeared first on Antiwar.com Original.

Volokh Conspiracy

[Eugene Volokh] It's so right that it usually doesn't happen
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

One Ostap Karmodi (whom I don't know personally) writes this very nice comment on his Russian-language Facebook page:

The Volokh Conspiracy has moved to the site of Reason Magazine. This is so right, that in life it usually doesn't happen.

Спасибо большое.

Egor Perov's comment to the same post also teaches me how to say "paywall" in Russian. (They didn't have those in 1975, when I left.) It's пейволл -- which, for those, who don't read Cyrillics, is just a transliteration of "paywall." One thing I like about modern Russian is how willing Russians are to ruthlessly borrow words from other languages, changing them only to suit Russian pronunciation: practicality over purism. They're like English speakers this way.

Zero Hedge

Trump Attorney Quashes Rumors Of Impending Mueller Firing

An Attorney for President Trump has vehemently denied rumors that special counsel Robert Mueller will be fired over revelations of politically motivated malfeasance by the FBI towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump, including disturbing text messages which were sent between top FBI investigators implying the Trump-Russia investigation may have been launched as an "insurance" policy in the event Trump won the 2016 election. Furthermore, GOP lawmakers have asserted that FBI top brass relied on a salacious and unverified "dossier" to launch the Trump-Russia investigation. Also noted by critics is the fact that Robert Mueller's "right hand man," Aaron Zebley represented Clinton IT staffer Justin Cooper - a Bill Clinton aide who "jerry-rigged" Hillary Clinton's "private, illegal" server in her Chappaqua home. 


Peter Strzok, Robert Mueller, Ty Cobb

Despite all of that, Trump attorney Ty Cobb told Politico, "As the White House has repeatedly and emphatically said for months, there is no consideration at the White House of terminating the special counsel.” 

Earlier in the day we reported that Trump transition team attorney Kory Langhofer sent a seven-page complaint to House and Senate oversight committees investigating the 2016 election to lodge a complaint that the special counsel improperly obtained "many tens of thousands" of emails from the Trump transition team from the General Services Administration - the government agency responsible for setting up and administering the transition email system which uses a "ptt.gov" address. Kanghofer says these emails were obtained through "unlawful conduct," and that the Trump team had been segregating emails with "Executive Privilege" in anticipation of giving the rest to Mueller's team. 

On Friday, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said there was a rumor floating around DC that President Trump will fire Mueller before Christmas, but after congress leaves for winter recess

“The rumor on the Hill when I left yesterday was that the president was going to make a significant speech at the end of next week. And on Dec. 22, when we are out of D.C., he was going to fire Robert Mueller," Speier told California's KQED News.

"We can read between the lines I think," Speier told KQED, adding "I believe this president wants all of this shut down. He wants to shut down these investigations, and he wants to fire special counsel Mueller."

Speier joined Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) over concerns that the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation would be shut down by the end of the year. 

Reps Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA)

Schiff shot off a series of nine tweets explaining why he's "increasingly worried Republicans will shut down the House Intelligence Committee investigation," pointing to the fact that "Republicans have scheduled no witnesses after next Friday and none in 2017. We have dozens of outstanding witnesses on key aspects of our investigation that they refuse to contact and many document requests they continue to sit on." 

Read the rest by clicking on Schiff's tweet and scrolling down. 

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders denied rumors that President Trump was considering firing Mueller in October, stating "There is no intention or plan to make any changes in regards to the special counsel," adding "I think we should let the process play through before we start looking at that."

Perhaps GOP lawmakers would be more comfortable with Mueller's special counsel if Attorney General Jeff Sessions would appoint a second special counsel to investigate the FBI? Alas, it looks like that may be nothing more than wishful thinking for the time being. 

Beacon

Dirty Dozen: Court Reporter
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

"Before you bust out your shorthand, you have to get a license to be a court reporter in Tennessee."

Dirty Dozen: Optician
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

The majority of states don’t require a license to be an optician, and it doesn’t appear that those states’ citizens suffer from greater eyesight woes.

Beacon Releases 2017 Pork Report
Posted on Tuesday December 12, 2017

The Pork Report Exposes Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Tennessee government.

Dirty Dozen: Pest Control Applicator
Posted on Friday December 08, 2017

When it comes to pest control applicators, it’s time for Tennessee to exterminate these overly burdensome education and training mandates.

Beacon Center and IJ File Lawsuit to Legalize Music in Nashville Home
Posted on Tuesday December 05, 2017

Read about the Beacon Center's latest lawsuit.

Shaw and Raynor vs. the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
Posted on Tuesday December 05, 2017

Who would have thought it would be illegal to make music in Nashville? Unfortunately, the city’s ban on home-based businesses means local musicians, hairstylists and other aspiring entrepreneurs face steep fines and potential imprisonment if any customers physically come to their homes to do business. Nashville residents Lij Shaw and Pat Raynor have both lived...

Dirty Dozen: Athletic Trainer
Posted on Monday December 04, 2017

We do not need two different licenses for athletic trainers and physical therapists.

Counterpoint: Addressing criticisms of our megasite boondoggle article
Posted on Friday December 01, 2017

 They also don’t ask the government to buy them the wheels and engine. They buy the whole car themselves.

Beacon Center Announces Launch of Advocacy Organization 
Posted on Wednesday November 29, 2017

The Beacon Center of Tennessee announced the formation of Beacon Impact, a new 501(c)(4) organization that will serve as the think tank’s advocacy partner. 

Don’t Believe the Hype on Homesharing Opposition
Posted on Tuesday November 28, 2017

The Tennessean poll should cause city leaders to think twice before heeding those unreasonable demands.

reason.com

What The GOP Tax Bill Means For Libertarians
Posted on Friday December 15, 2017

With Republican tax reform almost a sure thing, the nation is poised to experience the most sweeping and significant changes to the tax code since the late 1980s. But are those changes—including lower corporate and individual rates, reductions in some longstanding deductions, and almost certainly trillions of dollars in new national debt—good from a libertarian perspective. Chris Edwards, director of tax policy at the CATO Institute, likes most of what he sees on the corporate side of reform. But when it comes to individual tax policy, he tells Reason's Nick Gillespie, "It's basically reassembling deck chairs on a really messy and horribly complex system." Edited by Ian Keyser. Music by _ghost, lisenced under Creative Commons CC BY 3.0 US.

Grover Norquist: GOP Tax Bill Is Good Enough For Now (He's Planning to 'Whine Later')
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

Tax reform bills have been approved by both the Republican-controlled House and Senate. Most observers believe the different versions will be reconciled into legislation representing the most thoroughgoing and consequential changes to the U.S. tax code since the late 1980s. To get a sense of the good, the bad, and the ugly of tax reform (there's plenty of each) Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Grover Norquist, the longtime head of Americans for Tax Reform and arguably the most influential activist over the past 30 years when it comes arguing for lower taxes.

Everything You Wanted To Know About The Volokh Conspiracy: Podcast
Posted on Wednesday December 13, 2017

"Intellectual honesty isn't just refraining from lying," says UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh in the newest Reason Podcast. "It's mentioning the arguments against you and explaining why you think that they're mistaken, as opposed to just omitting them, hoping that the audience isn't going to catch on." Volokh is the founder of The Volokh Conspiracy, "one of the most widely read legal blogs in the United States" and "has more influence in the field—and more direct impact—than most law reviews." The blog is written by mostly libertarian and libertarian-leaning law professors and court watchers, so we're excited as hell at Reason to now be hosting the Volokh Conspiracy on our website. It will remain editorially and intellectually independent from Reason, though all of our readers will find much of interest and value in its content, which ranges from in-depth yet accessible glosses on the most important legal cases of the moment to disquisitions on pop culture. In a wide-ranging interview about The Volokh Conspiracy, Volokh discussed the site's aims, why he thinks the government is sometimes right to force business owners to serve customers they don't like, and his high opinion (so far) of Donald Trump's appointments to the federal judiciary.

Trump vs. Weigel—Shudder, Giggle, or Both?: Podcast
Posted on Monday December 11, 2017

At some point, a person becomes numb to weird headlines emanating from this White House, but boy, does this one just scream out "2017": "Trump calls for the Washington Post to fire Dave Weigel." Also on today's show: Is abortion a good reason to vote for Roy Moore? Did Al Franken get a raw deal? Can the feds smother bitcoin? And should we go ahead and genocide the Ewoks?

These Three Cases Define This Month at the Supreme Court Term: Podcast
Posted on Friday December 08, 2017

The Supreme Court's docket is jammed with important cases if you care about individual liberty and limited government, none more so than Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado, which pits religious expression against anti-discrimination laws, Carpenter v. United States, a case with massive implications for warrantless surveillance and tracking, and Christie v. NCAA, which challenges the ability of the federal government to "commandeer" state officials. In the latest Reason Podcast, Nick Gillespie talks with Senior Editor Damon Root, the author of the widely praised Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court, about significance of these cases and their likely outcomes based on recent oral arguments. Root also analyzes how new Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch is likely to influence the decisions and how Donald Trump's picks for the federal judiciary are shaping up.