A note from the publisher

It's fundraiser update time and that means a web-only Friday — read your fill of the day's news, commentary and audio/video links at:


Thanks to KM, JJJ, LB, CJTS, WSS3, and TLFC! Their combined $63 in one-time donations and monthly subscriber contributions this last week bring our year-end fundraiser total to $2,793.50 versus our goal of $5,000!

$2,206.50 to go, and only a month and a half to get there. If you value the freedom movement's daily newspaper and haven't got around to returning some of that value as the financial support that keeps us going, please take the time to do so at:


Have a great weekend and we'll be back with the regular email edition on Monday.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily

US House passes GOP tax bill

Source: CBS News

"House Republicans on Thursday afternoon passed a massive package of corporate and individual tax cuts, holding a final vote on their highly-anticipated tax overhaul plan Thursday afternoon. Lawmakers approved it in a 227-205 vote. The bill would slash the corporate tax rate, cut taxes for individuals and reduce the number of tax brackets. … The Senate will also have to vote on its version, and then the two bills, if they both pass, would be reconciled in conference." (11/16/17)


Cosmopolitanism is the answer

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Peter J Boettke

"My answers to our current challenges are simple ones. Let’s begin at the beginning — which for the liberal is basic human equality. We are one another’s equals. There should be no confusion on this point. And if you are an advocate of liberalism and you find yourself 'standing' (metaphorically or literally) alongside anyone asserting the superiority of one group over another you should know you are in the wrong crowd and you need to move in opposition quickly to leave no doubt in their or other’s minds. Liberalism is liberal. It is an emancipation philosophy and a joyous celebration of the creative energy of diverse peoples near and far." (11/16/17)


Menendez faces Senate ethics probe after mistrial

Source: Politico

"The Senate Ethics Committee will resume its investigation into Sen. Bob Menendez, a move that came just hours after a mistrial was announced in the New Jersey Democrat's bribery and corruption case. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had called for an ethics probe of Menendez as soon as a mistrial was declared by U.S. District Judge William Walls. The deadlock in the criminal proceedings was a huge legal victory for Menendez, who grew emotional as he spoke about the case with reporters." (11/16/17)


Impeachment theater, 2017 edition

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

"If past performance an indicator of future results, performance — political theater — is really all we can expect here. Two past presidents — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — have been impeached. Neither was convicted. A third, Richard Nixon, might have been, but he resigned before the House could vote on impeachment." (11/16/17)


Judiciary Senators: Kushner was contacted about WikiLeaks, Russia ahead of election

Source: The Hill

"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Thursday disclosed that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner received an email about WikiLeaks in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. The two senators sent a letter to Kushner's lawyer Thursday demanding additional documents from Trump's son-in-law as part of the committee's ongoing investigation of Russia's election interference. In the letter, Grassley and Feinstein say Kushner received an email about WikiLeaks in September 2016 that he passed on to an official within President Trump’s campaign, in addition to communication about a 'Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite.'" (11/16/17)


We don't need the Department of Commerce

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Sheldon Richman

"The surest way to promote economic growth is to protect individual rights under the rule of law. As Adam Smith put it, 'Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.' The department’s mission goes beyond this modest Smithian program. If people are free to trade, they will trade. No government promotion is needed." (11/16/17)


GA: Idiot sheriff, deputies ordered to pay $3 million to victims of illegal mass drug search/child molestation party

Source: NBC News

"A group of Georgia high school students have reached a $3 million settlement against the Worth County Sheriff's Office after a judge ruled that law enforcement violated their civil rights by conducting a massive drug search without probable cause. A judge ordered former Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby and his deputies to pay the staggering settlement to the students. In April, Hobbs and his deputies spent hours at Worth County High School searching more than 800 students for drugs — and their search turned up empty. Attorneys from the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Atlanta-based civil rights firm Horsley Begnaud filed a class-action lawsuit against the sheriff's department on behalf of the students. According to the suit, deputies 'touched and manipulated students' breasts and genitals" and "inserted fingers inside girls' bras.' The suit also alleged that the searches revealed the students’ body parts." [hat tip — Reason] (11/15/17)


Regime change

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

"Robert Higgs, the great economic historian, coined the term 'regime uncertainty' to describe a situation in which investors lose confidence that their property rights as currently constituted will be respected by the government. Regime uncertainty makes productive economic activity difficult, because it inhibits long-term investment. If you believe, for example, that government may be about to violate the rights of landowners and embark on a land-redistribution scheme, then you have to think twice before building a factory on ten acres of land or investing $1 million in new equipment for a ten-section farm. Ask Robert Mugabe’s unhappy subjects how that works out. A less fundamental version of regime uncertainty is policy uncertainty. That happens when investors are fairly confident in basic property rights but fear that radical changes in public policy will alter the character of their investments or their enterprises in ways that make them unprofitable." (11/16/17)


Interior watchdog faults Zinke for incomplete travel records

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"The Interior Department's internal watchdog says Secretary Ryan Zinke has failed to keep complete records of his taxpayer-financed travel — hampering an investigation into his use of private charter flights for government business. Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall says her investigation 'has been delayed by absent or incomplete documentation for several pertinent trips and a review process that failed to include proper documentation.' Kendall said Interior employees have cooperated with her office, but said investigators have found that documentation and adherence to department policies are 'deficient and without proper management oversight and accountability.'" (11/16/17)