How anti-Clintonism gave birth to Trumpism

Source: The New Republic
by Alex Shephard

Joshua Green’s Devil’s Bargain is pitched as a book about Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive chairman who is now chief White House strategist, but it isn’t a biography per se. The now-familiar checkpoints of Bannon’s life—his working-class roots and Catholicism, his stints in the Navy (the source of his Islamophobia) and Goldman Sachs, and his stewardship of Breitbart—are mere fodder for an inevitable ending: the election of Donald Trump. Which is to say that Devil’s Bargain is really a campaign book. As a result, the mangy Wario disappears for large chunks of this relatively short book, which also covers the bizarre workings of the 'alt-Koch' billionaire Mercer family, the numerous institutions that have been created over the last three decades to take down the Clintons, and the inner workings of Trumpland prior to Bannon taking over the operation in August of 2016." (07/19/17)

House panel wants material from 2016 meeting

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"The House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat says the panel is reaching out to participants in a 2016 meeting between top Trump officials and people linked to Russia. California Rep. Adam Schiff says the committee is asking them for 'testimony and documents.' He says he wants to hear from everyone in the meeting, including Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Veselnitskaya told a Kremlin-funded RT television outlet Wednesday that she is ready to testify before the Senate. Both the House and Senate intelligence panels are investigating Russian meddling in the U.S. election." (07/19/17)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's pro-lawyer power grab

Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Iain Murray

"Imagine you have a dispute with your credit card company. Currently, you can go to an arbitration body, where the card company will almost certainly pay all your expenses, and you may get compensated in full, usually promptly. Now, thanks to a new rule, courtesy of the inaptly named Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the regulatory agency unleashed by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, that won’t happen. Instead, you’ll have to wait for trial lawyers to form a 'class' that includes you, wait years while the lawyers do whatever it is they do, probably never see court, and then rejoice in a small refund, while the lawyers pocket millions. It’s what passes for 'consumer protection' these days." (07/18/17)

Justin Trudeau masters the Trump two-step

Source: Reuters
by Jordan Michael Smith

"Speaking to the National Governors Association in Providence, Rhode Island, on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered an implicit rebuke to U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic ideas. 'Free trade has worked,' Trudeau said. 'It's working now.' This was just the latest instance of Trudeau’s deft handling of relations with the United States and its prickly president. Subtly criticizing President Trump’s policies, while speaking respectfully of Trump personally, Trudeau has successfully met one of the primary challenges for any Canadian prime minister and vanquished what remained of his image as little more than a pretty face. Most leaders who criticize Trump (and many who don’t) are subject to vicious remarks from the president. Just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose policy on refugees Trump derided as 'insane' and 'a catastrophic mistake,' or London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whom Trump called 'ignorant' for opposing Trump’s campaign proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. (Once in office, Trump modified the travel curbs to cover only certain Muslim-majority countries.)" (07/19/17)

Non-coercive collective decisionmaking: A Quaker perspective

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Robert Kirchner

"In previous articles in this symposium, a sticking-point has emerged, among both pro- and anti-democracy anarchists, concerning the presumed impossibility of a collective decision-making process that doesn’t resort to coercion. I believe the anti-democracy camp are rightly hung-up on this point; if collective decision-making is necessarily coercive, such a process cannot be reconciled with anarchism, where the core tenet is the rejection of coercion. On the other hand, this anti-democratic stance seems to betray a deep pessimism toward the very notion of community and to the possibility of collective action of any sort." (07/19/17)

Dems will soon regret GOP failed to repeal ObamaCare

Source: Investors Business Daily
by staff

"There were lots of celebrations on the left side of the aisle after the Senate GOP bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare died. The good times will be short lived, because one way or another ObamaCare is going away, and it's not at all clear that Democrats will gain additional leverage over what comes next by waiting for its collapse. It was amusing to hear Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say, after the Senate bill failed, that Republicans should 'work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets and improves our health care system.' Lower premiums, stabilize insurance markets, improve health care? Wasn't that what ObamaCare was supposed to do in the first place?" While Schumer and company were busy calling Republicans mass murderers, here's what was actually happening with ObamaCare." (07/18/17)

Report: North Korea firing squad carries out public executions in school yards

Source: Fox News

"Kim Jong Un's brutal North Korean regime shot so-called 'criminals' to death in schoolyards and fish markets in a twisted attempt to create an 'atmosphere of fear' throughout the dictatorship, a Wednesday report from a human rights group revealed. The report, released by The Transnational Justice Working Group in Seoul, gathered information from more than 300 North Korean refugees who witnessed the regime's firing squad executing criminals in public areas to attract large crowds and instill fear in its citizens. 'In ordinary areas outside the prison system, our interviewees stated that public executions take place near river banks, in river beds, near bridges, in public sports stadiums, in the local marketplace, on school grounds in the fringes of the city, or on mountainsides,' the report stated." (07/19/17)

The Venezuelan regime is playing "chicken," and Maduro might be on his way out

Source: PanAm Post
by Pedro Garcia Otero

"Venezuela is caught up in a very dangerous game today, as President Nicolás Maduro’s regime plays chicken with the country’s political opposition. Especially after the referendum on Sunday, July 16, in which an overwhelming majority of voters rejected Maduro’s attempt to alter the country’s constitution, the two sides are almost certainly moving toward a head-on collision unless someone turns the proverbial steering wheel. Whoever does is the loser, but will also most likely save the country. The stakes of the game involve nothing less than Maduro’s departure." (07/19/17)

Listen to my conversation with Sam Harris about President Trump

Scott Adams

Source: Scott Adams Blog
by Scott Adams

"By popular demand, I had a two-hour conversation with Sam Harris (a prominent Trump critic) about our different 'filters' on our new president. The Haters of Imaginary Events are out in force already. They imagine I said objectionable things during my conversation with Sam and they tweet about their hallucinations in anger. So far, no one has accurately stated my opinion before criticizing it. That’s a tell for cognitive dissonance. I’ll be making those monkeys dance today on my Twitter feed." [editor's note: Scott first appears at about 3:30, but Harris does a fair job of framing it all; however, be prepared for Sam to talk a lot as it goes (and to fail to counter most of what Adams says); it is LONG (over two hours) but well worth a listen – SAT] [Flash audio] (07/19/17)

Time to repeal Obamacare

Source: USA Today
by US Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

"There are those who insist Republicans must act as a team to repeal Obamacare. I agree — if the topic is repeal. Every Republican has run on repealing Obamacare for seven years, and all but one voted for clean repeal in 2015. Now we have a president who will sign it and is asking for us to send the same repeal bill to his desk, one that repeals with a two-year window to work with. We also have a majority leader who has said he will bring this vote to the Senate floor. I’m encouraged by the fact that the original bill, which did not keep our promises to repeal, is dead. It’s a great step forward that we plan to take up the 2015 repeal bill instead. Now it’s time to act on the things our team has stood for. I watched my colleagues campaign on repeal. I watched them vote on it in 2015. Now I’m calling for them to keep their promises, stick to the principles they ran on and voted on, and end the harm Obamacare has done to our healthcare system." [editor's note: I rarely find anything this man has to say all that worthy of note; this time he is spot on – SAT] (07/18/17)