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Preview: Cato Daily Podcast

Cato Daily Podcast

The Cato Daily Podcast allows Cato Institute scholars and other commenters to discuss relevant news and libertarian thought in a conversational, informal manner. Hosted by Caleb O. Brown.


Neo-Nazis to One Side, Antifa to the Other

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 07:00:00 -0400

A full-throated rejection of Nazism in its various forms doesn't compel anyone to ally with the strongly anti-liberal elements of the Antifa movement. Daniel McCarthy of The American Conservative discusses the sad events in Charlottesville.

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China Spells out Its (Limited) Commitments to North Korea

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:25:00 -0400

China has presented to the U.S. and North Korea its perceived commitments if the two countries decide to tangle. Chris Preble comments.

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Evaluating the Practical War Power of Presidents

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:46:00 -0400

What powers are granted to the President to make war? What are the costs and benefits of constraining it further? Gene Healy comments.

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School Choice, Public Schools, and Bigotry

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:03:00 -0400

The new attack on school choice appears to be claiming that proponents are bigoted in some way, or at least the roots of school choice arose from racist impulses. Neal McCluskey evaluates the bold claim.

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Preserving the Iran Nuclear Deal: Perils and Prospects

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:08:00 -0400

Since he started his bid for office, President Donald Trump has been a forceful detractor of the Iran nuclear deal, repeatedly vowing to dismantle it. But the nuclear deal affords the United States a number of opportunities. Ariane Tabatabai is author of "Preserving the Iran Nuclear Deal: Perils and Prospects."

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Chicago Sues Feds over Immigration Mandates

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 04:00:00 -0400

Chicago is suing the federal government over the withholding of funds if the city doesn't obey federal dictates on immigration. Alex Nowrasteh comments.

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The Soul of the First Amendment

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:06:00 -0400

What are the emerging threats to the rights enshrined by the First Amendment? Floyd Abrams' new book is The Soul of the First Amendment.

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The High Cost of Turning Local Cops into Immigration Cops

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:06:00 -0400

The 287(g) program allows local cops to become deputy federal law enforcers for immigration and the Trump Administration is working to expand it. The program's effectiveness so far is less than stellar. Matthew Feeney comments.

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Must E-Verify Go National?

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 13:52:00 -0400

The flawed E-Verify program is voluntary so far, but making the program mandatory would balloon the technical errors and due process problems while threatening to throw millions of Americans out of work. David Bier makes the case.

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Understanding the Opioid Crisis

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:50:00 -0400

Some misconceptions persist around opioids, addiction, and chemical dependence. Jeffrey Singer comments on the opioid crisis.

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Applied Mainline Economics

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:00:00 -0400

In Applied Mainline Economics, authors Peter J. Boettke and Matthew D. Mitchell provide some thoughts of particular use to the young economist.

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Confirmation Bias and Democracy in Chains

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 20:21:00 -0400

Why didn't Nancy MacLean speak with the scholars most familiar with the work of Nobel laureate James Buchanan when she wrote Democracy in Chains? Steve Horwitz comments on what he sees as errors in the book.

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A Second Amendment Victory in D.C.

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:44:00 -0400

A federal court has thrown out a District of Columbia requirement for carrying a gun. What does that mean for the rights of District residents going forward? Alan Gura comments.

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Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 04:00:00 -0400

The economic recovery is now showing up in state budgets, but massive threats still loom for state budgets. Chief among those threats is the pressure of state pensions. Eileen Norcross of the Mercatus Center comments.

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A Bipartisan Giveaway: The Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:56:00 -0400

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is supposed to help low-income people secure housing, so why give the benefits directly to developers? Vanessa Brown Calder explains why it should go away.

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Dictatorship on Schedule in Venezuela

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:58:00 -0400

How should the U.S. respond to the arrival of true dictatorship in Venezuela? Juan Carlos Hidalgo comments.

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The Push and Pull of Innovation and Regulation

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 07:00:00 -0400

Regulators sometimes have a hard time keeping up with innovation, and that poses problems for consumers and the broader public. Virginia Postrel of Bloomberg comments.

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Should Regulators #BreakUpAmazon?

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 20:48:00 -0400

Is Amazon a monopoly? And if so, should regulators begin the process of separating the massive retailer's operations? Walter Olson comments.

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How to End Warrantless Surveillance

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:05:00 -0400

How can we end the federal government's warrantless snooping on Americans? Senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul talk to Cato's Patrick Eddington.

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The Unserious 25th Amendment Solution

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:27:00 -0400

A member of the U.S. House wants to have the President's head examined. It's far from an ideal response to an erratic chief executive.

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Don’t Stop Impeachin’

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:22:00 -0400

Impeachment isn't a dirty word. Gene Healy explains why Congress should consider it more often.

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Jeff Sessions Expands Civil Forfeiture

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:28:00 -0400

The Attorney General has expanded the abuse of due process known as civil forfeiture. Clark Neily explains how the process harms low income and disenfranchised people.

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Democracy in Chains and Methods of History

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 07:00:00 -0400

Who inspired the young James Buchanan decades before he received a Nobel Prize? Nancy MacLean presents a few ideas in her book, Democracy in Chains. Economic historian Phil Magness believes her bold claims need some scrutiny.

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Too Many Cooks in the Regulatory Kitchen

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 07:00:00 -0400

The costs and benefits of regulations need more scrutiny and lawmakers should understand clearly that regulations aren't costless. Thaya Brook Knight comments.

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Privatization for the Sake of Better Management

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:57:00 -0400

The biggest reason to privatize much of the federal government is that the feds just don't manage those resources very well. Chris Edwards makes the case.

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Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 06:00:00 -0400

Federal flood insurance is effectively a subsidy to wealthy coastal homeowners. Ike Brannon believes it should be scrapped. Read the Policy Analysis: Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program: Toward Private Flood Insurance

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The Medicalization of Psychedelics

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 04:00:00 -0400

The drug MDMA - also known as ecstasy - is now entering Phase III trials as part of the FDA approval process for use as a treatment. How did we get here? Mike Riggs of Reason tells the story.

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Drug Violence and Populism in Mexico

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:03:00 -0400

Prohibition-related drug violence in Mexico may be fueling a growing populism. Ian Vasquez comments.

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The Senate’s New Health Care Measure Is (Still) Fatally Flawed

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 21:20:00 -0400

The Senate's new measure aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act still has deep flaws. Michael Cannon makes the case.

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Trump Can’t Stop Global Trade

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 15:31:00 -0400

An emerging trade agreement between the European Union and Japan shows that Donald Trump's pronouncements on trade won't stop the rest of the world from lowering trade barriers. Simon Lester explains.

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Henry David Thoreau at 200

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 21:05:00 -0400

How important is Henry David Thoreau as a libertarian? And how important is he in American history? Anthony Comegna comments.

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How the FDA Regulates (and Doesn’t Regulate) Supplements

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:45:00 -0400

The manner in which the FDA regulates supplements leaves much to be desired and leaves customers perhaps too trusting. So says Peter Van Doren.

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Stepping Back from the Failed War on Terror

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:29:00 -0400

What price did the U.S. pay for a massive decade-long (and still ongoing) war on terrorism? Was it worth it? Trevor Thrall makes his case in his new report, "Step Back: Lessons for U.S. Foreign Policy from the Failed War on Terror."

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Restarting Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 20:15:00 -0400

Modernizing the military means closing extraneous bases. Christopher A. Preble discusses an effort to get that process started.

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Democracy in Chains versus Public Choice

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 20:19:00 -0400

The new book Democracy in Chains paints Nobel Laureate and Cato Distinguished Senior Fellow James Buchanan as the scholar who would help bring down democracy using the methods of public choice. Michael Munger of Duke University comments.

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Overreaction Works in North Korea’s Favor

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 21:48:00 -0400

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un tested missiles on July 4th. Doug Bandow discusses what ought to be next steps for the United States.

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What Is Dark Money?

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 15:02:00 -0400

Luke Wachob of the Center for Competitive Politics argues that the misnomer of "dark money" is hardly the scourge it's made out to be.

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Do Libertarians Exist?

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 15:42:00 -0400

How do we measure the number of libertarians? Why do those measures vary so widely? Emily Ekins offers some caution.

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Canada, the U.S., and the 19th Century’s Fuzzy Borders

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 18:16:00 -0400

What kind of libertarian are you? Anthony Comegna provides a history lesson that might help puzzle it out.

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A Weak Defense of Property Rights at the Supreme Court

Sat, 01 Jul 2017 07:00:00 -0400

The Supreme Court's Murr decision may leave many future property owners in the lurch when local and state governments decide to change laws governing property. Roger Pilon comments.

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Was Trinity Lutheran a Big Win for School Choice?

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 21:22:00 -0400

Neal McCluskey and Ilya Shapiro discuss the Supreme Court ruling in Trinity Lutheran. Was it as big a win for school choice as some people think?

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Would More Government Infrastructure Spending Boost the U.S. Economy?

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 12:24:00 -0400

Does the U.S. need a boost in infrastructure spending? Ryan Bourne explains that most American infrastructure, broadly defined, is private.

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Time to Privatize Air Traffic Control

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:51:00 -0400

Air traffic control privatization isn't unprecedented and could improve quality and safety. Chris Edwards makes the case.

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Jeff Sessions May Be Confused about the Drug War

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:46:00 -0400

Is it drug trafficking or drug prohibition that is inherently violent? Adam Bates comments on the strange arguments from the Attorney General.

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Bitcoin Itself Isn’t the 'Main Event' of Bitcoin

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:07:00 -0400

Bitcoin's new highs are no particular cause for celebration or alarm, says Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. He discusses the blockchain, Whole Foods joining with Amazon, and the troubling trade agenda of the President.

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Pyongyang Changes and Stays the Same

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:00:00 -0400

The death of a student who had been sentenced to decades of hard labor for a minor crime reveals that some things haven't changed in Pyongyang. Some things have changed. Cato’s Doug Bandow, fresh from his trip to North Korea, discusses the Kim Jong Un regime.

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Senate Health Care Bill: Worse Than Doing Nothing

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:01:00 -0400

The Senate's long-awaited health care bill is out. Michael F. Cannon says its provisions would be worse than doing nothing to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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A Troubling Turn for U.S. Policy in Syria

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:01:00 -0400

The civil war in Syria appears to be drawing the U.S. further into a costly no-win scenario. Emma Ashford discusses the latest incidents there.

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A Victory for Big Government in Kansas

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:43:00 -0400

Did tax cuts "fail" in Kansas? Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform comments.

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Bullish on Millennials, Bearish on Central Planners

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:04:00 -0400

Glenn Jacobs is better known as Kane from WWE, but he's becoming known both as an outspoken advocate for liberty and a political commodity in his home of Tennessee. He discusses failure, millennials, and the cost of government at #FEECon held this weekend in Atlanta.

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The Federal Budgeting Process Is (Still) Broken (Again)

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:23:00 -0400

The federal budgeting process hasn't worked for more than a decade. How should it be fixed? Bloomberg's Megan J. McArdle suggests that Congress should focus on programs, not broad signaling, and get back to legislating.

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Social Security Won’t Save You from Yourself

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:57:00 -0400

Gallup reports that a growing number of young people believe Social Security will form a primary source of retirement income. Mike Riggs of Reason worries that young people (and libertarians) aren't concerned enough about their own financial independence.

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‘Big Ed’ and the Value of a College Degree

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 20:48:00 -0400

Is the value of a college degree declining? Neal McCluskey comments.

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Warrantless Surveillance, the Saudis, and Foreign Policy

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:50:00 -0400

The warrantless surveillance of Americans authorized by the FISA Amendments Act needs reform sooner than later. That from Democratic U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

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Interchange Fees Credit Card Miles/Points/Bonuses

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 21:43:00 -0400

What's happened since so-called "interchange fees" have been limited by federal law? Thaya Brook Knight explains.

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As Brexit Looms, Conservatives Lose Their Majority

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:15:00 -0400

Prime Minister May called for elections ... and she got them, good and hard. Ryan Bourne describes the path forward for Brexit now that British Conservatives have lost their hold on Parliament.

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After the Comey Hearing (Part II)

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 07:00:00 -0400

The wink-and-nudge questioning of former FBI director James Comey in the Senate seemed to indicate that there may be far more to the Russia election tampering probe than we now know. And yet, several important issues weren’t covered at all. Cato's Julian Sanchez and Patrick Eddington comment.

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After the Comey Hearing (Part I)

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 21:09:00 -0400

Not much has changed (legally speaking) following the testimony of former FBI director James Comey before the intelligence committee in the Senate. So says Cato's Ilya Shapiro.

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Before the Comey Hearing

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:54:00 -0400

Former FBI Director James Comey will discuss conversations he had with President Trump with the Senate on Thursday. Julian Sanchez describes what we know now and why it matters

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Uncertainty Following U.S. Exit from Paris Climate Agreement

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 16:14:00 -0400

The President has removed the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Ryan Maue comments.

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Lone Wolf Attacks and ISIS Desperation

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 21:18:00 -0400

Lone wolf attacks for which ISIS claims credit should smack of desperation, not sophistication. Trevor Thrall explains why.

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Criminal Trial Evidence and

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:20:00 -0400

What happens when gathering evidence is stymied by software and hardware terms and conditions? Matthew Feeney discusses the case of

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A Paradox in Our Reactions to (Some) Deaths from Terrorism

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 21:21:00 -0400

How we think about and respond to terrorist attacks depends a great deal, perhaps too much, on where they happen. Chris Preble comments.

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Feds Make the Case for Ending Civil Asset Forfeiture

Wed, 31 May 2017 21:16:00 -0400

Two reports from federal agencies help make the case for reforming, if not ending civil asset forfeiture. Darpana Sheth of the Institute for Justice comments.

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Trump’s Big Trip Abroad

Tue, 30 May 2017 20:46:00 -0400

What does Donald Trump's trip abroad reveal about his emerging foreign policy? Is there any chance for the U.S. to back away from regional conflicts on the other side of the globe? Emma Ashford comments.

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A Really Good Day

Sun, 28 May 2017 10:00:00 -0400

When attorney and author Ayelet Waldman was contemplating suicide, she chose instead to try tiny doses of LSD. Her book, A Really Good Day, details her experience.

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The Political Solution of CAFE Standards

Sat, 27 May 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Federal fuel economy standards (CAFE) are effectively a tax on cars, but how is that tax distributed? Peter Van Doren comments.

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Trump Unveils Budget That Eventually Would Balance

Fri, 26 May 2017 17:29:00 -0400

The federal spending plan offered by the White House would eventually balance the budget, and would do so largely with reductions in spending of several programs. Michael Tanner takes the good with the bad.

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Real Spending Reform Means Cutting Spending

Thu, 25 May 2017 15:16:00 -0400

Can Congress achieve real spending cuts without a credible cap on total spending? Jonathan Bydlak of the Coalition to Reduce Spending has some ideas.

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The Three Languages of Politics

Wed, 24 May 2017 21:16:00 -0400

How we choose to talk about politics can explain a lot about what motivates our reasoning toward political issues. Arnold Kling is author of The Three Languages of Politics.

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Jeff Sessions Escalates the Drug War

Mon, 22 May 2017 21:03:00 -0400

What does Attorney General Jeff Sessions want to get out of harsher prosecutions? Kevin Ring of Families Against Mandatory Minimums comments.

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A Misplaced Focus on Trump/Russia ‘Collusion’

Fri, 19 May 2017 18:33:00 -0400

If the new investigation turns up no specific and explicit collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, is that the end of the story? Julian Sanchez comments.

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Trump Travels to Saudi Arabia

Thu, 18 May 2017 17:46:00 -0400

What do Trump and the Saudis have in common? Can Americans who oppose intervention hope for much out of this international trip? Emma Ashford comments.

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