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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.


Americans Distrust Wall Street and Its Regulators

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:36:00 -0400

Americans don't trust either financial firms associated with Wall Street or the regulators who are trying to control financial firms' activities. Thaya Brook Knight and Emily Ekins discuss the findings of a new Cato Institute survey.

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‘Medicare for Some’ Isn’t Exactly Great

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 21:27:00 -0400

It's not even clear that "Medicare for Some" is a good idea, let alone "Medicare for All.” Michael F. Cannon comments.

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The Fiscal Pitch for State-Level Criminal Justice Reform

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:16:00 -0400

The cost to public safety of reducing spending on criminal justice programs can be effectively zero. That's according to Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute.

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Why September 14, 2001 Matters

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:01:00 -0400

After 16 years of war, it's time to reckon with the less-appreciated anniversary of September 14, 2001, when Congress gave the President a relatively open-ended power to make war. Gene Healy explains why.

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How States Should Respond to Opioid Crisis

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:56:00 -0400

Is heavy-handed punishment a particularly good way to handle the opioid crisis? I spoke with Greg Newburn of Families Against Mandatory Minimums at the State Policy Network Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

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The Other Monuments Problem

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:21:00 -0400

The naming of national monuments creates a few underappreciated problems. Hannah Downey of the Property and Environment Research Center comments.

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Market Anarchy in Utah (You Know, for Kids!)

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 07:28:00 -0400

Utah has removed many of the pointless licensing requirements for businesses operated by minors. Connor Boyack of the Libertas Institute discusses the importance of giving kids a taste of truly free enterprise.

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Resolving the Tullock Paradox

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 16:04:00 -0400

Why is there so little rent seeking? Is rent seeking itself still misunderstood? Matthew Mitchell of the Mercatus Center discussed the issue at FEECon in June.

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A Fraught Case for Exiting the Iran Nuclear Deal

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 21:28:00 -0400

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley’s public pitch explaining the problems of the Iran nuclear deal spent precious little energy discussing what happens if the U.S. exits the deal. Emma Ashford evaluates the arguments.

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Trump Will ‘Wind Down’ DACA

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 20:23:00 -0400

The White House will end President Obama's Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), but Jeff Sessions' defense of ending DACA on policy grounds misunderstands immigration almost entirely. Alex Nowrasteh comments.

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The Coming Debt Fight

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 21:05:00 -0400

Choosing the size of the national debt is a fight worth having. So why doesn't anyone want to have it? Michael Tanner comments.

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A Debt against the Living

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 03:56:00 -0400

Ilan Wurman is author of A Debt against the Living.

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Carpenter v. United States

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 03:49:00 -0400

The Supreme Court has an opportunity to change how governments may track Americans. Jim Harper comments.

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Trump Moves to Accelerate Militarization of Cops

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 14:36:00 -0400

The Obama White House narrowed the scope of military gear that could be distributed to local police forces. The Trump White House has undone those small restrictions. Clark Neily and Adam Bates discuss the change.

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A Balanced Threat Assessment of China’s South China Sea Policy

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 12:12:00 -0400

What does the U.S. gain by risking war in the South China Sea? Not much, according to "A Balanced Threat Assessment of China’s South China Sea Policy," a new Cato Institute paper. John Glaser and Eric Gomez comment on the dispute.

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End Pot (Research) Prohibition

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 07:00:00 -0400

Marijuana is legal to consume in a handful of states. So why is researching marijuana virtually impossible? Trevor Burrus discusses the federal role in prohibiting pot research.

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The Paradox of Tolerance

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 21:02:00 -0400

How do we tolerate intolerance? Jason Kuznicki comments.

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Debasing Monuments to the Confederacy

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 19:16:00 -0400

Should monuments to the Confederacy be removed or merely reframed? And where should that line of thinking stop? Walter Olson offers a few ideas.

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Trump on Afghanistan: ‘No Nationbuilding’ in Name Only

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:35:00 -0400

The Afghanistan strategy laid out by Donald Trump looks a lot like one that previous battlefield commanders have suggested is sorely wanting. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner comment.

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Doomed to Repeat It: The Long History of America’s Protectionist Failures

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:42:00 -0400

The successes of protectionism are grossly exaggerated. Scott Lincicome discusses his new paper, "Doomed to Repeat It: The Long History of America’s Protectionist Failures."

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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.

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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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