Five Minutes Five Issues: Napolitano Hotline, Imprisonment Rate, Assad Must Go, Charging Clapper, Rising Stocks
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
Starting in five four three two one.
Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
Last week, President Donald Trump posted on Twitter a comment critical of a bill scheduled for a United States House of Representatives vote later in the day. The bill would extend for six years a legal justification used for the US government’s mass surveillance program. If we can believe a report by Ryan Lucas at National Public Radio based on anonymous sources, Trump posted the tweet because Trump had just watched Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano criticize the bill on Fox News. Lucas further writes that it took an “emergency meeting” of Trump with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to “coach” Trump to then quickly send out a new tweet supportive of the bill.
On Friday, Trump signed the bill into law.
Between winning the presidential election and taking office, Trump met with Napolitano at least twice, largely to discuss potential Supreme Court nominations.
It is good news if Trump is considering Napolitano’s commentary regarding protecting liberty in America. Napolitano is after all a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member. What Trump really needs, though, is a hotline to Napolitano. Then Trump could seek anytime a rebuttal to the anti-liberty proposals of the people around him.
Adam Gelb and Jacob Denney of Pew Charitable Trusts wrote Tuesday regarding reductions in crime and imprisonment rates in America from the year 2008 to 2016. They note that, “[a]fter peaking in 2008, the nation’s imprisonment rate fell 11 percent over eight years, reaching its lowest level since 1997,” while “the combined national violent and property crime rate dropped 23 percent.”
Focusing on state governments, Gelb and Denney write that, since 2008, “36 states reduced their imprisonment rates, including declines of 15 percent or more in 20 states from diverse regions of the country.”
In the August 5 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson having proclaimed a few days earlier that “it continues to be our view that the Assad regime has no role in the future governing of Syria.” In other words, the US goal under President Donald Trump remained the same as under President Barack Obama; Remove President Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria.
Much has changed in Syria since August. But, this US goal persists. Speaking Wednesday at the Hoover Institution, Tillerson said the US government is seeking “a stable, unified, independent Syria under post-Assad leadership.”
In March of 2013, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, responding to a question from Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) in a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, denied the US government was intentionally collecting data on millions of Americans. About three months later, stories based on revelations from Edward Snowden began describing the US government’s mass surveillance program, showing Clapper’s declaration was false.
Clapper, who continued on as director of national intelligence for several more years, has suffered no punishment for his false answer.
Steven Nelson reported Wednesday at the Washington Examiner that some Congress members want Clapper to be indicted for making the false statement. But, the clock is ticking. Nelson writes that a five-year statute of limitations means such a charge must be brought by March 12.
Jeff Cox reported Friday at CNBC that “[i]nvestors looking to get a piece of the latest market surge poured cash into stock funds at the highest pace ever during the past four weeks.”
We’ll see how that works out.
Ron Paul has been warning that the American market rally will end and that he would not be “totally shocked” to see a 50 percent drop.
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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