Rep. Walter Jones Challenges Speaker Paul Ryan’s Refusal to Allow Afghanistan War Debate

Interviewed Tuesday at C-SPAN, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) challenged the continuing refusal of US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to allow the House to debate and vote on the Afghanistan War, the costs of which Jones presents as so far including the spending of over 800 billion dollars, the death of over 2,000 Americans, and the wounding of over 20,000 more.

Jones was a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program to discuss HR 1666, legislation he introduced in the House of Representatives last week and says in the interview he hopes can lead to a debate on the House floor regarding “whether we should stay in Afghanistan or not stay in Afghanistan.” Jones was joined on the show by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), a cosponsor of the legislation.

Continue reading

Five Minutes Five Issues: Audit the Fed, Healthcare Bill, Veterans’ Guns, Bomb Threats, Police Cameras

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Saturday. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:


Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Continue reading

Revealed: Intelligence Community Collected and Shared Information about Trump Transition People

Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value — were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

Nunez also stated in a press release Wednesday that he has “asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15 letter, and to provide a full account of” related surveillance activities.

Continue reading

Five Minutes Five Issues: Phone Searches, War Guidelines, Michael Brown, Guilty Pleas, Assassination Secrets

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Saturday. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Continue reading

Jeff Sessions is Less of a Threat to Marijuana Legalization than You May Think

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has worried many advocates for legal medical and recreational marijuana because of his comments, before and since becoming attorney general, critical of both marijuana and its legalization for any purpose. However, in questions and answers with reporters Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia, Sessions indicated that the Trump administration will continue following the Obama administration policy of refraining from many prosecutions of individuals for US marijuana law violations if they are complying with state marijuana laws.

In particular, Sessions pointed to the August 29, 2013 “Cole memorandum” adopted by the Obama administration to guide US Department of Justice marijuana enforcement decisions in light of conflicts between states’ legalization and US laws. Sessions said: “The Cole memorandum set up some policies under President Obama’s Department of Justice about how cases should be selected in those states and what would be appropriate for federal prosecution, much of which I think is valid.” This declaration leaves Sessions room to increase prosecutions in some circumstances. But, it importantly indicates that the Trump administration’s plan is for the general policy to remain the same.

The Cole memorandum itself provides Sessions and the DOJ with significant avenues for expanding marijuana prohibition enforcement. The memorandum states that “attorneys and law enforcement” are directed to “focus their enforcement resources and efforts, including prosecution, on persons or organizations whose conduct interferes with” any of eight listed priorities, “regardless of state law.” Included among the listed priorities are preventing distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal to states where it is illegal, and preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other public health problems from marijuana use.

Notably, the Cole memorandum’s list of continuing US marijuana enforcement priorities irrespective of state laws also includes “[p]reventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels” and “[p]reventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs, or other illegal activities.” Both of these listed priorities could potentially be used to justify ramping up US marijuana enforcement in states with legal medical or recreational marijuana as part of the Trump administration’s initiatives to crack down on criminal organizations and on illegal drugs activity generally.

Continue reading

Lawrence Wilkerson Warns US Generating Enemies Beyond its Capacity to Deal With

Lawrence Wilkerson, a former Army colonel and chief of staff for Colin Powell at the United States Department of State, expressed this week strong criticism of the US government adding more and more nations to its enemies list. Speaking with host Paul Jay at the Real News Network this week, Wilkerson, who is a professor at the College of William & Mary, concludes that, even with the large amount of money the US spends on the military, it is “utterly beyond our capacity to deal with all these enemies” that the US has generated.

Continue reading

Criticizing Neoconservatives and the Deep State is Anti-Semitic?

Kevin D. Williamson’s Sunday National Review editorial “Word Games” may lead readers to believe that people who criticize neoconservatives or the deep state are presenting anti-Semitic arguments or are anti-Semitic. The editorial does not conclude that all people who present such criticisms are anti-Semitic. But, a take-away for some readers will be that challenging the deep state or neoconservatives indicates a person is likely, or should be assumed to be, anti-Semitic.

Continue reading

Ron Paul Calls WikiLeaks Revelation of CIA Documents ‘Fantastic’

Ron Paul, the prominent libertarian communicator and three-time US presidential candidate, declared this week in a Fox Business interview that it is “fantastic” that WikiLeaks revealed on Tuesday thousands of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents and files. Speaking with host Kennedy, Paul further says that the information exposed “indicates that liberty is in big trouble” and states his concern about there having been insufficient media coverage of the information.

Continue reading

Five Minutes Five Issues: Telescreens, Surveillance Elitism, Arizona Gold, Trump Pat-Down, CIA Truth

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Friday. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Continue reading

Can Public Opinion Check Presidential Power?

The concentration of power in the United States presidency has had a good run over the last few decades. This concentration of power is evident in presidents pursuing war after war without the constitutionally-required congressional declaration of war or even a congressional vote on an authorization for use of military force (AUMF). It is also evident in presidents using executive orders and regulations to bypass the legislative process.

President Barack Obama was up-front about his desire to use expansive executive power to bypass the Congress when he said before a Cabinet meeting in January of 2014, “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.” The pen, Obama explained, he could use to “sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions” without any involvement of Congress. The phone, he said, he could use to build support for his unilateral actions.

Yet, there does appear to be significant disapproval of increasing presidential power. Pew Research Center poll results indicate large majorities of Americans questioned in August and February said that it is too risky to give US presidents more power to deal directly with many of the country’s problems.

Continue reading