Five Minutes Five Issues: TSA Marijuana, Susan Rice, Syria Oil, Fantasy Sports, Asset Seizures

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is up. 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.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

I planned to start with good news from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which I have criticized previously. It turns out, the TSA would not let that happen.

Tom Angell reported Wednesday at MassRoots that the TSA had posted on its website that travelers may bring their medical marijuana in their carry on or checked bags. Shortly after Angell’s report, the TSA removed the marijuana information from its website, explaining it had been posted by mistake.

Issue two.

Susan Rice, who was President Barack Obama’s national security advisor, requested dozens of times that names of people related to Donald Trump’s campaign and presidential transition be revealed or “unmasked” in intelligence reports summarizing surveilled communications. Thus reported Eli Lake on Monday at Bloomberg based on accounts from anonymous US officials.

Sen. Rand Paul is calling for Rice to testify under oath about the matter. Paul says that the unmasking is an “enormous deal” and that he wants to find out if Obama directed Rice to do it.

Issue three.

In one of his earliest speeches as president, Donald Trump repeated at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters his opinion that the US should have seized the oil in Iraq and proceeded to comment that “maybe you’ll have another chance.”

Might US action to seize oil be proceeding now in neighboring Syria? Ron Paul wrote the following in his latest column:

The President has illegally sent hundreds of US troops to fight on the ground in Syria. Current US positions in eastern Syria suggest that Washington may be looking to carve out parts of oil-rich areas of the country for some kind of future federation.

Issue four.

Drive down a highway in Texas and you may see billboards declaring how much you could win in the state government’s lottery. Want to try to win the cash? Buy a lotto ticket, or a few, at a gas station.

While the state promotes its own gambling operation, state laws stand in the way of private companies providing people with the opportunity to wager in certain games that involve chance.

In January of last year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion declaring his interpretation that state law bars companies from charging fees for providing fantasy sports games where participants can win money.

On Monday, a Texas state House committee held a hearing on legislation that would exclude such fantasy sports games from the gambling prohibition.

Legalizing the games would expand respect for individual rights and eliminate another excuse for government intervention into our lives. But, it is only a small step. Texas and other states could do much more by legalizing gambling across-the-board.

Issue five.

Last week, the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a report regarding asset seizures, or as the report says “asset forfeitures.” These are seizures government agents may undertake even without a court ruling regarding any connection between seized property or the property owner and a crime.

Looking at the cash seizures, the report’s numbers indicate the drug war’s big contribution. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was responsible for about 80 percent both of the cash seizures and the dollar value seized from fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year 2016 by the three government entities studied — the DEA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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