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Death Penalty: The Ultimate Corrupt, Big Government Program

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Nebraska’s legislature recently made headlines when it ended the state’s death penalty. Many found it odd that a conservatives-dominated legislature would support ending capital punishment, since conservative politicians have traditionally supported the death penalty. However, an increasing number of conservatives are realizing that the death penalty is inconsistent with both fiscal and social conservatism. These conservatives are joining with libertarians and liberals in a growing anti-death penalty coalition.

It is hard to find a more wasteful and inefficient government program than the death penalty. New Hampshire recently spent over $4 million dollars prosecuting just two death penalty cases, while Jasper County in Texas raised property taxes by seven percent in order to pay for one death penalty case! A Duke University study found that replacing North Carolina’s death penalty would save taxpayers approximately $22 million dollars in just two years.
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The Prosecution of Dennis Hastert and the Government's War on Cash

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Back on March 31, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced what many media reports heralded as a big rollback in the use of structuring allegations to justify seizing assets from individuals. Yet, here we are less than three months later with the DOJ prosecuting former US House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) for 
two crimes — structuring and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about why he employed structuring.

Despite the DOJ’s March 31 talking points used to allay people’s worries about the US government punishing people for the nonviolent action of moving cash in or out of their own accounts in a manner the US government disapproves, the Hastert prosecution shows that business as usual continues at the DOJ. In fact, the willingness of the DOJ to undertake this very high-profile prosecution where there is no alleged crime beyond structuring and lying about structuring may well indicate an escalation in the US government’s structuring crackdown.

According to the DOJ, Hastert faces punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine if he is convicted. It is thus hard to argue that Hastert is in a better position than the many people whose money has been seized because of structuring allegations but who can choose to just walk away with a significant monetary loss. Hastert’s legal bills are mounting to defend himself against the DOJ that can spend without restraint in pursuit of a conviction. Even if Hastert can beat the charges or make a deal so he can walk free, his financial loss will be very high.
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Europeans Reject NATO's War

Despite the ongoing war propaganda and political leaders who seem desperate to do the bidding of Washington, a majority of the population in every European NATO member country would oppose going to war with Russia -- even if Russia attacked another NATO member country! That is the surprising result of a recent PEW poll conducted in NATO member countries. Only in the US and Canada -- well away from the battlefield -- is there majority support for striking the Russians. What does this mean for the proponents of the new Cold War? Tune in to the Ron Paul Liberty Report for more...
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Saudi Arabia’s Yemen Offensive, Iran’s ‘Proxy’ Strategy, and the Middle East’s New ‘Cold War’

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Riyadh’s war in Yemen marks a dramatic escalation in its efforts to roll back Iran’s rising influence in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia portrays its Yemen campaign simply as a battle of “good” Arabs and Sunnis supporting Yemen’s legitimate government against “evil” Iranians trying to overthrow it via local Shi’a “proxies”—reiterating a generalized Saudi (and Israeli) narrative about Iran’s use of proxy allies to consolidate regional “hegemony.” More considered analysis shows that Iran’s “proxy” ties are part of an effective strategy to expand political participation in contested regional venues. While Saudi Arabia (like Israel) considers this a mortal threat, it is essential to effective conflict resolution. Riyadh’s intensely sectarian response—including its Yemen war—now fuels what some call a new Saudi-Iranian/Sunni’- Shi’a “Cold War” in the Middle East.


Riyadh’s increasingly destructive war in Yemen has sparked overripe discussion in Western capitals about Iran’s use of “proxies” to subvert otherwise “legitimate” Middle Eastern governments. Driving such discussion is a self-serving narrative, promoted by Israel as well as by Saudi Arabia, about Tehran’s purported quest to “destabilize” and, ultimately, “take over” the region.

Assessments of this sort have, of course, been invoked to justify—and elicit Western support for—Saudi intervention in Yemen. More broadly, the Israeli-Saudi narrative about Iranian ambitions is framed to prevent the United States from concluding a nuclear deal with Tehran—or, failing that, to keep Washington from using a deal as a springboard for comprehensively realigning US-Iranian relations.
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Maidan 3.0: Another Revolution in Ukraine?

Will Ukrainians take to the streets in sufficient numbers to overthrow their US-backed leaders? Over the weekend a large protest in Kiev was violently broken up by masked men while the police looked on. No word from the US condemning the violence. Elsewhere, the US admits sanctions are hurting Europe and not harming Russia, but still it presses for even more of them. RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins RT's CrossTalk today to discuss US policy toward Ukraine and the possibility of more unrest:
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Cold War II to McCarthyism II

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Perhaps it’s no surprise that the US government’s plunge into Cold War II would bring back the one-sided propaganda themes that dominated Cold War I, but it’s still unsettling to see how quickly the major US news media has returned to the old ways, especially the New York Times, which has emerged as Official Washington’s propaganda vehicle of choice.

What has been most striking in the behavior of the Times and most other US mainstream media outlets is their utter lack of self-awareness, for instance, accusing Russia of engaging in propaganda and alliance-building that are a pale shadow of what the US government routinely does. Yet, the Times and the rest of the MSM act as if these actions are unique to Moscow.

A case in point is Monday’s front-page story in the Times entitled “Russia Wields Aid and Ideology Against West to Fight Sanctions,” which warns: “Moscow has brought to bear different kinds of weapons, according to American and European officials: money, ideology and disinformation.”
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