Five Minutes Five Issues: Convention Infomercial, ISIS War, Clinton Foundation, VP Pence, Medical Marijuana
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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.
Republican and Democratic national conventions are largely multiday infomercials, with convention delegates serving as extras. Most major happenings in the convention halls are planned and managed from above.
Absent are floor debates over convention rules and selection of presidential and vice presidential nominees where the outcomes are not predetermined.
Absent also are powerful main stage speeches challenging the nomination victor. That is why Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) could make such a stir by saying at the main stage podium “vote your conscience” instead of saying “vote for Donald Trump.”
At most, Cruz expressed pseudo dissent by omission. Still, it was a glitch in the infomercial.
Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams provided this week at the RPI website an update on the United States government’s ISIS War. He notes that the war has cost the US billions of dollars, and that, since the US-led bombing began in August of 2014, the coalition has dropped 50,000 bombs in Iraq and Syria. Though the purported objective is defeating ISIS, McAdams says the “real goal” is “overthrowing Syrian president Assad.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s legal troubles may not have ended with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James B. Comey announcing earlier this month that he would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton related to mishandling of confidential US government information. This week on Fox Business, Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, told host Stuart Varney that Napolitano believes the FBI is looking into or will soon look into whether Clinton, as secretary of state, “used the official powers of her office to confer benefits on foreign governments and foreign persons who then made major contributions” to the Clinton Foundation “in return for those benefits.”
First, Gary Johnson announced his choice of former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld for Libertarian Party presidential ticket running mate. Weld is known for urging Congress members to reauthorize portions of the PATRIOT Act that were set to expire and praising former President George W. Bush’s foreign policy — a foreign policy that included the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Then, last week, Donald Trump announced Indiana Governor and former US House of Representatives member Mike Pence as his running mate. Pence, like Weld, is a booster of the PATRIOT Act and the Iraq War, whose authorizing resolution Pence cosponsored. Trump has lambasted Republican primary opponent Jeb Bush and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Clinton for supporting the war. Nonetheless, Trump said Pence gets a pass. On 60 Minutes, interviewer Lesley Stahl confronted Trump about Pence’s 2002 vote to commence the Iraq War. “I don’t care,” responded Trump, who continued that the vote was “a long time ago” and that there was much misleading information around. Trump in that interview called Pence’s vote a “mistake.” Pence has never said that.
Up next is Hillary Clinton. Will she also announce a VP choice with an anti-liberty and pro-war record? I doubt she’ll buck that trend. Clinton supported the PATRIOT Act and the Iraq War as a senator.
A report this month in the journal Health Affairs indicates that there has been reduced amounts of prescriptions for certain drugs through Medicare Part D in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Don Sapatkin relates some of the findings at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Writes Sapatkin:
Prescriptions for all drugs that treat pain combined, from cortisone to OxyContin, were nearly 6 percent lower in states with medical marijuana programs. Anxiety medication was 5 percent lower.I would say, “No wonder pharmaceutical companies have been substantial financial supporters of organizations pushing the war on drugs,” but then someone might call me a conspiracy theorist.
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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