Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump-Putin Meeting, Roy Moore, Wisconsin Taprooms, Catalonia, Texas Prisons
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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.
“In a sane world,” Robert Wenzel wrote Friday at Target Liberty, a meeting of United States and Russia leaders Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin would consist of the two men exchanging small talk “as they pass in the hotel corridor of a vacation spot.” This is because the US would be following the advice of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to “steer clear of permanent Alliances” and to seek “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations.” Instead, Wenzel notes, “the U.S. is meddling in the regions that surround Russia, and the U.S. has led a trade sanctions effort against Russia.”
While sanity is a bit much to expect in the short term, hopefully Trump and Putin’s Friday conversation at the G20 meeting in Germany will at least help reduce some of the dangerous tension between the two governments.
It looks like the results of the upcoming August 15 primary in Alabama could disturb many US politicians and powerbrokers.
Remember Roy Moore? In 2003 he was removed from his elected position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court because he refused to obey a US court order that he remove a Ten Commandments monument he had ordered placed in the Alabama Judicial Building. In 2012 Moore was elected again chief justice. He was then suspended for taking actions including telling judges to continue enforcing the state’s gay marriage law that conflicted with a new US Supreme Court decision.
Now Moore is a Republican primary candidate for the US Senate seat Jeff Sessions left to become US attorney general. Moore may do well in the large field of candidates that includes US House Member Mo Brooks and Luther Strange who was appointment by the governor to serve as the interim US senator.
Brooks’ internal polling apparently puts Moore in the lead with 31 percent compared to 23 percent for Strange and 21 percent for Brooks.
Given Moore’s history at the state Supreme Court, it seems likely he would exercise a fair amount of independence in the US Senate.
The 21st Amendment ending the US government’s alcohol prohibition was ratified in 1933. Over 80 years later there are still plenty of restrictions on the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. There also are efforts to make alcohol laws more restrictive.
In Wisconsin, taprooms where craft breweries sell their beers on site are under threat of being outlawed. Ben Handelman reported last week at WITI-TV in Milwaukee that a provision to ban the taprooms could be inserted into state budget legislation. That would allow the ban to become law without a separate debate and vote on the matter.
Who is behind the proposed ban? To seek an answer, one may ask, “Who benefits?” Competing alcohol sellers trying to eliminate competition and alcohol distributors trying to protect their turf come to mind, Handelman says, “Lobbyist groups associated with distributors and taverns are the main suspects.”
A new nation may rise in Europe this fall. A popular election is scheduled for October 1 in Catalonia on whether Catalonia should become a nation independent of Spain. Catalan Parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell is quoted Wednesday at the Guardian as stating that an independence vote victory will lead to negotiations with Spain to bring about independence, not negotiations for a lesser goal of Spain ceding more powers to Catalonia within the Spanish nation.
Brandi Grissom reported Wednesday at the Dallas Morning News that, with reduced incarceration in the state, the Texas government is scheduled to shut down four prisons by September 1 — more “than it has in any single year in history.” Grissom writes that the prisons are required to be shut down by the state budget passed earlier this year and that, when they are shut down, Texas will have closed eight prions over the last six years.
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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