Nicholas John Gillespie (born August 7, 1963) is an American libertarian journalist who was editor-in-chief of Reason magazine from 2000 to 2008 and editor-in-chief of and Reason TV from 2008 to 2017. Gillespie originally joined Reason's staff in 1993 as an assistant editor and ascended to the top slot in 2000. He is currently an editor-at-large at Reason.
In 2013, Barton Gellman of The Washington Post started publishing stories about what he called the "surveillance-industrial state" based on documents given to him by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Along with work done by filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald, Gellman's exposés laid bare an extensive and previously unacknowledged network by which the federal government systematically and illegally spied on American citizens and routinely circumvented checks on its power. Gellman has just published Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State, which tells the story of his interactions with the whistleblower, bureaucrats, politicians, and the media as he helped reveal one of the biggest secrets in U.S. history. Nick Gillespie spoke with him about his new book and earlier, Pulitzer Prize-winning work that revealed how Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and others in the Bush administration exceeded constitutional limits in the name of prosecuting the war on terror. They also discuss national surveillance in light of the two major-party presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Former heads of intelligence services are "much less sanguine about the government accumulating this enormous machinery of surveillance" with Trump in the White House because they openly acknowledge "it is subject to horrific potential abuse," says Gellman. At the same time, he stresses that Biden, who served in the Senate for decades and eight years as vice president under President Barack Obama, "has not been an apostle of transparency in the national security world. He was a strong backer of the prosecution of whistleblowers and leakers in the Obama administration and there were more prosecutions with charges of espionage against people who talked to journalists during the Obama administration than in all previous administrations combined, which had a chilling effect on national security reporting."
Today the United States is likely to pass a grim milestone: 100,000 estimated deaths from COVID-19. To mark the occasion, and also to provide a snapshot of New York/Washington, D.C. life in these tentatively de-quarantining times, Reason Roundtable podcasters Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch deliver a series of faulty metaphors including but not limited to: "I, Pencil," on-campus sexually transmitted diseases, government hole-digging, and probably something having to do with Spider-Man. The gang also discusses the Libertarian Party's busy nominating weekend, Sputnik Sweetheart, and Suderman's new splattercore band Viral Death Radius. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music credit: "Chasin' It" by Audionautix Relevant links from the show: "The President and Governors Alike Botched the Pandemic Response," by J.D. Tuccille "Liberals Have Rediscovered the 10th Amendment's Value During the Coronavirus Pandemic," by Ira Stoll "The CDC's New 'Best Estimate' Implies a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate Below 0.3%," by Jacob Sullum "It's Going To Be Hard Enough To Get Kids Back to Day Care After COVID-19," by Shoshana Weissmann "How Much Credit Should Lockdowns Get for Reducing COVID-19 Transmission?" By Jacob Sullum "D.C.'s So-Called Reopen Plan Is a Suicide Pact for the Restaurant Industry," by Robby Soave "COVID-19 Herd Immunity Is 'Still Very Far Away,'" by Ronald Bailey "Jo Jorgensen Wins Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination," by Brian Doherty "Libertarian Party Picks Spike Cohen as Its Vice-Presidential Candidate," by Brian Doherty
"I'm running for president because I want to live in a free society," says Jacob Hornberger, the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation. With Michigan Rep. Justin Amash's withdrawal from the race for the Libertarian Party (L.P.) presidential nomination, Hornberger is the front-runner as the voting process gets underway on Friday, May 22. Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and a lawyer by training, Hornberger's platform is straightforward, concise, and doctrinaire: He unapologetically stands for open immigration, free trade, an end to non-defensive military interventions and what he calls the national security state, the legalization of all drugs, and the replacement of the income tax and the IRS with voluntary payments to fund the government. In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, Hornberger also discussed some of his outlier beliefs—he believes that Franklin Roosevelt goaded Japan into bombing Pearl Harbor so the United States could enter World War II and that Lee Harvey Oswald was "framed" for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He also goes into detail about how his Catholicism informs his policy positions (he is anti-abortion, but says the federal government has no jurisdiction in the matter and favors suasion over laws to reduce its occurrence). At 70 years old, Hornberger would be the youngest nominee for president among the country's three biggest parties. He says his campaign will not only be boldly and unapologetically libertarian but focused on younger Americans. "My message," says Hornberger, "is I trust you, I trust you with your freedom. Right now, the government is taking out of your paychecks $2 trillion a year just for Medicare and Social Security. What they're saying to you by taking this money out of your paycheck is: 'You're bad people. You cannot be trusted to handle your own money. You'll turn your backs on your parents, you'll turn your backs on the needy.' I'm saying, bull! Keep your money, cut out the middleman…I trust you to handle this on your own."
Last night on 60 Minutes, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was asked whether it's fair to characterize the central bank's coronavirus responses as having "simply flooded the system with money." Powell replied: "Yes. We did. That's another way to think about it. We did." Then the money printer really did go brrr: Pelley: Where does it come from? Do you just print it? Powell: We print it digitally. So as a central bank, we have the ability to create money digitally. And we do that by buying Treasury Bills or bonds for other government guaranteed securities. And that actually increases the money supply. We also print actual currency and we distribute that through the Federal Reserve banks. Pelley: In terms of size, Mr. Chairman, how does what the Fed is doing right now compare to the unprecedented action it took in 2008? Powell: So the things we're doing now are substantially larger. The asset purchases that we're doing are a multiple of the programs that were done during the last crisis. Are we all Modern Monetary Theorists now? So ponder Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch on today's Reason Roundtable podcast. The gang also discusses Democratic coronavirus proposals, what the Libertarian Party presidential race looks like now that Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) has dropped out, and whether you should quaff a CBD drink called "Sweet Reason." Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. 'Nadie Es Illegal' by Ashley Shadow. Relevant links from the show: "America's Long-Term Debt Crisis Is Now a Short-Term Problem,"  by Peter Suderman "Plans for Extended Unemployment Benefits, Wage Subsidies Risk Creating a Zombie Economy," by Christian Britschgi "Pelosi's $3 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill Includes $175 Billion in Homeowner, Renter Assistance, and Blanket Ban on Evictions," by Christian Britschgi "The Next Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Is Here. It's a $3 Trillion Spending Plan That Bails Out States and the Post Office," by Eric Boehm "Modern Monetary Theory Is Supply Side Economics—but for the Left," by Peter Suderman "Whatever Happened to Inflation?" by Brian Doherty, Peter Schiff, David Henderson, Scott Sumner, and Roberty Murphy "Turning Japanese," by Anthony Randazzo, Michael Flynn, and Adam Summers "Justin Amash Drops Out of Presidential Race," by Matt Welch "Watch Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates Justin Amash, Jacob Hornberger, Jim Gray, Jo Jorgenson, and Adam Kokesh Debate Tonight at 8 p.m. ET," by Matt Welch "Vermin Supreme Says This Time, He's Serious," by Matt Welch "Libertarian Party To Choose Its Presidential Ticket in Virtual Vote Over Memorial Day Weekend," by Brian Doherty "Candidates Vie to Represent the Libertarian Wing of the Libertarian Party," by Matt Welch
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3 weeks, 6 days