Hello and welcome to the Top 5 by Sam Jenkins. The Top 5 consists of the top five things happening right now in politics. Be sure to click that like button, leave a comment, or let me know if I’m #FakeNews. Thank you for reading!
1 Big Thing: Kim, the Diplomat
Kim Jong Un left North Korea on a bulletproof train to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and discuss international relations. Kim’s first foreign trip precedes two summit meetings between South Korean President Moon Jae-In in April and U.S. President Donald Trump in May or June.
- In negotiations, the U.S. will seek North Korean denuclearization, while North Korea will seek the rollback of U.S. sanctions and “hostility.”
- These summits will give Kim legitimacy on the international stage, which is something Kim and North Korea have always lacked. Moreover, Kim’s meeting with President Jinping might be an effort to play China off the U.S. to achieve the best possible outcome for North Korea.
- Kim’s diplomatic meetings are a stark departure from the ballistic missile tests and nuclear threats just months ago.
The Census and Citizenship
On Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that a question about citizenship will be included on the 2020 Census. However, multiple states will sue to block this question from being added.
- The Department of Justice, who requested the question be included, argues it is necessary to enforce voting rights protections because they need to know the voting age population where voting rights violations are alleged to occur.
- Opponents of the citizenship question argue it will suppress the population count because people will not want to participate. For example, immigrants fear their information will be shared and then consequences like deportation will follow.
- The Census is important because it reapportions the House of Representatives and is used to allocate federal funding. A citizenship question has not been included in the Census since 1950.
Unarmed Black Men
Last week, Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed by police officers in Sacramento. On Friday, an independent autopsy concluded Clark was shot in the back by officers, which contradicts the police account. The official autopsy has yet to be released.
- In the Police Department’s account, they thought Clark was a threat as he “advanced toward the officers” while holding what they believed to be a firearm. However, the only thing he possessed at the time was a cellphone.
- Protesters have organized around the city calling for police accountability. Also, this week, no charges were filed against the officer who shot and killed Alton Sterling, another unarmed black man, nearly two years ago. Although he was fired.
Trump and Amazon
On Saturday, President Trump tweeted about Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service. This tweet follows an Axios report that Trump is obsessed with Amazon and wants to go after it.
- In the tweets, Trump claimed Amazon is scamming the Post Office. However, the Post Office charges Amazon less to deliver because it is a bulk shipper. Moreover, Amazon’s rate is the same rate as other bulk shippers.
- Trump’s gripe with Amazon’s taxes is complicated as all federal, state, and local tax rules must be accounted for. However, Trump nor his administration laid out any tangible plans for tax parity.
Shapiro on the Radio
Ben Shapiro, a leading voice of young conservatives, will take his podcast to the old platform of radio. Although he does not perceive it this way, Shapiro might directly challenge older conservative radio hosts like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. However, Shapiro is not one to shy away from conflict as he consistently challenges both the liberal and conservative establishments. He will also take his pointed quotes to the air like, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”