Archive for September, 2018

The Pronk Pops Show 1148, September 28, 2018, Breaking News — Story 1: Profiles in Infamy — Political Character Assassination and Smear Campaign of Judge Brett Kavanaugh By Democrats, Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Expect Massive Backlash in Midterm Elections By Fair Minded American Voters — Videos — Story 2: Senate Judiciary Committee Vote 11 to 10 Along Party Lines to Send Judge Kavanagh Nomination To Full Senate — Waiting For Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Decision For Date of Confirmation Vote — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Orders Supplemental FBI Investigation Delaying Confirmation Vote For One More Week — Videos — Story 4: Prospects for Tax Reform — Videos

Posted on September 27, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Investments, Law, Life, Lying, Media, National Interest, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Privacy, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Senate, Tax Fraud, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1148, September 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1147, September 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1146, September 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1145, September 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1143, September 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1142, September 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1141, September 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1140, September 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1139, September 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1138, September 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1137, September 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1136, September 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1135, September 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1131, August 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1128, August 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

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Story 1: Profiles in Infamy — Political Character Assassination and Smear Campaign of Judge Brett Kavanaugh By Democrats, Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Expect Massive Backlash in Midterm Elections By Fair Minded American Voters — Videos — 

Graham on Kavanaugh: ‘Never heard a more compelling defense’ in my life

Graham Questions Judge Kavanaugh

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “God help anybody else who gets nominated”

All Of Her Witnesses Denied Her Story” Ted Cruz RIPS Democrats For Mud Slinging Kavanaugh’s Name

RAW: FIRST HALF of Brett Kavanaugh full testimony

RAW: SECOND PART of Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony

Brett Kavanaugh’s FULL statement to U.S. Senate on allegations of sexual assault

Kavanaugh And Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony Recapped

Graham recalls his fiery speech at Kavanaugh hearing

Hannity: Dems have turned SCOTUS process into a sham

Sean Hannity 9\27\18 | FOX NEWS | September 27, 2018

Alan Dershowitz reacts to Kavanaugh hearing

Tucker on Kavanaugh’s defiant defense

Ingraham on Dems Walking Out of Kavanaugh Hearing: They’re Whipping the Base Into a ‘Frenzy’

The Ingraham Angle 9\27\18 | FOX NEWS | September 27, 2018

Mark Levin Show PODCAST Thursday September 27 2018

Sen. Graham on Ford’s Kavanaugh testimony: There’s no corroboration

Sara Carter Responds to Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony

Sharyl Attkisson – The Smear

 

Kavanaugh vote: Flake, Murkowski back FBI investigation; Senate committee advances nominee

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Sept. 28 on Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was the deciding vote. 

September 28 at 3:01 PM

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Friday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh after securing a key vote from Sen. Jeff Flake, who asked for a delay of up to a week before the full Senate votes.

Flake (R-Ariz.) said the delay would allow a limited FBI investigation of allegations of sexual assault while Kavanaugh was a teenager.

The 11-to-10 vote came a day after hearing riveting testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused President Trump’s nominee of sexual assault at a house party in Maryland in the early 1980s.

Flake’s request cast doubt on whether the full Senate would move forward as planned, starting with a previously announced procedural vote on Saturday, as other wavering lawmakers started to join Flake. Earlier Friday, Republican leaders had vowed to take a final vote to confirm Kavanaugh by early next week.

Following Flake’s announcement, two other senators considered swing votes — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) — indicated that they support Flake’s call for a delay.

“The American people have been pulled apart by this entire spectacle and we need to take time to address these claims independently, so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote,” Manchin said in a statement. “It is what is right and fair for Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, and the American people.”

With a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, it would be difficult for the GOP to press ahead with a procedural vote on Saturday if two Republican senators defect and they are not able to bring on board any Democrats.

While the timing of the floor vote is up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said he would advocate for Flake’s request.

“This is all a gentlemen’s and women’s agreement,” Grassley said after the committee vote.

Speaking to reporters at the White House after the committee vote, Trump said he would defer to Senate leaders on how to proceed with his nominee. “Whatever they think is necessary is okay,” Trump said. “They have to do what they think is right.”

He continued to stand by Kavanaugh, saying he had not thought “even a little bit” about a replacement but also said he found Ford a “credible witness.”

As Kavanaugh’s nomination heads to the floor, his prospects remain unclear in the full Senate.

Two other senators considered swing votes — Susan Collins (Maine) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) — remained silent about their intentions Friday.

Meanwhile, another red-state Democrat, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) announced Friday that he would oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. Republicans had been courting Donnelly, one of three Democrats, along with Manchin and Heitkamp, who supported previous Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch.

“I have deep reservations about Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to this lifetime position and … we have been unable to get all the information necessary regarding this nomination, despite my best efforts,” Donnelly said in a statement. “Only 113 people have ever served on the Supreme Court, and I believe that we must do our level best to protect its sanctity.”

At the committee vote neared, senators on both sides of the aisle took turns giving their reasons for supporting or opposing Kavanaugh, many in impassioned terms.

“He does not have the veracity nor temperament for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in our nation,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said of Kavanaugh. “And no such nominee should be confirmed in the face of such serious, credible and unresolved allegations of sexual assault.”

“I’ve never heard a more compelling defense of one’s honor and integrity,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) countered, referring to Kavanaugh’s performance at Thursday’s hearing.

Graham declared that judicial confirmations would now be starkly different going forward, noting the “process before Kavanaugh, and the process after Kavanaugh.”

“I can say about Ms. Ford, I feel sorry for her, and I do believe something happened to her, and I don’t know when and where,” Graham said. “But I don’t believe it was Brett Kavanaugh.”

Shortly after the Judiciary Committee convened Friday, the panel voted down a motion on party lines by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to subpoena Mark Judge, a high school classmate of Kavanaugh. Ford has alleged that Judge witnessed the assault.

The committee then voted, again along party lines, to decide on Kavanaugh’s nomination at 1:30 p.m. The votes prompted outrage from Democrats.

“This is just totally ridiculous. What a railroad job,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).

Several Senate Democrats — including Blumenthal, Hirono, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) — walked out in protest. Some later returned.

In a letter to the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Judge wrote that he did not recall the events described by Ford in her testimony and never saw Kavanaugh act the way she described. Judge said that he does not want to testify and that he avoids public speaking because he struggles with depression and anxiety as a recovering alcoholic and cancer survivor.

Underscoring the acrimony surrounding Friday’s proceedings, a dozen House Democratic women who gathered to watch the Judiciary Committee stood up in the room in protest.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) later told reporters that she thinks President Trump “is trying to break the MeToo movement” with his continued support for Kavanaugh.

Meanwhile, shortly after Flake announced his support for Kavanaugh, two women tearfully and loudly confronted the Arizona senator in an el­e­va­tor, tell­ing him that he was dis­miss­ing the pain of sex­ual as­sault survivors.

“What you are doing is al­low­ing some­one who ac­tu­al­ly vio­lat­ed a woman to sit in the Su­preme Court,” one woman shout­ed during a live CNN broadcast as Flake was making his way to the Judiciary Committee meeting. “This is hor­rible. You have chil­dren in your fam­i­ly. Think a­bout them.”

Flake lis­tened quietly, then told the women: “Thank you.”

Before the committee meeting, White House officials fanned out across morning television shows to tout Kavanaugh’s fiery performance in Thursday’s hearing and press the Senate to vote.

“I think he was incredibly powerful and very clear,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of Kavanaugh during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

She suggested that Ford was mistaken about her attacker and said Kavanaugh has “been unequivocal since Day One that this did not take place by him.”

During a television appearance Friday morning before the committee vote, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said he is “optimistic we’ll confirm the judge.”

Asked about Republican holdouts on “Fox & Friends,” Cornyn said, “They have not publicly committed, but we’ve been engaging in personal texts, conversations, face-to-face visits. It’s the norm for how thing happen here . . . I respect their right to make their own announcement, which I’m sure they’ll do in due course.”

The votes of several red-state Democrats have also been in play.

Late Thursday, one of them, Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), said in a tweet that he would vote no if the chamber presses ahead with consideration of Kavanaugh the day after hearing from Ford, whom Jones said he found “credible & courageous.”

With her voice shaking at times, Ford described in stark detail Thursday being pinned on a bed at a house party by a drunken Kavanaugh, who she said groped her, tried to take off her clothes and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams. She said she was “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh was her attacker.

In his tweet, Jones repeated a call for the Senate to postpone the vote and hear from Judge, who Ford said was in the room when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her in 1982.

“What message will we send to our daughters & sons, let alone sexual assault victims?” Jones said in his tweet. “The message I will send is this — I vote no. #RightSideofHistory”

Late Thursday, the American Bar Association, which had previously rated Kavanaugh “well-qualified” for the Supreme Court, called on the Judiciary Committee to halt the confirmation vote, saying it should not move forward until an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against him can be completed.

During her appearance on ABC, Sanders suggested that was unnecessary, saying the FBI has conducted six previous background checks on Kavanaugh for federal positions.

“These allegations took place long before any of those background checks would have taken place,” she said, adding that senators had asked questions Thursday similar to what the FBI would ask if it reopened its process.

Rachel Mitchell, the outside counsel hired by Republicans to question Ford, told GOP senators in a closed-door meeting Thursday night that she would not have prosecuted the matter because there was no corroborating evidence, according to two GOP sources familiar with her presentation. She also told the senators that Ford was a compelling witness who had clearly suffered trauma.

Mitchell, a registered Republican, has not commented about the case. Republicans have rebuffed repeated requests from Democrats to call other witnesses who might have corroborated Ford’s account and also rejected Democratic calls for an FBI investigation.

Mitchell’s comments reassured Republicans who have been wavering about the nomination, according to GOP sources who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

During Thursday’s hearing, Kavanaugh angrily assailed Democrats for pushing what he said were false charges to “blow me up and take me down.”

The 53-year-old federal judge was often tearful and paused for gulps of water as he spoke about the toll that the allegations by Ford and two other women have taken on his wife, his children, his parents and his friends.

“This has destroyed my family and my good name,” he said, adding: “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election.”

It remained unclear whether an FBI review would include two other Kavanaugh accusers.

Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University, told the New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were both first-year students.

Julie Swetnick, a Washington resident, said in a declaration that Kavanaugh was physically abusive toward girls in high school and present at a house party in 1982 where she says she was the victim of a “gang” rape. She is being represented by Michael Avenatti, whose clients also include Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress who was paid to remain silent about an alleged decade-old affair with Trump.

“Because @realDonaldTrump and the Senate Republicans refuse to allow my client Julie Swetnick to testify, we will be taking her story directly to the American people this weekend,” Avenatti said in a Friday morning tweet. “This is about a search for the truth. Details to follow.”

Sean Sullivan, Paul Kane, Robert Barnes and Elise Viebeck contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-committee-prepares-to-vote-on-kavanaugh-nomination-as-key-senators-remain-silent/2018/09/28/0b143292-c305-11e8-b338-a3289f6cb742_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4f803af9f021

 

Donald Trump Tweets Victorious After Brett Kavanaugh’s Pugnacious Testimony: “Senate Must Vote!”

Donald Trump

“Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him,” President Donald Trump crowed via twitter, literally as his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaughwas leaving the room after Senate Judiciary Committee testimony Thursday.

“His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!”

Trump had canceled today’s planned meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein so as to free up his time to watch the hearing at which one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, testified.

Trump put Kavanaugh on notice, calling a rare press conference the afternoon before today’s hearing to say he would watch and left open the option of being convinced by Ford, while continuing to call allegations against Kavanaugh “a big fat lie.”

Trump reportedly advised Kavanaugh to jettison the school choirboy persona he’d taken on during his pre-buttal on Fox News Channel, and go after his accusers more aggressively. Which Kavanaugh did emphatically, calling today’s hearing and the two weeks leading up to it “a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election,” and “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”

After the hearing, and Trump’s tweet, Democratic committee member Sen. Patrick Leahy, out in the hallway, told reporters of his Republican committee colleagues, “They’re going to do whatever the White House and Mitch McConnell tells them to do.”

Asked his thoughts on Kavanaugh’s testimony, Leahy responded: “I found it well rehearsed. It brought me back to memories of Clarence Thomas.”

Trump’s victory-lap tweet:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!

 

Fiery Kavanaugh denies quiet accuser Ford in Senate showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an emotional day like few others in Senate history, California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford quietly but firmly recounted her “100 percent” certainty Thursday that President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers — and then Brett Kavanaugh defiantly testified he was “100 percent certain” he did no such thing.

That left senators to decide whether the long day tipped their confirmation votes for or against Trump’s nominee in a deeply partisan fight with the future of the high court and possibly control of Congress in the balance.

Showing their own certainty, Republicans quickly scheduled a recommendation vote for Friday morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where they hold n 11-10 majority. They’re hoping for a final Senate roll call next week, seating Kavanaugh on the court for the Oct. start of its new term.

In the committee’s packed hearing room for hour upon hour Thursday, both Kavanaugh and Ford said the alleged assault and the storm of controversy that has erupted 36 years later had altered their lives forever and for the worse — perhaps the only thing they agreed on during their separate testimony marked by a stark contrast of tone and substance.

Ford recounted for the senators and a nationwide TV audience her long-held secret of the alleged assault in a locked room at a gathering of friends when she was just 15. The memory — and Kavanaugh’s laughter during the act — was “locked” in her brain, she said. Ford delivered her testimony with deliberate certitude, though admitting gaps in her memory as she choked back tears at some points and said she “believed he was going to rape me.”

Hours later, Kavanaugh entered the hearing room fuming. He angrily denied her allegation, alternating a loud, defiant tone with near tears of his own, particularly when discussing his family. He decried his confirmation opposition as a “national disgrace.” He interrupted senators and dismissed some questions with a flippant “whatever.”

“You have replaced ‘advice and consent’ with ‘search and destroy,‘” he said, referring to the Constitution’s charge to senators’ duties in confirming high officials.

Democrats pressed the judge to call for an FBI investigation into the claims, but he would say only, “I welcome whatever the committee wants to do.”

Republicans are concerned, among other reasons, that further investigations could push a vote past the November elections that may switch Senate control back to the Democrats and make consideration of any Trump nominee more difficult.

Trump made his feelings newly clear that he was sticking by his choice. “His testimony was powerful, honest and riveting,” he tweeted. “The Senate must vote!”

Trump nominated the conservative jurist in what was supposed to be an election year capstone to the GOP agenda, locking in the court’s majority for years to come. Instead Kavanaugh has seemed in peril and on Thursday he faced the Senate hearing amid a national reckoning over sexual misconduct at the top of powerful institutions.

The day opened with Ford, now a 51-year-old college professor in California, raising her right hand to swear under oath about the allegations she said she never expected to share publicly until they leaked in the media two weeks ago and reporters started staking out her home and work.

As Anita Hill did more two decades ago when she alleged sexual misconduct by Clarence Thomas, the mom of two testified before a committee with only male senators on the Republican side of the dais.

The psychology professor described what she says was a harrowing assault in the summer of 1982: How an inebriated Kavanaugh and another teen, Mark Judge, locked her in a room at a house party as Kavanaugh was grinding and groping her. She said he put his hand over her mouth to muffle her screams. Judge has said does not recall the incident.

When the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, asked Ford how she could be sure that Kavanaugh was the attacker, Ford said, “The same way I’m sure I’m talking to you right now.” Later, she said her certainty was “100 percent.”

Her strongest memory of the alleged incident, Ford said, was the two boys’ laughter.

“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter,” said Ford, who is a research psychologist, “the uproarious laughter between the two.”

Republican strategists were privately hand-wringing after Ford’s testimony. The GOP special counsel Rachel Mitchell, a Phoenix sex crimes prosecutor, who Republicans had hired to avoid the optics of their all-male line up questioning Ford, left Republicans disappointed.

Mitchell’s attempt to draw out a counter-narrative — mainly that Ford was coordinating with Democrats — was disrupted by the panel’s decision to allow alternating five-minute rounds of questions from Democratic senators.

During a lunch break, even typically talkative GOP senators on the panel were without words.

John Kennedy of Louisiana said he had no comment. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he was “just listening.”

Then Kavanaugh strode into the committee room, arranged his nameplate, and with anger on his face started to testify with a statement he said he had shown only one other person. Almost immediately he choked up.

“My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed,” he said.

He lashed out over the time it took the committee to convene the hearing after Ford’s allegations emerged, singling out the Democrats for “unleashing” forces against him. He mocked Ford’s allegations — and several others since — that have accused him of sexual impropriety.

Even if senators vote down his confirmation, he said, “you’ll never get me to quit.”

Kavanaugh, who has two daughters, said one of his girls said they should “pray for the woman” making the allegations against him, referring to Ford. “That’s a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old,” he said choking up. “We mean no ill will.”

The judge repeatedly refused to answer senators’ questions about the hard-party atmosphere that has been described from his peer group at Georgetown Prep and Yale, treating them dismissively.

“Sometimes I had too many beers,” he acknowledged. “I liked beer. I still like beer. But I never drank beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone. ”

When Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., pressed if he ever drank so much he blacked out, he replied, “Have you?” After a break in the proceedings, he came back and apologized to Klobuchar. She said her father was an alcoholic.

Behind him in the audience as he testified, his wife, Ashley, sat looking stricken.

Republicans who had been scheduled to vote as soon as Friday at the committee — and early next week in the full Senate — alternated between their own anger and frustration at the allegations and the process.

“You’re right to be angry,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, his voice rising in anger, called the hearing the “most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”

___

Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Mary Clare Jalonick, Padmananda Rama, Matthew Daly, Julie Pace and AP photographers J. Scott Applewhite and Carolyn Kaster contributed to this report.

Rachel Mitchell in front of Senators
Trump allies who want to see Brett Kavanaugh confirmed were concerned that Rachel Mitchell (above) had not managed to poke any holes in Christine Blasey Ford’s account or character that would make her story less believable. | Tom Williams/Pool Image via AP

KAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION

Rachel Mitchell’s disappearing act confirms GOP blunder

Senate Republicans thought that bringing a female prosecutor to question Christine Blasey Ford would help them avoid looking like they were ganging up an alleged victim of sexual assault.

But once the hearing was underway, they seemed to quickly regret outsourcing their work to former sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. She lasted through the first part of the hearing featuring Ford, but was quickly relegated to the sidelines once Brett Kavanaugh started testifying, never to be heard from again.

At the outset of the hearing, Mitchell’s seemingly picayune lines of questioning failed to dent Ford’s credibility and put Republicans on the defensive over the sexual abuse allegations against Kavanaugh. The five-minute rounds of questioning — a request from Ford’s legal team that not every Democrat was comfortable with initially — didn’t help the GOP’s cause, either. Mitchell couldn’t establish any rhythm, clearly frustrating Republicans.

“I haven’t seen the whole thing but I wish our counsel had a longer period of time rather than breaking it up into five minute segments,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). “It’s just chopped up [so] you don’t have … a really good fact-finding type of exchange. That’s been unfortunate.”

During a lunch break a little over halfway through Ford’s testimony, some Senate Republicans expressed concern on the chamber floor over where Mitchell was going with her questioning, according to a GOP senator present for the exchange. They were told that Mitchell was not trying to score points against Ford, but that she would put together a case that Republicans could lay out during the committee vote on Kavanaugh Friday.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, said Mitchell was doing “very well” midway through her questioning of Ford, crediting the prosecutor with asking “respectful questions and [getting] pertinent information.” But Cornyn acknowledged that the format was “a little awkward with five-minute rounds.”

Despite Cornyn’s claim that Mitchell performed well, she asked only two rounds of questions of Kavanaugh and then was effectively yanked by Republican senators who chose not to cede more of their time to her.

Earlier in the day, towards the end of the questioning of Ford, it became clear Mitchell was chafing at her predicament. She asked Ford if she knew about the ideal way to interview trauma victims.

“Would you believe me if I told you that there’s no study that says this setting, in five-minute increments, is the best way to do that?” Mitchell asked, prompting laughter from Ford and many in the room.

“We’ll stipulate to that,” one Ford’s lawyers, Michael Bromwich, replied.

Moments later Mitchell raised the time limits again.

“Instead of submitting to an interview in California, we’re having a hearing here today—in five-minute increments,” the prosecutor said.

The negative reviews down at the other end of Pennsylvania Ave. were far more blunt, with one administration official calling the hearing a “disaster” for Kavanaugh’s confirmation hopes. The official said Republican lawmakers made a mistake by hiring a woman out of fear of the optics of Ford being questioned by an unbroken line of old white men.

Trump allies who want to see Kavanaugh confirmed were concerned that Mitchell had not managed to poke any holes in Ford’s account or character that would make her story less believable. But during the Judiciary Committee’s lunch break, they were still holding out hope that her lines of questions would lead to a breakthrough finale.

“Rachel Mitchell not only is not laying a glove on her, but, in my view, is actually helping her credibility by the gentility with which these questions are being asked and the open-ended answers that the witness is being permitted to give” Trump ally and former Judge Andrew Napolitano said on Fox News. “The president cannot be happy with this.”

As the hearing continued with testimony from Kavanaugh in the afternoon, Republicans soon pushed Mitchell aside. She asked a couple of a rounds of questions at the outset of the session, laying out a definition of sexual activity and asking if he’d ever engaged in such actions with Ford, which Kavanaugh denied.

Mitchell also asked him about drinking to the point of “black out,” which he again denied. She may have actually done some damage to the nominee by beginning to question him about a party mentioned on his calendar which appeared to involve at least two people Ford identified as being at the event where she was attacked. But she never returned to complete that line of questioning.

After that, the Arizona sex-crimes prosecutor remained at a small table in front of the dais, but became little more than window-dressing as Republican senators asserted their right to handle subsequent rounds of questioning themselves, or to use their time to express outrage about at how Kavanaugh had been treated by Democrats.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) launched into a fiery diatribe against his Democratic colleagues, accusing them of deliberately smearing Kavanaugh in order to block Trump from filling the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. Each of the other GOP senators followed in turn, but Mitchell was never heard from again.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said he wasn’t aware of any plan to stop using Mitchell following Graham’s tirade, but it worked out that way.

“By that time, it had moved on,” Crapo said. “When it came my turn, I just went.”

Many outside lawyers watching the hearing panned Mitchell’s role, though there was disagreement about where blamed lied for the lackluster performance.

“I think the committee members have put Rachel Mitchell at a significant disadvantage by forcing her to conduct such a disjointed examination. She is unable to complete a line of questioning before her time expires,” said former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.

The Federalist Society distributed talking points defending Mitchell’s line of questioning, noting that she had been able to show that “whoever drove [Ford] home doesn’t exist,” according to a person who received the talking points. The Federalist Society also noted that Mitchell had managed to prove that “there was no witness to support what she’s alleging happened.”

During the first half of the day, Mitchell steered clear of giving Ford more opportunities to describe the details of the assault she claims was perpetrated in an upstairs bedroom of a house by Kavanaugh and his friend, Matt Judge, in the early 1980s.

But Mitchell pursued some seemingly trivial rounds of questioning that didn’t elicit any information to undermine Ford’s testimony. Mitchell and Ford had a lengthy exchange over Ford’s fear of flying, although they established that Ford often flew for her job as a psychologist and to attend family events. Some of Mitchell’s precious time was used to question Ford about her fear of flying and to ask if she’d been to Australia. She said she had not.

Mitchell clearly suffered from the fact that neither the committee nor the FBI had questioned Ford previously, which left Mitchell probing a lot of dry holes and sometimes drawing answers that were unhelpful to the GOP side.

A question about why a polygraph was done in a hotel near an airport led to the sympathetic and probably unexpected answer from Ford that she was attending her grandmother’s funeral.

“She was out of her element,” said one defense attorney who knows Mitchell and asked not to be named. “Usually, she coddles the putative victim and excoriates the defendant and his witnesses. Her job for SJC Republicans is exactly opposite. And she has no second chair and staff with her at her table. Recipe for looking bad.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) argued that “the prosecutor is bolstering her credibility.”

“They’re nitpicking,” the Connecticut Democrat asserted. “Why did she cry in one place and not another? Irrelevant!”

He added: “There’s an old saying, as an old prosecutor I learned it well: Don’t ask a question if you don’t know the answer. And she has no idea what the answer will be.”

Annie Karni contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/27/gop-senators-outside-ford-questioner-mistake-849246

 

Story 2: Senate Judiciary Committee Vote 11 to 10 Along Party Lines to Send Judge Kavanagh Nomination To Full Senate — Waiting For Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Decision For Date of Confirmation Vote — Videos —

SENATE PANEL VOTES “YES” ON BRETT KAVANAUGH

Story 3: President Trump Orders Supplemental FBI Investigation Delaying Confirmation Vote For One More Week — Videos —

Donald Trump Orders FBI Investigation On Kavanaugh To Be ‘Limited In Scope’ | MTP Daily | MSNBC

Trump orders supplemental FBI investigation of Kavanaugh allegations before floor vote

 

The Latest: Ford lawyer thanks senators for new FBI probe

5:30 p.m.

A lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford is praising the efforts of several senators who successfully pushed for a new FBI investigation of Ford’s sexual assault claim against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Debra Katz says Ford “welcomes this step in the process” and appreciates the efforts of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and others. Senate Republican leaders agreed Friday to ask for the investigation and delay a final vote on Kavanaugh after Flake requested it. Flake is a crucial swing vote on the nomination.

President Donald Trump later ordered the investigation, saying it should be limited in scope and last no longer than a week. Katz says there should be no “artificial limits as to time or scope” on the investigation.

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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

5:25 p.m.

Alaska’s junior U.S. senator missed Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to undergo an emergency appendectomy.

Matt Shuckerow, a spokesman for Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, says Sullivan was diagnosed with appendicitis and underwent the procedure early Thursday.

Shuckerow says Sullivan is recovering and “currently reviewing yesterday’s hearing in its entirety.”

He is not saying how long the senator will be recovering or unable to vote. Republicans are struggling to round up votes for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The committee heard Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, and from Kavanaugh, who has denied the allegations.

Sullivan said early on he planned to support Kavanaugh. In a statement earlier this week, he said allegations of sexual assault should be taken seriously and both Ford and Kavanaugh deserve to be heard.

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5:10 p.m.

A Maryland police chief and prosecutor have informed a group of state lawmakers that they have not received any reports that would lead to the opening of a criminal investigation of the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and State’s Attorney John McCarthy responded Friday to a request earlier this week by 11 Democrats to investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh if his alleged victims support investigating.

Kavanaugh has denied Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s.

The letter to the lawmakers notes that assault and attempted rape were misdemeanors with a one-year statute of limitations in 1982. But the officials stressed that both of their offices are prepared to investigate any sexual assault investigation “from any victim where the incident occurred in our jurisdiction.”

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5:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is directing the FBI to launch a supplemental investigation into his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump says in a statement that the updated investigation, which comes in response to sexual misconduct allegations, “must be limited in scope” and “completed in less than one week.”

The decision marks a reversal for the administration, which had argued that Kavanaugh had already been vetted.

Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the allegations.

Senate Republican leaders agreed Friday to delay a final vote on Kavanaugh to allow time for an investigation by the FBI at the request of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.

Kavanaugh says he’s done “everything” the Senate has asked of him and “will continue to cooperate.”

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5 p.m.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh says in a statement released by the White House that he “will continue to cooperate” after senators asked President Donald Trump to open a supplemental background investigation of the embattled Supreme Court nominee.

Kavanaugh says he’s been interviewed by the FBI during his confirmation process and conducted “background” calls with the Senate. He says he answered questions under oath Thursday “about every topic the Senators and their counsel asked me.”

Kavanaugh says, “I’ve done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate.”

Trump is ordering the new FBI probe of Kavanaugh, saying it must be “limited in scope” and last no longer than a week.

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4:40 p.m.

Two Republican senators who could be the deciding votes on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are endorsing a FBI background investigation into the sexual misconduct accusations against him.

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told reporters they support a deal reached among senators to delay a vote on Kavanaugh.

Collins says the deal “is an important development and I believe it will let us go forward.”

Murkowski says she wants to make sure senators “do our due diligence.”

President Donald Trump will have to ask the FBI for the investigation into Kavanaugh. The Senate Judiciary Committee said the probe should be limited to “current credible allegations against the nominee” and be finished by Oct. 5.

Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

Both Collins and Murkowski are undecided on whether to vote for Kavanaugh.

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4 p.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee says it will ask President Donald Trump to open a supplemental background investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In a statement, the committee says it will ask that the FBI’s probe be limited to “current credible allegations against the nominee.” It also says that investigation should be completed no later than Oct. 5.

Democrats for days have been demanding an FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, but Republicans had refused to seek one. That changed Friday when Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said a background investigation should be conducted before a final Senate vote on the nominee.

Only Trump can order the FBI to reopen the investigation.

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3:50 p.m.

Senate Republican leaders have agreed to delay a final vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to allow time for an investigation by the FBI of the sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican, says, “There’s going to be a supplemental background investigation,” which would delay a vote “no later than one week.”

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called earlier Friday for the FBI to investigate the sexual misconduct claims against Kavanaugh. He said the process should not take longer than a week.

After Flake made that call, the Judiciary Committee sent Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate in an 11-10 vote.

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3:15 p.m.

A high school friend of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he will cooperate with any law enforcement agency that will “confidentially investigate” sexual misconduct allegations against him and Kavanaugh.

Mark Judge sent a signed letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, saying he “categorically” denies sexual misconduct allegations made by Julie Swetnick.

In a sworn statement released Wednesday, Swetnick accused Kavanaugh and Judge of excessive drinking and inappropriate treatment of women in the early 1980s, among other accusations.

Judge says in his letter that he doesn’t know Swetnick and does not recall any parties in the early 1980s where he “fondled or grabbed women in an aggressive or unwanted manner.”

He says Swetnick’s allegations are “so bizarre” and he “would remember actions so outlandish.”

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3:10 p.m.

One of the few Senate Democrats who remains undecided on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is backing calls for an FBI investigation of sexual misconduct claims against the nominee.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said senators need to slow down on confirming Kavanaugh so the investigation can be conducted. The probe should happen, in his words, “so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote.”

He applauded the “courage” of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who on Friday urged a delay of up to one week on Kavanaugh’s nomination to allow time for the FBI investigation.

Manchin is facing a tough re-election race this year in West Virginia, a state President Donald Trump won handily in the 2016 election.

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2:50 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is meeting with Republicans senators in his office to discuss the next steps on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate Friday afternoon. GOP senators from the panel dashed to McConnell’s office immediately after the vote.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a member of the committee, has called for the FBI to investigate the sexual misconduct claims against Kavanaugh. Asked what he hoped to accomplish, Flake replied: “A better process.”

Flake wants a delay of up to a week. The decision rests with Republican leaders.

Entering McConnell’s office, Sen. John Kennedy called the developments a “grotesque carnival.”

Kavanaugh denies the charges.

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2:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he found Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, “a very credible witness.”

Trump told reporters Friday at the White House that he thought Ford’s testimony Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee “was very compelling” and that “she looks like a very fine woman, very fine woman.”

But Trump also says he though Kavanaugh’s adamant denial “really something that I hadn’t seen before. It was incredible.”

Trump called it “an incredible moment I think in the history of our country.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor – but Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said the full Senate vote should be delayed for a week.

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 adamant denial “really something that I hadn’t seen before. It was incredible.”

Trump called it “an incredible moment I think in the history of our country.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor – but Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said the full Senate vote should be delayed for a week.

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2:25 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says it’s going to fall to him to lay out to President Donald Trump why Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation vote has been delayed.

He spoke after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate only if the final confirmation vote is delayed for an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations.

Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh attacked her in a locked room at a high school house party. Kavanaugh denies that.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday to advance the nomination to the full Senate, but Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley noted the timing on Senate vote was up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Graham, of South Carolina, is a Trump ally who is on the panel. Graham told reporters after the committee vote that somebody is going to have to explain the delay to Trump. Graham added: “I guess that’ll be my job.”

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2:18 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’ll leave it to the Senate to determine when it will vote on his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But Trump is expressing optimism, saying: “I’m sure it will all be very good.”

Trump told reporters Friday during a meeting with the President of Chile that undecided Republican senators “have to do what they think is right” and “be comfortable with themselves” on the Kavanaugh vote.

But he said he hadn’t thought at all about a replacement, “Not even a little bit.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday along party lines to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor.

But Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said at the last minute that he could not promise to vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor and called for a delay of up to a week for a further investigation of sexual assault accusations.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

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2:10 p.m.

Sen Jeff Flake says Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination should on hold so the FBI can investigate the sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Flake, the deciding vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to a full floor vote, but said the vote should be delayed for up to a week to allow time for the investigation of Christine Blasey Ford’s claims.

Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while the two were in high school.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s accusation.

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2 p.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted along party lines to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to the Senate floor.

The 11-10 vote Friday came just one day after Republicans heard testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens. Kavanaugh denied the accusation.

At the last minute, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, said he could not promise to vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor and called for a delay of up to a week for a further investigation.

Republicans voted to move ahead with Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley noted the timing on Senate vote was up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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1:40 p.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to be voting at 1:30 p.m. Friday on whether to recommend Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but something is afoot.

Behind-the-scenes negotiations have delayed the committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

It wasn’t clear what was being discussed. Republicans believed they had to votes to advance Kavanaugh out of the committee when Sen. Jeff Flake announced his support earlier Friday.

But senators seated in the hearing room are talking among themselves — and Flake is not seated. Some senators have stepped out of the room.

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1:10 p.m.

Senate Republicans do not yet have the votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That’s according to Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the third-ranking member of Republican leadership.

Thune said that Republicans still have “a little work to do” to get enough support.

Whether Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court could hinge on the votes of two Republican senators: Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. It does not appear that President Donald Trump or the White House is reaching out to them to try and influence their decision.

Thune said while such calls may be well-intended, “it’s better to let people decide on their own up here.”

Republicans have set a committee vote for Friday afternoon to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate.

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1:10 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota says “there are a lot of lawyers in America who can sit on the court” and Brett Kavanaugh isn’t the only person who can do the job.

Heitkamp said Friday she hasn’t decided whether to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. But her remarks to the AP suggest she may vote no.

Heitkamp is facing a tough re-election this year in a Republican-leaning state. Her decision on Kavanaugh is being closely watched.

She said she found testimony from both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault, “compelling” but “this is not a criminal case.”

Heitkamp says appointees “don’t all have to come from Harvard and Yale and they don’t all have to come from prep schools

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12:40 p.m.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester says he will join other Democrats in voting against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Tester is up for re-election this year in his deeply Republican home state. But he said he has concerns about Kavanaugh’s positions on privacy issues, campaign finance and about a California professor’s claim that he sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers. Kavanaugh denied Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations in a hearing Thursday.

Tester said he has requested a meeting with Kavanaugh “numerous times” but the White House wouldn’t commit.

The Montana senator said his office had received “thousands of calls and emails from Montanans” about Kavanaugh, a majority of which were opposed to his confirmation.

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12:30 p.m.

The dean of Yale Law School is calling for additional investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate votes on his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dean Heather Gerken said in statement Friday that she agrees with the American Bar Association that more investigation is needed. Gerken said proceeding with the confirmation process without more review is not in the best interest of the Supreme Court or the legal profession.

Kavanaugh received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Friday afternoon. A vote in favor will send the nomination to the full Senate.

Kavanaugh denies allegations by Christine Blasey Ford that he assaulted her when they were in high school. Kavanaugh says he’s never sexually assaulted anyone.

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11:50 a.m.

Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly says he’ll vote against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Donnelly is a moderate Democrat who voted for President Donald Trump’s first nominee to the high court, Neil Gorsuch (GOR’-suhch).

Donnelly is up for re-election this year in Indiana, which is a strongly Republican state.

His decision comes after a hearing Thursday when a California professor testified that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh also testified and denied Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations.

Donnelly says Ford’s allegations are “disturbing and credible” and should be investigated by the FBI, which Trump and Senate Republicans say isn’t needed.

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11:45 a.m.

Anita Hill says one of the things that stood out to her from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony was how emotional and angry it was compared with the “calm” words coming from the woman accusing him of sexual assault when they were teenagers.

Kavanaugh denies the accusation.

Hill gave Senate testimony in 1991 about her allegations of sexual harassment by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Hill – speaking Friday in Houston – says Kavanaugh “was able to express a real anger, an aggression, as well as a lot of emotion.”

She said no woman nomination to the high court “would ever have the license to express (herself) in that way.”

Hill says she was impressed with the calm and careful testimony of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

___

11:40 a.m.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas says it is “cruel” and “indecent” for Democrats to seek public testimony from Mark Judge, a high school friend of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Judge has told the committee in a signed statement that he doesn’t recall the events described by Christine Blasey (BLAH’-zee) Ford.

She accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens. Kavanaugh denies the accusation.

Ford has told senators that Judge was in the room during the alleged assault. Democrats have asked for the committee to subpoena Judge, but Republicans have voted down the request.

Cornyn says Judge admits to being a recovering alcoholic and is a cancer survivor. Cornyn says Democrats are ignoring that and seeking to “drag Mr. Judge into this circus-like atmosphere” and subject his battles with addition to public ridicule.

In Cornyn’s words: “That is cruel. That is reckless. That is indecent.”

___

11:10 a.m.

CNN cameras caught an extraordinary scene of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake being confronted by two protesters as he waited in an elevator to take him to the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.

Moments earlier, Flake had announced he’d vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Flake stood looking downcast as one of the women said to Flake: “Tell me, I’m standing right here in front of you, do you think he’s telling the truth to the country?”

The senator listened for nearly two minutes until the elevator door closed. He told the women he had put out a statement and would have more to say before the committee.

CNN’s Jim Scutto said: “I don’t think we’ve witnessed a moment like that in recent memory.”

___

10:50 a.m.

“Feels like Alice in Wonderland.”

That’s what a top Democrat says about the Senate Judiciary Committee in moving forward with Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Vermont’s Patrick Leahy is denouncing the way that majority Republicans have handled Kavanaugh’s nomination. Leahy says the committee has lost its independence and become, in his words, “an arm, and a very weak arm, of the Trump White House.”

The committee has set a vote for later Friday on whether to recommend the nomination to the full Senate.

Leahy says Kavanaugh has been “credibly accused of sexual assault” and the committee has failed to conduct a meaningful investigation.

Christine Blasey Ford testified Thursday that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teens. Kavanaugh says the accusation is “categorically” false.

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10:30 a.m.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (FYN’-styn) says the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh is “a real test” for the Senate and the nation “to see how we treat women, especially women who are survivors of sexual assault.”

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee says that 27 years after the Clarence Thomas hearings, Republicans appear to have a new strategy for handling sexual assault allegations.

She says, “The Republican strategy is no longer ‘attack the victim.’ It is to ignore the victim.”

Feinstein says she’s disappointed the committee is set to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination less than a day after emotional testimony by Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when both were teenagers. He denies the allegation.

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10:25 a.m.

The wife of Justice Clarence Thomas is praising Sen. Lindsey Graham for his criticism of Senate Democrats for their treatment of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Ginni Thomas says on her Facebook page “Thank you, Senator Graham, for speaking for so many of us!”

Thomas included a link to video from Graham’s fiery comments Thursday when he called the Democrats’ actions the “most despicable thing” he has seen in politics.

The link says Graham “exposes Democrat Kavanaugh sham.”

Ginni Thomas is a conservative activist who once worked for congressional Republicans. She made headlines in 2010 when she called Anita Hill and asked Hill to apologize for making sexual harassment allegations about Clarence Thomas after he had been nominated to the Supreme Court.

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10:15 a.m.

Several Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have walked out of a hearing on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Kamala Harris of California, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island left after the GOP chairman set a vote on the nomination for 1:30 p.m. Friday.

That was approved by a committee vote. Democrats say Republicans are rushing the confirmation.

During that vote, Hirono yelled: “”I strongly object! What a railroad job! No, no, NO.”

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10:05 a.m.

Republicans have blocked Democratic efforts to subpoena a high school friend of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who’s been described as a witness to an alleged assault involving Kavanaugh about three decades ago.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to subpoena Mark Judge has been defeated in a party-line vote, with all 11 Republicans on the panel voting against the motion and all 10 Democrats voting for it.

Democrats say Judge has never been interviewed by the FBI or questioned by a member of the committee, and that committee has a responsibility to subpoena Judge before it votes on whether to recommend Kavanaugh to the full Senate.

Kavanaugh denies the allegation.

The committee chairman, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, has read a statement from Judge that says he doesn’t recall the events described by Kavanaugh’s accuser and “never saw Brett act” in the way that he’s accused of.

___

10 a.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote at 1:30 p.m. on whether to recommend Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate.

The chairman, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, announced the vote as the committee began its meeting.

Kavanaugh has just picked up a key vote of support from a committee Republican, Arizona’s Jeff Flake.

Republicans have slim 11-10 majority on the committee. With Flake’s support, Kavanaugh’s nomination is expected to clear the committee and go to the full Senate.

The Senate could begin taking procedural votes over the weekend ahead of a final confirmation vote early next week.

___

9:55 a.m.

Emotions in the Capitol are running high over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Soon after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake announced he’d vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, he was cornered by two women as he got into an elevator to head to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Through tears, the women implored him to change his mind about his Kavanaugh vote.

The women were seen in TV footage blocking the Arizona senator from closing the elevator door. One woman begged Flake to look him in the eye. She said: “Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me.”

Another woman said Flake was allowing someone who “violated someone” to serve on the Supreme Court. Both women cried as they spoke to him.

Eventually a member of Flake’s staff said they needed to go and the doors closed. A committee confirmation vote is set for 1:30 p.m.

Kavanaugh has denied that he sexually assaulted a woman when they were teenagers. The committee on Thursday heard emotional and sometimes combative testimony from both Kavanaugh and his accuser.

___

9:40 a.m.

It’ll be a “yes” vote on Brett Kavanaugh from one of the most closely watched Republican senators who’s determining the fate of the Supreme Court nominee.

The announcement from Arizona’s Jeff Flake that he’ll vote to confirm Kavanaugh virtually ensures that the nomination will advance to the full Senate from the Judiciary Committee.

The committee is expected to vote Friday – and if the nomination advances to the full Senate, then senators could begin voting as early as Saturday.

Flake says he wishes he could express the confidence in Kavanaugh that some of his other GOP colleagues have. But Flakes says in a statement he still has “much doubt” after the committee’s explosive hearing Thursday.

Kavanaugh has denied Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Flake says that without evidence to corroborate Ford’s story, he believes “our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence.”

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9:10 a.m.

A Democratic senator who’s facing a tough re-election race has come out against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Bill Nelson of Florida tweets that he’ll vote “no” if the nomination comes to the full Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Kavanaugh on Friday.

Nelson’s decision comes a day after Kavanaugh told the committee that he didn’t sexually assault a woman when they were teenagers. The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, says she’s “100 percent” certain that he did.

Nelson hadn’t taken a public position on the nomination before his announcement Friday. Nelson had never met with Kavanaugh even though his office said they tried several times to schedule a meeting.

The senator is in a tight re-election race with Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, who has previously come out in support of Kavanaugh. Scott’s campaign hasn’t responded to questions about Ford’s testimony.

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8:45 a.m.

Former President George W. Bush has been advocating for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with wavering senators in recent days. That’s according to a person familiar with the outreach who wasn’t authorized to discuss the development publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Kavanaugh is a former top aide in Bush’s administration.

Bush has reached out to Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine. Bush spoke earlier this month to Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia in a call the senator’s office says Manchin initiated.

-Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey.

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8:05 a.m.

The White House is pushing back against a call from the American Bar Association to slow the vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until the FBI can do a full background check.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday that Kavanaugh has already “been through six separate background investigations by the FBI.”

Kavanaugh testified Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee over an allegation of sexual assault when he was in high school. His accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, also appeared before the committee during the emotionally charged day.

Sanders stressed Trump’s support for Kavanaugh and said he wanted to see a vote. She said Trump thought Kavanaugh’s testimony was “powerful, it was riveting and it was honest.”

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1:30 a.m.

The American Bar Association has urged the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate to slow down on the vote on Brett Kavanaugh for a position on the Supreme Court until the FBI has time to do a full background check on claims of sexual assault made by Christine Blasey (blah-zee) Ford and other women.

“We make this request because of the ABA’s respect for the rule of law and due process under law,” the ABA letter to committee leadership said. “Each appointment to our nation’s highest court (as with all others) is simply too important to rush to a vote.”

The Judiciary committee plans a vote on Kavanaugh Friday.

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12:35 a.m.

Senate Republicans are plowing forward with a committee vote Friday on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. Voting at the Senate Judiciary Committee comes after an extraordinary and highly emotional hearing over Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teens. The marathon session appears to have only deepened the partisan divide.

The Judiciary committee is narrowly split with the slimmest Republican majority. And Democrats are expected to oppose President Donald Trump’s nominee.

But even if the panel deadlocks over recommending Kavanaugh, the nomination can push forward. The full Senate may start taking procedural votes as soon as Saturday toward confirmation next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the committee’s going to vote Friday and “move forward.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, pauses as he speak to media as he leaves at the conclusion of Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, with Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sen. Jeff Flake, R- Ariz., right, walks out at the end of the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pauses as he speaks to media about the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Flake said it would be ‘proper’ to delay a Senate floor vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for a week. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6218953/The-Latest-Democratic-Sen-Nelson-opposing-Kavanaugh-bid.html

The Latest: Ford lawyer thanks senators for new FBI probe

GOP agrees to FBI probe of Kavanaugh, delaying Senate vote

 After a dramatic flurry of last-minute negotiations, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh cleared a key procedural hurdle Friday, but his confirmation prospects were still deeply uncertain as Republicans agreed to ask for a new FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations.

Under pressure from moderate members, Republican leaders said they would allow the new probe for up to one week, slowing their rush to confirm Kavanaugh shortly after the new high court term opens on Monday.

It was unclear whether President Donald Trump backed the new timeline, cobbled together in private negotiations Friday. The talks were forced by Sen. Jeff Flake, a moderate Republican who surprised colleagues by announcing his support for Kavanaugh early Friday only to call for further investigation a few hours later.

Trump, who previously accused the Democrats of obstruction and opposed the FBI probing the allegations against his nominee, said merely that he would “let the Senate handle that.” In fact, it’s the White House that would have to ask the FBI to investigate.

Friday’s developments unfolded a day after Kavanaugh and an accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testified in an emotional, hours-long hearing that was televised nationwide. Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegation that he assaulted Ford while they were both in high school, but she said she was “100 percent” certain he was her attacker.

Flake, a key moderate Republican, was at the center of Friday’s drama and uncertainty. In the morning, he announced that he would support Kavanaugh’s nomination. Shortly after, he was confronted in an elevator by two women who, through tears, implored him to change his mind. The stunning confrontation was captured by television cameras.

After huddling privately with his colleagues, Flake announced he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate only if the FBI were to investigate the allegations against the judge. Democrats have been calling for such an probe, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it’s unnecessary.

The committee vote was 11-10 along party lines.

Flake said that after discussing the matter with fellow senators, he felt it “would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week.”

Attention quickly turned to a handful of undecided senators. West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he supported Flake’s call to push off a full Senate vote until the FBI investigates Ford’s allegation. He said the probe should happen “so that our country can have confidence in the outcome of this vote.”

It was unclear if Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska would do the same.

With a 51-49 majority, Senate Republicans have little margin for error on a final vote, especially given the fact that several Democrats facing tough re-election prospects this fall announced their opposition to Kavanaugh on Friday. Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Jon Tester of Montana all said they would vote no.

During Thursday’s hearing, Democrats repeatedly peppered Kavanaugh with questions about whether he would support an FBI investigation. He demurred, saying he would back whatever the committee decided to do.

The FBI conducts background checks for federal nominees, but the agency does not make judgments on the credibility or significance of allegations. It compiles information about the nominee’s past and provides its findings to the White House, which passes them along to the committee. Republicans say reopening the FBI investigation is unnecessary because committee members have had the opportunity to question both Kavanaugh and Ford and other potential witnesses have submitted sworn statements.

If the FBI does reopen the background investigation, agents could interview accusers and witnesses and gather additional evidence or details that could help corroborate or disprove the allegations.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Democrats have been particularly focused on getting more information from Mark Judge, a high school friend of Kavanaugh who Ford said was also in the room during her alleged assault. In her gripping testimony, Ford said Kavanaugh and Judge’s laughter during the incident has stuck with her nearly four decades later.

Judge has said he does not recall any such incident. In a new letter to the Senate panel, he said he would cooperate with any law enforcement agency assigned to investigate “confidentially.”

Flake, a 55-year-old Arizonan, has made himself a central character in the drama. As a retiring Republican, with no public plans to face GOP voters soon, Flake has emerged this year as a vocal and biting Trump critic and an advocate for bipartisan cooperation in Washington, even has he largely votes with his party.

Flake’s post on the committee has given him another platform. In recent weeks, he’s acted as a committee liaison to the Democrats and moderates Republicans urging a slower process. Last weekend, he pushed the committee to give Ford more time to decide whether to testify. Democrats have been eyeing him as a possible “no” vote, leaving many surprised to see him announce Friday morning that he backed the judge. He made clear hours later his vote wasn’t yet secure.

https://apnews.com/e894392938b54ee3b82f4ea18ec1ed5c

Prosecutor who questioned Christine Ford says she wouldn’t prosecute Brett Kavanaugh

The prosecutor at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing questioning Christine Blasey Ford about her allegation of sexual assault has asked about her fear of flying. (Sept. 27) AP

Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor who questioned Christine Blasey Ford at Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee, privately told GOP senators she would not prosecute Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh based on the evidence she heard, according to the Washington Post.

That detail was spotlighted Friday by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, whose office sent out  a news release Friday referring to Mitchell’s conclusion.

Mitchell was hand-picked to lead the questioning of Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when both were high school students in the posh suburbs of suburban Maryland.

Mitchell avoided a high-decibel grilling Thursday and instead displayed a considerate, business-like manner befitting an experienced sex crimes prosecutor.

Cornyn, who as Senate majority whip is deputy to GOP Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News’ Fox & Friends Friday morning that he thought Mitchell performed admirably.

“I spent 13 years as a judge back in Texas, and I recognize the need to have somebody who does this for a living day after day carefully question somebody who has claimed to be a victim of sexual assault,” he said. “I thought she did a good job getting the basic facts out.”

More: Despite fear of planes, Christine Blasey Ford found ‘gumption’ to fly to D.C. for hearing

More: Republicans keep invoking Joe Biden’s words to bolster Supreme Court strategy. Here’s why.

Story 4: Prospects for Tax Reform — Videos

Tax reform will prolong long-term economic forecast for US, says Rep. Kevin Brady

 

61% of voters see tax plan as helping the rich over middle class: poll

 

Tax Cut 2.0 Push Seen Ending in Whimper, But There’s Always 2025

(Bloomberg) — A Republican effort to make last year’s individual tax changes permanent is expected to be approved by the House on Friday, before the initiative likely gets shelved because the Senate won’t act on it.

But, if history is any guide, taxpayers who benefited from the overhaul shouldn’t think all hope is lost — they’ll just have to be patient until shortly before the provisions are set to expire at the end of 2025.

Lawmakers, regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans control Congress, have often voted to extend tax breaks just before they’re scheduled to disappear. Members who have decried the changes when they’re initially inserted into the code are generally reluctant to erase all of the benefits years later.

“As history has proven, once the public and taxpayers get used to certain tax benefits, that increases the pressure on Congress to extend them or make them permanent,” said Jorge Castro, a tax consultant and former House and Senate aide.

That’s what happened with the tax cuts passed in 2001 (which had a follow-up enhancement bill in 2003) under former President George W. Bush. The cuts were set to expire in 2010, but were extended for two additional years. Then, in the early days of 2013, President Barack Obama and Congress worked out a budget deal to make the tax cuts permanent for most earners.

“As time passes, the political nature of a piece of legislation can be detached from its reality,” said Mattie Duppler, a senior fellow at the right-leaning National Taxpayers Union. “A Democrat voting in 2013 wasn’t voting in support of President Bush’s philosophy. They were supporting current law.”

House Republicans have forged ahead with holding a vote on “Tax Reform 2.0” legislation before the congressional elections this November. Yet that vote has largely been viewed as a political exercise, since the Senate is unlikely to take up the issue this year because it does not have the votes to pass.

In another example of congressional reluctance to kill off tax breaks, lawmakers have repeatedly extended the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, which helps homeowners who can’t afford a 20 percent down payment. The deduction, which expired at the end of 2017, is likely to get extended again to cover 2018 and possibly years beyond in an end-of-the year vote.

Republicans have hoped that the 2.0 legislation could be used to remind voters of President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut — which has had a lukewarm reception so far — and force Democrats to take an uncomfortable vote against providing middle-class relief.

Tax Law Perception

The tax overhaul slashed income tax rates across the board, while also almost doubling the standard deduction and providing an enhanced child tax credit. It removed personal exemptions and eliminated or limited itemized deductions, such as for state and local taxes.

It also provided a special break for owners of pass-through businesses, such as partnerships. All of the individual changes are set to expire at the end of 2025 for budgetary reasons. On the corporate side, the law permanently slashed the rate.

The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates making the individual cuts permanent would cost about $545.1 billion over the next 10 years, after taking economic growth into account.

So far, the tax law has not been the political pot of gold that Republicans had hoped. No Democrats voted for it, and party members have not hesitated to attack it. Even some Republicans — particularly those in high-tax Northeastern states hurt by the new cap on the so-called SALT deduction — don’t want to talk about their party’s signature legislative achievement.

survey commissioned by the Republican National Committee obtained by Bloomberg News shows that Republicans acknowledge that voters overwhelmingly believe the tax overhaul helps the wealthy instead of average Americans.

Sixty Votes

The political landscape in about seven years is likely to be much different. Trump will no longer be president. There are four election cycles in the House between now and then. The tax law talking points will be long gone from the public discourse.

Kevin Brady of Texas, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, has acknowledged that his plan to pass the legislation out of the House now isn’t likely to lead to anything reaching Trump’s desk imminently.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “has told me directly that when he sees 60 votes available for that provision, that’s when he’ll make a decision,” Brady said.

Sixty votes — the number of votes needed to pass most legislation in the Senate — aren’t likely to materialize while Democrats oppose the 2.0 campaign. But Democrats haven’t been universally opposed to making temporary tax cuts permanent, especially those that have been on the books for a decade or more.

That’s what happened when Obama signed the tax legislation in 2013 — passed by a Republican House and a Democratic Senate — making the majority of his Republican predecessor’s tax cuts permanent. Congress is setting themselves up for a “2024 or 2025 showdown” this time around, said John Gimigliano, head of federal tax legislative and regulatory services at accounting firm KPMG.

‘Balance of Power’

Still, there were adjustments to the Bush tax cuts “reversing provisions for those at the top and adding things for lower-wage workers,” said Chuck Marr, director of Federal Tax Policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “It reflected the balance of power at the time.”

Those earning more than $400,000 as an individual or $450,000 as a couple saw their top rates raised to 39.6 percent and the long-term capital gains rate increased to 20 percent.

For the 2017 law, it’s possible some provisions like the $10,000 SALT deduction cap are likely to continue to be controversial and could be tweaked. But cornerstones of the legislation, such as the standard deduction increase, which means more taxpayers can file their taxes using a simplified process, are likely to be favored by both parties.

“I don’t think in 2025 anybody is going to be excited about a middle-class tax hike,” Duppler said.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/markets/all-you-need-to-know-going-into-trade-on-sept-28

 

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1147, September 26, 2018, Breaking News — Story 1: President Trump Chairs and Addresses The Security Council and Accuses China Of Meddling In U.S. 2018 Elections — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s Long Awaited Press Conference — Videos — Story 3: Federal Reserve Increases Federal Funds Target Rate By Quarter-Percentage Point to Range of 2 to 2.25 Percent– Videos

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Image result for President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations Security Council during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.See the source imageImage result for fed increases fed funds rate by .25 september 26, 2018 See the source image

 

 

Breaking News — Story 1: President Trump Chairs and Addresses The Security Council and Accuses China Of Meddling In U.S. 2018 Elections — Videos —

See the source image

President Trump SHOCKING Speech Chairs the UN Security Council Meeting

President Trump Accuses China Of Meddling In 2018 Elections In U.N. Security Council Speech | TIME

FULL: President Trump Speech at UN Security Council (9/26/18)

Who was Trump’s UN security council address designed for?

Amb. Nikki Haley: World leaders respect Trump, love his honesty

Trump to world leaders: China out to meddle in 2018 election

Taking center stage at the United Nations, President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused China of trying to interfere in the upcoming U.S. congressional elections because it opposes his tough trade policies. The White House provided scant evidence of anything akin to the level of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade,” Trump said as he chaired the U.N. Security Council for the first time. He made his accusation against the backdrop of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the last election to help him and amid concerns that this November’s elections also could be vulnerable.

Asked later what evidence he had, Trump said there was “plenty” but didn’t provide details. Instead, he zeroed in on China’s propaganda efforts to flood the heartland with ads and statements against Trump’s hundreds of billions of dollars in punishing tariffs

Trump added: “I don’t like it when they attack our farmers and I don’t like it when they put out false messages. But beside that, we learned that they are trying to meddle in our elections and we’re not going to let that happen just as we’re not going to let that happen with Russia.”

China’s foreign minister shrugged when he heard Trump’s statement via translation at the Security Council.

“We do not and will not interfere in any countries’ domestic affairs,” said Foreign Minister Wang Yi. “We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against China, and we call on other countries to also observe the purposes of the U.N. charter and not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.”

President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations Security Council during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Left is United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

A senior Trump administration official who briefed reporters about Trump’s comments said China was stepping up covert and overt activities to punish those who support Trump’s tough trade stance and interfere in the political system. The only specifics given by the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, were that China is hurting farmers and workers in states and districts that voted for Trump.

The official said China stifles free speech on U.S. campuses and punishes or rewards businesses, think tanks, movie studios and political candidates for criticizing or supporting Chinese politics. The official added that more information would be declassified in coming days and that Vice President Mike Pence was expected to speak on the issue next week.

Democrats on the House intelligence committee requested information from the Trump administration on the Chinese efforts.

Trump leveled his charge against China amid a whirlwind day of diplomacy at the United Nations, where he had meetings with Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Britain’s Theresa May. Alongside Netanyahu, Trump offered his most explicit endorsement yet of the two-state solution to bring an end to the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The president also used his moment chairing the Security Council meeting on nuclear proliferation to issue a strong warning to nuclear-aspirant Iran, which he deemed the “world’s leading sponsor of terror” fueling “conflict around the region and far beyond.”

Trump, in his meeting with Abe, warned China again that “they can’t get involved with our elections,” strong rhetoric that stood in stark contrast to his reluctance to acknowledge or condemn Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies and refused to chastise Russia’s Vladimir Putin during their summer summit in Helsinki.

There is extensive evidence linking Russia to attempts to penetrate U.S. elections systems and to influence U.S. voters. Facebook announced in July that it had uncovered “sophisticated” efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to influence U.S. politics on its platforms. Thirty-two accounts were removed from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in “coordinated” political behavior and appeared to be fake. Nearly 300,000 people followed at least one of the accounts.

Microsoft also said it had discovered that a fake domain had been set up as the landing page for phishing attacks by a hacking group believed to have links to Russian intelligence. A Microsoft spokesman said Monday that additional analysis had confirmed that the attempted attacks occurred in late 2017 and targeted multiple accounts associated with the offices of two legislators running for re-election.

With the elections less than two months away, U.S. intelligence and election-protection officials have not cited any specific, credible Chinese efforts.

Officials say China’s cyber-espionage operations targeting U.S. defense and commerce have been formidable, however. And Trump’s claim comes amid an escalation of tensions between Washington and Beijing, spurred by their growing trade dispute.

Each imposed tariff increases on the other’s goods Monday, and Beijing accused the Trump administration of bullying. A Chinese official said China cannot hold talks on ending the trade dispute while the U.S. “holds a knife” to Beijing’s neck by hiking tariffs. Trump later tweeted out a photo of an advertising insert called “China Watch,” saying China was placing propaganda ads in the Des Moines Register and other papers to make it look like news.

U.S. intelligence officials have said they are not now seeing the intensity of Russian intervention registered in 2016 and are also concerned about activity by China, Iran and North Korea. Trump’s statement caught lawmakers and some national security officials off guard as Beijing has not been singled out as the most worrisome foe.

“I haven’t received any briefing on this and would have if it was a serious threat,” said Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., a member of the House intelligence committee. “If the president really wants to protect elections, there are many bipartisan bills he could support.”

Thomas Rid, a Johns Hopkins cybersecurity expert, said, “I am not aware of any evidence of Chinese interference in the midterm elections.” He added: “Chinese influence operations tend to be more subtle, less public, and business-related.”

China has been accused of interfering in an election before, although not in the United States. Cybersecurity firm Fire Eye released a report in July describing “active compromises of multiple Cambodia entities related to the country’s electoral system,” including the National Election Commission, before the country’s July 29 general elections.

The hackers’ methods matched a Chinese-linked hacking group tied to multiple cyber operations that have breached U.S. defense contractors, universities and engineering and maritime technology development firms.

“I’ve seen zero evidence in our own monitoring work that China is doing anything like that,” said Jake Williams, president of Rendition Infosec, a Georgia cybersecurity firm, “and none of the people in industry I share threat intelligence with have had a whisper of that.”

___

AP writers Frank Bajak in Boston and Colleen Long, Mary Clare Jalonick, Deb Riechmann and Tami Abdollah in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire and Miller at http://twitter.com/@zekejmiller

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, at U.N. Headquarters. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, at U.N. Headquarters. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, at U.N. Headquarters. At right are are Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National security adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

Story 2: President Trump’s Long Awaited Press Conference — Videos

Trump: Kavanaugh accusations are a con job

Trump: UNGA was ‘laughing with me,’ not at me

President Donald J. Trump is hosting a press conference and taking questions

Watch Live: Donald Trump holds press conference in New York, amid Kavanaugh scrutiny

President Trump’s full news conference

President Trump press conference after day at U.N.

President Trump holds press conference

Steyn: Female reporters don’t need Jim Acosta’s help

 

Key takeaways from Trump’s marathon press conference

During a rare solo press conference Wednesday spanning an hour and twenty-two minutes, President Trump sounded off on issues including Brett Kavanaugh, Rod Rosenstein, North Korea and peace in the Middle East.

One big thing: Trump said he’s had “a lot of false charges” made against him and called sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a “big fat con job.” The president declined to respond on whether he believed the accusers, saying Democrats and the third accuser’s lawyer are using the allegations to personally harm Brett Kavanaugh.

On Brett Kavanaugh: Trump says he’s open to “changing [his] mind” about his Supreme Court pick if evidence from Kavanaugh’s upcoming hearing is compelling.

  • Trump said, when asked if he thought the women accusing Kavanaugh were liars, that he’d see what happens during Thursday’s hearings. “It’s possible they could be convincing.”
  • In a tense exchange with the president, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Trump to call on a female correspondent during his press conference and answer questions on Kavanaugh.

On Kavanaugh’s public perception: “In this case you’re guilty until proven innocent. I think that is a very, very dangerous standard for our country.”

  • In continuing his attack on Democrats, Trump said “George Washington would be voted against 100% by Schumer and the con artists.”
  • “Somebody could come and say, ’30 years ago, 25 years ago, 10 years ago, he did a horrible thing… And honestly, it’s a very dangerous period in our country and it’s being perpetrated by very evil people. Some of them are democrats, I must say, because some of them know that this is a game that they’re playing.”

On whether he’ll watch Kavanaugh’s hearing: “I want to watch. I want to see. I hope can watch. I’m meeting with a lot of countries tomorrow, but I will certainly in some form be able to watch.”

  • On the term “con job”: Trump said he’s used “much worse” language than con job before. “That’s, like, probably the nicest phrase I’ve ever used.”

On the fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein: When asked if he planned on firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump said “we’ll see,” but his “preference would be to keep him.”

On the media: “I think ABC, CBS, NBC, The [New York] Times, The Washington Post, they’re all going to endorse me, because if they don’t, they’re going out of business. Can you imagine if you didn’t have me?”

On North Korea and Kim Jong-un: If I wasn’t elected, you’d be in a war….You would’ve had a war and you would’ve lost millions, not thousands, millions of people.”

On United Nations members laughing at him: “That’s fake news, that’s fake news. It was covered that way…They were not laughing at me, they were laughing with me.”

On soybeans and farmers: Trump called farmers “patriots” and said his policies are creating growth for the soybean industry, but they’ve fallen 12% year to year.

On Middle East negotiations: “If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that’s okay with me. If they want two states, that’s okay with me…I want to see if I can get a deal done so that people don’t get killed anymore.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest developments.

https://www.axios.com/trump-kavanaugh-allegations-con-job-4c0ea23f-7ea8-4743-80a1-620c0b403972.html

Story 3: Federal Reserve Increases Federal Funds Target Rate By Quarter-Percentage Point to Range of 2 to 2.25 Percent– Videos

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LIVE: Fed Chair Jerome Powell Holds Press Conference – Sept. 26, 2018

Today News – Fed raises rates and says more coming, brushing off Trump jabs

Fed hikes interest rates, economic forecast

Daily News – Fed raised interest rates and said more, beating Trump jabs

Will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates in December?

Fox Business

Published on Sep 6, 2018

What Higher Fed Interest Rates Mean for You

How Interest Rates Are Set: The Fed’s New Tools Explained

Wall Street Journal

Published on Sep 17, 2015

 

Fed hikes interest rates amid rising inflation

By The FedFOXBusiness

Fed raises rates for third time in 2018

The Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate by another quarter-percentage point. FBN’s Edward Lawrence with more.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised short-term interest rates for the third time this year.

The U.S. central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) increased its benchmark federal funds rate by a quarter-percentage point, setting a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, and continued to forecast one more rate hike in 2018.

The policy-setting board also removed the word “accommodative” from its statement to describe their position on interest rates. The move indicates that the Fed, encouraged by rising inflation and strong U.S. hiring, is inching closer to the end of the current rate-hike cycle.

During a press conference, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the removal of “accommodative” does not signal a change in the Fed’s policy plans. Rather, it indicates that the FOMC is moving in line with its expected path, he said.

Most policymakers expect to hold steady on interest rates sometime in 2020, which would leave the federal funds rate in a range of 3.25 percent to 3.5 percent. The long-run rate is estimated to be 3 percent.

Officials have been rolling back accommodative monetary policies initially employed after the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed has indicated it will continue to gradually raise rates at least through 2019, a strategy used to prevent the economy from growing too fast and keep prices from spiking. The decision to raise rates Wednesday was the eighth hike since 2015. It also began to process of winding down its massive portfolio of government debt and mortgage-backed securities in late 2017.

More from FOX Business

Investors have expected the Fed to increase the federal funds rate a total of four times this year with the next rate hike likely in December. The Fed forecast an additional three rate increases in 2019 and one in 2020.

Economists believe U.S. economic conditions will allow the Fed to remain on track. The Fed raised its estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 3.1 percent this year, and it sees unemployment falling to a rate of 3.5 percent in 2019.

Powell said more companies have raised concerns about new import tariffs, but the global trade dispute has yet to impact economic numbers. Widespread tariffs over the long term would be a negative development for the U.S. economy, he added.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow estimate has called for economic growthOpens a New Window. of 4.4 percent in the third quarter, which would mark the second consecutive quarter of gains over 4 percent. In August, wages posted their largest annual gain since 2009, while the unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent, near its lowest level since 2000.

Fed officials affirmed their outlook that inflation will remain near a target of 2 percent annual growth through 2021. The core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, has hit the central bank’s target three times this year.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/federal-reserve-interest-rate-hike-inflation

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1146, September 25, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Greatest Speech At United Nations General Assembly — Failed Institution — Opposes United Nations Agenda 21 and The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development, One World Government, Globalism and Socialism! — Trump Should Get Last Laugh When He Ends 2020 U.N. Speech With “It Is Time The United States Get Out of United Nations and The United Nations Get Out of United States” — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Great Speech At Failed Institution — United Nations General Assembly — Opposes United Nations Agenda 21 and The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development, One World Government and Socialism! — Trump Should Get Last Laugh When He Ends 2020 U.N. Speech With “It Is Time The United States Get Out of United Nations and The United Nations Get Out of United States” — Videos

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America The Beautiful with Lyrics

United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York

10:38 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Madam President, Mr. Secretary-General, world leaders, ambassadors, and distinguished delegates:

One year ago, I stood before you for the first time in this grand hall. I addressed the threats facing our world, and I presented a vision to achieve a brighter future for all of humanity.

Today, I stand before the United Nations General Assembly to share the extraordinary progress we’ve made.

In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.
America’s — so true. (Laughter.) Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay. (Laughter and applause.)

America’s economy is booming like never before. Since my election, we’ve added $10 trillion in wealth. The stock market is at an all-time high in history, and jobless claims are at a 50-year low. African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment have all achieved their lowest levels ever recorded. We’ve added more than 4 million new jobs, including half a million manufacturing jobs.

We have passed the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history. We’ve started the construction of a major border wall, and we have greatly strengthened border security.

We have secured record funding for our military — $700 billion this year, and $716 billion next year. Our military will soon be more powerful than it has ever been before.

In other words, the United States is stronger, safer, and a richer country than it was when I assumed office less than two years ago.
We are standing up for America and for the American people. And we are also standing up for the world.

This is great news for our citizens and for peace-loving people everywhere. We believe that when nations respect the rights of their neighbors, and defend the interests of their people, they can better work together to secure the blessings of safety, prosperity, and peace.

Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth.

That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination.

I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship.

We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.

From Warsaw to Brussels, to Tokyo to Singapore, it has been my highest honor to represent the United States abroad. I have forged close relationships and friendships and strong partnerships with the leaders of many nations in this room, and our approach has already yielded incredible change.

With support from many countries here today, we have engaged with North Korea to replace the specter of conflict with a bold and new push for peace.
In June, I traveled to Singapore to meet face to face with North Korea’s leader, Chairman Kim Jong Un.

We had highly productive conversations and meetings, and we agreed that it was in both countries’ interest to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Since that meeting, we have already seen a number of encouraging measures that few could have imagined only a short time ago.

The missiles and rockets are no longer flying in every direction. Nuclear testing has stopped. Some military facilities are already being dismantled. Our hostages have been released. And as promised, the remains of our fallen heroes are being returned home to lay at rest in American soil.

I would like to thank Chairman Kim for his courage and for the steps he has taken, though much work remains to be done. The sanctions will stay in place until denuclearization occurs.

I also want to thank the many member states who helped us reach this moment — a moment that is actually far greater than people would understand; far greater — but for also their support and the critical support that we will all need going forward.

A special thanks to President Moon of South Korea, Prime Minister Abe of Japan, and President Xi of China.

In the Middle East, our new approach is also yielding great strides and very historic change.

Following my trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Gulf countries opened a new center to target terrorist financing. They are enforcing new sanctions, working with us to identify and track terrorist networks, and taking more responsibility for fighting terrorism and extremism in their own region.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have pledged billions of dollars to aid the people of Syria and Yemen. And they are pursuing multiple avenues to ending Yemen’s horrible, horrific civil war.

Ultimately, it is up to the nations of the region to decide what kind of future they want for themselves and their children.

For that reason, the United States is working with the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jordan, and Egypt to establish a regional strategic alliance so that Middle Eastern nations can advance prosperity, stability, and security across their home region.
Thanks to the United States military and our partnership with many of your nations, I am pleased to report that the bloodthirsty killers known as ISIS have been driven out from the territory they once held in Iraq and Syria. We will continue to work with friends and allies to deny radical Islamic terrorists any funding, territory or support, or any means of infiltrating our borders.

The ongoing tragedy in Syria is heartbreaking. Our shared goals must be the de-escalation of military conflict, along with a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people. In this vein, we urge the United Nations-led peace process be reinvigorated. But, rest assured, the United States will respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime.

I commend the people of Jordan and other neighboring countries for hosting refugees from this very brutal civil war.

As we see in Jordan, the most compassionate policy is to place refugees as close to their homes as possible to ease their eventual return to be part of the rebuilding process. This approach also stretches finite resources to help far more people, increasing the impact of every dollar spent.

Every solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria must also include a strategy to address the brutal regime that has fueled and financed it: the corrupt dictatorship in Iran.

Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.

The Iranian people are rightly outraged that their leaders have embezzled billions of dollars from Iran’s treasury, seized valuable portions of the economy, and looted the people’s religious endowments, all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war. Not good.

Iran’s neighbors have paid a heavy toll for the region’s [regime’s] agenda of aggression and expansion. That is why so many countries in the Middle East strongly supported my decision to withdraw the United States from the horrible 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal and re-impose nuclear sanctions.

The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders. In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget grew nearly 40 percent. The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, increase internal repression, finance terrorism, and fund havoc and slaughter in Syria and Yemen.

The United States has launched a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds it needs to advance its bloody agenda. Last month, we began re-imposing hard-hitting nuclear sanctions that had been lifted under the Iran deal. Additional sanctions will resume November 5th, and more will follow. And we’re working with countries that import Iranian crude oil to cut their purchases substantially.

We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America,” and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth. Just can’t do it.

We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues. And we ask all nations to support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.

This year, we also took another significant step forward in the Middle East. In recognition of every sovereign state to determine its own capital, I moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The United States is committed to a future of peace and stability in the region, including peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That aim is advanced, not harmed, by acknowledging the obvious facts.

America’s policy of principled realism means we will not be held hostage to old dogmas, discredited ideologies, and so-called experts who have been proven wrong over the years, time and time again. This is true not only in matters of peace, but in matters of prosperity.

We believe that trade must be fair and reciprocal. The United States will not be taken advantage of any longer.

For decades, the United States opened its economy — the largest, by far, on Earth — with few conditions. We allowed foreign goods from all over the world to flow freely across our borders.

Yet, other countries did not grant us fair and reciprocal access to their markets in return. Even worse, some countries abused their openness to dump their products, subsidize their goods, target our industries, and manipulate their currencies to gain unfair advantage over our country. As a result, our trade deficit ballooned to nearly $800 billion a year.

For this reason, we are systematically renegotiating broken and bad trade deals.
Last month, we announced a groundbreaking U.S.-Mexico trade agreement. And just yesterday, I stood with President Moon to announce the successful completion of the brand new U.S.-Korea trade deal. And this is just the beginning.

Many nations in this hall will agree that the world trading system is in dire need of change. For example, countries were admitted to the World Trade Organization that violate every single principle on which the organization is based. While the United States and many other nations play by the rules, these countries use government-run industrial planning and state-owned enterprises to rig the system in their favor. They engage in relentless product dumping, forced technology transfer, and the theft of intellectual property.

The United States lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs, nearly a quarter of all steel jobs, and 60,000 factories after China joined the WTO. And we have racked up $13 trillion in trade deficits over the last two decades.

But those days are over. We will no longer tolerate such abuse. We will not allow our workers to be victimized, our companies to be cheated, and our wealth to be plundered and transferred. America will never apologize for protecting its citizens.

The United States has just announced tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese-made goods for a total, so far, of $250 billion. I have great respect and affection for my friend, President Xi, but I have made clear our trade imbalance is just not acceptable. China’s market distortions and the way they deal cannot be tolerated.

As my administration has demonstrated, America will always act in our national interest.

I spoke before this body last year and warned that the U.N. Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.
Our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken.

So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted.
For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.

America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.

Around the world, responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from other, new forms of coercion and domination.

In America, we believe strongly in energy security for ourselves and for our allies. We have become the largest energy producer anywhere on the face of the Earth.

The United States stands ready to export our abundant, affordable supply of oil, clean coal, and natural gas.

OPEC and OPEC nations, are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don’t like it. Nobody should like it. We defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices. Not good.

We want them to stop raising prices, we want them to start lowering prices, and they must contribute substantially to military protection from now on. We are not going to put up with it — these horrible prices — much longer.

Reliance on a single foreign supplier can leave a nation vulnerable to extortion and intimidation. That is why we congratulate European states, such as Poland, for leading the construction of a Baltic pipeline so that nations are not dependent on Russia to meet their energy needs. Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.

Here in the Western Hemisphere, we are committed to maintaining our independence from the encroachment of expansionist foreign powers.

It has been the formal policy of our country since President Monroe that we reject the interference of foreign nations in this hemisphere and in our own affairs. The United States has recently strengthened our laws to better screen foreign investments in our country for national security threats, and we welcome cooperation with countries in this region and around the world that wish to do the same. You need to do it for your own protection.

The United States is also working with partners in Latin America to confront threats to sovereignty from uncontrolled migration. Tolerance for human struggling and human smuggling and trafficking is not humane. It’s a horrible thing that’s going on, at levels that nobody has ever seen before. It’s very, very cruel.

Illegal immigration funds criminal networks, ruthless gangs, and the flow of deadly drugs. Illegal immigration exploits vulnerable populations, hurts hardworking citizens, and has produced a vicious cycle of crime, violence, and poverty. Only by upholding national borders, destroying criminal gangs, can we break this cycle and establish a real foundation for prosperity.

We recognize the right of every nation in this room to set its own immigration policy in accordance with its national interests, just as we ask other countries to respect our own right to do the same — which we are doing. That is one reason the United States will not participate in the new Global Compact on Migration. Migration should not be governed by an international body unaccountable to our own citizens.

Ultimately, the only long-term solution to the migration crisis is to help people build more hopeful futures in their home countries. Make their countries great again.

Currently, we are witnessing a human tragedy, as an example, in Venezuela. More than 2 million people have fled the anguish inflicted by the socialist Maduro regime and its Cuban sponsors.

Not long ago, Venezuela was one of the richest countries on Earth. Today, socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty.

Virtually everywhere socialism or communism has been tried, it has produced suffering, corruption, and decay. Socialism’s thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion, and oppression. All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone.

In that spirit, we ask the nations gathered here to join us in calling for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. Today, we are announcing additional sanctions against the repressive regime, targeting Maduro’s inner circle and close advisors.

We are grateful for all the work the United Nations does around the world to help people build better lives for themselves and their families.

The United States is the world’s largest giver in the world, by far, of foreign aid. But few give anything to us. That is why we are taking a hard look at U.S. foreign assistance. That will be headed up by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We will examine what is working, what is not working, and whether the countries who receive our dollars and our protection also have our interests at heart.

Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and, frankly, are our friends. And we expect other countries to pay their fair share for the cost of their defense.

The United States is committed to making the United Nations more effective and accountable. I have said many times that the United Nations has unlimited potential. As part of our reform effort, I have told our negotiators that the United States will not pay more than 25 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget. This will encourage other countries to step up, get involved, and also share in this very large burden.

And we are working to shift more of our funding from assessed contributions to voluntary so that we can target American resources to the programs with the best record of success.

Only when each of us does our part and contributes our share can we realize the U.N.’s highest aspirations. We must pursue peace without fear, hope without despair, and security without apology.

Looking around this hall where so much history has transpired, we think of the many before us who have come here to address the challenges of their nations and of their times. And our thoughts turn to the same question that ran through all their speeches and resolutions, through every word and every hope. It is the question of what kind of world will we leave for our children and what kind of nations they will inherit.

The dreams that fill this hall today are as diverse as the people who have stood at this podium, and as varied as the countries represented right here in this body are. It really is something. It really is great, great history.

There is India, a free society over a billion people, successfully lifting countless millions out of poverty and into the middle class.

There is Saudi Arabia, where King Salman and the Crown Prince are pursuing bold new reforms.

There is Israel, proudly celebrating its 70th anniversary as a thriving democracy in the Holy Land.

In Poland, a great people are standing up for their independence, their security, and their sovereignty.

Many countries are pursuing their own unique visions, building their own hopeful futures, and chasing their own wonderful dreams of destiny, of legacy, and of a home.

The whole world is richer, humanity is better, because of this beautiful constellation of nations, each very special, each very unique, and each shining brightly in its part of the world.

In each one, we see awesome promise of a people bound together by a shared past and working toward a common future.

As for Americans, we know what kind of future we want for ourselves. We know what kind of a nation America must always be.

In America, we believe in the majesty of freedom and the dignity of the individual. We believe in self-government and the rule of law. And we prize the culture that sustains our liberty -– a culture built on strong families, deep faith, and fierce independence. We celebrate our heroes, we treasure our traditions, and above all, we love our country.

Inside everyone in this great chamber today, and everyone listening all around the globe, there is the heart of a patriot that feels the same powerful love for your nation, the same intense loyalty to your homeland.

The passion that burns in the hearts of patriots and the souls of nations has inspired reform and revolution, sacrifice and selflessness, scientific breakthroughs, and magnificent works of art.

Our task is not to erase it, but to embrace it. To build with it. To draw on its ancient wisdom. And to find within it the will to make our nations greater, our regions safer, and the world better.

To unleash this incredible potential in our people, we must defend the foundations that make it all possible. Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered. And so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.

When we do, we will find new avenues for cooperation unfolding before us. We will find new passion for peacemaking rising within us. We will find new purpose, new resolve, and new spirit flourishing all around us, and making this a more beautiful world in which to live.

So together, let us choose a future of patriotism, prosperity, and pride. Let us choose peace and freedom over domination and defeat. And let us come here to this place to stand for our people and their nations, forever strong, forever sovereign, forever just, and forever thankful for the grace and the goodness and the glory of God.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the nations of the world.

Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

END

11:13 A.M. EDT

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-73rd-session-united-nations-general-assembly-new-york-ny/

FULL TEXT: Donald Trump’s Address at the 2018 UN General Assembly

Trump slams Iran, insists Israeli-Palestinian peace has advanced, attacks ICC and says U.S. won’t return to Human Rights Council

 

In most global of settings, UN ponders populism’s problems

Warning that the world has a bad case of “trust deficit disorder” and risks “runaway climate change,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged global leaders Tuesday to abandon unilateralism and reinvigorate cooperation as the only way to tackle the challenges and threats of increasingly chaotic times.

The U.N. chief painted a grim picture of the state of the world in his opening address to the annual gathering of presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and government officials from the U.N.’s 193 member nations. He pointed to rising polarization and populism, ebbing cooperation, “fragile” trust in international institutions and “outrage” at the inability to end wars in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.

“Democratic principles are under siege,” Guterres said. “The world is more connected, yet societies are becoming more fragmented. Challenges are growing outward, while many people are turning inward. Multilateralism is under fire precisely when we need it most.”

In contrast, U.S. President Donald Trump defended an America-first policy, rejecting “global governance, control and domination.” He said he expects other nations to honor America’s sovereignty in return.

“America is governed by Americans,” Trump said in his speech. “We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”

But French President Emmanuel Macron assailed self-interest in his address soon after Trump, saying “nationalism always leads to defeat.”

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

He drew loud applause for his impassioned plea against isolationism and for global cooperation.

“Friends, I know you may be tired of multilateralism. I also know that the world is flooded with information, and one becomes indifferent. It all starts to look like a big show,” he said. “Please, don’t get used to it, don’t become indifferent. Do not accept the erosion of multilateralism. Don’t accept our history unraveling. I’m not getting used to this, and I’m not turning my head.”

In his speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took a dig at Trump over the issue – indirectly, if not by name.

“Confronting multilateralism is not a sign of strength; rather it is a symptom of the weakness of intellect – it betrays an inability in understanding a complex and interconnected world,” Rouhani said.

Iran has been a target of escalating U.S. accusations over its nuclear and missile programs and international terrorist activities. It vehemently denies any nuclear ambitions or involvement in international terrorism.

Trump earlier had blasted what he called Iran’s “corrupt dictatorship,” saying he has launched an “economic pressure” campaign against the country. The U.S. withdrew this year from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Rouhani accused the U.S. of trying to overthrow his government, rejecting bilateral talks after Trump predicted stepped-up U.S. sanctions would get Tehran to negotiate over its nuclear program.

Guterres highlighted two challenges that have taken on “surpassing urgency” since last year: climate change and new risks from advances in technology.

“Climate change is moving faster than we are,” he warned. “If we do not change course in the next two years, we risk runaway climate change. … Our future is at stake.”

Guterres said artificial intelligence, blockchain and biotechnology can potentially “turbocharge progress,” but also pose risks and serious dangers.

Technology stands to change or eliminate some jobs and is being misused for sexual abuse, for terrorism and for malicious acts in cyberspace including disinformation campaigns, discrimination against women and for reinforcing “our male-dominated culture,” he said.

“The weaponization of artificial intelligence is a growing concern,” he added.

General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces opened the gathering by asking the VIPs to stand in silent tribute to former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who died Aug. 18 at age 80.

Espinosa Garces, who was Ecuador’s foreign minister, echoed Guterres’ appeal on multilateralism, saying the General Assembly is “the only place where a meeting of this kind is possible,” and where all countries “have the opportunity to hear and be heard.”

She said the U.N.’s global contribution has been immense, from international law and the promotion of peace to human rights, combatting poverty and preserving the environment.

“The reality is that the work of the United Nations is as relevant today as it was 73 years ago,” she said. “Multilateralism stands alone as the only viable response to the global problems that we are faced with. To undermine multilateralism, or to cast a doubt upon its merits, will only lead to instability and division, to mistrust and polarization.”

Brazil’s President Michel Temer also focused on threats to global cooperation.

“We live in times clouded by isolationist forces,” he said. “Old forms of intolerance are being rekindled. Unilateral relapses are, today, increasingly less of an exception.”

“However, these challenges should not and cannot possibly intimidate us. Isolationism, intolerance, unilateralism – we must respond to each of these different trends with the very best of our peoples,” Temer said.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sharply critical of the veto power wielded by the five permanent members of the Security Council – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France – and warned that the U.N. risks becoming an organization with “a reputation for failure” if it continues catering to them “while standing idle to the oppression in the other parts of the world.”

He cited genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda and the failure to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling for the Security Council to be restructured to reflect the 21st century.

This year, 133 world leaders have signed up to attend the session, which ends Oct. 1, a significant increase from the 114 leaders last year. Populist leaders attending include Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and Italy’s Premier Giuseppe Conte, along with the foreign ministers of Hungary and Austria.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned at Monday’s U.N. “peace summit” honoring the 100th birthday of South African anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela that “unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise.”

He likely had Trump in mind, since the U.S. and China have been engaged in a trade war in recent months, with the two sides imposing higher tariffs on imports from each other.

Wang said “the U.N. is the symbol of multilateralism” and he urged the international community to “stand united under the umbrella of multilateralism, uphold the central role of the U.N. in international affairs, and provide more predictability and stability in this turbulent world.”

In speeches and nearly 350 meetings on the assembly sideline, the conflicts, hotspots and issues contributing to that turbulence will be debated.

The seven-year conflict in Syria and the three-year war in Yemen that has sparked the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and now seriously threatens large-scale famine are certain to be in the spotlight, along with African hotspots including Libya, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Mali and Congo.

The U.S., which holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council in September, has scheduled two meetings, one chaired by Trump on Wednesday that was initially to focus on Iran but has now been broadened to “nonproliferation” of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

The second one, to be chaired Thursday by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is on North Korea, the one major issue where there is a glimmer of hope for progress. The 15 council nations have been united in imposing increasingly tough sanctions to try to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear program. But that unity appears to be at risk over enforcement of sanctions and the broader issues of how to achieve denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and when sanctions should be lifted.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday Sept. 25, 2018 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday Sept. 25, 2018 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday Sept. 25, 2018 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday Sept. 25, 2018 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

France's President Emmanuel Macron addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hands off his speech following his address to the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari listens as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Agenda 21

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Agenda 21
Agenda 21 Cover.gif

Cover of the first edition (paperback)
Author United Nations
Cover artist United Nations (1992)
Country United States
Language English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher United Nations
Publication date
April 23, 1993
Media type Print (Paperback) & HTML
Pages 300 pp
ISBN 978-92-1-100509-7

Agenda 21 is a non-binding action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.[1] It is a product of the Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels.

The “21” in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st Century. Although it is also the area code for Greater Rio de Janeiro, plus Teresópolis and Mangaratiba in the countryside. It has been affirmed and had a few modifications at subsequent UN conferences. Its aim is achieving global sustainable development. One major objective of the agenda 21 is that every local government should draw its own local agenda 21.

 

Structure and contents

Agenda 21 is a 350-page document divided into 40 chapters that have been grouped into 4 sections:

  • Section I: Social and Economic Dimensions is directed toward combating poverty, especially in developing countries, changing consumption patterns, promoting health, achieving a more sustainable population, and sustainable settlement in decision making.
  • Section II: Conservation and Management of Resources for Development includes atmospheric protection, combating deforestation, protecting fragile environments, conservation of biological diversity (biodiversity), control of pollution and the management of biotechnology, and radioactive wastes.
  • Section III: Strengthening the Role of Major Groups includes the roles of children and youth, women, NGOs, local authorities, business and industry, and workers; and strengthening the role of indigenous peoples, their communities, and farmers.
  • Section IV: Means of Implementation includes science, technology transfereducationinternational institutions and financial mechanisms.

Development and evolution

The full text of Agenda 21 was made public at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit), held in Rio de Janeiro on June 13, 1992, where 178 governments voted to adopt the program. The final text was the result of drafting, consultation, and negotiation, beginning in 1989 and culminating at the two-week conference.

Rio+5 (1997)[edit]

In 1997, the UN General Assembly held a special session to appraise the status of Agenda 21 (Rio +5). The Assembly recognized progress as “uneven” and identified key trends, including increasing globalization, widening inequalities in income, and continued deterioration of the global environment. A new General Assembly Resolution (S-19/2) promised further action.

Rio+10 (2002)

The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, agreed to at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2002), affirmed UN commitment to “full implementation” of Agenda 21, alongside achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other international agreements.

Agenda 21 for culture (2002)

The first World Public Meeting on Culture, held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2002, came up with the idea to establish guidelines for local cultural policies, something comparable to what Agenda 21 was for the environment.[2] They are to be included in various subsections of Agenda 21 and will be carried out through a wide range of sub-programs beginning with G8 countries.[citation needed]

Rio+20 (2012)

In 2012, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development the attending members reaffirmed their commitment to Agenda 21 in their outcome document called “The Future We Want”. 180 nation leaders participated.

Sustainable Development Summit (2015)

Agenda 2030, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals, was a set of goals decided upon at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015.[3] It takes all of the goals set by Agenda 21 and re-asserts them as the basis for sustainable development, saying, “We reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development…”[4] Adding onto those goals from the original Rio document, a total of 17 goals have been agreed on, revolving around the same concepts of Agenda 21; people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership.[5]

Implementation

The Commission on Sustainable Development acts as a high-level forum on sustainable development and has acted as preparatory committee for summits and sessions on the implementation of Agenda 21. The UN Division for Sustainable Development acts as the secretariat to the Commission and works “within the context of” Agenda 21.

Implementation by member states remains voluntary, and its adoption has varied.

Local level

The implementation of Agenda 21 was intended to involve action at international, national, regional and local levels. Some national and state governments have legislated or advised that local authorities take steps to implement the plan locally, as recommended in Chapter 28 of the document. These programs are often known as “Local Agenda 21” or “LA21”.[6] For example, in the Philippines, the plan is “Philippines Agenda 21” (PA21). The group, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, formed in 1990; today its members come from over 1,000 cities, towns, and counties in 88 countries and is widely regarded as a paragon of Agenda 21 implementation.[7]

Europe turned out to be the continent where LA21 was best accepted and most implemented.[8] In Sweden, for example, all local governments have implemented a Local Agenda 21 initiative.[9]

Regional levels

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Division for Sustainable Development monitors and evaluates progress, nation by nation, towards the adoption of Agenda 21, and makes these reports available to the public on its website.[10]

Australia

Australia is a signatory to Agenda 21 and 88 of its municipalities subscribe to ICLEI, an organization that promotes Agenda 21 globally. Australia’s membership is second only to that of the United States.[11]

Africa

In Africa, national support for Agenda 21 is strong and most countries are signatories. But support is often closely tied to environmental challenges specific to each country; for example, in 2002 Sam Nujoma, who was then President of Namibia, spoke about the importance of adhering to Agenda 21 at the 2002 Earth Summit, noting that as a semi-arid country, Namibia sets a lot of store in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).[12] Furthermore, there is little mention of Agenda 21 at the local level in indigenous media. Only major municipalities in sub-Saharan African countries are members of ICLEI. Agenda 21 participation in North African countries mirrors that of Middle Eastern countries, with most countries being signatories but little to no adoption on the local-government level. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa generally have poorly documented Agenda 21 status reports.[citation needed] By contrast, South Africa‘s participation in Agenda 21 mirrors that of modern Europe, with 21 city members of ICLEI and support of Agenda 21 by national-level government.[citation needed]

North America

The national focal point in the United States is the Division Chief for Sustainable Development and Multilateral Affairs, Office of Environmental Policy, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.[13] A June 2012 poll of 1,300 United States voters by the American Planning Association found that 9% supported Agenda 21, 6% opposed it, and 85% thought they didn’t have enough information to form an opinion.[14]

Support

The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is a legally non-binding statement of intent and not a treaty, the United States Senate did not hold a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered to be law under Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of the 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992,[15][16] and in the same year Representatives Nancy PelosiEliot Engel and William Broomfieldspoke in support of United States House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 353, supporting implementation of Agenda 21 in the United States.[14][17] Created by a 1993 Executive Order, the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) is explicitly charged with recommending a national action plan for sustainable development to the President. The PCSD is composed of leaders from government and industry, as well as from environmental, labor and civil rights organizations. The PCSD submitted its report, “Sustainable America: A New Consensus”, to the President in early 1996. In the absence of a multi-sectoral consensus on how to achieve sustainable development in the United States, the PCSD was conceived to formulate recommendations for the implementation of Agenda 21.

In the United States, over 528 cities are members of ICLEI, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world. The United States has nearly half of the ICLEI’s global membership of 1,200 cities promoting sustainable development at a local level.[11] The United States also has one of the most comprehensively documented Agenda 21 status reports.[18] In response to the opposition, Don Knapp, U.S. spokesman for the ICLEI, has said “Sustainable development is not a top-down conspiracy from the U.N., but a bottom-up push from local governments”.[14]

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry successfully lobbied against an anti-sustainable development bill in 2012, arguing “It would be bad for business” as it could drive away corporations that have embraced sustainable development.[14]

Opposition

Anti-Agenda 21 conspiracy theories have circulated in the U.S. Some Tea Party movement activists and others promoted the notion that Agenda 21 was part of a UN plot to deny property rights, undermine U.S. sovereignty, or force citizens to move to cities.[19][20][7][14][21]Activists believed that the non-binding UN resolution was “the linchpin in a plot to subjugate humanity under an eco-totalitarian regime.”[20] The conspiracy theory had its roots in anti-environmentalist ideology and opposition to land-use regulation.[21]

Agenda 21 fears have played a role in opposition to local government’s efforts to promote resource and land conservation, build bike lanes, and construct hubs for public transportation.[19] The non-profit group ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability USA – was targeted by anti-Agenda 21 activists.[19] In 2012 Glenn Beck co-wrote a dystopian novel titled Agenda 21 based in part on concepts discussed in the UN plan.[22][23][24] In the same year, fears of Agenda 21 “went mainstream” when the Republican National Committeeadopted a platform resolution stated that “We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty.”[25][20]

Several state and local governments have considered or passed motions and legislation opposing Agenda 21.[7][14][20] Most such bills failed, “either dying in committee, getting defeated on the statehouse floor or – in the case of Missouri‘s 2013 bill – getting vetoed by the governor.”[20] In Texas, for example, broadly worded legislation that would prohibit any governmental entity from accepting from or granting money to any “nongovernmental or intergovernmental organization accredited by the United Nations to implement a policy that originated in the Agenda 21 plan” was defeated because it could have cut off funding for groups such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Texas Wildlife Association.[20] In Arizona, a similarly sweeping bill was introduced in the Arizona State Legislature seeking to mandate that the state could not “adopt or implement the creed, doctrine, or principles or any tenet” of Agenda 21 and to prohibit the state “implementing programs of, expending any sum of money for, being a member of, receiving funding from, contracting services from, or giving financial or other forms of aid to” an array of sustainability organizations.[20] The bill, which was opposed by the state chamber of commerce and the mayor of Phoenix, was defeated in 2012.[20] Alabama was one state that did adopt an anti-Agenda 21 resolution, unanimously passing in 2012 a measure to block “any future effort to ‘deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21.'”[20]

Europe and Russia

European countries generally possess well documented Agenda 21 statuses.[citation needed]

France

France, whose national government, along with 14 cities, is a signatory, boasts nationwide programs supporting Agenda 21.

Baltic nations

Baltic nations formed the Baltic 21 coalition as a regional expression of Agenda 21.[26]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

 

United Nations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Map showing the member states of the United Nations[a]

Headquarters New York City(international territory)
Official languages
Type Intergovernmental organization
Membership 193 member states
2 observer states
Leaders
António Guterres
Amina J. Mohammed
Maria Fernanda Espinosa
Marie Chatardová
Olof Skoog
Establishment
• UN Chartersigned
26 June 1945 (73 years ago)
• Charter entered into force
24 October 1945 (72 years ago)

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked to promote international co-operation and to create and maintain international order. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War II with the aim of preventing another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The headquarters of the UN is in ManhattanNew York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in GenevaNairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world.[3]

The UN Charter was drafted at a conference between April–June 1945 in San Francisco, and was signed on 26 June 1945 at the conclusion of the conference;[4][5] this charter took effect on 24 October 1945, and the UN began operation. The UN’s mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades by the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. The organization participated in major actions in Korea and the Congo, as well as approving the creation of the Israeli state in 1947. The organization’s membership grew significantly following widespread decolonization in the 1960s, and by the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN took on major military and peacekeeping missions across the world with varying degrees of success.

The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly); the Security Council (for deciding certain resolutions for peace and security); the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC; for promoting international economic and social co-operation and development); the Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN); the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ); and the UN Trusteeship Council (inactive since 1994). UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food ProgrammeUNESCO, and UNICEF. The UN’s most prominent officer is the Secretary-General, an office held by Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres since 2017. Non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN’s work.

The organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, and a number of its officers and agencies have also been awarded the prize. Other evaluations of the UN’s effectiveness have been mixed. Some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called the organization ineffective, corrupt, or biased.

History

Background

1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states.

In the century prior to the UN’s creation, several international treaty organizations and conferences had been formed to regulate conflicts between nations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907.[6] Following the catastrophic loss of life in the First World War, the Paris Peace Conference established the League of Nations to maintain harmony between countries.[7] This organization resolved some territorial disputes and created international structures for areas such as postal mail, aviation, and opium control, some of which would later be absorbed into the UN.[8] However, the League lacked representation for colonial peoples (then half the world’s population) and significant participation from several major powers, including the US, USSR, Germany, and Japan; it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in 1935, the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, and German expansions under Adolf Hitler that culminated in the Second World War.[9]

1942 “Declaration of United Nations” by the Allies of World War II

The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U.S. State Department in 1939.[10] The text of the “Declaration by United Nations” was drafted at the White House on December 29, 1941, by President Franklin D. RooseveltPrime Minister Winston Churchill, and Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins. It incorporated Soviet suggestions, but left no role for France. “Four Policemen” was coined to refer to four major Allied countries, United StatesUnited KingdomSoviet Union, and Republic of China, which emerged in the Declaration by United Nations.[11] Roosevelt first coined the term United Nations to describe the Allied countries.[b] “On New Year’s Day 1942, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Maxim Litvinov, of the USSR, and T. V. Soong, of China, signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations Declaration and the next day the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures.”[12] The term United Nations was first officially used when 26 governments signed this Declaration. One major change from the Atlantic Charter was the addition of a provision for religious freedom, which Stalin approved after Roosevelt insisted.[13][14] By 1 March 1945, 21 additional states had signed.[15]

A JOINT DECLARATION BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS, CHINA, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, CANADA, COSTA RICA, CUBA, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, GREECE, GUATEMALA, HAITI, HONDURAS, INDIA, LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NORWAY, PANAMA, POLAND, SOUTH AFRICA, YUGOSLAVIA

The Governments signatory hereto,

Having subscribed to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of Great Britain dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter,

Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world,

DECLARE:

  1. Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which such government is at war.
  2. Each Government pledges itself to cooperate with the Governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.

During the war, “the United Nations” became the official term for the Allies. To join, countries had to sign the Declaration and declare war on the Axis.[16]

Founding

The UN in 1945: Founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue

The UN was formulated and negotiated among the delegations from the Allied Big Four (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China) at the Dumbarton Oaks Conferencein 1944.[17][18] After months of planning, the UN Conference on International Organization opened in San Francisco, 25 April 1945, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the UN Charter.[4][5][19] “The heads of the delegations of the sponsoring countries took turns as chairman of the plenary meetings: Anthony Eden, of Britain, Edward Stettinius, of the United States, T. V. Soong, of China, and Vyacheslav Molotov, of the Soviet Union. At the later meetings, Lord Halifax deputized for Mister Eden, Wellington Koo for T. V. Soong, and Mister Gromyko for Mister Molotov.”[20] The UN officially came into existence 24 October 1945, upon ratification of the Charter by the five permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.[21]

The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented,[c] and the Security Council took place in London beginning 10 January 1946.[21] The General Assembly selected New York City as the site for the headquarters of the UN, and the facility was completed in 1952. Its site—like UN headquarters buildings in GenevaVienna, and Nairobi—is designated as international territory.[24] The Norwegian Foreign Minister, Trygve Lie, was elected as the first UN Secretary-General.[21]

Cold War Era

Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in 1961.

Though the UN’s primary mandate was peacekeeping, the division between the US and USSR often paralysed the organization, generally allowing it to intervene only in conflicts distant from the Cold War.[25] (A notable exception was a Security Council resolution in 1950 authorizing a US-led coalition to repel the North Korean invasion of South Korea, passed in the absence of the USSR.)[21][26] In 1947, the General Assembly approved a resolution to partition Palestine, approving the creation of the state of Israel. Two years later, Ralph Bunche, a UN official, negotiated an armistice to the resulting conflict.[27] In 1956, the first UN peacekeeping force was established to end the Suez Crisis;[28] however, the UN was unable to intervene against the USSR’s simultaneous invasion of Hungary following that country’s revolution.[29]

In 1960, the UN deployed United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNOC), the largest military force of its early decades, to bring order to the breakaway State of Katanga, restoring it to the control of the Democratic Republic of the Congoby 1964.[30] While travelling to meet rebel leader Moise Tshombe during the conflict, Dag Hammarskjöld, often named as one of the UN’s most effective Secretaries-General,[31] died in a plane crash; months later he was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[32] In 1964, Hammarskjöld’s successor, U Thant, deployed the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, which would become one of the UN’s longest-running peacekeeping missions.[33]

With the spread of decolonization in the 1960s, the organization’s membership saw an influx of newly independent nations. In 1960 alone, 17 new states joined the UN, 16 of them from Africa.[28] On 25 October 1971, with opposition from the United States, but with the support of many Third World nations, the mainland, communist People’s Republic of China was given the Chinese seat on the Security Council in place of the Republic of China that occupied Taiwan; the vote was widely seen as a sign of waning US influence in the organization.[34] Third World nations organized into the Group of 77 coalition under the leadership of Algeria, which briefly became a dominant power at the UN.[35] In 1975, a bloc comprising the USSR and Third World nations passed a resolution, over strenuous US and Israeli opposition, declaring Zionism to be racism; the resolution was repealed in 1991, shortly after the end of the Cold War.[36]

With an increasing Third World presence and the failure of UN mediation in conflicts in the Middle EastVietnam, and Kashmir, the UN increasingly shifted its attention to its ostensibly secondary goals of economic development and cultural exchange.[37] By the 1970s, the UN budget for social and economic development was far greater than its peacekeeping budget.

Post-Cold War

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006

After the Cold War, the UN saw a radical expansion in its peacekeeping duties, taking on more missions in ten years than it had in the previous four decades.[38] Between 1988 and 2000, the number of adopted Security Council resolutions more than doubled, and the peacekeeping budget increased more than tenfold.[39][40][41] The UN negotiated an end to the Salvadoran Civil War, launched a successful peacekeeping mission in Namibia, and oversaw democratic elections in post-apartheid South Africa and post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia.[42] In 1991, the UN authorized a US-led coalition that repulsed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.[43] Brian Urquhart, Under-Secretary-General from 1971 to 1985, later described the hopes raised by these successes as a “false renaissance” for the organization, given the more troubled missions that followed.[44]

Though the UN Charter had been written primarily to prevent aggression by one nation against another, in the early 1990s the UN faced a number of simultaneous, serious crises within nations such as Somalia, Haiti, Mozambique, and the former Yugoslavia.[45] The UN mission in Somalia was widely viewed as a failure after the US withdrawal following casualties in the Battle of Mogadishu, and the UN mission to Bosnia faced “worldwide ridicule” for its indecisive and confused mission in the face of ethnic cleansing.[46] In 1994, the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda failed to intervene in the Rwandan genocide amid indecision in the Security Council.[47]

Beginning in the last decades of the Cold War, American and European critics of the UN condemned the organization for perceived mismanagement and corruption.[48] In 1984, the US President, Ronald Reagan, withdrew his nation’s funding from UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, founded 1946) over allegations of mismanagement, followed by Britain and Singapore.[49][50] Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General from 1992 to 1996, initiated a reform of the Secretariat, reducing the size of the organization somewhat.[51][52] His successor, Kofi Annan (1997–2006), initiated further management reforms in the face of threats from the United States to withhold its UN dues.[52]

In the late 1990s and 2000s, international interventions authorized by the UN took a wider variety of forms. The UN mission in the Sierra Leone Civil War of 1991–2002 was supplemented by British Royal Marines, and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was overseen by NATO.[53]In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq despite failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution for authorization, prompting a new round of questioning of the organization’s effectiveness.[54]Under the eighth Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the UN has intervened with peacekeepers in crises including the War in Darfur in Sudan and the Kivu conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and sent observers and chemical weapons inspectors to the Syrian Civil War.[55] In 2013, an internal review of UN actions in the final battles of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009 concluded that the organization had suffered “systemic failure”.[56] One hundred and one UN personnel died in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the worst loss of life in the organization’s history.[57]

The Millennium Summit was held in 2000 to discuss the UN’s role in the 21st century.[58] The three day meeting was the largest gathering of world leaders in history, and culminated in the adoption by all member states of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a commitment to achieve international development in areas such as poverty reductiongender equality, and public health. Progress towards these goals, which were to be met by 2015, was ultimately uneven. The 2005 World Summit reaffirmed the UN’s focus on promoting development, peacekeeping, human rights, and global security.[59] The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015 to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.[60]

In addition to addressing global challenges, the UN has sought to improve its accountability and democratic legitimacy by engaging more with civil society and fostering a global constituency.[61] In an effort to enhance transparency, in 2016 the organization held its first public debate between candidates for Secretary-General.[62] On 1 January 2017, Portuguese diplomat António Guterres, who previously served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, became the ninth Secretary-General. Guterres has highlighted several key goals for his administration, including an emphasis on diplomacy for preventing conflicts, more effective peacekeeping efforts, and streamlining the organization to be more responsive and versatile to global needs.[63]

Structure

The UN system is based on five principal organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice.[64] A sixth principal organ, the Trusteeship Council, suspended operations in 1994, upon the independence of Palau, the last remaining UN trustee territory.[65]

Four of the five principal organs are located at the main UN Headquarters in New York City.[66] The International Court of Justice is located in The Hague, while other major agencies are based in the UN offices at Geneva,[67] Vienna,[68] and Nairobi.[69] Other UN institutions are located throughout the world. The six official languages of the UN, used in intergovernmental meetings and documents, are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.[70] On the basis of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, the UN and its agencies are immune from the laws of the countries where they operate, safeguarding the UN’s impartiality with regard to the host and member countries.[71]

Below the six organs sit, in the words of the author Linda Fasulo, “an amazing collection of entities and organizations, some of which are actually older than the UN itself and operate with almost complete independence from it”.[72] These include specialized agencies, research and training institutions, programmes and funds, and other UN entities.[73]

The UN obey the Noblemaire principle, which is binding on any organization that belongs to the UN system. This principle calls for salaries that will draw and keep citizens of countries where salaries are highest, and also calls for equal pay for work of equal value independent of the employee’s nationality.[74][75] In practice, the ICSC takes reference to the highest-paying national civil service.[76] Staff salaries are subject to an internal tax that is administered by the UN organizations.[74][77]

Principal organs of the United Nations [78]

UN General Assembly
— Deliberative assembly of all UN member states —
UN Secretariat
— Administrative organ of the UN —
International Court of Justice
— Universal court for international law —
UN General Assembly hall
Headquarters of the UN in New York City
International Court of Justice
  • May resolve non-compulsory recommendations to states or suggestions to the Security Council (UNSC);
  • Decides on the admission of new members, following proposal by the UNSC;
  • Adopts the budget;
  • Elects the non-permanent members of the UNSC; all members of ECOSOC; the UN Secretary General (following his/her proposal by the UNSC); and the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Each country has one vote.
  • Supports the other UN bodies administratively (for example, in the organization of conferences, the writing of reports and studies and the preparation of the budget);
  • Its chairperson – the UN Secretary General – is elected by the General Assembly for a five-year mandate and is the UN’s foremost representative.
  • Decides disputes between states that recognize its jurisdiction;
  • Issues legal opinions;
  • Renders judgement by relative majority. Its fifteen judges are elected by the UN General Assembly for nine-year terms.
UN Security Council
— For international security issues —
UN Economic and Social Council
— For global economical and social affairs —
UN Trusteeship Council
— For administering trust territories (currently inactive) —
UN security council
UN Economic and Social Council
UN Trusteeship Council
  • Responsible for co-operation between states as regards economic and social matters;
  • Co-ordinates co-operation between the UN’s numerous specialized agencies;
  • Has 54 members, elected by the General Assembly to serve staggered three-year mandates.
  • Was originally designed to manage colonial possessions that were former League of Nations mandates;
  • Has been inactive since 1994, when Palau, the last trust territory, attained independence.

General Assembly

Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addresses the UN General Assembly in December 1988

The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the UN. Composed of all UN member states, the assembly meets in regular yearly sessions, but emergency sessions can also be called.[79] The assembly is led by a president, elected from among the member states on a rotating regional basis, and 21 vice-presidents.[80] The first session convened 10 January 1946 in the Methodist Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.[21]

When the General Assembly votes on important questions, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required. Examples of important questions include recommendations on peace and security; election of members to organs; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; and budgetary matters.[81] All other questions are decided by a majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, resolutions are not binding on the members. The Assembly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security that are under consideration by the Security Council.[79]

Draft resolutions can be forwarded to the General Assembly by its six main committees:[82]

As well as by the following two committees:

  • General Committee – a supervisory committee consisting of the assembly’s president, vice-president, and committee heads.
  • Credentials Committee – responsible for determining the credentials of each member nation’s UN representatives.

Security Council

Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with allegedIraqi chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq warhearings, 5 February 2003

The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other organs of the UN can only make “recommendations” to member states, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member states have agreed to carry out, under the terms of Charter Article 25.[83] The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council resolutions.[84]

The Security Council is made up of fifteen member states, consisting of five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term date)—Bolivia (term ends 2018), Côte d’Ivoire (2019), Equatorial Guinea (2019), Ethiopia (2018), Kazakhstan (2018), Kuwait (2019), Netherlands (2018), Peru (2019), Poland (2019), and Sweden (2018).[85] The five permanent members hold veto power over UN resolutions, allowing a permanent member to block adoption of a resolution, though not debate. The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms, with five member states per year voted in by the General Assembly on a regional basis.[86] The presidency of the Security Council rotates alphabetically each month.[87]

Secretariat

The UN Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, assisted by the Deputy Secretary-General and a staff of international civil servants worldwide.[88] It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by UN bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies.[89]

The Secretary-General acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the UN. The position is defined in the UN Charter as the organization’s “chief administrative officer”.[90] Article 99 of the charter states that the Secretary-General can bring to the Security Council’s attention “any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”, a phrase that Secretaries-General since Trygve Lie have interpreted as giving the position broad scope for action on the world stage.[91] The office has evolved into a dual role of an administrator of the UN organization and a diplomat and mediator addressing disputes between member states and finding consensus to global issues.[92]

The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, after being recommended by the Security Council, where the permanent members have veto power. There are no specific criteria for the post, but over the years it has become accepted that the post shall be held for one or two terms of five years.[93] The current Secretary-General is António Guterres, who replaced Ban Ki-moon in 2017.

Secretaries-General of the United Nations[94]
No. Name Country of origin Took office Left office Note
1 Trygve Lie Norway 2 February 1946 10 November 1952 Resigned
2 Dag Hammarskjöld Sweden 10 April 1953 18 September 1961 Died in office
3 U Thant Burma 30 November 1961 31 December 1971
4 Kurt Waldheim Austria 1 January 1972 31 December 1981
5 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar Peru 1 January 1982 31 December 1991
6 Boutros Boutros-Ghali Egypt 1 January 1992 31 December 1996
7 Kofi Annan Ghana 1 January 1997 31 December 2006
8 Ban Ki-moon South Korea 1 January 2007 31 December 2016
9 António Guterres Portugal 1 January 2017

International Court of Justice

The court had ruled that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independencefrom Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, in the Netherlands, is the primary judicial organ of the UN. Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who serve 9-year terms and are appointed by the General Assembly; every sitting judge must be from a different nation.[95][96]

It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, sharing the building with the Hague Academy of International Law, a private centre for the study of international law. The ICJ’s primary purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference, ethnic cleansing, and other issues.[97] The ICJ can also be called upon by other UN organs to provide advisory opinions.[95]

Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social co-operation and development. ECOSOC has 54 members, which are elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term. The president is elected for a one-year term and chosen amongst the small or middle powers represented on ECOSOC. The council has one annual meeting in July, held in either New York or Geneva. Viewed as separate from the specialized bodies it co-ordinates, ECOSOC’s functions include information gathering, advising member nations, and making recommendations.[98][99] Owing to its broad mandate of co-ordinating many agencies, ECOSOC has at times been criticized as unfocused or irrelevant.[98][100]

ECOSOC’s subsidiary bodies include the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which advises UN agencies on issues relating to indigenous peoples; the United Nations Forum on Forests, which co-ordinates and promotes sustainable forest management; the United Nations Statistical Commission, which co-ordinates information-gathering efforts between agencies; and the Commission on Sustainable Development, which co-ordinates efforts between UN agencies and NGOs working towards sustainable development. ECOSOC may also grant consultative status to non-governmental organizations;[98] by 2004, more than 2,200 organizations had received this status.[101]

Specialized agencies

The UN Charter stipulates that each primary organ of the United Nations can establish various specialized agencies to fulfil its duties.[102] Some best-known agencies are the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Food and Agriculture OrganizationUNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN performs most of its humanitarian work through these agencies. Examples include mass vaccination programmes (through WHO), the avoidance of famine and malnutrition (through the work of the WFP), and the protection of vulnerable and displaced people (for example, by UNHCR).[103]

Organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations
No. Acronym Agency Headquarters Head Established in
1 FAO Food and Agriculture Organization Italy RomeItaly Brazil José Graziano da Silva 1945
2 IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency Austria ViennaAustria Japan Yukiya Amano 1957
3 ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization Canada Montreal, QuebecCanada China Fang Liu 1947
4 IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development Italy RomeItaly Nigeria Kanayo F. Nwanze 1977
5 ILO International Labour Organization Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland United Kingdom Guy Ryder 1946 (1919)
6 IMO International Maritime Organization United Kingdom LondonUnited Kingdom South Korea Kitack Lim 1948
7 IMF International Monetary Fund United States Washington, D.C.United States France Christine Lagarde 1945 (1944)
8 ITU International Telecommunication Union Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland China Houlin Zhao 1947 (1865)
9 UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization France ParisFrance France Audrey Azoulay 1946
10 UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization Austria ViennaAustria China Li Yong 1967
11 UNWTO World Tourism Organization Spain MadridSpain Jordan Taleb Rifai 1974
12 UPU Universal Postal Union Switzerland BernSwitzerland Kenya Bishar Abdirahman Hussein 1947 (1874)
13 WBG World Bank Group United States Washington, D.C.United States United States Jim Y. Kim 1945 (1944)
14 WFP World Food Programme Italy RomeItaly United States Ertharin Cousin 1963
15 WHO World Health Organization Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland Ethiopia Tedros Adhanom 1948
16 WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland Australia Francis Gurry 1974
17 WMO World Meteorological Organization Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland Finland Petteri Taalas (Secretary-General)
France Michel Jarraud (President)
1950 (1873)

Membership

Map of the current UN member states by their dates of admission.[104]

 1945 (original members)
 1946–1959
 1960–1989
 1990–present
 non-member observer states

With the addition of South Sudan 14 July 2011,[105] there are 193 UN member states, including all undisputed independent states apart from Vatican City.[106][d] The UN Charter outlines the rules for membership:

  1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states that accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.
  2. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. Chapter II, Article 4.[107]

In addition, there are two non-member observer states of the United Nations General Assembly: the Holy See (which holds sovereignty over Vatican City) and the State of Palestine.[108] The Cook Islands and Niue, both states in free association with New Zealand, are full members of several UN specialized agencies and have had their “full treaty-making capacity” recognized by the Secretariat.[109]

Group of 77

The Group of 77 at the UN is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the UN. Seventy-seven nations founded the organization, but by November 2013 the organization had since expanded to 133 member countries.[110] The group was founded 15 June 1964 by the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries” issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The group held its first major meeting in Algiers in 1967, where it adopted the Charter of Algiers and established the basis for permanent institutional structures.[111]

Objectives

Peacekeeping and security

Bolivian “Blue Helmet” at an exercise in Chile, 21 October 2002

The UN, after approval by the Security Council, sends peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN does not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states. These soldiers are sometimes nicknamed “Blue Helmets” for their distinctive gear.[112][113] The peacekeeping force as a whole received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.[114]

In September 2013, the UN had peacekeeping soldiers deployed on 15 missions. The largest was the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), which included 20,688 uniformed personnel. The smallest, United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), included 42 uniformed personnel responsible for monitoring the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. UN peacekeepers with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) have been stationed in the Middle East since 1948, the longest-running active peacekeeping mission.[115]

A study by the RAND Corporation in 2005 found the UN to be successful in two out of three peacekeeping efforts. It compared efforts at nation-building by the UN to those of the United States, and found that seven out of eight UN cases are at peace, as compared with four out of eight US cases at peace.[116] Also in 2005, the Human Security Report documented a decline in the number of wars, genocides, and human rights abuses since the end of the Cold War, and presented evidence, albeit circumstantial, that international activism—mostly spearheaded by the UN—has been the main cause of the decline in armed conflict in that period.[117] Situations in which the UN has not only acted to keep the peace but also intervened include the Korean War (1950–53) and the authorization of intervention in Iraq after the Gulf War (1990–91).[118]

UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures. In many cases, member states have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions. Disagreements in the Security Council about military action and intervention are seen as having failed to prevent the Bangladesh genocide in 1971,[119] the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s,[120] and the Rwandan genocide in 1994.[121] Similarly, UN inaction is blamed for failing to either prevent the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 or complete the peacekeeping operations in 1992–93 during the Somali Civil War.[122] UN peacekeepers have also been accused of child rape, soliciting prostitutes, and sexual abuse during various peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[123] Haiti,[124] Liberia,[125] Sudan and what is now South Sudan,[126] Burundi, and Ivory Coast.[127] Scientists cited UN peacekeepers from Nepal as the likely source of the 2010–13 Haiti cholera outbreak, which killed more than 8,000 Haitians following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[128]

In addition to peacekeeping, the UN is also active in encouraging disarmament. Regulation of armaments was included in the writing of the UN Charter in 1945 and was envisioned as a way of limiting the use of human and economic resources for their creation.[83] The advent of nuclear weapons came only weeks after the signing of the charter, resulting in the first resolution of the first General Assembly meeting calling for specific proposals for “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction”.[129] The UN has been involved with arms-limitation treaties, such as the Outer Space Treaty (1967), the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968), the Seabed Arms Control Treaty (1971), the Biological Weapons Convention (1972), the Chemical Weapons Convention (1992), and the Ottawa Treaty (1997), which prohibits landmines.[130]Three UN bodies oversee arms proliferation issues: the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission.[131]

Human rights

One of the UN’s primary purposes is “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion”, and member states pledge to undertake “joint and separate action” to protect these rights.[102][132]

In 1948, the General Assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by a committee headed by American diplomat and activist Eleanor Roosevelt, and including the French lawyer René Cassin. The document proclaims basic civil, political, and economic rights common to all human beings, though its effectiveness towards achieving these ends has been disputed since its drafting.[133] The Declaration serves as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations” rather than a legally binding document, but it has become the basis of two binding treaties, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.[134] In practice, the UN is unable to take significant action against human rights abuses without a Security Council resolution, though it does substantial work in investigating and reporting abuses.[135]

In 1979, the General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, followed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.[136] With the end of the Cold War, the push for human rights action took on new impetus.[137] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was formed in 1993 to oversee human rights issues for the UN, following the recommendation of that year’s World Conference on Human Rights. Jacques Fomerand, a scholar of the UN, describes this organization’s mandate as “broad and vague”, with only “meagre” resources to carry it out.[138] In 2006, it was replaced by a Human Rights Council consisting of 47 nations.[139] Also in 2006, the General Assembly passed a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,[140] and in 2011 it passed its first resolution recognizing the rights of LGBT people.[141]

Other UN bodies responsible for women’s rights issues include United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a commission of ECOSOC founded in 1946; the United Nations Development Fund for Women, created in 1976; and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, founded in 1979.[142] The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, one of three bodies with a mandate to oversee issues related to indigenous peoples, held its first session in 2002.[143]

Economic development and humanitarian assistance

Millennium Development Goals[144]
  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

Another primary purpose of the UN is “to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character”.[132] Numerous bodies have been created to work towards this goal, primarily under the authority of the General Assembly and ECOSOC.[145] In 2000, the 192 UN member states agreed to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015.[146]

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), an organization for grant-based technical assistance founded in 1945, is one of the leading bodies in the field of international development. The organization also publishes the UN Human Development Index, a comparative measure ranking countries by poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, and other factors.[147][148] The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), also founded in 1945, promotes agricultural development and food security.[149] UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) was created in 1946 to aid European children after the Second World War and expanded its mission to provide aid around the world and to uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[150][151]

Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme read the news that smallpox had been globally eradicated, 1980

The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are independent, specialized agencies and observers within the UN framework, according to a 1947 agreement. They were initially formed separately from the UN through the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944.[152] The World Bank provides loans for international development, while the IMF promotes international economic co-operation and gives emergency loans to indebted countries.[153]

In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugeesand the Zaatari refugee camp

The World Health Organization (WHO), which focuses on international health issues and disease eradication, is another of the UN’s largest agencies. In 1980, the agency announced that the eradication of smallpox had been completed. In subsequent decades, WHO largely eradicated polioriver blindness, and leprosy.[154] The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), begun in 1996, co-ordinates the organization’s response to the AIDS epidemic.[155] The UN Population Fund, which also dedicates part of its resources to combating HIV, is the world’s largest source of funding for reproductive health and family planning services.[156]

Along with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the UN often takes a leading role in co-ordinating emergency relief.[157] The World Food Programme (WFP), created in 1961, provides food aid in response to famine, natural disasters, and armed conflict. The organization reports that it feeds an average of 90 million people in 80 nations each year.[157][158] The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), established in 1950, works to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people.[159] UNHCR and WFP programmes are funded by voluntary contributions from governments, corporations, and individuals, though the UNHCR’s administrative costs are paid for by the UN’s primary budget.[160]

Other

Since the UN’s creation, over 80 colonies have attained independence. The General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960 with no votes against but abstentions from all major colonial powers. The UN works towards decolonization through groups including the UN Committee on Decolonization, created in 1962.[161] The committee lists seventeen remaining “Non-Self-Governing Territories”, the largest and most populous of which is Western Sahara.[162]

Beginning with the formation of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1972, the UN has made environmental issues a prominent part of its agenda. A lack of success in the first two decades of UN work in this area led to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which sought to give new impetus to these efforts.[163] In 1988, the UNEP and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), another UN organization, established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assesses and reports on research on global warming.[164] The UN-sponsored Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, set legally binding emissions reduction targets for ratifying states.[165]

The UN also declares and co-ordinates international observances, periods of time to observe issues of international interest or concern. Examples include World Tuberculosis DayEarth Day, and the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.[166]

Funding

Top 25 contributors to the United Nations budget for 2016[167]
Member state Contribution
(% of UN budget)
United States

22.000

Japan

9.680

China

7.921

Germany

6.389

France

4.859

United Kingdom

4.463

Brazil

3.823

Italy

3.748

Russia

3.088

Canada

2.921

Spain

2.443

Australia

2.337

South Korea

2.039

Netherlands

1.482

Mexico

1.435

Saudi Arabia

1.146

Switzerland

1.140

Turkey

1.018

Sweden

0.956

Argentina

0.892

Belgium

0.885

Norway

0.849

Poland

0.841

India

0.737

Other member states

12.908

The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The General Assembly approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on the relative capacity of each country to pay, as measured by its gross national income (GNI), with adjustments for external debt and low per capita income.[168] The two-year budget for 2012–13 was $5.512 billion in total.[169]

The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be unduly dependent on any one member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a “ceiling” rate, setting the maximum amount that any member can be assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments in response to pressure from the United States. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from 25% to 22%.[170] For the least developed countries (LDCs), a ceiling rate of 0.01% is applied.[168] In addition to the ceiling rates, the minimum amount assessed to any member nation (or “floor” rate) is set at 0.001% of the UN budget ($55,120 for the two year budget 2013–2014).[171]

A large share of the UN’s expenditure addresses its core mission of peace and security, and this budget is assessed separately from the main organizational budget.[172] The peacekeeping budget for the 2015–16 fiscal year was $8.27 billion, supporting 82,318 troops deployed in 15 missions around the world.[115] UN peace operations are funded by assessments, using a formula derived from the regular funding scale that includes a weighted surcharge for the five permanent Security Council members, who must approve all peacekeeping operations. This surcharge serves to offset discounted peacekeeping assessment rates for less developed countries. In 2017, the top 8 providers of assessed financial contributions to UN peacekeeping operations were the United States (28.47%), China (10.25%), Japan (9.68%), Germany (6.39%), France (6.28%), United Kingdom (5.77%), Russian Federation (3.99%) and Italy (3.75%).[173]

Special UN programmes not included in the regular budget, such as UNICEF and the World Food Programme, are financed by voluntary contributions from member governments, corporations, and private individuals.[174][175]

Evaluations, awards, and criticism

The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City

A number of agencies and individuals associated with the UN have won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their work. Two Secretaries-General, Dag Hammarskjöld and Kofi Annan, were each awarded the prize (in 1961 and 2001, respectively), as were Ralph Bunche (1950), a UN negotiator, René Cassin (1968), a contributor to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the US Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1945), the latter for his role in the organization’s founding. Lester B. Pearson, the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, was awarded the prize in 1957 for his role in organizing the UN’s first peacekeeping force to resolve the Suez Crisis. UNICEF won the prize in 1965, the International Labour Organization in 1969, the UN Peace-Keeping Forces in 1988, the International Atomic Energy Agency (which reports to the UN) in 2005, and the UN-supported Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2013. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded in 1954 and 1981, becoming one of only two recipients to win the prize twice. The UN as a whole was awarded the prize in 2001, sharing it with Annan.[176]

To mark the UN’s 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015

Since its founding, there have been many calls for reform of the UN but little consensus on how to do so. Some want the UN to play a greater or more effective role in world affairs, while others want its role reduced to humanitarian work. There have also been numerous calls for the UN Security Council’s membership to be increased, for different ways of electing the UN’s Secretary-General, and for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Jacques Fomerand states the most enduring divide in views of the UN is “the North–South split” between richer Northern nations and developing Southern nations. Southern nations tend to favour a more empowered UN with a stronger General Assembly, allowing them a greater voice in world affairs, while Northern nations prefer an economically laissez-faire UN that focuses on transnational threats such as terrorism.[177]

After World War II, the French Committee of National Liberation was late to be recognized by the US as the government of France, and so the country was initially excluded from the conferences that created the new organization. The future French president Charles de Gaulle criticized the UN, famously calling it a machin (“contraption”), and was not convinced that a global security alliance would help maintain world peace, preferring direct defence treaties between countries.[178] Throughout the Cold War, both the US and USSR repeatedly accused the UN of favouring the other. In 1953, the USSR effectively forced the resignation of Trygve Lie, the Secretary-General, through its refusal to deal with him, while in the 1950s and 1960s, a popular US bumper sticker read, “You can’t spell communism without U.N.”[179] In a sometimes-misquoted statement, President George W. Bush stated in February 2003 (referring to UN uncertainty towards Iraqi provocations under the Saddam Hussein regime) that “free nations will not allow the UN to fade into history as an ineffective, irrelevant debating society.”[180][181][182] In contrast, the French President, François Hollande, stated in 2012 that “France trusts the United Nations. She knows that no state, no matter how powerful, can solve urgent problems, fight for development and bring an end to all crises… France wants the UN to be the centre of global governance.”[183] Critics such as Dore Gold, an Israeli diplomat, Robert S. Wistrich, a British scholar, Alan Dershowitz, an American legal scholar, Mark Dreyfus, an Australian politician, and the Anti-Defamation League consider UN attention to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to be excessive.[184] In September 2015, Saudi Arabia‘s Faisal bin Hassan Trad has been elected Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel that appoints independent experts,[185] a move criticized by human rights groups.[186][187]

Since 1971, the Republic of China on Taiwan has been excluded from the UN and since then has always been rejected in new applications. Taiwanese citizens are also not allowed to enter the buildings of the United Nations with ROC passports. In this way, critics agree that the UN is failing its own development goals and guidelines. This criticism also brought pressure from the People’s Republic of China, which regards the territories administered by the ROC as their own territory.[188][189]

Critics have also accused the UN of bureaucratic inefficiency, waste, and corruption. In 1976, the General Assembly established the Joint Inspection Unit to seek out inefficiencies within the UN system. During the 1990s, the US withheld dues citing inefficiency and only started repayment on the condition that a major reforms initiative was introduced. In 1994, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) was established by the General Assembly to serve as an efficiency watchdog.[190] In 1994, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN to Somalia Mohamed Sahnoun published “Somalia: The Missed Opportunities”,[191] a book in which he analyses the reasons for the failure of the 1992 UN intervention in Somalia, showing that, between the start of the Somali civil war in 1988 and the fall of the Siad Barre regime in January 1991, the UN missed at least three opportunities to prevent major human tragedies; when the UN tried to provide humanitarian assistance, they were totally outperformed by NGOs, whose competence and dedication sharply contrasted with the UN’s excessive caution and bureaucratic inefficiencies. If radical reform was not undertaken, warned Mohamed Sahnoun, then the UN would continue to respond to such crisis with inept improvization.[192] In 2004, the UN faced accusations that its recently ended Oil-for-Food Programme—in which Iraq had been allowed to trade oil for basic needs to relieve the pressure of sanctions—had suffered from widespread corruption, including billions of dollars of kickbacks. An independent inquiry created by the UN found that many of its officials had been involved, as well as raising “significant” questions about the role of Kojo Annan, the son of Kofi Annan.[193]

In evaluating the UN as a whole, Jacques Fomerand writes that the “accomplishments of the United Nations in the last 60 years are impressive in their own terms. Progress in human development during the 20th century has been dramatic and the UN and its agencies have certainly helped the world become a more hospitable and livable place for millions.”[194] Evaluating the first 50 years of the UN’s history, the author Stanley Meisler writes that “the United Nations never fulfilled the hopes of its founders, but it accomplished a great deal nevertheless”, citing its role in decolonization and its many successful peacekeeping efforts.[195] The British historian Paul Kennedy states that while the organization has suffered some major setbacks, “when all its aspects are considered, the UN has brought great benefits to our generation and … will bring benefits to our children’s and grandchildren’s generations as well.”[196]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ This map does not represent the view of its members or the UN concerning the legal status of any country,[1] nor does it accurately reflect which areas’ governments have UN representation. This map shows partially recognized states such as Kosovo or Taiwan as part of their claiming governments (Serbia and China respectively)
  2. Jump up^ Roosevelt suggested the name as an alternative to the name “Associated Powers.” The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, accepted it, noting that the phase was used by Lord Byron in the poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (Stanza 35).
  3. Jump up^ Poland had not been represented among the fifty nations at the San Francisco conference due to the reluctance of the Western superpowers to recognize its post-war communist government. However, the Charter was later amended to list Poland as a founding member, and Poland ratified the Charter on 16 October 1945.[22][23]
  4. Jump up^ For details on Vatican City’s status, see Holy See and the United Nations.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1145, September 24, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Addresses The Drug Problem At United Nations — Videos — Story 2: Big Lie Media Political Character Assassination/Smear Campaign — Alcohol Assault Allegations of Desperate Delusional Delaying Democrats and Lubricated Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Allegations, Memory Gaps and Hear Say Are Not Evidence But A Smear Campaign — Judge Brett Kanvanugh Soon To Be Supreme Court Associate Justice Kavanuagh — Call The Vote — “Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run” — “In Heaven There Is No Beer, That Is why We Drink It Here” — La, La, La, La — Videos — Story 3: Judge Kavanuagh Fights Back — Will Not Be Intimated Into Withdrawing — When Did You Lose Your Virginity — Videos — Story 4: Going Going Gong — Conflicted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Fired/Resigns? — Bad Joke On Wearing A Wire to Record President and 25th Amendment Attempt To Remove President Trump and Again Delaying Declassification of FISA Warrant and Other Documents — President Trump Should Fire All Insubordinate Employees At Department of Justice and FBI — Videos

Posted on September 24, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Killing, Law, Legal Drugs, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Security, Senate, Spying, Success, Taxation, Taxes, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1145, September 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1143, September 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1142, September 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1141, September 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1140, September 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1139, September 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1138, September 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1137, September 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1136, September 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1135, September 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1131, August 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1128, August 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

 

Story 1: President Trump Addresses The Drug Problem At United Nations — Videos —

Trump chairs the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem

President Donald Trump URGENT Speech at the United Nations General Assembly

Story 2: Big Lie Media Political Character Assassination/Smear Campaign — Alcohol Assault Allegations of Desperate Delusional Delaying Democrats and Lubricated Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Judge Brett Kanvanugh Soon To Be Supreme Court Associate Justice Kavanuagh — Allegations, Memory Gaps and Hear Say Are Not Evidence But A Smear Campaign — Call The Vote — “Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run” — “In Heaven There Is No Beer, That Is why We Drink It Here” — La, La, La, La — Videos —

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

The Ingraham Angle 9/25/18 | The Ingraham Angle September 25, 2018

Tucker Carlson Tonight 9/25/18 | Tucker Carlson Tonight September 25, 2018

Mitch McConnell SLAMS Orchestrated Smear Campaign Against Kavanaugh 9/24/18

Orrin Hatch: Timing of Second Kavanaugh Accusation: Typical For Democrats to Pull That Kind of Crap

RUSH LIMBAUGH WARNS REPUBLICANS WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THEY LOSE KAVANAUGH

Rush Limbaugh Show Podcast 9/24/18 | Full Video Show

The Ingraham Angle 9/24/18 | Fox News Today | September 24, 2018

Sean Hannity 9/24/18 | Fox News Today | September 24, 2018

Tucker Carlson Tonight 9\24\18 | Breaking Fox News September 24, 2018

Eyewitness Testimony Part 1

Eyewitness Testimony Part 2

See the source imageSee the source image

Sharyl Attkisson – The Smear

The Smear: Sharyl Attkisson Talks Fake News, Hidden Political Agendas in New Book

Lindsey Graham Drops A Bomb On Christine Ford That’ll Render Her Testimony Completely USELESS(VIDEO)

New Yorker’s Jane Mayer on new Kavanaugh accuser

Second Kavanaugh accuser comes forward

Dana Loesch: Kavanaugh Allegations & Why Doesn’t Christine Ford File A Police Report 9/22/18

Women Supporters Of Brett Kavanaugh Hold Press Conference 9/21/18

Will Kavanaugh nomination survive as 2nd accuser comes forward?

Tucker Carlson Tonight 9\24\18 | Breaking Fox News September 24, 2018

Why Brett Kavanaugh’s 2nd Accuser Decided To Come Forward | TODAY

Ann Coulter on left’s meltdown over Kavanaugh

Life, Liberty & Levin 9/23/18 | Fox News September 23, 2018

#LionelNation🇺🇸Immersive Live Stream: The Kavanaugh Circus Just Got Even Uglier and More Vicious

Kellyanne Conway: Kavanaugh allegations feel like “vast left-wing conspiracy”

Megyn Kelly Discusses Brett Kavanaugh’s 2nd Sexual Misconduct Allegation | Megyn Kelly TODAY

Roger Stone Takes On Rod Rosenstein and Judge Kavanaugh’s Accusers

Let’s Have A Party Polka – Walter Ostanek, Brian Sklar and Western Senators – Polkarama!

“Beer Barrel Polka” (Roll Out the Barrel) by West Coast Prost!

Roll Out the Barrel! “Beer Barrel #Polka” by Beetbox Band. 2014 (Rosamunde / Škoda

lásky)

2016 Andre Rieu Maastricht, Beer Barrel Polka

Image result for branco cartoon trump kavanaugh smear con game

There's a garden, what a garden
Only happy faces bloom there
And there's never any room there
For a worry or a gloom there

Oh there's music and there's dancing
And a lot of sweet romancing
When they play the polka
They all get in the swing

Every time they hear that 
Everybody feels so 
They want to throw their cares away
They all go

Then they hear a rumble on the floor, the floor
It's the big surprise they're waiting for
And all the couples form a ring
For miles around you'll hear them sing

Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun
Roll out the barrel, we've got the blues on the run
Zing boom tararrel, ring out a song of good cheer
Now's the time to roll the barrel, for the gang's all here

Then they hear a rumble on the floor-or-or-or
It's the big surprise they're waiting for
And all the couples they form a ring
For miles around you'll hear them sing

Roll it out, roll it out, roll out the barrel

Sing a song of good cheer
Cause the whole gang is here
Roll it out, roll it out
Let's do the beer barrel polka



Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years

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The Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Rocks at Make America Great Again Rally in Las Vegas Nevada —  Build The Wall With $25 Billion in Funding and Balance The Budget — We Need More Republicans — Videos — Story 2: Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Hits An All Time High — Videos — Story 3: Free U.S.-Led Uncensored Internet and Authoritarian Chinese-Led Censored Internet — Breaking Up Is Hard To Do — Videos — Story 4: American People’s Right To Privacy — National Privacy Law? — Videos

Posted on September 21, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Applications, Banking System, Biology, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Chemistry, Coal, Coal, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Diet, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Eating, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, Exercise, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, IRS, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medical, Medicine, Mexico, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Private Sector Unions, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Science, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, Unions, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1143, September 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1142, September 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1141, September 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1140, September 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1139, September 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1138, September 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1137, September 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1136, September 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1135, September 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1131, August 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1128, August 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

See the source imageSee the source imageImage result for branco cartoons internet censorshipImage result for branco cartoons internet censorshipImage result for branco cartoons internet censorshipImage result for branco cartoons internet censorshipImage result for branco cartoons internet censorshipImage result for branco cartoons internet censorshipSee the source imageSee the source image

Story 1: President Trump Rocks at Make America Great Again Rally in Las Vegas Nevada —  Build The Wall With $25 Billion in Funding and Balance The Budget — We Need More Republicans — Videos —

President Trump EXPLOSIVE Speech at MASSIVE Rally in Las Vegas, Nevada – September 20, 2018

Watch Live! Trump Rally in Las Vegas, NV!

Trump pushes for border wall funding during rally in Las Vegas

Trump goes one-on-one with Hannity at Las Vegas rally

‘He’s been there’: Trump stumps for vulnerable Sen. Heller

His own political fortunes intrinsically linked to his party holding control of Congress, President Donald Trump on Thursday offered full-throated support for the most vulnerable incumbent Republican senator, while unleashing a torrent of grievances against Democrats and the news media and claiming they are sabotaging his administration.

Trump, appearing at a boisterous rally in Las Vegas, defended his embattled Supreme Court justice nominee, touted the booming stock market, cited progress in talks with North Korea and pledged to build his long-promised border wall, while also making the pitch for Nevada to re-elect Sen. Dean Heller. The president noted that he and Heller – who once said he “vehemently” opposed Trump – did not always get along.

“We started out, we weren’t friends. I didn’t like him, he didn’t like me!” said Trump to laughs. “But as we fought and fought and fought, believe it or not we started to respect each other, than we started to like each other, then we started to love each other.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“Ever since I won the election, he’s been there for us,” said Trump, who urged Heller’s re-election because the Republican majority in the Senate is so slim, 51-49, that the GOP would lose its advantage if “someone had a cold.” The president also bestowed one of his signature nicknames on Heller’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, dubbing her “Wacky Jacky.”

Heller returned the praise: “Mr. President, I think you just turned Nevada red today,” he said. Trump narrowly lost Nevada to Hillary Clinton in 2016 despite his deep ties to Las Vegas – he has a golden-hued hotel just off the famed Strip – and repeatedly campaigning in the state.

Trump in particular focused his pitch for Heller on the need to confirm more conservative judges, in particular his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whose seat on the bench had been thrown into question by allegations that he sexually assaulted a young woman while in high school more than 30 years ago.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

While negotiations continued over whether his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, would testify next week, Trump, who has taken pains not to criticize Ford in recent days, appeared to break from that strategy in a pre-rally interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on the convention center floor.

“I think it’s a very sad situation,” said Trump, asking: “Why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago? … What’s going on?” While he said Ford should “have her say,” he made clear he was done waiting: “I don’t think you can delay it any longer. They’ve delayed it a week already.”

Trump remained on message at the rally. He did not utter a critical word about Ford, but defended Kavanaugh, saying he was “a great intellect” and “a great gentleman with an impeccable reputation.”

“We have to let it play out but I have to tell you, he is a fine, fine person,” Trump said of the Senate confirmation process. “I think everything is going to be just fine.”

There was one local topic Trump avoided. The Las Vegas rally was held three miles from the Mandalay Bay hotel where a gunman opened fire just over a year ago, killing 58 people and leaving 851 injured.

Trump made no mention of the shooting, though he assured Heller would vote in favor of the Second Amendment.

The rest of the rally was red meat for the crowd, which repeatedly roared its approval for the president but did not quite fill the room at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

As usual, Trump went after the media and many who attended the rally followed his lead. One man stood behind the president’s traveling press corps, repeatedly yelling the word “traitors” at the journalists.

At one point reading from a list of his administration’s accomplishments, Trump spent much of the rally focused on what advisers believe is his – and his party’s – best issue, the strong economy. He took credit for the stock market’s gains and the nation’s low unemployment rate and bragged about boosting the military, while accusing Democrats of doing their best to foster division and stall the growth.

“They are lousy politicians and their policies are terrible,” said Trump, in only his second rally as president in a state he lost two years ago, “but they are good at sticking together and resisting, that’s what they do. You see the signs ‘Resist, Resist.'”

With the chances of Republicans keeping control of the House of Representatives looking increasingly dismal, the White House has fixated on keeping the Senate as a bulwark against any Democratic effort to impeach and then remove Trump from office. Though the Senate midterm map favors Republicans, a few states, including Tennessee and perhaps Texas, could slip away from the GOP.

But no Republican-held seat is considered more endangered than the one in Nevada. The only Republican running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, Heller has been locked in a tight race in an increasingly blue-leaning state.

Though he fervently tried to wrap his arms around the president Thursday, Heller’s relationship with Trump has been tumultuous. Weeks before the 2016 election, Heller infamously said that he was “100 percent against Clinton, 99 percent against Trump,” a remark the president has not forgotten.

Heller drew the president’s ire a year ago when he held up Republican efforts to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. But Trump saved Heller from a costly and damaging primary battle earlier this year by persuading a very conservative primary challenger, Danny Tarkanian, to drop out of the Senate race and instead seek a House seat.

Heller is now in a close race with Rosen, a first-term congresswoman who stands to benefit from a wave of Democratic and female activism fueled by opposition to Trump. And the senator, at times, has struggled to strike a balancing act of praising the president, who remains popular among Republicans, while distancing himself from Trump’s scandals and provocative positions.

“Eighty percent of what this president has done has been very, very good, very positive,” Heller told reporters last week. “The other 20 percent … he has a reality show. I get it. It’s a reality show.”

___

Associated Press writer Michelle Price contributed to this report. Colvin reported from Washington.

___

This story has been corrected to show the Senate is divided 51-49, not 50-49.

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he arrives at McCarran International Airport for a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump takes the stage during a campaign rally Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump meets with supporters during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump meets with supporters during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump waves as he arrives for a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Story 2: Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Hits An All Time High — Videos —

See the source image

Markets soar to new records under Trump

Nightly Business Report – September 20, 2018

Dow Jones And S&P Rally For New Record Highs

What Do “Points” On The Dow And S&P 500 Actually Mean?

Dow, S&P 500 close at record highs as bull shrugs off trade worries

Story 3: Free U.S.-Led Uncensored Internet and Authoritarian Chinese-Led Censored Internet — Breaking Up Is Hard To Do — Videos

Report: Google working on a censored search engine for China

Google employees revolt against China project

Could the Internet Split in Two?

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split: American vs. Chinese

Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do – Neil Sedaka

 

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two  — and one part will be led by China

  • Speaking at a private event hosted by Village Global VC yesterday night, tech luminary and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that the internet will bifurcate into Chinese-led and US-led versions within the next decade.
  • Under Sundar Pichai’s leadership, Google has explored the potential to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, stirring up controversy internally and outside the company.

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.

Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. “What’s the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?”

Schmidt said:

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.

If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it’s perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom.”

The Belt and Road is a massive initiative by Beijing to increase China’s political and economic influence by connecting and facilitating all kinds of trade, including digital trade, between China and countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Schmidt’s predictions come at a time when his successor at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai, has stirred up controversy around the company’s strategy in China.

Reportedly, Google has been developing “Project Dragonfly,” a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China. The project allegedly included a means to suppress some search results, booting them off the first page, and a means to fully block results for sensitive queries, for example, around “peaceful protests.”

n recent weeks, hundreds of Google employees lobbied Pichai for more transparency and signed a letter saying that the reported plans raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Pichai has said that Google has been “very open about our desire to do more in China,” and that the team “has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now,” and considering “many options,” but is nowhere near launching in China.

In a separate discussion last night between Schmidt and several start-up founders, he lauded Chinese tech products, services and adoption, especially in mobile payments. He noted that Starbucks in China don’t feature a register. Customers order ahead online and pay with their phones before picking up their lattes.

Former Google CEO claims internet will split between U.S. & China  

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.

Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. “What’s the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?”

Schmidt said:

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.

If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it’s perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom.”

The Belt and Road is a massive initiative by Beijing to increase China’s political and economic influence by connecting and facilitating all kinds of trade, including digital trade, between China and countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Schmidt’s predictions come at a time when his successor at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai, has stirred up controversy around the company’s strategy in China.

Reportedly, Google has been developing “Project Dragonfly,” a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China. The project allegedly included a means to suppress some search results, booting them off the first page, and a means to fully block results for sensitive queries, for example, around “peaceful protests.”

What's next for Schmidt?

What’s next for Google’s Eric Schmidt? Sree Sreenivasan weighs in  

In recent weeks, hundreds of Google employees lobbied Pichai for more transparency and signed a letter saying that the reported plans raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Pichai has said that Google has been “very open about our desire to do more in China,” and that the team “has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now,” and considering “many options,” but is nowhere near launching in China.

In a separate discussion last night between Schmidt and several start-up founders, he lauded Chinese tech products, services and adoption, especially in mobile payments. He noted that Starbucks in China don’t feature a register. Customers order ahead online and pay with their phones before picking up their lattes.

A business development leader with Facebook, Ime Archebong, asked Schmidt if large tech companies are doing enough good in the world.

Schmidt replied: “The judge of this is others, not us. Self-referential conversations about ‘Do I feel good about what I’m doing?’ are not very helpful. The judge is outside.”

At several points in the private discussion, Schmidt urged entrepreneurs to build products and services that are not merely addictive, but valuable. He also said not enough companies “measure the right things.” Too many focus on short-term revenue growth and satisfying shareholders, rather than what’s best for their users, society and the long-term health of their companies.

Schmidt was the CEO of Google from 2001, when he took over from co-founder Larry Page, through 2011, when Page reclaimed the reins. He remained as executive chairman of Google and then Alphabet until earlier this year.

Correction: Eric Schmidt did not specify a date by which he believed the internet would bifurcate. He was responding to a question from Tyler Cowen which specified “in the next 10 to 15 years.”

GOOGLE BOSSES HAVE forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned.

The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data.

The memo was shared earlier this month among a group of Google employees who have been organizing internal protests over the censored search system, which has been designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian Communist Party regime views as sensitive, such as information about democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

According to three sources familiar with the incident, Google leadership discovered the memo and were furious that secret details about the China censorship were being passed between employees who were not supposed to have any knowledge about it. Subsequently, Google human resources personnel emailed employees who were believed to have accessed or saved copies of the memo and ordered them to immediately delete it from their computers. Emails demanding deletion of the memo contained “pixel trackers” that notified human resource managers when their messages had been read, recipients determined.

The Dragonfly memo reveals that a prototype of the censored search engine was being developed as an app for both Android and iOS devices, and would force users to sign in so they could use the service. The memo confirms, as The Intercept first reported last week, that users’ searches would be associated with their personal phone number. The memo adds that Chinese users’ movements would also be stored, along with the IP address of their device and links they clicked on. It accuses developers working on the project of creating “spying tools” for the Chinese government to monitor its citizens.

People’s search histories, location information, and other private data would be sent out of China to a database in Taiwan, the memo states. But the data would also be provided to employees of a Chinese company who would be granted “unilateral access” to the system.

To launch the censored search engine, Google set up a “joint venture” partnership with an unnamed Chinese company. The search engine will “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, according to documents seen by The Intercept. Blacklisted search terms on a prototype of the search engine include “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize” in Mandarin, said sources familiar with the project.

According to the memo, aside from being able to access users’ search data, the Chinese partner company could add to the censorship blacklists: It would be able to “selectively edit search result pages … unilaterally, and with few controls seemingly in place.”

That a Chinese company would maintain a copy of users’ search data means that, by extension, the data would be accessible to Chinese authorities, who have broad powers to obtain information that is held or processed on the country’s mainland. A central concern human rights groups have expressed about Dragonfly is that it could place users at risk of Chinese government surveillance — and any person in China searching for blacklisted words or phrases could find themselves interrogated or detained. Chinese authorities are well-known for routinely targeting critics, activists, and journalists.

“It’s alarming to hear that such information will be stored and, potentially, easily shared with the Chinese authorities,” said Patrick Poon, a Hong Kong-based researcher with the human rights group Amnesty International. “It will completely put users’ privacy and safety at risk. Google needs to immediately explain if the app will involve such arrangements. It’s time to give the public full transparency of the project.”

ON AUGUST 16, two weeks after The Intercept revealed the Dragonfly plan, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory.” However, employees working on the censored search engine were instructed in late July, days before the project was publicly exposed, that they should prepare to get it into a “launch-ready state” to roll out within weeks, pending approval from officials in Beijing.

“It will completely put users’ privacy and safety at risk.”

The memo raises new questions about Pichai’s claim that the project was not well-developed. Information stored on the company’s internal networks about Dragonfly “paints a very different picture,” it says. “The statement from our high-level leadership that Dragonfly is just an experiment seems wrong.”

The memo identifies at least 215 employees who appear to have been tasked with working full-time on Dragonfly, a number it says is “larger than many Google projects.” It says that source code associated with the project dates back to May 2017, and “many infrastructure parts predate” that. Moreover, screenshots of the app “show a project in a pretty advanced state,” the memo declares.

Most of the details about the project “have been secret from the start,” the memo says, adding that “after the existence of Dragonfly leaked, engineers working on the project were also quick to hide all of their code.”

The author of the memo said in the document that they were opposed to the China censorship. However, they added, “more than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy that has been built around it.”

The memo was first posted September 5 on an internal messaging list set up for Google employees to raise ethical concerns. But the memo was soon scrubbed from the list and individuals who had opened or saved the document were contacted by Google’s human resources department to discuss the matter. The employees were instructed not to share the memo.

Google reportedly maintains an aggressive security and investigation team known as “stopleaks,” which is dedicated to preventing unauthorized disclosures. The team is also said to monitor internal discussions.

“More than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy that has been built around it.”

Internal security efforts at Google have ramped up this year as employees have raised ethical concerns around a range of new company projects. Following the revelation by Gizmodoand The Intercept that Google had quietly begun work on a contract with the military last year, known as Project Maven, to develop automated image recognition systems for drone warfare, the communications team moved swiftly to monitor employee activity.

The “stopleaks” team, which coordinates with the internal Google communications department, even began monitoring an internal image board used to post messages based on internet memes, according to one former Google employee, for signs of employee sentiment around the Project Maven contract.

Google’s internal security team consists of a number of former military and law enforcement officials. For example, LinkedIn lists as Google’s head of global investigations Joseph Vincent, whose resume includes work as a high-ranking agent at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit. The head of security at Google is Chris Rackow, who has described himself as a former member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s hostage rescue team and as a former U.S. Navy SEAL.

For some Google employees, the culture of secrecy at the company clashes directly with the its public image around fostering transparency, creating an intolerable work environment.

“Leadership misled engineers working on [Dragonfly] about the nature of their work, depriving them of moral agency,” said a Google employee who read the memo.

Google did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

https://theintercept.com/2018/09/21/google-suppresses-memo-revealing-plans-to-closely-track-search-users-in-china/

Story 4: American People’s Right To Privacy — National Privacy Law? — Videos

Facebook and Google Attempting to End California Privacy Laws

California lawmakers pass data privacy bill

California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff calls for national privacy law

Fight looms over national privacy law

Fight looms over national privacy law

The tech industry and consumer groups are gearing up for a fight as lawmakers begin considering whether to draft a national privacy law.

The push to get Congress to enact federal privacy standards is gaining new urgency after California passed what is seen as the nation’s toughest privacy law this June. The measure forces businesses to be more transparent about what they do with consumer data and gives users unprecedented control over their personal information.

But the California law has sparked worries within the tech industry, which fears having to comply with a patchwork of varying state regulations.

Now industry groups are pushing Congress to pass a national privacy bill that would block states from implementing their own standards.

Privacy advocates are skeptical of the industry proposals and concerned that internet giants will co-opt the process in order to get protections that are weaker than the California standard implemented across the country.

“They do not want effective oversight. They do not want regulation of their business practices, which is really urgently needed,” Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), told The Hill. “They’re going to work behind the scenes to shape legislation that will not protect Americans from having all of their information regularly gathered and used by these digital giants.”

“They see federal law as an opportunity to preempt stronger rules,” he added.

Next week, executives from Google, Apple, AT&T and other major technology and telecommunications companies will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee as the panel’s Republican chairman, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), prepares to introduce a new privacy law.

Consumer groups are concerned that only industry voices will be heard at the hearing and that internet companies will have an outsized role in shaping the legislation. They are now demanding a seat at the table.

On Wednesday, a coalition of public interest groups including the CDD, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center sent a letter to Thune asking him to ensure that consumers have a voice in the process.

“While we have no objection to the participation of business groups in Senate hearings on consumer privacy, the Senate’s first instinct should be to hear from the American public on these important issues,” the letter reads.

Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the committee, told The Hill in an email that the panel will hold more hearings on the issue.

“For the first hearing, the committee is bringing in companies most consumers recognize to make the discussion about privacy more relatable,” Hill said. “We expect there will be opportunities for other voices at future hearings on the subject.”

A source familiar with the committee’s plans told The Hill that it could hold a hearing for privacy advocates to testify in the coming weeks.

The stakes are high for all sides in the privacy debate after a year which saw Facebook rocked by a massive data scandal.

The company disclosed earlier this year that a data firm had accessed the personal data of over 80 million Facebook users. The revelation sparked a firestorm that saw CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress in a pair of marathon hearings to address lawmakers’ concerns.

Overseas, Europe has already passed its own tough privacy law, which took effect this year.

Whether Congress can actually get behind a national privacy framework, though, is an open question. Lawmakers have tried before, unsuccessfully.

In 2012, the Obama White House unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” that it hoped to enact into law. The debate dragged on for several years and the process was eventually derailed by contentious disagreements between business and consumer groups.

As Congress gears up to try again, industry groups in recent weeks have been pushing wish lists for what they hope to see in a federal privacy framework. Lobbying groups including the Chamber of Commerce, the Internet Association and BSA | The Software Alliance have all released their own sets of privacy principles.

The industry proposals include calls for codifying transparency rules that require businesses to disclose their collection practices and giving consumers the right to request copies of their data and request that some data be deleted.

Shaundra Watson, BSA’s policy director, said the group’s privacy principles were not a response to the new California law but the result of a discussion among their members, including companies like Apple and Microsoft, of how to codify the consumer protections they already offer.

“Our companies really are responsible for personal data, and so they not only want to continue to embrace those practices but look more broadly to see what protections should be in place across the board and concluded the best way to do that is a [federal] law,” Watson told The Hill.

But privacy advocates remain skeptical. After a series of data scandals, many tech critics believe that any effective privacy framework needs to restrict the data collection practices that companies like Facebook and Google rely on as a business model.

Chester, who says public interest groups are banding together to come up with their own legislative principles, believes the frameworks being pushed by industry lobbyists don’t go far enough.

“What has to happen is the basic business practices have to change,” he said. “We believe there need to be restrictions on how these companies engage in data collection.

“These so-called principles are really principles to undermine privacy, not to protect it,” he said.

https://thehill.com/policy/technology/407528-fight-looms-over-national-privacy-law

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