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The Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018, Story 1: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray Responds To Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) 568 Page Report — Videos — Story 2: American People Demand Appointment of Special Counsel To Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators To Restore Public Confidence in Integrity of DOJ and FBI Employees — We Will Rock You — Deplorable POS – Videos — Story 3: Happy 72nd Birthday President Trump — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

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Story 1: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray Responds To Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) 568 Page Report- Videos —

 

Read IG Report

 

FBI employee calls Trump supporters “are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS …) (Piece of Shit)

“No documented political bias” — bureaucratic BS (bullshit)!

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Mark Levin: Not a single pro-Trump FBI agent in IG report

Horror show’: Trump hammers IG report findings

Giuliani on IG report: Mueller should suspend investigation

Giuliani: Time to investigate Mueller’s investigators

Nunes: IG report shows text messages were held from Congress

Gowdy, Goodlatte react to inspector general’s report on FBI

Sara Carter Reacts to Inspector General’s Report on FBI

Roger Stone, Dinesh D’Souza react to DOJ IG’s report

Steyn: IG report shows there is no rule book in the FBI

FBI director Christoper Wray reacts to the IG report on Clinton email investigation

Mark Levin: Not a single pro-Trump FBI agent in IG report

Sebastian Gorka: IG report is 560-page cover-up

‘Clinton Cash’ author reacts to IG report on email probe

Cuomo, congressman spar over DOJ report

Joe Arpaio: Why don’t we blame the adults?

Tucker: IG report is catalog of bias, abuse of power

Fitton: DOJ, FBI bent over backwards to protect Clinton

Steyn: IG report shows there is no rule book in the FBI

Gowdy, Goodlatte react to inspector general’s report on FBI

Three takeaways from IG report

IG Report shows foreign actors gained access to Clinton emails

IG report shows Comey broke FBI protocol

How will the FBI adjust after the Clinton email probe report?

Should Comey celebrate after release of IG report?

Napolitano: Very little in IG report we didn’t already know

IG Report: ‘We’ll stop’ Trump from becoming President

DOJ Inspector General report on Clinton email probe released

Tom Fitton: IG report will ‘destroy’ credibility of FBI, DOJ

 

Comey Was ‘Insubordinate’ in Clinton Probe, Inspector General Finds

 Updated on 

Former FBI Director James Comey was “insubordinate” in handling the probe into Hillary Clinton, damaging the bureau and the Justice Department’s image of impartiality even though he wasn’t motivated by politics, the department’s watchdog found.

Although the report issued Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz doesn’t deal directly with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with those around Donald Trump, the president and his Republican allies in Congress were primed to seize on it as evidence of poor judgment and anti-Trump bias within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department.

[Read the report here]

Horowitz said that five FBI officials expressed hostility toward Trump before his election as president and disclosed in his report to Congress that their actions have been referred to the bureau for possible disciplinary action.

“The president was briefed on the IG report earlier today, and it reaffirmed the president’s suspicions about Comey’s conduct and the political bias among some of the members of the FBI,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the 500-page report.

One example cited in the new document is an exchange of texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page on Aug. 8, 2016. Page questioned whether Trump would become president. Strzok replied: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

Under those circumstances, Horowitz said “we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up” on potential new evidence in the Clinton case “was free from bias.”

Zeroing in on the evidence of anti-Trump sentiment, Representative Darrell Issa of California said “it appears as though all or most of the 39 people who were tangentially involved had a bias toward believing they were going to work for Hillary Clinton — and as a result didn’t have the guts to take on wrongdoing.”

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that “any effort to use this report as an excuse for shutting down Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is both disingenuous and dangerous. Nothing in this report detracts from the credibility and critical importance of the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

Clinton Decision

Horowitz, whose office said it reviewed more than 1.2 million documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, didn’t challenge Comey’s fundamental decision against recommending prosecution of Clinton for mishandling classified information.

But the inspector general called it “extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same.”

Tracking Trump: Follow the Administration’s Every Move

He said that “we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part,” but “by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”

The report also noted that Comey used personal email at times to conduct official business.

Comey’s Response

Comey said the report “found no evidence that bias or improper motivation affected the investigation, which I know was done competently, honestly and independently.” In an op-ed article for the New York Times, he said the report “also resoundingly demonstrates that there was no prosecutable case against Mrs. Clinton, as we had concluded.”

Horowitz examined actions taken by top officials before the 2016 election, including the handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. The inquiry expanded to touch on an array of politically sensitive decisions by officials including Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that John Huber, a U.S. attorney based in Utah who’s reviewing allegations of FBI bias and wrongdoing, “will provide recommendations as to whether any matter not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of Special Counsel.”

The FBI said in a statement included in the inspector general’s report that Comey’s handling of the Clinton findings may have violated regulations on releasing information and that his letter disclosing reopening of the inquiry shortly before the election “was a serious error in judgment.”

The bureau also said it accepts findings “that certain text messages, instant messages and statements, along with a failure to consistently apply DoJ and FBI interview policies, were inappropriate and created an appearance that political bias might have improperly influenced investigative actions or decisions.”

Why Mueller Is One Contestant Trump Can’t Easily Fire: A QuickTake

Some of what Horowitz discovered has already been made public, and Trump and Republican lawmakers have pounced on those findings in an effort to discredit Comey and, by extension, the investigation now being run by Mueller.

In tweets, Trump has called Comey’s investigation into Clinton “phony and dishonest” and said that Comey, who he fired on May 9, 2017, left the FBI’s reputation in tatters.

Trump’s Interest

Trump has expressed great interest in the inspector general’s report, as well as some skepticism it might not be as damning as he hoped.

“What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey,” Trump tweeted on June 5. “Numerous delays. Hope Report is not being changed and made weaker! There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!”

The inspector general reviewed Comey’s announcement in July 2016 that no prosecutor would find grounds to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for improperly handling classified information on her private email server. He also looked at Comey’s decision to inform Congress only days before the election that the Clinton investigation was being re-opened. Comey’s public announcement of findings angered Republicans, while his reopening of the inquiry outraged Democrats.

“This finding could have been reached the day of Comey’s press conference,” Brian Fallon, who was spokesman for Clinton’s presidential campaign, said Thursday. “It was obvious at the time that Comey was completely deviating from department protocols and it had a fateful impact on the 2016 campaign and the long-term reputation of the FBI.”

Anti-Trump Texts

Republican critics seized on previous revelations from the inspector general Strzok and Page, two of the FBI officials who worked on Mueller’s Russia investigation, exchanged text messages sharply critical of Trump. Mueller removed Strzok from the inquiry after the texts were discovered, and Page has since left the FBI.

But Horowitz said in the report to be issued Thursday that “we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed.” Still, he wrote that “the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”

Comey-Lynch Criticism

Horowitz found a “troubling lack of any direct, substantive communication” between Comey and Attorney General Lynch ahead of Comey’s July 5 press conference on Clinton and his October 28 letter to Congress.

“We found it extraordinary that, in advance of two such consequential decisions, the FBI director decided that the best course of conduct was to not speak directly and substantively with the attorney general about how best to navigate those decisions.”

Lynch had announced that she would go along with whatever Comey recommended with regard to the Clinton case, although she didn’t formally recuse herself. Lynch had come under heated criticism for agreeing to meet with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016 on her plane while it was sitting on a tarmac in Phoenix. The two sides have said they didn’t discuss anything related to the investigation.

The inspector general released a report in April finding that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor on four different occasions regarding interactions with the media, including providing information to a news reporter about the FBI’s investigation into the foundation created by Hillary and Bill Clinton. The inspector general has referred the matter to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia for further investigation.

Attorney General Sessions relied on the report to fire McCabe only hours before he was set to retire and qualify for his full government pension. McCabe and his lawyer have adamantly contested the allegations.

The inspector general also has opened a separate review into whether the Justice Department and FBI followed appropriate procedures in obtaining a secret warrant to conduct surveillance on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in late 2016 and early 2017.

— With assistance by Jennifer Epstein, Jennifer Jacobs, Billy House, Justin Sink, and Steven T. Dennis

(Updates with White House comment in fourth paragraph.)

 

The Latest: FBI attorney removed for anti-Trump messages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

An FBI attorney was removed from the special counsel’s Russia investigation in February after the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found he had written anti-Trump messages.

This was in addition to FBI agent Peter Strzok who was removed from the investigation last year after exchanging anti-Trump texts.

The reassignment of the FBI attorney was revealed in the report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s inspector general on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

It identifies the attorney as “FBI Attorney 2” and says he was assigned to the Clinton investigation and also to the investigation into Russian interference.

The report describes some of his messages, including one the day after the election in which he said he was “so stressed about what I could have done differently.” In another message, he called then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence “stupid.”

Strzok had exchanged his anti-Trump texts with another FBI attorney, Lisa Page, who had already left the special counsel’s team when he was reassigned.

4:30 p.m.

In a revelation some Democrats see as ironic, the Justice Department’s inspector general report about the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation says former Director James Comey occasionally used personal email for work.

In several instances Comey forwarded items to his personal account, including drafts of messages and other unclassified items.

When interviewed by the inspector general, Comey said he used it for word processing at home when he was writing something longer. He said it was “incidental” and he forwarded the emails to his government account.

Comey said he wasn’t sure if that was in accordance with FBI regulations, but had checked it with another official and he “had the sense that it was okay.”

The inspector general says he did not follow regulations.

__

4:15 p.m.

A lawyer for FBI agent Peter Strzok (struhk) says a watchdog’s report shows his politics did not affect an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Strzok has come under fire for text messages critical of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He left special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the election after the Justice Department’s inspector general discovered the problematic texts in mid-2017.

On Thursday, a report by the inspector general revealed that Strzok had told an FBI lawyer “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president.

Strzok was also involved in the probe of Clinton’s handling of classified emails that roiled the election.

Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, says Thursday’s report reveals no evidence that the FBI agent’s political views affected the handling of the Clinton investigation.

___

3:20 p.m.

The White House says a report by the Justice Department’s watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation is reaffirming President Donald Trump’s “suspicions” about former FBI Director James Comey’s conduct.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the inspector general’s report is also reaffirming Trump’s suspicions about the “political bias among some of the members of the FBI.” She is deferring additional comments to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The report says Comey was “insubordinate” in his conduct of the probe, but it didn’t find he was motivated by political bias.

Sanders says Trump was briefed on the report’s findings earlier in the day.

___

2:55 p.m.

Former FBI Director James Comey says he disagrees with some of the conclusions of the Justice Department’s inspector general about his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

But Comey says in a tweet that he respects the inspector general’s work and believes the conclusions are “reasonable.” He says “people of good faith” can see the “unprecedented situation differently.”

Comey’s comments come in response to the public release of a report that is heavily critical of his decisions in the probe. The report says Comey was insubordinate and departed from established protocol numerous times.

The report does find that Comey’s actions were not politically motivated to help either candidate.

Comey also wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times responding to the report’s findings.

__

2:40 p.m.

An FBI investigator who worked on probes into Hillary Clinton’s emails and into Russian interference in the 2016 election told an FBI lawyer “we’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming president.

The inflammatory texts between Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page are highlighted in the report by the Justice Department’s inspector general, which is critical of former FBI director James Comey’s handling of the investigations.

According to the report, Page texted Strzok in August 2016: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

The report says the watchdog “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence” that political bias directly affected parts of the probe, it says Page and Strzok’s conduct “cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”

__

2:05 p.m.

The Justice Department has issued a stinging rebuke to the FBI for its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The report released Thursday calls former FBI Director James Comey “insubordinate” and says his actions were “extraordinary.”

But the report, by the department’s watchdog, does not find evidence that Comey was motivated by political bias or preference in his decisions.

The report criticized Comey for publicly announcing his recommendation against criminal charges for Clinton. It also faulted him for alerting Congress days before the 2016 election that the investigation was being reopened because of newly discovered emails.

President Donald Trump has been eager for the report in hopes that it would vindicate his decision to fire Comey and undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

__

12:15 p.m.

The Justice Department’s watchdog faults former FBI Director James Comey for breaking with established protocol in his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But it found that his decisions were not driven by political bias.

The report also criticizes Comey for not keeping then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other Justice Department superiors properly informed about his handling of the investigation.

That’s according to a person familiar with the report’s conclusions who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The person was not authorized to speak on the record because the report is not yet public.

The report’s findings are set to be made public later Thursday. It represents the culmination of an 18-month review into one of the most consequential FBI investigations in recent history.

__ Chad Day in Washington

___

12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump was expected to receive a briefing at the White House on a report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was spotted entering the West Wing on Thursday. White House officials have not yet confirmed that Rosenstein will be conducting the briefing.

The inspector general’s detailed report is set to be released later in the day. It will look at how the nonpartisan law enforcement agency became entangled in the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump is expected to use the report to renew his attack against two former top FBI officials — Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe.

___

11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is bashing the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling as a “pile of garbage” ahead of the release of a highly anticipated report looking into the Justice Department’s conduct during the 2016 election.

Trump says in a pair of tweets that now that he’s back from his summit with North Korea, “the thought process must sadly go back to the Witch Hunt.”

Trump is yet again insisting there was “No Collusion and No Obstruction of the fabricated No Crime” and is accusing Democrats of making up “a phony crime,” paying “a fortune to make the crime sound real,” and then “Collud(ing) to make this pile of garbage take on life in Fake News!”

The report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog is being released Thursday afternoon and is expected to criticize the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

___

11:35 a.m.

Two Republican-led House committees say their own monthslong probe into the now-closed FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails has so far shown “questionable decision-making” by the agency.

A document listing preliminary conclusions was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of a separate report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog. That much-anticipated report is due to be released Thursday afternoon. It is expected to criticize the FBI’s handling of the investigation.

Republicans on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees say they have “substantial questions about whether DOJ and FBI properly analyzed and interpreted the law surrounding mishandling of classified information.” They charge that the FBI did not follow legal precedent and treated the Clinton probe differently from other cases.

The Republicans allege bias against Donald Trump in his campaign against Clinton.

— Mary Clare Jalonick

___

1 a.m.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is releasing its much-anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The report being issued Thursday afternoon is the culmination of an 18-month review of one of the most consequential FBI investigations in recent history.

Its findings will revive debate about whether FBI actions affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and contributed to Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.

Trump’s supporters have eagerly awaited the report in hopes that it would skewer the judgment of James Comey, who was fired as FBI director last year.

Among the actions scrutinized is Comey’s decision to publicly announce his recommendation against prosecuting Clinton, and his disclosure to Congress days before the election that the investigation was being revived because of newly discovered emails.

https://www.apnews.com/99ed3059a42e4ed99e71d2486a18856c

Story 2: American People Demand Appointment of Special Counsel To Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators To Restore Public Confidence in Integrity of DOJ and FBI Employees — We Will Rock You — Deplorable POS – Videos –

Who’s Behind the FBI Cabal Breakup? Was This An Intel Inside Job? Cui Bono? Setups & Double Crosses

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

House Republicans demand second special counsel

Republican lawmakers introduce legislation targeting FBI, DOJ

Reps. Jordan, Gaetz on demand for second special counsel

Republicans ask for special counsel to probe Clinton, Obama

GOP lawmakers call for second special counsel to probe DOJ

Deep state will get a reckoning here: Mark Penn

Caputo: FBI not only the agency that came at Trump campaign

Why a second special counsel is needed to investigate DOJ, FBI

Trump calls on DOJ to investigate FBI

Republicans want second special counsel, Trump wants answers

Graham calls for a special counsel to investigate Dems

Hillary Clinton says half of Trump’s supporters are in a “basket of deplorables”

Barack Obama’s small town guns and religion comments

Victor D Hanson Explains The Complete Corruption of the Obama Administration helped Sabotage Hillary

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Charles Kesler Introduces Angelo Codevilla

1. America’s Ruling Class

3. What’s Wrong with the CIA?

The Revolution of America’s Regime

Angelo Codevilla – Does America Have a Ruling Class?

456. The Iron Fist of the Ruling Class | Angelo Codevilla

The Role of Intelligence in American National Security

Conservatism in the Trump Era: American Statecraft

See the source image

  • ANGELO M. CODEVILLA

July 16, 2010, 10:09 am

After the Republic

By: Angelo M. Codevilla 
September 27, 2016

In today’s America, a network of executive, judicial, bureaucratic, and social kinship channels bypasses the sovereignty of citizens. Our imperial regime, already in force, works on a simple principle: the president and the cronies who populate these channels may do whatever they like so long as the bureaucracy obeys and one third plus one of the Senate protects him from impeachment. If you are on the right side of that network, you can make up the rules as you go along, ignore or violate any number of laws, obfuscate or commit perjury about what you are doing (in the unlikely case they put you under oath), and be certain of your peers’ support. These cronies’ shared social and intellectual identity stems from the uniform education they have received in the universities. Because disdain for ordinary Americans is this ruling class’s chief feature, its members can be equally certain that all will join in celebrating each, and in demonizing their respective opponents.

And, because the ruling class blurs the distinction between public and private business, connection to that class has become the principal way of getting rich in America. Not so long ago, the way to make it here was to start a business that satisfied customers’ needs better than before. Nowadays, more businesses die each year than are started. In this century, all net additions in employment have come from the country’s 1,500 largest corporations. Rent-seeking through influence on regulations is the path to wealth. In the professions, competitive exams were the key to entry and advancement not so long ago. Now, you have to make yourself acceptable to your superiors. More important, judicial decisions and administrative practice have divided Americans into “protected classes”—possessed of special privileges and immunities—and everybody else. Equality before the law and equality of opportunity are memories. Co-option is the path to power. Ever wonder why the quality of our leaders has been declining with each successive generation?

Moreover, since the Kennedy reform of 1965, and with greater speed since 2009, the ruling class’s immigration policy has changed the regime by introducing some 60 million people—roughly a fifth of our population—from countries and traditions different from, if not hostile, to ours. Whereas earlier immigrants earned their way to prosperity, a disproportionate percentage of post-1965 arrivals have been encouraged to become dependents of the state. Equally important, the ruling class chose to reverse America’s historic practice of assimilating immigrants, emphasizing instead what divides them from other Americans. Whereas Lincoln spoke of binding immigrants by “the electric cord” of the founders’ principles, our ruling class treats these principles as hypocrisy. All this without votes or law; just power.

Foul is Fair and Fair is Foul

In short, precisely as the classics defined regime change, people and practices that had been at society’s margins have been brought to its center, while people and ideas that had been central have been marginalized.

Fifty years ago, prayer in the schools was near universal, but no one was punished for not praying. Nowadays, countless people are arrested or fired for praying on school property. West Point’s commanding general reprimanded the football coach for his team’s thanksgiving prayer. Fifty years ago, bringing sexually explicit stuff into schools was treated as a crime, as was “procuring abortion.” Nowadays, schools contract with Planned Parenthood to teach sex, and will not tell parents when they take girls to PP facilities for abortions. Back then, many schools worked with the National Rifle Association to teach gun handling and marksmanship. Now students are arrested and expelled merely for pointing their finger and saying “bang.” In those benighted times, boys who ventured into the girls’ bathroom were expelled as perverts. Now, girls are suspended for objecting to boys coming into the girls’ room under pretense of transgenderism. The mainstreaming of pornography, the invention of abortion as the most inalienable of human rights and, most recently, the designation of opposition to homosexual marriage as a culpable psychosis—none of which is dictated by law enacted by elected officials—is enforced as if it had been. No surprise that America has experienced a drastic drop in the formation of families, with the rise of rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites equal to the rates among blacks that was recognized as disastrous a half-century ago, the near-disappearance of two-parent families among blacks, and the social dislocations attendant to all that.

Ever since the middle of the 20th century our ruling class, pursuing hazy concepts of world order without declarations of war, has sacrificed American lives first in Korea, then in Vietnam, and now throughout the Muslim world. By denigrating Americans who call for peace, or for wars unto victory over America’s enemies; by excusing or glorifying those who take our enemies’ side or who disrespect the American flag; our rulers have drawn down the American regime’s credit and eroded the people’s patriotism.

As the ruling class destroyed its own authority, it wrecked the republic’s as well. This is no longer the “land where our fathers died,” nor even the country that won World War II. It would be surprising if any society, its identity altered and its most fundamental institutions diminished, had continued to function as before. Ours sure does not, and it is difficult to imagine how it can do so ever again. We can be sure only that the revolution underway among us, like all others, will run its unpredictable course.

All we know is the choice that faces us at this stage: either America continues in the same direction, but faster and without restraint, or there’s the hazy possibility of something else.

Imperial Alternatives

The consequences of empowering today’s Democratic Party are crystal clear. The Democratic Party—regardless of its standard bearer—would use its victory to drive the transformations that it has already wrought on America to quantitative and qualitative levels that not even its members can imagine. We can be sure of that because what it has done and is doing is rooted in a logic that has animated the ruling class for a century, and because that logic has shaped the minds and hearts of millions of this class’s members, supporters, and wannabes.

That logic’s essence, expressed variously by Herbert Croly and Woodrow Wilson, FDR’s brains trust, intellectuals of both the old and the new Left, choked back and blurted out by progressive politicians, is this: America’s constitutional republic had given the American people too much latitude to be who they are, that is: religiously and socially reactionary, ignorant, even pathological, barriers to Progress. Thankfully, an enlightened minority exists with the expertise and the duty to disperse the religious obscurantism, the hypocritical talk of piety, freedom, and equality, which excuses Americans’ racism, sexism, greed, and rape of the environment. As we progressives take up our proper responsibilities, Americans will no longer live politically according to their prejudices; they will be ruled administratively according to scientific knowledge.

Progressivism’s programs have changed over time. But its disdain for how other Americans live and think has remained fundamental. More than any commitment to principles, programs, or way of life, this is its paramount feature. The media reacted to Hillary Clinton’s remark that “half of Trump’s supporters could be put into a ‘basket of deplorables’” as if these sentiments were novel and peculiar to her. In fact, these are unremarkable restatements of our ruling class’s perennial creed.

The pseudo-intellectual argument for why these “deplorables” have no right to their opinions is that giving equal consideration to people and positions that stand in the way of Progress is “false equivalence,” as President Obama has put it. But the same idea has been expressed most recently and fully by New York TimesCEO Mark Thompson, as well as Times columnists Jim Rutenberg, Timothy Egan, and William Davies. In short, devotion to truth means not reporting on Donald Trump and people like him as if they or anything they say might be of value.

If trying to persuade irredeemable socio-political inferiors is no more appropriate than arguing with animals, why not just write them off by sticking dismissive names on them? Doing so is less challenging, and makes you feel superior. Why wrestle with the statistical questions implicit in Darwin when you can just dismiss Christians as Bible-thumpers? Why bother arguing for Progressivism’s superiority when you can construct “scientific” studies like Theodor Adorno’s, proving that your opponents suffer from degrees of “fascism” and other pathologies? This is a well-trod path. Why, to take an older example, should General Omar Bradley have bothered trying to refute Douglas MacArthur’s statement that in war there is no substitute for victory when calling MacArthur and his supporters “primitives” did the trick? Why wrestle with our climate’s complexities when you can make up your own “models,” being sure that your class will treat them as truth?

What priorities will the ruling class’s notion of scientific truth dictate to the next Democratic administration? Because rejecting that true and false, right and wrong are objectively ascertainable is part of this class’s DNA, no corpus of fact or canon of reason restrains it or defines its end-point. Its definition of “science” is neither more nor less than what “scientists say” at any given time. In practice, that means “Science R-Us,” now and always, exclusively. Thus has come to pass what President Dwight Eisenhower warned against in his 1960 Farewell address: “A steadily increasing share [of science] is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.… [T]he free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution…a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” Hence, said Ike, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded.” The result has been that academics rise through government grants while the government exercises power by claiming to act on science’s behalf. If you don’t bow to the authority of the power that says what is and is not so, you are an obscurantist or worse.

Under our ruling class, “truth” has morphed from the reflection of objective reality to whatever has “normative pull”—i.e., to what furthers the ruling class’s agenda, whatever that might be at any given time. That is the meaning of the term “political correctness,” as opposed to factual correctness.

It’s the Contempt, Stupid!

Who, a generation ago, could have guessed that careers and social standing could be ruined by stating the fact that the paramount influence on the earth’s climate is the sun, that its output of energy varies and with it the climate? Who, a decade ago, could have predicted that stating that marriage is the union of a man and a woman would be treated as a culpable sociopathy, or just yesterday that refusing to let certifiably biological men into women’s bathrooms would disqualify you from mainstream society? Or that saying that the lives of white people “matter” as much as those of blacks is evidence of racism? These strictures came about quite simply because some sectors of the ruling class felt like inflicting them on the rest of America. Insulting presumed inferiors proved to be even more important to the ruling class than the inflictions’ substance.

How far will our rulers go? Because their network is mutually supporting, they will go as far as they want. Already, there is pressure from ruling class constituencies, as well as academic arguments, for morphing the concept of “hate crime” into the criminalization of “hate speech”—which means whatever these loving folks hate. Of course this is contrary to the First Amendment, and a wholesale negation of freedom. But it is no more so than the negation of freedom of association that is already eclipsing religious freedom in the name of anti-discrimination. It is difficult to imagine a Democratic president, Congress, and Supreme Court standing in the way.

Above all, these inflictions, as well as the ruling class’s acceptance of its own members’ misbehavior, came about because millions of its supporters were happy, or happy enough, to support them in the interest of maintaining their own status in a ruling coalition while discomfiting their socio-political opponents. Consider, for example, how republic-killing an event was the ruling class’s support of President Bill Clinton in the wake of his nationally televised perjury. Subsequently, as constituencies of supporters have effectively condoned officials’ abusive, self-serving, and even outright illegal behavior, they have encouraged more and more of it while inuring themselves to it. That is how republics turn into empires from the roots up.

But it is also true, as Mao Tse-Tung used to say, “a fish begins to rot at the head.” If you want to understand why any and all future Democratic Party administrations can only be empires dedicated to injuring and insulting their subjects, look first at their intellectual leaders’ rejection of the American republic’s most fundamental principles.

The Declaration of Independence says that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” among which are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These rights—codified in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights—are not civil rights that governments may define. The free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and assembly, keeping and bearing arms, freedom from warrantless searches, protection against double jeopardy and self-incrimination, trial by jury of one’s peers, etc., are natural rights that pertain to human beings as such. Securing them for Americans is what the United States is all about. But today’s U.S. Civil Rights Commission advocates truncating the foremost of these rights because, as it stated in a recent report, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon those civil rights.” The report explains why the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights should not be permissible: “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.”

Hillary Clinton’s attack on Trump supporters merely matched the ruling class’s current common sense. Why should government workers and all who wield the administrative state’s unaccountable powers not follow their leaders’ judgment, backed by the prestige press, about who are to be treated as citizens and who is to be handled as deplorable refuse? Hillary Clinton underlined once again how the ruling class regards us, and about what it has in store for us.

Electing Donald Trump would result in an administration far less predictable than any Democratic one. In fact, what Trump would or would not do, could or could not do, pales into insignificance next to the certainty of what any Democrat would do. That is what might elect Trump.

The character of an eventual Trump Administration is unpredictable because speculating about Trump’s mind is futile. It is equally futile to guess how he might react to the mixture of flattery and threats sure to be leveled against him. The entire ruling class—Democrats and Republicans, the bulk of the bureaucracy, the judiciary, and the press—would do everything possible to thwart him; and the constituencies that chose him as their candidate, and that might elect him, are surely not united and are by no means clear about the demands they would press. Moreover, it is anyone’s guess whom he would appoint and how he would balance his constituencies’ pressures against those of the ruling class.

Never before has such a large percentage of Americans expressed alienation from their leaders, resentment, even fear. Some two-thirds of Americans believe that elected and appointed officials—plus the courts, the justice system, business leaders, educators—are leading the country in the wrong direction: that they are corrupt, do more harm than good, make us poorer, get us into wars and lose them. Because this majority sees no one in the political mainstream who shares their concerns, because it lacks confidence that the system can be fixed, it is eager to empower whoever might flush the system and its denizens with something like an ungentle enema.

Yet the persons who express such revolutionary sentiments are not a majority ready to support a coherent imperial program to reverse the course of America’s past half-century. Temperamentally conservative, these constituencies had been most attached to the Constitution and been counted as the bedrock of stability. They are not yet wholly convinced that there is little left to conserve. What they want, beyond an end to the ruling class’s outrages, has never been clear. This is not surprising, given that the candidates who appeal to their concerns do so with mere sound bites. Hence they chose as the presidential candidate of the nominal opposition party the man who combined the most provocative anti-establishment sounds with reassurance that it won’t take much to bring back good old America: Donald Trump. But bringing back good old America would take an awful lot. What could he do to satisfy them?

Trump’s propensity for treating pronouncements on policy as flags to be run up and down the flagpole as he measures the volume of the applause does not deprive them of all significance—especially the ones that confirm his anti-establishment bona fides. These few policy items happen to be the ones by which he gained his anti-establishment reputation in the first place: 1) opposition to illegal immigration, especially the importation of Muslims whom Americans reasonably perceive as hostile to us; 2) law and order: stop excusing rioters and coddling criminals; 3) build a wall, throw out the illegals, let in only people who are vetted and certified as supporters of our way of life (that’s the way it was when I got my immigrant visa in 1955), and keep out anybody we can’t be sure isn’t a terrorist. Trump’s tentative, partial retreat from a bit of the latter nearly caused his political standing to implode, prompting the observation that doing something similar regarding abortion would end his political career. That is noteworthy because, although Trump’s support of the pro-life cause is lukewarm at best, it is the defining commitment for much of his constituency. The point here is that, regardless of his own sentiments, Trump cannot wholly discount his constituencies’ demands for a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction.

Trump’s slogan—“make America great again”—is the broadest, most unspecific, common denominator of non-ruling-class Americans’ diverse dissatisfaction with what has happened to the country. He talks about reasserting America’s identity, at least by controlling the borders; governing in America’s own interest rather than in pursuit of objectives of which the American people have not approved; stopping the export of jobs and removing barriers to business; and banishing political correctness’s insults and injuries. But all that together does not amount to making America great again. Nor does Trump begin to explain what it was that had made this country great to millions who have known only an America much diminished.

In fact, the United States of America was great because of a whole bunch of things that now are gone. Yes, the ruling class led the way in personal corruption, cheating on tests, lowering of professional standards, abandoning churches and synagogues for the Playboy Philosophy and lifestyle, disregarding law, basing economic life on gaming the administrative state, basing politics on conflicting identities, and much more. But much of the rest of the country followed. What would it take to make America great again—or indeed to make any of the changes that Trump’s voters demand? Replacing the current ruling class would be only the beginning.

Because it is difficult to imagine a Trump presidency even thinking about something so monumental as replacing an entire ruling elite, much less leading his constituency to accomplishing it, electing Trump is unlikely to result in a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction. Continuing pretty much on the current trajectory under the same class will further fuel revolutionary sentiments in the land all by itself. Inevitable disappointment with Trump is sure to add to them.

We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end. Our ruling class’s malfeasance, combined with insult, brought it about. Donald Trump did not cause it and is by no means its ultimate manifestation. Regardless of who wins in 2016, this revolution’s sentiments will grow in volume and intensity, and are sure to empower politicians likely to make Americans nostalgic for Donald Trump’s moderation.

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/after-the-republic/

Senior Executive Service (United States)

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Senior Executive Service
SES Emblem.svg

Seal of the U.S. Senior Executive Service
Flag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg

Flag of the U.S. Senior Executive Service

The Senior Executive Service (SES) is a position classification in the civil service of the United States federal government, somewhat analogous to general officer or flag officer ranks in the U.S. Armed Forces. It was created in 1979 when the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 went into effect under President Jimmy Carter.

Origin and attributes

According to the Office of Personnel Management, the SES was designed to be a corps of executives selected for their leadership qualifications, serving in key positions just below the top Presidential appointees as a link between them and the rest of the Federal (civil service) workforce. SES positions are considered to be above the GS-15 level of the General Schedule, and below Level III of the Executive Schedule. Career members of the SES ranks are eligible for the Presidential Rank Awards program.

Up to 10% of SES positions can be filled as political appointments rather than by career employees.[1] About half of the SES is designated “Career Reserved”, which can only be filled by career employees. The other half is designated “General”, which can be filled by either career employees or political appointments as desired by the administration. Due to the 10% limitation, most General positions are still filled by career appointees.[2]

Senior level employees of several agencies are exempt from the SES but have their own senior executive positions; these include the Federal Bureau of InvestigationCentral Intelligence AgencyDefense Intelligence AgencyNational Security AgencyTransportation Security AdministrationFederal Aviation AdministrationGovernment Accountability OfficeMembers of the Foreign Service, and government corporations.

Pay rates

(Effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2015)[3]
Minimum Maximum
Agencies with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System $121,956 $183,300
Agencies without a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System $121,956 $168,700

Unlike the General Schedule (GS) grades, SES pay is determined at agency discretion within certain parameters, and there is no locality pay adjustment.

The minimum pay level for the SES is set at 120 percent of the basic pay for GS-15 Step 1 employees ($121,956 for 2015). The maximum pay level depends on whether or not the employing agency has a “certified” SES performance appraisal system:[4]

  • If the agency has a certified system, the maximum pay is set at Level II of the Executive Schedule ($183,300 for 2015).
  • If the agency does not have a certified system, the maximum pay is set at Level III of the Executive Schedule ($168,700 for 2015).

Total aggregate pay is limited to the salary of the Vice President of the United States ($230,700 for 2015).

Prior to 2004, the SES used a six-level system. It was replaced with the current open band system on January 1, 2014.[5]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Piaker, Zach (2016-03-16). “Help Wanted: 4,000 Presidential Appointees”Partnership for Public Service Center for Presidential Transition. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  2. Jump up^ “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions (The Plum Book)” (PDF). U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 2012-12-01. p. 201. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  3. Jump up^ Obama, Barack (2014-12-19). “ADJUSTMENTS OF CERTAIN RATES OF PAY” (PDF). EXECUTIVE ORDER 13686. The White House. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  4. Jump up^ “Performance & Compensation – Salary”U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  5. Jump up^ “Senior Executive Service Pay and Performance Awards”U.S. Office of Personnel Management. 2004. Retrieved 2018-03-31.

External links

House conservatives introduce resolution calling for second special counsel

House conservatives introduce resolution calling for second special counsel
© Greg Nash

House conservatives introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate possible misconduct by the Department of Justice and the FBI during the 2016 presidential race. 

“The Justice Department cannot be expected to investigate itself,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), flanked by 11 other Republican lawmakers, said at a press conference announcing the measure. 

The Republicans also want a probe to look into the government’s decision to end the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server and the reasoning behind the government’s decision to launch a probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.) and Jody Hice (Ga.) were among the Republicans at the press conference.

The press conference came a day after an unusual meeting at the White House between President Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein has agreed to have the Department of Justice inspector general review whether the FBI has done anything inappropriate in its investigation of the Trump campaign, which predated Mueller’s probe. Trump demanded action after reports that an FBI informant talked to three members of the Trump campaign team.

Sessions has declined requests for an additional special counsel but did tap John Huber, a federal prosecutor in Utah, to look into allegations last month.

The 12-page resolution lists a series of points that the lawmakers say warrant an investigation.

The document questions whether top FBI and Justice Department officials acted in a politically motivated way during the election, including how “insufficient intelligence and biased motivations” may have launched the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference.

The resolution alleges that “deeply flawed and questionable” Foreign Surveillance Act warrant applications were obtained during the election by government officials to surveil Trump campaign aides. It says the warrants were obtained on the basis of “illicit sources and politically biased intelligence.”

Democrats have blasted the GOP calls for a second special counsel as an attempt to distract or even undermine Mueller’s investigation in order to shield Trump.

The lawmakers attending the press conference, when asked, said the president has not encouraged them to pursue this resolution.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/388798-house-conservatives-introduce-resolution-calling-for-second-special

Demand Grows for Second Special Counsel from Senate

IG does not have the tools of a prosecutor, Senators say

 Sara Carter    March 17, 2018

Ranking Republican senators are calling on the Department of Justice to appoint a second special counsel to investigate potential abuses by FBI and Justice Department employees connected to their role in the investigation into President Trump.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Sen. Thom Tillis, R- N.C. officially joined other Congressional members in their call for a special counsel to work alongside DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Horowitz has been conducting an investigation into the matter for more than a year. Graham and Grassley joined Fox News Bret Baier on Thursday’s Special Report and stressed the urgency of getting a special counsel to investigate along side the Inspector General.

Graham told this reporter on Thursday that he believes a special counsel will be appointed to work along side Horowitz.

“It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” the criminal referral states.

In the document, Grassley and Graham noted that “there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.”

The pair of lawmakers also allege that Steele was compiling information on Trump and his campaign before being hired by now embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign for his work.

“Pursuant to that business arrangement, Mr. Steele prepared a series of documents styled as intelligence reports, some of which were later compiled into a ‘dossier’ and published by Buzzfeed in January 2017,” the referral states. “On the face of the dossier, it appears that Mr. Steele gathered much of his information from Russian government sources inside Russia.”

The two senators had written to the Inspector General’s office in February, “requesting a broad review of more than 30 classified and unclassified questions related to the Trump-Russia probe” but were not able to obtain the information.

“…because the Inspector General lacks access to grand jury process and other prosecutorial tools, a special counsel with such authority may be necessary to compel the production of testimony and information that would otherwise be unobtainable,” a press release from Grassley and Graham issued Thursday stated.

The letter to Sessions and Rosenstein outlines the importance of appointing a special counsel to support Horowitz’s independent investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

The senators state that the appointment “should occur under the specific Justice Department regulations that govern special counsels and limit the scope of their authority. The senators further request that if the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General determines a special counsel is not appropriate or necessary, then the Department designate a U.S. Attorney’s office or another prosecutor with no real or apparent conflict to work” with Horowitz on the case.

READ: The Case For and Against a Special Counsel Investigation

Earlier this month House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC, sent a letter to Rosenstein and Sessions also urging them to appoint a special counsel to investigate the accumulation of evidence uncovered by the congressional committees and Inspector General.

Goodlatte and Gowdy sent a letter addressing evidence uncovered by the House Intelligence Committee that accused the FBI and Justice Department of failing to disclose to the secret FISA court that the Hillary Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee financed the dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele at the behest of embattled security firm Fusion GPS

https://saraacarter.com/demand-grows-for-second-special-counsel-from-senate/

The Case For and Against a Special Counsel Investigation of DOJ and FBI

Increasingly more Republicans are calling for special counsel, while DOJ argues for IG investigation

 March 6, 2018

Arguments Against a Special Counsel per DOJ:

  • Like a federal prosecutor, a special counsel in the Department of Justice can’t bring a case before a court unless its investigators find evidence of a crime.
  • Special counsel investigators are usually FBI.  If the special counsel agrees that there is a conflict of interest in bringing FBI investigators into the fold it would have to select a different team of investigators to aide in the case.
  • The special counsel could use the Post Master General or the DEA but those investigators would be far behind the DOJ’s Inspector General investigators, who have already been working on the cases.
  • Federal prosecutors, special counsels, and those attorneys working with them do not “conduct” investigations. DOJ officials told me that the process is much like the TV show law and order where law enforcement brings evidence of a crime and then the prosecutor puts together a case to be brought before the court.
  • The DOJ Inspector General is an independent office that investigates possible violations of criminal and civil law by employees of the FBI and its own department.
  • The Inspector General reports to the Attorney General and to Congress.
  • The IG’s Investigations Division Special Agents develop cases for criminal prosecution, civil or administrative action.
  • Inspector General’s office acts similar to the FBI in that it has the authority to investigate wrongdoing and collect evidence.
  • The Inspector General has the power to subpoena and present cases for criminal prosecution to the Attorney General.

Arguments For a Special Counsel, per Congressional Members:

  • An independent arbiter because the FBI and DOJ cannot investigate themselves.
  • Any criminal referral from the Inspector General will go to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for prosecution and he has not made clear the scope of his involvement in the cases.
  •  Republicans and some senior government officials say there is no rational argument for letting current Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was the former head of the FBI, expand his special counsel investigation. It won’t work because of Mueller, as the former director of the FBI, is conflicted out.
  • Robert Mueller’s investigation crosses into the territory of the unsubstantiated and salacious dossier, he is after all supposed to be investigating alleged collusion between Russia and President Trump. And he’s reportedly using the unverified dossier crafted by former British spy Christopher Steele in his investigation. A dossier, which Steele, told the British courts is not verified.
  • Mueller has close previous working relationships with many of the same players he would be investigating. For example, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey, to name two.
  • The American public won’t buy into an investigation by Mueller, the DOJ or FBI.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has never clearly stated where his recusal begins and ends.
  • A second special counsel needs to come from outside Washington D.C. with its own team of impartial, hand selected investigators.

Asecond special counsel might investigate any or all of the following: possible criminal violations by senior FBI and DOJ officials in obtaining a warrant to spy on a former Trump campaign volunteer, the bureau’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information and whether senior Obama administration officials, including the president, were aware of the use of the unverified dossier to open an investigation into the Trump campaign and possible Russian collusion.

“You need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself”

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)

 

The investigations could also be conducted by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is expected to conclude his much-anticipated report into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton server investigation in the next several weeks and who Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked to investigate possible FISA warrant abuse against Carter Page, who briefly volunteered for the Trump campaign in 2016.

Republicans, however, are not satisfied and are now pushing Sessions, who is recused from the Russia investigation, to appoint a special counsel. DOJ officials are arguing against it, telling this reporter that Horowitz and his team can conduct the unbiased investigation and refer potential people to the DOJ for criminal prosecution.

The situation can be confusing to anyone outside Washington D.C. One Republican congressional member, who spoke on background, questioned, “how long will it take for Horowitz to investigate and if he does make a criminal referral for prosecution, it will have to go back to Sessions, who apparently has recused himself from all matters Russia and apparently everything else. I don’t see how we have any choice but to get a second special counsel.”
AG Jeff Sessions

Rep. Jim Jordan, R- Ohio, who has proposed the idea for a special counsel since last year, said although he “wishes there was another way around it, there appears to be no other course of action.”

“I think Sessions needs to appoint a second special counsel and they need to be somebody from outside the swamp, like a retired judge, someone that can select his or her own team of investigators,” said Jordan. “I don’t see any other course of action that would be acceptable to anybody involved, including Republicans, Democrats and the American people.”

Five days ago, President Trump called out Sessions for his decision to turn over the investigation into possible abuse by the FBI when it sought a warrant to spy on Page from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the most secretive court in the United States with the authority to grant warrants to surveil Americans.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!

Sessions stated in a response to Trump, “we have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.

And it may be that there are already investigations ongoing inside the DOJ that the public is unaware of. Several

“The IG can only really investigate the people who are there (under his authority) but not the people who have left”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

government officials who have defended Sessions said that any ongoing investigations requested by Congress if they exist, would not be leaked or discussed publicly.

However, there may be clues. In a Nov. 13, 2017 letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told congressional members that the DOJ had appointed senior prosecutors who would report “directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation, require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

DOJ officials could not comment on whether or not these prosecutors assigned by Sessions last year have uncovered any wrongdoing or what specifically the prosecutors were currently investigating. Boyd’s letter did stress that all congressional requests from the approval to grant Russia the sale of the Canadian firm Uranium One, which at the time had access to 20 percent of American mining rights, and requests for investigations into FISA abuse were being looked into.

Trey Gowdy

But for Jordan and many other Republicans, the deafening silence out of DOJ is difficult to understand. And now many lawmakers are asking Sessions to do what he is apparently fighting against and appoint a new special counsel.

For the first time, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC, told Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria  Bartiromo, “you need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself.”

 “Horowitz is a fair guy, but when there are two dozen witnesses that have left the department or worked for another agency, someone else has to do it and I am reluctant to call for special counsel, but I think it may be unavoidable in this fact pattern,” Gowdy said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, is also calling for a second special counsel and echoed Gowdy in a call with this reporter Monday, saying “the IG can only really investigate the people who are there (under his authority) but not the people who have left.”

So far, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-CA, has not weighed in on whether or not he believes the appointment of a special counsel is necessary to investigate many of the same issues his committee is looking into. Some congressional members, who spoke to this reporter, say it’s only a matter of time before Nunes joins the chorus of Republicans demanding the investigation.

https://saraacarter.com/the-case-for-and-against-a-special-counsel-investigation-of-doj-and-fbi/

 

Story 3: Happy 72nd Birthday President Trump — Videos

Jordan Peterson – How Alpha Males Present Themselves

4. What’s Wrong with America’s Men

Jordan Peterson on the meaning of life for men. MUST WATCH

Jordan Peterson – The Tragic Story of the Man-Child

Jordan Peterson on Trump’s Intelligence

Jordan Peterson “I’d Vote Donald Trump and Here’s Why”

One Big Reason Trump Won – Jordan peterson, Jon Haidt

Why the European State is Doomed (but Not the US) – Prof. Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson: Why Globalism Fails and Nationalism is Relatable

Victor Davis Hanson; Imagine How Successful Trump’s Admin Could Be If Dem’s Stopped Obstructing

People at center of Clinton investigation tried to ‘save country’ from Trump?

Happy 72nd Birthday To Our President Donald Trump

It’s President Donald Trump’s 72nd birthday

All The Unpresidential Ways Trump Celebrated His Birthday Before Becoming President (HBO)

Gen. Michael Flynn weighs in on FBI’s Clinton investigation

 

‘I love you very much!’ Ivanka and Eric lead tributes to their father Trump on his 72nd birthday with throwback photos from their childhood

  • Ivanka and Eric lead the 72nd birthday tributes for Donald Trump on Thursday
  • President’s eldest daughter Ivanka posted a series of photos of her and Trump when she was young, saying: ‘Wishing you your best year yet’
  • Trump’s son Eric also shared two childhood photos with his father, adding: ‘It is amazing how far we have all come!’ 
  • Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also took to social media posting a screenshot of a Drudge Report headline declaring, ‘TRUMP’S BEST BIRTHDAY!’

Ivanka and Eric Trump have lead the tributes to President Donald Trump on his 72nd birthday by posting throwback photos from their childhood.

The President’s eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying ‘I love you very much. Wishing you your best year yet!!!’

Her birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father.

The President's eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying 'I love you very much' alongside a photo of her as a small girl

The President’s eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying ‘I love you very much’ alongside a photo of her as a small girl

Trump's son Eric also shared this childhood photo with his father, saying 'it is amazing how far we have all come!'
Trump’s son Eric also shared this childhood photo with his father, saying ‘it is amazing how far we have all come!’

Trump’s son Eric also shared two childhood photos with his father, as well as one of him walking at the White House and another of the President posing with his newest grandson Luke.

‘Happy Birthday Dad! It is amazing how far we have all come! We are very proud of you and everything you have accomplished!’ Eric posted alongside the photos.

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media.

On Instagram, he posted a screenshot of a Drudge Report headline declaring, ‘TRUMP’S BEST BIRTHDAY!’ and citing the economy, North Korea, the World Cup and the jobless rate.

Ivanka's birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father

Ivanka’s birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father

Ivanka also posted this photo of her and her brothers Eric and Don Jr posing with their father

Ivanka also posted this photo of her and her brothers Eric and Don Jr posing with their father

'It is amazing how far we have all come!': Eric Trump praised his father's accomplishments in his birthday message that included a photo with Ivanka

‘It is amazing how far we have all come!’: Eric Trump praised his father’s accomplishments in his birthday message that included a photo with Ivanka

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple’s baby.

‘Happy Birthday Mr. President/Grandpa! We love you and are so proud of you!’ she wrote.

First Lady Melania and Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany are yet to post anything publicly for his birthday.

Trump is the oldest President to be sworn in for a first term. Prior to Trump, Ronald Reagan was the oldest to become Commander in Chief at age 69.

Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple's baby

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple’s baby.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5845629/Ivanka-Eric-lead-tributes-Donald-Trump-72nd-birthday.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 4, 2018, Story 1: News Fatigue or Progressive Propaganda — Do Not View Big Lie Media — Television Networks and Newspapers — Videos — Story 2: Seymour M. Hersh on Investigative Journalism — Videos — Story 3: Higher U.S. Tariffs or Taxes on Imports Could Decrease U.S. Growth in Real Gross Domestic Product — Story 4: President Trump to Sessions– Where Is The IG Report? — Videos

Posted on June 6, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Business, Cartoons, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, James Comey, Law, Legal Immigration, Mental Illness, Obama, People, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Spying, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Almost seven-in-ten Americans have news fatigue, more among Republicans

If you feel like there is too much news and you can’t keep up, you are not alone. A sizable portion of Americans are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of news there is, though the sentiment is more common on the right side of the political spectrum, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted from Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018.

Almost seven-in-ten Americans (68%) feel worn out by the amount of news there is these days, compared with only three-in-ten who say they like the amount of news they get. The portion expressing feelings of information overload is in line with how Americans felt during the 2016 presidential election, when a majority expressed feelings of exhaustion from election coverage.

While majorities of both Republicans and Democrats express news fatigue, Republicans are feeling it more. Roughly three-quarters (77%) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents feel worn out over how much news there is, compared with about six-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (61%). This elevated fatigue among Republicans tracks with them having less enthusiasm than Democrats for the 2018 elections. 

Feeling overwhelmed by the news is more common among those who follow the news less closely than among those who are avid consumers. While a majority of those who follow the news most of the time (62%) are feeling worn out by the news, a substantially higher portion (78%) of those who less frequently

get news say they are fatigued by the amount of it that they see. (Most Americans – 65% – say they follow the news most of time, whereas 34% say they follow only when something important is happening.)

Those less favorable toward the news media are also the most “worn out.” Eight-in-ten of those who think national news organizations do “not too” or “not at all well” in informing the public are feeling this exhaustion. This is somewhat higher than among those who say the news media do “fairly well” (69%), and much higher than for those who think news organizations do “very well” – of whom 48% say they are worn out by the news and 51% say they like the amount they see. This relationship between attitudes toward the news media and fatigue holds even after accounting for Americans’ political party affiliation.

(Overall, 17% of Americans say national news organizations are doing very well at keeping the public informed of the most important national stories of the day, while 24% say they do not too or not at all well; the largest portion, 58%, say the news media do fairly well.)

Some demographic groups – most notably white Americans – are more likely than others to feel exhausted by the news. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of white Americans express fatigue with the amount of news, much higher than among both Hispanic (55%) and black Americans (55%). Women are also somewhat more likely than men to feel worn out (71% vs. 64%, respectively). Those ages 65 and older are slightly less likely than those who are younger to express a sense of exhaustion with the news.

Note: The full methodology and topline can be found here (PDF).

TOPICS: NEWS AUDIENCE TRENDS AND ATTITUDESNEWS INTEREST

Propaganda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented.[1] Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, companies and the media can also produce propaganda.

In the twentieth century, the term propaganda has been associated with a manipulative approach, but propaganda historically was a neutral descriptive term.[1][2] A wide range of materials and media are used for conveying propaganda messages, which changed as new technologies were invented, including paintings, cartoons, posters, pamphlets, films, radio shows, TV shows, and websites.

In a 1929 literary debate with Edward BernaysEverett Dean Martin argues that, “Propaganda is making puppets of us. We are moved by hidden strings which the propagandist manipulates.”[3][4]

Etymology

Propaganda is a modern Latin word, the gerundive form of propagare, meaning to spread or to propagate, thus propaganda means that which is to be propagated.[5] Originally this word derived from a new administrative body of the Catholic church (congregation) created in 1622, called the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for Propagating the Faith), or informally simply Propaganda.[2][6] Its activity was aimed at “propagating” the Catholic faith in non-Catholic countries.[2]

From the 1790s, the term began being used also to refer to propaganda in secular activities.[2] The term began taking a pejorative or negative connotation in the mid-19th century, when it was used in the political sphere.[2]

History

Primitive forms of propaganda have been a human activity as far back as reliable recorded evidence exists. The Behistun Inscription (c. 515 BC) detailing the rise of Darius I to the Persian throne is viewed by most historians as an early example of propaganda.[7] Another striking example of propaganda during Ancient History is the last Roman civil wars (44-30 BC) during which Octavian and Mark Antony blame each other for obscure and degrading origins, cruelty, cowardice, oratorical and literary incompetence, debaucheries, luxury, drunkenness and other slanders.[8] This defamation took the form of uituperatio (Roman rhetorical genre of the invective) which was decisive for shaping the Roman public opinion at this time.

Propaganda during the Reformation, helped by the spread of the printing press throughout Europe, and in particular within Germany, caused new ideas, thoughts, and doctrine to be made available to the public in ways that had never been seen before the 16th century. During the era of the American Revolution, the American colonies had a flourishing network of newspapers and printers who specialized in the topic on behalf of the Patriots (and to a lesser extent on behalf of the Loyalists).[9]

A propaganda newspaper clipping that refers to the Bataan Death March in 1942

The first large-scale and organised propagation of government propaganda was occasioned by the outbreak of war in 1914. After the defeat of Germany in the First World War, military officials such as Erich Ludendorff suggested that British propaganda had been instrumental in their defeat. Adolf Hitler came to echo this view, believing that it had been a primary cause of the collapse of morale and the revolts in the German home front and Navy in 1918 (see also: Dolchstoßlegende). In Mein Kampf (1925) Hitler expounded his theory of propaganda, which provided a powerful base for his rise to power in 1933. Historian Robert Ensor explains that “Hitler…puts no limit on what can be done by propaganda; people will believe anything, provided they are told it often enough and emphatically enough, and that contradicters are either silenced or smothered in calumny.”[10] Most propaganda in Nazi Germany was produced by the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda under Joseph GoebbelsWorld War II saw continued use of propaganda as a weapon of war, building on the experience of WWI, by Goebbels and the British Political Warfare Executive, as well as the United States Office of War Information.[11]

Anti-religious Soviet propaganda poster, the Russian text reads “Ban Religious Holidays!”

In the early 20th century, the invention of motion pictures gave propaganda-creators a powerful tool for advancing political and military interests when it came to reaching a broad segment of the population and creating consent or encouraging rejection of the real or imagined enemy. In the years following the October Revolution of 1917, the Soviet government sponsored the Russian film industry with the purpose of making propaganda films (e.g. the 1925 film The Battleship Potemkin glorifies Communist ideals.) In WWII, Nazi filmmakers produced highly emotional films to create popular support for occupying the Sudetenland and attacking Poland. The 1930s and 1940s, which saw the rise of totalitarian states and the Second World War, are arguably the “Golden Age of Propaganda”. Leni Riefenstahl, a filmmaker working in Nazi Germany, created one of the best-known propaganda movies, Triumph of the Will. In the US, animation became popular, especially for winning over youthful audiences and aiding the U.S. war effort, e.g.,Der Fuehrer’s Face (1942), which ridicules Hitler and advocates the value of freedom. US war films in the early 1940s were designed to create a patriotic mindset and convince viewers that sacrifices needed to be made to defeat the Axis Powers.[12] Polish filmmakers in Great Britain created anti-nazi color film Calling mr. Smith[13][14] (1943) about current nazi crimes in occupied Europe and about lies of nazi propaganda.[15]

The West and the Soviet Union both used propaganda extensively during the Cold War. Both sides used film, television, and radio programming to influence their own citizens, each other, and Third World nations. George Orwell‘s novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four are virtual textbooks on the use of propaganda. During the Cuban RevolutionFidel Castro stressed the importance of propaganda.[16][better source needed]Propaganda was used extensively by Communist forces in the Vietnam War as means of controlling people’s opinions.[17]

During the Yugoslav wars, propaganda was used as a military strategy by governments of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia. Propaganda was used to create fear and hatred, and particularly incite the Serb population against the other ethnicities (BosniaksCroatsAlbanians and other non-Serbs). Serb media made a great effort in justifying, revising or denying mass war crimes committed by Serb forces during these wars.[18]

Public perceptions

In the early 20th century the term propaganda was used by the founders of the nascent public relations industry to refer to their people. This image died out around the time of World War II, as the industry started to avoid the word, given the pejorative connotation it had acquired. Literally translated from the Latin gerundive as “things that must be disseminated”, in some cultures the term is neutral or even positive, while in others the term has acquired a strong negative connotation. The connotations of the term “propaganda” can also vary over time. For example, in Portuguese and some Spanish language speaking countries, particularly in the Southern Cone, the word “propaganda” usually refers to the most common manipulative media — “advertising”.

Poster of the 19th-century Scandinavist movement

In English, propaganda was originally a neutral term for the dissemination of information in favor of any given cause. During the 20th century, however, the term acquired a thoroughly negative meaning in western countries, representing the intentional dissemination of often false, but certainly “compelling” claims to support or justify political actions or ideologies. According to Harold Lasswell, the term began to fall out of favor due to growing public suspicion of propaganda in the wake of its use during World War I by the Creel Committee in the United States and the Ministry of Information in Britain: Writing in 1928, Lasswell observed, “In democratic countries the official propaganda bureau was looked upon with genuine alarm, for fear that it might be suborned to party and personal ends. The outcry in the United States against Mr. Creel’s famous Bureau of Public Information (or ‘Inflammation’) helped to din into the public mind the fact that propaganda existed. … The public’s discovery of propaganda has led to a great of lamentation over it. Propaganda has become an epithet of contempt and hate, and the propagandists have sought protective coloration in such names as ‘public relations council,’ ‘specialist in public education,’ ‘public relations adviser.’ “[19]

Types

Identifying propaganda has always been a problem.[20] The main difficulties have involved differentiating propaganda from other types of persuasion, and avoiding a biased approach. Richard Alan Nelson provides a definition of the term: “Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels.”[21] The definition focuses on the communicative process involved — or more precisely, on the purpose of the process, and allow “propaganda” to be considered objectively and then interpreted as positive or negative behavior depending on the perspective of the viewer or listener.

Propaganda poster in North Koreanprimary school

According to historian Zbyněk Zeman, propaganda is defined as either white, grey or black. White propaganda openly discloses its source and intent. Grey propaganda has an ambiguous or non-disclosed source or intent. Black propaganda purports to be published by the enemy or some organization besides its actual origins[22] (compare with black operation, a type of clandestine operation in which the identity of the sponsoring government is hidden). In scale, these different types of propaganda can also be defined by the potential of true and correct information to compete with the propaganda. For example, opposition to white propaganda is often readily found and may slightly discredit the propaganda source. Opposition to grey propaganda, when revealed (often by an inside source), may create some level of public outcry. Opposition to black propaganda is often unavailable and may be dangerous to reveal, because public cognizance of black propaganda tactics and sources would undermine or backfire the very campaign the black propagandist supported.

Propaganda poster in North Korea

The propagandist seeks to change the way people understand an issue or situation for the purpose of changing their actions and expectations in ways that are desirable to the interest group. Propaganda, in this sense, serves as a corollary to censorship in which the same purpose is achieved, not by filling people’s minds with approved information, but by preventing people from being confronted with opposing points of view. What sets propaganda apart from other forms of advocacy is the willingness of the propagandist to change people’s understanding through deception and confusion rather than persuasion and understanding. The leaders of an organization know the information to be one sided or untrue, but this may not be true for the rank and file members who help to disseminate the propaganda.

Religious

Propaganda was often used to influence opinions and beliefs on religious issues, particularly during the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches.

More in line with the religious roots of the term, propaganda is also used widely in the debates about new religious movements (NRMs), both by people who defend them and by people who oppose them. The latter pejoratively call these NRMs cultsAnti-cult activists and Christian countercult activists accuse the leaders of what they consider cults of using propaganda extensively to recruit followers and keep them. Some social scientists, such as the late Jeffrey Hadden, and CESNUR affiliated scholars accuse ex-members of “cults” and the anti-cult movement of making these unusual religious movements look bad without sufficient reasons.[23][24]

Wartime

A US Office for War Information poster uses stereotyped imagery to encourage Americans to work hard to contribute to the war effort

In post–World War II usage of the word “propaganda” more typically refers to political or nationalist uses of these techniques or to the promotion of a set of ideas.

Propaganda is a powerful weapon in war; it is used to dehumanize and create hatred toward a supposed enemy, either internal or external, by creating a false image in the mind of soldiers and citizens. This can be done by using derogatory or racist terms (e.g., the racist terms “Jap” and “gook” used during World War II and the Vietnam War, respectively), avoiding some words or language or by making allegations of enemy atrocities. Most propaganda efforts in wartime require the home population to feel the enemy has inflicted an injustice, which may be fictitious or may be based on facts (e.g., the sinking of the passenger ship RMS Lusitania by the German Navy in World War I). The home population must also believe that the cause of their nation in the war is just. In NATO doctrine, propaganda is defined as “Any information, ideas, doctrines, or special appeals disseminated to influence the opinion, emotions, attitudes, or behaviour of any specified group in order to benefit the sponsor either directly or indirectly.”[25] Within this perspective, information provided does not need to be necessarily false, but must be instead relevant to specific goals of the “actor” or “system” that performs it.

Propaganda is also one of the methods used in psychological warfare, which may also involve false flag operations in which the identity of the operatives is depicted as those of an enemy nation (e.g., The Bay of Pigs invasion used CIA planes painted in Cuban Air Force markings). The term propaganda may also refer to false information meant to reinforce the mindsets of people who already believe as the propagandist wishes (e.g., During the First World War, the main purpose of British propaganda was to encourage men join the army, and women to work in the country’s industry. The propaganda posters were used, because radios and TVs were not very common at that time.).[26] The assumption is that, if people believe something false, they will constantly be assailed by doubts. Since these doubts are unpleasant (see cognitive dissonance), people will be eager to have them extinguished, and are therefore receptive to the reassurances of those in power. For this reason propaganda is often addressed to people who are already sympathetic to the agenda or views being presented. This process of reinforcement uses an individual’s predisposition to self-select “agreeable” information sources as a mechanism for maintaining control over populations.

Britannia arm-in-arm with Uncle Sam symbolizes the British-American alliance in World War I.

Propaganda may be administered in insidious ways. For instance, disparaging disinformation about the history of certain groups or foreign countries may be encouraged or tolerated in the educational system. Since few people actually double-check what they learn at school, such disinformation will be repeated by journalists as well as parents, thus reinforcing the idea that the disinformation item is really a “well-known fact”, even though no one repeating the myth is able to point to an authoritative source. The disinformation is then recycled in the media and in the educational system, without the need for direct governmental intervention on the media. Such permeating propaganda may be used for political goals: by giving citizens a false impression of the quality or policies of their country, they may be incited to reject certain proposals or certain remarks or ignore the experience of others.

In the Soviet Union during the Second World War, the propaganda designed to encourage civilians was controlled by Stalin, who insisted on a heavy-handed style that educated audiences easily saw was inauthentic. On the other hand, the unofficial rumours about German atrocities were well founded and convincing.[27] Stalin was a Georgian who spoke Russian with a heavy accent. That would not do for a national hero so starting in the 1930s all new visual portraits of Stalin were retouched to erase his Georgian facial characteristics and make him a more generalized Soviet hero. Only his eyes and famous mustache remained unaltered. Zhores Medvedev and Roy Medvedev say his “majestic new image was devised appropriately to depict the leader of all times and of all peoples.”[28]

Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits any propaganda for war as well as any advocacy of national or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence by law.[29]

Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

Advertising

Propaganda shares techniques with advertising and public relations, each of which can be thought of as propaganda that promotes a commercial product or shapes the perception of an organization, person, or brand.

World War I propaganda poster for enlistment in the U.S. Army

Journalistic theory generally holds that news items should be objective, giving the reader an accurate background and analysis of the subject at hand. On the other hand, advertisements evolved from the traditional commercial advertisements to include also a new type in the form of paid articles or broadcasts disguised as news. These generally present an issue in a very subjective and often misleading light, primarily meant to persuade rather than inform. Normally they use only subtle propaganda techniques and not the more obvious ones used in traditional commercial advertisements. If the reader believes that a paid advertisement is in fact a news item, the message the advertiser is trying to communicate will be more easily “believed” or “internalized”. Such advertisements are considered obvious examples of “covert” propaganda because they take on the appearance of objective information rather than the appearance of propaganda, which is misleading. Federal law specifically mandates that any advertisement appearing in the format of a news item must state that the item is in fact a paid advertisement.

Politics

Propaganda has become more common in political contexts, in particular to refer to certain efforts sponsored by governments, political groups, but also often covert interests. In the early 20th century, propaganda was exemplified in the form of party slogans. Propaganda also has much in common with public information campaigns by governments, which are intended to encourage or discourage certain forms of behavior (such as wearing seat belts, not smoking, not littering and so forth). Again, the emphasis is more political in propaganda. Propaganda can take the form of leaflets, posters, TV and radio broadcasts and can also extend to any other medium. In the case of the United States, there is also an important legal (imposed by law) distinction between advertising (a type of overt propaganda) and what the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an arm of the United States Congress, refers to as “covert propaganda”.

Roderick Hindery argues[31] that propaganda exists on the political left, and right, and in mainstream centrist parties. Hindery further argues that debates about most social issues can be productively revisited in the context of asking “what is or is not propaganda?” Not to be overlooked is the link between propaganda, indoctrination, and terrorism/counterterrorism. He argues that threats to destroy are often as socially disruptive as physical devastation itself.

Anti-communistpropaganda in a 1947 comic book published by the Catechetical Guild Educational Society warning of “the dangers of a Communist takeover”

Since 9/11 and the appearance of greater media fluidity, propaganda institutions, practices and legal frameworks have been evolving in the US and Britain. Dr Emma Louise Briant shows how this included expansion and integration of the apparatus cross-government and details attempts to coordinate the forms of propaganda for foreign and domestic audiences, with new efforts in strategic communication.[32]These were subject to contestation within the US Government, resisted by Pentagon Public Affairs and critiqued by some scholars.[33] The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (section 1078 (a)) amended the US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (popularly referred to as the Smith-Mundt Act) and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987, allowing for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders for the Archivist of the United States. The Smith-Mundt Act, as amended, provided that “the Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall make available to the Archivist of the United States, for domestic distribution, motion pictures, films, videotapes, and other material 12 years after the initial dissemination of the material abroad (…) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from engaging in any medium or form of communication, either directly or indirectly, because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to program material, or based on a presumption of such exposure.” Public concerns were raised upon passage due to the relaxation of prohibitions of domestic propaganda in the United States.[34]

Techniques

Anti-capitalist propaganda

Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters. Some propaganda campaigns follow a strategic transmission pattern to indoctrinate the target group. This may begin with a simple transmission, such as a leaflet or advertisement dropped from a plane or an advertisement. Generally these messages will contain directions on how to obtain more information, via a web site, hot line, radio program, etc. (as it is seen also for selling purposes among other goals). The strategy intends to initiate the individual from information recipient to information seeker through reinforcement, and then from information seeker to opinion leader through indoctrination.[35]

A number of techniques based in social psychological research are used to generate propaganda. Many of these same techniques can be found under logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid.

Some time has been spent analyzing the means by which the propaganda messages are transmitted. That work is important but it is clear that information dissemination strategies become propaganda strategies only when coupled with propagandistic messages. Identifying these messages is a necessary prerequisite to study the methods by which those messages are spread.

Models

Social psychology

Public reading of the anti-Semitic newspaper Der StürmerWorms, Germany, 1935

The field of social psychology includes the study of persuasion. Social psychologists can be sociologists or psychologists. The field includes many theories and approaches to understanding persuasion. For example, communication theory points out that people can be persuaded by the communicator’s credibility, expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. The elaboration likelihood model as well as heuristic models of persuasion suggest that a number of factors (e.g., the degree of interest of the recipient of the communication), influence the degree to which people allow superficial factors to persuade them. Nobel Prize–winning psychologist Herbert A. Simon won the Nobel prize for his theory that people are cognitive misers. That is, in a society of mass information, people are forced to make decisions quickly and often superficially, as opposed to logically.

According to William W. Biddle‘s 1931 article “A psychological definition of propaganda”, “[t]he four principles followed in propaganda are: (1) rely on emotions, never argue; (2) cast propaganda into the pattern of “we” versus an “enemy”; (3) reach groups as well as individuals; (4) hide the propagandist as much as possible.”[36]

Herman and Chomsky

Early 20th-century depiction of a “European Anarchist” attempting to destroy the Statue of Liberty

The propaganda model is a theory advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky which argues systemic biases in the mass media and seeks to explain them in terms of structural economic causes:

The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.[37][38]

First presented in their 1988 book Manufacturing Consent: the Political Economy of the Mass Media, the propaganda model views the private media as businesses selling a product — readers and audiences (rather than news) — to other businesses (advertisers) and relying primarily on government and corporate information and propaganda. The theory postulates five general classes of “filters” that determine the type of news that is presented in news media: Ownership of the medium, the medium’s Funding, Sourcing of the news, Flak, and anti-communist ideology.

The first three (ownership, funding, and sourcing) are generally regarded by the authors as being the most important. Although the model was based mainly on the characterization of United States media, Chomsky and Herman believe the theory is equally applicable to any country that shares the basic economic structure and organizing principles the model postulates as the cause of media bias.

Children

A 1938 propaganda of the New State depicting Brazilian President Getúlio Vargasflanked by children. The text on the bottom right of this poster translates as: “Children! Learning, at home and in school, the cult of the Fatherland, you will bring all chances of success to life. Only love builds and, strongly loving Brazil, you will lead it to the greatest of destinies among Nations, fulfilling the desires of exaltation nestled in every Brazilian heart.”

Poster promoting the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. The text reads: “Sandinista children: Toño, Delia and Rodolfo are in the Association of Sandinista Children. Sandinista children use a neckerchief. They participate in the revolution and are very studious.”

Of all the potential targets for propaganda, children are the most vulnerable because they are the least prepared with the critical reasoning and contextual comprehension they need to determine whether a message is propaganda or not. The attention children give their environment during development, due to the process of developing their understanding of the world, causes them to absorb propaganda indiscriminately. Also, children are highly imitative: studies by Albert BanduraDorothea Ross and Sheila A. Ross in the 1960s indicated that, to a degree, socialization, formal education and standardized television programming can be seen as using propaganda for the purpose of indoctrination. The use of propaganda in schools was highly prevalent during the 1930s and 1940s in Germany, as well as in Stalinist Russia.[citation needed] John Taylor Gatto asserts that modern schooling in the USA is designed to “dumb us down” in order to turn children into material suitable to work in factories. This ties into the Herman & Chomsky thesis of rise of Corporate Power, and its use in creating educational systems which serve its purposes against those of democracy.

Anti-Semitic propaganda for children

In Nazi Germany, the education system was thoroughly co-opted to indoctrinate the German youth with anti-Semitic ideology. This was accomplished through the National Socialist Teachers League, of which 97% of all German teachers were members in 1937. The League encouraged the teaching of racial theory. Picture books for children such as Don’t Trust A Fox in A Green Meadow or The Word of A JewDer Giftpilz (translated into English as The Poisonous Mushroom) and The Poodle-Pug-Dachshund-Pincher were widely circulated (over 100,000 copies of Don’t Trust A Fox… were circulated during the late 1930s) and contained depictions of Jews as devils, child molesters and other morally charged figures. Slogans such as “Judas the Jew betrayed Jesus the German to the Jews” were recited in class.[39] The following is an example of a propagandistic math problem recommended by the National Socialist Essence of Education: “The Jews are aliens in Germany—in 1933 there were 66,606,000 inhabitants in the German Reich, of whom 499,682 (.75%) were Jews.”[40]

See also

Notes

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

Story 2: Seymour M. Hersh on Investigative Journalism — Videos

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Seymour Hersh on spies, state secrets, and the stories he doesn’t tell

Illustration by Anje JagerEditor’s note:

This is the first interview in a biweekly series of journalists on journalism.

When a reporter has covered 50 years of American foreign policy disasters, the last great untold story may be his own.

That, more or less, is the premise behind a new memoir by Seymour Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been revealing secrets and atrocities—and often secret atrocities—to great acclaim since he exposed the My Lai Massacre in 1969.

Hersh’s book, economically titled Reporter, is focused on the work. “I don’t want anybody reporting about my private life,” he once said, and Hersh abides by his own request. In lieu of the personal, we’re treated to the professional: Hersh’s rise from the City News Bureau of Chicago to the United Press International to the Associated Press.

ICYMI: Meet the journalism student who found out she won a Pulitzer in class

His breakthrough, however, was as a freelancer: Hersh, famously, received a tip about William Calley, a court-martialed Army lieutenant accused of killing 109 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians in a village nicknamed “Pinkville.”

Calley was elusive. Hersh drove into Fort Benning and found him under house arrest. For the resulting dispatches, Hersh was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting in 1970.

Hersh continued to report—most notably, perhaps, for The New Yorker—on post-9/11 activities; the Iraq War; Iran; and, contentiously, the killing of Osama bin Laden.

He is now at work on a book about former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Hersh and I recently met at his office in Washington, DC, where I found his desk covered in stacks of files. We talked, and kept talking over lunch, about myriad topics, including protecting sources, self-care, Gina Haspel, and revealing secrets.

 

THE OFFICE

Let’s talk about why you wrote the memoir in the first place: The book about Dick Cheney you were contracted to write was put on hold because you believed, with good reason, that you couldn’t protect your sources.

I couldn’t do it. I was giving my sources chapters—which I do, not all the time, but stuff that’s relevant, sensitive—and they thought Cheney would figure out who was talking. They were worried.

So I had to go see Sonny Mehta [at Knopf], who paid me a lot of money for that Cheney book. Don’t forget, when I got through with The New Yorker, by the time Obama’s elected, I had a record of a lot of good work, so I signed a contract for a lot of money. I signed a contract in about ’11 and I started working full-time—scads of interviews—and I was told within two months not to put anything in the computer by somebody who was still inside working for Cheney. And I said, “Oh, god.” I said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m not going to connect it to the internet.” He says, “You’re not listening to me.” I said, “No. Fucking. Kidding.” The guy said I couldn’t protect him.

So I went to see Sonny Mehta. It was a lot of money. And they said, “Do this memoir and we’ll see if we can get you off the schneid.” That’s the only reason I ever did one.

Anyway, keep on going. Let’s get a bunch done before we go eat.

 

You’ve got a photo of Henry Kissinger above your computer. He wasn’t a nemesis, necessarily, but…

You know, Kissinger used to insist when [The Price of Power] was coming out that he didn’t know me. And one of the things I would always do, even with an archenemy, I would always call. And he would take the calls. The day after the book came out, I was supposed to go on Nightline. Was a very big show back in the ’80s. Huge audience. But the night before I was on, [Ted Koppel] brought up my book. Kissinger was on; the papers that night were all full of my book. Kissinger said, “This is outrageous. I’ve never met him. I don’t know him.”

And so, here… [Hersh produces a transcript of a taped phone call with Kissinger] I would call up and ask him about the secret bombing in Cambodia. He said, “We’re retroactively off the record.” I said, “We’re talking off the record?” He said, “Okay, all right.” I said, “On background.” But that means I can write it. He knows the difference between off the record and on background.

And so it turns out he was getting a transcript an hour after I called. He was getting a transcript after saying it was on background. The motherfucker! But that’s just the way it was. Anyway, keep on going.

 

Bob Woodward once said his worst source was Kissinger because he never told the truth. Who was your worst source?

Oh, I wouldn’t tell you.

 

You write that you chased the incredibly vague My Lai tip because you were convinced your colleagues in the Pentagon press room wouldn’t. Why wouldn’t they?

I was worried about The New York Times, if you notice, but I knew the guys in the Pentagon press room wouldn’t do it. It was so hard to report there. Don’t forget, anytime you saw a senior officer, they had to log [your name] in. If you had a good story, you had to see five or six different people with bullshit to mask the one guy that told you something important.

 

So it wasn’t a matter of not wanting to tell the story?

I don’t know. [Press room colleagues] treated me like some sort of rare, exotic animal.

I knew from my own experiences that the war was bad and shit. And by the way, I never thought for one minute that the fact that I learned OJT that the war sucked made me a lefty. I mean, I was. I am a liberal. But I was just somebody who knew the war sucked. I learned by just going to lunch with these guys. They were saying how we have to kill everybody because there are six lieutenant colonels and only one of you is gonna make colonel, and it’s the one that kills the most. So in the last six months of your rotation as a battalion commander, you just fucking….You got 2,000 deaths, man. That’s how bad it was.

I was dead set against the war. It was the right thing to be. Anybody with any fucking brains was. Half the guys in the military were thinking of quitting.

We should go. We can get into a restaurant across the street. I can get my little salad. I don’t eat much. I’m reading this book [gestures to James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty]. This guy is nuts. He’s definitely strange.

 

LUNCH

How do you document your interviews? Do you use shorthand? Tape record?

I take notes and I go over them. I have a good memory and use a lot of shorthand. All those little adjectives and adverbs, I’ve got a little dash for or something. I just write the keywords. My handwriting is bad, which is good. I understand it and nobody else does. Then I immediately annotate. I sit down, sometimes in the car if I’m on the road. I never tape anything.

Look, if I’m seeing a foreign president—they’d want to tape and I’d want to tape. But I have it transcribed by somebody else. Too boring.

 

But taping is good for capturing speech patterns and stuff like that.

When I talk about something secret and I show up with a tape recorder, I’m dead.

 

ICYMI: Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash

 

The New York Times’s reliance on Kissinger wasn’t shocking, but it was grotesque. Max Frankel calling him “Henry.” How do you think their friendliness with Kissinger affected coverage?

Horrible. They missed Watergate! He convinced them there was nothing there.

 

When I talk about something secret and I show up with a tape recorder, I’m dead.

 

Kissinger was beloved by reporters because he was accessible. Not much has changed; folks like Paul Ryan and John McCain still get glowing coverage just because they talk to reporters.

Of course. That’s what it’s all about. Trump does, too. The secret to Trump, I think, is he wants to be loved by The New York Times as much as by Fox News. He talks to them a lot, more than they tell you. He waits outside—apparently there’s a corridor from the press room to the bathroom, and he’s hanging around that corridor. He likes to yap.

 

Do you think the Times’s desire to keep Trump talking makes them pull their punches?

No, I don’t think they’re pulling punches. I think they’re overpunching. I mean, what are they going to do if they don’t indict him? What are they going to do?

 

Given the amount of really horrible things you’ve covered over the years, you seem very stable emotionally.

I don’t socialize with nobody—not with people in government, even my good sources. I have old friends. Most of them are not in government. I like tennis and sports. I had rotator cuff surgery recently, so I’m about a month away from getting back. I’ll go the gym maybe today or tomorrow.

 

So it’s really about having a boundary between work and the rest of your life…

Yeah, there’s a big boundary. Do I get depressed? Yes. But everybody should be, now.

Here, you have to have one of these. See what you’re missing.[Hersh puts some tuna tartare on my plate.]

 

Thank you. You mentioned three instances of Richard Nixon beating his wife.

Oh, god.

 

You decided not to report on them or even tell an editor. If you got that same information today, what would you do?

I was talking to the Nieman fellows [about the beating incidents], after Nixon was gone. I thought it was off the record. The thing I misjudged is the anger of the women when I didn’t realize [the abuse] was a crime. You will see, in the book you have, the readers’ copy, that I changed it.

You know, my wife likes opera, and I’ve learned to like a lot of it—Verdi, other stuff. And SiriusXM, which has an opera channel that we listen to in the car, announced that it’s no longer going to play any operas conducted by [James] Levine. And that stuff seems crazy to me. But I assume that, for a lot of women, it would be right. I don’t know. I’m still at a strange place on all this stuff. But at least you’ll see the change I made—that was a heartfelt change. I’d thought about it.

But I wouldn’t start an investigation, even now. I got it from inside the hospital. I had a problem from the beginning about reporting it, because the initial source came from—it was the doctor.

 

The secret to Trump, I think, is he wants to be loved by The New York Times as much as by Fox News. He talks to them a lot, more than they tell you. He waits outside—apparently there’s a corridor from the press room to the bathroom, and he’s hanging around that corridor. He likes to yap.

 

So it was mostly about protecting the source? I misunderstood that in the book.

What I did do, I asked John Ehrlichman about it, and I was curious. Before he died, he was talking a lot to me. And he knew of other times Nixon did it. Everybody knew he did it, he said. Oy vey iz mir, as my father would say. I mean, what the fuck?

But I didn’t even want to say that it was a source issue, because that would get back to the hospital. I should’ve kept my mouth shut. I never, never thought they were taping [the Nieman remarks].

On the other hand, as Jack Kennedy used to say, “Nothing is off the record. Nothing.” The Kennedys were tough.

 

How did you become acquainted with the chief of CIA Counterintelligence, James Angleton?

In ’72, I got invited to one of those old-fashioned dinners by a senior Times guy, a very elegant man. After dinner, the women were excused. My wife said, “Never again.” Right? And we smoked cigars—it was the first time I ever met James Angleton. Come on.

 

Angleton was fascinating. Are there still people like him in the intelligence agencies?

No. He was smart—really, really smart. I think this Gina [Haspel] is very smart. I watched her testify. She’s very bright. I know some things about her. Yeah, she did torture, but everybody knew about that the torture, including Congress. What I do know, from my friends, is the stuff she files is really good. Since she’s been Acting Director for about three months, she’s done great reporting.

 

Yeah, [Haspel] did torture, but everybody knew about that the torture, including Congress. What I do know, from my friends, is the stuff she files is really good.

 

In a memo to Abe Rosenthal in March of ’75, while you were reporting on a Russian submarine, you wrote: “I’m not going around shooting off my mouth about ongoing [reconnaissance] operations, but when one of the programs seems risky and over-priced, and there’s a legitimate news peg, it doesn’t make sense not to tell the American people about it.”

Then you noted, “I was such a purist.” Do you feel like you’re now less or more of a purist?

If there’s something they were doing that was right, I didn’t touch it. But some of the operations that have been described to me as good turn out to be crazy, or stuff that seemed right turned out to be shit.

I saw an old senator yesterday, had to go to some fancy party in Georgetown. Full of spies and Brits. This town doesn’t change. It was at a very fancy club, and there was British spy, a guy from MI6. All sorts of people from the Agency were there. I can’t stand that stuff. I got outta there in an hour.

The whole source business—I know a bunch of people who are “out” that could get anything they wanted if I ask them.

 

So a source not being “in” is not necessarily an impediment to good information?

You have to be careful, but you have to deal with guys that are known to be good guys on the inside and trusted. It’s very ideological, but you can get information. There’s [an Agency] guy; I was screaming at him once about fucking up the FBI after 9/11. And he said to me, “Sy, you don’t get it. The FBI catches bank robbers and we rob banks.” I thought to myself, Fuck! That’s just exactly right. They’re criminals, what the CIA does. It’s all criminal activity. If you’ve ever watch The Americans, it’s an exaggeration, but….I tell my wife, “They don’t shoot people like that.” Take out the killing and that’s what people do. They do this kind of shit—stupid stuff.

Let’s do a few more and get out of here. I need to go back to my office.

 

Again and again, your stories expose the deceit of politicians, but they also expose the reporters who defended them. Ted Koppel, who was critical about your reporting on Kissinger, later acknowledged that he’d been offered the job of State Department spokesman and “struggled with it for about three or four weeks” before turning it down.

Here’s what got me about Ted…

[Waitress: Any coffees or cappuccinos, gentlemen?]

No, I think just the check and we’ll share it. We’ll share it. That’s what we should do. I always do that. You don’t want to buy me and I don’t want to buy you.

So anyway, here’s what happened: It’s very strange about Ted. I like him. I was in Jerusalem with my wife. I have a friend in Mossad, and he writes me. He was here undercover and I got to know him.

Israel is strange, man. Anyway, so I’m here for a wedding. He called up, this guy, his name is Dudu. I met him in the early ’80s. He came up to me at a party and said, “We ought to talk.” He said he was a businessman, lived in Bethesda. And the thing about him, his oldest son—I coach soccer for kids. I had two kids early, and God knows, after dinner my wife would say, “You take the 3-year-old, I’ll take the 1-year-old.” I’d say, “No, no, no, I’ve got to go to my office because I’m saving America.” You know what I mean? But I figured out, by the last kid, I’d go to his games and coach soccer for about 10 years. I coached soccer to the point where the boys were about 12. And after a practice I’d say, “Let’s go. We’re going to run three miles now. Get in shape.” And if I walked away and turned around quickly there’d be five of these: [gestures] Fuck you signs. That’s when I gave up.

But anyway, what I learned later is that you can’t save the world. So this guy from Mossad, we became friends. I liked him. There wasn’t much I could do with him. One day I took him, there’s a wonderful little German restaurant here called the Mozart Café. And this was ’86, ’87…

 

You had started to say something about Ted Koppel, if you want to finish that thought…

I was in Jerusalem and we were at that wonderful hotel in East Jerusalem. Hard to get into. And he was there, and so we had a great time, this was about 10 years ago. And then before that, before I knew what he said in 2005, I didn’t know about that till I was working on the book. I knew a little bit about it, I knew he’d been close to Kissinger because Kissinger was on his show all the time.

I was at an off-the-record thing after 9/11, on the First Amendment before the New York Bar. It was an off-the-record deal. And [Koppel] was on the platform. And off the record he was awesome about how fucked up things were—he got it. On the air he wasn’t. I know he’s bright. He’s a refugee, you know what I mean? He’s a landsman, in a way. But there’s something muting about the business. I can’t stand cable television. It’s just so dumb.

 

In your memoir, you say, “I can write now what I could not [in 1990], which was that the CIA had impeccable intelligence, conversation on nuclear issues in real-time, from deep inside the Pakistan nuclear establishment.” Why couldn’t you report that?

Because the person who told me was still in. [Now] he’s long gone.

 

Did you run that by him while you were working on the book to make sure it was okay to disclose?

He’s gone completely crazy. It’s been 30 years.

 

BACK IN THE OFFICE

In a footnote, you mentioned that George Soros asked to meet with you after one of your 9/11 stories in The New Yorker, and you initially declined. Why?

Because it was a story about intercepts of the Saudis. I knew he would guess correctly that there was a lot of talk about oil, so I thought his purpose was not necessarily marginal. I had never met George and I didn’t wanna go. But he then went to Morton Abramowitz, who’s a friend of mine, who had been ambassador to Thailand among other things. And Mort called up and said he’s going to give me $50,000 [for Abramowitz]. Ten people are going to come to that dinner and [Soros] is gonna to pay $5,000 each to me if you come. So how could I say no? So I said yes and fuck if they didn’t have it; they’re all brokers.

 

Stock brokers?

Oil brokers! George is a master, man. I avoid those guys like the plague.

 

You write that you knew about atrocities during the Iraq War, including Americans destroying with acid the bodies of detainees who had died during torture. But you didn’t report it because Cheney would have destroyed your sources. How did you protect your sources during the Bush years?

It was hard—by not writing stuff I knew.

 

It wasn’t so much about how you wrote about them, it’s that you didn’t write about them?

Here, don’t speak. [Hersh produces a memo] You’re just going to watch right there. I just happened to pull this out today. The classification on this is above the world. It’s something about a brief on Gray Fox. I’ve never heard of Gray Fox and you’ve never heard of Gray Fox, ok? The date of this paper is [redacted].

That’s a report to the Secretary of Defense about what’s going on with Afghan detainee issues. That’s some low-intensity work there, special ops. Specific issues about prisoners. What the fuck? I have never been able to find out what happened to [the prisoners]. I have some bad thoughts, because we thought everybody that was a tough little kid was Al Qaeda. I’ve asked everybody. It’s scary. The capacity to do stupid fucking things in America is just fucking scary.

I don’t publish that stuff. A lot of guys would just go with it. I want to know why. First of all, I don’t know anything about what happened. The suggestion, obviously, is somehow some people were hurt or put away, but I don’t know that, either. And I was worried about getting the source of all that exposed. I don’t know if that was a memo written to five people or four or six or seven. And I can’t be sure if there’s some designator in it. You know, they’re very sophisticated now in tracing papers.

 

You describe Mary McGrory as “a fearless and moral voice.” Who do you see as such a person today?

You’re talking to somebody who grew up with a New York Timesthat had Tony Lewis, Tom Wicker, and Russell Baker writing columns. Now, there’s some good stuff. But there’s too many screeds about Trump from the columnists. Tom Friedman still runs around the world, but I don’t see enough reporting being done by the columnists. Yes, we talk about immigration and shrieking about the president, but there’s nobody writing about what to do and how to solve it.

 

If we could return to the Cheney book for a moment: You didn’t want to publish the book because of threats to your sources, and the risk to their careers?

Prosecution! Obama’s prosecuting. Remember the guy that went to jail? Risen’s source? I don’t know the inside story, but what the hell? He’s prosecuting people left, right, and center.

 

I think there’s a disproportionate amount of resources focused on the White House as opposed to Congress. Do you agree with that?

It’s catnip, man; the White House is catnip. And Obama was catnip. I gave Obama a lot of slack. I know he lied about bin Laden; I just know it, I don’t care if it’s never proven, I don’t care if anybody cares. I know he made a deal with the Pakistanis. I know that he made a deal not to tell and he told about it. The bottom line is he did order a hit; he did kill him; he worked closely with the Pakistanis. How could you not?

 

Were you reluctant to publish the bin Laden story?

I was eager to run it.

Just this week, there was a story in The New York Times about a book by a former head of the Pakistani intelligence service. He said the same thing. In the book, he said money was paid, which is also what I understand.

 

Did you suspect there would be backlash to your story?

Did I suspect there’d be backlash? My experience has been, when you have a major story like that—if you go back and look, the White House controlled the story for two weeks. Reporters were begging for something different and exclusive. At one point, one of the big stories was about a dog that was brought by the SEALs on the trip. The dog was apparently barking in Urdu [laughs].

I’m just saying, when you have a story like that, in which everyone gets involved in briefings—McDonough, Brennan—this is obviously about reelection.

 

Did the backlash and disbelief from non-experts tell us anything about the importance of the official bin Laden narrative as put forth by the government and other reporting?

Well, it’s not a new phenomenon that when there’s a crisis, the White House controls the story. What I find pernicious now about cable television is that, at any given moment on any given day, the White House can give the networks the leak and they get right to it. No one verifies it. They just put out “breaking story,” “breaking news.” But I remember there was a lot of rage at my story, a lot of anger, and a lot of very good reporters said “this can’t be true.” And I remember thinking to myself, Don’t they have mothers? Hasn’t anyone told them that, a year or two later, there might be a different story coming out?

But I’m used to this.

 

“I will return to the Cheney book when those who helped me learn what I did after 9/11 will not be in peril,” you write. When would that be?

Now. One of the problems is, one of those who helped me is now working for this—working still inside.

 

There’s still a deep core—it’s not paranoia, it’s not something like a deep state. But I have to think of a way to incorporate what I have.

[Phone rings, Hersh answers and chats for several minutes.]

 

Even though he’s not in office, Dick Cheney remains a threat to your sources?

Yeah. Directly.

 

And yet you’re still doing the book.

Oh, my God. It’s my meal ticket, man. I mean, we live hand to mouth. I think it’s gonna be the next book.

 

Do younger CIA agents treat you differently than the older generation?

No, I hardly know them. There’s no contact. There used to be a time, believe it or not, when I would go every year to meet the rising GS-12s of the National Security Agency. We would talk about the press. These are linguists and cryptographers. I used to always joke that I’m gonna leave self-addressed stamped envelopes here and stuff like that. But there’s no contact anymore. They’re too uptight. And maybe they’re right to be. Maybe the press has changed.

I always thought my business as a reporter was to take a dispute and resolve it. I mentioned in the introduction about treating things as the tip. The first story the Times wrote on [Hillary Clinton’s] email—that was off-the-top, flimsy, one or two days after they had it. They had no idea what a good story it was.

In the book I’m writing, I can segue into this stuff; I’m writing a lot about what was going on in the FBI. There was a lot going on that was counter-Trump, I will tell you that. I’m telling you, it’s the missed story of all time.

OK, couple more. We gotta go.

 

I’m writing a lot about what was going on in the FBI. There was a lot going on that was counter-Trump, I will tell you that. I’m telling you, it’s the missed story of all time.

 

Why did a presidential commission investigating the CIAbelieve you were working for foreign intelligence?

How’d you find that story?

 

I, um, just happened to be reading the Miami Herald.

Yeah! ’Cause Angleton was crazy. I had to be working for foreign intelligence. He’s nuts. That’s why I went to Colby. But nobody’s asked me about that. Of course they were looking at me. There was a fascination with me in the CIA. There’s a study called “William Colby as Director of Central Intelligence 1973-1976” by Harold Ford, a historian. It was written in ’93, declassified in 2011. And chapter seven is “Hersh’s Charges Against the CIA.” There’s 12 pages on me.

Two years before I published [the story on CIA operations against the anti-war movement], in December of ’74, they were tracking me that long. All sorts of intercepts of me. They’re taping me every time I call Colby at home! Colby knew all about this criminal activity, and they never told Justice. So I went to see Larry Silberman, who was the number two man in Justice. So I go to Silberman, call him up and say, “I better tell you something. The CIA’s got this shit going on.” So then, the day I’m writing the story, Silberman calls Colby, and he’s taped. Taped even Silberman! Ford wrote that “On 21 December, Silberman told Colby that Hersh had phoned to tell him in advance of Colby’s meeting with Silberman on the 19th.”

The whole thing is amazing.

 

So Angleton really thought that you were

Oh, what else could he think? He was such a nut. They were so crazy. He used to talk to me, and tried to bribe me.

 

What?

[Angleton] tried to bribe me not to do the domestic spying story. He gave me a story that I feared was true about something going on in Russia. And I thought, what the fuck is this? So I called Colby, not knowing they taped everything. I had his home number. I said, “I got a problem, what the fuck is this?”

Colby told me later that was the final straw, and that’s why he said he had to fire [Angleton]—because it was an ongoing operation.

Which I didn’t write about. I have no idea if it’s true or not because it’s a whole hall of mirrors.

https://www.cjr.org/special_report/seymour-hersh-monday-interview.php/

 

Story 3: Higher U.S. Tariffs or Taxes on Imports Could Decrease U.S. Growth in Real Gross Domestic Product — Videos

Trump, Jamie Dimon relationship cooled over trade: Gasparino

The trading system needs help, Trump wants to change it: Larry Kudlow

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers: I’m Appalled By President Trump’s Trade Actions | CNBC

Trump’s tariffs just a negotiating ploy?

Trump’s new tariffs spark retaliation from US trade allies

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Canada, Mexico and E.U. leaders vow to retaliate for U.S. tariffs

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Jamie Dimon: Trump’s trade policy is a fly in the ointment that could end the economic recovery

  • JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said the economy could continue to expand for one to three years but the Trump administration’s trade policies are one of the “flies in the ointment” that could hurt growth.
  • Dimon made the comment, on a conference call with reporters, after the Business Roundtable’s quarterly survey showed the first decline in CEO optimism in two years, amid concerns about trade policy.
  • The CEO also said the administration is negotiating for some new conditions in NAFTA that would be a mistake.
  • Joshua Bolten, president of the Business Roundtable, said the White House is not listening to the business community’s concerns about its trade actions.

Jamie Dimon speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

David A. Grogan | CNBC
Jamie Dimon speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

The economy could continue to expand for another one to three years, but the Trump administration’s trade policy could prove to be one of the “flies in the ointment” that ends the recovery, according to J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Dimon, chairman of the Business Roundtable, made the comments on a conference call with reporters about the CEO group’s latest quarterly survey, which showed a high level of concern among chief executives about the potential negative effects of Trump’s trade actions. The Roundtable’s Economic Outlook Index fell slightly from record highs, in its first decline in CEO sentiment in two years.

“Trade is a very complex thing with many layers. When you talk about it, slogans are very different than policies that makes sense,” said Dimon. He said everyone wants free and fair trade but he objected to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s comments, when he suggested the policies of pro-business lobbies have created the current trade deficit and have hurt everyday Americans.

Dimon said the U.S. economy is strong and broad-based, and the recovery could continue for another one to three years. However, “one of the flies in the ointments is this trade stuff. This trade stuff is not only directly affecting decision but it also increases uncertainty and uncertainty is not a friend of the economy.”

Joshua Bolten, the Business Roundtable’s president and CEO, told the conference call the Roundtable has had a positive relationship with the White House but the administration is not listening to its concerns on trade, including the tariffs placed on steel and aluminum on national security grounds.

“The threat of doing the same thing with autos is also of deep concern to our members,” said Bolten. So is “the threat of a withdrawal from NAFTA, which has worked extremely well, not just for the Canadian and Mexican but U.S. economy and American workers, and we’re going to keep advocating for constructive pro-growth trade policies that do not undermine our competitiveness.”

In the Business Roundtable survey, CEOs were slightly less optimistic about capital spending, hiring and sales growth, but Bolten said it’s not clear how much of the capital spending plans, still near record highs, was impacted by trade concerns.

“What I can tell you is anecdotally is that the administration’s trade policy is a huge concern to almost every member of our organization to the extent they see clouds on the economic horizon. The risk of trade wars and the administration’s policies that are contributing to that are very high on the list of things our members are concerned about,” Bolten said. He added that there are important issues that the administration is trying to correct including concerns about Chinese trade practices on such things as intellectual property.

He and Dimon also said some of the issues the U.S. is negotiating for in revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement are unnecessary. “There are some things we are negotiating for in NAFTA that we just think are mistakes,” said Dimon.

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.”
Hear what else Buffett has to say

Dimon said businesses prefer the arbitration rules currently in NAFTA and do not want to be subject to courts when there are trade issues, a position pushed by the Trump administration.

Dimon also said the U.S. does not need a “sunset” provision in NAFTA, as the U.S. already has the ability to withdraw. That provision has been strongly objected to by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who says it creates business uncertainty.

Separately, Lighthizer released a statement saying the NAFTA negotiations continue, but that the three countries are not close to a deal. “There are differences on intellectual property, data localization, agricultural market access, de minimis levels, energy, labor, rules of origin, geographical indications, and much more. We however are making progress and will continue to engage in negotiations. I look forward to working with my counterparts to secure the best possible deal for American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses at the earliest time,” Lighthizer said.

According to the latest quarterly Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Survey, the CEO Economic Outlook Index slipped to 111.1 in the second quarter, down from a record 118.6 in the first quarter, the first decline since before President Donald Trump was elected president.

That represents CEO optimism about hiring, capital investment and sales growth, and it fell in the second quarter for the first time in two years amid concerns that trade conflicts could drive up costs for consumers and business.

Fifty-eight percent see a moderate risk of lower U.S. economic growth as a result of Trump’s trade approach, while 41 percent see a serious risk of lower growth. The majority expect input costs for businesses to rise, with 47 percent seeing a serious risk of higher costs and 43 percent seeing a moderate risk.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the decline in CEO confidence.

— CNBC’s Kayla Tausche contributed to this story.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/05/jamie-dimon-trumps-trade-policy-is-a-fly-in-the-ointment-that-could-end-the-economic-recovery.html

 

Story 4: President Trump to Sessions– Where Is The IG Report? — Videos

 

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DOJ Watchdog Finds Comey “Defied Authority” And Was “Insubordinate”

The Department of Justice’s internal watchdog has found that James Comey defied authority several times while he was director of the FBI, according to ABC, citing sources familiar with the draft of a highly anticipated OIG report on the FBI’s conduct during the Clinton email investigation.

One source told ABC News that the draft report explicitly used the word “insubordinate” to describe Comey’s behavior. Another source agreed with that characterization but could not confirm the use of the term.

In the draft report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz also rebuked former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for her handling of the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, the sources said. –ABC

President Trump complained on Tuesday of “numerous delays” in the release of the Inspector General’s report, which some have accused of being slow walked or altered to minimize its impact on the FBI and DOJ.

“What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey,” Trump said on Twitter. “Hope report is not being changed and made weaker!”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey. Numerous delays. Hope Report is not being changed and made weaker! There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!

“It’s been almost a year and a half and it is time that Congress receives the IG report,” said Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who has been on the front lines of the battle against the DOJ and FBI’s stonewalling of lawmakers requesting documentation. “This has gone on long enough and the American people’s patience is wearing thin. We need accountability,” said DeSantis.

Another congressional official, who’s been fighting to obtain documents from the DOJ and FBI, said it is no surprise that they are putting pressure on Horowitz. According to the official, “They continue to slow roll documents, fail to adhere to congressional oversight and concern is growing that they will wait until summer and then turn over documents that are heavily redacted.”

Sara Carter

ABC reports that there is no indication Trump has seen – or will see – the draft of the report prior to its release. Inspector General Horowitz, however, could revise the draft report now that current and former officials have offered their responses to the report’s conclusions, according to the sources.

The draft of Horowitz’s wide-ranging report specifically called out Comey for ignoring objections from the Justice Department when he disclosed in a letter to Congress just days before the 2016 presidential election that FBI agents had reopened the Clinton probe, according to sources. Clinton has said that letter doomed her campaign.

Before Comey sent the letter to Congress, at least one senior Justice Department official told the FBI that publicizing the bombshell move so close to an election would violate longstanding department policy, and it would ignore federal guidelines prohibiting the disclosure of information related to an ongoing investigation, ABC News was told. –ABC

During an April interview, Comey was asked by ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos “If Attorney General Lynch had ordered you not to send the letter, would you have sent it?”

“No,” replied Comey. “I believe in the chain of command.”

Deputy Attorney General slammed Comey’s letter to congress while recommending that Trump fire Comey last year – saying it “was wrong” for Comey “to usurp the Attorney General’s authority” when he revealed in July 2016 that he would not be filing charges against Hillary Clinton or her aides (many of whom were granted immunity).

“It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement,” Rosenstein wrote in a letter recommending that Comey be fired. “At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors.”

The draft OIG report dings Comey for not consulting with Lynch and other senior DOJ officials before making his announcement on national TV. Furthermore, while Comey said there was no “clear evidence” that Hillary Clinton “intended to violate” the law, he also said that Hillary Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her “handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

And as we now know, Comey’s senior counterintelligence team at the FBI made extensive edits to Clinton’s exoneration letter, effectively decriminalizing her behavior.

“I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say,” Comey said on live TV July 5, 2016.

By then, Lynch had taken the unusual step of publicly declaring she would accept the FBI’s recommendations in the case, after an impromptu meeting with former president Bill Clinton sparked questions about her impartiality.

Comey has defended his decisions as director, insisting he was trying to protect the FBI from even further criticism and “didn’t see that I had a choice.” –ABC

“The honest answer is I screwed up a couple of things, but … I think given what I knew at the time, these were the decisions that were best calculated to preserve the values of the institutions,” Comey told ABC News. “I still think it was the right thing to do.

Comey is currently on a tour promoting his new book, “A Higher Loyalty.”

About that delay…

As many wonder just where the OIG report is after supposedly being “finished” for a while, the Washington Examiner‘s Chief political correspondent, Byron York, offers some keen insight (tweeted before details of the draft were leaked):

Byron York

@ByronYork

A series of tweets on what to expect from the much-anticipated inspector general report on DOJ/FBI handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation… 1/

Byron York

@ByronYork

First, looks like it might be delayed yet again. Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a June 5 hearing to discuss IG report. After delay, had to be rescheduled for next Monday, June 11. Now looks like might be delayed again. 2/

Byron York

@ByronYork

Why delays? Feet are clearly being dragged. There are snags over classified information. Also, and this is intriguing: appears in last several weeks IG got new information, interviewed new witnesses. Could have contributed to delay. Don’t know what it’s about. 3/

Byron York

@ByronYork

So, when IG report is finally released–looking like mid-June–what will it cover? Don’t know its conclusions, but here are some subjects you can expect to be reading about: 4/

Byron York

@ByronYork

Expect discussion of 6/27/16 Loretta Lynch-Bill Clinton meeting on tarmac in Arizona. IG has done extensive investigation. What was said? What were the intentions of those involved? Expect it to be covered carefully. 5/

Byron York

@ByronYork

Expect discussion of James Comey’s decision to begin drafting an exoneration memo for Hillary Clinton long before the FBI had even interviewed her, or at least a dozen other key figures in the case. Also: Why hand out so much immunity? 6/

Byron York

@ByronYork

Expect discussion of Comey’s intentions when he announced re-opening of Clinton investigation on 10/28/16, shortly before election day. Democrats specifically asked IG to investigate that. 7/

Byron York

@ByronYork

Expect discussion of what Andrew McCabe did when he first learned about existence of Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop in early October 2016. Did he sit on information? If so, why? What did Comey know? 8/

Byron York

@ByronYork

Expect discussion on rationale for Comey’s controversial 7/5/16 statement announcing no charges would be filed against Clinton. To say it was unorthodox would be an understatement. What was he doing? 9/

Byron York

@ByronYork

Expect discussion of Lynch’s refusal to recuse herself from investigation or to appoint special counsel. Plus, look for discussion of why McCabe waited so long to recuse himself even after public reporting of Clinton-related political contributions to his wife. 10/

Byron York

@ByronYork

Finally, don’t expect to learn much new about McCabe ‘lack of candor’ situation re: leaks. Not clear whether IG will reveal much beyond what has already been released in wake of McCabe firing. End/

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-06/oig-report-finds-comey-defied-authority-and-was-insubordinate

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The Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 5, 2018, Story 1: Labor Participation Rate at 62.7% Still Way Below 66-67% Rate in Bush and Clinton Years and 95.9 Million Americans Not In Labor Force — An Increase of 170,000 in May — Heading Towards 100 Million — Videos — Story 2: Supreme Court Rules 7-2 in Favor of Bakery Owner Who Refused to Make A Wedding Cake for Gay Couple — Colorado Civil Rights Commission Showed Impermissible Hostility Toward Religion When It Stated Jack Phillips, Bakery Owner, Violated State’s Anti-Discrimination — Videos– Story 3: Kristian Saucier, Sailor Who Served 1 Year in Prison and Pardoned by Trump Suing Obama and Comey For Clearing Hillary Clinton of Mishandling Classified Documents — Videos

Posted on June 4, 2018. Filed under: Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Federal Government, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Law, Life, Lying, Media, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Privacy, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Terror, Terrorism, Transportation, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Labor Force Participation Rate 62.7%

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Story 1: Labor Participation Rate at 62.7% Still Way Below 66-67% Rate in Bush and Clinton Years and 95.9 Million Americans Not In Labor Force — An Increase of 170,000 in May — Heading Towards 100 Million — Videos —

Labor Force Participation Rate 62.7%

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over


Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.7 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.7 62.6 62.6 62.3 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.8 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7
2017 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.7 62.7 62.7
2018 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.8 62.7

U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.8%

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.3 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.5 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.6 4.7
2017 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.1
2018 4.1 4.1 4.1 3.9 3.8

U-6 Unemployment Rate 7.6%

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.2 15.8 15.9 16.5 16.5 16.4 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.1 17.1 16.6 16.4 16.4 16.5 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.9 16.1 15.8 16.1 15.9 16.1 16.4 15.8 15.5 15.2
2012 15.2 15.0 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.8 14.6 14.8 14.4 14.4 14.4
2013 14.6 14.4 13.8 14.0 13.8 14.2 13.8 13.6 13.5 13.6 13.1 13.1
2014 12.7 12.7 12.7 12.3 12.1 12.0 12.1 11.9 11.7 11.5 11.4 11.2
2015 11.3 11.0 10.9 10.9 10.8 10.4 10.3 10.2 10.0 9.8 9.9 9.9
2016 9.9 9.7 9.8 9.8 9.8 9.5 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.6 9.3 9.1
2017 9.4 9.2 8.8 8.6 8.4 8.5 8.5 8.6 8.3 8.0 8.0 8.1
2018 8.2 8.2 8.0 7.8 7.6

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until USDL-18-0916 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, June 1, 2018 Technical information: Household data: (202) 691-6378 * cpsinfo@bls.gov * http://www.bls.gov/cps Establishment data: (202) 691-6555 * cesinfo@bls.gov * http://www.bls.gov/ces Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MAY 2018 Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in May, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in several industries, including retail trade, health care, and construction. Household Survey Data The unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent in May, and the number of unemployed persons declined to 6.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate was down by 0.5 percentage point, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 772,000. (See table A-1.) Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), Blacks (5.9 percent), and Asians (2.1 percent) decreased in May. The jobless rates for adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.8 percent), Whites (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) changed little over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million in May and accounted for 19.4 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 476,000. (See table A-12.) Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.4 percent, changed little in May. (See table A-1.) The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.9 million in May. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.) The number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.5 million in May, was little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.) Among the marginally attached, there were 378,000 discouraged workers in May, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.) Establishment Survey Data Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in May, compared with an average monthly gain of 191,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment continued to trend up in several industries, including retail trade, health care, and construction. (See table B-1.) In May, retail trade added 31,000 jobs, with gains occurring in general merchandise stores (+13,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (+6,000). Over the year, retail trade has added 125,000 jobs. Employment in health care rose by 29,000 in May, about in line with the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. Ambulatory health care services added 18,000 jobs over the month, and employment in hospitals continued to trend up (+6,000). Employment in construction continued on an upward trend in May (+25,000) and has risen by 286,000 over the past 12 months. Within the industry, nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 15,000 jobs over the month. Employment in professional and technical services continued to trend up in May (+23,000) and has risen by 206,000 over the year. Transportation and warehousing added 19,000 jobs over the month and 156,000 over the year. In May, job gains occurred in warehousing and storage (+7,000) and in couriers and messengers (+5,000). Manufacturing employment continued to expand over the month (+18,000). Durable goods accounted for most of the change, including an increase of 6,000 jobs in machinery. Manufacturing employment has risen by 259,000 over the year, with about three-fourths of the growth in durable goods industries. Mining added 6,000 jobs in May. Since a recent low point in October 2016, employment in mining has grown by 91,000, with support activities for mining accounting for nearly all of the increase. In May, employment changed little in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.5 hours in May. In manufacturing, the workweek decreased by 0.2 hour to 40.8 hours, and overtime edged down by 0.2 hour to 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.) In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $26.92. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.59 in May. (See tables B-3 and B-8.) The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised up from +135,000 to +155,000, and the change for April was revised down from +164,000 to +159,000. With these revisions, employment gains in March and April combined were 15,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 179,000 over the last 3 months. _____________ The Employment Situation for June is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 6, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

 

 

Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age
[Numbers in thousands]
Employment status, sex, and age Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted(1)
May
2017
Apr.
2018
May
2018
May
2017
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
May
2018

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,767 257,272 257,454 254,767 256,780 256,934 257,097 257,272 257,454

Civilian labor force

159,979 161,280 161,765 159,729 161,115 161,921 161,763 161,527 161,539

Participation rate

62.8 62.7 62.8 62.7 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.8 62.7

Employed

153,407 155,348 156,009 152,892 154,430 155,215 155,178 155,181 155,474

Employment-population ratio

60.2 60.4 60.6 60.0 60.1 60.4 60.4 60.3 60.4

Unemployed

6,572 5,932 5,756 6,837 6,684 6,706 6,585 6,346 6,065

Unemployment rate

4.1 3.7 3.6 4.3 4.1 4.1 4.1 3.9 3.8

Not in labor force

94,788 95,992 95,689 95,038 95,665 95,012 95,335 95,745 95,915

Persons who currently want a job

5,976 5,010 5,696 5,475 5,171 5,131 5,096 5,115 5,183

Men, 16 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

123,120 124,418 124,509 123,120 124,173 124,250 124,331 124,418 124,509

Civilian labor force

85,007 85,965 86,309 84,852 85,931 86,267 86,169 86,152 86,157

Participation rate

69.0 69.1 69.3 68.9 69.2 69.4 69.3 69.2 69.2

Employed

81,572 82,610 83,103 81,272 82,274 82,685 82,630 82,611 82,784

Employment-population ratio

66.3 66.4 66.7 66.0 66.3 66.5 66.5 66.4 66.5

Unemployed

3,436 3,355 3,206 3,581 3,658 3,582 3,539 3,541 3,373

Unemployment rate

4.0 3.9 3.7 4.2 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.1 3.9

Not in labor force

38,113 38,453 38,201 38,268 38,242 37,983 38,162 38,266 38,352

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

114,627 115,921 116,017 114,627 115,669 115,748 115,832 115,921 116,017

Civilian labor force

82,130 83,225 83,458 81,915 82,928 83,309 83,200 83,199 83,234

Participation rate

71.6 71.8 71.9 71.5 71.7 72.0 71.8 71.8 71.7

Employed

79,126 80,242 80,698 78,794 79,705 80,213 80,113 80,111 80,329

Employment-population ratio

69.0 69.2 69.6 68.7 68.9 69.3 69.2 69.1 69.2

Unemployed

3,004 2,983 2,761 3,120 3,223 3,096 3,087 3,088 2,905

Unemployment rate

3.7 3.6 3.3 3.8 3.9 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.5

Not in labor force

32,497 32,697 32,559 32,712 32,741 32,440 32,632 32,723 32,783

Women, 16 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

131,647 132,853 132,944 131,647 132,607 132,684 132,766 132,853 132,944

Civilian labor force

74,972 75,314 75,456 74,877 75,183 75,654 75,594 75,375 75,382

Participation rate

56.9 56.7 56.8 56.9 56.7 57.0 56.9 56.7 56.7

Employed

71,835 72,738 72,907 71,620 72,157 72,530 72,548 72,569 72,690

Employment-population ratio

54.6 54.8 54.8 54.4 54.4 54.7 54.6 54.6 54.7

Unemployed

3,136 2,576 2,549 3,257 3,027 3,124 3,046 2,805 2,692

Unemployment rate

4.2 3.4 3.4 4.3 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.7 3.6

Not in labor force

56,675 57,539 57,488 56,770 57,423 57,030 57,172 57,479 57,562

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

123,386 124,579 124,674 123,386 124,328 124,407 124,491 124,579 124,674

Civilian labor force

72,085 72,573 72,599 71,979 72,210 72,565 72,610 72,498 72,493

Participation rate

58.4 58.3 58.2 58.3 58.1 58.3 58.3 58.2 58.1

Employed

69,340 70,266 70,341 69,087 69,583 69,828 69,916 69,992 70,077

Employment-population ratio

56.2 56.4 56.4 56.0 56.0 56.1 56.2 56.2 56.2

Unemployed

2,745 2,307 2,258 2,892 2,627 2,737 2,695 2,506 2,415

Unemployment rate

3.8 3.2 3.1 4.0 3.6 3.8 3.7 3.5 3.3

Not in labor force

51,300 52,006 52,075 51,407 52,118 51,842 51,880 52,081 52,181

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian noninstitutional population

16,754 16,771 16,763 16,754 16,783 16,778 16,774 16,771 16,763

Civilian labor force

5,764 5,482 5,707 5,836 5,977 6,048 5,952 5,831 5,812

Participation rate

34.4 32.7 34.0 34.8 35.6 36.0 35.5 34.8 34.7

Employed

4,941 4,840 4,970 5,010 5,143 5,174 5,149 5,078 5,068

Employment-population ratio

29.5 28.9 29.7 29.9 30.6 30.8 30.7 30.3 30.2

Unemployed

823 642 737 825 834 874 803 752 745

Unemployment rate

14.3 11.7 12.9 14.1 13.9 14.4 13.5 12.9 12.8

Not in labor force

10,991 11,290 11,056 10,919 10,806 10,731 10,822 10,941 10,951

Footnotes
(1) The population figures are not adjusted for seasonal variation; therefore, identical numbers appear in the unadjusted and seasonally adjusted columns.

NOTE: Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm

Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age
[Numbers in thousands]
Employment status, race, sex, and age Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted(1)
May
2017
Apr.
2018
May
2018
May
2017
Jan.
2018
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
May
2018

WHITE

Civilian noninstitutional population

198,775 199,950 200,039 198,775 199,738 199,799 199,871 199,950 200,039

Civilian labor force

124,722 125,488 125,848 124,529 125,334 125,930 125,714 125,731 125,688

Participation rate

62.7 62.8 62.9 62.6 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.9 62.8

Employed

120,375 121,358 121,788 119,895 120,886 121,274 121,236 121,233 121,303

Employment-population ratio

60.6 60.7 60.9 60.3 60.5 60.7 60.7 60.6 60.6

Unemployed

4,346 4,130 4,060 4,634 4,447 4,656 4,478 4,498 4,385

Unemployment rate

3.5 3.3 3.2 3.7 3.5 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.5

Not in labor force

74,053 74,462 74,191 74,246 74,405 73,869 74,157 74,219 74,350

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

65,380 65,988 66,049 65,216 65,732 65,948 65,928 65,982 65,890

Participation rate

72.0 72.1 72.1 71.8 71.9 72.1 72.1 72.1 72.0

Employed

63,293 63,848 64,113 62,983 63,510 63,683 63,734 63,746 63,785

Employment-population ratio

69.7 69.8 70.0 69.3 69.5 69.6 69.7 69.7 69.7

Unemployed

2,087 2,140 1,936 2,233 2,222 2,265 2,194 2,235 2,106

Unemployment rate

3.2 3.2 2.9 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.3 3.4 3.2

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

54,933 55,210 55,277 54,834 54,896 55,243 55,176 55,179 55,197

Participation rate

57.5 57.4 57.5 57.4 57.2 57.5 57.4 57.4 57.4

Employed

53,169 53,641 53,681 52,930 53,255 53,448 53,385 53,429 53,450

Employment-population ratio

55.6 55.8 55.8 55.4 55.5 55.7 55.6 55.6 55.6

Unemployed

1,764 1,568 1,595 1,904 1,641 1,795 1,791 1,750 1,747

Unemployment rate

3.2 2.8 2.9 3.5 3.0 3.3 3.2 3.2 3.2

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian labor force

4,408 4,290 4,522 4,478 4,705 4,738 4,610 4,570 4,601

Participation rate

35.7 34.8 36.7 36.3 38.1 38.4 37.4 37.1 37.3

Employed

3,914 3,868 3,994 3,981 4,121 4,143 4,117 4,057 4,068

Employment-population ratio

31.7 31.4 32.4 32.3 33.4 33.6 33.4 32.9 33.0

Unemployed

495 421 528 497 584 595 492 512 533

Unemployment rate

11.2 9.8 11.7 11.1 12.4 12.6 10.7 11.2 11.6

BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN

Civilian noninstitutional population

32,193 32,672 32,704 32,193 32,575 32,607 32,638 32,672 32,704

Civilian labor force

20,082 20,172 20,292 20,088 20,211 20,495 20,466 20,220 20,296

Participation rate

62.4 61.7 62.0 62.4 62.0 62.9 62.7 61.9 62.1

Employed

18,593 18,953 19,145 18,560 18,663 19,087 19,051 18,892 19,092

Employment-population ratio

57.8 58.0 58.5 57.7 57.3 58.5 58.4 57.8 58.4

Unemployed

1,489 1,219 1,147 1,528 1,548 1,408 1,415 1,328 1,204

Unemployment rate

7.4 6.0 5.7 7.6 7.7 6.9 6.9 6.6 5.9

Not in labor force

12,111 12,500 12,412 12,105 12,364 12,112 12,172 12,452 12,408

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

9,103 9,248 9,407 9,093 9,254 9,438 9,314 9,257 9,382

Participation rate

67.8 67.6 68.7 67.7 67.9 69.2 68.2 67.7 68.5

Employed

8,511 8,681 8,840 8,477 8,564 8,880 8,749 8,663 8,792

Employment-population ratio

63.3 63.5 64.6 63.1 62.9 65.1 64.1 63.3 64.2

Unemployed

593 567 567 616 690 558 564 594 590

Unemployment rate

6.5 6.1 6.0 6.8 7.5 5.9 6.1 6.4 6.3

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

10,178 10,239 10,207 10,207 10,197 10,254 10,337 10,229 10,233

Participation rate

62.7 62.1 61.8 62.8 62.0 62.3 62.7 62.0 62.0

Employed

9,497 9,764 9,757 9,504 9,524 9,622 9,713 9,707 9,754

Employment-population ratio

58.5 59.2 59.1 58.5 57.9 58.5 59.0 58.9 59.1

Unemployed

681 475 450 703 673 632 624 522 479

Unemployment rate

6.7 4.6 4.4 6.9 6.6 6.2 6.0 5.1 4.7

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian labor force

801 685 678 788 759 803 816 734 681

Participation rate

31.9 27.4 27.1 31.4 30.3 32.0 32.6 29.3 27.3

Employed

586 508 548 579 575 584 588 521 547

Employment-population ratio

23.3 20.3 21.9 23.1 22.9 23.3 23.5 20.8 21.9

Unemployed

215 177 130 209 185 219 227 213 135

Unemployment rate

26.8 25.8 19.2 26.5 24.3 27.2 27.9 29.0 19.8

ASIAN

Civilian noninstitutional population

15,433 15,933 15,874 15,433 15,731 15,792 15,983 15,933 15,874

Civilian labor force

9,818 10,034 9,932 9,817 9,885 9,908 10,092 10,034 9,932

Participation rate

63.6 63.0 62.6 63.6 62.8 62.7 63.1 63.0 62.6

Employed

9,479 9,765 9,732 9,466 9,584 9,617 9,780 9,755 9,720

Employment-population ratio

61.4 61.3 61.3 61.3 60.9 60.9 61.2 61.2 61.2

Unemployed

339 269 201 351 300 291 313 280 212

Unemployment rate

3.5 2.7 2.0 3.6 3.0 2.9 3.1 2.8 2.1

Not in labor force

5,615 5,898 5,941 5,616 5,846 5,884 5,891 5,898 5,942

Footnotes
(1) The population figures are not adjusted for seasonal variation; therefore, identical numbers appear in the unadjusted and seasonally adjusted columns.

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups will not sum to totals shown in table A-1 because data are not presented for all races. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm

Story 2: Supreme Court Rules 7-2 in Favor of Bakery Owner Who Refused to Make A Wedding Cake for Gay Couple — Colorado Civil Rights Commission Showed Impermissible Hostility Toward Religion When It Stated Jack Phillips, Bakery Owner, Violated State’s Anti-Discrimination — Videos–

Cakeshop lawyer: It’s a great day for us, religious people

Jubilant Christian baker, who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, is pictured celebrating with his customers and posing for selfies after Supreme Court sides with his case

  • The Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a gay couple’s wedding cake over his Christian beliefs  in 2012 
  • The justices’ limited ruling Monday does not tackle the big issue in the case – whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people
  • Instead, it focused on the actions of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which claimed Phillips had violted the state’s anti-discrimination law
  • Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, said that the Commission had not been neutral towards religion when they made their decision   
  • Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor were the two dissenters  

The Colorado baker who refused to make a gay couple’s wedding cake rejoiced on Monday after the Supreme Court sided with his case.

However, the justices’ ruling was limited, and didn’t deal with the biggest concern in the case – whether religious people like Jack Phillips could refuse to serve gay or lesbian people.

The 7-2 limited ruling Monday turns on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips.

After Phillips refused to make a cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012, the gay couple filed a complaint with the Commission. The Commission ruled in their favor, saying Phillips had violated the state’s anti-discrimination law, which bars businesses from discriminating against customers based on their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

The Supreme Court has ruled in the favor of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a gay couple's wedding cake over his Christian beliefs in 2012. Phillips is seen above at work on Monday after the decision was released 

The Supreme Court has ruled in the favor of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a gay couple’s wedding cake over his Christian beliefs in 2012. Phillips is seen above at work on Monday after the decision was released

Phillips was all smiles after the decision was released on Monday 

Phillips was all smiles after the decision was released on Monday

Phillips even posed for a selfie with one happy customer 

Phillips even posed for a selfie with one happy customer

The justices voted 7-2 that the Commission violated Phillips’ First Amendment right to exercise his religion.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was forecast to be the swing vote, wrote the majority opinion, saying Phillips’ Free Exercise rights were violated because the Commission showed hostility to his religious beliefs when they were making the decision.

The outcome of the case hinged on the actions of the Colorado commission. In one exchange at a 2014 hearing cited by Kennedy, former commissioner Diann Rice said that ‘freedom of religion, and religion, has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust.’

Charlie Craig, left, and David Mullins talk about a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sets aside a Colorado court decision against a baker who would not make a wedding cake for the same-sex couple as they meet reporters Monday, June 4, 2018, in Denver

Charlie Craig, left, and David Mullins talk about a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sets aside a Colorado court decision against a baker who would not make a wedding cake for the same-sex couple as they meet reporters Monday, June 4, 2018, in Denver

‘The commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,’ he wrote.

Kennedy also noted that the commission had ruled the opposite way in three other cases brought against bakers in which the business owners had refused to bake cakes containing messages they disagreed with that demeaned gay people or same-sex marriage. In all of those cases, the Commission allowed the bakers to refuse to decorate their cakes with a message they found offensive.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, front left, and Sonia Sotomayor, back row second from right, were the two dissenters in the case 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, front left, and Sonia Sotomayor, back row second from right, were the two dissenters in the case

Supreme Court sides with Christian baker in controversial ruling

When it comes to the question of whether businesses can refuse to serve gay couples because of their religious beliefs, Kennedy said that decision would have to wait until another day.

‘The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue respect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market,’ Kennedy added.

Liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined the conservative justices in the outcome. Kagan wrote separately to emphasize the limited ruling.

The court’s three most conservative justices – Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito – wrote separate concurrences, giving a different rationale for their opinions.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the two dissenters.

Phillips got many hugs and balloons after the decision was released on Monday

Phillips took regular breaks to take pictures with his fans on Monday 

Phillips took regular breaks to take pictures with his fans on Monday

Above, another photo of Phillips and a well-wisher on Monday 

Above, another photo of Phillips and a well-wisher on Monday

In Ginsburg’s dissent, the justice quotes several parts of the majority opinion which she agrees with, including that Colorado state law can protect gay persons from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

‘I disagree strongly, however, with the Court’s conclusion that Craig and Mullins should lose the case,’ she said, saying all of the statement’s she cited from the opinion ‘point in the opposite direction’.

GAY COUPLE BEHIND THE CASE SPEAK OUT

Following the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday, the couple behind the Colorado baker case spoke out to the Denver Post

‘We had no idea that we would end up on a journey that wound up at the Supreme Court,’ David Mullins said. 

Despite the fact that their case eventually lost, the couple said they would go through the ordeal again in a heartbeat. 

‘We’ve put a lot into this,’ Mullins said. ‘This case has technically been going on longer than our marriage has. There are a lot of good things in this verdict, even though it is a loss for us. But it’s hard to all take in.’

‘I think the hardest part for me personally has just been having to be on and feel the pressure of making sure to be an inspiring public figure,’ Charlie Craig said. ‘We’re just human beings. When you’ve asked to rise to a level that you didn’t know you were capable to do, that’s hard. Lots of growing.’

They said they harbor no ill feelings towards Phillips. 

‘This has always been about a policy and not about a person,’ they said. 

Ginsburg says Kennedy’s focus on the three other instances in which bakers were allowed to refuse writing ‘offensive’ signs on cakes is no parallel to Phillips’ case.

‘Phillips declined to make a cake he found offensive where the offensiveness of the product was determined solely by the identity of the customer resquesting it.

‘The three other bakeries declined to make cakes where their objection to the product was due to the demeaning message the requested product would lierally display,’ she wrote.

The difference, she said, is that Phillips was discriminating against a gay couple specifically, whereas the three other bakers objected to the statements they were asked to decorate their cakes with – not the customers or their religious beliefs.

While the court has set aside the question of whether businesses can refuse service to gay couples because of their religious beliefs, there are other cases in the pipeline that will force the court to give their opinion eventually.

Appeals in similar cases are pending, including one at the Supreme Court from a florist who didn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

Monday’s ruling was heralded as a victory for conservative Christians, including the one that represented Phillips in his case.

‘Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the state of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack’s religious beliefs about marriage. The court was right to condemn that,’ said Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer at conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Phillips. Since 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, has labeled the Alliance as ‘virulently anti-gay’.

Waggoner added that the decision ‘makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage.’

ACLU lawyer Louise Melling, who represents Mullins and Craig, said that high court had made it clear that businesses open to the public must serve everyone.

‘The court reversed the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people,’ Melling added.

Phillips’ lawyers argued that his cakes are an art form – a ‘temporary sculpture’ – and being forced to create one to commemorate a gay wedding would violate his rights under the U.S. Constitution to freedom of speech and expression and free exercise of religion.

Mullins and Craig, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, said Phillips was using his Christian faith as pretext for unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation. The ACLU said the baker was advocating for a ‘license to discriminate’ that could have broad repercussions beyond gay rights.

The case became a cultural flashpoint in the United States, underscoring the tensions between gay rights proponents and conservative Christians.

The litigation, along with similar cases around the country, is part of a conservative Christian backlash to the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling. Phillips and others like him who believe that gay marriage is not consistent with their Christian beliefs, have said they should not be required to effectively endorse the practice.

Gay rights advocates said the case is just one part of a bigger struggle seeking greater legal protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people, including in the workplace, even as they fight efforts by conservatives to undermine gains secured in recent years.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5803945/U-S-Supreme-Court-hands-narrow-win-baker-gay-couple-dispute.html#ixzz5HV40EuB4

 

U.S. Supreme Court backs Christian baker who spurned gay couple

by Reuters
Monday, 4 June 2018 15:33 GMT

From major disaster, conflicts and under-reported stories, we shine a light on the world’s humanitarian hotspots

* Court says state panel violated baker’s religious rights

* Ruling was 7-2, with 2 liberals joining 5 conservatives (Adds details on 2012 incident that triggered the case, Kennedy quote)

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory on narrow grounds to a Colorado Christian baker who refused for religious reasons to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, stopping short of setting a major precedent allowing people to claim exemptions from anti-discrimination laws based on religious beliefs.

The justices, in a 7-2 decision, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed an impermissible hostility toward religion when it found that baker Jack Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by rebuffing gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012. The state law bars businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.

The ruling concluded that the commission violated Phillips’ religious rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

But the justices did not issue a definitive ruling on the circumstances under which people can seek exemptions from anti-discrimination laws based on their religious views. The decision also did not address important claims raised in the case including whether baking a cake is a kind of expressive act protected by the Constitution’s free speech guarantee.

Two of the court’s four liberals, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, joined the five conservative justices in the ruling authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who also was the author of the landmark 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

“The commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” Kennedy wrote.

But Kennedy also stressed the importance of gay rights while noting that litigation on similar issues is likely to continue in lower courts.

“Our society has come to the recognition that gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth,” Kennedy wrote.

“The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market,” Kennedy added.

The case marked a test for Kennedy, who has authored significant rulings that advanced gay rights but also is a strong advocate for free speech rights and religious freedom.

Of the 50 states, 21 including Colorado have anti-discrimination laws protecting gay people.

The case pitted gay rights against religious liberty. President Donald Trump’s administration intervened in the case in support of Phillips.

Mullins and Craig were planning their wedding in Massachusetts in 2012 and wanted the cake for a reception in Colorado, where gay marriage was not yet legal. During a brief encounter at Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, the baker politely but firmly refused, leaving the couple distraught.

They filed a successful complaint with the state commission, the first step in the six-year-old legal battle. State courts sided with the couple, prompting Phillips to appeal to the top U.S. court. Phillips has said a backlash against his business has left him struggling to keep the shop afloat.

The case’s outcome hinged on the actions of the Colorado commission. In one exchange at a 2014 hearing cited by Kennedy, former commissioner Diann Rice said that “freedom of religion, and religion, has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust.”

‘OPENLY ANTAGONISTIC’

Kennedy noted that the commission had ruled the opposite way in three cases brought against bakers in which the business owners refused to bake cakes containing messages that demeaned gay people or same-sex marriage.

“Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the state of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack’s religious beliefs about marriage. The court was right to condemn that,” said lawyer Kristen Waggoner of the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Phillips.

Waggoner said the decision “makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage.”

American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Louise Melling, who represents Mullins and Craig, said the high court made it clear that businesses open to the public must serve everyone.

“The court reversed the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people,” Melling added.

The case became a cultural flashpoint in the United States, underscoring the tensions between gay rights proponents and conservative Christians.

Mullins and Craig said Phillips was using his Christian faith as pretext for unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation. Phillips’ lawyers said his cakes are an art form – a “temporary sculpture” – and being forced to create one to commemorate a gay wedding would violate his constitutional rights to free speech and expression and free exercise of religion.

The litigation, along with similar cases around the country, is part of a conservative Christian backlash to the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling. Phillips and others like him who believe that gay marriage is not consistent with their Christian beliefs have said they should not be required to effectively endorse the practice.

Gay rights advocates said the case is just one part of a bigger struggle seeking greater legal protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people, including in the workplace, even as they fight efforts by conservatives to undermine gains secured in recent years.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

http://news.trust.org/item/20180604150452-eu3tg

 

Story 3: Kristian Saucier, Sailor Who Served 1 Year in Prison and Pardoned by Trump Suing Obama and Comey For Clearing Hillary Clinton of Mishandling Classified Documents — Videos

Ex-Navy sailor doesn’t have a case against Obama: Judge Napolitano

 

Sailor pardoned by Trump is SUING Obama and Comey for going easy on Hillary Clinton but sending him to prison after he photographed classified area of nuclear sub

  • Kristian Saucier spent 1 year in federal prison for taking souvenir photos of a classified area aboard the nuclear sub where he worked as a U.S. Navy sailor
  • President Trump pardoned him this year but his life had largely been ruined as he was forced to work as a garbageman to feed his family
  • Now Saucier is preparing to sue the Justice Department, former president Barack Obama and former FBI Director James Comey
  • He says he received unequal legal treatment and cites their failure to prosecute Hillary Clinton for storing classified files on her private email server
  • ‘There’s a two-tier justice system and we want it to be corrected,’ his lawyer says

A former U.S. Navy seaman who spent a year in federal prison for photographing a classified area of a nuclear submarine plans to sue former President Barack Obama and fired FBI director James Comey for selectively prosecuting him.

Donald Trump issued a presidential pardon this year to Kristian Saucier, whose lawyer Ronald Daigle told Fox News on Monday that the pending lawsuit will also name the Justice Department as a defendant.

Daigle says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was given a free pass by avoiding prosecution for mishandling classified information on her infamous private email server.

Saucier, 31, believes Comey and Obama should be held responsible for treating him unequally.

‘They interpreted the law in my case to say it was criminal,’ he told Fox, ‘but they didn’t prosecute Hillary Clinton. Hillary is still walking free.’

‘Two guys on my ship did the same thing and weren’t treated as criminals. We want them to correct the wrong.’

Saucier and his lawyer say Obama and Comey should be held responsible for his unequal legal treatment since they sent him to prison while failing to prosecute Hillary Clinton

Clinton, the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nominee, was let off the hook despite operating a private, unsecured email server that housed classified files while she was secretary of state

Clinton, the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, was let off the hook despite operating a private, unsecured email server that housed classified files while she was secretary of state

Daigle told Fox News that his legal strategy includes drawing attention to ‘the differences in the way Hillary Clinton was prosecuted and how my client was prosecuted.’

‘There’s a two-tier justice system and we want it to be corrected,’ he said.

Saucier admitted in 2016 that he had taken photos inside the USS Alexandria while it was docked in Connecticut seven years earlier.

He said he wanted to show his family where he worked, but now acknowledges he was wrong to take the pictures.

Federal prosecutors persuaded him to plead guilty by threatening to paint him as a resentful serviceman who risked the security of the United States and then destroyed a camera and a computer to hide the evidence.

But Saucier believes prosecuting him was a politically motivated decision driven by the Obama Justice Department’s desire to appear tough on the kinds of crime it was sweeping under the rug when Clinton was their investigative target.

‘They used me as an example because of Hillary Clinton,’ he said Monday.

Saucier’s pardon drew eyeballs to his post-incarceration plight: He said the only job he could get after his release from prison was as a garbage man.

Saucier expressed his gratitude towards President Donald Trump after he was pardoned in early March, 2018

Trump often compared Saucier's and Clinton's cases while he was campaigning for the White House, saying it was unfair that his rival got off scot-free while the Obama administration threw the book at the sailor

Trump often compared Saucier’s and Clinton’s cases while he was campaigning for the White House, saying it was unfair that his rival got off scot-free while the Obama administration threw the book at the sailor

Saucier maintains that the pictures he took inside the USS Alexandria submarine were meant to be souveniers

‘They took the kid who wanted some pictures of the submarine,’ he told a crowd just days before his November 2016 election. ‘That’s an old submarine! They’ve got plenty of pictures, if the enemy wants them, they’ve got plenty of them.’

‘He wanted to take a couple of pictures. They put him in jail for a year.’

‘We’ve never been in a situation like this,’ Trump added, before pivoting to bash his Democratic opponent: ‘And then she’s allowed to run for president!’

Saucier, of Arlington, Vermont, was a 22-year-old machinist’s mate on the nuclear-powered attack submarine when he took the photos.

His lawyers said he knew the photos would be classified but he wanted to show his family what he did in the Navy. He denied sharing the photos with any unauthorized recipient.

Clinton’s case was the subject of bipartisan acrimony. Comey, then the nation’s top cop, announced in July 2016 that his agency had wrapped up its probe of the classified material on her private server and determined that it would be improper to prosecute her.

Former sailor Kristian Saucier is pictured with his wife Sadie (right) and baby daughter; he said as a felon, the only work he could get after his prison release was a job as a garbageman

Republican cried foul, but later cheered Comey when he told Congress just days before the election that a new cache of emails had been located – necessitating a reboot of the investigation.

That step came after DailyMail.com reported on the existence of a laptop that had belonged to the disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, whose wife Huma Abedin had been Clinton’s deputy campaign chairwoman.

Clinton and her attorneys deleted more than 33,000 emails from her server before handing it over to law enforcement agents. Those messages were never recovered.

But some of the material that was forwarded to Weiner was also classified.

‘Somehow,’ Comey testified last year in a Senate hearing, ‘her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information, by her assistant Huma Abedin.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5805519/Sailor-pardoned-Trump-photographing-classified-area-sub-SUING-Obama-Comey.html#ixzz5HV9uCQNc

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018, Story 1: Maximum Pressure –Trump Administration Increases Tariffs or Taxes on American Consumers and Producers by Imposing Tariffs on $50 Billion of Chinese Goods and Steel And Aluminium Imports From Canada, Mexico Europe and China — Trade Dispute or Trade War — Stop Unfair Chinese Trade Practices Including Non-Tariff Barriers To Trade and Stop Tariffs or Taxing American Consumers and Producers By Protecting Them Against Lower Prices! — Videos — Story 2: FBI Spied On Trump Campaign To Protect Obama Administration and Clinton Campaign From A Possible Russian Disclosing To Trump Clinton’s 30,000 Compromising Emails Before Election Day — Videos

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Story 1: Maximum Pressure –Trump Administration Increases Tariffs or Taxes on American Consumers and Producers by Imposing Tariffs on $50 Billion of Chinese Goods and Steel And Aluminium Imports From Canada, Mexico Europe and China — Trade Dispute or Trade War — Stop Unfair Chinese Trade Practices Including Non-Tariff Barriers To Trade and Stop Tariffs or Taxing American Consumers and Producers By Protecting Them Against Lower Prices! — Videos —

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US to impose steel, aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada, Mexico

Heather SCOTT, with Jurgen Hecker in Paris

,

AFP
1 / 2

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs (AFP Photo/SAUL LOEB)

Washington (AFP) – The United States said Thursday it will impose harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada, Mexico at midnight (0400 GMT Friday) — another move sure to anger Washington’s trading partners.

The announcement by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was sure to cast a long shadow over a meeting of finance ministers from the world’s Group of Seven top economies that opens later in the day in Canada.

Ross said talks with the EU had failed to reach a satisfactory agreement to convince Washington to continue the exemption from the tariffs imposed in March.

Meanwhile, negotiations with Canada and Mexico to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement are “taking longer than we had hoped” and there is no “precise date” for concluding them, so their exemption also will be removed, Ross told reporters.

The announcement was confirmed by presidential proclamation shortly after Ross addressed reporters.

Despite weeks of talks with his EU counterparts, Ross said the US was not willing to meet the European demand that the EU be “exempted permanently and unconditionally from these tariffs.”

“We had discussions with the European Commission and while we made some progress, they also did not get to the point where it was warranted either to continue the temporary exemption or have a permanent exemption,” Ross said.

Ross downplayed the threats of retaliation from those countries, but said talks can continue even amid the dispute to try to find a solution.

And President Donald Trump has the authority to alter the tariffs or impose quotas or “do anything he wishes at any point” — allowing “potential flexibility” to resolve the issue.

Trump imposed the tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum using a national security justification, which Ross said encompasses a broad array of economic issues.

South Korea negotiated a steel quota, while Argentina, Australia and Brazil have arranged for “limitations on the volume they can ship to the US in lieu of tariffs,” Ross said.

“We believe that this combined package achieves the original objectives we set out, which was to constrict imports to a level to allow those industries that operate domestically to do so on a self-sustaining basis going forward.”

– Not a western –

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned before the announcement that the EU would take “all necessary measures” if the US imposed the tariffs.

“World trade is not a gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” Le Maire quipped, referring to a 1957 western movie

“It’s not everyone attacking the other and we see who remains standing at the end,” he said, declaring that the stiff taxes would be “unjustified, unjustifiable and dangerous”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU would respond in a “firm and united” manner to the tariffs.

“We want to be exempt from these tariffs” which were “not compatible” with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Merkel told a press conference with Portuguese premier Antonio Costa in Lisbon.

Video: US Moves Forward With Tariffs on Chinese Imports

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Non-tariff barriers to trade

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs) or sometimes called “Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs)” are trade barriers that restrict imports or exports of goods or services through mechanisms other than the simple imposition of tariffs. The SADC says, “a Non-Tariff Barrier is any obstacle to international trade that is not an import or export duty. They may take the form of import quotas, subsidies, customs delays, technical barriers, or other systems preventing or impeding trade.”[1] According to the World Trade Organisation, non-tariff barriers to trade include import licensing, rules for valuation of goods at customs, pre-shipment inspections, rules of origin (‘made in’), and trade prepared investment measures.[2]

Types of Non-Tariff Barriers

Professor Alan Deardorff characterises[3] NTB policies under three headings: Purposes, Examples, and Consequences

Policy Purpose Examples Potential Consequences
Protectionist policies To help domestic firms and enterprises at the expense of other countries. Import quotas; local content requirements; public procurement practices Challenges levied at WTO and other trade forums
Assistance policies To help domestic firms and enterprises, but not at the expense of other countries. Domestic subsidies; antidumping laws; industry bailouts. Adversely affected countries may respond to protect themselves (i.e.,imposing countervailing duties and subsidies).
Nonprotectionist policies To protect the health and safety of people, animals, and plants; to protect or improve the environment. Licensing, packaging, and labeling requirements; sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules; food, plant and animal inspections; import bans based on objectionable fishing or harvesting methods. Limited formal consequences lead to efforts to establish common standards or mutual recognition of different standards.

There are several different variants of division of non-tariff barriers. Some scholars divide between internal taxes, administrative barriers, health and sanitary regulations and government procurement policies. Others divide non-tariff barriers into more categories such as specific limitations on trade, customs and administrative entry procedures, standards, government participation in trade, charges on import, and other categories.

The first category includes methods to directly import restrictions for protection of certain sectors of national industries: licensing and allocation of import quotas, antidumping and countervailing duties, import deposits, so-called voluntary export restraints, countervailing duties, the system of minimum import prices, etc. Under second category follow methods that are not directly aimed at restricting foreign trade and more related to the administrative bureaucracy, whose actions, however, restrict trade, for example: customs procedures, technical standards and norms, sanitary and veterinary standards, requirements for labeling and packaging, bottling, etc. The third category consists of methods that are not directly aimed at restricting the import or promoting the export, but the effects of which often lead to this result.

The non-tariff barriers can include wide variety of restrictions to trade. Here are some example of the popular NTBs.

Licenses

The most common instruments of direct regulation of imports (and sometimes export) are licenses and quotas. Almost all industrialized countries apply these non-tariff methods. The license system requires that a state (through specially authorized office) issues permits for foreign trade transactions of import and export commodities included in the lists of licensed merchandises. Product licensing can take many forms and procedures. The main types of licenses are general license that permits unrestricted importation or exportation of goods included in the lists for a certain period of time; and one-time license for a certain product importer (exporter) to import (or export). One-time license indicates a quantity of goods, its cost, its country of origin (or destination), and in some cases also customs point through which import (or export) of goods should be carried out. The use of licensing systems as an instrument for foreign trade regulation is based on a number of international level standards agreements. In particular, these agreements include some provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) / World Trade Organization (WTO) such as the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures.

Quotas

Licensing of foreign trade is closely related to quantitative restrictions – quotas – on imports and exports of certain goods. A quota is a limitation in value or in physical terms, imposed on import and export of certain goods for a certain period of time. This category includes global quotas in respect to specific countries, seasonal quotas, and so-called “voluntary” export restraints. Quantitative controls on foreign trade transactions carried out through one-time license.

Quantitative restriction on imports and exports is a direct administrative form of government regulation of foreign trade. Licenses and quotas limit the independence of enterprises with a regard to entering foreign markets, narrowing the range of countries, which may be entered into transaction for certain commodities, regulate the number and range of goods permitted for import and export. However, the system of licensing and quota imports and exports, establishing firm control over foreign trade in certain goods, in many cases turns out to be more flexible and effective than economic instruments of foreign trade regulation. This can be explained by the fact, that licensing and quota systems are an important instrument of trade regulation of the vast majority of the world.

The consequence of this trade barrier is normally reflected in the consumers’ loss because of higher prices and limited selection of goods as well as in the companies that employ the imported materials in the production process, increasing their costs. An import quota can be unilateral, levied by the country without negotiations with exporting country, and bilateral or multilateral, when it is imposed after negotiations and agreement with exporting country. An export quota is a restricted amount of goods that can leave the country. There are different reasons for imposing of export quota by the country, which can be the guarantee of the supply of the products that are in shortage in the domestic market, manipulation of the prices on the international level, and the control of goods strategically important for the country. In some cases, the importing countries request exporting countries to impose voluntary export restraints.

Agreement on a “voluntary” export restraint

In the past decade,[when?] a widespread practice of concluding agreements on the “voluntary” export restrictions and the establishment of import minimum prices imposed by leading Western nations upon weaker in economical or political sense exporters. The specifics of these types of restrictions is the establishment of unconventional techniques when the trade barriers of importing country, are introduced at the border of the exporting and not importing country. Thus, the agreement on “voluntary” export restraints is imposed on the exporter under the threat of sanctions to limit the export of certain goods in the importing country. Similarly, the establishment of minimum import prices should be strictly observed by the exporting firms in contracts with the importers of the country that has set such prices. In the case of reduction of export prices below the minimum level, the importing country imposes anti-dumping duty, which could lead to withdrawal from the market. “Voluntary” export agreements affect trade in textiles, footwear, dairy products, consumer electronics, cars, machine tools, etc.

Problems arise when the quotas are distributed between countries because it is necessary to ensure that products from one country are not diverted in violation of quotas set out in second country. Import quotas are not necessarily designed to protect domestic producers. For example, Japan, maintains quotas on many agricultural products it does not produce. Quotas on imports is a leverage when negotiating the sales of Japanese exports, as well as avoiding excessive dependence on any other country in respect of necessary food, supplies of which may decrease in case of bad weather or political conditions.

Export quotas can be set in order to provide domestic consumers with sufficient stocks of goods at low prices, to prevent the depletion of natural resources, as well as to increase export prices by restricting supply to foreign markets. Such restrictions (through agreements on various types of goods) allow producing countries to use quotas for such commodities as coffee and oil; as the result, prices for these products increased in importing countries.

A quota can be a tariff rate quota, global quota, discriminating quota, and export quota.

Embargo

Embargo is a specific type of quotas prohibiting the trade. As well as quotas, embargoes may be imposed on imports or exports of particular goods, regardless of destination, in respect of certain goods supplied to specific countries, or in respect of all goods shipped to certain countries. Although the embargo is usually introduced for political purposes, the consequences, in essence, could be economic.

Standards

Standards take a special place among non-tariff barriers. Countries usually impose standards on classification, labeling and testing of products in order to be able to sell domestic products, but also to block sales of products of foreign manufacture. These standards are sometimes entered under the pretext of protecting the safety and health of local populations.

Administrative and bureaucratic delays at the entrance

Among the methods of non-tariff regulation should be mentioned administrative and bureaucratic delays at the entrance, which increase uncertainty and the cost of maintaining inventory. For example, even though Turkey is in the European Customs Union, transport of Turkish goods to the European Union is subject to extensive administrative overheads that Turkey estimates cost it three billion euros a year.[4]

Import deposits

Another example of foreign trade regulations is import deposits. Import deposits is a form of deposit, which the importer must pay the bank for a definite period of time (non-interest bearing deposit) in an amount equal to all or part of the cost of imported goods.

At the national level, administrative regulation of capital movements is carried out mainly within a framework of bilateral agreements, which include a clear definition of the legal regime, the procedure for the admission of investments and investors. It is determined by mode (fair and equitable, national, most-favored-nation), order of nationalization and compensation, transfer profits and capital repatriation and dispute resolution.

Foreign exchange restrictions and foreign exchange controls

Foreign exchange restrictions and foreign exchange controls occupy a special place among the non-tariff regulatory instruments of foreign economic activity. Foreign exchange restrictions constitute the regulation of transactions of residents and nonresidents with currency and other currency values. Also an important part of the mechanism of control of foreign economic activity is the establishment of the national currency against foreign currencies.

History

The transition from tariffs to non-tariff barriers

One of the reasons why industrialized countries have moved from tariffs to NTBs is the fact that developed countries have sources of income other than tariffs. Historically, in the formation of nation-states, governments had to get funding. They received it through the introduction of tariffs. This explains the fact that most developing countries still rely on tariffs as a way to finance their spending. Developed countries can afford not to depend on tariffs, at the same time developing NTBs as a possible way of international trade regulation. The second reason for the transition to NTBs is that these tariffs can be used to support weak industries or compensation of industries, which have been affected negatively by the reduction of tariffs. The third reason for the popularity of NTBs is the ability of interest groups to influence the process in the absence of opportunities to obtain government support for the tariffs.

Non-tariff barriers today

With the exception of export subsidies and quotas, NTBs are most similar to the tariffs. Tariffs for goods production were reduced during the eight rounds of negotiations in the WTO and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). After lowering of tariffs, the principle of protectionism demanded the introduction of new NTBs such as technical barriers to trade (TBT). According to statements made at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, 2005), the use of NTBs, based on the amount and control of price levels has decreased significantly from 45% in 1994 to 15% in 2004, while use of other NTBs increased from 55% in 1994 to 85% in 2004.

Increasing consumer demand for safe and environment friendly products also have had their impact on increasing popularity of TBT. Many NTBs are governed by WTO agreements, which originated in the Uruguay Round (the TBT Agreement, SPS Measures Agreement, the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing), as well as GATT articles. NTBs in the field of services have become as important as in the field of usual trade.

Most of the NTB can be defined as protectionist measures, unless they are related to difficulties in the market, such as externalities and information asymmetries between consumers and producers of goods. An example of this is safety standards and labeling requirements.

The need to protect sensitive to import industries, as well as a wide range of trade restrictions, available to the governments of industrialized countries, forcing them to resort to use the NTB, and putting serious obstacles to international trade and world economic growth. Thus, NTBs can be referred as a new form of protection which has replaced tariffs as an old form of protection.

Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers

The scarcity of information on non-tariff barriers is a major problem to the competitiveness of developing countries. As a result, the International Trade Centre conducted national surveys and began publishing a series of technical papers on non-tariff barriers faced in developing countries. By 2015 it launched the NTM Business Surveys website listing non-tariff barriers from company perspectives.

Types of Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade

  1. Specific Limitations on Trade:
    1. Import Licensing requirements
    2. Proportion restrictions of foreign domestic goods (local content requirements)
    3. Minimum import price limits
    4. Fees
    5. Embargoes
  2. Customs and Administrative Entry Procedures:
    1. Valuation systems
    2. Anti-dumping practices other than punitive tariffs
    3. Tariff classifications
    4. Documentation requirements
    5. Fees
  3. Standards:
    1. Standard disparities
    2. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures
    3. Intergovernmental acceptances of testing methods and standards
    4. Packaging, labeling, and marking
  4. Government Participation in Trade:
    1. Government procurement policies
    2. Export subsidies
    3. Countervailing duties
    4. Domestic assistance programs
  5. Charges on imports:
    1. Prior import deposit subsidies
    2. Administrative fees
    3. Special supplementary duties
    4. Import credit discrimination
    5. Variable levies
    6. Border taxes
  6. Others:
    1. Voluntary export restraints
    2. Orderly marketing agreements

Examples of Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade

Non-tariff barriers to trade can be the following:

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Evans, G., Newnham, J., Dictionary of International Relations; Penguin Books, 1998
  • Filanlyason, J., Zakher M., The GATT and the regulation of Trade Barriers: Regime Dynamic and Functions; International Organization, Vol. 35, No. 4, 1981
  • Frieden, J., Lake, D., International political economy: perspectives on global power and wealth, London: Routledge, 1995
  • Mansfield, E., Busch, M., The political economy of Non-tariff barriers: a cross national analysis; International Organization, Vol. 49, No. 4, 1995
  • Oatley,T., International political economy: interests and institutions in the global economy; Harlow: Longman, 2007
  • Roorbach, G., Tariffs and Trade Barriers in Relation to International Trade; Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Vol. 15, No 2, 1993
  • Yu, Zhihao, A model of Substitution of Non-Tariff Barriers for Tariffs; The Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2000
  • World Trade Organization Website, Non-tariff barriers: red tape, etc.; http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/agrm9_e.htm

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-tariff_barriers_to_trade

Mexico aims tariffs at Trump country, sees NAFTA complications

By Michael O’Boyle and Frank Jack Daniel
Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico hit back fast on U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum on Thursday, targeting products from congressional districts that President Donald Trump’s Republican party is fighting to retain in November elections.

Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the tit-for-tat measures would complicate talks between the United States, Canada and Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that underpins trade between the neighbors.

The spat meant it would be “very difficult” to reach a deal to revamp NAFTA before Mexico’s July 1 presidential election, though he underlined the continent had not entered a trade war.

“A trade war is when there is an escalation of conflict. In this case, it is simply a response to a first action,” Guajardo told Mexican radio.

“We should stick to the clearly defined battlefield, where the response is appropriate and proportional.”

Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs target pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel – products from U.S. heartland states that supported Trump in the 2016 election.

The country reacted right after Washington said in the morning it was moving ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

“It sends a clear message that this kind of thing does not benefit anybody,” Guajardo said of the Mexican retaliation.

“Because, in the end, the effect will fall on voters and citizens that live in districts where the people have a voice and vote in the (U.S.) Congress.”

Mexico said it was imposing “equivalent” tariffs, ratcheting up tensions during talks to renegotiate NAFTA ahead of the U.S. mid-term elections in November. The measures will be in place until the U.S. government drops its tariffs, Mexico’s government said.

MEXICO WITH THE WORLD

Guajardo said retaliation was aimed at products chosen to hit districts with important lawmakers who had been warning Trump not to mess with Mexico. He estimated the U.S. tariffs would affect $4 billion in trade between the two countries.

“It is a sad day for international trade,” Guajardo said. “But hey, the decision was made, and we always said that we were going to be ready to react.”

In 2011, Mexico successfully used a similar list of mostly agricultural products to push Washington into letting Mexican truckers on U.S. highways.

Trump’s Republicans are fighting to retain control of Congress in mid-term elections. Their majority in the House of Representatives is seen as vulnerable.

Pork exporter Iowa, where incumbent Republican Rod Blum faces a Democratic challenge, is an example of a place Mexico’s reaction could hurt.

Mexico buys more steel and aluminum from the United States than it sells. It is the top buyer of U.S. aluminum and the second-biggest buyer of U.S. steel, Guajardo’s ministry said.

The countermeasures will hit U.S. hot and cold rolled steel, plated steel and tubes, the ministry said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke by phone after the U.S. announcement. Canada pledged to fight back with its own measures.

Trump threatened to rip up the NAFTA deal during his election campaign but agreed to renegotiate early in his term. Still, since talks began nine months ago, he has repeatedly said he could walk away from NAFTA if it is not redone to his liking.

“The difference between a year and four, five months ago is that it seems the world looked and said ‘poor Mexico,” Guajardo said. “Now, Mexico is facing these threats together with the world.”

(Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; additional reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; editing by Dave Graham, Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio and Cynthia Osterman)

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/mexico-hits-back-u-steel-aluminum-tariffs-equivalent-142649163.html

Story 2: DOJ/FBI Spied On Trump Campaign and American People To Protect Obama Administration and Clinton Campaign From The Possibility of Russia Disclosing To Trump Campaign Clinton’s Compromising Emails Before Election Day — Russia Did Not Disclose There Leverage or Blackmail Material Because They Thought Clinton Would Win — Videos

FBI Trump campaign spying allegations: How much did Obama know?

Dan Bongino slams efforts to debunk Trump’s ‘spygate’ claims

Trey Gowdy on ‘spygate’ controversy, Adam Schiff’s remarks

Hannity: Why not un-recuse yourself immediately, Sessions?

Gowdy faces backlash over remarks about FBI, Trump campaign

Tucker: Trump has convinced Dems to destroy themselves

Where in the World Was Barack Obama?

Somehow the former commander-in-chief is largely absent from the political spying drama.

Former President Barack Obama speaks at a community event on the Presidential Center at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago in May of 2017. The Obama Presidential Center will not be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, but instead will be operated by the Obama Foundation.
Former President Barack Obama speaks at a community event on the Presidential Center at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago in May of 2017. The Obama Presidential Center will not be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, but instead will be operated by the Obama Foundation. PHOTO: NAM Y. HUH/ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Donald Trump tweets today: “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a ‘hot’ Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!” And what does the man who was serving at the time as the FBI’s ultimate boss have to say about all this?

Perhaps it’s a good moment to get the whole story from our 44th President. He should now have time to discuss his administration’s surveillance of affiliates of a presidential campaign because he has just prevailed in a contentious dispute.

The Associated Press reports, “Plan for Obama Presidential Center advances over protests.” According to the AP:

Construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago took a major step forward Thursday with a city commission’s decision to sign off on the project after hours of testimony from both supporters and opponents of the project.

The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved a proposal to build former President Barack Obama’s center in Jackson Park on the city’s South Side. The action came over protests from opponents who want an agreement that local residents will benefit from the $500 million project.

“Community residents have no ownership, no say-so, no input,” said Devondrick Jeffers. “We know this is a huge investment in the community, but it’s not truly an investment if residents don’t benefit from this as well.”

However, Obama Presidential Center supporters cheered the plans for the presidential center, saying it would bring job opportunities to the area and foster economic development.

Since his name is on the door, there really was no way for Mr. Obama to avoid being at the center of this story. But in a somewhat larger story he has remained largely—and strangely—absent.

“‘Bigger Than Watergate’? Both Sides Say Yes, but for Different Reasons” is the headline on a New York Times story about our current President and the federal investigation of suspected collusion with Russia. The Times reports that both Mr. Trump and his political adversaries like using the Watergate analogy:

Mr. Trump was referring to what he deems a deep-state conspiracy to get him. His detractors are referring to the various scandals swirling around Mr. Trump.

Watergate has long been the touchstone for modern American scandal, the mountain of misconduct against which all others are judged. In the 44 years since Richard M. Nixon resigned, virtually every political investigation has been likened to the one that brought down a president, the suffix “gate” applied to all sorts of public flaps, no matter how significant or trivial.

But rarely has the comparison been as intense and persistent as during the 16 months since Mr. Trump took office — a comparison deployed by both sides in hopes of shaping the narrative of wrongdoing. What started out as an inquiry into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election has mushroomed into questions of perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, abuse of power, illicit spying, hush money, tax fraud, money laundering and influence peddling.

Many of those questions remain unanswered but we do know that the “deep state” referenced by the Times did have a boss in 2016. Yet Mr. Obama doesn’t show up in this story until the ninth paragraph. Those inclined toward Watergate analogies will say that it was some time before the break-in was connected to Richard Nixon, and of course we have no idea at this point whether the current controversy will end up being a Trump scandal, an Obama scandal or a permanently murky partisan battleground.

But since this controversy goes to the core of our democratic process, Americans desperately want clarity. How and why exactly did leaders of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies end up focusing on a domestic political campaign? The latestessential reading from the Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel gets to the heart of the matter:

Think of the 2016 Trump-Russia narrative as two parallel strands—one politics, one law enforcement. The political side involves the actions of Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Obama officials—all of whom were focused on destroying Donald Trump. The law-enforcement strand involves the FBI—and what methods and evidence it used in its Trump investigation. At some point these strands intersected—and one crucial question is how early that happened.

By this point it seems clear that Mr. Obama didn’t think much of the theory that Mr. Trump colluded with the Russians. But presumably he learned quite a bit about his government’s efforts to investigate it. It’s not clear what an FBI official meant in 2016 when texting that President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.” But we can assume that the President was fairly well-informed about the law enforcement agencies reporting to him. Therefore let’s hear from him in detail the full history of how the government came to investigate the presidential campaign of the party out of power.

If he doesn’t know, then it would seem a public explanation is also in order—about his management, and about just how far the “deep state” went without specific presidential approval.

***

Noteworthy

Save This Endangered Species
“High-impact startups: America’s herd of gazelles seems to be thinning,” AEI.org, May 17

Other Than That, The Stories Were Accurate?
“At the end of 2008 I was a desk editor, a local hire in The Associated Press’s Jerusalem bureau, during the first serious round of violence in Gaza after Hamas took it over the year before. That conflict was grimly similar to the American campaign in Iraq, in which a modern military fought in crowded urban confines against fighters concealed among civilians. Hamas understood early that the civilian death toll was driving international outrage at Israel, and that this, not I.E.D.s or ambushes, was the most important weapon in its arsenal.

“Early in that war, I complied with Hamas censorship in the form of a threat to one of our Gaza reporters and cut a key detail from an article: that Hamas fighters were disguised as civilians and were being counted as civilians in the death toll. The bureau chief later wrote that printing the truth after the threat to the reporter would have meant ‘jeopardizing his life.’ Nonetheless, we used that same casualty toll throughout the conflict and never mentioned the manipulation.”

— Matti Friedman op-ed in the New York Times, May 16

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

We grieve for the terrible loss of life, and send our support and love to everyone affected by this horrible attack in Texas. To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High School – we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever…

https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-in-the-world-was-barack-obama-1526674870

 

Yes, the FBI Was Investigating the Trump Campaign When It Spied

FBI Director James Comey at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., June 18, 2015. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Trey Gowdy and Marco Rubio evidently paid little attention to testimony before their own committees on how Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.Well, well, well. The bipartisan Beltway establishment has apparently had its fill of this “Trump colluded with Russia” narrative — the same narrative the same establishment has lustily peddled for nearly two years. The Obama administration recklessly chose to deploy the government’s awesome counterintelligence powers to investigate — and, more to the point, to smear — its political opposition as a Kremlin confederate. Now that this ploy has blown up on the Justice Department and the FBI, these agencies — the ones that went out of their way, and outside their guidelines, to announce to the world that the Trump campaign was under investigation — want you to know the president and his campaign were not investigated at all, no siree.

What could possibly have made you imagine such a thing?

And so, to douse the controversy with cold water, dutifully stepping forward in fine bipartisan fettle are the Obama administration’s top intelligence official and two influential Capitol Hill Republicans who evidently pay little attention to major testimony before their own committees.

Former National Intelligence director James Clapper was first to the scene of the blaze. Clapper concedes that, well, yes, the FBI did run an informant — “spy” is such an icky word — at Trump campaign officials; but you must understand that this was merely to investigate Russia. Cross his heart, it had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. No, no, no. Indeed, they only used an informant because — bet you didn’t know this — doing so is the most benign, least intrusive mode of conducting an investigation.

Me? I’m thinking the tens of thousands of convicts serving lengthy sentences due to the penetration of their schemes by informants would beg to differ. (Mr. Gambino, I assure you, this was just for you own good . . .) In any event, I’ll leave it to the reader to imagine the Democrats’ response if, say, the Bush administration had run a covert intelligence operative against Obama 2008 campaign officials, including the campaign’s co-chairman. I’m sure David Axelrod, Chuck Schumer, the New York Times, and Rachel Maddow would chirp that “all is forgiven” once they heard Republicans punctiliously parse the nuances between investigating campaign officials versus the campaign proper; between “spies,” “informants,” and other government-directed covert operatives.

Sure!

Senator Rubio

Then there are Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), General Clapper’s fellow fire extinguishers.

Rubio is a member in good standing of that Washington pillar, the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has had about as much interest in scrutinizing the highly irregular actions of intelligence and law-enforcement officials in the Clinton and Russia probes as Gowdy’s Benghazi committee had in revisiting Republican ardor for Obama’s unprovoked war on Moammar Qaddafi. (That would be: roughly zero interest.)

Rubio told ABC News that he has seen “no evidence” that the FBI was gathering information about the Trump campaign. Rather, agents “were investigating individuals with a history of links to Russia that were concerning.” The senator elaborated that “when individuals like that are in the orbit of a major political campaign in America, the FBI, who is in charge of counterintelligence investigations, should look at people like that.”

Gee, senator, when you were carefully perusing the evidence of what the FBI was doing, did you ever sneak a peek at what the FBI said it was doing?

May I suggest, for example, the stunning public testimony by then-director James Comey on March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee — perhaps Representative Gowdy, who sits on that committee, could lend you the transcript, since he appears not to be using it. Just so we’re clear, this is not an obscure scrap of evidence buried within volumes of testimony. It is the testimony that launched the Mueller probe, and that sets (or, better, fails to set) the parameters of that probe — a flaw the nation has been discussing for a year.

Comey’s House testimony was breathtaking, not just because it confirmed the existence of a classified counterintelligence investigation, but because of what the bureau’s then-director said about the Trump campaign (my italics):

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. . . .

That is an unambiguous declaration that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign. That is why, for nearly two years, Washington has been entranced by the specter of “Trump collusion with Russia,” not “Papadopoulos collusion with Russia.” A campaign, of course, is an entity that acts through the individuals associated with it. But Comey went to extraordinary lengths to announce that the FBI was not merely zeroing in on individuals of varying ranks in the campaign; the main question was whether the Trump campaign itself — the entity — had “coordinated” in Russia’s espionage operation.

Representative Gowdy

Gowdy’s fire truck pulled into Fox News Tuesday night for an interview by Martha MacCallum. An able lawyer, the congressman is suddenly on a mission to protect the Justice Department and the FBI from further criticism. So, when Ms. MacCallum posed the question about the FBI spying on the Trump campaign, Gowdy deftly changed the subject: Rather than address the campaign, he repeatedly insisted that Donald Trump personally was never the “target” of the FBI’s investigation. The only “target,” Gowdy maintains, was Russia.

This is a dodge on at least two levels.

First, to repeat, the question raised by the FBI’s use of an informant is whether the bureau was investigating the Trump campaign. We’ll come momentarily to the closely connected question of whether Trump can be airbrushed out of his own campaign — I suspect the impossibility of this feat is why Gowdy is resistant to discussing the Trump campaign at all.

It is a diversion for Gowdy to prattle on about how Trump himself was not a “target” of the Russia investigation. As we’ve repeatedly observed (and as Gowdy acknowledged in the interview), the Trump-Russia probe is a counterintelligence investigation. An accomplished prosecutor, Gowdy well knows that “target” is a term of art in criminal investigations, denoting a suspect who is likely to be indicted. The term is inapposite to counterintelligence investigations, which are not about building criminal cases but about divining and thwarting the provocative schemes of hostile foreign powers. In that sense, and in no other, the foreign power at issue — here, Russia — is always the “target” of a counterintelligence probe; but it is never a “target” in the technical criminal-investigation sense in which Gowdy used the term . . . unless you think we are going to indict a country.

Apart from the fact that Gowdy is dodging the question about whether the Trump campaign was being investigated, his digression about ‘targets’ is gibberish.

Moreover, even if we stick to the criminal-investigation sense of “target,” Gowdy knows it is misleading to emphasize that Trump is not one. Just a few short weeks ago, Gowdy was heard pooh-poohing as “meaningless” media reporting that Trump had been advised he was not a “target” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe (which is the current iteration of the Russia investigation). As the congressman quite correctly pointed out, if Trump is a subject of the investigation — another criminal-law term of art, denoting a person whose conduct is under scrutiny, but who may or may not be indicted — it should be of little comfort that he is not a “target”; depending on how the evidence shakes out, a subject can become a target in the blink of an eye.

So, apart from the fact that Gowdy is dodging the question about whether the Trump campaign was being investigated, his digression about “targets” is gibberish. Since the Obama administration was using its counterintelligence powers (FISA surveillance, national-security letters, unmasking identities in intelligence reporting, all bolstered by the use of at least one covert informant), the political-spying issue boils down to whether the Trump campaign was being monitored. Whether Trump himself was apt to be indicted, and whether threats posed by Russia were the FBI’s focus, are beside the point; in a counterintelligence case, an indictment is never the objective, and a foreign power is always the focus.

Withholding Information from Trump

Second, if Gowdy has been paying attention, he must know that, precisely because the Trump campaign was under investigation, top FBI officials had qualms of conscience over Comey’s plan to give Trump a misleading assurance that he personally was not under investigation. If this has slipped Gowdy mind, perhaps Rubio could lend him the transcript of Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee — in particular, a section Rubio seems not to remember, either.

A little background. On January 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA director John Brennan, and NSA chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation. Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–acting attorney general Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Biden, and national-security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.

Ms. Rice put this sleight-of-hand a bit more delicately in her CYA memo-to-file about the Oval Office meeting (written two weeks after the fact, as Rice was leaving her office minutes after Trump’s inauguration):

President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. [Emphasis added.]

It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. Indeed, we now know that Obama’s Justice Department had already commenced FISA surveillance on Trump campaign figures, and that it was preparing to return to the FISA court to seek renewal of the surveillance warrants. We also know that at least one informant was still deployed. And we know that the FBI withheld information about the investigation from the congressional “Gang of Eight” during quarterly briefings from July 2106 through early March 2017. (See Comey testimony March 20, 2017, questioning by Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.).) Director Comey said Congress’s most trusted leaders were not apprised of the investigation because “it was a matter of such sensitivity.” Putting aside that the need to alert Congress to sensitive matters is exactly why there is a Gang of Eight, the palpable reason why the matter was deemed too “sensitive” for disclosure was that it involved the incumbent administration’s investigation of the opposition campaign.

Clearly, the Obama officials did not want Trump to know the full scope of their investigation of his campaign. But just as important, they wanted the investigation — an “insurance policy” that promised to hamstring Trump’s presidency — to continue.

Clearly, the Obama officials did not want Trump to know the full scope of their investigation of his campaign.

So, how to accomplish these objectives? Plainly, the plan called for Comey to put the new president at ease by telling him he was not a suspect. This would not have been a credible assurance if Comey had informed Trump that his campaign had been under investigation for months, suspected of coordinating in Russia’s cyber-espionage operation. So, information would be withheld. The intelligence chiefs would tell Trump only about Russia’s espionage, not about the Trump campaign’s suspected “coordination” with the Kremlin. Then, Comey would apprise Trump about only a sliver of the Steele dossier — just the lurid story about peeing prostitutes, not the dossier’s principal allegations of a traitorous Trump-Russia conspiracy.

As I’ve previously recounted, this did not sit well with everyone at the FBI. Shortly before he met with Trump, Comey consulted his top FBI advisers about the plan to tell Trump he was not a suspect. There was an objection from one of Comey’s top advisers — we don’t know which one. Comey recounted this disagreement for the Senate Intelligence Committee (my italics):

One of the members of the leadership team had a view that, although it was technically true [that] we did not have a counterintelligence file case open on then-President-elect Trump[,] . . . because we’re looking at the potential . . . coordination between the campaign and Russia, because it was . . . President-elect Trump’s campaignthis person’s view wasinevitably, [Trump’s] behavior, [Trump’s] conduct will fall within the scope of that work.

Representative Gowdy and Senator Rubio might want to read that testimony over a few times.

They might note that Comey did not talk about “potential coordination between Carter Page or Paul Manafort and Russia.” The director was unambiguous: The FBI was investigating “potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.” With due respect to Gowdy, the FBI did not regard Russia as the “target”; to the contrary, Comey said the focus of the investigation was whether Donald Trump’s campaign had coordinated in Russia’s election interference. And perspicaciously, Comey’s unidentified adviser connected the dots: Because (a) the FBI’s investigation was about the campaign, and (b) the campaign was Trump’s campaign, it was necessarily true that (c) Trump’s own conduct was under FBI scrutiny.

Director Comey’s reliance on the trivial administrative fact that the FBI had not written Trump’s name on the investigative file did not change the reality that Trump, manifestly, was a subject of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation. If Trump were not a subject of the investigation, there would be no conceivable justification for Special Counsel Mueller to be pushing to interview the president of the United States. If Trump were not a subject of the investigation, Trump’s political opponents would not have spent the last 18 months accusing him of obstruction and demanding that Mueller be permitted to finish his work.

In the interview with Ms. MacCallum, Representative Gowdy further confused matters by stressing Trump’s observation, in a phone conversation with Comey on March 30, 2017, that it would be good to find out if underlings in his campaign had done anything wrong. This, according to Gowdy, means Trump should be pleased, rather than outraged, by what the FBI did: By steering an informant at three campaign officials, we’re to believe that the bureau was doing exactly what Trump suggested.

Gowdy’s argument assumes something that is simply not true: namely, that the Trump campaign was not under investigation.

Such a specious argument. So disappointing to hear it from someone who clearly knows better.

First, the informant reportedly began approaching campaign officials in July 2016. It was nine months later, well after the election, when President Trump told Comey that if would be good if the FBI uncovered any wrongdoing by his “satellites.” Trump was not endorsing spying during the campaign; the campaign was long over. The president was saying that it would be worth continuing the FBI’s Russia investigation in order to root out any thus-far-undiscovered wrongdoing — but only if the FBI informed the public that Trump was not a suspect (an announcement Comey declined to make).

Second, Gowdy’s argument assumes something that is simply not true: namely, that the Trump campaign was not under investigation. As we’ve seen, Comey testified multiple times that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign for possible coordination with Russia. The bureau was not, as Gowdy suggests, merely investigating a few campaign officials for suspicious contacts with Russia unrelated to the campaign.

The Steele Dossier and FISA Surveillance

That brings us to a final point. In support of the neon-flashing fact that the Trump campaign was under investigation when the Obama administration ran an informant at it, there is much more than former Director Comey’s testimony.

Probes conducted by both the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee have established that the Obama Justice Department and the FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain FISA-court warrants against Carter Page. The dossier, a Clinton-campaign opposition-research project (a fact withheld from the FISA court), was essential to the required probable-cause showing; the FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, testified that without the dossier there would have been no warrant.

So . . . what did the dossier say? The lion’s share of it — the part Director Comey omitted from his briefing of Trump — alleged that the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Kremlin to corrupt the election, including by hacking and publicizing Democratic-party emails.

We also know, thanks to more testimony by Director Comey, that dossier information was presented to the FISA court because the Justice Department and the FBI found former British spy Christopher Steele to be reliable (even if they could not corroborate Steele’s unidentified Russian sources). That is, the FBI and Justice Department believed Steele’s claim that the Trump campaign was willfully complicit in Russia’s treachery.

It is a major investigative step to seek surveillance warrants from the FISA court. Unlike using an informant, for which no court authorization is necessary, applications for FISA surveillance require approvals at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI. After going through that elaborate process, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI presented to the court the dossier’s allegations that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to undermine the 2016 election.

If that was their position under oath before a secret United States court, why would anyone conceivably believe that it was not their position when they ran an informant at members of the campaign they were investigating?

To be sure, no sensible person argues that the FBI should refrain from investigating individuals suspected of acting as clandestine agents of a hostile foreign power. The question is: How should such an investigation proceed in a democratic republic whose norms forbid an incumbent administration, in the absence of strong evidence of egregious misconduct, from directing its counterintelligence and law-enforcement powers against its political opposition?

That norm was flouted by the Justice Department and the FBI, under the direction of the Obama administration’s senior political leadership. Representative Gowdy, Senator Rubio, and General Clapper maintain that the Justice Department and the FBI were just doing what we should expect them to do, and that we should applaud them. But this claim is based on the easily refuted fiction that the Justice Department and FBI were not investigating the Trump campaign. The claim also ignores the stubborn fact that, if all the Obama administration had been trying to do was check out a few bad apples with suspicious Russia ties, this could easily have been done by alerting the Trump campaign and asking for its help.

Instead, Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1071, Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.9% and U-6 Unemployment Rate 7.8% — Labor Participation Rate Falls To 62.8% Far Below 66-67% Rate For Booming Economy — Number of Americans Not In Labor Force Increased By 410,000 and Hits High of 95,745,000! — Real Reason For .2% Drop in U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rates — Mediocre Job Report — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Address Record 87,000 Plus National Rifle Association Members in Dallas, Texas — Videos

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Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.9% and U-6 Unemployment Rate 7.8% — Labor Participation Rate Falls To 62.8% Far Below 66-67% Rate For Booming Economy — Number of Americans Not In Labor Force Increased By 410,000 and Hits High of 95,745,000! — Real Reason For .2% Drop in U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rates — Mediocre Job Report — Videos

 

Alternate Unemployment Charts

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   Last Updated: May 4th, 2018

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for April 2018 is 21.5%.

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

Unemployment Game Show – Are you Officially Unemployed? | Mint Personal Finance Software

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F A Hayek – Unemployment And The Free Market

 

Civilian Labor Force Level

161,527,000

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

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Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 137095 137112 137236 137150 137372 137455 137588 137570 138286 138279 138381 138634
1999 139003 138967 138730 138959 139107 139329 139439 139430 139622 139771 140025 140177
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155763(1) 155312 155005 155394 155536 155749 155599 155605 155687 154673 155265 155182
2014 155357(1) 155526 156108 155404 155564 155742 156011 156124 156019 156383 156455 156301
2015 157063(1) 156734 156754 157051 157449 157071 157035 157132 156700 157138 157435 158043
2016 158387(1) 158811 159253 158919 158512 158976 159207 159514 159734 159700 159544 159736
2017 159718(1) 159997 160235 160181 159729 160214 160467 160598 161082 160371 160533 160597
2018 161115(1) 161921 161763 161527
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.8%

 

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.2 67.2 67.1 67.2
1999 67.2 67.2 67.0 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.1 67.1
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.7 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.7 62.6 62.6 62.3 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.8 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7
2017 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.7 62.7 62.7
2018 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.8

 

Unemployment Level

6,346,000

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 6368 6306 6422 5941 6047 6212 6259 6179 6300 6280 6100 6032
1999 5976 6111 5783 6004 5796 5951 6025 5838 5915 5778 5716 5653
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645