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The Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018, Story 1: President Trump: “United States will not be a Migrant Camp” and not be “A Refuge Holding Facility” — “We Want Safety and We Want Security For Out Country” — Blames Democrats For Obstructing Immigration Law Reform and Separating Children From Parents — Videos — Story 2: Families that Stay Together Should Be Deported Together to Country of Origin — Deport All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens — Fund The Building of The Wall — American People Demand Immigration Law Enforcement — Do Not Reward Illegal Behavior — No Amnesty — No Citizenship — No Legal Status — No Pathway To Citizenship or Legal Status — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Places A Priority On Outer Space in Addressing The Nation Space Council And Directs Pentagon To Create A New Sixth Military Branch — Space Force — Videos

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Image result for President trump june 18, 2018 in white house comments on immigration with vice presidentSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Story 1: President Trump: “United States Will Not Be a Migrant Camp” and not be “A Refuge Holding Facility” — “We Want Safety and We Want Security For Our Country” — Blames Democrats For Obstructing Immigration Law Reform and Separating Children From Parents — Videos —

Image result for President trump june 18, 2018 comments on immigration

 

President Trump: “The United States will not be a migrant camp…” (C-SPAN)

President Trump: US ‘Will Not Be A Migrant Camp’ 6/18/18

White House on family separations: Trump enforcing the law

Tucker: The Left does not care about family separation

ICE director: Illegal immigrant parents using kids as pawns

Steyn on Hillary’s flip-flop on illegal immigration

Steve Says: The new elitist ideology is hating Trump

Melania Trump weighs in on border separations

Migrant family separation policy about protecting children: Dan Stein

Nearly 2,000 Children Have Been Separated From Their Families During Trump Border Crackdown | TIME

Sean Spicer on political fallout from separating families at border

Is Trump winning the immigration debate?

Cooper calls out Sessions: By choice, not law

Tucker Carlson Interviews Jeff Sessions

Catholic Leader Calls Separating Mothers And Children At Border ‘Immoral’

Should undocumented children be separated from their parents at the border?

Kamala Harris Spars with Kirstjen Nielsen over Family Separation at the Border

National Review’s Rich Lowry: We Don’t Need A Border Wall

Tucker: Illegal immigration is literally costing US big-time

The High Cost of Illegal Immigration

Open Borders: A Libertarian Reappraisal | Lew Rockwell

Rand Paul – Immigration

Published on Jul 24, 2013

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

GOP drops immigration bill after Trump signals he won’t sign

Does GOP compromise on immigration mean disregarding voters?

Ted Cruz: Immigration Amnesty Would Be a Mistake

From the archives: Reagan signs 1986 immigration law

Ronald Reagan’s amnesty legacy

Ronald Reagan – “I Believe in Amnesty for Illegal Aliens”

George H. W. Bush And Ronald Reagan Debate On Immigration In 1980 | TIME

 

Trump Warns U.S. Could Follow Path of Germany on Immigration

President wants to meet with members of both parties on matter, spokesman says

President Donald Trump on Monday used Germany’s immigration problems to defend his own hardline policies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:05 a.m. President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to defend his administration’s policy of separating migrant families by warning that Germany’s and Europe’s immigration issues could be replicated here.

He used several tweets Monday morning to blast not only German and European immigration laws, but also Democratic lawmakers. The GOP president claimed anew that the opposition party is withholding the votes needed to pass a sweeping immigration overhaul measure that would address a list of unresolved matters.

Trump criticized Democrats for refusing to “give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws” as one of his deputy press secretaries, Hogan Gidley, was on the White House’s North Lawn calling on Democratic members to meet with Trump to come up with a broad immigration bill.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Why don’t the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws? Where is the outcry for the killings and crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13, coming into our country illegally?

“Ask the Democrats this question: We can’t deport them, we can’t separate them, we can’t detain them, we can’t prosecute them. What they want is a radical open-border policy that lets everyone out into the interior of this country with virtually no documentation whatsoever,” Gidley said. “They could come to the table and fix this immediately. They’ve chosen not to do that.”

“Next steps, hopefully, is getting some congressional members over to the White House, the president have an open conversation with them. Everyone needs to put down their swords and stop political grandstanding getting ready for the midterms and instead focus on actually fixing their problems,” Gidley said. “They could go back to their districts and say, ‘We stood up for you guys and we fixed the problem.’ But they won’t do that.”

Republicans and Democrats alike are objecting to or questioning the administration’s decision in recent weeks to separate migrant families, sending parents for prosecution and children to be held at detention centers where Democratic lawmakers and experts say they are being kept, in some cases, in “cages.”

But White House officials’ comments Monday morning gave no indication they are considering altering the policy.

Administration officials, however, have been inconsistent in their messaging about the policy. White House immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller is touting the “zero-tolerance policy,” while Trump says he is no fan of the separations but claims — falsely — that it is the result of a Democratic-only law. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said her agency has no separation policy.

The president also tweeted that children “are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” and said crime in Central and South American countries is at historically high levels. “Not going to happen in the U.S,” he added.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country. Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.

Want insight more often? Get Roll Call in your inbox

Trump on Monday also implied such policies are necessary, and all indications are Republicans and Democrats intend to make immigration a part of their midterm campaign messages.

The president used tweets to claim that flaws in U.S. law could trigger problems resembling those in Europe.

“We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!” the president wrote in one tweet.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!

The U.S. president appeared to stoke political tensions in Germany, saying German citizens are “turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition,” also saying there was a “Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”

Angela Merkel’s German government faces an uncertain fate. She has been criticized for her policy of allowing in refugees.

Trump also used that tweet to claim crime is “way up” in Germany, implying it is because of Merkel’s immigration policies. But German government data suggests the opposite is true.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/trump-warns-u-s-could-follow-path-of-germany-on-immigration

Trump, Democrats fight over blame for family separation at the southwest border

012617 SWestwood trump wall pic
President Trump on Saturday called on Democrats to end a “horrible law” that he says separates children from their parents when they come across the southwest border.
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Trump on Saturday called on Democrats to end a “horrible law” that he says separates children from their parents when they come across the southwest border. “Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S,” he said in a Twitter post.

But Democrats and others argue the Trump administration’s own policies are responsible for more family separation.

“Separating children from parents- as a matter of new policy to discourage asylum seekers – is just the latest outrage from this Administration when it comes to immigrants. This is inconsistent with who we say we are as a nation,” said Eric Holder, a former attorney general in the Obama administration, in a tweet Saturday.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Homeland Security Department would refer “100 percent of illegal southwest border crossings“ to the Justice Department for prosecution, as arrests at the border have increased in recent months.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed a memo that directs the department to refer all suspected border-crossers to the Justice Department.

A 2008 bipartisan law meant to combat child trafficking, signed by President George W. Bush, requires children apprehended at the border to be classified as unaccompanied minors if their parents are prosecuted and detained for criminal charges.

The law, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, prohibits the government from quickly deporting children who enter the U.S. illegally and alone if they are not from Mexico or Canada. Under the law, those classified as unaccompanied minors have to be transferred from Homeland Security custody to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Parents, if children came with them, are handled separately.

An agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, the resettlement office provides shelter to the children and finds a guardian to care for them while they await hearings in immigration courts.

Former President Barack Obama cited the law as a barrier when his administration was confronted with a surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally from Central America in 2014, because he could not quickly deport them.

More prosecutions of people suspected of illegally crossing the border, as the new Trump administration policy demands, would likely make family separations more common.

“This Administration’s immigration policies are outrageous, cruel, and inhumane. Proactively working to break up immigrant families is putting these kids’ lives in danger. We need to put a stop to this,” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said Saturday on Twitter.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/trump-democrats-fight-over-blame-for-family-separation-at-the-southwest-border

TRUMP AND THE INVASION OF THE WEST

Pat Buchanan: ‘Where many Americans see illegal intruders, Democrats see future voters’

“It is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” says former first lady Laura Bush of the Trump administration policy of “zero tolerance,” under which the children of illegal migrants are being detained apart from their parents.

“Disgraceful,” adds Dr. Franklin Graham.

“We need to be … a country that governs with a heart,” says first lady Melania Trump. “No one likes this policy,” says White House aide Kellyanne Conway, even “the president wants this to end.”

And so it shall – given the universal denunciations and photos of sobbing children being pulled from parents. Yet striking down the policy will leave America’s immigration crisis still unresolved.

Consider. Since 2016, some 110,000 children have entered the U.S. illegally and been released, along with 200,000 Central American families caught sneaking across the border.

Reflecting its frustration, the White House press office declared:

“We can’t deport them, we can’t separate them, we can’t detain them, we can’t prosecute them. What (the Democrats) want is a radical open-border policy that lets everyone out into the interior of this country with virtually no documentation whatsoever.”

Where many Americans see illegal intruders, Democrats see future voters.

And with 11,000 kids of illegal immigrants in custody and 250 more arriving every day, we could have 30,000 in custody by summer’s end

 http://www.wnd.com/2018/06/trump-and-the-invasion-of-the-west/#WtqJYQhtb3zZ93Ox.99

 

Story 2: Families that Stay Together Should Be Deported Together — Change The Law — Videos

Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen comments on immigration crisis at border

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks about the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and children being separated from their parents. She insists that it is not part of the administration’s policy.

Ingraham: Separating parents from kids and fact from fiction

Families separated at the border: what’s really going on?

Kirstjen Nielsen, Head Of Homeland Security, Defends Controversial Immigration Policy | TIME

VIDEO: White House discuss Trump administration’s policies on separating migrant families.

Kirstjen Nielsen Grilled On Immigration Camps And Family-Separation

Build the wall, deter illegal border crossings: Varney

Gutfeld on the 2014 photos blamed on Trump

The Truth about Separating Kids

 

U.S. Border Patrol agents with illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas, May 9, 2018. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Some economic migrants are using children as chits, but the problem is fixable — if Congress acts.The latest furor over Trump immigration policy involves the separation of children from parents at the border.

As usual, the outrage obscures more than it illuminates, so it’s worth walking through what’s happening here.

For the longest time, illegal immigration was driven by single males from Mexico. Over the last decade, the flow has shifted to women, children, and family units from Central America. This poses challenges we haven’t confronted before and has made what once were relatively minor wrinkles in the law loom very large.

The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entity or another crime. The migrants generally plead guilty, and they are then sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day, although practices vary along the border. After this, they are returned to the custody of ICE.

If the adult then wants to go home, in keeping with the expedited order of removal that is issued as a matter of course, it’s relatively simple. The adult should be reunited quickly with his or her child, and the family returned home as a unit. In this scenario, there’s only a very brief separation.

The clock ticking on the time the government can hold a child will almost always run out before an asylum claim is settled. The migrant is allowed ten days to seek an attorney, and there may be continuances or other complications.

This creates the choice of either releasing the adults and children together into the country pending the ajudication of the asylum claim, or holding the adults and releasing the children. If the adult is held, HHS places the child with a responsible party in the U.S., ideally a relative (migrants are likely to have family and friends here).

Even if Flores didn’t exist, the government would be very constrained in how many family units it can accommodate. ICE has only about 3,000 family spaces in shelters. It is also limited in its overall space at the border, which is overwhelmed by the ongoing influx. This means that — whatever the Trump administration would prefer to do — many adults are still swiftly released.

A few points about all this:

1) Family units can go home quickly. The option that both honors our laws and keeps family units together is a swift return home after prosecution. But immigrant advocates hate it because they want the migrants to stay in the United States. How you view this question will depend a lot on how you view the motivation of the migrants (and how seriously you take our laws and our border).

2) There’s a better way to claim asylum. Every indication is that the migrant flow to the United States is discretionary. It nearly dried up at the beginning of the Trump administration when migrants believed that they had no chance of getting into the United States. Now, it is going in earnest again because the message got out that, despite the rhetoric, the policy at the border hasn’t changed. This strongly suggests that the flow overwhelmingly consists of economic migrants who would prefer to live in the United States, rather than victims of persecution in their home country who have no option but to get out.

Children should not be making this journey that is fraught with peril. But there is now a premium on bringing children because of how we have handled these cases.

Even if a migrant does have a credible fear of persecution, there is a legitimate way to pursue that claim, and it does not involve entering the United States illegally. First, such people should make their asylum claim in the first country where they feel safe, i.e., Mexico or some other country they are traversing to get here. Second, if for some reason they are threatened everywhere but the United States, they should show up at a port of entry and make their claim there rather than crossing the border illegally.

3) There is a significant moral cost to not enforcing the border. There is obviously a moral cost to separating a parent from a child and almost everyone would prefer not to do it. But, under current policy and with the current resources, the only practical alternative is letting family units who show up at the border live in the country for the duration. Not only does this make a mockery of our laws, it creates an incentive for people to keep bringing children with them.

Needless to say, children should not be making this journey that is fraught with peril. But there is now a premium on bringing children because of how we have handled these cases. They are considered chits.

In April, the New York Times reported:

Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner.

Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing.

According to azcentral.com, it is “common to have parents entrust their children to a smuggler as a favor or for profit.”

If someone is determined to come here illegally, the decent and safest thing would be to leave the child at home with a relative and send money back home. Because we favor family units over single adults, we are creating an incentive to do the opposite and use children to cut deals with smugglers.

4) Congress can fix this. Congress can change the rules so the Flores consent decree will no longer apply, and it can appropriate more money for family shelters at the border. This is an obvious thing to do that would eliminate the tension between enforcing our laws and keeping family units together. The Trump administration is throwing as many resources as it can at the border to expedite the process, and it desperately wants the Flores consent decree reversed. Despite some mixed messages, if the administration had its druthers, family units would be kept together and their cases settled quickly.

The missing piece here is Congress, but little outrage will be directed at it, and probably nothing will be done. And so our perverse system will remain in place and the crisis at the border will rumble on.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/illegal-immigration-enforcement-separating-kids-at-border/

What’s Really Happening When Asylum-Seeking Families Are Separated?

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018, Story 1: Mueller Will Follow Department of Justice Guidelines — Cannot Indict Acting President Trump — Videos — Story 2: Close Down Mueller Investigation and Appoint Secon Special Counsel Investigation of FBI and DOJ Criminal Conduct in Clinton Investigation, FISA Court Warrant Application Omissions and Spying On American People — Videos

Posted on May 17, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Applications, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Government, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, National Security Agency, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Privacy, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Servers, Software, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Technology, Unemployment, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 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

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

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Story 1: Mueller Will Follow Department of Justice Guidelines — Cannot Indict Acting President Trump — Videos

Mark Levin on Hannity: Obama And His Surrogates Need To Be Held ACCOUNTABLE!

Mark Levin Show 5/18/18 | Mark Levin May 18, 2018

“Brazen Plot To Exonerate Clinton’ Starting To Seep Out” Daily Caller Interviews Joe DiGenova

Levin Interviews Devin (Nunes): Complete Timeline of FISA Court Abuse by DOJ and FBI

Mark Levin GOES OFF on Trey Gowdy, Lindsey Graham, Mueller, & more – Audio Only – 3/19/18

MARK LEVIN FULL ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEW WITH SEAN HANNITY (3/19/2018)

Hannity: Another stinging setback for the special counsel

Giuliani: Mueller can’t indict or subpoena the president

Giuliani: Mueller told Trump team he won’t indict president

Can Robert Mueller indict President Trump?

Breaking News | Mueller told Trump’s legal team he will not indict the president, Giuliani tells Fo

Giuliani: Mueller’s team says they won’t indict Trump

Kurtz: Russia probes becoming background noise

Nunes Just Made VERY BOLD Prediction on Russia Probe That’ll Have You CHEERING!

 

Giuliani Puts the Corrupt Mueller Team on Notice: “We’re Ready to Rip Them Apart if that’s What They Want!”

Former Federal Prosecutor and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was on Laura Ingraham’s ‘The Ingraham Angle’ on FOX News last night.

Rudy and all of America know there is no collusion between President Trump and Russia and so Rudy encouraged the corrupt Mueller team to wrap it up.

Rudy discussed the corrupt Mueller investigation that has now been going on for a year.  At the beginning of the below segment of the interview Rudy stated that the guys on the Mueller team are taking so long because maybe “these guys, you know, figure they can’t get a good job”.

Rudy was outstanding and he never let up.  At the end of the interview (at the 9:10 mark in the video below) Rudy addressed the crooked Mueller team straight on –

Ingraham: Timeline, what is your optimal timeline for this to wrap up?

Rudy: They should do it today. I mean as soon as possible. I think that they have the facts from which they can write their report.

If you can write a fair report fine, then write it.

If you’re gonna write an unfair report, write it and we will combat it.  We’re ready to rip it apart.

And we’re ready to rip them apart if that’s what they want.  We’d rather peacefully settle this and get it over with.

 

Story 2: Close Down Mueller Investigation and Appoint Second Special Counsel Investigation of FBI and DOJ Criminal Conduct in Clinton Investigation, FISA Court Warrant Application Omissions and Spying On American People — Videos

Republicans push for Jeff Sessions to appoint second special counsel

Gowdy, Goodlatte make case for second independent counsel

Rep. Trey Gowdy: ‘Really bad facts’ emerging about DOJ, FBI

Gowdy presses Deputy AG on possible bias against Trump

Congress Blindsides Obama After Evidence Reveals His Dirtiest Skeleton Yet

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018, Story 1: Devin Nunes, Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,   Warns Attorney General Sessions of Contempt of Congress if  Doesn’t Comply with Subpoena — Cover-up and Stonewalling At Department of Justice To Protect Who? — Embarrassing and Criminal Activity of FBI and DOJ Employees — President Trump Should Order Declassification and Release of All Documents Under Congressional Subpoena — Clean Up Obama’s Mess at DOJ and FBI — American People Demand It —  Videos — Story 2 : First Lady Melania Trump’s Be Best Initiative — Videos — Story 3: Iran and Obama Lied To American People — President Trump’s Goal: Stop Nuclear Proliferation in Far East and Middle East By Diplomacy, Negotiation or Military Means — Videos

Posted on May 9, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Applications, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Cruise Missiles, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Egypt, Elections, Empires, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Israel, James Comey, Killing, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Mike Pompeo, National Interest, National Security Agency, Nerve Gas, North Korea, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Servers, Social Science, South Korea, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Negotiations with Islamic Republic of Iran, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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

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Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

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Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

 

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Story 1: Devin Nunes, Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,   Warns Attorney General Sessions of Contempt of Congress if  Doesn’t Comply with Subpoena — Cover-up and Stonewalling At Department of Justice To Protect Who? — Embarrassing and Criminal Activity of FBI and DOJ Employees — President Trump Should Order Declassification and Release of All Documents Under Congressional Subpoena — Clean Up Obama’s Mess at DOJ and FBI — American People Demand It —  Videos —

Rep. Nunes discusses DOJ stonewalling

Tucker: Democrats want to impeach Trump, but lie about it

Nunes warns of contempt of Congress if Sessions doesn’t comply with subpoena

Rep. Nunes threatens AG sessions with contempt of Congress

Devin Nunes should hold Sessions in contempt of Congress: Rep. DeSantis

Rep. Dave Brat on GOP vs. DOJ

Robert Mueller on the defensive after a bad week in court?

The Ingraham Angle 5/7/18 | Breaking Fox News | May 7, 2018

Time for Mueller to show his cards: Fmr. Prosecutor Andrew McCarthy

Mueller probe is investigating people looking for crimes: Marc Lotter

Nunes: Documents about Flynn show Comey has been lying

Tucker: What’s at stake in the Rosenstein battle

Freedom Caucus members draft Rosenstein impeachment articles

“You’re Out of Order!” Nunes Is the Only Person Who Cares About FISA Abuse and Must Be Congratulated

Tucker Carlson Tonight 5/7/18 | Breaking Fox News | May 7, 2018

Outrageous Redactions to the Russia Report

Michael Flynn departs a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., December 1, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The FBI and DOJ have been burying the investigators’ questionable judgments and information helpful to Flynn.Cute how this works: Kick off the week with some “the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted” bombast from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, by which he rationalizes that his defiance of subpoenas and slow-walking document production to Congress — which is probing investigative irregularities related to the 2016 campaign — is required by DOJ policy and “the rule of law.” Then end the week with the Friday-night bad-news dump: the grudging removal of DOJ and FBI redactions from a House Intelligence Committee report on Russia’s election meddling.

Now that we can see what they wanted to conceal, it is clear, yet again, that the Justice Department and the FBI cannot be trusted to decide what the public gets to learn about their decision-making.

They tell us that their lack of transparency is necessary for the protection of national security, vital intelligence, and investigative operations. But what we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions; their use of foreign-intelligence and criminal-investigative authorities to investigate Michael Flynn, Trump’s top campaign supporter and former national-security adviser; and their explicitly stated belief that Flynn did not lie in the FBI interview for which Special Counsel Robert Mueller has since prosecuted him on false-statements charges.

It is simply ridiculous for President Trump to continue bloviating about this situation on Twitter and in friendly media interviews, and for congressional Republicans to continue pretending that the problem is Justice Department and FBI leadership — as if Trump were not responsible for his own administration’s actions. The president has not only the authority but the duty to ensure that his subordinates honor lawful disclosure requests from Congress.

What happened with these redactions is inexcusable.

BACKGROUND

A little over a week ago, the House committee chaired by Representative Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) published its lengthy report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The report was actually completed weeks earlier but was withheld while the committee battled to disclose information that the Justice Department and FBI insisted on blacking out. As usual, the DOJ claimed that the declassification and release of the information would damage investigations and national security. No, it wouldn’t, countered Chairmen Nunes and other Republicans who knew what had been redacted.

When the Comey memos were finally disclosed, we learned that there was no investigative or national-security reason to have concealed them.

This has become a depressingly familiar dance. Justice and the Bureau previously insisted that the sky would fall if Congress forced the release of an Intelligence Committee report on government abuse of foreign-intelligence surveillance powers. To the contrary, we learned that the FBI and DOJ had used the unverified Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants on at least one person tied to the Trump campaign, in contravention of express guidelines that “only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications to the [FISA] court” (see Nunes’s March 1 letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions). In addition, we learned that the FISA court was not told that the dossier was a Clinton campaign opposition-research project, and that its author, Christopher Steele, had been terminated as an informant for lying to the FBI about his contacts with the media.

More recently, the FBI severely restricted access to former FBI director James Comey’s memos of his meetings with President Trump. Finally, three congressional committees protested that there was no legal basis for such restriction. When the memos were finally disclosed, we learned that there was no investigative or national-security reason to have concealed them. They did, however, provide greater insight about such matters as how a briefing of then-president-elect Trump on a salacious sliver of the dossier (but not on its sensational allegations of a traitorous conspiracy with the Kremlin) led to an intelligence-community leak about the briefing and the consequent media publication of the dossier — the backbone of the media-Democratic “collusion with Russia” narrative. (See Mollie Hemingway’s analysis at The Federalist.)

That leads us to last Friday’s disclosure of some — but not nearly all — previously redacted sections of the Intelligence Committee’s Russia Report.

COMEY VS. THE COMMITTEE: DID AGENTS BELIEVE FLYNN LIED?

When the House first issued its report on the Russia investigation, a heavily redacted portion (pp. 53–54) related that Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, had pled guilty to a false-statements charge based on misleading statements to FBI agents about his December 2016 conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The report explained that Flynn had been rebuffed by Kislyak when, based on instructions from the Trump transition team, Flynn asked Russia to refrain from voting in favor of a U.N. resolution condemning Israel. Flynn also discussed with the transition team what, if anything, he should communicate to Kislyak about Trump’s position on the sanctions that President Obama had imposed on Russia over its interference in the 2016 election.

None of this was new information. Indeed, the committee noted that it was drawn from public court filings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with Flynn’s guilty plea. But there was one intriguing disclosure in the redacted report: Flynn pled guilty “even though the [FBI] agents did not detect any deception during Flynn’s interview.” There was no elaboration on this point — no discussion of why Flynn was interrogated by FBI agents in the first place; no insight on deliberations within the FBI and Justice Department about whether Flynn had deceptive intent; no explanation of how he came to be charged months later by Mueller’s prosecutors even though the trained investigators who observed Flynn’s demeanor during the interview did not believe he’d lied.

This news that Flynn’s interrogators had not sensed deception was not altogether new. It had been reported that then–FBI director James Comey had made this revelation in closed-session testimony before the committee on March 2, 2017. (See my column.) Yet, during media interviews to promote his just-released memoir, Comey — who has rebuked the House Intelligence Committee report as an effort to tear down our law-enforcement institutions — repeatedly expressed bafflement that anyone could possibly have construed his testimony to imply that the agents believed Flynn had not lied. Byron York recounts the interviews at the Washington Examiner. In one, Comey told ABC host and Clinton pal George Stephanopoulos:

I don’t know where that’s coming from. . . . That — unless I’m — I said something that people misunderstood, I don’t remember even intending to say that. So, my recollection is I never said that to anybody.

The now-unredacted passages reveal that top Obama DOJ and FBI officials provided the committee with ‘conflicting testimony’ about why the FBI interviewed Flynn as if he were a criminal suspect.

Well, shortly after the redactions were lifted late on Friday, The Federalist’s Sean Davis got busy on Twitter, posting side-by-side comparisons of the original heavily redacted pages and the new, more transparent version. The disclosures are stunning. I know this will amaze you, but it turns out the redactions had absolutely nothing to do with concerns about the need to protect national security or pending investigations. Instead, the now-unredacted passages:

  • Elaborate on why the FBI did not believe Flynn had lied, including quotations from Comey’s testimony.
  • Reveal that for some period of time during 2016, the FBI conducted a counterintelligence (CI) investigation of Flynn.
  • Note that top Obama Justice Department and FBI officials provided the committee with “conflicting testimony” about why the FBI interviewed Flynn as if he were a criminal suspect.
  • Illustrate that the FBI and Justice Department originally insisted on concealment of facts helpful to Flynn that are already public.

 

COUNTERINTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATION OF FLYNN

The now-unredacted passages relate that, for some period of time during 2016, the FBI was conducting a “CI investigation into General Flynn.” It was Comey’s recollection that he had “authorized the closure” of that investigation “by late December 2016.”

As we have discussed in connection with Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser against whom the Obama Justice Department obtained FISA surveillance warrants, a CI investigation on an American citizen proceeds on the suspicion that the citizen is an agent of a foreign power whose clandestine activities violate federal criminal law. That is, it appears possible (if not likely) that the Justice Department was operating on the theory that Flynn — a decorated combat veteran and co-author of a 2016 book that brands Russia as an implacable enemy of the United States — was an agent of the Kremlin.

At some point, moreover, Justice rationalized the investigation into Flynn, at least in part, by relying on the Logan Act. An almost surely unconstitutional 18th-century statute, the Logan Act purports to prohibit Americans from unauthorized freelancing in foreign-policy. It has never been successfully used to prosecute anyone. (Compare then-director Comey’s July 5, 2016, press conference and subsequent testimony, in which he theorized that charging Hillary Clinton for a rarely prosecuted classified-information offense would violate Justice Department policy against selective prosecution.)

The startling fact that there was a CI investigation of Flynn does not, of course, tell us on what evidence suspicions against him were based. As I’ve previously contended (when it was not known that there was a CI investigation, but it was apparent that Flynn had been seen as a criminal suspect), there are profound reasons to question the legitimacy of Flynn’s treatment.

Notwithstanding Friday night’s unveiling of blacked-out passages, the report still contains redacted paragraphs about Flynn. Two of them (on pp. 52–53) sandwich a passage about a business trip Flynn took to Moscow in late 2015 (seven months before he branded Russia a committed enemy in his book). The trip followed a visit to Kislyak by Flynn and his son at the ambassador’s Washington residence.

Though not mentioned in the unredacted passage, it has been reported that Flynn was paid more than $45,000 by Russia’s state-owned propaganda network, RT, for a speech he gave while in Moscow — an event at which he sat next to President Vladimir Putin. On the current state of disclosure, we do not know how, if at all, this incident played into the decision to investigate Flynn. Neither do we know whether the FBI and Justice Department took any action when former President Bill Clinton received $500,000  from a Kremlin-connected bank for a short speech delivered in 2010 on a trip to Russia, during which he met with Putin — even as his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was among the U.S. officials considering and ultimately green-lighting Russia’s effort to acquire rights to one-fifth of America’s uranium stock.

The suggestion that Flynn’s post-election contacts with Russia were improper, let alone unlawful, is absurd. Flynn was the designated national-security adviser for the incoming administration and a key member of the Trump transition team. To have communications with officials of foreign governments was a legitimate and necessary part of his job.

It is worth noting that Flynn had been fired by Obama from his post as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and is despised by Obama intelligence officials for having become an ardent public adversary against Obama’s national-security policy, most prominently as candidate Trump’s most visible supporter. The interest of Obama’s DOJ and FBI in Flynn appears to have intensified after Trump won the election, when Flynn was presumed to be laying groundwork to reverse Obama’s positions — as Trump promised to do throughout the campaign.

While it is only natural that Obama officials would seethe over Flynn’s ascendancy, the suggestion that his post-election contacts with Russia were improper, let alone unlawful, is absurd. Flynn was the designated national-security adviser for the incoming administration and a key member of the Trump transition team. To have communications with officials of foreign governments was a legitimate and necessary part of his job. Plus, Kislyak was a foreign agent subject to FISA surveillance, so the FBI had recordings of his communications with Flynn and knew that Flynn had done nothing improper. (It has been presumed that Flynn’s communications with Kislyak were intercepted because Kislyak, not Flynn, was the subject of a FISA warrant; now, with confirmation that Flynn was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation, we may need to revisit that presumption.)

Whatever prompted the CI investigation of Flynn, the now-unredacted passages of the report recount that it had come to nothing by the end of 2016. The FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, told the committee that “we really had not substantiated anything particularly significant against General Flynn.” As noted above, Comey stated that he had approved the closure of the investigation in late December. It seems strange that the file was not closed at that time. Comey indicated that it was “kept open due to the public discrepancy surrounding General Flynn’s communications with Kislyak.” But that “discrepancy” did not arise until mid January, as Trump’s inauguration neared.

It was not much of a discrepancy, which no doubt factored into the interviewing agents’ perception that Flynn did not make intentional misstatements. To the Obama Justice Department, the pressing matter was whether Flynn had promised the Russian ambassador that Trump would undo the sanctions and other penalties Obama had imposed on December 29. The recorded phone call between Flynn and Kislyak proved that Flynn had made no such commitment.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, what do you suppose the FBI wanted redacted from the report? If you guessed “the paragraph describing the Flynn-Kislyak phone call,” you have caught on to how this wretched game is played. Here’s the paragraph that was originally blacked out:

In the call between General Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak, General Flynn “requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. sanctions in a reciprocal manner.” [Endnote (EN) 90] Russia decided not to reciprocate, which eventually led senior U.S. government officials to try to understand why. [There follows a passage of about two lines followed by EN 91, both redacted.] In a subsequent call with General Flynn, Ambassador Kislyak attributed the action to General Flynn’s request. [EN 92]

I’ve left in the endnotes (report, p. 58) because they confirm that the information in this paragraph comes from a document submitted to the court by Special Counsel Mueller when Flynn pled guilty. (See Statement of the Offense, p. 3, paras. e–g.) It is a public document. To be sure, there is a classified sentence in the middle of the paragraph that may well relate to steps senior U.S. officials took to try to understand Putin’s motive for refraining from retaliating against Obama’s sanctions. But what conceivable good reason can there have been for the FBI and Justice Department to redact from the report information that was already publicly disclosed? Why black out public information showing that Flynn merely did what any Obama official, or any other U.S. official, would have done — namely, suggest that Russia would only make things worse by escalating the dispute?

Is it because this action, simply communicating with the Russian ambassador, is the real reason Flynn was prosecuted?

Yes, yes, I know — technically, Flynn was prosecuted for making false statements about the conversation, not for having the conversation. Obama officials had hoped to nail Flynn on a heinous crime — a corrupt deal to drop the sanctions as a quid pro quo for Putin’s election-meddling that purportedly helped Trump win. Instead, all they could show was a trivial misstep: Flynn’s failure to acknowledge that sanctions were mentioned in his conversation with Kislyak — a mention so innocuous that the FBI couldn’t decide whether Flynn’s failure to describe it was a lie or an innocent failure of recollection.

Is this misstatement really why Flynn was pursued? I don’t think so. Obama officials hounded Flynn because, to this day, they remain vindictive toward political opponents who dared to engage in foreign affairs while Obama was still president. Democrats today are cheering former Secretary of State John Kerry’s rallying of foreign governments against President Trump’s determination to undo Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. They make no mention of possible violations of the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from acting on behalf of the U.S. in foreign-policy matters. Apparently, the Logan Act, which has never been successfully used to prosecute anyone, is alive and well only when it comes to General Flynn.

Testifying before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee in May 2017, former acting attorney general Sally Yates — the same Sally Yates fired by Trump for insubordination over her refusal to execute his so-call travel-ban — explained that it was she who alerted Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn about problems with Flynn. She told him that Flynn’s claim that there had been no discussion of sanctions with Kislyak — an assertion later repeated by Vice President Pence, among other Trump officials, in public statements — was wrong.

Yates stressed, however, that “the first thing we did was to explain to Mr. McGahn that the underlying conduct that General Flynn engaged in was problematic in and of itself.

The underlying conduct. Get it? For Obama officials, the real “crime” was that Flynn was talking to Kislyak in the first place — the Logan Act.

As I’ve previously noted, since this prosecution theory doesn’t pass the laugh test, Obama officials conjured up an alternative “blackmail” theory that is even more ludicrous than the Logan Act bunkum. As Yates told the subcommittee (with a straight face, no less) Russia had “leverage” over Trump’s national-security adviser because the Kremlin knew that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak and, hence, must have lied to Pence — a lie Putin could threaten to reveal unless Flynn did his bidding.

Your average high-school student would readily grasp how silly this is. First, Flynn and Russia also knew that the U.S. intelligence services had a recording of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak. Blackmail only works if the compromising information is secret. The very fact that Yates knew what was on the recording illustrates that Russia had no unique knowledge it could hope to exploit against Flynn. In fact, the Kremlin knew that so many American officials were aware of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak that one of them had leaked it to the Washington Post’s David Ignatiustwo weeks before Yates met with McGahn.

Second, Russia would not have concluded that Flynn necessarily misled Pence just because Pence repeated an inaccuracy. Knowing that misinformation about diplomatic contacts is common, the Kremlin would probably have assumed that the fledgling Trump administration was telling a politically useful lie — the media and Democrats were so agitated about Obama’s sanctions that by merely mentioning them, a Trump official risked cries of “Treason!”

The newly unredacted passages in the House report recount that on January 24, “following a call from Deputy Director McCabe to General Flynn, made at the direction of Director Comey,” two agents were dispatched to speak to Flynn. (Though not identified in the House report, news coverage indicates that one of these agents was Peter Strzok, then chief of the Bureau’s counterespionage section.)

Three days into his job as national-security adviser, Flynn had been meeting with many government national-security agents. Strzok’s visit must have seemed routine. Having no notice that he was to be interrogated as a criminal suspect, Flynn spoke with the agents alone, without a lawyer. But why was he being treated as a suspect? The newly unredacted report elaborates:

The Committee received conflicting testimony from Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Yates, Director Comey, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General [Mary] McCord, and Deputy Director McCabe about whether the primary purpose of the interview was investigating potentially misleading statements to the Vice President, which the Vice President echoed publicly[,] about the content of those calls [EN 94, citing Yates]; a possible violation of the Logan Act [EN 95, citing Yates]; or a desire to obtain more information as part of the counterintelligence investigation into General Flynn. [EN 96, citing McCabe, who did not recall that Comey had authorized closing the counterintelligence investigation a month earlier.]

Ask yourself: Was this passage previously blacked out due to proper concerns about national security, or because the relevant officials couldn’t get their stories straight?

 

DID THE INTERVIEWING AGENTS BELIEVE FLYNN LIED TO THEM?

Interestingly, in her Senate testimony, Yates recalled that McGahn’s commonsense response, upon being told that the FBI had interviewed Flynn on January 24, 2017, was to ask how he did – i.e., did the agents think he lied? Yates primly told the senators that she, of course, had declined to answer that question — as if, having gone this far, she was suddenly concerned about political interference in an ongoing criminal investigation.

We learn from the newly unredacted paragraphs in the House report, however, that Yates had a more strategic reason for declining to answer: Her depiction to McGahn of a cunning, compromised national-security adviser who was a threat to the president would not have been much of a story if she had to admit that the FBI believed Flynn had not lied in his interview.

As earlier described, Comey has expressed bewilderment in recent media appearances over the Intelligence Committee’s assertion, based on his testimony, that interviewing agents did not believe Flynn lied. But now that the previously blacked-out passages have been unredacted, the Committee’s thinking is apparent. The report quotes Comey himself:

[T]he agents . . . discerned no physical indications of deception. They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them. [EN 97, citing then-Director Comey’s closed-session Committee testimony on March 2, 2017.]

To be fair to Comey, we have only this snippet of his testimony. Perhaps there are other sections that would put this passage in a different light. Perhaps he recalls saying something that has not been disclosed and that is more consistent with a conclusion that Flynn lied. That’s why, in addition to unredacting more of the report, there should be broad disclosure of the underlying testimony and interviews that are now classified.

There is no Department of Justice in the Constitution. It is an executive-branch component created by Congress, funded with taxpayer funds appropriated by Congress, and subject to congressional oversight.

At the moment, though, we know two things for sure: 1) Comey unambiguously stated that, at least initially, the agents did not find that Flynn had lied; and 2) as long as Comey was FBI director, Flynn was never charged with lying.

If anything, McCabe’s December 19, 2017, testimony (currently also under lock and key) was even more favorable to Flynn. The report’s newly unredacted passages quote him:

[The] conundrum that we faced on their return from the interview is that although [the agents] didn’t detect deception in the statements that [Flynn] made in the interview . . . the statements were inconsistent with our understanding of the conversation he had actually had with the [Russian] ambassador.

McCabe added, in another just unredacted passage:

The two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying, [which] was not [a] great beginning of a false statement case.

 

CONCLUSION

There is no Department of Justice in the Constitution. It is an executive-branch component created by Congress, funded with taxpayer funds appropriated by Congress, and subject to congressional oversight to ensure that its operations are conducted in accordance with their statutory purposes. Because of the sensitivity of their law-enforcement and intelligence missions, the Justice Department and its premier agency, the FBI, are shown great deference when lawmakers make requests — or even demands — for information. Contrary to what Justice Department leadership apparently believes, this deference is not an entitlement. It is result of respect earned over time by an institution that — its proud alumni like to believe — has a tradition of dealing honorably and transparently with peer branches of government.

It is a fact of life that the precious commodity of a good reputation takes much less time to lose than to build.

Republican committees can carp all they like about Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. The buck stops with the president.

Story 2 : First Lady Melania Trump’s Be Best Initiative — Videos —

First Lady Melania Trump’s Initiative Launch

First Lady Melania Trump’s Initiative Launch

First Lady Melania Trump Unveils ‘Be Best’ Campaign On Child Well-Being | NBC News

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Melania Trump: I’m not a ‘yes’ person … I have thick skin

 

Melania Trump debuts ‘Be Best’ campaign for kids’ well-being

WASHINGTON (AP) – Melania Trump gave a splashy launch Monday to her public awareness campaign to help children, calling it “Be Best.” In a rare twist on their White House roles, she commanded the Rose Garden lectern while President Donald Trump watched from the audience.

The first lady said the “Be Best” campaign will focus on childhood well-being, social media use and opioid abuse.

“As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said.

President Donald Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump following an event where Melania Trump announced her initiatives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 7, 2018. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: "BE BEST." The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump following an event where Melania Trump announced her initiatives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 7, 2018. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: “BE BEST.” The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should ‘be best’ at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life,” she added.

Trump embraced his wife after she finished her speech and kissed her cheeks five times in a rare public display of affection. They held hands as they walked into the Oval Office after Trump signed a proclamation declaring Monday as “Be Best” day.

“America is truly blessed to have a first lady who is so devoted to our country and to our children,” he said before signing the declaration.

The first lady kicked off the event as the White House pushed back against a published report that referenced rumors Mrs. Trump does not live with the president, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denouncing it as “outrageous” and “ridiculous.”

“The first lady lives here at the White House. We see her regularly,” Sanders told reporters. “I think that’s something that belongs in tabloid gossip, not on the front pages of The Washington Post. And I hope that they’ll do better next time.”

The first lady lived full-time in New York during the administration’s opening months so the couple’s son, Barron, now 12, would not have to change schools midyear. She and Barron moved into the White House last June and since then the first lady has gradually been raising her public profile.

Mrs. Trump joined her husband last month to host the prime minister of Japan for a two-day summit at the Trumps’ Florida estate, and the Trumps hosted the president of France at the White House on a three-day state visit, including a lavish state dinner. Mrs. Trump also represented the administration at the April funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

Mrs. Trump’s launch of her platform came as her husband faces questions over $130,000 in hush money paid by one of his attorneys to a porn actress who says she had sex with Trump in 2006. Trump has acknowledged reimbursing his lawyer for the payment to Stormy Daniels, but denies her allegations. Separately, a former Playboy model has revived her allegations of a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006. Trump also denies the allegations from Karen McDougal.

Such reports have kept the first lady’s relationship with her husband under intense scrutiny, and Mrs. Trump has, at times, has been noticeably absent from her husband’s side. But both made a point of displaying affection during the Rose Garden event.

A brief video that played before the first lady appeared recapped some of her public appearances with children. Several Cabinet members attended, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, along with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen. The first lady’s mother, Amalija Knavs, was also in the audience.

During nearly 16 months as first lady, Mrs. Trump has demonstrated her interest in children. She visited young hospital patients in the U.S. and during overseas trips with the president, often reading to them and encouraging them to do their best.

Her interest in the opioid drug crisis has taken her to care centers and hospitals in West Virginia and Ohio to learn about the epidemic’s effect on babies born to mothers addicted to the powerful painkillers. She convened a White House roundtable on the issue last fall.

The first lady invited representatives of major online and social media companies to the White House in March to discuss internet safety, a meeting that came more than a year after she promised to use her White House platform to discourage cyberbullying. Her choice was ridiculed almost immediately, given her husband’s habit of name-calling on Twitter, but Mrs. Trump said at the meeting that she wouldn’t be discouraged from doing what she thinks is right.

Sanders also pushed back Monday against the notion that the president has worsened online bullying.

“When it comes to kids, this is something that has been problematic, and something that we have seen over the last decade,” Sanders said. “And the first lady sees it to be an important issue, and something that she wants to address.”

Written material distributed in support of the initiative includes a booklet adults can use to talk to children about being online. It is similar to one the Federal Trade Commission released during the Obama administration. A spokeswoman for the first lady said the agency asked Mrs. Trump to include the booklet in her materials. The agency also wrote a blog post thanking the first lady for distributing it.

Modern first ladies typically highlight personal causes.

Nancy Reagan encouraged kids to “Just Say No” to drugs, while Barbara Bush and Laura Bush emphasized literacy and education. Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity about a year after moving to the White House.

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

First lady Melania Trump speaks on her initiatives during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: "BE BEST." The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

First lady Melania Trump speaks on her initiatives during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: “BE BEST.” The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump embrace during Melania's "Be Best" initiative event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. Sixteen months into the president's term, Melania Trump unveils plans for her initiatives to improve the well-being of children. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump embrace during Melania’s “Be Best” initiative event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. Sixteen months into the president’s term, Melania Trump unveils plans for her initiatives to improve the well-being of children. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-5700877/Melania-Trump-launches-BE-BEST-awareness-campaign-kids.html#ixzz5EsCZB2RB

 

Looking their best! Melania Trump wears heavy $6,000 LEATHER trench to unveil her ‘Be Best’ campaign in the D.C. heat, while Ivanka looks ladylike in a white bell-sleeve top and shades

  • Melania, 48, launched her ‘Be Best’ initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House on Monday afternoon 
  • The first lady wore a tan Ralph Lauren jacket and a white pencil skirt to take the stage at the event attended by her husband, President Donald Trump 
  • Her stepdaughter Ivanka, 36, donned a white bell-sleeve top and a black belt
  • Ivanka’s husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence, and Kellyanne Conway were also in attendance 
  • The goal of her public awareness campaign is to encourage parents and other adults to teach children how to be good citizens 

Although temperatures were in the high 70s, the 48-year-old first lady opted to wear a tan Ralph Lauren trench, pairing the heavy leather jacket with a white pencil skirt and matching Christian Louboutin pumps to unveil her long-awaited initiative focusing on the well-being of children.

Melania wore her highlighted brown hair loose around her shoulders, and she had a bright smile on her face as she addressed the audience at the event attended by her husband, President Donald Trump, and his daughter Ivanka.

Melania Trump launched her 'Be Best' initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House on Monday afternoon

The first lady wore a $5,990 Ralph Lauren trench jacket despite the soaring temperatures in Washington, D.C.

 FLOTUS unveiled her BE BEST platform and for the special occasion, Melania opted for one of her favorite American designers, Mr. Ralph Lauren.

Melania has worn Ralph Lauren on numerous occasions, most recently while on holiday in Florida. She favors the classic shapes and sophisticated palette that the brand always identifies with.

Shop Melania’s exact same leather trench jacket via Saks Fifth Avenue for a hefty $5990.

Should the near $6K price tag put you off, we have you covered with our more budget conscious picks that are just as chic as Melania’s.

Melania's stepdaughter Ivanka Trump attended the event wearing a white bell-sleeve top 

Melania’s stepdaughter Ivanka Trump attended the event wearing a white bell-sleeve top

Ivanka, 36, looked elegant in a white bell-sleeve top, which she cinched at the waist with a black belt.

The first daughter’s long blonde hair was styled in loose waves around her shoulders, and she donned dark sunglasses to shield her eyes from the afternoon sun.

As guests made their way to the Rose Garden, Ivanka mingled with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the senior adviser appeared to be laughing during their chat.

Ivanka’s husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence, and Kellyanne Conway were also in attendance.

After more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs, and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying, Melania took the stage to launch her ‘Be Best’ campaign on Monday afternoon.

The 38-year-old paired the leather trench with a white skirt and matching pump

Melania's Christian Louboutin pumps feature the brand's trademark red sole and retail for $775
Melania's Christian Louboutin pumps feature the brand's trademark red sole and retail for $775

Melania’s Christian Louboutin pumps feature the brand’s trademark red sole and retail for $775

Melania had a bright smile on her face as she addressed the audience on Monday 

Melania had a bright smile on her face as she addressed the audience on Monday

The first lady wore her highlighted brown hair loose around her shoulders

The first lady wore her highlighted brown hair loose around her shoulders

‘As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and often times turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said in prepared remarks.

‘I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should “be best” at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.’

The first lady said early on that she would focus on child well-being. The goal of her public awareness campaign is to encourage parents and other adults to teach children how to be good citizens, including being kind, not bullying on social media or anywhere else, staying away from drugs and taking care of themselves.

‘If we truly listen to what our kids have to say, whether it be their concerns or ideas, adults can provide them the support and tools they need to grow up to be happy and productive adults who contribute positively to society and their global communities,’ Melania said.

While the first lady was making the announcement, President Trump looked on from the audience before joining her on stage and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

Ivanka, 36, paired her white top with black pants and a black belt to cinch her waist 

Melania's husband, President Donald Trump, was in the front row when she unveiled her 'Be Best' initiative, which aims to encourage adults to teach children how to be good citizens

Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, was in the front row when she unveiled her ‘Be Best’ initiative, which aims to encourage adults to teach children how to be good citizens

Trump clapped for his wife when he joined her on stage after her speech 

The president gave Melania a kiss on the cheek while taking the stage 

Melania wore very little jewelry aside from her diamond wedding band 

Melania wore very little jewelry aside from her diamond wedding band

In addition to sharing some words of his own, Trump signed a proclamation for ‘Be Best’ day while participating in the initiative launch.

Melania’s announcement comes as her husband remains under intense legal pressure from a special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The president is also facing questions over $130,000 in hush money paid by one of his attorneys to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who says she had sex with Trump in 2006. Trump denies her accusation.

During nearly 16 months as first lady, Melania demonstrated her interest in children by visiting with young hospital patients in the U.S. and during overseas trips with the president, often reading to them and encouraging them to do their best.

Her interest in the opioid drug crisis, developed during the presidential campaign, has taken her to care centers and hospitals in West Virginia and Ohio to learn about the epidemic’s effect on babies born to mothers addicted to the powerful painkillers. She convened a White House roundtable on the issue last fall.

Melania watched as Trump signed a proclamation for 'Be Best' day while participating in the initiative launch

Melania watched as Trump signed a proclamation for ‘Be Best’ day while participating in the initiative launch

Melania has demonstrated her interest in children over her past 16 months as first lady 

Melania and her husband held hands as they left the Rose Garden together 

Melania and her husband held hands as they left the Rose Garden together

In March, the first lady hosted representatives of the major online and social media companies at the White House to discuss cyberbullying and internet safety.

That meeting came more than a year after she promised to use her White House platform to discourage cyberbullying. Her choice was ridiculed almost immediately, given her husband’s longtime habit of calling people names on Twitter, but Melania said the criticism wouldn’t discourage her from doing what she thinks is right.

She said on Monday that social media is too often used in negative ways and that it is important for children to learn positive online behaviors at a young age.

‘I do believe that children should be both seen and heard, and it is our responsibility as adults to educate and remind them that when they are using their voices — whether verbally or online — they must choose their words wisely and speak with respect and compassion,’ she said.

Modern first ladies typically highlight personal causes, from Nancy Reagan’s campaign to get kids to ‘Just Say No’ to drugs to the emphasis the late Barbara Bush and her daughter-in-law Laura Bush placed on literacy and education.

Ivanka donned oversize black sunglasses throughout the event 

Ivanka donned oversize black sunglasses throughout the event

The 36-year-old  mingled with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos while guests were arriving 

Ivanka appeared to be laughing at something that was said during the chat 

When Ivanka lifted her arm, she revealed a red string tied around her wrist. It bears a resemblance to the type of red string Kabbalah practitioners wear to ward off the 'evil eye'

Michelle Obama launched her signature ‘Let’s Move’ campaign against childhood obesity about a year after moving to the White House.

Melania took a little more time to pull her initiative together. She did not live in the White House for the first five months of the administration to avoid having their son, Barron, now 12, change schools during the year. She has a smaller staff than her predecessors and only hired her policy director in January of this year.

The first lady plans said she will travel as part of the initiative.

Melania has achieved a new high in her personal approval rating – even as her husband battles the Stormy Daniels’ allegations and the Russia probe.

The first lady’s public approval rating hit 57 per cent in a new CNN poll, up ten percentage points from mid-January.

The first daughter cinched her waist with a black belt featuring a large buckle 

Ivanka gave Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross a kiss while greeting him at the launch

Ivanka gave Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross a kiss while greeting him at the launch

Ivanka's husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner (left), also attended the event 

The couple stood side-by-side while waiting for Melania to unveil her initiative 

Ivanka wore her long blonde hair in loose waves that flowed past her shoulders 

At the start of the year, the first lady’s approval rating was 47 per cent, with an unfavorable rating of 37 per cent. By contrast, her husband’s approval rating is at 42 percent in the latest fivethirtyeight average.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are living highly public – and mostly separate – lives.

‘They spend very little to no time together,’ a longtime friend of the president told the Washington Post, as Melania prepares to roll out her own White House initiatives to focus on children.

Although the pair are sometimes photographed smiling in public as when they attend joint events or board government aircraft en route to Mar-a-Lago, they spend considerable time apart.

They have separate bedrooms inside the White House, and Trump awakes at early hours to lob tweets at his rivals.

‘They are not that couple that holds hands just because; she is old-world European and it’s not who she is,’ said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who previously held a volunteer White House. Her firm got paid $1.62 million for consulting and production related to Trump’s inauguration.

Ivanka's bell-sleeve top was perfect for the weather, which reached 76 degrees on Monday 

The first daughter topped off her outfit with large diamond stud earrings in her ears 

The first daughter topped off her outfit with large diamond stud earrings in her ears

Jared donned a navy suit, a light blue shirt, and a gray tie for his day at the White House 

Jared donned a navy suit, a light blue shirt, and a gray tie for his day at the White House

Jared, 37, was photographed speaking with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Jared, 37, was photographed speaking with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Melania’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, knocked down a ‘persistent rumor’ that the first lady doesn’t even live in the White House and stays with her parents near son Barron Trump’s school.

 ‘It’s 1,000 percent false. We laugh at it all the time,’ Grisham said. White House social secretary Rickie Niceta Lloyd called it an ‘urban legend.’

The two have carved out largely separate public lives. While the president makes regular appearances with his cabinet, staff aides, and world leaders, the first lady focuses on her own, less-frequent events.

When the couple travels to Florida for weekends, the only image of them together is frequently of them boarding and de-boarding an aircraft.

President Trump sent his wife birthday wishes during an appearance on Fox News last month where he said: ‘Maybe, I didn’t get her so much. I got her a beautiful card, you know I’m very busy to be running out looking for presents.’

She hasn’t spoken about the Stormy Daniels scandal that has rocked his administration.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is representing Trump, said he was ‘trying to help the family’ with a $130,000 payment to silence porn star. Daniels alleges she had a sexual affair with Trump while Melania was pregnant with Barron.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5701099/Melania-Ivanka-Trump-look-effortlessly-stylish-White-House-launch.html#ixzz5Ewi1WnVN

 

 

Story 3: Iran and Obama Lied To American People — President Trump’s Goal: Stop Nuclear Proliferation in Far East and Middle East By Diplomacy, Negotiation or Military Means — Videos

See the source image

Is the U.S. being pushed into a possible war with Iran?

Emily Landau: “Iran is strongly, strongly motivated to become a nuclear state”

Published on May 6, 2018

Dr. Emily Landau, one of the foremost experts on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, claims that Iran’s threats to pull out of the deal if Trump tries to renegotiate it are exaggerated – the deal has been great for Iran Read the full story: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-n…

What happens if Trump pulls out of the Iran deal?

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Netanyahu claims Iran hid nuclear weapons program

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$1.3 billion interest payment to Iran raises new questions

U.S. paid $1.3 billion more in cash to Iran

U.S. may have sent Iran $33.6B in cash?

See the source imageImage result for branco cartoons obama iran cash paymentsSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

 

Preventing a nuclear meltdown in the Middle East

Preventing a nuclear meltdown in the Middle East
© Getty Images

U.S. geopolitical and nuclear nonproliferation objectives are on a potential collision course as Saudi Arabia seeks to join the Middle East’s growing nuclear power club by soliciting bids for the construction of two reactors. An agreement between the two countries to allow U.S.-supplied nuclear technology to flow to the kingdom must limit nuclear weapons potential and serve geostrategic objectives.

With the nuclear supplier-recipient relationship lasting up to 100 years, it is important that the United States be a principal nuclear partner with Saudi Arabia. It can provide proven technology, strong regulatory capability, and has a long history of strengthening global nuclear governance and opposing proliferation, providing confidence in the Saudis’ nascent program.

But the pathway to achieving the balance between geopolitical and non-proliferation goals is fraught and the decision-making timeline short, presenting a significant challenge to the Trump administration that conducts the negotiations and the Congress that controls final approval.

If the United States insists that the Saudis renounce the possession of nuclear technologies that have dual civil and weapons uses the negotiations may fail, raising geopolitical and security concerns. If it relies on international norms and guidelines instead, they will need to be firmly enforced and strengthened or risk proliferation concerns.

A major worry about Saudi nuclear ambitions is that it will try to match Iran atom-for-atom by possessing uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons materials. While energy diversity is an underlying rationale for the shift from fossil to nuclear generation, a significant impetus is to respond to the nuclear advances by Iran, its regional competitor. Iran’s nuclear program is currently limited under a multilateral agreement because of its weapons implications, but important restrictions will expire in coming years.

The United States has several nuclear cooperation agreements with nations in the Middle East, including Egypt and Morocco, but the most recent one with the United Arab Emirates is significant. This agreement prohibits enrichment and reprocessing and is dubbed the “gold standard.” This restriction exists in only one other agreement, between Taiwan and the United States. But, post-9/11, it has been proposed as a new threshold for future U.S. nuclear collaboration in the Middle East and beyond.

The Saudis have indicated resistance to this restriction, although they have not stated an intention to enrich uranium and have not publicly expressed an interest in plutonium reprocessing.

A consequence of insistence on the “gold standard” is that it could push the Saudis away from American technology and into the embrace of Russia or China, whose reactors likely will come with fewer strings and a cheaper price. This would open the door to greater geopolitical influence by strategic competitors of the United States undermining its political, nonproliferation and security goals. The choice of South Korea to fill the Saudis’ order, as it did for UAE, could partly serve U.S. interests, but would still require a U.S.-Saudi agreement if controlled American componentry is involved.

An alternative to the “gold standard” requires that the United States focus on ensuring the effectiveness of other constraints. This includes enforcing the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) restrictions on the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology if it may aid a weapons effort and closing loopholes that non-NSG nations could use to skirt the controls. The Saudis can enhance their nonproliferation credentials by accepting the Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. This would allow in-depth verification that its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Bilaterally, the United States maintains consent rights over the use and disposition of the nuclear fuel it provides. An additional step can be copied from the U.S.-South Korea nuclear pact, which faced similar pressures to provide access to weapons capable technologies. It allowed for a multi-year joint examination of a sensitive technology without pre-authorizing its use. A comparable approach would recognize the Saudis’ rights under the Nonproliferation Treaty but eliminate immediate concerns about weapon-grade materials in the kingdom.

Nuclear geopolitical and nonproliferation imperatives cannot be in conflict in the Middle East — both are critically important. There are serious concerns about the dangers posed by the production of weapon-grade materials in the region, including a potential Iran-Saudi nuclear arms race and the temptation for nuclear terrorism. There are equally real dangers that without a central U.S. role in the Saudi program nuclear and global security will suffer.

The balance between these goals can be found, but it will require creativity, compromise and a commitment to limit the inevitable imperfections.

Kenneth N. Luongo is president and founder of the Partnership for Global Security and the Center for a Secure Nuclear Future. He served from 1994-1997 as senior advisor to the Secretary of Energy for Nonproliferation Policy and simultaneously as the Department of Energy’s director of the Office of Arms Control and Nonproliferation.

http://thehill.com/opinion/international/375585-preventing-a-nuclear-meltdown-in-the-middle-east

 

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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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Image result for cartoons on unemployment rate and labor participation

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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

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Labor Force Participation

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Published on Jul 2, 2015

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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

Download:
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
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12471 11950 11689 11760 11654 11751 11335 11279 11270 11136 10787 10404
2014 10235 10365 10435 9724 9740 9474 9610 9602 9266 8972 9064 8704
2015 8951 8634 8578 8546 8662 8265 8206 7996 7891 7884 7948 7907
2016 7811 7806 8024 7942 7465 7812 7723 7827 7919 7761 7419 7502
2017 7642 7486 7171 7021 6837 6964 6956 7127 6759 6524 6616 6576
2018 6684 6706 6585 6346

 

95,745,000: Record Number Not in Labor Force as Boomers Retire

By Susan Jones | May 7, 2018 | 11:40 AM EDT
A growing number of retirees is pushing up the number of Americans counted as “not in the labor force.”

(CNSNews.com) – The number of employed Americans has broken eight records since President Trump took office, but on the not-so-sunny side, the number of Americans not in the labor force also keeps increasing, breaking six records since Trump took office in January 2017.

Last month, a record 95,745,000 Americans were counted as “not in the labor force,” meaning they are not employed and are not seeking a job, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statics. “This category includes retired persons, students, those taking care of children or other family members, and others who are neither working nor seeking work,” BLS said.

With record numbers of people not in the labor force, the labor force participation rate has remained stubbornly low in recent years.

In April, only 62.8 percent of the non-institutionalized, civilian population over the age of 16 was either working or actively looking for work. This compares with an all-time high of 67.3 percent in the first four months of 2000.

In a March 2018 report, the Congressional Budget Office noted that a lower labor force participation rate is associated with lower gross domestic product and lower tax revenues. It is also associated with larger federal outlays, because people who are not in the labor force are more likely to enroll in federal benefit programs, including Social Security.

This past January, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the labor force participation rate will continue to decline over the next 30 years from the current 62.8 percent to 61.0 percent in 2027 and to 59.2 percent in 2047.

According to that report, “The continued retirement of the baby-boom generation is the most important factor driving down the overall participation rate.” The first Baby Boomers — people born between 1946 and 1964 — turned 65 in 2011.

CBO has identified three factors pushing down the participation rate, and three factors pushing it up in future years, as follows:

On the downside:

— First, younger workers who are replacing Baby Boomers in the labor force tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates.

— Second, the share of people receiving disability insurance benefits is generally projected to continue increasing, and people who receive such benefits are less likely to participate in the labor force.

— Third, the marriage rate is projected to continue declining, especially among men, and unmarried men tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates than married men.

On the upside:

— First, the population is becoming more educated, and workers with more education tend to participate in the labor force at higher rates than do people with less education.

— Second, the racial and ethnic composition of the population is changing in ways that increase participation in the labor force. CBO expects Hispanics to make up an increasing share of the population, which would increase the overall labor force participation rate, and it expects non-Hispanic whites to make up a diminishing share, which would decrease the participation rate — resulting, on net, in an increase.

— Third, increasing longevity is expected to lead people to work longer.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/95745000-record-number-americans-not-participating-labor-force-boomers

The U.S. Labor Market: 2017 Review and Outlook

 by Jed Kolko

The US labor market forged ahead in 2017. Job growth was strong and steady after accounting for hurricanes and extreme weather. Unemployment kept falling and wage growth picked up a bit. Best of all—the labor market recovery reached many of the least well-off, including those who were hurt most in the recession.

Still, the good news hasn’t touched everyone. The biggest short-term challenge is not growth, but distribution—some sectors of the economy and a few regions of the country lagged. Furthermore, the welcome narrowing of some labor market gaps in 2017 might turn out to be temporary. The labor market also faces longer-term challenges from technological disruption and polarization. In short, behind the successes of 2017, we found plenty to watch, wonder and even worry about in the year ahead.

A look back at 2017: leaps and momentum, with room to grow

The labor market made impressive gains this past year. October 2017 was the 85th consecutive month of job growth. So far in 2017, monthly job growth has averaged 169,000—down modestly from previous years, but more than we’d expect after so many years of recovery and expansion. Job growth is also still far ahead of what’s needed to keep up with low working-age population growth.

The result is more people are working. Two key measures improved notably: The U-6 rate, a broad measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those involuntarily working part time, fell from 9.2% in December 2016 to 7.9% in October 2017. And, over the same period, the share of 25–54 year-olds at work rose to 78.8% from 78.2%. Not only are these measures improving, but they’re improving at the same rate or better than they were a year ago. Even after years of gains, the labor market recovery still has momentum.

What’s more, the labor market probably still has room to grow. Granted, the market looks very tight by some measures. The headline unemployment rate (U-3) is 4.1%, its lowest point since the end of 2000. There are nearly as many job openings as unemployed workers. Employers are laying off fewer workers today than in the early 2000s.

But other measures suggest there’s still slack. Several key measures of the labor market haven’t returned to their 2000 levels, including the broad U-6 unemployment rate, the share of people unemployed for more than six months, and the employment-to-population ratio among people of prime working age. These indicators stand in contrast to the measure that gets the most attention—the narrower headline unemployment rate, which doesn’t count people who are willing and able to work but aren’t looking. Thus, the headline rate probably overstates labor market tightness.

Wage trends also point to some remaining slack. Wage growth has averaged 2.6% year-over-year throughout 2017, similar to 2016 and ahead of the pace from 2010 to 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report.

Why haven’t wages risen even faster in 2017 as the unemployment rate has dropped? It’s partly a measurement issue. The measure of wage growth in the jobs report probably understates 2017 wage gains. The BLS releases an alternative measure of wages and benefits that accounts for changes in the job mix—and that indicator has accelerated in 2017. Furthermore, this alternative measure has historically tracked the employment-to-population ratio among prime-age workers closely. Today, this measure of wage growth is what we’d expect for the improving, but not gangbusters, prime-age employment-to-population ratio.

Thus, the headline unemployment rate probably overstates labor market tightness, while wage growth in the jobs report probably understates 2017 wage gains. That means, first, there may be more room for employment to expand. And, second, wage growth is neither quite as slow nor as puzzling as it initially appears.

Even better news: labor market gaps narrowed in 2017

By themselves, solid job expansion, falling unemployment and strengthening wage growth would be reason enough to cheer 2017. But there’s more—the greatest gains have gone to the people who needed them most. The least well-off and those hurt most by the recession typically saw larger employment and wage increases than others. Thus, labor market inequalities narrowed in 2017.

Let’s look first at industries. Over the past year, employment increased most in middle-wage industries, such as couriers and messengers, non-store retailers and homebuilding contractors. Middle-wage industries fared worst during the recession, losing more jobs than both higher- and lower-wage industries. Their newfound strength is a welcome rebound.

Strikingly, after losing jobs in 2016, manufacturing grew 1.3% in the past year, nearly the same pace as employment overall. In addition, wages rose most in lower-wage industries, as they have for several years. Wages in lower-wage industries were up 3.6% in September 2017 year-over-year versus 2.6% in middle-wage and 2.5% in higher-wage industries.

These trends translate to better conditions for people with fewer advantages in the labor market—including those with less education. Whatever the measure—unemployment, earnings or risk from automation—people with more education typically fare better in the labor market. But, over the past year, people with a high school degree or less have notched the biggest employment gains, whether measured by the unemployment rate or the employment-to-population ratio. This group has also had proportionally bigger wage gains than people with a bachelor’s or graduate degree.

Inevitably though, not every corner of the labor market is thriving. Job growth has been slower in the Northeast and Midwest than in the South and West. In fact, ten of the 103 largest metros lost jobs in the past year, including several in the Great Lakes region.

We find laggards not only by geography, but also by sector. Three sectors lost jobs in the past year. Employment in the information sector was dragged down by losses in motion pictures, broadcast outlets and telecoms. The retail sector overall lost jobs, particularly brick-and-mortar stores that directly face online competitors. At the same time, non-store retailers and related industries like couriers and warehouses gained.

The places and industries left behind are not our only labor market concerns. We’ve also got our eye on several big questions for next year.

What to watch, wonder and worry about in 2018

Let’s start with the too-much-of-a-good-thing worry. If the labor market tightens further—or if, as some argue, the market is already so tight that it has little room to grow—what challenges will we contend with? That leads to our first big question:

ONE: How will employers respond to a tightening labor market? Falling unemployment and rising wages for people with less education are drawing in job seekers and raising their expectations. On the Indeed site, searches for full-time work have increased, but not for part-time work. But good news for workers brings challenges for employers. Companies may have to raise wages, relax hiring requirements or invest more in on-the-job training, and they might struggle to fill part-time jobs. Tellingly, more job-seekers are searching using terms like “no background check” and “felony-friendly” jobs. And employers looking for technical workers might also face the additional challenge of future restrictions on immigration to the US and the rising interest of US tech workers in Canadian jobs.

Then there are longer-term concerns. We have big questions about why people remain out of work, whether labor market polarization will increase again and how people whose jobs disappear will manage.

TWO: Will fewer workers be sidelined by illness and disability? The share of prime-age adults who aren’t working because of illness or disability has risen from 2% in 1970 to over 5% today, and the percentages are much higher for adults with a high school degree or less. This long-term trend has worsened with the opioid crisis. Some in this category may never work again. But there is a glimmer of good news: Illness and disability is keeping fewer people out of work today than in 2015. The tightening labor market—especially for less-educated adults—may be lifting wages enough to lure some of these adults back to work.

THREE: Will labor market gaps start widening again? The narrowing of employment and wage gaps in 2017 might not last. Although middle-wage jobs grew fastest in the past year, polarization of the labor force could return. The latest BLS projections point to faster job growth in high-wage and low-wage jobs, with slower growth of middle-wage jobs and for people with a high school degree or less.

Plus, geographic gaps are likely to worsen. Job growth today is faster in larger metros than in smaller metros or rural areas. Future job growth will probably continue to lag in rural areas, where slower-growing occupations are concentrated. In contrast, the fastest-growing occupations are clustered in places like the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Washington DC, and other expensive coastal markets. In particular, higher-paying, cutting-edge tech jobs increasingly are concentrated in top tech hubs.

FOUR: How will workers manage painful disruptions? Hard as it may be to believe, there is less disruption and churn in the labor market today than in the early 2000s and much less than in the 1940s and 1950s. In fact, economists worry that there’s too little job-switching, business turnover and mobility, not too much. Still, for people whose jobs are being disrupted by automation or globalization, the pain is real. And it’s not just factory workers and farmers. Most of the jobs in shrinking occupations are now in service positions like secretaries and data-entry work. People in threatened occupations are looking at opportunities in new fields. On Indeed’s site, we see truckers checking out mining and heavy-equipment-operation jobs, while retail workers are clicking on customer service and sales-rep roles.

Those are some of the questions we’ll be looking at next year. Both the best news from 2017 and some of our top concerns for 2018 are about the distribution of labor market gains, not the overall growth rate. The labor market is entering 2018 with strength and momentum, and these longer-term challenges are moving—as they should be—into the foreground.

https://www.hiringlab.org/2017/12/05/2017-us-labor-market-outlook/

 

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until           USDL-18-0683
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, May 4, 2018.

Technical information:
 Household data:     (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data: (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:      (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- APRIL 2018


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in April, and the unemployment
rate edged down to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care,
and mining.

Household Survey Data

In April, the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, following 6 months at 4.1
percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 6.3 million, also edged down over the
month. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women decreased to
3.5 percent in April. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), teenagers
(12.9 percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (2.8 percent),
and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary
jobs declined by 188,000 in April to 3.0 million. (See table A-11.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little
changed at 1.3 million in April and accounted for 20.0 percent of the unemployed.
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 340,000. (See
table A-12.)

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-
population ratio, at 60.3 percent, changed little in April. (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 5.0 million in
April. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were
working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were unable
to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In April, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
by 172,000 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 408,000 discouraged workers in April,
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 1.0 million persons 
marginally attached to the labor force in April 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 164,000 in April, compared with an
average monthly gain of 191,000 over the prior 12 months. In April, job gains
occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care, and
mining. (See table B-1.)

In April, employment in professional and business services increased by 54,000. Over
the past 12 months, the industry has added 518,000 jobs.

Employment in manufacturing increased by 24,000 in April. Most of the gain was in
the durable goods component, with machinery adding 8,000 jobs and employment in
fabricated metal products continuing to trend up (+4,000). Manufacturing employment
has risen by 245,000 over the year, with about three-fourths of the growth in durable
goods industries.

Health care added 24,000 jobs in April and 305,000 jobs over the year. In April,
employment rose in ambulatory health care services (+17,000) and hospitals (+8,000).

In April, employment in mining increased by 8,000, with most of the gain occurring
in support activities for mining (+7,000). Since a recent low in October 2016,
employment in mining has risen by 86,000.

Employment changed little over the month in other major industries, including
construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing,
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 April. In manufacturing, the workweek increased by 0.2 hour to 41.1
hours, while overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.7 hours. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by
0.1 hour to 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 4 cents to $26.84. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by
67 cents, or 2.6 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $22.51 in April. (See tables B-3
and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised down from
+326,000 to +324,000, and the change for March was revised up from +103,000 to
+135,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were
30,000 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 208,000 over the last 3 months.

_____________
The Employment Situation for May is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 1, 2018,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

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

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
Change from:
Mar.
2018-
Apr.
2018

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,588 256,934 257,097 257,272 175

Civilian labor force

160,181 161,921 161,763 161,527 -236

Participation rate

62.9 63.0 62.9 62.8 -0.1

Employed

153,161 155,215 155,178 155,181 3

Employment-population ratio

60.2 60.4 60.4 60.3 -0.1

Unemployed

7,021 6,706 6,585 6,346 -239

Unemployment rate

4.4 4.1 4.1 3.9 -0.2

Not in labor force

94,407 95,012 95,335 95,745 410

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.4 4.1 4.1 3.9 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.9 3.7 3.7 3.7 0.0

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.1 3.8 3.7 3.5 -0.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

14.7 14.4 13.5 12.9 -0.6

White

3.9 3.7 3.6 3.6 0.0

Black or African American

7.9 6.9 6.9 6.6 -0.3

Asian

3.2 2.9 3.1 2.8 -0.3

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.2 4.9 5.1 4.8 -0.3

Total, 25 years and over

3.6 3.4 3.4 3.3 -0.1

Less than a high school diploma

6.5 5.7 5.5 5.9 0.4

High school graduates, no college

4.6 4.4 4.3 4.3 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.7 3.5 3.6 3.5 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1 -0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,538 3,279 3,146 2,958 -188

Job leavers

785 780 864 815 -49

Reentrants

2,044 1,948 1,967 2,009 42

New entrants

707 704 625 623 -2

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,300 2,508 2,287 2,115 -172

5 to 14 weeks

2,140 1,906 2,009 2,017 8

15 to 26 weeks

1,087 934 880 1,036 156

27 weeks and over

1,633 1,397 1,322 1,293 -29

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,309 5,160 5,019 4,985 -34

Slack work or business conditions

3,183 3,302 3,005 2,994 -11

Could only find part-time work

1,787 1,541 1,625 1,586 -39

Part time for noneconomic reasons

20,406 21,061 21,399 21,258 -141

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,534 1,602 1,454 1,362

Discouraged workers

455 373 450 408

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

 

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018(P)
Apr.
2018(P)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

175 324 135 164

Total private

174 321 135 168

Goods-producing

16 107 20 49

Mining and logging

11 9 8 8

Construction

-5 67 -10 17

Manufacturing

10 31 22 24

Durable goods(1)

4 26 21 18

Motor vehicles and parts

-0.2 4.4 0.5 -0.9

Nondurable goods

6 5 1 6

Private service-providing

158 214 115 119

Wholesale trade

5.6 3.4 10.3 -9.8

Retail trade

-4.2 46.0 6.2 1.8

Transportation and warehousing

3.0 17.8 15.7 0.4

Utilities

-0.6 1.4 -0.3 1.0

Information

-11 -1 6 7

Financial activities

13 29 4 2

Professional and business services(1)

50 61 39 54

Temporary help services

5.5 22.2 -2.1 10.3

Education and health services(1)

46 32 24 31

Health care and social assistance

44.0 43.8 32.0 29.3

Leisure and hospitality

49 18 8 18

Other services

7 7 2 14

Government

1 3 0 -4

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

149 225 212 208

Total private

149 228 215 208

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.5 49.6 49.6 49.6

Total private women employees

48.1 48.2 48.2 48.2

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.4 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.4 34.5 34.5 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$26.17 $26.74 $26.80 $26.84

Average weekly earnings

$900.25 $922.53 $924.60 $925.98

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

106.9 108.9 109.1 109.2

Over-the-month percent change

0.4 0.6 0.2 0.1

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

133.8 139.3 139.7 140.1

Over-the-month percent change

0.7 0.7 0.3 0.3

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (258 industries)

60.5 70.2 64.1 57.6

Manufacturing (76 industries)

54.6 72.4 64.5 53.9

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(P) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2017 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

Story 2: President Trump Address 87,000 Plus National Rifle Association Members in Dallas, Texas — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018, Story 1: White House National Day of Prayer — Faith, Family, Friends, Freedom ~ First — President Trump’s Address — “I’m praying for you.” — Videos — Story 2: The Great One Mark Levin Tells It Like It Is — Is Anyone In White House and Trump Legal Team Listening? — Videos — Story 3: National Security Agency (NSA) Continues Spying On American People — Secret Surveillance Spying Security State (S5) — Turnkey Tyranny — Videos

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Story 1: National Day of Prayer — Faith, Family, Friends, Freedom ~ First — President Trump’s Address — Videos

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President Trump Speaks at White House’s National Day of Prayer Event – May 3, 2018

President Trump Attends the National Day of Prayer

5/3/18: White House Press Briefing

2018 – Proclamation

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2018

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

On this National Day of Prayer, we join together to offer gratitude for our many blessings and to acknowledge our need for divine wisdom, guidance, and protection.  Prayer, by which we affirm our dependence on God, has long been fundamental to our pursuit of freedom, peace, unity, and prosperity.  Prayer sustains us and brings us comfort, hope, peace, and strength.  Therefore, we must cherish our spiritual foundation and uphold our legacy of faith.

Prayer has been a source of guidance, strength, and wisdom since the founding of our Republic.  When the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia to contemplate freedom from Great Britain, the delegates prayed daily for guidance.  Their efforts produced the Declaration of Independence and its enumeration of the self-evident truths that we all cherish today.  We believe that all men and women are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Prayer sustained us and gave us the strength to endure the sacrifices and suffering of the American Revolution and to temper the triumph of victory with humility and gratitude.  Notably, as one of its first acts, our newly formed Congress appointed chaplains of the House of Representatives and Senate so that all proceedings would begin with prayer.

As a Nation, we have continued to seek God in prayer, including in times of conflict and darkness.  At the height of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for prayer “for the vision to see our way clearly ‑‑ to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men ‑‑ and to the achievement of His will to peace on earth.”  Decades later, following one of the darkest days in our Nation’s history, President George W. Bush offered this prayer for our heartbroken country, mourning the precious souls who perished in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001:  “We ask Almighty God to watch over our Nation, and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come.  We pray that He will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow.  We thank Him for each life we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come.”

America has known peace, prosperity, war, and depression ‑‑ and prayer has sustained us through it all.  May our Nation and our people never forget the love, grace, and goodness of our Maker, and may our praise and gratitude never cease.  On this National Day of Prayer, let us come together, all according to their faiths, to thank God for His many blessings and ask for His continued guidance and strength.

In 1988, the Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer, “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3 as a National Day of Prayer.  I encourage all Americans to observe this day, reflecting on the blessings our Nation has received and the importance of prayer, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in their houses of worship, communities, and places of work, schools, and homes.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP

http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/2018_proclamation

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Can a sitting president be prosecuted? Might Donald Trump, or any president, face the prospect of jail?

A memorandum of law, written in 1998 but released last week, concludes that the answer is a qualified “yes.” The memorandum was written by Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda, who was then at the University of Illinois, for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed to investigate President Bill Clinton.

Rotunda’s memorandum is learned, illuminating and impressively detailed. The issue is both tough and unsettled. But there’s a better answer: an unqualified “no.”

The drafters of the Constitution spent a lot of time on the question of how to respond to presidential wrongdoing. Their remedy was impeachment (by the House of Representatives) and then conviction (by the Senate), which could occur for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

But what happens if the president is convicted by the Senate? Here’s the constitutional answer:

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

A reasonable interpretation of this provision is that it sets out a temporal sequence: Impeachment, then conviction and removal from office — and only after that, indictment, trial, judgment and punishment.

Alexander Hamilton seemed to read the provision exactly that way: “The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law.”

That means you can’t indict and try a sitting president. He has to be removed first.

True, this interpretation isn’t inevitable. You could read the text to mean only that the consequence of conviction is removal from office, and that a convicted president can be prosecuted — but to be silent on, and so not to resolve, the question whether a president can be prosecuted for crimes while in office. On that interpretation, nothing in the Constitution rules out a prosecution of the president for (say) obstruction of justice or for perjury.

Rotunda also emphasizes that a president might commit crimes, such as battery, shoplifting and document destruction, that may not be “high” in the constitutional sense, and so not a legitimate basis for impeachment. If he’s immune from prosecution, does the president get a free ride? Since the founders believed no one should be above the law, Rotunda doesn’t think that makes a lot of sense.

Importantly, though, he does not contend that the president can be prosecuted for actions he undertakes in his official capacity. His conclusion that a sitting president can be prosecuted is strictly limited to actions committed before becoming president, and actions that a president does not undertake in his role as president, such as Clinton’s alleged perjury. (True, the line between the official and unofficial acts can be thin.)

The problem with Rotunda’s argument is that presidential immunity from criminal prosecution — while in office — is a pretty reasonable inference from the constitutional design. Whether or not you like the current occupant of the Oval Office, he has an awesome array of responsibilities. Even on a slow day, numerous decisions reach his desk. They might involve potential terrorist attacks, a looming epidemic, immigration or air pollution. Facing a criminal prosecution seems fatally incompatible with the president’s constitutional role.

Aware of this argument, Rotunda notes that the Supreme Court allowed Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit to go forward against Bill Clinton, notwithstanding Clinton’s argument that to do his job, a sitting president needs to have immunity against such lawsuits. Among other things, the Supreme Court answered that trial judges could find ways to accommodate the president’s schedule. Why isn’t the same thing true for a criminal prosecution?

That’s a fair question, but a criminal proceeding is unique, and the problem isn’t really about scheduling. Realistically speaking, any White House would be pretty well disabled if the president is under a criminal indictment and faces the prospect of trial and imprisonment.

Rotunda is aware of the risk, and leaves open the possibility that imprisonment itself might be delayed, so that the prosecution would not compete with the impeachment mechanism. But that’s hardly sufficient. The question is whether the president’s ability to perform his constitutional functions would be impaired by the prosecution itself. There’s little doubt that it would.

Does this mean that the president is above the law? Not at all. In cases of serious wrongdoing, and breaches of public trust, the Constitution provides a remedy: impeachment.

Story 3: National Security Agency (NSA) Continues Spying On American People — Secret Surveillance Spying Security State (S5) — Turnkey Tyranny — Videos

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NSA collected 500 million U.S. call records in 2017

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Bill Binney: Trump was spied on before taking office

Bill Binney: NSA “drum up a new cold war”

Bill Binney: The constitution is being violated

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Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records: official report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said.

 

FILE PHOTO: The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters is seen in Fort Meade, Maryland, U.S. February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after U.S. lawmakers passed a law in 2015 that sought to limit its ability to collect such records in bulk.

The spike in collection of call records coincided with an increase reported on Friday across other surveillance methods, raising questions from some privacy advocates who are concerned about potential government overreach and intrusion into the lives of U.S. citizens.

The 2017 call records tally remained far less than an estimated billions of records collected per day under the NSA’s old bulk surveillance system, which was exposed by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

The records collected by the NSA include the numbers and time of a call or text message, but not their content.

Overall increases in surveillance hauls were both mystifying and alarming coming years after Snowden’s leaks, privacy advocates said.

“The intelligence community’s transparency has yet to extend to explaining dramatic increases in their collection,” said Robyn Greene, policy counsel at the Washington-based Open Technology Institute that focuses on digital issues.

The government “has not altered the manner in which it uses its authority to obtain call detail records,” Timothy Barrett, a spokesman at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the annual report, said in a statement.

The NSA has found that a number of factors may influence the amount of records collected, Barrett said. These included the number of court-approved selection terms, which could be a phone number of someone who is potentially the subject of an investigation, or the amount of historical information retained by phone service providers, Barrett said.

“We expect this number to fluctuate from year to year,” he said.

U.S. intelligence officials have said the number of records collected would include multiple calls made to or from the same phone numbers and involved a level of duplication when obtaining the same record of a call from two different companies.

Friday’s report also showed a rise in the number of foreigners living outside the United States who were targeted under a warrantless internet surveillance program, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that Congress renewed earlier this year.

That figure increased to 129,080 in 2017 from 106,469 in 2016, the report said, and is up from 89,138 targets in 2013, or a cumulative rise over five years of about 45 percent.

U.S. intelligence agencies consider Section 702 a vital tool to protect national security but privacy advocates say the program incidentally collects an unknown number of communications belonging to Americans.

 

 

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Can the Presidency Trump a Special Counsel Subpoena?

By Steve VladeckBenjamin Wittes

Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 5:15 PM

The possibility that Special Counsel Robert Mueller might issue a subpoena to President Trump to compel him to testify before a federal grand jury has, understandably, provoked questions: Can the President be forced to testify if he refuses to give Mueller an interview voluntarily? What has the Supreme Court said on the subject? And if the staring match between Team Trump and Team Mueller becomes litigation, who is likely to win?

The bottom line, in our view, is that Mueller would probably prevail if and when a battle over a grand-jury subpoena makes its way into court. But it is not a sure thing, and the president has plausible arguments available to him that a court would have to work through before enforcing a subpoena for his testimony.

By far the most important precedent here is United States v. Nixon—the landmark 1974 Supreme Court decision in which an 8-0 court held that President Nixon could be forced to comply with a subpoena to produce some of the previously undisclosed “Watergate tapes” to Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski. Jaworksi sought to use the tapes as evidence in the criminal case against the so-called “Watergate seven” (a case in which Nixon himself was an unindicted co-conspirator). Nixon has some caveats (more on these below), but its analytical framework is the starting point for any discussion of a subpoena to the president.

That analytical framework treats the validity of the subpoena on its face as a separate question from whether the president might have a case-specific reason to seek to quash it. Thus, Part III of Chief Justice Warren Burger’s opinion for the court focused solely on whether the subpoena was facially valid—an analysis that turned on the three requirements of Rule 17(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, i.e., that the subpoena seek specific, relevant, and admissible evidence from the recipient. As the court explained, “where a subpoena is directed to a President of the United States,” courts, “in deference to a coordinate branch of Government, should be particularly meticulous to ensure that the standards of Rule 17(c) have been correctly applied.” But if those standards were met, the fact that the recipient was the President of the United States was not, on its face, a reason to quash the subpoena.

Instead, in Part IV of the opinion, the court turned to whether the president could invoke a specific defense against enforcement. And although the court agreed with President Nixon that the Constitution recognizes an “executive privilege” against disclosure of confidential, internal executive branch communications, it nevertheless held that such a privilege was not absolute. Instead, the court famously concluded that the privilege was overcome in Nixon’s case by “the fundamental demands of due process of law in the fair administration of criminal justice. The generalized assertion of privilege must yield to the demonstrated, specific need for evidence in a pending criminal trial.” Given that the party requesting the evidence in Nixon was the prosecutor, not the defendant, this holding necessarily took a rather dim view of the strength of an executive privilege claim in the face of a valid subpoena.

The rest, of course, was history. President Nixon ended up complying with the subpoena and turning over the tapes—which sealed his political fate. Just over two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled, Nixon resigned to ward off his near-certain impeachment and removal.

The subpoena Mueller would issue here differs in a potentially important respects from the one at issue in Nixon. The most important difference is that a Mueller subpoena would demand not material like the tapes or documents for use at a trial, but testimony from the president before a grand jury. That is, it would be a subpoena for the president to personally appear and give testimony, as opposed to produce documentary evidence. And it would be testimony at an earlier stage in the proceedings—before the grand jury, rather than subsequent to the return of a grand jury indictment.

Would either of these likely lead the federal courts today to reach a different conclusion? It’s certainly possible, but count us skeptical.

The forum question seems like an easy one. It is certainly true that a grand jury subpoena is different from a subpoena in conjunction with a criminal trial. But it’s not clear at all that those differences militate in favor of the recipient of the grand jury subpoena; the courts have, in fact, suggested the opposite. As the Supreme Court explained in United States v. R Enterprises in 1991, “The multifactor test announced in Nixon would invite procedural delays and detours while courts evaluate the relevancy and admissibility of documents sought by a particular subpoena. We have expressly stated that grand jury proceedings should be free of such delays,” and so “the Nixon standard does not apply in the context of grand jury proceedings.” Instead, under R Enterprises, “the motion to quash must be denied unless the district court determines that there is no reasonable possibility that the category of materials the Government seeks will produce information relevant to the general subject of the grand jury’s investigation.”

The stronger argument on behalf on Trump, in our view, would be that demanding testimony in person is meaningfully distinct from demanding the production of requested documents. But it’s not clear that the legal distinction would favor a sitting president. For starters, whereas a subpoena for specific documents could be met by a litigation-inducing claim of executive (or state secrets) privilege, a subpoena for testimony cannot be, because it won’t be the case that the answer to every conceivable question is protected by the privilege. Among other things, executive privilege doesn’t apply to conduct predating the president’s time in office, and it also could not be used to decline to answer questions about matters on the public record. At most executive privilege could be used to decline to answer specific questions, not to refuse to testify at all.

Of course, the president, like any witness, is entitled to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. But leaving aside the (monumental) political implications of such a move, it is also not an absolute bar to being called to testify—though it often functions that way in practice. At least theoretically, the Fifth Amendment does not preclude a subject from appearing before a grand jury. It merely provides a basis to decline to answer specific questions—a right to remain silent. In any event, the special counsel, like any prosecutor, can overcome an invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege by providing the president with “use and derivative use immunity”—that is, by immunizing him against the use of his testimony and any evidence derived from it to prosecute him.

The president could plausibly rely upon a new argument as well—that having to take time from his duties to sit before a grand jury (as opposed to producing physical evidence in his custody) would interfere with his Article II authority on a more general basis. Indeed, an 1818 opinion by Attorney General William Wirt (quoted in a 2000 OLC opinion) suggested that, “[a] subpoena ad testificandum may I think be properly awarded to the President of the U.S. But if the presence of the chief magistrate be required at the seat of government by his official duties, I think those duties paramount to any claim which an individual can have upon him, and that his personal attendance on the court from which the summons proceeds ought to be, and must, of necessity, be dispensed with.” Modern travel aside, those concerns seem far less serious to us when the subpoena asks the president to testify in “the seat of government.”

The more serious problem with this argument is that it is suspiciously like the one the court rejected unanimously in Clinton v. Jones, in which the court concluded that a sitting president is not absolutely immune from civil litigation for conduct that took place before he became president. Bill Clinton, in that case, argued that forcing a sitting president to answer a civil complaint would unduly distract him from his duties as president. In the course of reviewing the relevant precedents, Justice John Paul Stevens offered the following observations:

it is … settled that the President is subject to judicial process in appropriate circumstances. Although Thomas Jefferson apparently thought otherwise, Chief Justice Marshall, when presiding in the treason trial of Aaron Burr, ruled that a subpoena duces tecum could be directed the President. We unequivocally and emphatically endorsed Marshall’s position when we held that President Nixon was obligated to comply with a subpoena commanding him to produce certain tape recordings of his conversations with his aides. . . .

Sitting Presidents have responded to court orders to provide testimony and other information with sufficient frequency that such interactions between the Judicial and Executive Branches can scarcely be thought a novelty. President Monroe responded to written interrogatories, President Nixon—as noted above—produced tapes in response to a subpoena duces tecum, President Ford complied with an order to give a deposition in a criminal trial, and President Clinton has twice given videotaped testimony in criminal proceedings. Moreover, sitting Presidents have also voluntarily complied with judicial requests for testimony. President Grant gave a lengthy deposition in a criminal case under such circumstances, and President Carter similarly gave videotaped testimony for use at a criminal trial.

In the end, Justice Stevens concluded that the burden on the presidency of having to answer a civil complaint from a mere individual citizen was not so great as to require immunity:

Although scheduling problems may arise, there is no reason to assume that the district courts will be either unable to accommodate the President’s needs or unfaithful to the tradition—especially in matters involving national security—of giving “the utmost deference to Presidential responsibilities.” Several Presidents, including [Clinton], have given testimony without jeopardizing the Nation’s security. In short, we have confidence in the ability of our federal judges to deal with … these concerns.

The “interference” arising from a specific grand jury demand for testimony is arguably less serious than the interference of being generally subject to civil litigation from anyone who serves the president with a complaint. Moreover, the interests of the grand jury are generally regarded as far weightier than the interests of any private civil litigant. It’s hard to see how the courts could contend that the President must answer a civil complaint from Paula Jones but then contend that he need not answer a criminal investigative subpoena from a grand jury issued at the behest of the United States Department of Justice.

It’s possible, of course, that new concerns might arise that haven’t been addressed by these decisions. It is also possible that the current Supreme Court, which includes only four of the justices who heard Clinton, would see matters differently. But based on the law as it stands today, we think it unlikely that the the president could successfully oppose a facially valid subpoena for grand jury testimony.

The president, of course, could refuse to comply with a subpoena even after it has been upheld by the Supreme Court. As the story goes, President Nixon seriously contemplated such a course after the Supreme Court ruled against him in July 1974. In such a circumstance, the ultimate question would not be up to the courts, but rather to Congress. Nixon eventually concluded that defying the Supreme Court would only hasten his impeachment. Whatever else may be said about the law and politics of such a confrontation, we hope we never have to find out whether the current president would see things the same way.

This post is cross-posted on Just Security.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/can-presidency-trump-special-counsel-subpoena

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018, Story 1: Survival of The Fittest: President Trump (Old School: Real Estate and Brands) vs. Amazons’s Bezos (New School: Internet/Price/Voice and Retailer Monopoly) — Rank and Yank — Consumer Sovereignty vs. Government Intervention — Democrats — Republicans — Independents — Entrepreneurs — Hustle — Videos — Story 2: Will The Economy Grow At Above 3% Rate in 2018? — Video

Posted on March 28, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, College, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Survival of The Fittest: President Trump (Old School: Real Estate and Brands) vs. Amazons’s Bezos (New School: Price/Voice and Retailer) — Rank and Yank — Consumer Sovereignty vs. Government Interevention with Antitrust Laws — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

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The Libertarian Angle: Consumer Sovereignty and the Free Market

Monopoly, Competition, and Antitrust | Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Monopoly and Competition (by Murray N. Rothbard)

Entrepreneurship, Austrian Economics, and the Cryptorevolution | Patrick Byrne

Overstock.com’s CEO Wants To Undermine Wall Street With The Tech Behind Bitcoin (HBO)

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne on Gary Johnson, Trump vs. Clinton, and Blockchain for the Stock Market

Overstock’s Patrick Byrne on Bitcoin, Net Neutrality, and Mixed Martial Arts

Classical Liberalism: The Decline and Triumph of Classical Liberalism (Pt. 2) – Learn Liberty

Milton Friedman – Monopoly

Milton Friedman – Solutions to Market Failures

Milton Friedman – The Proper Role of Government

Milton Friedman explains how to deal with monopolies

Milton Friedman – Morality & Capitalism

Why I’m Against Antitrust Laws

Chicago School vs. Austrian School: Four Types of Libertarianism

How Does Amazon Make Money?

Scott Galloway – How Amazon is Dismantling Retail

50 Alexa Voice Commands (Amazon Echo)

Alexa, are you connected to the CIA? Can the CIA hear me now?

Amazon Echo & Alexa 10 Everyday Uses

Google Home vs Amazon Alexa

Introducing Echo Plus

What Brands Should Do in 2018

LEAKED: CIA $600 Million Amazon Contract – Trump/Bezos

How The Washington Post’s New Owner Aided the CIA, Blocked WikiLeaks & Decimated Book Industry 2/2

Amazon’s Bezos buys Washington Post: Is NYT next?

Jeff Bezos, The Post and the Future of Print

MUST SEE: Trump Calls Out Media and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Says He LOVES PROTESTERS at Ft. Worth Rally

People Don’t Really Want To Be Entrepreneurs | New York City Vlog

Why I REALLY Became a Millionaire

How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

How To Go From Zero to $10 Million on Amazon

How To Build A $10,000,000 Online Brand On Amazon | Ryan Moran

How to Build a $10 Million Business You Can Sell (The 8-Figure Pyramid)

How To Create A Million Dollar Business

How to Find Products That Sell

The Amazon Product Launch – Ryan Daniel Moran at Amazing Selling Machine 2014

How To Sell On Amazon FBA For Beginners (A Complete, Step-By-Step Tutorial)

5 Mistakes I Made on Amazon when I First Started Selling (that cost me $10k in lost sales!)

Amazon FBA For Beginners: What they don’t want you to know | Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Is Amazon FBA Dead?! (WATCH THIS before starting your business)

The Day I Became an Entrepreneur for Life

YOUNG (or new) Entrepreneurs Need These Tips to Avoid Failing

$36,000 in ONE Day! (This KILLS Cyber Monday) Amazon Seller Meetup

My Blueprint to 7 Figure Product Selection | Matt Loberstein – LA AMAZON MEETUP

HOW I Sold Over $400,000 in 30 DAYS! (Best Amazon FBA Tips & Strategy)

From $0 to $2.5 MILLION IN SALES (at 24 yrs old)

Top 5 Amazon FBA Tips & Tricks (from a 7 Figure Private Label Seller)

My Amazon FAILURES! (that you can avoid…)

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PAYING $101K TO MY SUPPLIER IN CHINA (Amazon FBA and Alibaba)

CRAZIEST THING IN 3 YEARS OF AMAZON SELLING!

10 Reason You WILL Fail On Amazon FBA (MUST WATCH Before Selling On Amazon)

President Donald Trump Takes Aim At Amazon And Jeff Bezos | CNBC

Donald Trump Attacks Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Bezos shoots back at Trump

Trump vs Bezos

Jeff Bezos: Donald Trump Comments Erode Our Democracy | Power Lunch | CNBC

Donald Trump Vs. Jeff Bezos: President Targets Amazon In Latest Tweets | CNBC

Jeff Bezos in 90 Seconds

Amazon’s “Transformation”: How the online retailer is disrupting Hollywood

What Is Amazon Prime and Is It Worth It?

About Donald Trump | Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon | Code Conference 2016

Ex-Amazon workers talk of ‘horrendous’ conditions

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Exposé reveals Amazon’s punishing workplace culture

The ‘Enormous Pressue’ Of Working At Amazon

Amazon: How Bruising a Workplace Is It?

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Amazon’s tips to create a workplace from hell I The Feed

Behind the scenes of an Amazon warehouse

Bezos defends working conditions at Amazon

The Power of Jeff Bezos – Interview Oct 2016

Amazon employee work-life balance | Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon | Code Conference 2016

“I’ve MADE billions of dollars of FAILURES” – Jeff Bezos’s (@JeffBezos) Top 10 Rules Volume 2

Jeff Bezos’ Fortune Crosses $113 Billion | Forbes

Jeff Bezos: The $100 Billion Dollar Man | CNBC

Jeff Bezos’ wife blasts book on Amazon founder

Interview: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazing Amazon Story – Jeff Bezos Full Speech

Jeff Bezos interview on Starting Amazon (2001)

Trump hates Amazon, not Facebook

Photos: Mark Wilson / Getty Images; The Washington Post

Capitol Hill wants Facebook’s blood, but President Trump isn’t interested. Instead, the tech behemoth Trump wants to go after is Amazon, according to five sources who’ve discussed it with him. “He’s obsessed with Amazon,” a source said. “Obsessed.”

What we’re hearing: Trump has talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he’s worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business.

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  • A source who’s spoken to POTUS: “He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.”
  • Trump’s deep-seated antipathy toward Amazon surfaces when discussing tax policy and antitrust cases. The president would love to clip CEO Jeff Bezos’ wings. But he doesn’t have a plan to make that happen.

Behind the president’s thinking: Trump’s wealthy friends tell him Amazon is destroying their businesses. His real estate buddies tell him — and he agrees — that Amazon is killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers.

  • Trump tells people Amazon has gotten a free ride from taxpayers and cushy treatment from the U.S. Postal Service.
  • “The whole post office thing, that’s very much a perception he has,” another source said. “It’s been explained to him in multiple meetings that his perception is inaccurate and that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon.”
  • Axios’ Ina Fried notes: The Postal Service actually added delivery on Sunday in some cities because Amazon made it worthwhile.
  • Trump also pays close attention to the Amazon founder’s ownership of The Washington Post, which the president views as Bezos’ political weapon.

Trump never talks about Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook: He isn’t tuned in to the debate over how they handle people’s data, and thinks the Russia story is a hoax, sources say.

  • Axios’ Kim Hart points out: “Trump told Axios last year he doesn’t mind Facebook because it helps him reach his audience. He’s an old-school businessman who sees the world in terms of tangible assets: real estate, physical mail delivery, Main Street, grocery stores. It reminds me of the story Jim wrote a while back about Trump’s fixation with 1950s life. Amazon takes direct aim at some of the core components of mid-century business.”

One warning sign for Facebook: Vice President Mike Pence is concerned about Facebook and Google, according to a source with direct knowledge.

  • Though Pence isn’t yet pushing internally for any specific regulations, he argues these companies are dangerously powerful.
  • The source said the V.P. worries about their influence on media coverage, as well as their control of the advertising industry and users’ personal info.
  • When private discussions have turned to the idea of busting Facebook and Google, Pence has listened with keen interest and is open to the suggestion that these two companies need shaking up.

Get more stories like this by signing up for Jonathan Swan’s weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek. 

The Antitrust Case Against Facebook, Google and Amazon

A few technology giants dominate their worlds just as Standard Oil and AT&T once did. Should they be broken up?

Logos for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, otherwise known as GAFA.
Logos for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, otherwise known as GAFA. PHOTO: DAMIEN MEYER/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Standard Oil Co. and American Telephone and Telegraph Co. were the technological titans of their day, commanding more than 80% of their markets.

Today’s tech giants are just as dominant: In the U.S., Alphabet Inc.’s Google drives 89% of internet search; 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook Inc. product; andAmazon.com Inc. now accounts for 75% of electronic book sales. Those firms that aren’t monopolists are duopolists: Google and Facebook absorbed 63% of online ad spending last year; Google and Apple Inc. provide 99% of mobile phone operating systems; while Apple and Microsoft Corp. supply 95% of desktop operating systems.

A growing number of critics think these tech giants need to be broken up or regulated as Standard Oil and AT&T once were. Their alleged sins run the gamut from disseminating fake news and fostering addiction to laying waste to small towns’ shopping districts. But antitrust regulators have a narrow test: Does their size leave consumers worse off?

By that standard, there isn’t a clear case for going after big tech—at least for now. They are driving down prices and rolling out new and often improved products and services every week.

That may not be true in the future: If market dominance means fewer competitors and less innovation, consumers will be worse off than if those companies had been restrained. “The impact on innovation can be the most important competitive effect” in an antitrust case, says Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale University economist who served in the Justice Department’s antitrust division under Barack Obama.

Google which has spent the past eight years in the sights of European and American antitrust authorities, is hardly a price gouger. Most of its products are free to consumers and the price advertisers pay Google per click has fallen by a third the past three years. The company remains an innovation powerhouse, investing in new products such as its voice-activated assistant Google Home.

Google’s booth at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Google’s booth at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Yet Google’s monopoly means some features and prices that competitors offered never made it in front of customers. Yelp Inc., which in 2004 began aggregating detailed information and user reviews of local services, such as restaurants and stores, claims Google altered its search results to hurt Yelp and help its own competing service. While Yelp survived, it has retreated from Europe, and several similar local search services have faded.

“Forty percent of Google search is local,” says Luther Lowe, the company’s head of public policy. “There should be hundreds of Yelps. There’s not. No one is pitching investors to build a service that relies on discovery through Facebook or Google to grow, because venture capitalists think it’s a poor bet.”

There are key differences between today’s tech giants and monopolists of previous eras. Standard Oil and AT&T used trusts, regulations and patents to keep out or co-opt competitors. They were respected but unloved. By contrast, Google and Facebook give away their main product, while Amazon undercuts traditional retailers so aggressively it may be holding down inflation. None enjoys a government-sanctioned monopoly; all invest prodigiously in new products. Alphabet plows 16% of revenue back into research and development; for Facebook it’s 21%—ratios far higher than other companies. All are among the public’s most loved brands, according to polls by Morning Consult.

Yet there are also important parallels. The monopolies of old and of today were built on proprietary technology and physical networks that drove down costs while locking in customers, erecting formidable barriers to entry. Just as Standard Oil and AT&T were once critical to the nation’s economic infrastructure, today’s tech giants are gatekeepers to the internet economy. If they’re imposing a cost, it may not be what customers pay but the products they never see.

In its youth Standard Oil was as revered for its technological and commercial brilliance as any big tech company today. John D. Rockefeller began with a single refinery in Cleveland in 1863 and over the next few decades acquired other, weaker refineries. Those that wouldn’t sell, he underpriced and drove out of business. By 1904, companies controlled by Standard Oil produced 87% of refined oil output, according to Mike Scherer, a retired Harvard economist who has written extensively on antitrust.

This wasn’t superficially bad for consumers. The price of kerosene, the principal refined product from oil, fell steadily as Standard Oil’s market share expanded, thanks to falling crude oil prices and Standard Oil’s economies of scale, bargaining power with suppliers such as railroads, and innovation, such as the Frasch-Burton process for deriving kerosene from high-sulfur oil in Ohio.

Standard Oil's refinery in Richmond, Calif., in 1911.
Standard Oil’s refinery in Richmond, Calif., in 1911. PHOTO: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/CORBIS/VCG/GETTY IMAGES

When the federal government sued to break up Standard Oil, the Supreme Court acknowledged business acumen was important to the company’s early success, but concluded that was eventually supplanted by a single-minded determination to drive others out of the market.

In a 2005 paper, Mr. Scherer found that Standard Oil was indeed a prolific generator of patents in its early years, but that slowed once it achieved dominance. Around 1909 Standard’s Indiana unit invented “thermal cracking” to improve gasoline refining to meet nascent demand from automobiles, but the company’s head office thought the technology too dangerous and refused to commercialize it. After the Indiana unit was spun off when the company was broken up in 1911, it commercialized the technology to enormous success, Mr. Scherer wrote.

The story of AT&T is similar. It owed its early growth and dominant market position to Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 patent for the telephone. After the related patents expired in the 1890s, new exchanges sprung up in countless cities to compete.

Competition was a powerful prod to innovation: Independent companies, by installing twisted copper lines and automatic switching, forced AT&T to do the same. But AT&T, like today’s tech giants, had “network effects” on its side.

“Just like people joined Facebook because everyone else was on Facebook, the biggest competitive advantage AT&T had was that it was interconnected,” says Milton Mueller, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology who has studied the history of technology policy.

Early in the 20th century, AT&T began buying up local competitors and refusing to connect independent exchanges to its long-distance lines, arousing antitrust complaints. By the 1920s, it was allowed to become a monopoly in exchange for universal service in the communities it served. By 1939, the company carried more than 90% of calls.

Though AT&T’s research unit, Bell Labs, became synonymous with groundbreaking discoveries, in telephone innovation AT&T was a laggard. To protect its own lucrative equipment business it prohibited innovative devices such as the Hush-a-Phone, which kept others from overhearing calls, and the Carterphone, which patched calls over radio airwaves, from connecting to its network.

After AT&T was broken up into separate local and long-distance companies in 1982, telecommunication innovation blossomed, spreading to digital switching, fiber optics, cellphones—and the internet.

Just as AT&T decided what equipment could be used on the nation’s telephone systems, Google’s search algorithms determine who can be found on the internet. If you searched for a toaster online in the mid 2000s, Google would probably have taken you to comparison shopping sites such as Nextag. They pioneered features such as showing consumer ratings in search results, how popular a product was and how prices had changed over time, recalls Gary Reback, an antitrust lawyer who represented several competitors against Google.

Google’s Eric Schmidt testifying at a Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust hearing in September 2011.
Google’s Eric Schmidt testifying at a Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust hearing in September 2011. PHOTO:CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

But when Google launched its own comparison business, Google Shopping, those sites found themselves dropping deeper into Google’s search results. They accused Google of changing its algorithm to favor its own results. The company responded that its algorithm was designed to give customers the results they want. “If consumers don’t like the answer that Google Search provides, they can switch to another search engine with just one click,” Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told Congress in 2011.

At that same hearing Jeffrey Katz, then the chief executive of Nextag, responded, “That is like saying move to Panama if you don’t like the tax rate in America. It’s a fake choice because no one has Google’s scope or capabilities and consumers won’t, don’t, and in fact can’t jump.”

In 2013 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission concluded that even if Google had hurt competitors, it was to serve consumers better, and declined to bring a case. Since then, comparison sites such as Nextag have largely faded.

Last year the European Commission went in the other direction and fined the company $2.9 billion and ordered it to change its search results.

The different outcomes hinge in part on different approaches. European regulators are more likely to see a shrinking pool of competitors as inherently bad for both competition and consumers. American regulators are more open to the possibility that it could be natural and benign.

In new industries, smaller players are frequently bought up or vanquished by deeper-pocketed, more-innovative rivals. Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker, wrote in response to the European Commission decision that even as smaller sites have retreated, Amazon has grown to become a huge player in comparison shopping.

Internet platforms have high fixed and minimal operating costs, which favors consolidation into a few deep-pocketed competitors. And the more customers a platform has, the more useful it is to each individual customer—the “network effect.”

But a platform that confers monopoly in one market can be leveraged to dominate another. Facebook’s existing user base enabled it to become the world’s largest photo-sharing site through its purchase of Instagram in 2012 and the largest instant-messaging provider through its purchase of WhatsApp in 2014. It is also muscling into virtual reality through its acquisition of Oculus VR in 2014 and anonymous polling with its purchase of TBH last year.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a developers conference last year in San Jose, Calif.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a developers conference last year in San Jose, Calif. PHOTO:STEPHEN LAM/REUTERS

What Facebook doesn’t acquire, it copies. Snap Inc.’s Snapchat, a fast-disappearing photo and video sharing app hugely popular with teenagers, was widely seen as a challenger to Facebook. But in 2016, Facebook introduced its own Snapchat-like feature, Stories, on Instagram, which now has more users and advertisers than Snapchat. That has undercut Snap’s growth and profits by reducing the number of new users “interested in trying Snap for the first time,” says Peter Stabler, an analyst at Wells Fargo.

There’s nothing wrong with copying, especially if the copy is better than the original. Snapchat’s app was originally difficult to use, says Mr. Stabler, and “you can’t discount [Facebook’s] quality of execution.” Moreover, even as Facebook copies its competitors, it continues to expand and enhance its own services such as Pages, which 70 million businesses world-wide have used to design their own webpages on Facebook.

Snap’s shares have sunk below the price at which the company went public last March as losses have mounted, which won’t encourage new entrants. Once a company like Google or Facebook has critical mass, “the venture capital looks elsewhere,” says Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners, a technology-focused private-equity firm. “There’s no point taking on someone with a three or four years head start.”

Amazon hasn’t yet reached the same market share as Google or Facebook but its position is arguably even more impregnable because it enjoys both physical and technological barriers to entry. Its roughly 75 fulfillment centers and state-of-the art logistics (including robots) put it closer, in time and space, to customers than any other online retailer.

The company says size makes it possible to deliver millions of items free of shipping charges to isolated communities with little retail presence. Amazon makes that network available to third-party merchants who pay a 15% commission and, typically, a $3 pick-pack-and ship-fee, says Greg Mercer, founder of Jungle Scout Inc. which advises third-party merchants how to sell on Amazon. “We have tons of examples of small entrepreneurial-type people who are really good at creating new inventions but have no idea how to distribute to the masses,” he says. “They create products and Amazon can take care of the rest.”

An Amazon warehouse in Britain.
An Amazon warehouse in Britain. PHOTO: JANE BARLOW/PA IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

As the dominant platform for third-party online sales, Amazon also has access to data it can use to decide what products to sell itself. In 2016 Capitol Forum, a news service that investigates anticompetitive behavior, reported that when a shopper views an Amazon private-label clothing brand, the accompanying list of items labeled “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought,” is also dominated by Amazon’s private-label brands. This, it says, restricts competing sellers’ access to a prime marketing space

Mr. Mercer says he doesn’t see Amazon favoring its own products, and indeed his own firm helps merchants target profitable niches on Amazon. Nonetheless, he says many would prefer to sell through their own sites, but with so many shoppers searching first on Amazon, they feel they have little choice.

In the face of such accusations, the probability of regulatory action—for now—looks low, largely because U.S. regulators have a relatively high bar to clear: Do consumers suffer?

“We think consumer welfare is the right standard,” Bruce Hoffman, the FTC’s acting director of the bureau of competition, recently told a panel on antitrust law and innovation. “We have tried other standards. They were dismal failures.”

Still, Ms. Scott Morton notes, “the consumer welfare standard covers today and tomorrow,” and the potential loss of innovation is something both the law and the courts can and have weighed in an antitrust case. The Justice Department sued Microsoft to ensure that an innovation, the internet browser, remained a potential competitor to Microsoft’s monopoly over the user’s interface with the personal computer.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates appeared at an antitrust hearing in Washington federal court in 2002.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates appeared at an antitrust hearing in Washington federal court in 2002. PHOTO:STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

What would remedies look like? Since Big Tech owes its network effects to data, one often-proposed fix is to give users ownership of their own data: the “social graph” of connections on Facebook, or their search history on Google and Amazon. They could then take it to a competitor.

A more drastic remedy would be to block acquisitions of companies that might one day be a competing platform. British regulators let Facebook buy Instagram in part because Instagram didn’t sell ads, which they argued made them different businesses. In fact, Facebook used Instagram to engage users longer and thus sell more ads, Ben Thompson, wrote in his technology newsletter Stratechery. Building a network is “extremely difficult, but, once built, nearly impregnable. The only possible antidote is another network that draws away the one scarce resource: attention.” Thus, maintaining competition on the internet requires keeping “social networks in separate competitive companies.”

How sound are these premises? Google’s and Facebook’s access to that data and network effects might seem like an impregnable barrier, but the same appeared to be true of America Online’s membership, Yahoo ’s search engine and Apple’s iTunes store, note two economists, David Evans and Richard Schmalensee, in a recent paper. All saw their dominance recede in the face of disruptive competition. If someone launched a clearly superior search engine, social network or online store, consumers could switch more easily than they could telephone or oil companies a century ago. Microsoft has long dominated desktop operating systems but has failed to extend that dominance to internet search or to mobile operating systems.

It’s possible Microsoft might have become the dominant company in search and mobile without the scrutiny the federal antitrust case brought. Throughout history, entrepreneurs have often needed the government’s help to dislodge a monopolist—and may one day need it again.

Write to Greg Ip at greg.ip@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications 
Facebook’s share of online advertising revenue is 21%. An earlier version of the graphic titled ‘A Century of Techopoly’ incorrectly represented this value. An updated version has been published to correct the mistake.

Appeared in the January 17, 2018, print edition as ‘The Antitrust Case Against America’s Technology Behemoths.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-antitrust-case-against-facebook-google-amazon-and-apple-1516121561

Story 2: Will The Economy Grow At Above 3% Rate in 2018? — Video

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See the source image

Market is the best predictor of future GDP growth: Ed Lazear

Consumer Spending Helped U.S. Economy Grow

U.S. Economic Growth Revised Higher to 2.9% in 4Q

Top 10 Biggest Economies in the world of 2018

Ten Fastest Economic Growth Countries In The World 2018

US economy grew at a faster pace in fourth quarter 2017

Douglas Gillison

,

AFP

Washington (AFP) – The US economy grew significantly faster at the end of 2017 than previously reported, as consumer spending hit an three-year high and business investment rose, the government reported Wednesday.

The rosier revised estimate for the October-December period was a modest shot in the arm for President Donald Trump, whose trade policies face stiff opposition at home and abroad and has sent shudders through stock markets.

GDP grew 2.9 percent in the final three months of last year, 0.4 points higher than the prior estimate, the Commerce Department said. And that rate was significantly faster growth than analysts were expecting.

The third and final quarterly estimate, based on a fuller set of data, marked the third quarter in a row at or around President Donald Trump’s target of three percent annual growth.

And the new estimate does not account for December’s sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cuts, which economists say should boost growth in the near term at least for a short time.

“Consumer spending appears to have had its strongest quarter in three years,” Oxford Economics said in a research note, adding that tax cuts and stronger government spending should fuel GDP in 2018.

But for all of 2017 the growth rate was unchanged at a modest 2.3 percent, faster than the 1.5 percent posted in 2016, but still well below Trump’s goal and the 2.9 percent expansion seen in 2015.

The Trump administration is counting on an acceleration of growth to pay for the December tax cuts, which are expected to swell the budget deficit and add to the mounting US sovereign debt.

However, economists point to stagnating US productivity and a possible trade war as a drag on growth, and warn the tax cuts will drive the Treasury deeper into the red.

– Corporate profits slide –

The upward bump to the fourth-quarter growth estimate came from higher consumer spending, higher wholesale business inventories and updated statistical adjustments to account for seasonal factors, according to the Commerce Department.

Consumption hit the highest pace in three years, as consumer spending on goods saw its biggest quarterly bounce in nearly 12 years after an upward revision of three tenths to 7.8 percent.

Consumer spending on transportation pushed US services growth to 2.3 percent in the quarter, up two tenths from the prior estimate.

Those results helped offset the economic drag from rising imports, after the US trade deficit hit a nine-year high in 2017.

Despite the accelerating economic growth, corporate profits stagnated in the quarter, falling 0.1 percent after the prior quarter’s $90.2 billion increase.

The financial sector saw a $14.6 percent decrease but the non-financial sector experienced a $19.4 billion increase for the quarter.

Profits for 2017 were up $91.2 billion after the $44 billion decline in the prior year.

The December tax cuts imposed a one-time repatriation tax on foreign earnings, recorded as a $250 billion quarterly capital transfer from businesses to the federal government, according to the Commerce Department.

“We judge the economy by nonfinancial domestic profits, capital spending, and employment and these metrics look solid in 2017,” RDQ Economics said in a research note.

And companies were expected to reap the benefits of lower taxes in the coming year.

Current forecasts point to growth of below two percent in the first quarter of 2018, although first quarters typically are slower than annual growth.

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The Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018, Story 1: Gutting Death of A Con Man — The Political Elitist Establishment Won Over Trump But Lost The American People Including Trump Supporters — No 1,954 Mile Wall To Stop and Reverse The 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States — No Wall Then Dump Trump Now — Tea Party Time — March On Washington on April 15, 2018 — Vote Out of Office Any Democratic and Republican Who Voted For and Signed On To The Budget Busting Borrowing Bill — aka 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill — Tea Party Should Establish American Independence Party To Defeat Both Democrats and Republicans Including Trump — Videos

Posted on March 23, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Business, Cartoons, College, Comedy, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Law, Legal Drugs, Lying, Media, Medicare, Movies, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Radio, Rand Paul, Rule of Law, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Spying, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Ted Cruz, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Gutting Death of A Con Man — The Political Elitist Establishment Won Over Trump But Lost The American People Including Trump Supporters — No 1,954 Mile Wall To Stop and Reverse The 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States — No Wall Then Dump Trump Now — Tea Party Time — March On Washington on April 15, 2018 — Vote Out of Office Any Democratic and Republican Who Voted For and Signed On To The Budget Busting Borrowing Bill — aka 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill — Tea Party Should Establish American Independence Party To Defeat Both Democrats and Republicans Including Trump — Videos

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The Band – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Virgil Caine is the name, and I served on the Danville train
‘Till Stoneman’s cavalry came and tore up the tracks again
In the winter of ’65, we were hungry, just barely alive
By May the tenth, Richmond had fell, it’s a time I remember, oh so well
The night they drove old Dixie down, and the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down, and the people were singin’ they went
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Back with my wife in Tennessee, when one day she called to me
“Virgil, quick, come see, there goes Robert E Lee”
Now I don’t mind choppin’ wood, and I don’t care if the money’s no good
Ya take what ya need and ya leave the rest,
But they should never have taken the very best
The night they drove old Dixie down, and the bells were ringing
The night they drove old Dixie down, and the people were singin’ they went
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la,
Like my father before me, I will work the land
Like my brother above me, who took a rebel stand
He was just eighteen, proud and brave, but a Yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the mud below my feet,
You can’t raise a Caine back up when he’s in defeat
The night they drove old Dixie down, and the bells were ringing,
The night they drove old Dixie down, and all the people were singin’, they went
Na, la, na, la, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na,
The night they drove old Dixie down, and all the bells were ringing,
The night they drove old Dixie down, and the people were singin’, they went
Na, la, na, la, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Songwriters: Robbie Robertson
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

“This is a BETRAYAL of Our Country!!” Tucker is PISSED About the New GOP Spending Bill

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Big Spender

The minute you walked in the joint
I could see you were a man of distinction
A real big spender
Good lookin’ so refined
Say, wouldn’t you like to know what’s goin’ on in my mind?
So let me get right to the point
I don’t pop my cork for every man I see
Hey big spender,
Spend a little time with me
Wouldn’t you like to have fun, fun, fun
How’s about a few laughs, laughs
I could show you a good time
Let me show you a good time!
The minute you walked in the joint
I could see you were a man of distinction
A real big spender
Good lookin’ so refined
Say, wouldn’t you like to know what’s goin’ on in my mind?
So let me get right to the point,
I don’t pop my cork for every guy I see
Hey big spender
Hey big spender
Hey big spender
Spend, a little time with me
Yes
Songwriters: Cy Coleman / Dorothy Fields
Big Spender lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

Rand Paul blasts omnibus: Maybe holding hands with Dems isn’t a great idea

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blasted Republicans for “holding hands” with Democrats over a massive funding bill signed into effect this week that he criticizes for skyrocketing the national debt and failing to deliver on key Republican agenda items.

“The debt is up over a trillion the Dow is down…Maybe the GOP holding hands Democrats isn’t such a great idea,” the libertarian-leaning senator complained on Twitter Saturday.

Paul live-tweeted his attempt to read through the behemoth 2,232 page omnibus spending package on Friday. Congress only had a few hours between the release of the bill and its passage before a Friday night government funding deadline.

He criticized the recent bill as so large that many lawmakers didn’t even know all the provisions within. But Paul said it has “never been my goal to shut down government,” when asked by Fox News host Tucker Carlson if he would pull a similar stunt on Friday.

President Trump reluctantly gave signed the bill into law on Friday, after threatening to use a veto hours before he was slated to approve it.

The bill included millions of dollars for additional domestic spending and projects considered a boon to Democrats, as well as funding for border security that came in well under Trump’s original request.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/380082-rand-paul-blasts-omnibus-maybe-holding-hands-with-dems-isnt-a-great-idea

Trump signs $1.3 trillion budget after threatening veto

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending measure Friday, averting a midnight government shutdown just hours after declaring he was considering a veto.

Trump said he was “very disappointed” in the package, in part because it did not fully fund his plans for a border wall with Mexico and did not address some 700,000 “Dreamer” immigrants who are now protected from deportation under a program that he has moved to eliminate.

But Trump praised the increases the bill provides for military spending and said he had “no choice but to fund our military”

 

“My highest duty is to keep America safe,” he said.

The bill signing came a few hours after Trump created last-minute drama by saying in a tweet that he was “considering” a veto.

With Congress already on recess, and a government shutdown looming, he said that young immigrants now protected in the U.S. under Barack Obama’s Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals “have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded.”

Trump’s veto threat was at odds with top members of his administration and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had said Thursday that he was supportive of the measure. The White House also issued a formal statement of administration policy indicating Trump would sign the bill. Several advisers inside and outside the White House said earlier Friday that they suspected the tweet was just Trump blowing off steam.

Finally, in made-for-TV scheduling, Trump took to twitter again to announce he’d be holding a news conference to talk about the bill. The drama was short-lived: An aide told reporters the signing was on. And telegraphing the outcome, an internal television feed advertised its next program: “President Trump Participates in a Bill Signing.”

Asked why he’d made the threat, Trump said he’d “looked very seriously at the veto,” but “because of the incredible gains that we’ve been able to make for the military that overrode any of our thinking.”

Trump also warned Congress: “I will never sign another bill like this again.”

The will-he, won’t he episode came hours after the Senate early Friday morning passed the $1.3 trillion spending package aimed at keeping the government open past midni