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The Pronk Pops Show 1255, May 10, 2019, Story 1: No Deal — United States Imposes 25% Tariff on $200 Billion in Chinese Exports To U.S. — Talks Break Up — Videos — Story 2: North Korean Short Range Missile Based on Russian Missile Can Hit U.S. Forces in South Korea — Videos — Story 3: Defense Department Shifts $1.5 Billion to Build Border Barrier — Videos — Story 4: Invasion of Illegal Aliens Continues with April Record of  109,000 Apprehensions — Build Border Barrier of 1,500 Additional Miles — Videos

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Story 1: United States Imposes 25% Tariff on $200 Billion in Chinese Exports To U.S. — Videos

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The U.S. Increases Tariffs and China Threatens Retaliation

Trump raises tariffs on Chinese goods

US-China trade war: Trump says tariffs are “excellent” alternative to trade deal with China

U.S., China break off latest trade talks without a deal, as new tariffs rile markets

The United States and China ended negotiations Friday without a new trade agreement, hours after new tariff hikes took effect and President Donald Trump threatened to slap duties on virtually all Chinese imports – though the two sides also agreed to keep talking.

“The relationship between President Xi (Jinping) and myself remains a very strong one, and conversations into the future will continue,” Trump said in  a pair of tweets hours after the talks broke up. “In the meantime, the United States has imposed Tariffs on China, which may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations!”

The president also threatened new tariffs on China if a deal is not reached, but did not set a deadline as he did earlier this week, a move that roiled markets and pressured Chinese negotiators.

The U.S. and China also did not set a schedule for new talks.

Tariff rates jumped to 25% from 10% on a massive range of Chinese goods, including office furniture, handbags and frozen catfish fillets.

Earlier, in a morning set of tweets sent just hours after new tariffs took effect, Trump said that “talks with China continue in a very congenial manner – there is absolutely no need to rush.”

Global markets have dropped throughout the week, as investors feared new U.S. tariffs and Chinese retaliatory barriers will raise prices for consumers and slow the global economy. But on Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.44% after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin earlier said talks had been constructive.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Over the course of the past two days, the United States and China have held candid and constructive conversations on the status of the trade relationship between both countries. The relationship between President Xi and myself remains a very strong one, and conversations….

Liu He, China’s vice premier and top trade negotiator, told reporters at his hotel that the talks went “fairly well.”

After a day of sending mixed signals on the progress with China, Trump caused new jitters for traders when he deleted his Twitter thread in which he said Chinese trade talks were progressing in “a very congenial manner” and that there is “no need to rush” a new agreement. Trump re-posted the message later.

Deleted tweet: Trump rattles markets with deleted tweets amid China trade talks 

While Trump claimed that “tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind,” market analysts noted that China will retaliate by increasing tariffs on U.S. goods.

The results, they said, will be higher prices for consumers, perhaps less trade between the world’s two largest economies, and more complicated negotiations on a new trade agreement.

New U.S. tariffs of 25% on $200 billion in Chinese goods went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, after the two sides were unable to nail down the details of a new trade agreement during talks on Thursday. Trump also has threatened to extend the tariffs to $325 billion in Chinese goods.

Trump met Thursday night with Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and they agreed to “continue discussions” on Friday with the Chinese, the White House said.

Trump expressed both optimism and pessimism about a new trade deal in the run-up to the Friday deadline, which roiled markets as investors tried to parse the president’s words and assess whether he was serious about raising the tariffs.

Trump announced the new tariffs on Sunday on Twitter because he was angry about the pace of the talks and at what he said was China’s attempts at backtracking on several commitments it had made during months of negotiations.

The threat came after Trump and his top economic advisers had said for weeks that talks with China were progressing and that a deal was imminent. As late as Thursday afternoon – hours before Liu He met with his counterparts in Washington – Trump signaled that a deal with Beijing remained within reach.

Speaking to reporters at the White House midday Thursday, Trump indicated he was ready to move forward with the new tariffs. But he also said he had received a “beautiful letter” from Chinese President Xi Jinping and would likely speak to him about the negotiations.

“We were getting very close to a deal and then they started renegotiating the deal,” Trump said. “He just wrote me a beautiful letter. I just received it.”

China has denied that it is attempting to renege on its commitments and threatened to retaliate with tariffs on unspecified U.S. products if Trump followed through with the new tariffs. It said Trump’s threats were needlessly stressing world markets.

U.S. farmers and business leaders urged Trump not to go forward with the tariffs, warning they could result in up to 2.1 million job losses over the next three years.

Trump, who ran for president in part on a promise to renegotiate U.S. trade agreements, has made threats to raise the Chinese tariffs to 25% twice before, and then backed down at the last minute. Trump cited “substantial progress” in late February when he pushed back a March 1 deadline to reach an agreement or impose higher duties.

This time, the tariff increase went through.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/10/donald-trump-says-trade-talks-china-continue-despite-tariff-hike/1162002001/

US-China talks break up after US raises tariffs

2 hours ago

Trade talks between the U.S. and China broke up Friday with no agreement, hours after President Donald Trump more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump asserted on Twitter that there was “no need to rush” to get a deal between the world’s two biggest economies and later added that the tariffs “may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations.”

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, confirmed that the talks had concluded for the day but could not say when they would resume.

Hours earlier, the Trump administration hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington. China’s Commerce Ministry vowed to impose “necessary countermeasures” but gave no details.

The tariff increase went ahead even after American and Chinese negotiators briefly met in Washington on Thursday and again on Friday, seeking to end a dispute that has disrupted billions of dollars in trade and shaken global financial markets. After a short session on Friday, the lead Chinese negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, left the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative about midday. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shook hands with Liu as he left.

Trade talks between China and the U.S. continue Friday in Washington despite new tariffs the U.S. imposed on $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing's vow to retaliate. (May 10)

In the afternoon, a motorcade of sport-utility vehicles and a police escort, both with lights flashing, carried the Chinese delegation away from their lodgings at the Willard hotel and out of town.

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Chinese newspaper Global Times, citing “an authoritative source,” tweeted that “talks didn’t break down. Both sides think that the talks are constructive and will continue consultations. The two sides agree to meet again in Beijing in the future.”

On Wall Street, stocks fell initially Friday but turned positive on optimism over future talks.

Earlier, Trump asserted in a tweet that his tariffs “will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do.”

In fact, tariffs are taxes paid by U.S. importers and often passed along to consumers and companies that rely on imported components.

American officials accuse Beijing of backtracking on commitments made in earlier rounds of negotiations. “China deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures,” a Commerce Ministry statement said.

U.S. business groups appealed for a settlement that will resolve chronic complaints about Chinese market barriers, subsidies to state companies and a regulatory system they say is rigged against foreign companies.

The latest increase extends 25% duties to a total of $250 billion of Chinese imports, including $50 billion worth that were already being taxed at 25%. Trump has said he is planning to expand penalties to all Chinese goods shipped to the United States.

Liu He

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, center, waves to members of the media as he arrives at the Office of the United States Trade Representative in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Beijing retaliated for previous tariff hikes by raising duties on $110 billion of American imports. But regulators are running out of U.S. goods for penalties due to the lopsided trade balance.

Ford spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said the carmaker is most concerned about any retaliatory tariffs China might impose.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company says 80% of the vehicles it assembles in the U.S. are sold domestically, but it does export some vehicles to China.

“While most of the vehicles we sell in China are built in China, Ford does export a number of vehicles to China from the U.S.,” McCleery said. “Our biggest concerns are impacts retaliatory tariffs would have on our exports and our expanding customer base in China.”

Chinese officials have targeted operations of American companies in China by slowing customs clearance for them and stepping up regulatory scrutiny that can hamper operations.

The latest U.S. increase might hit American consumers harder, said Jake Parker, vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council, an industry group. He said the earlier 10% increase was absorbed by companies and offset by a weakening of the Chinese currency’s exchange rate.

A 25% hike “needs to be passed on to the consumer,” Parker said. “It is just too big to dilute with those other factors.”

Despite the public acrimony, local Chinese officials who want to attract American investment have tried to reassure companies there is “minimal retaliation,” he said. “We’ve actually seen an increased sensitivity to U.S. companies at the local level,” he added.

The higher U.S. import taxes don’t apply to Chinese goods shipped before Friday. Shipments take about three weeks to cross the Pacific Ocean by sea, giving negotiators more time to reach a settlement before importers may have to pay the increased charges.

A worker walks near truck trailers and cargo containers, Friday, May 10, 2019, at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Liu, speaking to Chinese state TV upon his arrival Thursday in Washington, said he “came with sincerity.” He appealed to Washington to avoid more tariff hikes, saying they are “not a solution” and would harm the world.

“We should not hurt innocent people,” Liu told CCTV.

Also Thursday, Trump said he received “a beautiful letter” from Chinese President Xi Jinping and would “probably speak to him by phone.”

This week’s setback was unexpected. Through late last week, Trump administration officials were suggesting that negotiators were making steady progress.

U.S. officials say they got an inkling of China’s second thoughts about prior commitments in talks last week in Beijing but the backsliding became more apparent in exchanges over the weekend. They wouldn’t identify the specific issues involved.

A sticking point is U.S. insistence on an enforcement mechanism with penalties to ensure Beijing lives up to its commitments. American officials say China has repeatedly broken past promises.

China wants tariffs lifted as soon as an agreement is reached, while U.S. officials want to keep them as leverage to ensure compliance.

“A real enforcement mechanism is critical,” the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said in a statement.

__https://apnews.com/e8a5195c21af44e5b783082366cc2f29

US car tariffs would have ‘bigger effect’ on global economy than US-China trade war, says WTO economist

  • World Trade Organisation chief economist Robert Koopman warns that there would be a ‘big disruptive effect’ on supply chains and on consumers hoping to buy cars
  • Direct trade between the US and China accounted for just 3 per cent of global trade in 2017 compared to 8 per cent for the car sector including parts

 

Story 2: North Korean Short Range Missile Based on Russian Missile Can Hit U.S. Forces in South Korea — Videos

North Korea Fires Two Suspected Short Range Missiles

North Korea reportedly fires at least one short-range missile

North Korea launches 3 short-range ballistic missiles

Why North Korea launched latest missile test

What Would Happen If North Korea Launched A Nuclear Weapon

No One Is Sure Which Country Is Helping North Korea Make Its Missiles (HBO)

How developed is North Korea’s nuclear programme?

 

North Korea’s New Weapon Likely to Better Evade Missile Defense

Pyongyang’s short-range missiles resemble a Russian Iskander, which can carry nuclear warheads, experts say

A missile is launched in North Korea, in this May 9 photo provided by the North Korean government. PHOTO: /ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEOUL—The short-range missiles tested by North Korea can strike much of South Korea and may be able to carry a nuclear warhead, military experts said, providing Pyongyang with extra firepower as diplomatic frictions grow with Washington.

Pyongyang test-fired a pair of short-range missiles Thursday that soared to a height of 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) before landing in the sea off the country’s east coast. Leader Kim Jong Un directed the test and lauded the weapons’ “long-range strike” capabilities, according to North Korean state media, which provided little other detail.

The Thursday launch came just five days after Pyongyang fired multiple projectiles, including a short-range missile.

The missile tests suggest Pyongyang has a new type of powerful, evasive weapon, according to military experts. They said, based on the projectiles’ flight paths and launch vehicle’s appearance, the short-range missiles bear an uncanny resemblance to Russian Iskander missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads.

The new missiles can travel far enough to hit U.S. military bases in South Korea hosting missile-defense systems designed to fend off incoming North Korean ballistic missiles, according to Cheon Seong-whun, a former South Korean National Security Council official.

“I don’t think South Korea or the U.S. forces here have the requisite missile-defense system to protect the country from North Korean Iskander missiles,” said Mr. Cheon, noting other U.S. military bases in the region were too far away to be at risk.

The Iskanders can fly at altitudes that are difficult for U.S. and South Korea missile-defense systems to reach, said military analysts. A North Korean Iskander would also likely better evade missile defenses, as its flight path can be controlled after launch, unlike other short-range ballistic missiles in North Korea’s arsenal, such as the Scuds.

“The weapons appear to be ballistic missiles that have addressed a traditional ballistic missile’s weak point, by adding a cruise missile’s guidance features,” said Kim Dong-yub, a professor of security studies at South Korea’s Kyungnam University.

The weapons further give North Korea its version of a “bloody-nose” counterstrike plan, should the U.S. military conduct a limited strike against one of North Korea’s military targets, Prof. Kim said.

Tensions have dialed up between Pyongyang and Washington in recent days: The Kim regime’s two weapons tests in under a week was shortly followed by a U.S. announcement it had seized a North Korean cargo ship it alleges violated sanctions by illicitly transporting coal.

On Friday, Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special envoy on North Korea, met South Korean counterparts in Seoul, saying the “door for North Korea’s return to negotiations remains open,” according to the South’s foreign ministry.

A day before, President Trump told reporters at the White House he doubted Mr. Kim would abandon nuclear talks, though “nobody’s happy” about the short-range missile test.

The U.S. and North Korea hit an impasse in denuclearization talks after a Vietnam summit earlier this year ended without a deal.

'We Had to Walk Away,' Trump Says After Kim Summit Ends With No Deal

‘We Had to Walk Away,’ Trump Says After Kim Summit Ends With No Deal
The second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was cut short with the two leaders failing to reach a deal and Washington saying that Pyongyang asked for too much with too little in return. Published in March. Photo: AP

Thursday’s test was the North’s fourth show of military force in recent weeks, including the projectiles launched last weekend, a tactical weapon drill and an air force drill directed by Mr. Kim.

For the most recent test, Mr. Kim personally guided defense units for a strike drill of “various long-range strike” capabilities, North Korea’s state media said.

The shows of force allow Mr. Kim to express unhappiness with Seoul and Washington, said Rachel Lee, a former senior North Korea analyst for the U.S. government. At the same time, she said, they could act as a morale boost for the North Korean military, which may have felt sidelined in 2018 as the country pursued diplomacy.

“The North is keeping the overall tone moderate while keeping up the pressure,” said Ms. Lee, who now works at NK News, a group covering North Korea.

Russian Iskanders appear to have been first successfully tested in the late 1990s. They were part of Moscow’s goal to build weapons that could penetrate missile-defense systems being deployed in Eastern European countries that were joining the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

North Korea has a tradition of developing its own missiles, often imitating or using Russian and Chinese technology, said Moon Seong-mook, a retired South Korean Army brigadier general. While Mr. Moon couldn’t rule out the possibility North Korea had imported the missiles from Russia, he said the weapons’ appearance suggested North Korea had made adjustments to the original Russian model.

Write to Andrew Jeong at andrew.jeong@wsj.com or Na-Young Kim at nayoung.kim@wsj.com

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1246, April 29, 2019, Story 1: Make America Healthy Again — Only You Can Prevent Obesity, Poverty and Ignorance — Killing Me Softly with His Song — Videos — Story 2: Consumer Spending Surging — U.S. Stock Market Hits New Record Highs — Videos — Story 3: U.S Recession or Boom in 2020? Flip A Coin — Videos — Story 4: Wait Until 2021 At Earliest For Any Trade Agreement To Be Passed By House of Representatives — Videos

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Story 1: Make America Healthy Again — Only You Can Prevent Obesity, Poverty and Ignorance — Killing Me Softly with His Song — Videos

Trump physical shows he’s in ‘very good health overall’ but clinically obese

President Trump goes on a diet

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Identifying Nutritional Deficiencies Through Nails, Skin & Hair

How Dr. Berg Met His Wife Karen: Interesting Story

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The 4 Things I Did to Lose 200 Pounds

]

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, recorded Trump’s height as 6’3″ and his weight as 243 pounds. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

WHITE HOUSE

Trump technically obese, despite doctor’s clean bill of health

A four-pound weight gain over the last year makes the president obese under the official definition of the term.

President Donald Trump gained four pounds over the last year, according to a new assessment from his doctor, a weight increase that makes him technically obese.

But Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, nonetheless determined that the president “remains in very good health overall” in a memorandum released by the White House on Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a body mass index of 30.0 or higher falls into the obese range. Based on his current height and weight, Trump’s body mass index is 30.4, putting him across the obesity threshold. Obese people are at increased risk of a slew of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the president’s weight.

Jackson recommended last year that the president lose 10-15 pounds and put him on a diet and exercise plan. The White House acknowledged last week that the president has not followed the plan closely.

Trump, the oldest U.S. president in history, has a reputation for guzzling diet coke and eating steak and fried food. His diet is a contrast from that of former President Barack Obama, who exercised regularly and promoted healthy eating habits with his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama.

The president underwent a four-hour physical exam last week at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Conley declared Trump was in “very good health” after the exam, which included assessments from 11 specialists. But the White House did not release any results until Thursday.

Some Trump critics wondered why it took so long, but it often takes days to receive medical test results. The White House nonetheless released the memo on a busy day, shortly after news broke that the president planned to sign a government funding deal and issue a national emergency to ensure the construction of his border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In his memo, Conley recorded Trump’s LDL cholesterol, commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol, at 122 milligrams per deciliter. The CDC recommends that a person’s LDL cholesterol be under 100. Trump has struggled with high cholesterol in the past, and Conley said he had increased the president’s dosage of cholesterol medicine. Trump’s blood pressure is considered normal, though, at 118/80 mmHg. Conley’s measurement is at the high end of the CDC’s recommended range.

Conley said Trump’s, liver, kidney and thyroid functions, as well as his electrolytes and blood counts, were all normal.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/14/trump-technically-obese-doctors-health-1170438

 

President Trump is now obese. He has a lot of company.

President Trump is now obese. He has a lot of company.

PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS / AP

President Donald Trump weighed 243 pounds at his physical on Feb. 8, meaning he is now considered obese.

He has gained four pounds since his previous official checkup 13 months ago, giving him a body mass index of 30.4. A person with a BMI of 30 or above is defined as obese.

Obesity, which affects more than 90 million U.S. adults, is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That does not mean Trump is suddenly at much higher risk for those conditions. They also are associated with being overweight, which he was at his previous checkup in January 2018. The president’s BMI then was 29.9, at the upper end of being considered overweight for a man of his height, listed at 6 feet 3 inches.

The president was examined by physician Sean P. Conley this month at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the White House said Thursday. Conley, a Navy commander, said he was assisted by a panel of 11 board-certified specialists.

“After taking into account all the laboratory results, examinations and specialist recommendations, it is my determination that the president remains in very good health overall,” Conley said, in a memo released by the White House.

The president’s blood pressure was measured at 118 over 80. The lower of those two numbers, called diastolic blood pressure, is considered borderline high, according to the most recent guidelines from the American Heart Association. Conley described the president’s liver, kidney, and thyroid function as normal.

During his physical, Trump received the Shingrix vaccine, which protects against the debilitating disease of shingles. He also got the Pneumovax 23 vaccine, which reduces a person’s risk of pneumococcal infection and is recommended by the CDC for all adults age 65 or older.

Killing Me Softly with His Song

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Killing Me Softly with His Song” is a song composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel.

The song was written in collaboration with Lori Lieberman, who recorded the song in late 1971. In 1973 it became a number-one hit in the United States and Canada for Roberta Flack, also reaching number six in the UK Singles Chart. The song has been covered by many artists; the version by the Fugees won the 1997 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Contents

Lori Lieberman version and disputed origins

According to Lori Lieberman, who performed the original recording in 1971, the song was born of a poem she wrote after experiencing a strong reaction to the Don McLean song “Empty Chairs“,[1][2] writing some poetic ideas on a napkin at the Troubadour Club after seeing him perform the song,[3] and then relating this information to Norman Gimbel, who took her feelings and converted them into song lyrics. Gimbel passed his lyrics to Charles Fox, who set them to music.[4]

According to Gimbel, he was introduced to the Argentinian-born composer Lalo Schifrin (then of Mission: Impossible fame) and began writing songs to a number of Schifrin’s films.[5] Both Gimbel and Schifrin made a suggestion to write a Broadway musical together, and Schifrin gave Gimbel an Argentinean novel—Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar—to read as a possible idea. The book was never made into a musical, but in chapter two, the narrator describes himself as sitting in a bar listening to an American pianist friend “kill us softly with some blues“.[5][6] Gimbel put the phrase in his “idea book” for use at a future time with a parenthesis around the word “blues” and substituted the word “song” instead.[7]

Don McLean said he had not known that the song described his singing and, when asked about it, said “I’m absolutely amazed. I’ve heard both Lori’s and Roberta’s version and I must say I’m very humbled about the whole thing. You can’t help but feel that way about a song written and performed as well as this one is.”[8]

Nevertheless, Fox repudiated Lieberman’s role in the song’s creation, saying: “We [Gimbel and Fox] wrote the song and [Lieberman] heard it and said it reminded her of how she felt at [a Don McLean] concert. Don McLean didn’t inspire Norman or me to write the song but even Don McLean thinks he’s the inspiration for the song.”[9]

McLean supported Lieberman, both on his website and from the stage of a concert which he invited her to attend in 2010 and in an April 5, 1973 article in the New York Daily News, Norman Gimbel was quoted as agreeing with Lieberman: “She [Lori Lieberman] told us about this strong experience she had listening to McLean (‘I felt all flushed with fever / Embarrassed by the crowd / I felt he had found my letters / And read each one out loud / I prayed that he would finish / But he just kept right on’). I had a notion this might make a good song so the three of us discussed it. We talked it over several times, just as we did for the rest of the numbers we wrote for this album and we all felt it had possibilities.”[10]

When Dan MacIntosh (Songfacts) spoke with Charles Fox in 2010, he refuted this story: “I think it’s called an urban legend. It really didn’t happen that way. Norman Gimbel and I wrote that song for a young artist whose name was Lori Lieberman. Norman had a book that he would put titles of songs, song ideas and lyrics or something that struck him at different times. And he pulled out the book and he was looking through it, and he says, ‘Hey, what about a song title, ‘Killing Me Softly With His Blues’?’ Well, the ‘killing me softly’ part sounded very interesting, ‘with his blues’ sounded old fashioned in 1972 when we wrote it. So he thought for a while and he said, ‘What about ‘killing me softly with his song’? That has a unique twist to it.’ So we discussed what it could be, and obviously it’s about a song – listening to the song and being moved by the words. It’s like the words are speaking to what that person’s life is. Anyway, Norman went home and wrote an extraordinary lyric and called me later in the afternoon. I jotted it down over the phone. I sat down and the music just flowed right along with the words. And we got together the next morning and made a couple of adjustments with it and we played it for Lori, and she loved it, she said it reminds her of being at a Don McLean concert. So in her act, when she would appear, she would say that. And somehow the words got changed around so that we wrote it based on Don McLean, and even Don McLean I think has it on his Web site. But he doesn’t know. You know, he only knows what the legend is.”[11] In the New York Daily News article [8], Patricia O’Haire asked Lori Lieberman about how the song came about – what or more specifically who was the inspiration for it:

“Don McLean,” she said simply. “I saw him at the Troubadour in LA last year. (“And there he was this young boy / A stranger to my eyes”) I had heard about him from some friends but up to then all I knew about him really was what others had told me. But I was moved by his performance, by the way he developed his numbers, he got right through to me. (“Strumming my pain with his fingers / Killing me softly with his song/ Telling my whole life with his words.”)

Norman Gimbel picked up the story. “Lori is only 20 and she really is a very private person,” he said. “She told us about this strong experience she had listening to McLean” (“I felt all flushed with fever / Embarassed by the crowd / I felt he had found my letters / And read each one out loud / I prayed that he would finish / But he kept just right on…”) “I had a notion this might make a good song so the three of us discussed it. We talked it over several times, just as we did with the rest of the numbers we wrote for the album and we all felt it had possibilities.” “Norman had a phrase he liked, ‘killing me softly with his blues’”, Lori went on to explain. “But I didn’t feel the word “blues” was quite what the effect was. It wasn’t contemporary enough, somehow. We talked about it a while and finally decided on the word “song” instead. It seemed right then when we did it.”

Roberta Flack version

“Killing Me Softly with His Song”
Killing Me Softly with His Song by Roberta Flack US vinyl.png

One of A-side labels of U.S. vinyl single
Single by Roberta Flack
from the album Killing Me Softly
B-side “Just Like a Woman”
Released January 21, 1973
Format 7-inch single
Recorded November 17, 1972
Studio Atlantic, New York City[12]
Genre Soul
Length 4:46
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Joel Dorn
Roberta Flack singles chronology
Where Is the Love
(1972)
Killing Me Softly with His Song
(1973)
“Jesse”
(1973)
Alternative release
German single picture sleeve

German single picture sleeve
Audio
“Killing Me Softly with His Song” on YouTube

Lieberman was the first to record the song in late 1971, releasing it in early 1972.[13] Helen Reddy has said she was sent the song, but “the demo… sat on my turntable for months without being played because I didn’t like the title”.[14]

Roberta Flack first heard the song on an airline, when the Lieberman original was featured on the in-flight audio program. After scanning the listing of available audio selections, Flack would recall: “The title, of course, smacked me in the face. I immediately pulled out some scratch paper, made musical staves [then] play[ed] the song at least eight to ten times jotting down the melody that I heard. When I landed, I immediately called Quincy [Jones] at his house and asked him how to meet Charles Fox. Two days later I had the music.” Shortly afterwards Flack rehearsed the song with her band in the Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, but did not then record it.[15]

In September 1972, Flack was opening for Marvin Gaye at the Greek Theater; after performing her prepared encore song, Flack was advised by Gaye to sing an additional song. Flack later said, “I said well, I got this song I’ve been working on called ‘Killing Me Softly…’ and he said ‘Do it, baby.’ And I did it and the audience went crazy, and he walked over to me and put his arm around me and said, ‘Baby, don’t ever do that song again live until you record it.'”[16]

Released in January 1973, Flack’s version spent a total of five non-consecutive weeks at #1 in February and March, more weeks than any other record in 1973, being bumped to number 2 by The O’Jays‘ “Love Train” after four straight weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 song for 1973.[17] In April of 1973, Canadian singer Anne Murray included her version of “Killing Me Softly” on her album titled Danny’s Song.

Charles Fox suggested that Flack’s version was more successful than Lieberman’s because Flack’s “version was faster and she gave it a strong backbeat that wasn’t in the original”.[9] According to Flack: “My classicalbackground made it possible for me to try a number of things with [the song’s arrangement]. I changed parts of the chord structure and chose to end on a major chord. [The song] wasn’t written that way.”.[18] In actual fact the only chord changed by Flack was the chorus chord under “Fingers” which was changed from Major to Minor. Flack plays electric piano on the track. The bass is played by Ron Carter, the guitar by Hugh McCracken and the drums by Ray Lucas.[citation needed] The single appeared as the opening track of the album of the same name, issued in August 1973.

Flack won the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, for the single, with Gimbel and Fox earning the Song of the Year Grammy.

In 1996 a house remix of Flack’s version went to number one on the US dance chart.[19]

In 1999 Flack’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[20] It ranked number 360 on Rolling Stones list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and number 82 on Billboards greatest songs of all time.[21]

Charts

Chart (1973) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[22] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[23] 19
Canada (RPM)[24] 1
Ireland (IRMA) 10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[25] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[26] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[27] 32
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[28] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 1
US Hot R&B Singles[30] 2
US Easy Listening[30] 2
West Germany (Official German Charts)[31] 30

Fugees version

“Killing Me Softly”
Kmsoftlyfugees.jpg
Single by Fugees
from the album The Score
Released May 31, 1998
Format CD single
Recorded 1998
Genre
Length
  • 4:58 (album version)
  • 4:16 (radio edit)
  • 4:00 (radio edit: without intro)
Label Ruffhouse
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Fugees
Fugees singles chronology
Fu-Gee-La
(1998)
Killing Me Softly
(1998)
Ready or Not
(1998)
Audio
“Killing Me Softly” (audio) on YouTube

Hip hop group Fugees covered the Flack version of the song (as “Killing Me Softly“) on their album The Score (1998), with Lauryn Hill singing the lead vocals. Their version became a hit, reaching number two on the U.S. airplay chart. The song topped the charts in the United Kingdom, where it became the country’s biggest-selling single of 1998. It has since sold 1.36 million copies in Britain.[32] The Fugees recording won the 1997 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal[33] and their video earned the MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video.[34]

This version sampled the 90’s song “Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ) from their debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. ATCQ themselves had sampled the riff from the song “Memory Band” from psychedelic soul band Rotary Connection‘s 1967 eponymous debut album. The Fugees single was so successful that the track was “deleted” and thus no longer supplied to retailers whilst the track was still in the top 20 so that attention could be drawn to the next single, “Ready or Not“. Propelled by the success of the Fugees track, the 1972 recording by Roberta Flack was remixed in 1998 with the vocalist adding some new vocal flourishes: this version topped the Hot Dance Club Play chart. Flack and the Fugees have performed the song together since then.[35] In 2008, “Killing Me Softly” was ranked number 25 on VH1‘s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop and number 44 on its list of the “100 Greatest Songs of the ’90s”.

Background

“Killing Me Softly” was the last song the Fugees recorded for The Score, after member Pras Michael made the suggestion to cover it. They wanted to “see how we can create break beats. And of course, we all love A Tribe Called Quest and we went in like ‘Okay, let’s cut that sample.'” They then added a bass reggae drop.[36] Initially, the Fugees wanted to change the lyrics of the song to make it anti-drugs and anti-poverty but the songwriters, Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, refused.[37]

Composition

The Fugees’ version features “percussive rhythms” with “a synth sitar sound, Wyclef’s blurted chants, Hill’s vocal melisma on the scatted bridge, and a bombastic drum-loop track”.[38]

Critical reception

In January 1997, Spin called the song “an instant classic, pumped out of every passing car from coast to coast, with Lauryn Hill’s timeless voice never losing its poignant kick”.[39] Celebrating the album’s 20th anniversary in February 2016, Billboard reviewed the song, saying: “It’s a lovely cover that maintains the spirit of the original while taking the material in new directions.”[40]

Music video

The video, directed by Aswad Ayinde[41] and based on Lauryn Hill’s ideas, never came out commercially in America.[42] It features Roberta Flack.[38][43]

Bounty Killer remix

The Fugees recorded a dancehall version with Bounty Killer rapping and Hill singing a rewritten chorus. However, they did not receive permission to release it on The Score.[35]

Track listing

UK CD1

  1. “Killing Me Softly” (Album Version W/Out Intro) – 4:03
  2. “Killing Me Softly” (Album Instrumental) – 4:03
  3. “Cowboys” (Album Version) – 3:35
  4. Nappy Heads” (Remix) – 3:49

UK CD2

  1. “Killing Me Softly” (Album Version With Intro) – 4:16
  2. “Fu-Gee-La” (Refugee Camp Global Mix) – 4:15
  3. Vocab” (Refugees Hip Hop Mix) – 4:07
  4. “Vocab” (Salaam’s Acoustic Remix) – 5:54

Charts and certifications

Other cover versions

 
Artist Album Year Released
Perry Como And I Love You So 1973
Vicki Lawrence The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia 1973
Eric Gale Forecast 1973
The Jacksons 5 1974
The Undisputed Truth Law of the Land 1973
Dottie West If It’s All Right With You / Just What I’ve Been Looking For 1973
Johnny Mathis Killing Me Softly with Her Song 1973
Lynn Anderson Top of the World 1973
Bobby Goldsboro Summer (The First Time) 1973
Rusty Bryant For the Good Times 1973
Vikki Carr Ms. America 1973
Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’77 Love Music 1973
The Ventures Only Hits! 1973
Ellen Freckles 1973
John Holt 1000 Volts of Holt 1973
Anne Murray Danny’s Song 1973
Tim Weisberg Dreamspeaker 1973
Maynard Parker Midnight Rider 1973
The Hiltonaires Made in England 6 1973
Shirley Bassey Never, Never, Never 1973
Ray Conniff and The Singers You Are the Sunshine of My Life 1973
Clint Holmes Playground in My Mind 1973
Elaine Delmar Elaine Delmar 1973
New World Believe in Music 1973
Gianni Oddi Oddi 1973
Perry Como And I Love You So 1973
Andy Williams The Way We Were 1974
Petula Clark Come on Home 1974
Charlie Byrd Byrd by the Sea 1974
Janice Hoyte I’m a Winner 1974
Ed Kilbourne Missionary 1974
Joy Fleming Live 1974
Frances Yip Frances Scores Hits 1974
Engelbert Humperdinck My Love 1974
Ohashi Junko Feeling Now 1974
Lena Martell That Wonderful Sound of Lena Martell 1974
Piet Noordijk Prototype 1974
Swingle II Words and Music 1974
Aura Oh, My Love 1974
Jr. Walker & The All Stars Jr. Walker & The All Stars 1974
Bobby Vinton The Bobby Vinton Show 1975
The Les Humphries Singers The Les Humphries Singers Live 1975
Peters & Lee Favorites 1975
The Geoff Love Singers Close to You 1975
Vince Hill Mandy 1975
The Singers Unlimited A Capella II 1975
Tuxen Smilin’ Steel 1975
Therapy Bringing the House Down 1975
Peter North Saxomania 1975
Sandra Reemer Trust In Me 1976
Cleo Laine & John Williams Best Friends 1976
The Brothers Four New 1976
Brenda Lee Just for You – Something Nice 1976
Val Doonican Some of My Best Friends Are Songs 1977
Rita Remington Magical, Musical, Memories 1978
Hampton Hawes At the Piano 1978
Howard Carpendale Und so geh’n wir unsere Wege 1978
Precious Wilson On the Race Track 1980
Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson Live & More 1980
Kimiko Kasai Love Talk 1984
The Eddy Starr Singers 28 Golden Love Songs 1984
Mina Finalmente ho conosciuto il conte Dracula vol. 1 1985
Al B. Sure! In Effect Mode 1988
Casal Histeria 1989
Samurai & Hardbartle SynTronic MegaHits 1990
Linda Imperial Killing Me Softly (Single) 1991
Pandora Matandome Suavemente 1992
Des’ree Why Should I Love You? 1992
Päivi Mäkinen & Mökö Rakkaudesta elämään 1993
Amii Stewart Lady to Ladies 1994
Curiosity Back to Front 1994
Ron Sanfilippo Now and Then 1994
Luther Vandross Songs 1994
Extempo Channel 32 1995
Cassandra Wilson Spirit of ’73 – Rock for Choice 1995
Fugees The Score 1996
Michelle Avex Reggae System Vol. 7 1996
Destroy All Monsters Silver Wedding Anniversary 1996
The Spades Killing Me Softly (Single) 1996
Georgetown Phantoms Spank Your Eardrum 1997
Siiri, Boris Björn Bagger & the International Acoustic Band 1st Acoustic Grafitti 1997
Gitte Hænning My Favorite Songs 1998
Victoria Abril Enciende mi pasión 1998
Nils Landgren Ballads 1999
The BB Band That Soul Sound of the 70’s 1999
Cindy Scott Red Hot – Cindy Scott Captured Live in England 2002
Susan Wong Close to You 2002
Marianna Leporace Pop Acústico 2002
Chenoa Mis canciones favoritas – En concierto acústico 2003
Kimberly Caldwell American Idol Season 2 – All-Time Classic American Love Songs 2003
Cheryl Bentyne The Lights Still Burn 2003
Captain Smartypants Undercover 2004
Coco d’Or Coco d’Or 2 2006
Perpetuum Jazzile Čudna Noč 2006
Don Latarski and Marilyn Keller Nightingale 2006
Michael Sagmeister Soul Ticket 2006
The Mardi Gras Band Requests 2007
Georgeana Bonow Pop Bossa – When Pop Goes Bossa 2008
Deborah Sasson Pop Classics 2008
Layla Zoe Live at Errington Hall 2008
Starburkes & The Tea Leaf Acoustic Coffee House 2009
Colbie Caillat iTunes Session 2010
Shanti Snyder Born to Sing 2010
Chelsey Forrest, Kirk Smart Talk to Me Nice 2010
Soul Kitchen-Band feat. Gail Anderson 15 Years Soul Kitchen – The Band 2011
Virginia Belles Good Morning Mr. Jefferson 2011
Afro Blue The Sing-Off Season 3 Episode 6 – Hip Hop (Album) 2011
Harvard Opportunes Out Loud 2011
Joanie Samra – Jesse Green Serendipity 2011
Ruth Jacott Simply the Best – One Woman Show 2012
Katrina Parker The Voice – Killing Me Softly with His Song (Single) 2012
Sussan Kameron Romantic Nights 2012
Keiko Lee Keiko Lee Sings Super Standards 2 2012
Connie Evingson Sweet Happy Life 2012
Sydney Claire Rocks in My Bed 2012
Gary Brown Generations 2012
The Dear Abbeys Proclamation 2012
Miss Murphy The Voice [AU] – Killing Me Softly (Single) 2013
Keaira LaShae The Voice – Killing Me Softly with His Song (Single) 2013
Nancy Sinatra Shifting Gears 2013
Lulu Roman At Last 2013
Ale Vanzella Indie Bossa II 2015
Norah Benatia IDOL 2016 Topp 3 (EP) 2016
Joseph Vincent Killing Me Softly (Single) 2016
Scott & Ben Scott & Ben – Acoustic Cover Sessions Volume 2 2016
Meg Birch Acoustic Covers Pop 2017
Scary Pockets feat. India Carney Nu Funk 2017
Alyssa Bernal Killing Me Softly (Single) 2017
Nicole Cross Shapeshifter 2018

See also

References …

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

Don McLean – Empty Chairs

Don McLean – Empty Chairs (for Lori Lieberman / August 2011)

Lori Lieberman sings “Killing Me Softly” on Mike Douglas Show, 1973

Lori Lieberman comes to terms with Killing Me Softly

Roberta Flack – Killing me softly with his song 1973 Original MV stereo)

[Chorus]
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

[Verse 1]
I heard he sang a good song
I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him
To listen for a while
And there he was this young boy
A stranger to my eyes

[Chorus]
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

[Verse 2]
I felt all flushed with fever
Embarassed by the crowd
I felt he found my letters
And read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish
But he just kept right on

[Chorus]
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

[Verse 4]
He sang as if he knew me
In all my dark despair
And then he looked right through me
As if I wasn’t there
And he just kept on singing
Singing clear and strong

[Chorus]
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

[Bridge]
Ohhhh ohhhh ohhhh
Ohh ohh ohh ohh ohh ohh ohh
La la la, la la la
Ohh ohh ohh, ohh ohh ohh
La ahh ahhhhhh haaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Ha ahh ahh, ahh ahh ahh ahh

[Chorus]
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me (softly)

[Outro]
He was strumming my pain
Yeah, he was singing my life
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly
With his song

Story 2: Consumer Spending Surging — U.S. Stock Market Hits New Record Highs — Videos

See the source image

U.S. Consumer Spending Makes A Come-back

Americans Release Pent-Up Shopping, Healthcare Demand

Record High For S&P 500

S&P 500 and Nasdaq with new highs

U.S. consumer spending roars back, but inflation tame

 U.S. consumer spending increased by the most in more than 9-1/2 years in March as households stepped up purchases of motor vehicles, but price pressures remained muted, with a key inflation measure posting its smallest annual gain in 14 months.

The surge in consumer spending reported by the Commerce Department on Monday sets a stronger base for growth in consumption heading into the second quarter after it slowed sharply in the first three months of the year.

It further allayed concerns about the economy’s health, which had been brought to the fore by a temporary inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve last month. Tame inflation, however, supported the Federal Reserve’s recent decision to suspend further interest rate increases this year.

Fed officials are scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to assess the economy and deliberate on the future course of monetary policy. The U.S. central bank in March dropped forecasts for any interest rate increases this year, halting a three-year policy tightening campaign. The Fed raised borrowing costs four times in 2018.

“The economy is in a sweet spot for now with not enough inflation to cause the Fed to raise rates, and with inflation not low enough to worry Fed officials that economic demand is weakening, which could require rate cuts,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, surged 0.9 percent. That was the biggest rise since August 2009 and was also driven by increased healthcare expenditures. Spending rose 0.1 percent in February.

Data for January was revised up to show consumer spending rising 0.3 percent instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent gain. The release of the February spending data was delayed by a five-week partial shutdown of the federal government that ended on Jan. 25. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer spending jumping 0.7 percent in March.

When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending increased 0.7 percent in March. This so-called real consumer spending was unchanged in February. The data was included in last Friday’s first-quarter gross domestic product report.

 

March’s surge in real consumer spending suggested an acceleration in consumption was likely in the second quarter. Consumer spending increased at a 1.2 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, the slowest in a year. The overall economy grew at a 3.2 percent rate last quarter.

The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasury prices fell. Stocks on wall Street rose, lifting the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite to record highs.

INFLATION BELOW TARGET

In March, spending on goods rebounded 1.7 percent, with outlays on long-lasting manufactured goods such as cars shooting up 2.3 percent. Spending on goods fell 0.5 percent in February. Outlays on services increased 0.5 percent last month, driven by healthcare spending, after rising 0.4 percent in February.

Inflation was benign, with the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding the volatile food and energy components unchanged in March after edging up 0.1 percent in February. That lowered the year-on-year increase in the so-called core PCE price index to 1.6 percent, the smallest increase since January 2018, from 1.7 percent in February.

The core PCE index is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure. It hit the central bank’s 2 percent inflation target in March last year for the first time since April 2012.

The low inflation readings caught the attention of the White House, where President Donald Trump has railed against the Fed for tightening monetary policy. Trump has called for rate cuts, tweeting earlier this month that there was “almost no inflation.” The Trump administration blamed the economy’s stumble at the turn of the year on the rate hikes.

On Monday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said slowing inflation opened the door for possible rate cuts. Economists, however, are not convinced.

 

“These below-target rates of inflation will likely be acknowledged by the Fed at this week’s meeting, but we still think it unlikely that the Fed would be prompted into rate cuts by weak inflation readings alone,” said Jesse Edgerton, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

With personal income ticking up 0.1 percent in March after rising 0.2 percent in February, there are concerns that the current pace of consumer spending might be unsustainable. Incomes have been almost flat since surging last December.

But a strong labor market and still very high savings are seen underpinning spending. Wages rose 0.4 percent in March after advancing 0.3 percent in the prior month. Savings fell to $1.03 trillion in March from $1.16 trillion in February.

S&P 500 hits intraday record as Wall Street braces for big week of earnings and economic data

  

The S&P reached an all-time high on Monday, adding to last week’s gains, as investors braced for a busy week including a flurry of corporate earnings reports, economic data and an announcement from the Federal Reserve.

The broad index gained 0.3% to break above 2,940.91, the previous record high set in September. Financials led the gains in the S&P 500, climbing 1.3%. Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup and Bank of America were the best performers in the sector, rising more than 2% each.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also hit an all-time high, rising 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 33 points higher as Goldman Sachs outperformed.

“This may be the busiest week of everything in terms of catalysts,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities. “It makes sense for us to be sideways heading into that at best.”

About 150 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to release their quarterly results this week, including Apple, General Electric and Qualcomm. Alphabet and Western Digital will release their first-quarter numbers after the bell on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Restaurant Brands reported weaker-than-expected earnings after a surprise drop in Tim Hortons sales, sending its shares down 22%. Spotify Technology posted a bigger-than-forecast loss, offsetting news that it reached 100 million subscribers for its premium service. Shares of Spotify fell 0.8%.

Through Monday morning, 231 companies in the S&P 500 have reported quarterly results. Of those companies, 77.5% have topped analyst expectations, according to data from FactSet. The reported earnings growth rate, meanwhile, is around 1%, well above the expected 4.2% drop.

“Everyone has forgotten the term earnings recession,” Hogan of National Securities said. “It was a bad case of premature extrapolation to think we were going to have an earnings recession.”

Strong corporate reports helped push the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to record closing highs last week. The two indexes rose 0.9% and 1.9%, respectively, last week.

“From a technical perspective, the SPX is back in record high territory after closing above its September ’18 high,” Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Jaffray, said in a note. “However, for a record high week, volume was lackluster and only a relatively small percentage of constituents registered new highs.”

“Improving fundamentals and FOMO sentiment have pushed stocks back into record high territory,” Johnson said. “Overbought conditions have now developed and market breadth has not confirmed the recent breakout. We believe some consolidation is likely and advise investors to consider realizing some gains at this juncture.”

On the data front, April’s nonfarm payrolls report is scheduled for release Friday along with international trade numbers. Factory orders, construction spending and consumer confidence data are all due for release this week.

The core personal consumption expenditures index — the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation — remained unchanged in March, data released Monday showed. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected a gain of 1.7%.

The Federal Reserve is also set to hold a monetary policy meeting this week. Investors will be looking for clues about the central bank’s plan for its balance sheet moving forward, as well as hints on where Fed officials think the economy is headed.

Market expectations for a Fed rate hike are zero, while expectations for no change in the overnight rate are at 97%, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/29/stock-market-earnings-data-and-us-china-trade-talks.html

Story 3: U.S Recession or Boom in 2020? Flip A Coin — Videos

What Will Cause The Next Recession – Robert Shiller On Human Behavior

What Will Cause The Next Recession – Mark Zandi Says Corporate Debt

Steve Keen Says U.S. Heading for 2020 Recession

Warren Buffet’s Financial Crisis Warning (HBO)

Why Warren Buffett Said No to Lehman and AIG in 2008

Keiser Report: Germans Stacking Gold (E1376)

Keiser Report: Will Interest Rates Ever Rise Again? (E1373)

When is a recession coming? By 2021, most economists predict in new survey.

Taylor TelfordWashington Post

Most business economists predict the U.S. will fall into a recession within the next two years, a new survey finds.

About half of the 280 business economists polled said they expect a downturn by the end of next year. Roughly 75 percent say it will happen by 2021. Only 11 percent anticipate the U.S. avoiding a recession during that two-year window, according to a February survey from the National Association for Business Economics released Monday.

The U.S. is deep into an economic expansion, which began in summer 2009, after the financial crisis. If the expansion lasts until June, it would be the nation’s longest. Though the economy has been robust — marked by strong consumer spending, climbing markets and the lowest unemployment rates in decades — signs of a slowdown have surfaced. Recent months have seen dizzying volatility in the markets and a sudden drop-off in consumer confidence. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have taken a toll on economic growth in the U.S. and abroad.

Shadows of a slowdown have put pressure on the Federal Reserve as it tries to price out interest rate increases. In January, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy has “good momentum” and that he didn’t foresee a recession in 2019. But he signaled the Fed would be “patient” about raising rates, as economic growth is expected to fall from the roughly 3 percent of last year to 2.3 percent this year. The Fed raised rates four times in 2018.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-recession-economists-survey-20190225-story.html

Story 4: Wait Until 2021 At Earliest For Any Trade Agreement To Be Passed By House of Representatives — Videos

rump’s New Nafta Faces Mounting Resistance in Democratic House

Pelosi and other leaders signal they won’t allow a vote without certain changes to labor rules

Soybeans were unloaded last fall onto a truck in Illinois. Farm crops are among myriad products covered by the new trade agreement involving the U.S., Mexico and Canada. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON—President Trump’s push to revamp North America’s trade rules is hitting a roadblock in Washington as Democrats and labor groups demand changes, dimming its chances of passage before next year’s presidential election.

As Congress returns from recess this week with a full plate of priorities, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and other prominent Democrats have signaled they won’t allow a vote on the administration’s new agreement with Canada and Mexico without certain changes.

Democrats said they want to make it easier to enforce new rules designed to strengthen labor rights in Mexico, saying a lack of worker protections there is hurting wages and job prospects for U.S. workers. Trump administration officials said these concerns can be handled in follow-up legislation that would implement the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, or USMCA.

The deal must still be ratified by all three countries, and there is no deadline for that to happen. But with the U.S. election season approaching, some Republicans and trade experts said Democrats may be seeking in part to deny Mr. Trump a political win—or at least to exact a heavy price for advancing the deal.

“There are always political motives,” with lawmakers focused on who will get credit or blame on such a comprehensive trade overhaul, said Phil Cox, former executive director of the Republican Governors Association and current co-chairman of a bipartisan group seeking to build national support for USMCA.

How could the Democrats and the Trump administration resolve their differences over labor protections in the new Nafta? Join the conversation below.

The agreement has yet to get through the ratification process in Canada and Mexico, but it is the prospect of resistance in the U.S. that now stands as the biggest question mark, according to people following the talks.

In an interview with Canada’s Global Television Network on Sunday, Bank of Canada Gov. Stephen Poloz said business confidence in that country remains uncertain.

“We were watching for signs that people would react positively to the signing of USMCA. That seems to have fallen off a little bit lately because [of] the issue of ratification,” Mr. Poloz said.

Mr. Trump, a Republican, made revising the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta, a central plank of his 2016 campaign. In the past, he has threatened to pull the U.S. out of the original deal, and some trade experts said he could renew those threats. For now, however, the administration appears focused on promoting the benefits of the new Nafta, which Vice President Mike Pence pushed at appearances in the auto industry stronghold of Michigan last week.

“The USMCA will actually impact more than two million American manufacturing jobs that depend on exports to Canada and Mexico,” Mr. Pence said. “It’s absolutely essential because the USMCA will finally give workers the level playing field and be able to compete and win on a global stage as never before.”

Mrs. Pelosi and other Democrats who voted for Nafta in 1993 believe its labor provisions weren’t effective and they want to make sure the U.S. has special tools to ensure enforcement under USMCA, congressional aides said.

USMCA includes provisions that labor unions requested, such as a rule requiring an increased share of automotive content to be produced in high-wage factories. But some Democrats said the agreement doesn’t give the U.S. the needed enforcement tools.

Democrats said they have long been focused on raising labor standards in Mexico, meant to raise wages for workers there and reduce the incentive for U.S. firms to move production to Mexico.

“Reflecting on the history of our concerns with Nafta, we question whether there is reason to believe that the new agreement will lead to meaningful change and real improvements for labor standards in Mexico,” House Democrats, led by Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, wrote in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this month.

Some Republicans, meanwhile, are pushing for the removal of steel and aluminum tariffsimposed on Canada and Mexico. In an opinion article published in The Wall Street Journalon Sunday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) said those tariffs are a “significant roadblock” to approval of USMCA.

The White House had hoped to reach a deal on the revised Nafta and push it through Congress in 2017, when the Senate and House were both under Republican control. But Mr. Lighthizer wasn’t able to strike a deal with both Mexico and Canada until a few weeks before the 2018 elections, which shifted House control to the Democrats. Free-trade agreements require majority support in the House and Senate.

In recent weeks, Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both Democrats, have made a labor-enforcement proposal that has been welcomed by House Democrats, aides said. U.S. and Mexican officials would together audit and inspect facilities suspected of breaching labor standards in USMCA, and the U.S. would be allowed to reinstate tariffs on goods from factories in violation.

Mexican Ambassador Martha Bárcena said last week that she discussed the proposal with Mr. Brown but would insist any labor changes works the same way for all three countries. “I said, ‘Perfect, senator, we agree: Will assume the U.S. will receive a team of labor inspectors from Mexico to see if tomato farmers in Florida are complying.’ ”

Why New Nafta's Approval Faces Long Odds

Why New Nafta’s Approval Faces Long Odds
Vice President Mike Pence was in Michigan on Wednesday to sell the virtues of the new Nafta, or the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. But is Congress ever going to approve the agreement? WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains. Photo: Getty

A spokeswoman for Mr. Brown said he is “absolutely open to the provision being bilateral, and he looks forward to continued work with both administrations.”

In general, Mexico is reluctant to reopen USMCA to changes, fearing a “Pandora’s box” of demands from businesses and interest groups in all three countries, Ms. Bárcena said at a Georgetown University Law Center conference.

The Trump administration also has sought to avoid changes to USMCA. Instead, Trump officials have told Congress the U.S. could use domestic law—including the tariff provision known as Section 301—to penalize Mexico for any labor violations.

A spokesman for Mr. Lighthizer declined to comment on the push to make changes on labor enforcement.

Labor leaders and allied Democrats worry the changes won’t be effective unless they have the agreement of Canada and Mexico. Asked by The Wall Street Journal about USMCA’s prospects in Congress this year, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he could guarantee it won’t pass without changes to the underlying international deal.

The 2020 presidential election could further drive Democratic opposition to the trade deal. In 2016, opposition from candidates and party activists was so strong that Hillary Clinton dropped her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that President Obama had negotiated.

Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who are also sitting senators, have said they would oppose the deal unless it is renegotiated with stronger environmental protections and with changes to intellectual-property rules that, they said, are too favorable to the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr. Trump has strong support in the business community and farm groups for USMCA. A report from the bipartisan U.S. International Trade Commission said USMCA would result in 29,700 new U.S. jobs in engine and transmission production, while car-assembly jobs would likely fall slightly. Detroit auto makers back passage of the deal and expect assembly jobs to increase.

Meanwhile, Mexico is working to pass a labor-law overhaul mandated by USMCA. That move could assuage some Democratic concerns as the U.S. Congress returns this week from a recess and looks toward holding hearings on USMCA.

Is Trump's New Nafta in Trouble?

Is Trump’s New Nafta in Trouble?
The Trump administration negotiated the USMCA trade deal as a replacement to Nafta. Will President Trump’s new deal be ratified in the near future, or are there roadblocks ahead? WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains. Photo: Getty

Under trade law known as “fast track,” Mr. Trump could submit USMCA to the House and Senate for an up-or-down vote with no amendments allowed. Still, in 2008 Mrs. Pelosi changed House rules to prevent such a vote on a free-trade agreement with Colombia, and aides said she likely would do that again if the Trump administration doesn’t address Democratic concerns on USMCA.

Threats by Mr. Trump to withdraw from Nafta could lead to a deal on USMCA with the Democrats, former officials say, but such tactics could also threaten the very existence of North America’s free-trade zone.

“I take the president at his word,” said Mr. Cox, the Republican political operative. “He said he’ll tear it up.”

Write to William Mauldin at william.mauldin@wsj.com

Appeared in the April 29, 2019, print edition as ‘New Nafta Accord Hits Democratic Resistance.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-new-nafta-faces-mounting-resistance-in-democratic-house-11556493604

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The Pronk Pops Show 1223, March 8, 2019, Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate Declines To 3.8% With Labor Participation Rate of 63.2% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Increased By 20,000 — Annual Wages Up 3.4% Best Post Recession — Videos — Story 2: House Votes To Give Illegal Aliens The Right To Vote — What is Next? — Citizenship For The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — American People Will Throw These Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Out of Office For Betraying American Workers — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Needs A 2020 Fundamental Tax Reform Proposal To Get Up To A 4% Economic Growth Rate And Near Full Employment — FairTax or Better Yet Fair Tax Less — Time To Fire UP The Economic Engine of United States — Incentives Matter — Videos

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Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate Declines To 3.8% With Labor Participation Rate of 63.2% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Increased By 20,000 — Annual Wages Up 3.4% Best Post Recession — Videos —

Take the February jobs report with a grain of salt: Economy experts

How Wall Street Views the U.S. February Jobs Report

U.S. Jobs Report Mainly a ‘Shutdown Effect,’ Economist Gapen Says

Take jobs report with grain of salt: Grant Thornton economist

February Jobs Report: U.S. Adds 20,000 Jobs, Below Expectations | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Understanding BLS Unemployment Statistics

 

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   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: March 8th, 2019

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for February 2019 is 21.1%.

Republishing our charts:  Permission, Restrictions and Instructions (includes important requirements for successful hot-linking)

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

 

 

Economic News Release

U.S. adds meager 20,000 jobs in February to mark smallest increase in 17 months

Published: Mar 8, 2019 2:01 p.m. ET

Unemployment rate drops to 3.8% from 4%, wages grow faster

By JEFFRYBARTASH

REPORTER
Getty Images
The U.S. economy added just 20,000 new jobs in February after big gains in the prior two months, but the unemployment rate fell again and wages rose sharply.

The numbers: American businesses and other employers created the fewest new jobs in February in 17 months, the latest sign of a broader slowdown in the U.S. economy.

The economy added just 20,000 new jobs last month, the smallest gain since September 2017, the government said Friday.

The number of new nonfarm jobs created last month was well below the 172,000 MarketWatch forecast, but the slowdown was probably exaggerated by heavy snow and other seasonal oddities that are unlikely to persist. The U.S. has been adding more than 200,000 new jobs a month for the past year.

Hiring sputtered in February in construction, retail and shipping and was muted in most other industries.

The pace of hiring is still strong enough, however, to keep downward pressure on the nation’s unemployment rate, especially in a tight labor market in which good help is hard to find.

The jobless rate slipped to 3.8% from 4%, aided by the return of government workers after the end of the partial federal shutdown in January. Last year unemployment fell to a half-century low of 3.7%.

An ultra-tight labor market, what’s more, is forcing companies to offer better pay and benefits to attract or retain workers. The amount of money the average worker earns jumped 11 cents an hour to $27.66 last month.

The increase in pay in the past 12 months climbed to 3.4%, the biggest gain since the end of the last recession in 2009. While faster pay might spark fresh worries about inflation, so far there’s little sign that higher labor costs have done much if any harm.

Read: Fed’s pause now extends through September in wake of weak jobs report

What happened: The biggest dropoff in hiring in February took place in construction, where employment fell 31,000 after a 53,000 increase in January. The sharp swing in construction employment is likely evidence that government statisticians had trouble with seasonal adjustments.

A similarly large swing took place among hotels and restaurants, whose employment was flat in February after an outsized 89,000 increase in January that was the second largest in the past 20 years.

Retailers and shippers also cut jobs.

Hiring was strongest among professional firms and health-care companies. Professional firms created 42,000 new jobs and health providers added 21,000 jobs. Those have been the fastest growing industries through the nearly 10-year-old expansion.

Economists figure the U.S. needs to add about 100,000 jobs a month to absorb the number of people entering the labor force — immigrants, high school and college grads, moms or retirees going back to work. The labor force has been growing more slowly because of an aging population and tighter immigration restrictions, among other things.

Read: Trade deficit soars to 10-year high, foiling Trump White House efforts to rein it in

Also Read: Don’t blame oil for surging trade deficit – it’s all the other stuff Americans buy

Big picture: The U.S. is not growing as fast as it was last summer and companies might be more cautious about hiring, but the economy is not about to fall into a ditch despite what the February jobs report seems to indicate.

Read: ‘Don’t hit panic’ — economists say jobs report wasn’t as bad as it looked

A chief reason is the strong labor market: Wages are rising, unemployment and layoffs remain near a half-century low and job openings are at a record high.

So long as consumers are working and spending, companies are unlikely to see the kind of hiccup in sales that would force them to slash jobs. Their biggest worry right now is a slowing global economy that’s crimped exports, but if the U.S. and China strike a deal and end a damaging dispute over trade, it could go a long way in easing some of those worries.

Read: The rise of the robots and decline of inflation: How AI is keeping prices low

What they are saying: “Bizarre swings in the economic data have become routine since the end of the government shutdown and today was no exception,” said Thomas Simons, senior money market economist at Jefferies LLC. He said the 166,000 average of job gains in the first two months of 2019 are a more accurate reflection of underlying hiring trends.

“One poor report should not set off alarm bells, but given that the labor market is the linchpin for the entire economy, it does add to existing concerns and raises the stakes for next month’s report,” said Curt Long, chief economist at National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.09% and S&P 500SPX, -0.21% fell sharply in Friday trades.

The 10-year Treasury yield TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.31% fell several basis points to 2.65%. Many loans such as mortgages and auto loans are tied to changes in the 10-year note, whose yield has fallen from a seven-year high of 3.23% in October.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-adds-meager-20000-jobs-in-february-to-mark-smallest-increase-in-17-months-2019-03-08

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until		USDL-19-0360
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, March 8, 2019

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 -- FEBRUARY 2019


Total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in February (+20,000), and the
unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment in professional and business services, health care, and
wholesale trade continued to trend up, while construction employment decreased.  

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent in February,
and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million. Among the
unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs
(including people on temporary layoff) declined by 225,000. This decline reflects,
in part, the return of federal workers who were furloughed in January due to the
partial government shutdown. (See tables A-1 and A-11.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent),
Whites (3.3 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) decreased in February. The jobless
rates for adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (13.4 percent), Blacks (7.0 percent),
and Asians (3.1 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1,
A-2, and A-3.)

In February, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
was essentially unchanged at 1.3 million and accounted for 20.4 percent of the
unemployed. (See table A-12.) 

The labor force participation rate held at 63.2 percent in February and has changed
little over the year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.7 percent, was unchanged
over the month but was up by 0.3 percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) decreased by 837,000 to 4.3 million in February.
This decline follows a sharp increase in January that may have resulted from the
partial federal government shutdown. (Persons employed part time for economic reasons
would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their
hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.) (See table A-8.)

In February, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, a
decrease of 178,000 from a year earlier. (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 last 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 428,000 discouraged workers in February,
little changed from a year earlier. (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 February 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 was little changed in February (+20,000), after
increasing by 311,000 in January. In 2018, job growth averaged 223,000 per month.
In February, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services,
health care, and wholesale trade, while construction employment declined. (See table
B-1.)

In February, employment in professional and business services continued to trend
up (+42,000), in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. 

Health care added 21,000 jobs in February and 361,000 jobs over the year. Employment
in ambulatory health care services edged up over the month (+16,000). 

In February, wholesale trade employment continued its upward trend (+11,000). The
industry has added 95,000 jobs over the year, largely among durable goods wholesalers. 

Employment in construction declined by 31,000 in February, partially offsetting an
increase of 53,000 in January. In February, employment declined in heavy and civil
engineering construction (-13,000). Over the year, construction has added 223,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment changed little in February (+4,000), after increasing by an
average of 22,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

In February, employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged, after posting job
gains of 89,000 and 65,000 in January and December, respectively. Over the year,
leisure and hospitality has added 410,000 jobs.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, retail trade, transportation
and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little
or no change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1
hour to 34.4 hours in February. In manufacturing, the average workweek declined 0.1
hour to 40.7 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek
for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls fell by 0.2
hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 11 cents to $27.66, following a 2-cent gain in January. Over the year, average
hourly earnings have increased by 3.4 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector
production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 8 cents to $23.18 in February.
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up from +222,000
to +227,000, and the change for January was revised up from +304,000 to +311,000. With
these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 12,000 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 186,000
per month over the last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for March is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 5, 2019,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).



The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: March 08, 2019

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Feb.
2018
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019
Change from:
Jan.
2019-
Feb.
2019

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

256,934 258,888 258,239 258,392 153

Civilian labor force

161,900 163,240 163,229 163,184 -45

Participation rate

63.0 63.1 63.2 63.2 0.0

Employed

155,213 156,945 156,694 156,949 255

Employment-population ratio

60.4 60.6 60.7 60.7 0.0

Unemployed

6,687 6,294 6,535 6,235 -300

Unemployment rate

4.1 3.9 4.0 3.8 -0.2

Not in labor force

95,033 95,649 95,010 95,208 198

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.1 3.9 4.0 3.8 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.7 3.6 3.7 3.5 -0.2

Adult women (20 years and over)

3.8 3.5 3.6 3.4 -0.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

14.4 12.5 12.9 13.4 0.5

White

3.7 3.4 3.5 3.3 -0.2

Black or African American

6.8 6.6 6.8 7.0 0.2

Asian

3.0 3.3 3.1 3.1 0.0

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4.9 4.4 4.9 4.3 -0.6

Total, 25 years and over

3.4 3.1 3.3 3.1 -0.2

Less than a high school diploma

5.6 5.8 5.7 5.3 -0.4

High school graduates, no college

4.4 3.8 3.8 3.8 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.5 3.3 3.4 3.2 -0.2

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.2 2.1 2.4 2.2 -0.2

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,227 2,903 3,082 2,857 -225

Job leavers

784 839 805 840 35

Reentrants

1,954 1,958 1,945 1,905 -40

New entrants

703 588 606 623 17

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,458 2,126 2,325 2,194 -131

5 to 14 weeks

1,900 2,027 2,013 1,810 -203

15 to 26 weeks

933 897 902 942 40

27 weeks and over

1,403 1,306 1,252 1,271 19

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,115 4,657 5,147 4,310 -837

Slack work or business conditions

3,293 2,891 3,451 2,792 -659

Could only find part-time work

1,537 1,496 1,419 1,347 -72

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,120 21,234 20,949 21,153 204

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,602 1,556 1,614 1,424

Discouraged workers

373 375 426 428

– 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.

 

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

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age
[Numbers in thousands]
Employment status, race, sex, and age Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted(1)
Feb.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019
Feb.
2018
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019

WHITE

Civilian noninstitutional population

199,799 200,382 200,447 199,799 200,596 200,690 200,774 200,382 200,447

Civilian labor force

125,658 125,516 126,102 125,862 126,100 126,334 126,680 126,351 126,313

Participation rate

62.9 62.6 62.9 63.0 62.9 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.0

Employed

120,646 120,542 121,628 121,241 121,923 122,036 122,318 121,880 122,168

Employment-population ratio

60.4 60.2 60.7 60.7 60.8 60.8 60.9 60.8 60.9

Unemployed

5,012 4,974 4,475 4,621 4,177 4,299 4,362 4,471 4,144

Unemployment rate

4.0 4.0 3.5 3.7 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.3

Not in labor force

74,141 74,866 74,345 73,937 74,496 74,355 74,094 74,030 74,134

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

65,802 65,684 65,925 65,887 65,771 65,961 66,110 66,051 66,052

Participation rate

72.0 71.6 71.8 72.1 71.6 71.8 71.9 72.0 72.0

Employed

63,185 63,112 63,636 63,651 63,785 63,960 64,046 63,890 64,088

Employment-population ratio

69.1 68.8 69.3 69.6 69.4 69.6 69.6 69.6 69.8

Unemployed

2,617 2,572 2,289 2,236 1,986 2,000 2,064 2,161 1,964

Unemployment rate

4.0 3.9 3.5 3.4 3.0 3.0 3.1 3.3 3.0

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

55,465 55,612 56,042 55,254 55,778 55,819 55,995 55,740 55,814

Participation rate

57.8 57.7 58.1 57.5 57.8 57.9 58.0 57.8 57.9

Employed

53,640 53,733 54,365 53,456 54,062 54,023 54,226 53,959 54,151

Employment-population ratio

55.9 55.8 56.4 55.7 56.1 56.0 56.2 56.0 56.2

Unemployed

1,825 1,879 1,677 1,798 1,716 1,796 1,769 1,781 1,663

Unemployment rate

3.3 3.4 3.0 3.3 3.1 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.0

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian labor force

4,392 4,219 4,135 4,721 4,551 4,554 4,575 4,560 4,447

Participation rate

35.6 34.4 33.7 38.3 37.0 37.0 37.2 37.2 36.3

Employed

3,822 3,697 3,627 4,134 4,076 4,052 4,047 4,031 3,929

Employment-population ratio

31.0 30.1 29.6 33.5 33.1 32.9 32.9 32.9 32.0

Unemployed

570 523 508 587 476 502 528 530 518

Unemployment rate

13.0 12.4 12.3 12.4 10.5 11.0 11.6 11.6 11.6

BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN

Civilian noninstitutional population

32,607 32,868 32,897 32,607 32,887 32,923 32,956 32,868 32,897

Civilian labor force

20,360 20,549 20,441 20,518 20,564 20,451 20,460 20,628 20,575

Participation rate

62.4 62.5 62.1 62.9 62.5 62.1 62.1 62.8 62.5

Employed

18,928 19,033 18,944 19,118 19,290 19,232 19,107 19,220 19,137

Employment-population ratio

58.1 57.9 57.6 58.6 58.7 58.4 58.0 58.5 58.2

Unemployed

1,432 1,516 1,497 1,399 1,274 1,219 1,353 1,408 1,437

Unemployment rate

7.0 7.4 7.3 6.8 6.2 6.0 6.6 6.8 7.0

Not in labor force

12,246 12,318 12,457 12,089 12,323 12,472 12,496 12,240 12,322

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

9,339 9,320 9,333 9,448 9,400 9,310 9,284 9,367 9,414

Participation rate

68.5 67.6 67.6 69.3 68.2 67.4 67.2 67.9 68.2

Employed

8,744 8,584 8,595 8,889 8,814 8,771 8,709 8,705 8,734

Employment-population ratio

64.1 62.2 62.3 65.2 63.9 63.5 63.0 63.1 63.3

Unemployed

595 736 738 559 586 539 575 662 680

Unemployment rate

6.4 7.9 7.9 5.9 6.2 5.8 6.2 7.1 7.2

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

10,261 10,433 10,358 10,264 10,327 10,303 10,359 10,419 10,366

Participation rate

62.4 62.8 62.3 62.4 62.2 62.0 62.2 62.8 62.4

Employed

9,615 9,820 9,793 9,642 9,825 9,789 9,749 9,847 9,822

Employment-population ratio

58.4 59.2 58.9 58.6 59.2 58.9 58.6 59.3 59.1

Unemployed

646 613 565 621 501 515 611 572 544

Unemployment rate

6.3 5.9 5.5 6.1 4.9 5.0 5.9 5.5 5.3

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian labor force

760 797 750 806 837 837 817 842 795

Participation rate

30.3 32.2 30.3 32.1 33.6 33.6 32.8 34.0 32.1

Employed

569 629 556 587 650 672 650 669 582

Employment-population ratio

22.7 25.4 22.5 23.4 26.1 27.0 26.1 27.0 23.5

Unemployed

191 168 194 219 187 165 167 173 213

Unemployment rate

25.2 21.0 25.9 27.1 22.4 19.7 20.5 20.6 26.8

ASIAN

Civilian noninstitutional population

15,792 16,034 16,055 15,792 16,030 16,096 16,138 16,034 16,055

Civilian labor force

9,934 10,264 10,383 9,925 10,280 10,334 10,262 10,298 10,369

Participation rate

62.9 64.0 64.7 62.8 64.1 64.2 63.6 64.2 64.6

Employed

9,635 9,938 10,053 9,630 9,956 10,050 9,929 9,978 10,045

Employment-population ratio

61.0 62.0 62.6 61.0 62.1 62.4 61.5 62.2 62.6

Unemployed

299 326 329 294 324 284 334 321 324

Unemployment rate

3.0 3.2 3.2 3.0 3.1 2.7 3.3 3.1 3.1

Not in labor force

5,858 5,770 5,672 5,868 5,750 5,762 5,876 5,736 5,686

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

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

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

Story 2: House Votes To Give Illegal Aliens The Right To Vote — What is Next? — Citizenship For The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — American People Will Throw These Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Out of Office For Betraying American Workers — Videos —

House Democrats push for Illegals & Non citizens to Vote!!!

House votes in favor of illegal immigrant voting

Voters packed the Vigo County Annex in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, during the final day of early voting. (Austen Leake/Tribune-Star via AP) ** FILE **

 

– The Washington Times – Friday, March 8, 2019

House Democrats voted Friday to defend localities that allow illegal immigrants to vote in their elections, turning back a GOP attempt to discourage the practice.

The vote marks a stunning reversal from just six months ago, when the chamber — then under GOP control — voted to decry illegal immigrant voting.

“We are prepared to open up the political process and let all of the people come in,” Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and hero of the civil rights movement, told colleagues as he led opposition to the GOP measure.

The 228-197 vote came as part of a broader debate on Democrats’ major legislative priority this year, HR 1, the “For the People Act,” which includes historic expansions of voter registration and access, as well as a major rewrite of campaign finance laws.

The measure would have had no practical effect even if it had passed. Illegal immigrants — and indeed noncitizens as a whole — are not legally able to participate in federal elections.

But Republicans had hoped to send a message to localities such as San Francisco, where noncitizens are now allowed to vote in school board elections.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/8/house-votes-favor-illegal-immigrant-voting/

Story 3: President Trump Needs A 2020 Fundamental Tax Reform Proposal To Get Up To A 4% Economic Growth Rate And Near Full Employment — FairTax or Better Yet Fair Tax Less — Time To Fire UP The Economic Engine of United States — Incentives Matter — Videos

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EAT THE RICH!

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Who Pays Income Taxes?

By Demian Brady

(pdf)

As taxpayers have begun to file after the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it’s an opportune time to reflect on the tax relief it brought. Lower tax rates across-the-board increased take home pay for workers. And thanks to the increased standard deduction, an estimated 31 million filers will no longer need to itemize their taxes, reducing the compliance burden by 248 million hours. With a reduced corporate tax rate that has made the U.S. more competitive, the TCJA also helped spur a booming economy that is generating record levels of tax receipts.

For historical information:

Despite the achievement of the TCJA, many politicians remain opposed to the tax cuts. And they employ worn out class warfare rhetoric to inaccurately disparage the law or even any attempt to reduce income taxes. Nancy Pelosi, and several others in her party, have slammed the tax cuts as a giveaway to the rich and complain that the wealthy are not paying their “fair share.”

First of all, reducing taxes allows people to keep more of what they created and earned – that’s not a giveaway. Second, Pelosi and her colleagues neglect to take into account the fact that under the progressive tax code, the top income earners pay an outsized share of income taxes. And the biggest unreported fact about TCJA is that it will increase the progressivity of the tax system.

The IRS has recently released an analysis of the distribution of the income tax burden for Tax Year 2016. The new data shows that the top one percent of income earners bear the burden of 37 percent of all income taxes. This is nearly twice as much as their share of income (19.7 percent). The top 25 percent of earners shoulder nearly 86 percent of the income tax load. Combined, the top 50 percent of earners are responsible for 97 percent income taxes collected. The other half of filers pay just 3 percent of all income taxes.

NTUF has compiled historical data tracking the distribution of the federal income tax burden back to 1980. In that year, the top one percent of filers’ income tax share was 19 percent – that’s nearly half of what it is now. On the other side of the spectrum, the bottom fifty percent’s share has been cut from 7 percent to 3 percent over the past 38 years. And this happened despite the top marginal income tax rate falling from 70 percent in 1980 to 39.6 percent by 2016.

The trends are clear: the code has become increasingly progressive, and when people are allowed to keep more of their own money, they prosper, move up the economic ladder, and pay a bigger part of the income tax bill for those who aren’t.

The tax code provides net assistance to many filers working their way up the economic ladder. A Congressional Budget Office report on shows that households in the lowest income quintiles actually have negative tax liabilities. This means that they are recipients of refundable tax credits which can be claimed above and beyond any net income taxes owed. For example, almost 26 million households received the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2016. Beyond reducing many filers’ tax obligation, this refundable credit resulted in outlays totaling $61 billion.

After accounting for low-income levels and various tax credits, 33.4 percent of returns in Tax Year 2016 paid no income tax, up significantly from 21.3 percent in 1980.

While it’s true that the benefits of the tax cuts enacted in the TCJA went to the top income earners who pay most income taxes, it is also expected that the TCJA will increase the progressivity of the code. The combination of the near-doubling of the standard deduction and the expanded child credit will increase the number of filers with zero income tax liability. The Tax Policy Center estimated that an additional 2.4 percent of tax units will owe nothing. David Splinter of the Joint Committee on Taxation simultaneously projected that the TCJA will increase the figure by 2.5 percent.

Splinter also finds that most of the increase in the number of filers with no liability over the past decades has occurred because of changes in tax policy, more so than the health of the economy. Using an econometric index, he calculates that the code has become much more progressive since 1985 – due to exclusions and increases in refundable credits – and that the TCJA will further increase its progressivity.

The lopsided income tax burden carried by the top income earners raises the question: just what is a “fair” level of taxation? Until recently, those who complained most loudly that the rich are not paying their fair share generally refrained from specifying what would be an appropriate amount. In July 2018, Senator Elizabeth Warren agreed that a 90 percent rate “sounds pretty shockingly high,” but was unwilling to state just what tax rate she would support. This year the new left has ratcheted up calls for higher taxes with some specifics. Newly-elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led the charge with a 70 percent marginal rate on incomes above $10 million. Warren responded with a proposal for a 2 percent wealth tax on households with a net worth of $50 million, and a 3 percent rate on households with over $1 billion in wealth. It’s worth noting that while these proposals would further increase the progressivity of the tax system – and the wealth tax in particular would impose significant additional administrative complexities and compliance burdens, and may not be constitutional – they would also only pay for a fraction of new spending programs, including Medicare for All, also being pitched by the high tax advocates.

And just who are the “rich” that are allegedly not paying their “fair share”? The minimum threshold to be counted among the wealthiest tenth of taxpayers is just under $140,000, and the top quarter’s threshold starts at just under $81,000. The latter is comparable to the median income that year in several large metropolitan areas. Many homeowners who think of themselves as middle-class may be surprised to learn that the tax code classifies them among the rich.

As pundits and politicians complain about “tax fairness” taxpayers should press them to specify what would be fair. They should also be reminded that with lower taxes, people keep more of what they earned and spend or save their dollars more productively than Washington, DC. The lesson of tax reform efforts from the Kennedy-Johnson tax cuts through the Reagan and Bush era is that tax cuts stimulate productivity and job growth. Increasing the tax rates could reverse the economic expansion. That wouldn’t just be unfair, it would be unwise.

https://www.ntu.org/foundation/tax-page/who-pays-income-taxes

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The Pronk Pops Show 1215, February 25, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Meeting With Chairman Kim and U.S/Communist China Signing Trade Agreement —  What Happened To Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization and Destruction of 60+ Nuclear Weapons — Trump Backpedaling — Ultimately Denuclearization? — Much Talk No Action — Total U.S. Embargo On Communist China’s Imports Necessary To Have North Korea Denuclearization — No Real Progress Expected At Summit Nor On Trade Issues — Conclusion:  Trump Being Played For Fool By Communist Dictators — Videos — Story 2: Corrupt Drug Cartel Supporters Oppose National Emergency To Build Border Barrier — American People Support Trump — Political Elitist Establishment Support Open Borders and Drug Dealers — Trump Promises To Veto Resolution to Block National Emergency — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Meeting With Chairman Kim and U.S/Communist China Signing Trade Agreement —  What Happened To Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization and Destruction of 60+ Nuclear Weapons — Trump Backpedaling — Ultimately Denuclearization — Much Talk No Action — Total U.S. Embargo On Communist China’s Imports Necessary To Have North Korea Denuclearization — No Real Progress Expected At Summit Nor On Trade Issues — Conclusion:  Trump Being Played For Fool By Communist Dictators — Videos —

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Kim Jong Un impersonator deported from Vietnam ahead of summit

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Vietnam ahead of summit meeting

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are in place ahead of their second summit on Wednesday to address perhaps the world’s biggest security challenge.

Mr Kim’s pursuit of a nuclear programme that stands on the verge of viably threatening targets around the planet will be central to discussions in Vietnam that will build on last year’s encounter in Singapore.

Mr Trump arrived late on Tuesday in Air Force One after a long flight that included refuelling stops in the UK and Qatar.

He waved from the stairs of the presidential plane, then shook hands with dignitaries and walked along a red carpet to his motorcade.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, receives bouquets on his arrival (Minoru Iwasaki/Kyodo/AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, receives bouquets on his arrival (Minoru Iwasaki/Kyodo/AP)

Mr Kim arrived in Hanoi earlier and spent the day travelling around the Vietnamese capital in his armoured limousine, his squad of bodyguards in tow as he visited the North Korean Embassy, with hundreds of visiting journalists and thousands of local citizens following in his wake.

He took a train through southern China and then travelled to Hanoi by car from a Vietnamese border town.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Just arrived in Vietnam. Thank you to all of the people for the great reception in Hanoi. Tremendous crowds, and so much love!

42.7K people are talking about this

The two leaders are slated to meet over two days, first at dinner on Wednesday followed by meetings on Thursday.

They first met last June in Singapore, a summit that was long on historic pageantry but short in any enforceable agreements for North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal.

President Donald Trump meets officials on his arrival (Evan Vucci/AP)

President Donald Trump meets officials on his arrival (Evan Vucci/AP)

Mr Trump has praised Pyongyang for ceasing middle tests and has appeared to ease up on demanding a timeline for disarmament.

Mr Kim is expected to ask for relief from crushing US sanctions.

But before the summit began, Mr Kim took some time to venture out of his locked-down hotel and check out parts of Hanoi, including his nation’s embassy, where a loud cheer went up as he entered the compound.

Soldiers, police and international journalists thronged the streets outside Hanoi’s Melia Hotel where Mr Kim is staying, and hundreds of eager citizens stood behind barricades hoping to see the North Korean leader.

As Vietnamese, North Korean and US flags fluttered in a cold drizzle, dozens of cameras flashed and some citizens screamed and used their mobile phones to capture Mr Kim’s rock-star-like arrival.

A worker helps arrange American and Vietnamese flags (Andrew Harnik/AP)

“I like him,” local resident Van Dang Luu, who works at a nearby bank, said of Mr Kim.

“He is very young and he is very interesting. And he is very powerful,” she said.

“Trump is not young, but I think he is very powerful.”

Vietnam’s authoritarian leaders set up a huge security apparatus to welcome Mr Kim, shutting long stretches of road and locking down swaths of the bustling capital city.

Earlier in the morning, Mr Kim, grinning broadly and waving, stepped off his armoured train at the end of a long ride that started in Pyongyang and wound through China to the Vietnamese border.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from a car (Minh Hoang/AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from a car (Minh Hoang/AP)

He shook hands with officials as Vietnamese troops in crisp, white uniforms and black boots stood at attention on a red carpet at the Dong Dang railway station on the China-Vietnam border.

Hours ahead of his border crossing, footage from Japanese TV network TBS showed Mr Kim taking a pre-dawn smoke break at a railway station in China, a woman who appeared to be his sister, Kim Yo Jong, holding a crystal ashtray at the ready.

Although many experts are sceptical Mr Kim will give up the nuclear weapons he likely sees as his best guarantee of continued rule, there was a palpable, carnival-like excitement among many in Hanoi as the final preparations were made for the meeting.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Heading over to Vietnam for my meeting with Kim Jong Un. Looking forward to a very productive Summit!

There were also huge traffic jams in the already congested streets.

Vietnam is eager to show off its huge economic and development improvements since the destruction of the Vietnam War, but the country also tolerates no dissent and is able to provide the kind of firm hand not allowed by more democratic potential hosts.

T-shirts depicting US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Andrew Harnik/AP)

T-shirts depicting US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Andrew Harnik/AP)

“I really hope to catch a glimpse of Kim Jong Un. He is an interesting man. And he rarely travels anywhere so it would be great to see him here,” said Nguyen Trong Toan, a retired teacher who was waiting by the side of the street on Kim’s expected travel route.

There are high expectations for the Hanoi summit after a vague declaration at the first meeting in June in Singapore that disappointed many.

Mr Trump, via Twitter, has worked to temper those expectations, predicting before leaving for Hanoi a “continuation of the progress” made in Singapore but adding a tantalising nod to “denuclearisation?”

He also said that Mr Kim knows that “without nuclear weapons, his country could fast become one of the great economic powers anywhere in the world”.

North Korea has spent decades, at great political and economic sacrifice, building its nuclear programme, and there is widespread scepticism among experts that it will give away that programme cheaply.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-6747417/Donald-Trump-Kim-Jong-Un-Vietnam-ahead-summit-meeting.html

 

Trump’s Hanoi summit off to rough start even before his arrival

 Published 

President Donald Trump arrived in Hanoi late Tuesday for a second summit with Kim Jong Un that has already shown flashes of disorder, as American journalists were abruptly evicted from a hotel housing the North Korean leader and key details of the meeting remained a mystery.

The White House has set low ambitions for Thursday’s talks, organized in a matter of weeks after Trump announced the summit Feb. 8. The two sides haven’t even agreed on the meaning of denuclearization or the ultimate purpose of the negotiations — and that’s unlikely to be resolved this week.

Before Kim’s arrival in Hanoi Tuesday morning, Vietnam’s foreign ministry announced that the White House media center would have to move from the Melia hotel downtown, where the North Korean leader is staying. The White House offered no explanation for the move, which forced news organizations operating from the hotel to pack up and relocate a few blocks away.

Trump will dine with Kim Wednesday evening after meetings with Vietnamese leaders, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling with the president aboard Air Force One. She didn’t say where the two men would have dinner Wednesday, and the White House also hasn’t said where they will hold their formal summit on Thursday.

Trump will be joined at dinner by his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. Kim will also be joined by two aides, Sanders said. She didn’t identify them.

Sanders complained on Fox News last week that American media had manufactured “high expectations” for the summit. Trump has sought to tamp down public expectations as well, telling state governors on Sunday that he has no intention of lifting harsh U.S. sanctions on North Korea and isn’t pushing for a hasty deal with Kim.

Failure to win substantive concessions from Kim risks turning a dramatic moment into a public letdown for the U.S president, who is making his second trip to the other side of the world to try to persuade Kim to give up his nuclear weapons. After agreeing to cease military exercises with South Korea following their first summit without gaining anything substantive from Kim in exchange, Trump’s critics fear the president may again be talked into a U.S. concession.

“This is where the president’s unpredictability, his impulsiveness, his inclination not to prepare for meetings could get us into trouble,” said Victor Cha, the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, whom the Trump administration considered nominating for ambassador to South Korea.

Talks between Washington and Pyongyang have been deadlocked since the two leaders’ first summit in Singapore last June. Rather than show progress toward denuclearization, North Korea has continued to build warheads and missiles, according to satellite-imagery analysis and leaked American intelligence.

Speculation before the second summit has focused on steps the two countries could take to show warming relations while avoiding the sorer points in their nuclear negotiations. In Hanoi, the government has festooned the city with U.S., Vietnamese and North Korean flags and branded the summit as a “partnership for sustainable peace.”

The likeliest outcomes this time are symbolic. One significant possibility is that Trump and Kim conclude their meetings on Thursday with a declaration that their countries are no longer at war, a nonbinding political statement that won’t officially replace the 1953 Korean War armistice.

Some critics worry that a peace declaration — which would come more than 65 years after the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War – could erode the American justification for stationing about 28,500 troops in neighboring South Korea. That might not be of particular concern to Trump, who has openly questioned the cost of the large U.S. troop presence and recently forced the negotiation of a new cost-sharing agreement with South Korea.

Kim could agree to allow a U.S. diplomatic liaison office in Pyongyang, sought by American officials dating to Bill Clinton’s administration. But the North Korean regime has resisted, figuring the U.S. would use the outpost to expand its intelligence-gathering in the country. This summit may test Kim’s willingness to break from the past.

Patrick Cronin, chairman of the Asia-Pacific security program at the Hudson Institute, a conservative Washington-based think tank, said either a peace declaration or a diplomatic exchange would be useful confidence-building moves. Neither should be met with much concern — especially if Kim also gives ground on issues such as inspections of North Korean nuclear facilities or lockdowns or other controls of fissile material, he said.

Trump has repeatedly indicated he’s eager to help jump-start a post-nuclear North Korean economy. His negotiators might seek human-rights assurances that could eventually pave the way for Western companies subject to U.S. and international laws to enter the country.

The two leaders could also announce the formation of joint survey teams to look for additional remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War, after an initial repatriation following the Singapore summit.

Senior administration officials said that progress toward any of those goals would constitute success and demonstrate the president’s efforts have been effective. A team of more than a dozen U.S. officials led by Stephen Biegun, Trump’s North Korea envoy, has met twice in recent weeks – first in Pyongyang, and more recently in Hanoi – with North Korean counterparts in a bid to craft some sort of agreement for the leaders to announce.

Kim could demonstrate his sincerity by revealing undeclared facilities, disclosing or allowing inspection of his program’s uranium pathways, permitting international inspectors on the ground, or agreeing to allow electronic monitoring or the removal of samples by inspectors. U.S. negotiators are likely to raise their concerns over the proliferation of fissile material and mobile missile launchers.

One senior administration official who requested anonymity to discuss ongoing negotiations speculated that a breakdown in talks between the U.S. and North Korea late last year could have been a signal of internal pressures within the North Korean government. Kim likely faces domestic resistance to any steps toward denuclearization, Cronin said.

https://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Trump-s-Hanoi-summit-off-to-rough-start-even-13645100.php

 

List of North Korean missile tests

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There have been a number of North Korean missile tests. North Korea has also fired a number of short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea of Korea), in what have been interpreted as political gestures.[1][2][3][4]

As of 30 November 2017, North Korea has carried out 117 tests of strategic missiles since its first such test in 1984.[5] 15 were carried out under the rule of Kim Il-sung and 16 under Kim Jong-il.[6] Under Kim Jong-un, more than 80 tests have been undertaken.[7]

Timeline[edit]

Date Information
1976–81 North Korea commences its missile development program using Scud-B from the Soviet Union and a launchpad from Egypt.[8]
1984 First Scud-B missile test firing.[8]
1988 Operational deployment of Scud-B and Scud-C missiles.[8]
1990 First Rodong missile test.[8]
1993 1993 North Korean missile test – (May 29/30, 1993) – Nodong
1998 North Korea fires off its first ballistic missile, the Unha-1 rocket, also known as the Taepodong-1 missile, from the launch site of Musudan-ri in North Hamgyong Province.[9]
1999 North Korea agrees to a moratorium on long-range missile tests.[10]
2002 North Korea pledges to extend moratorium on missile tests beyond 2003.
2004 North Korea reaffirms moratorium.[11]
2005 North Korea fires short-range missile into Sea of Japan.[12]
July 5, 2006 2006 North Korean missile test – Taepodong-2 failed [9]
April 5, 2009 Failed orbit of the Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite aboard an Unha-2 carrier rocket
July 4, 2009 2009 North Korean missile test
April 13, 2012 Failed launch of the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 satellite aboard an Unha-3 carrier rocket
December 12, 2012 Successful launch of the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 satellite aboard a three-stage rocket [9]
May 18–20, 2013 2013 North Korean missile tests (part of 2013 Korean crisis)
March 2014 2014 North Korean missile tests including Nodong, success[13]
May 9, 2015 North Korea claims to launch a missile from a submarine [14][9]
February 7, 2016 Successful launch of the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4 satellite
April 9, 2016 Test of engine designed for an intercontinental ballistic missile [15]
August 24, 2016 North Korea claims to launch a Pukkuksong-1[16] missile capable of striking the United States.[17] The missile is a Submarine-launched ballistic missile.[17]
October 15, 2016 Failed North Korean ballistic missile launch – [18]
October 19, 2016 Failed launch of an intermediate-range missile [19]
February 11, 2017 North Korea test-fired a Pukkuksong-2 missile over the Sea of Japan. This was the first launch of the new medium-range ballistic missile .[20][21][9]
March 6, 2017 North Korea launches four ballistic missiles from the Tongchang-ri launch site in the northwest.[22] Some flew 620 mi (1,000 km) before falling into the Sea of Japan.[23][9]
April 4, 2017 North Korea test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile from its eastern port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan[24][25][9]
April 15, 2017 North Korea test-fired an unidentified land-based missile from the naval base in Sinpo but it exploded almost immediately after the takeoff .[26][27][28][29]
April 28, 2017 North Korea test-fired an unidentified missile from Pukchang airfield.[30][31] The missile, believed to be a medium-range[32] KN-17 ballistic missile,[30] faltered and broke apart minutes after liftoff.[32][33][34]
May 13, 2017 North Korea test-fired a Hwasong-12[35] missile from a test site in the area of Kusong.[36] The missile, later revealed to be an intermediate range ballistic missile,[37] traveled 30 minutes,[38] reached an altitude of more than 2,111.5 km, and flew a horizontal distance of 789 km (489 miles), before falling into the Sea of Japan.[37] Such a missile would have a range of at least 4,000, reaching Guam, to 6,000 km.[36][35]
May 21, 2017 North Korea test-fired another Pukkuksong-2 medium-range ballistic missile from Pukchang airfield,[39][40] which traveled approximately 500 km (300 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan.[41] The missile landed about 350 km (217 miles) from North Korea’s east coast.[41]
May 29, 2017 North Korea fired a Short Range Ballistic Missile into the Sea of Japan. It traveled 450 km.[42]
June 8, 2017 North Korea fired several missiles into the Sea of Japan. They are believed to be anti-ship missiles.[43] The South Korean military said the launches show the reclusive regime’s “precise targeting capability.”
June 23, 2017 North Korea tested a new rocket engine that could possibly be fitted to an intercontinental ballistic missile.[44]
July 4, 2017 North Korea tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) named Hwasong-14 on July 4.[45][46] It launched from the Panghyon Aircraft Factory 8 km southeast of Panghyon Airport.[47] It was aimed straight up at a lofted trajectory and reached more than 2,500 km into space.[48] It landed 37 minutes later,[49] more than 930 km from its launch site,[50] into Japan’s exclusive economic zone.[51] Aiming long, the missile would have traveled 7,000–8,000 km or more, reaching Alaska, Hawaii, and maybe Seattle.[49][52][53][54][55] Its operational range would be farther, bringing a 500 kg payload to targets in most of the contiguous United States 9,700 km away.[56][57][58]
July 28, 2017 The 14th missile test carried out by North Korea in 2017 was another ICBM launched at 23:41 North Korea time (15:41 GMT) from Chagang Province in the north of the country on July 28, 2017. Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Boston, and New York appear to be within range.[59] The missile’s reentry vehicle (RV) was seen by people in Japan as it entered the atmosphere and landed near the northernmost Japanese island, Hokkaido.[60][61] Analysis later revealed that the RV broke up on re-entry; further testing would be required.[62] The CIA made an assessment expecting adequate performance of the RV under the different stresses of a shallower trajectory towards the continental US.[63]
August 26, 2017 North Korea test-fired three short-range ballistic missiles from the Kangwon province on August 26. Two travel approximately 250 kilometers in a northeastern direction and one explodes immediately after launch.[64]
August 29, 2017 On August 29, 2017, at 6 AM local time, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Northern Japan.[65] The missile’s short and low trajectory and its breakup into three pieces is consistent with the failure of a heavy post-boost vehicle.[66]
September 15, 2017 North Korea launched a ballistic missile on September 15 from Sunan airfield. It reached a height of 770 km and flew a distance of 3,700 km for 17 minutes over Hokkaido before landing in the Pacific.[67]
November 28, 2017 North Korea launched an ICBM from the vicinity of Pyongsong at 1:30pm EST/3:00am Pyongyang time. The rocket traveled for 50 minutes and reached 2800 miles (4,500 km) in height, both of which were new milestones. The missile flew 600 miles (1,000 km) east into the Sea of Japan; unlike summer launches, the Japanese government did not issue cellphone alerts to warn its citizens. North Korea called it a Hwasong-15 missile. Its potential range appears to be more than 8,000 miles (13,000 km), able to reach Washington and the rest of the continental United States.[68][69] Much about the missile is unknown. The missile might have been fitted with a mock warhead to increase its range, in which case the maximum missile range while carrying a heavy warhead might be shorter than 13,000 km. Based on satellite imagery, some experts believe that North Korea may now be able to fuel missiles horizontally, shortening the delay between when a missile becomes visible to when it can be launched.[68] The rocket is believed to have broken up on re-entry into the atmosphere.[70]

Trajectories of North Korean missiles launched over Japan

Range and altitude of North Korean missiles launched over Japan

North Korean rockets flown over the Japanese archipelago
No. Date Model Area flown over Advance notice North Korean claim Satellite name
1 August 31, 1998 Taepodong-1 Akita No Satellite launch Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1
2 April 5, 2009 Unha-2 AkitaIwate Yes Satellite launch Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2
3 December 12, 2012 Unha-3 Okinawa Yes Satellite launch Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3
4 February 7, 2016 Kwangmyŏngsŏng (Unha-3) Okinawa Yes Satellite launch Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4
5 August 29, 2017 Hwasong-12 Hokkaido No Missile launch N/A
6 September 15, 2017 Hwasong-12 Hokkaido No Missile launch N/A

Events related to missile tests[edit]

2016[edit]

On February 7, 2016, roughly a month after an alleged hydrogen bomb test, North Korea claimed to have put a satellite into low Earth orbitJapanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had warned the North to not launch the rocket, and if it did and the rocket violated Japaneseterritory, it would be shot down. North Korea launched the rocket anyway, claiming the satellite was purely intended for peaceful, scientific purposes. Several nations, including the United States, Japan, and South Korea, have criticized the launch, and despite North Korean claims that the rocket was for peaceful purposes, it has been heavily criticized as an attempt to perform an ICBM test under the guise of a peaceful satellite launch. China also criticized the launch, however urged “the relevant parties” to “refrain from taking actions that may further escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula”.[71]

While some North Korean pronouncements have been treated with skepticism and ridicule, analysts treated the unusual pace of North Korean rocket and nuclear testing in early 2016 quite seriously. Admiral Bill Gortney, head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, told Congress in March 2016, “It’s the prudent decision on my part to assume that [Kim Jong Un] has the capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an ICBM,” suggesting a major shift from a few years earlier.[72]

North Korea appeared to launch a missile test from a submarine on April 23, 2016; while the missile only traveled 30 km, one U.S. analyst noted that “North Korea’s sub launch capability has gone from a joke to something very serious”.[73] North Korea conducted multiple missile tests in 2016.[74]

2017[edit]

On August 29, 2017 United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the latest North Korea Ballistic Missile Launch and termed it as violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as According to press reports, early Tuesday morning, the North Korea Ballistic Missile travelled some 2,700 kilometers, flying over Japan before crashing into the Pacific Ocean.[75]

On September 3, 2017, North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a thermonuclear bomb, also known as a hydrogen bomb (see 2017 North Korean nuclear test). Corresponding seismic activity similar to an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 was reported by the USGSmaking the blast around 10 times more powerful than previous detonations by the country.[76] Later the bomb yield was estimated to be 250 kilotons, based on further study of the seismic data.[77] The test was reported to be “a perfect success”.[78]

See also[edit]

References

 

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

Story 2: Corrupt Drug Cartel Supporters Oppose National Emergency To Build Border Barrier — American People Support Trump — Political Elitist Establishment Support Open Borders and Drug Dealers — Trump Promises To Veto Resolution to Block National Emergency — Videos

No factual basis for Trump’s national emergency at the border say ex-national security officials

Pelosi on efforts to block Trump’s national emergency

Trump will ‘100 percent’ veto resolution to block national emergency

Graham on the Dems’ resolution to block Trump’s emergency declaration

Nunes on Pelosi’s push to terminate Trump’s emergency declaration

 

Former senior national security officials issue declaration on national emergency

Trump will ‘100 percent’ veto resolution to block national emergency

President Trump on Feb. 22 said he would veto a House-introduced resolution to block his national emergency declaration. 

February 25 at 1:31 PM

A bipartisan group of 58 former senior national security officials issued a statement Monday saying that “there is no factual basis” for President Trump’s proclamation of a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The joint statement, whose signatories include former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former defense secretary Chuck Hagel, comes a day before the House is expected to vote on a resolution to block Trump’s Feb. 15 declaration.

The former officials’ statement, which will be entered into the Congressional Record, is intended to support lawsuits and other actions challenging the national emergency proclamation and to force the administration to set forth the legal and factual basis for it.

“Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the president to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border,” the group said.

Albright served under President Bill Clinton, and Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, served under President Barack Obama.

Lawmakers argue over Trump’s national emergency declaration

Republican Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said he supported President Trump’s national emergency declaration to build the wall Feb. 17. 

Also signing were Eliot A. Cohen, State Department counselor under President George W. Bush; Thomas R. Pickering, President George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations; John F. Kerry, Obama’s second secretary of state; Susan E. Rice, Obama’s national security adviser; Leon E. Panetta, Obama’s CIA director and defense secretary; as well as former intelligence and security officials who served under Republican and Democratic administrations.

Trump’s national emergency declaration followed a 35-day partial government shutdown, which came after Congress did not approve the $5.7 billion he sought to build a wall.

In announcing his declaration, Trump predicted lawsuits and “possibly . . . a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling” before winning at the Supreme Court.

Trump’s actions are also drawing criticism from at least two dozen former Republican congressmen, who have signed an open letter urging passage of a joint resolution to terminate the emergency declaration. The letter argues that Trump is circumventing congressional authority.


A secondary border wall is under construction in Otay Mesa, Calif. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

The former security officials’ 11-page declaration sets out their argument disputing the factual basis for the president’s emergency.

Among other things, they said, illegal border crossings are at nearly 40-year lows. Undetected unlawful entries at the U.S.-Mexico border decreased from 851,000 to nearly 62,000 between 2006 and 2016, they said, citing Department of Homeland Security statistics.

Contrary to the president’s assertion, there is no documented emergency at the southern border related to terrorism or violent crime, they said, citing administration reports and independent think tank analyses.

Similarly, they state that there is no drug trafficking emergency that can be addressed by a wall along the southern border, noting that “the overwhelming majority of opioids” that enter the United States are brought in through legal ports of entry, citing the Justice Department.

They also argue that redirecting money pursuant to the national emergency declaration “will undermine U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.” And, they assert, “a wall is unnecessary to support the use of the armed forces,” as the administration has said.

Some of the same former officials wrote a joint declaration disputing the factual basis for the president’s order shortly after he took office in January 2017 barring entry to foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The former officials asserted that the order was not based on a bona fide national security assessment but on “a deliberate political decision to discriminate against a religious minority.”

Their views were filed as a joint declaration and later as a friend-of-the court brief in lawsuits challenging the original order and subsequent revisions, and it was cited by almost every federal judge who enjoined the ban. By the time the challenges reached the Supreme Court, the administration had significantly narrowed the ban, which the high court upheld on a 5-to-4 vote.

With respect to the declared national emergency, plaintiffs have filed two cases in the District of Columbia, two in California and one in Texas.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-senior-national-security-officials-to-issue-declaration-on-national-emergency/2019/02/24/3e4908c6-3859-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9bba7ebe0f69

Former US security officials to oppose emergency declaration

yesterday

A group of former U.S. national security officials is set to release a statement arguing there is no justification for President Donald Trump to use a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The statement, which was reviewed by The Associated Press, has 58 signatures from prominent former officials, including former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and John Kerry, former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The statement is set to be released Monday, a day before the Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote to block Trump from using the declaration. The measure is sure to pass, and the GOP-run Senate may adopt it as well, though Trump has already promised a veto.

“There is no factual basis for the declaration of a national emergency,” says the statement, which argues that border crossings are near a 40-year low and that there is no terrorist emergency at the border.

Trump declared an emergency to obtain wall funding beyond the $1.4 billion Congress approved for border security. The move allows the president to bypass Congress to use money from the Pentagon and other budgets.

Trump’s edict is also being challenged in the federal courts, where a host of Democratic-led states such as California are among those that have sued to overturn Trump’s order.

https://www.apnews.com/5e7f4cd5fef84f28a057558dc3913f42

 

These Texas Brothers Could Make Millions Building The First New Section Of Trump’s Border Wall

Six miles of all-new ’steel slats’ will start going up late February in Hidalgo County.

Replacement border fence under construction in early January 2019, near San Diego, Calif.

Replacement border fence under construction in early January 2019, near San Diego, Calif. AFP/GETTY IMAGES

By Christopher Helman with Deniz Cam

President Donald Trump has said he wants a 1,000-mile wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. Right now there’s about 650 miles of existing barriers—most of it built during the Bush and Obama administrations. So far during the Trump years, some of those walls or fences have been upgraded, but no barrier extensions have been undertaken.

That will change in late February when a contractor called SLSCOwill begin building six miles of all-new wall in Hidalgo County, Texas, near the McAllen-Reynosa border crossing. SLSCO has two contracts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a total of 35 miles of wall this year in Texas and California, for a payment of as much as $432 million. U.S. Customs & Border Protection confirms that this project is a go. Having been funded out of a spending bill passed last March, this new wall won’t be stopped by the government shutdown.

So who is it behind SLSCO so eager to bid on one of the most acrimonious public projects in U.S. history? The company, a.k.a. Sullivan Land Services, was founded in 1995 by John, Billy and Todd Sullivan—brothers from Galveston, Texas. They’re reticent to talk about it, referring most questions to the CBP and Army Corps of Engineers, which will oversee construction. In a brief phone interview, John Sullivan said the brothers’ decision to bid on building the wall had nothing to do with politics.

If it’s not for politics, it must be pretty good business. Yet for all the hassle they go through, the big publicly traded general contractors like Fluor, KBR and Jacobs Engineering tend to generate gross margins of less than 10% and net margins south of 5%. Sullivan says it would be inappropriate to try to estimate how much they would make on a contract that hasn’t been completed yet—some contracts make money, some lose money. If they can squeeze out a 5% margin, the Sullivans could net $20 million or so getting Trump’s wall started—and with a lot of miles yet to be contracted.

The Sullivan brothers (Todd is 43, John and Billy, 39) grew up on Galveston Island, sons of Susanne and Gerald Sullivan, who started off as a cattle rancher on the island and built a port business with Texas International Terminals, a dock for tankers and cargo ships, with petroleum storage and a rail spur. They also operate a dredging business and have built artificial reefs for wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. Their Sullivan Brothers Builders puts up 100 or so townhomes a year around Houston.

Near Santa Teresa, New Mexico, on December 23 as work continued on replacing 20 miles of old fence with new bollards.

Near Santa Teresa, New Mexico, on December 23 as work continued on replacing 20 miles of old fence with new bollards. AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The bigger operations are SLSCO as well as their disaster recovery business DRC Emergency Services, which in recent years has become adept at mustering subcontractors to mobilize hundreds of heavy hauling trucks from across the region to pick up mountains of debris in the wake of hurricanes. Among DRC’s biggest jobs: In 2016, after historic flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, DRC and its subcontractors brought in 300 trucks to haul off 2.5 million cubic yards of debris and haul in $35 million (gross). When Hurricane Harvey deluged Houston in 2017, DRC hauled out 2.8 million cubic yards of debris, and about $40 million. Mark Hunter, an official with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, says of DRC in an email: “they are a great group, very intelligent approach to projects—efficient, productive and committed.” In 2014, according to DRC reports, South Carolina paid the company $44.2 million for storm cleanup.

The brothers have clearly developed a taste for disaster work. SLSCO has rebuilt homes in Haiti, as well as in New York City after Superstorm Sandy (a $290 million contract). They’ve been in Puerto Rico since soon after Hurricane Maria, with a $375 million FEMA contract to rebuild 800 homes and repair 27,000 more. In a contract last year with the commonwealth of Virginia’s office of emergency management, SLSCO grossed $31 million setting up emergency shelters to house 5,000 evacuees that went almost unused. According to Forbes’ tally, the Sullivans have around $1 billion in revenue from government contracts in recent years, from which they could have reasonably gleaned $50 million in profits.

When it comes to that barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, what SLSCO is not going to build are the solid, monolithic slab prototypes that Trump commissioned as a beauty pageant for his vision of a “big, beautiful” wall. The spending bill required that any wall building be done using existing, proven designs. That means installing a concrete base, as high as 15 feet in some flood-prone areas, topped with 18-foot-long steel beams, called “bollards.” Trump prefers the term “steel slats.”

Trump touring his wall prototypes in 2018. None of these are set to be built, at least until the shutdown is over.

Trump touring his wall prototypes in 2018. None of these are set to be built, at least until the shutdown is over. AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Since passage of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (with support of senators Obama, Clinton, Schumer and Biden), several hundred miles of this kind of fence have been erected. The project also involves the installation of cameras, sensors and building of a patrol road along the levee wall. Since last summer SLSCO has been building this kind of wall in a replacement project near San Diego stretching from the Pacific Ocean 14 miles inland.

Back in Hidalgo County the Catholic Church is suing, aghast that the wall will block off the tiny La Lomita Chapel, built in 1865 by French missionaries. The wall will also go through Bentsen State Park, a ranch on the river formerly owned by the late Texas senator Lloyd Bentsen. And then there’s the National Butterfly Center, a private nature preserve a few miles upriver from McAllen in Mission, Texas. Executive Director Marianna Wright laments that the fence will bisect their 100 acres, cutting off its southern acreage closest to the river. The center filed suit to stop the project last year, but the case is now “in limbo,” Wright says.

The feds have been negotiating with some landowners on compensation for the taking of their land. However, by using eminent domain “quick take” precedents, they can take land before paying for it, or even agreeing on a price. “They are going to seize this land and they are going to build this wall and there’s nothing we can do to stop them,” says Wright, who has been informed by the feds that where the wall crosses the butterfly refuge, SLSCO will be installing a secure door, accessible via numeric keypad. That way butterfly buffs can venture to the other side of the refuge. CBP shouldn’t expect the butterfly center to check their patrons’ papers. Wright says they’ll give the code out to all of their visitors. And if more people come back through the gate than went through it? Jason Montemayor, public affairs liaison with Customs & Border Protection, says that gates built into the fence will be monitored by cameras and sensors, and if there is any suspicious activity the access codes will be changed. Plenty of Republicans find this distasteful; a new bill sponsored by Reprersentative Justin Amash (R.-Ill.) would push back on federal eminent domain abuse.

And what of the butterflies? Turns out that big monarchs can soar over the wall to fulfill their migration instincts, whereas some species like the endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly (euphydryas editha quino) prefer to flit closer to the ground and will not be able to get over the wall, says Wright; “They will evolve separate northern and southern subspecies.” She says the Boobs For Peace group intends to protest topless when the bulldozers arrive. If things get out of hand, there are 4,500 active duty military and national guardsmen deployed along the border through September 2019. Butterflies are low on the priority list. Customs & Border Patrol says that in 2017 its Rio Grande Valley sector apprehended 137,000 illegal aliens, 260,000 pounds of marijuana, and 1,200 pounds of cocaine. “This is sector number 1 for seizures,” says Montemayor, “a focal point of U.S. border control.”

Sullivan had no comment on the fate of the butterflies or the church, referring all questions to the feds. To be sure, SLSCO’s not alone in bidding to build President Trump’s wall. Barnard Construction of Bozeman, Montana, has been building in Arizona, while Texas Sterling Construction, Fisher Sand & Gravel, and Caddell Construction have all built prototypes. Building with the cheaper bollard system (“steel slats”), instead of solid wall, Trump’s entire 1,000 miles would likely be doable for $10 billion—leaving around $500 million in profits for the Sullivans and other opportunistic contractors.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2019/01/16/these-texas-brothers-could-make-millions-building-the-first-new-section-of-trumps-border-wall/#768d2b0b7009

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1205, February 11, 2019, Story 1: Fake Fence Funding Fraud — Need $30 Billion To Build 1500 Miles of New Border Barrier and Road or $2 Billion Per 100 Miles of Border Barrier and Road — Videos — Story 2:  President Trump Stands Firm on Demand For $5.7 Billion To Build Nearly 300 Miles of Border Barrier of 1500 New Border Barrier — Democrats Siding With Drug Dealers and Criminal Illegal Aliens Against The Safety and Security of American People — Trump Wins in 2020 If Border Barrier Built — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Approval Rating Hits 52% Despite Big Lie Media’s Two Year Negative Smear Campaign Against Trump — Progressive Propaganda Poop — PooPourri — Videos — Story 4: American People’s Confidence Keeps Rising — Videos

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageLine graph. A near-record 69% of Americans say they expect to better off financially a year from now.Image result for trump approval hits 52%

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Story 1: Fake Fence Funding Fraud — Need $30 Billion To Build 1500 Miles of New Border Barrier and Road or $2 Billion Per 100 Miles of Border Barrier and Road — Videos —

Donald Trump’s wall will be more like 550 miles, not all 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexico border, he says

December 25, 2018 2:11 pm

 President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the government would not reopen until the country has a border wall or fence to stop “very bad criminals” coming into the country.

With a fight over border wall funding keeping the U.S. government shut down, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that construction is set to start on “probably the biggest section” of the wall in Texas next month.

Speaking to reporters on Christmas morning, Trump said the federal government yesterday handed out a contract to build 115 miles (about 185 kilometres) of wall, which represents about a fifth of the total 500 to 550 miles (805 to 885 kilometres) he expects to see constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border.

WATCH: Trump claims part of border wall built, cites Israel as proof a wall works

He hopes to have all 550 miles built by November 2020, when the next U.S. election rolls around.

“It’s a 2,000-mile border, but much of it has mountains and region where you can’t get across so we’re looking at between 500 and 550,” Trump said.

He also said the government has renovated a “massive amount of wall and, in addition to that — and I think very, very importantly — we built a lot of new wall.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas. We are already building and renovating many miles of Wall, some complete. Democrats must end Shutdown and finish funding. Billions of Dollars, & lives, will be saved!

Trump’s remarks drew some scrutiny on Tuesday morning.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump pledged to build a “great, great wall” on the border and said Mexico would pay for it.

But Tuesday represented the first time he said how much he’d build or made any suggestion that renovating existing barrier would count toward realizing his promise, according to the Dallas News.

READ MORE: Donald Trump would settle for less border wall money: White House

Trump wants $5 billion to build the wall, and that amount would take care of approximately 215 miles — half of which would be replacements, it added.

The cost of a wall along America’s southern border has been pegged at anywhere between $12 billion (Trump’s estimate) and $21 billion (Homeland Security’s estimate).

The idea of building one has repeatedly been criticized, however, with some suggesting that there’s no crisis that the wall would solve. Opponents have also noted previous efforts to strengthen the border that have been cheaper than building a wall.

READ MORE: ‘There is no crisis at the border’: U.S. unauthorized immigration near 12-year lows, report shows

U.S. border apprehensions hit a decade-long high in 2007 and fell every year until 2011, when they started to fluctuate from one year to the next.

Former president Barack Obama also took tough action on the border, which included a $600-million spending bill that helped to pay for more border agents, drones and personnel for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Trump expects to go to Texas for a groundbreaking ceremony next month.

Donald Trump’s wall will be more like 550 miles, not all 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexico border, he says

Beyond the wall: Dogs,
blimps and other things
used to secure the border

 Back to top

Regardless of what “the wall” is made of or how much more of it is ever built, it will always be just one of many instruments in the toolbox of security measures on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Many devices, technologies and personnel work together to prevent drugs and people from illegally entering the United States.

Here are two common scenarios that require completely different tactics.

Sorting contraband from cargo at ports of entry

During “pre-inspection,” while a line of cars is waiting to cross, a drug-sniffing dog alerts its handler to something inside a truck. The vehicle is flagged for secondary inspection.

A cargo scanner scans the truck and the image reveals a suspicious compartment in its bed.

An officer uses a handheld elemental isotope detector to confirm heroin residue. The driver is arrested.

The U.S.-Mexico border has 47 land ports of entry through which about a half-million commercial trucks, cars and pedestrians enter the United States every day. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have the difficult job of expediting traffic while keeping an eye out for illegal crossers and cargo. Everyone and everything undergoes a primary inspection, in which license plates are scanned and passports are checked against Homeland Security data, said Blas Nuñez-Neto, a researcher at Rand Corporation and former senior advisor to the CBP commissioner.

Detecting and tracking people in remote areas

In the middle of the night, a ground sensor detects human footsteps in an area miles from the nearest Border Patrol station.

Agents in a control center check footage from surveillance towers in the area, spot a group of people and track them as they walk.

Other agents in an SUV head toward the area with mobile surveillance gear and night-vision goggles to locate and apprehend the group.

Between ports of entry, Border Patrol agents may be stationed miles apart, so they depend on various types of electronic surveillance to detect and track suspicious activity until they get there. If people move out of surveillance range, agents use classic tracking methods such as following footprints from the last known location.

We wanted to know not just what is there but also the strengths and limitations, so we talked to two experts who provided some perspective: Nuñez-Neto, formerly of CBP, and Adam Isacson, who analyzes border security for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

Physical barriers (a.k.a. “the wall”)

PROS Delay would-be border crossers long enough for agents to catch them.

CONS Largely ineffective in remote areas; susceptible to vandalism; expensive to maintain; obvious and immovable, so people may simply go elsewhere.

About a third of the southern border, nearly 700 miles, is lined with some kind of wall or fence.

Imposing pedestrian barriers comprise about half of that and are most useful in densely populated areas where nearby law enforcement officers can apprehend people quickly. They are made of materials such as bollards, steel slats with mesh panels, fences topped with concertina wire — even rows of carbon steel Vietnam-era helicopter landing mats. Some areas have two or three rows of barriers separated by a Border Patrol road.

[Analysis: The history of U.S. border apprehensions]

The rest of the barriers are mostly low-slung vehicle barriers that stop cars and trucks but not people on foot. Sometimes barriers attempt to funnel people or vehicles to open places where agents can most easily intercept them.

In San Diego, a segment of wall stretches along the U.S. border with Tijuana, Mexico, at right. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Cargo scanners

PROS Very effective; next-generation models will be able to scan vehicles in line before they arrive at a port of entry.

CONS Expensive; require extensive training; more are needed; some date from the early 2000s and need to be upgraded.

Most illegal drugs that come into the United States from Mexico are smuggled through ports of entry, often mixed among legitimate goods, hidden in secret compartments or even in vehicle’s gas tanks.

Large X-ray and gamma-ray scanners identify illicit substances or hidden people by looking for differences in the density of cargo, such as a recent truckload of cucumbers that also contained almost 650 pounds of fentanyl and methamphetamine under a false floor. These scanners are mounted next to traffic or on moveable trucks and peer into vehicles horizontally as they pass by. Radiation detection devices are also used.

Ground sensors

PROS Provides ears on the ground rather than just eyes.

CONS Many false alarms because calibrating them to tell a person from, say, a deer can be difficult; smugglers figure out where they are; no tech has reliably detected tunnels.

Buried seismic sensors, often paired with cameras, detect when a person (or animal, car or even a low-flying plane) is moving in the area, and the sensors ideally can differentiate among those things. The sensors ping border agents in a control center so they can take a look at camera footage of the area. Other aboveground sensors and ground-penetrating radar are used to find tunnels.

Aerostats

PROS Can stay aloft for weeks at a time; not thwarted by undulating terrain.

CONS Sidelined by bad weather; radar can’t penetrate thick foliage; expensive to operate; may raise privacy concerns; one once broke loose and wreaked havoc.

Six roughly 200-foot-long unmanned, blimplike aerostats float thousands of feet above key areas of the U.S.-Mexico border. Each carries a downward-pointing radar system that can detect vehicles within a 200-mile radius and send data through its tether to a control station on the ground.

Aerostats are particularly good at detecting low-flying aircraft, such as the ones drug smugglers use, because their radar isn’t blocked by hilly terrain the way ground-based radar can be. And newer, smaller versions fly closer to the ground and carry radar that can better identify people. But Nuñez-Neto said it’s no secret that aerostats can’t fly in bad weather, and “the smugglers can read the weather forecast just as well as we can.”

An aerostat used by the Air and Marine Operations division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Eagle Pass, Tex., in 2017. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Drones

PROS Excellent image quality; Predators theoretically can stay in the air for 24 hours; small drones are portable, agile and quick to deploy.

CONS Expensive; require a lot of manpower; dependent on good weather; raise privacy concernsfor nearby residents.

Since 2006, huge Predator B surveillance drones have patrolled the border from above 19,000 feet, capturing and transmitting live video and detailed infrared and radar images of people on the ground. More recently deployed smaller drones produce even better images, which reportedly are sharp enough to identify a person’s height, weight and hairstyle.

Like aerostats, however, drones can’t fly in bad weather.

Fixed surveillance towers

PROS Most effective in flat, wide-open areas.

CONS Radar can be blocked by hilly and leafy terrain; very visible, so people can see and try to avoid them; require people to monitor the feeds.

“Integrated Fixed Towers” as they are officially called look like TV station towers that soar to 160 feet high. Each is equipped with radar, high-resolution daytime cameras and infrared cameras to monitor up to a seven-mile radius. Their feeds are linked to a control center, where agents can track suspicious people and vehicles over a larger area. Smaller types of fixed towers provide additional camera surveillance.

A Border Patrol surveillance tower stands near the Rio Grande River bank in Hidalgo County, Tex. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Planes and helicopters

PROS Carry some of the most sophisticated surveillance equipment in the CBP’s arsenal.

CONS Expensive; require a lot of maintenance and personnel.

Fixed-wing surveillance planes often have under-mounted infrared cameras and powerful night-vision equipment on board. If radar pings something, Air and Marine officers on board can verify what it is and follow along, alerting law enforcement on the ground.

“There are parts of the border where you don’t want to apprehend as soon as you see someone,” said Nuñez-Neto. “You want to be able to keep eyes on them but let them get to a part of the border where you have the tactical advantage.”

Planes are mostly used for reconnaissance, but helicopters often transport people and help with search and rescue.

A CBP helicopter flies over as a group of men who crossed the U.S. border illegally and tried to run from Border Patrol agents are detained in Mission, Tex., in August 2018. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Satellite surveillance

PROS Another set of eyes.

CONS Expensive to use; can’t penetrate cloud cover; civil liberties concerns on U.S. soil.

Satellite images are used much like images collected by other air surveillance from remote places, Nuñez-Neto said. Agents will compare images taken of the same location at different times to look for changes, such as evidence of new or different patterns of foot traffic. Some people fear satellites will be able to zoom in on individuals.

Radio and cell data surveillance

PROS Can be used for search and rescue.

CONS Communication can be spotty in many areas.

The Department of Homeland Security says law enforcement may use commercially available location data “to identify the presence, but not the identity, of individuals within the border area.” Isacson said narco-traffickers in Mexico and Colombia have been tracked by triangulating their cell signals.

In remote areas, cell coverage is new or nonexistent, so smugglers often communicate by radio or walkie-talkie, and Border Patrol can sometimes intercept their signals.

Mobile surveillance equipment

PROS Mobile; able to operate in extreme places.

CONS Older cameras have bad resolution; some types are not integrated with other systems; not automated, so people need to watch the feeds.

Agents need different types of on-the-go surveillance gear, such as portable radar, daytime and nighttime cameras and thermal imaging equipment that allows them to see for miles in the dark.

The largest and least-agile device in this category is an 80-foot tower on a trailer platform that can be driven (slowly) to new sites. It contains powerful Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS) cameras, which send images to a central control center and were responsible for the discovery of at least one smuggling tunnel. (RVSS systems can be mounted on fixed towers, poles and buildings, as well.)

Other devices are truck-mounted, and still others are small enough to be handheld or perched on tripods. Many of the smaller devices don’t link to a control center.

A fixed surveillance tower stands in Mission, Tex. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Specialized gear

PROS Allow agents to be faster and more effective.

CONS Agents in different areas need different equipment; off-the-shelf products rarely work in hot, sandy, windy environments.

Border agents and CBP officers have all kinds of additional devices to help them do their jobs. Among them are Defense Department surplus night-vision goggles, elemental isotype analyzers that can identify illegal substances, medical supplies and even gizmos that lasso the tires of fleeing vehicles. Some gear may be as simple as a stick that taps on cars so that well-trained ears can make sure that certain parts sound hollow, kind of like thumping a melon.

Biometrics

PROS Biometrics are a very effective way to cut through fraudulent documents and identify known criminals or people who may have previously used other identities.

CONS Readers and scanners can be glitchy and wear out quickly; facial recognition tech is new and is already raising privacy and civil liberties concerns.

Fingerprint readers often are used when agents in the field apprehend people and may also be used at ports of entry if officers have reason to believe a person is trying to enter the country illegally.

Biometric options beyond fingerprinting are becoming more robust and more precise, although they are not yet used at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, trials are underway at several airports and at least one seaport in which live photos and passport photos are matched so that your face is basically your boarding pass.

Patrol boats

PROS Can go places along the river that are hard to reach over land.

CONS Loud and easy to hear coming; some parts of the Rio Grande are too shallow to navigate.

While most agents and officers travel in SUVs, some ride ATVs, bikes, horses — and boats.

Air and Marine agents may carry cameras, radar and other equipment that helps them detect, track and intercept unfamiliar boats and look for smuggled goods. They also assist the Coast Guard and other law enforcement with disaster relief, searches and rescue operations.

Boats on the Mexican border are used mostly along the lower Rio Grande at the southern part of Texas. (The Coast Guard has jurisdiction on the coasts, so they’re the ones most likely to intercept drug boats headed to California, for instance.)

A CBP marine unit passes patrols the Rio Grande in August 2018 in Mission, Tex. Mexico is visible across the river. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Dog teams

PROS Fantastic at finding whatever they’ve been trained to detect.

CONS Need lots of breaks, particularly in hot, desert areas; a tiny inhaled dose of ultra-potent drugs, such as fentanyl, can be deadly.

More than 1,500 CBP canine teams work on U.S. borders, and they are extremely successful at sniffing out drugs, weapons, currency and other contraband. They also help find people (and human remains), whether concealed in vehicles or lost in the wilderness.

On the Mexico border, dog teams operate primarily at ports of entry and checkpoints.

Dogs who successfully detect drugs — or people, such as in this simulation in Jamul, Calif. — are often rewarded with extra play time. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Agents and officers

PROS Nothing happens without them.

CONS Very expensive (nearly all the CBP’s budget goes to salaries, said Nuñez-Neto); high turnover rate; months long hiring process.

Notice the word “agent” or “officer” appears in everyone of these descriptions? Without them, all the surveillance, barriers and devices are useless.

“If you don’t have the people available,” Isacson said, “you’re just watching movies of people doing bad things.”

However, hiring and keeping agents can be difficult. Nearly 17,000 Border Patrol agents worked at the southern border as of the end of 2017, down from an all-time high of 18,501 in 2013 according to CBP, despite more money earmarked for hiring.

That’s because the work is tough and dangerous, the pay is not great, Isacson said, and the jobs require living and working in desolate, undesirable areas. Hiring can take months because of rigorous security and background checks, and about 65 percent of applicants reportedly fail a mandatory polygraph test.

Nevertheless, those agents are the one piece of the border security puzzle that is absolutely necessary.

Border Patrol agent Robert Rodriguez reports a smuggler near the Rio Grande River in Hidalgo County, Tex., in August 2018. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Joe Fox contributed to this report.

About this story

Additional sources: Spokesman Rick Pauza of the Laredo, Tex., office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; CBP documents; General Accountability Office report on border security; Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection photos from CBP Flickr page. Some illustrations are based on references from CBP photos.

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/what-is-border-security/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.98497d4fe0c1

Story 2:  President Trump Stands Firm on Demand For $5.7 Billion To Build Border Barrier — Democrats Siding With Drug Dealers and Criminal Illegal Aliens Against The Safety and Security of American People — Trump Wins in 2020 With Landslide Victory If 1500 Mile Border Barrier Built — Videos

Bipartisan negotiation on funding a border wall hitting a snag

Congress Under Pressure To Reach A Deal As Shutdown Deadline Looms | Sunday TODAY

 

Why the Wall Won’t Work

Donald Trump captured the imagination of many American voters with a single campaign promise. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border,” he boasted in June 2015. For good measure, he added, “And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” The twin pledges-which followed a tirade about Mexican rapists and drug dealers-neatly captured everything that was either attractive or repulsive to voters in the real estate mogul’s presidential run: bravado, nationalism, and controversy.


Joanna Andreasson

Trump was often criticized for lacking precision in policy ideas, but he had bold and detailed requirements for his wall. It would be 1,000 miles long. (The other 1,500, he said, were covered by “natural barriers.”) He gave various estimates of its height-between 30 and 50 feet, with the most common number being 35. His barrier would be an “impenetrable physical wall” composed of “precast [concrete] plank…30 feet long, 40 feet long.” He also insisted that it would be aesthetically pleasing.While he said after the election that a fence may be appropriate in “some areas,” he added that a wall would be better, and he has since vigorously corrected reporters who describe the project as a “fence.” Throughout the campaign, he described the current fences as a “joke,” implying that he would not only build a superior barrier, but that he would replace the one that exists at some points now.

The History
The president’s proposal has a decadeslong history. After the 1986 “amnesty,” when President Ronald Reagan traded increased border security for the legalization of 3 million unauthorized immigrants, the San Diego Border Patrol constructed a 10-foot welded steel fence along the 14-mile section of the border closest to the Pacific. In 1996, a new law provided funds for a second layer. Despite repeated requests from the Border Patrol for more, by the year 2000 just 60 miles of the southern border had fencing, almost all of which was in urban areas. Only San Diego had a second layer.

After 9/11, border hawks launched another push for fences, with little success. Most immigration enforcement funds were going to a surge in border agents. But President George W. Bush’s push for comprehensive immigration reform, which would have legalized the unauthorized immigrants in the United States, gave the hawks their opportunity. In 2006, Congress approved the Secure Fence Act mandating nearly 700 miles of fencing on the border.

The legal, practical, economic, and moral case against Trump’s border barrier.

The president signed on to the bill hoping to placate the secure-the-border-first crowd and obtain the humane immigration changes that he wanted. This sales job enabled it to pass with bipartisan support from the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The immigration reform never materialized, but fence construction was nearly complete by 2009, and there are now 617 total miles of physical barriers, 36 miles of which have two layers.

Yet the hawks were not placated. They complained that there was no second layer in most places. They stewed that half the fence was just “vehicle barriers”-concrete posts that provide obstacles for drivers but not pedestrians. Moreover, the 317 miles of real pedestrian fences dramatically vary in height and quality. The Border Patrol uses half a dozen types of fencing materials-wire mesh, landing mats, chain-link, bollard, aesthetic, and sheet piling-just to control on-foot crossings. These barriers are mainly a combination of steel posts and bars supplemented in places with wire, ranging in height from 6 to 18 feet.

The Legal Obstacles
Trump has been adamant that his wall will be built “ahead of schedule.” For that to happen, he’ll need to avoid the various legal issues that plagued earlier efforts. Entities other than the federal government-states, Indian tribes, private individuals-control over two-thirds of borderland property. Private parties own the vast majority of the border in Texas, and for this reason, roughly 70 percent of the existing border fence is located in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Almost all of it is on federally controlled land.

The Bush administration bullied property owners, threatening to sue them if they did not “voluntarily” hand over the rights to their land. It offered no compensation for doing so. Thinking that they had no recourse, some people signed off, but others refused. The government then attempted to use eminent domain, a procedure Trump has long defended, to seize their property, but the lawsuits imposed serious delays-seven years in one case.

In 2009, the Homeland Security inspector general concluded that the Border Patrol had “achieved [its] progress primarily in areas where environmental and real estate issues did not cause significant delay.” One intransigent resident had owned his property since before the “Roosevelt easement,” which gives the federal government a 60-foot right of way along the border. He fought the administration, so the fence had until recently a 1.2-mile gap on his land. Border residents fought more than a third of all land transfers, in fact. Because the Constitution promises just compensation for takings, Trump can do little to speed this process.

Native American tribes also have the capacity to stop construction of barriers. The Tohono O’odham Nation, which has land on both sides of the border, has already pledged to fight any efforts to build a wall there. In 2007, when the tribe allowed vehicle barriers to be constructed, the Bush administration ended up desecrating Indian burial grounds and digging up human remains. The new president would need a stand-alone bill from Congress to condemn their land. Senate Democrats can (and likely would) filibuster such an effort.

Even federal lands can be problematic. In 2010, two-thirds of patrol agents-in-charge told the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that land management laws had delayed or limited access to portions of federal lands, for fence building or repairs and other purposes, with more than half stating they did not get a timely response when they requested permission to use the lands. In one case, it took nearly eight months for the Border Patrol to get the OK to install a single underground sensor.

Water rights have also been a problem for the fence. A 1970 treaty requires that the floodplain of the Rio Grande remain open to both sides of the border. The Obama administration attempted to build fences along the river anyway, but the treaty and the river’s floods forced the barrier to be placed so far into the interior of the United States that it has many holes to allow U.S. residents access to their property. These also provide an opportunity for border crossers.

At the same time, the fence can cause Mexico to receive too much water. Even when a fence has holes, which a wall would not, debris can turn the fence into a dam. Thanks to the barrier, some floods have fully covered the doors of Mexican buildings in Los Ebanos, across the Rio Grande, while producing little more than deep puddling on the U.S. side. The International Boundary and Water Commission that administers the treaty has rebuffed the Border Patrol’s attempts to replicate this disaster in other areas of the Rio Grande Valley.

The Practical Considerations
Fences or walls obstruct crossers’ paths, cutting off a straight shot into the interior of the country. But a barrier is not the permanent object that some people imagine. Natural events can knock down parts of a border fence. One storm in Texas left a hole for months. Fences and walls can also erode near rivers or beaches, as the one in San Diego did. And they can be penetrated: Some fencing can be cut in minutes, and the Border Patrol reported repairing more than 4,000 holes in one year alone. They neglected to mention whether that number equaled that year’s number of breaches.

Much of the current fencing can be easily mounted with a ladder or from the roof of a truck. In some cases, border crossers can scale the fence without any additional equipment. One viral video from 2010 shows two women easily climbing an 18-foot steel bollard-style pedestrian fence in less than 20 seconds. Smugglers can even drive over the fence using ramps, a fact that was discovered only when a couple of foolish drug entrepreneurs managed to get their SUV stuck on top. (They took the dope and split.)


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (data); GAO-15-399 (map)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, June 2011

A wall would probably be less easily damaged by man or nature. But in at least some areas, its impassibility could also become a maintenance liability. Border Patrol agents have told Fox News that a border wall would still “have to allow water to pass through, or the sheer force of raging water could damage its integrity, not to mention the legal rights of both the U.S. and Mexico to seasonal rains.” In 2011, for example, a flood in Arizona washed away 40 feet of steel fence.

While not “impenetrable,” a concrete wall would impede efforts to cut through it. Trump has also claimed that no one would ever use a ladder to go over his wall because “there’s no way to get down.” After pondering the question for a second, he then conceded, “maybe a rope.” Nonetheless, the height might discourage some people from attempting to climb it, and it would certainly take them longer to do so, giving Border Patrol agents additional time to reach them.

If not over or through, some crossers may opt to go under. Tunnels are typically used more for drug smuggling, but they still create a significant vulnerability in any kind of physical barrier. From 2007 to 2010, the Border Patrol found more than one tunnel per month, on average. “For every tunnel we find, we feel they’re building another one somewhere,” Kevin Hecht, a Border Patrol tunnel expert, told The New York Times last year. A wall would likely increase the rewards for successful tunneling as other modes of transit grow more expensive.

Trump is unconcerned, asserting that “tunnel technology” will rule out any such subterfuge. Effective tunnel detection equipment is seen as the Holy Grail of Border Patrol enforcement, but the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate has so far concluded that no current technology for detecting tunnels beneath the border is “suited to Border Patrol agents’ operational needs.”

But the biggest practical problem with a wall is its opacity. In fact, many Border Patrol agents oppose a concrete wall for precisely this reason (albeit quietly, given that they were also some of Trump’s biggest supporters during the election). “A cinder block or rock wall, in the traditional sense, isn’t necessarily the most effective or desirable choice,” Border Patrol agents told Fox News. “Seeing through a fence allows agents to anticipate and mobilize, prior to illegal immigrants actually climbing or cutting through the fence.”

The agency is already desperate to switch out the nontransparent landing-mat fences in use in some places. These metal sheets were adapted from helicopter landing pads left over from Vietnam, and while inexpensive, they are ill-suited to their purpose. Popular Mechanics described these parts of the fence as “obsolete, in need of replacement,” noting that they “can be easy to foil since Border Patrol agents can’t see what’s going on on the other side.” If a wall slows down agents as much as it does smugglers and migrants, it provides no advantage on balance.

To put it most simply, border barriers will never stop illegal immigration, because a wall or fence cannot apprehend crossers. The agents that Fox News spoke to called a wall “meaningless” without agents and technology to back it up. Mayor Michael Gomez of Douglas, Arizona, labeled the fence a failure in 2010, saying “they jump right over it.” Former Border Patrol spokesperson Mike Scioli has called the fence little more than “a speed bump in the desert.”

The Efficacy of a Wall
Trump speaks with absolute certainty of a wall’s ability to repel entries, yet the efficacy of the existing barriers has gone largely unstudied. The president is proposing a project likely to cost tens of billions of dollars and to suck up many other resources, and he is doing so without a single evaluation of the barrier. Obviously, any obstacle to passage will reduce entries at the margin. But would other options work better?

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) of the House Homeland Security Committee failed to obtain an answer to this exact question from the Obama administration. Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) concluded in 2013 that “it would be an inefficient use of taxpayer money to complete the fence,” but he gave no indication of how he evaluated the costs and benefits. A 2016 Migration Policy Institute review of the impact of walls and fences around the world turned up no academic literature specifically on the deterrent effect of physical barriers relative to other technologies or strategies, and concluded somewhat vaguely that walls appear to be “relatively ineffective.”

Fences can have strong local effects, and the case for more fencing often relies completely on these regional outcomes. Take the San Diego border sector, probably the most commonly cited success story in this debate.

From 1990 to 1993, it replaced a “totally ineffective” fence with a taller, opaque landing mat fence along 14 miles of the border. This had little impact on the number of border crossers. “The primary fence, by itself, did not have a discernible impact on the influx of unauthorized aliens coming across the border in San Diego,” the Congressional Research Service concluded.

From 1994 to 1996, Operation Gatekeeper doubled the number of agents in the sector to reinforce the fence, but this too had little effect on the number of apprehended migrants. (Researchers use apprehensions as a proxy for illegal immigration because they usually track closely to the number of total entries.) Instead, the apprehensions shifted dramatically away from the areas guarded by western stations at Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, where fences were built, and toward eastern stations. The net flow remained the same.

From 1997 to 1999, when the San Diego sector was reinforced with nine miles of secondary fencing and even more agents were added, the numbers did finally slow. But looking at the apprehension figures, it appears that San Diego simply pushed its problem even further east, to the El Centro, Yuma, and Tucson sectors. Each agent in those places ended up apprehending more people after the fence was built than before.

Ideally, we would perform the same type of before-and-after analysis of the impact of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The problem is that those barriers were rolled out at the same time that Congress almost doubled the size of the Border Patrol, increasing it from 12,000 to 21,000 agents. Moreover, fences went up in many different sectors, making it difficult to isolate the effects. To complicate matters further, this period saw the collapse of the housing bubble, which caused a huge exodus of unauthorized workers back to Mexico.

The Unintended Consequences
The numbers from this period also suggest that counting “reduced crossings” as a victory may be misleading. As the amount of fencing and the number of agents grew, the share of unauthorized immigrants entering illegally fell, but the number entering legally (and then staying illegally) rose.

In 2006, the Pew Research Center calculated that more than a third of all unauthorized immigrants entered lawfully and then simply overstayed their visas. People who come to the U.S. as tourists or temporary business travelers are forbidden from working, so a small number remain after their visa expires to work under the table. For every three border crossers in 1992, there was one overstay. But by 2012, visa overstays accounted for 58 percent of all new unauthorized immigrants. A wall not only will do nothing to stop these people from entering, but it may actually incentivize more people to stick around without authorization.


Border fencing, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, June 2011

Using reduced border crossings as the standard of success also obscures the wall’s effect on the total population of undocumented residents in the country.Until the first fence was built in 1990, workers could circulate freely across the border, coming to harvest crops during the summer and then returning home in the winter. They crossed with a goal of bettering their lives south of the border. The 1980s had more total crossings than the 1990s, but because as many people left each year as arrived, the total number of unauthorized immigrants remained roughly constant at about 3 million. The true measure of of a barrier’s efficacy should be not the gross flow but the net flow, taking into account both entries and exits.

Increased enforcement in the 1990s raised the cost to cross the border, which obviously prevented some migrants from crossing at the margin. In fact, the cost of a single border crossing exploded from $500 in 1995 to $3,000 in 2009. Increasing the price of illegal activity is law enforcement’s main measurement of success. The Drug Enforcement Administration would be thrilled to claim it had driven up illicit drug prices 600 percent in a decade and a half.

But this strategy backfired. The increased costs and risks disincentivized people from returning home. In 1996, just as the secondary fencing was going up in San Diego, a majority of new unauthorized entrants left within one year, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania sociologist Douglas Massey. By 2009-with three times as many agents, 650 miles of barriers, and constant surveillance along the border-an illegal immigrant’s likelihood of leaving within one year had dropped to a statistically insignificant level. Border security had essentially trapped them in.

The illegal population grew in tandem with the increases in smuggling prices, which in turn paralleled the growth in the number of border officers. This process continued from 1990 to 2007, when the housing collapse finally set Mexican migration into reverse.

Massey calculates that as of 2009, 5.3 million fewer immigrants would have been residing in the United States illegally had enforcement remained at the same levels as in the 1980s. He argues that a large guest worker program, similar to the one that the United States last had in the early 1960s, would reduce not just border crossings but the population of immigrants living in this country-seemingly a nationalist two-for-one.

The Price Tag
Congress set aside $1.2 billion for the 700-mile border fence in 2006. It ended up spending $3.5 billion for construction of the current combination of pedestrian fences and vehicle impediments. In 2009, the Border Patrol estimated it would need to spend an average of $325 million per year for 20 years to maintain these barriers. The Congressional Research Service found that by 2015, Congress had already spent $7 billion on the project, more than $11.3 million per mile per decade.

Of course, it hardly makes sense to look at averages, given that half the fence is inexpensive vehicle-only barriers. Of the 317 miles of true pedestrian fencing, the GAO found that construction alone for the first 70 miles cost $2.8 million per mile on average. In the more difficult, non-urban areas, costs grew dramatically: For the next 225 miles, they rose to $5 million per mile on average. In a mountainous region east of San Diego, they hit $16 million per mile. After about 290 miles, the GAO assumed the average cost for the final 26 miles would be $6.5 million.

If Trump backs away from his promise or if Congress ignores his requests for new funding, he may choose to simply build out the existing pedestrian fence for the remaining 683 miles to reach his 1,000-mile goal. Using the $6.5-million-per-mile figure, Congress will still need to front at least $10 billion over 10 years. The entire fence would price out at $18 billion, accounting for inflation. Add in the costs associated with acquiring private land and building in less accessible areas and the price tag goes even higher.

Trump, who still insists that his wall will be not a fence but an “impenetrable physical wall” of concrete, claims that it will cost between $10 billion and $12 billion. In early 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested that a similar amount of appropriations would be needed for the wall. Neither the president nor the speaker has revealed his methodology. But since we know that just building out the existing fence would cost at least that much, the wall will undoubtedly cost far more.

Not only that, but the existing fences were relatively inexpensive to build because they were constructed from materials such as old metal from helicopter landing pads and built low to the ground in some places. Trump has criticized them for, among other things, their inability to prevent tunneling, their materials, their height, and their aesthetics. Trump’s wall would use, according to one engineer’s estimate, more than 1.5 times as much concrete as the Hoover Dam.

For the full 1,000 miles, Trump’s 30-foot wall (with a 10-foot tunnel barrier) would cost $31.2 billion, or $31.2 million per mile, according to the best estimate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers. Two other estimates placed the construction cost of the wall in the $25 billion range. An internal Department of Homeland Security report from February 2017 concluded the project would cost $21.6 billion for “a series of fences and walls” along 1,250 miles of the border. And these are solely upfront construction costs. They don’t include ongoing maintenance, which has accounted for roughly half of the price of the existing barriers over a decade.

The Economic Downside
Donald Trump has insisted from the start of his campaign that Mexico will pay for the wall. When he presented a proposal to Congress to fund the wall’s construction in January, he continued to insist that Mexico would repay the United States. For his part, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has said that he would refuse to pay for any portion of the wall, and the back-and-forth became so heated in January that he canceled a meeting with Trump.

The U.S. president has remained vague about how this reimbursement will happen without Mexico’s cooperation, and his total lack of understanding of basic economic concepts may be contributing to his erroneous belief. “The wall is a fraction of the kind of money…that Mexico takes in from the United States,” he told CNN in April 2016. “You’re talking about a trade deficit with Mexico of $58 billion.” In other words, he seems to be saying that if the Mexican government does not give him the $31 billion or more that it will take to build the wall, Trump will tax America’s business with Mexico. White House Spokesman Sean Spicer intimated something similar in January 2017.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Even if that were to happen, it is simply inaccurate to claim that America’s southern neighbor would be paying for the wall, since the revenue would be coming from U.S. consumers. If the United States imposes a tax on Mexican imports, then people in America buying Mexican goods, from beer to cars, will cover it. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said as much to Trump during a presidential primary debate in January 2016, explaining that the Mexican government “doesn’t pay the tariff-the buyer pays the tariff.” Evidently, the lesson failed to stick.Trump has also floated the idea of cutting off remittances to Mexico of unauthorized immigrants if the Mexican government refuses to pay up. His proposed regulatory method of doing this (claiming that cash wire transfers are actually bank accounts) is legally suspect, but even if it were licit, it would not cover the cost of the wall. Although Mexican immigrants annually send $26 billion to their families in Mexico, only half of the Mexican immigrants in the United States are here illegally, and the majority of the remittances from unauthorized immigrants would likely find a way home through means other than wire transfers.

The Reason
President Trump’s wall would be a mammoth expenditure that would have little impact on illegal immigration. But perhaps that’s not the point. The campaign’s goal was to plant an image in voters’ minds of what making America great again would look like. The president’s goal may now be to create a symbol, an illustration of a nationalism that says to the world that although people of all kinds may want to come here, America was created by and for Americans.

For those who are not nationalists, the wall is a problem. The direct harms are easy to document: the spending, the taxes, the eminent domain abuse, and the decrease in immigrants’ freedom of movement.


Right: Tijuana, Mexico; left: San Diego, California. Public Domain

Even if the wall fails to reduce illegal entries significantly overall, one byproduct of making it harder to enter is that people will choose to cross in increasingly dangerous points along the border (the president’s “natural barriers”). This objective was a purposeful Border Patrol strategy in the 1990s, and it caused the number of deaths to skyrocket as people perished in mountains or deserts. From 1993 to 2005, the number of lives lost in crossing rose from 23 to 500 per year. Since the border fence was built, the number has declined, but the death rate per crossing had more than tripled by 2012.Wasteful security has always been the compromise that non-nationalists give to nationalists to obtain a better immigration system, one that treats people humanely and allows more of them to enter and live here legally. The most optimistic case is that the president builds some kind of barrier and takes credit for the drop in illegal immigration that began a decade ago. Seizing victory, he allows some form of immigration reform palatable to moderate Republicans to pass.

But agreeing to the symbol could be seen as conceding the principle behind it. If Trump understands the costs and the limited benefits of the wall, his true purpose may be to force his opponents to give in to the nationalist viewpoint and spend the ensuing decades building and maintaining its outward sign. Many Republicans, including the president, have adopted a “border security first” philosophy that requires certain metrics to be met before other humane reforms take effect, so the wall could simply be an attempt to move the goalposts for security so far that they can never be reached (especially if Mexico’s reimbursement is a criterion).

Another possibility is that the wall serves as a grand red herring, forcing Trump’s opponents to focus on the symbol while he enforces his true vision in other areas. The president’s executive order mandating the construction of a wall also requires a crackdown on asylum seekers coming to the border from Central America. His order on interior enforcement renders nearly all unauthorized immigrants priorities for removal. He has still further orders planned to undermine the legal immigration system for foreign workers. And of course, he has tried to ban all people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering at all. As his opponents focus on the wall, the Trump administration targets immigrants from every direction.


Congressional Research Service

In a sense, the wall merely represents the Trump administration’s worst instincts and desires. It is harmful, wasteful, and offensive, but an ineffective wall is nonetheless better than the surge of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to round up and deport people that the president also wants. No wall has ever arrested, robbed, battered, or murdered nonviolent people, as immigration enforcement has. A wall will not create an interest group to lobby for itself, endorse nationalist presidential candidates, and demand more power and funding, as the Border Patrol union does.The wall is more than a symbol. It will harm the lives of thousands of border residents and immigrants while wasting billions of tax dollars. But in a world run by nationalists, the one small source of comfort for non-nationalists over the next four years may be the knowledge that it could be worse.

Story 3: President Trump Approval Rating Hits 52% Despite Big Lie Media’s Two Year Negative Smear Campaign Against Trump — Progressive Propaganda Poop — PooPourri — Videos —

Trump polls at 52 per cent, his best approval rating in 23 months – Daily News

LATEST POLL: President Trump’s Approval Rating SOARS to 52%

Donald Trump’s entire 2019 State of the Union address | Full speech on CNN

Trump hits 48 per cent approval in his favorite poll as he prepares for State of the Union

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Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-seven percent (47%) disapprove.

Trump’s highest level of approval since shortly after his inauguration.

The latest figures include 39% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 39% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of 0. (see trends).

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m.  Eastern (sign up for free daily email update).

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump’s job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports’ Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, please send e-mail to beth@rasmussenreports.com .

Total Approval20-Jan-1721-Apr-1724-Jul-1723-Oct-1730-Jan-1801-May-1802-Aug-1801-Nov-1811-Feb-190%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%www.RasmussenReports.comTotal Approve (Trump)Total Approve (Obama)

 

0Approval Index20-Jan-1721-Apr-1724-Jul-1723-Oct-1730-Jan-1801-May-1802-Aug-1801-Nov-1811-Feb-1910%20%30%40%50%60%www.RasmussenReports.comStrongly DisapproveStrongly Approve

Some readers wonder how we come up with our job approval ratings for the president since they often don’t show as dramatic a change as some other pollsters do. It depends on how you ask the question and whom you ask.

To get a sense of longer-term job approval trends for the president, Rasmussen Reports compiles our tracking data on a full month-by-month basis.

Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated telephone polling techniques, but many other firms still utilize their own operator-assisted technology (see methodology).

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Platinum Members.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_feb11

Trump’s approval rating among likely voters soars to his best in 23 MONTHS at 52 per cent after State of the Union address as border-wall shutdown talks intensify

  • Rasmussen Reports poll as Trump at 52 per cent approval, his best showing in 23 months and a higher number than his winning edge in 2016
  • Significant up-swing since government-shutdown low of 43 per cent
  • New numbers were collected in the three days immediately following State of the Union address
  • Asked what Monday’s numbers mean, a senior Democratic House aide confided on background: ‘I don’t know yet if it’s horrible, but it sure isn’t good’ 
  • Polling average is just 42.4 per cent, including mostly those surveys that are open to all Americans; Rasmussen polls only ‘likely voters’

That number is his highest since March 6, 2017, less than seven weeks after he took office. It has been even longer since Trump’s ‘strongly approve’ and ‘strongly disapprove’ numbers weren’t under water. They were even at 39 per cent on Monday.

Overall, 47 per cent of likely voters disapprove of Trump’s Oval Office performance. That’s a low water mark since November 2, 2018.

Monday’s numbers came from surveys conducted during the three weekdays following the president’s State of the Union address.  It’s not unusual for presidents to get a polling ‘bump’ after the high-profile annual address.

Asked what Monday’s numbers mean, a senior Democratic House aide confided on background: ‘I don’t know yet if it’s horrible, but it sure isn’t good.’

The White House, however, seemed pleased. Trump himself tweeted an image of this story at the top of The Drudge Report, an influential news aggregation website.

Donald Trump is gaining ground in the nation's only daily presidential approval tracking poll, surging to 52 per cent – a higher level of popular support than he had on Election Day 2016 and his best poll showing since less than seven weeks into his presidency

Rasmussen's poll had Trump at 46 per cent on the day the three-week government shutdown began; he dipped to a low of 43 per cent in mid-January, but is now at 52 per cent after his State of the Union address

Rasmussen’s poll had Trump at 46 per cent on the day the three-week government shutdown began; he dipped to a low of 43 per cent in mid-January, but is now at 52 per cent after his State of the Union address

President Trump boasted his latest approval number by tweeting an image of this story at the top of The Drudge Report

The principal battle is shaping up, as it was in December, over the preisdent’s demand for money to continue construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats are pledging to yank their purse-strings tight, while Trump has an ace up his sleeve: a threat to declare a national emergency and build the wall with existing funds Congress appropriated last year.

Trump often cites Rasmussen as a rare example of a trustworthy poll, suggesting others are operated by ‘fake news’ outets that are slanted against him.

The president won 46.1 per cent of the votes cast in the 2016 election, prevailing on the strength of a commanding majority in the Electoral College. 

Rasmussen’s Monday numbers suggest Trump could have a majority of Americans behind him and a leg up on his winning position from two years ago.

The president’s approval had been sliding in recent weeks, reaching a low of 43 per cent in the Rasmussen poll as the recent government shutdown wore on.

An average of presidential approval polls maintained by Real Clear Politics now has the president at 42.4 per cent.

That suggests he still has a steep hill to climb at a time when most Americans still blame him and congressional Republicans for the shutdown – and Washington is growing skittish about the possibiity of a repeat performance Friday night.

Trump’s State of the Union address appears to have earned him a ‘bump’ in his approval rating

The most dire polls included in the current RCP average belong to Reuters and Quinnipiac University, which found last week that just 38 per cent of Americans approve of Trump’s work in the White House.

There are three recent polls that show a whopping 57 per cent disapproving of the president.

Leaders of Congress from both parties, however, consistently fare even worse in national polls.

Unlike most broad samples, which draw from all American adults, Rasmussen surveyers accept responses only from self-described ‘likely voters.’ 

The Rasmussen survey since November has been the only national poll that records the public’s assessment of the president’s performance every weekday. Gallup ended its competing daily tracking poll last year and now only reports monthly averages. 

Real Clear Politics maintains a polling average that puts Trump's overall approval at 42.4 per cent, but Rasmussen's survey is the only one of the bunch that excludes people who are not 'likely' U.S. voters ('LV' in the table above)

Real Clear Politics maintains a polling average that puts Trump’s overall approval at 42.4 per cent, but Rasmussen’s survey is the only one of the bunch that excludes people who are not ‘likely’ U.S. voters (‘LV’ in the table above)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6691891/Trumps-approval-rating-likely-voters-soars-best-23-MONTHS-52-cent.html

Story 4: American People’s Confidence Keeps Rising — Videos

Americans’ Confidence in Their Finances Keeps Growing

Americans' Confidence in Their Finances Keeps Growing

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 69% expect their financial situation to improve over the next year
  • Optimism about finances over the next year is almost at a record-high level
  • 50% say they are in better shape financially than a year ago

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ optimism about their personal finances has climbed to levels not seen in more than 16 years, with 69% now saying they expect to be financially better off “at this time next year.”

Line graph. A near-record 69% of Americans say they expect to better off financially a year from now.

The 69% saying they expect to be better off is only two percentage points below the all-time high of 71%, recorded in March 1998 at a time when the nation’s economic boom was producing strong economic growth combined with the lowest inflation and unemployment rates in decades.

Americans are typically less positive about how their finances have changed over the past year than about where they’re headed, and that remains the case. Fifty percent say they are better off today than they were a year ago. That 50% still represents a post-recession milestone — the first time since 2007 that at least half of the public has said they are financially better off than a year ago.

Ten years ago, as the Great Recession neared its end, the percentage saying their finances had improved from the previous year was at a record low of 23%. More than half the public, 54%, said they were worse off. Now, with unemployment below 1998 levels and the job market growing steadily, the number saying they are worse off than a year ago has dropped to 26%, the lowest level since October 2000.

Line graph. Half of Americans say they are now better off financially than they were a year ago.

Only 11 times in 109 polls stretching back to 1976 have at least half of those polled said they were in better financial shape than they had been a year prior. Only once in 114 polls going back to 1977 have Americans been more optimistic about their personal finances in the coming year than they are today.

In every one of the 105 Gallup polls since 1977 that asked both questions, more Americans were optimistic about their future finances than said their current finances had improved versus a year prior. On average in those 105 polls, 56% have expected to be better off in the next year, while 39% have believed they were better off than they had been the previous year. For both questions, a substantial percentage of the public volunteered a response of “the same” — indicating either that their finances had not changed in the past year or that they did not expect them to change in the coming year.

Partisanship Plays a Role in Perceptions of Past and Future Finances

Members of most major demographic groups are more likely in 2019 to say their financial situation has improved in the past year than to say they are worse off — with Democrats the one major exception. By 37% to 32%, more Democrats say that compared with a year ago, they are worse off financially rather than better off. However, among some of the key groups that generally vote Democratic, a plurality or majority say they are better off.

  • Sixty-two percent of those under 30 say they are better off; 25% say worse off.
  • Forty-five percent of women say they are better off; 29% say worse off.
  • Forty-five percent of those with annual household incomes of less than $40,000 say better off, 35% worse off.
  • Among liberals, 40% say better off, 31% worse off.

Republicans are at the other end of the spectrum, with 68% saying they are better off, and only 10% saying worse off. Among groups that are more Republican than the national average, 66% of conservatives say they are better off, as do 57% of those with annual incomes of at least $100,000 and 56% of men.

Both Republicans and Democrats significantly changed their perceptions of how they were doing financially when the 2016 presidential election replaced outgoing Democrat Barack Obama with Republican Donald Trump.

The two most recent times the question was asked before Trump’s election, in January 2015 and January 2016, as many Republicans — 37%, on average — said they were worse off as said they were better off. In the two polls since Trump has taken office, one in January 2018 and one last month, a robust majority of 67% have said they are better off, compared with 13% saying “worse off.”

Democrats, who were more than twice as likely to say they were better off (58%) rather than worse off (24%) in the two pre-Trump-election polls, have reversed field, with 35% saying they are better off and 38% saying worse off in the two post-Trump-inauguration polls.

Changing White House Occupants, Changing Views of Personal Finances
Would you say that you are financially better off now than you were a year ago, or are you financially worse off now?
Better off Worse off
% %
2015-2016 polls
Democrats 58 24
Republicans 37 37
2018-2019 polls
Democrats 35 38
Republicans 67 13
Results based on combined January 2015-January 2016 polls and combined January 2018-January 2019 polls
GALLUP

For both Republicans and Democrats, results are more positive over the same time spans for the question asking about financial expectations for the coming year. Though Republicans’ expectations rose after Trump took office and Democrats became less optimistic, majorities from both parties said they expected to be better off in the coming year in both the pre-Trump-election polls and the post-Trump-inauguration ones.

Bottom Line

The United States brought in the new year with a partial government shutdown that stretched through most of January and a growing sense of pessimism about the nation’s economy.

But in spite of the negative turn in the public’s views about the national economic picture, Americans are more upbeat now about their own finances than they have been in years.

Economic conditions can take rapid turns, and lofty expectations can be dashed in the process. But for now, it appears that most Americans believe, at least for their own financial situations, that 2019 will be a good year.

View complete question responses and trends

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The Pronk Pops Show 1193, January 9, 2019, Story 1: Trust But Verify — Where Is The Big Beautiful Border Barrier? — The Betrayal of the American People By The Political Elitist Establishment — Broom All of Them — Trump Toast — Democrats Done — Videos

Posted on January 9, 2019. Filed under: American History, Bribery, Bribes, Congress, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Empires, Federal Government, Freedom of Speech, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Mexico, Public Corruption, United States Constitution, War, Wealth, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1173 November 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1172 November 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1171 November 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1170 November 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1169 November 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1168 November 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1167 November 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1166 October 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1165 October 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1164 October 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1163 October 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1162 October 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1161 October 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1160 October 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1159 October 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1158 October 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1157 October 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1156 October 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1155 October 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1154 October 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1153 October 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1152 October 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1151 October 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1150 October 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1149, October 1, 2018

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Story 1: Trust But Verify — Where Is The Big Beautiful Border Barrier? — The Betrayal of the American People By The Political Elitist Establishment — Broom All of Them — Trump Toast — Democrats Done — Videos

Trump wall: President addresses nation on border ‘crisis’ – BBC News

Hannity 01/09/19 1AM | January 09, 2019 Breaking News

Schumer and Pelosi’s full response to Trump’s border address

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1183, December 6, 2018, Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 2: Time Running Out For $25 Billion of Federal Funding of Wall — Trump Should Not Sign Any Bills Without Inclusion of Wall Funding of $25 Billion — Shut Government Down — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos — Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1183 December 6, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1180 December 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1179 November 27, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1177 November 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1176 November 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1175 November 16, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1159 October 19, 2018

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos —

Sean Hannity 12/6/18 – Hannity Fox News December 6, 2018

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/6/18 Breaking Fox News December 6, 2018

Hannity 12/06/18 1AM | December 06, 2018 Breaking News

FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet

12/5/2018

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

Just before Thanksgiving, House Republicans amended the list of documents they’d like President Trump to declassify in the Russia investigation. With little fanfare or explanation, the lawmakers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), added a string of emails between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to their wish list.

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured.

The FBI fired Steele on Nov. 1, 2016 — two weeks after securing the warrant — on the grounds that he had unauthorized contacts with the news media.

But the FBI withheld from the American public and Congress, until months later, that Steele had been paid to find his dirt on Trump by a firm doing political opposition research for the Democratic Party and for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Steele himself harbored hatred for Trump.

If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent.

We now know the FBI used an article from Yahoo News as independent corroboration for the