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The Pronk Pops Show 1208, February 14, 2019, Story 1: President Trump To Declare A National Emergency and Keeps Big Government Open Instead of Downsizing and Laying Off Permanently Non-essential Government Employees and Closing Departments– Trump Sides With Rollover Republicans and Radical Extremist Democrats– American People vs. Washington Political Elitist Establishment — Democrats and Republicans Continue To Betray Their Voter Base By Siding With Drug Cartels Massive Smuggling of  Illegal Aliens and Illegal Drugs Into United States — Time For New Viable Political Party — Videos — Story 2:  When Will Trump Order The Investigation and Prosecution of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — The Greatest Scandal in United States History!  — Twelve of Never or Will Attorney General Bill Barr Bust All The Conspirators? — Statue of Limitations Is Running — Three Cheers For Judicial Watch! — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1208 February 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1207 February 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1206 February 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1205 February 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1204 February 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1203 February 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1202 February 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1201 February 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1200 February 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1199 January 31, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1198 January 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1197 January 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1196 January 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1195 January 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1194 January 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1193 January 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1192 January 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1191 December 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1190 December 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1189 December 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1188 December 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1187 December 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1186 December 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1185 December 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1184 December 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1183 December 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1182 December 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1181 December 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1180 December 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1179 November 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1178 November 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1177 November 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1176 November 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1175 November 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1174 November 15, 2018

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

 

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Story 1: President Trump To Declare A National Emergency and Keeps Big Government Open Instead of Downsizing and Laying Off Permanently Non-essential Government Employees and Closing Departments– Trump Sides With Rollover Republicans and Radical Extremist Democrats– American People vs. Washington Political Elitist Establishment — Democrats and Republicans Continue To Betray Their Voter Base By Siding With Drug Cartels Massive Smuggling of  Illegal Aliens and Illegal Drugs Into United States — Time For New Viable Political Party — Videos —

 

BREAKING NEWS: White House says Trump will sign spending bill to avoid shutdown but will declare border emergency TOO – as Pelosi warns GOP a future Democratic president could use the same tactic to impose gun control

  • President’s approval is required to avoid another government shutdown
  • Trump said he was ‘not happy’ with the compromise but White House signals he will accept it
  • White House said Trump ‘will sign the government funding bill’
  • But at the same time he will declare a national emergency to build the wall
  • Pelosi didn’t rule out legal action to block the move
  • She warned Republicans of the precedent it could set for the future
  • Rep. James C. Clyburn of South Carolina said he’s ‘sure’ it will pass  
  • Deal must be signed into law by midnight Friday to avoid another shutdown 
  • Senate adopted the measure by a vote of 83-16
  • House was set to vote Thursday evening on $328 billion package 

President Donald Trump will sign a bipartisan spending deal – but will declare a ‘national emergency’ in an effort to procure funds to build a border wall, the White House said Thursday.

The move drew both statements of relief from lawmakers who wanted to avoid another government shutdown – and a threat from Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the emergency declaration.

Pelosi called it an ‘end-run around the will of the people,’ speaking to reporters minutes after news of Trump’s position broke, while warning it could come back to bite Republicans.

‘We will review our options, we’ll be prepared to respond appropriately to it,’ Pelosi said, asked about Trump’s planned emergency declaration.

President Donald Trump has expressed misgivings about a bipartisan deal, but will sign it, the White House said

President Donald Trump has expressed misgivings about a bipartisan deal, but will sign it, the White House said

She also brandished the threat a future Democratic president could use the same tactic of Trump moves forward

‘You want to talk about a national emergency? Let’s talk about today, the one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America,’ Pelosi said, referencing the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

‘That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would. But a Democratic president can do that. [A] Democratic president can declare emergencies as well,’ she threatened.

Within minutes after the White House announced its support, the Senate adopted the legislative package by a vote of 83-16. The House was to follow suit Thursday night.

Sen. Mitch McConnell updated colleagues on his conversation with Trump, saying he 'indicated' he is 'prepared to sign' the budget bill minutes before the White House announced his support

Sen. Mitch McConnell updated colleagues on his conversation with Trump, saying he ‘indicated’ he is ‘prepared to sign’ the budget bill minutes before the White House announced his support

‘The precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans,’ said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

But Pelosi, even while touting the package as the product of compromise, bristled at Trump’s stated move to get around strict funding limits it included, namely $1.4 billion for border fencing.

 ‘So the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans. And of course we will respond accordingly when we review our options,’ Pelosi said.

Pelosi also blasted Trump for ‘making an end run around Congress.

‘The power of the purse, the power to declare war … and of course the responsibility to have oversight.’ Although she said Democrats would ‘review our options,’ and did not commit to filing a lawsuit against the move.

Pelosi said Congress maintains ‘the power of the purse, the power to declare war … and of course the responsibility to have oversight.’

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York blasted the move in even more scathing language. ‘Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act – a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for the wall,’ Schumer told colleagues moments after the deal passed the Senate.

‘It would be another demonstration of President Trump’s naked contempt for the rule of law and congressional authority. Congress just debated this very issue. There was not support for the president’s position on this issue,’ Schumer said, pointing to the legislative history that a court would likely consider.

‘For the president to declare an emergency now would be an unprecedented subversion of Congress’s constitutional prerogative,’ he said.

WHAT HAPPENS IF DEMOCRATS CHALLENGE A TRUMP-DECLARED BORDER ‘EMERGENCY’ IN COURT?

If President Trump declares that a national emergency exists on the U.S.-Mexico border, it’s likely that court challenges will quickly seek to stop him from exercising the powers federal law would give him.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said Thursday that ‘the Constitution grants Congress the authority to appropriate federal dollars, so I’m sure such action will be litigated in the courts.’

Congress passed the National Emergencies Act in 1975 in order to force post-Watergate presidents to explain themselves if they claim powers beyond what Congress has authorized.

Trump would have to cite the specific laws he’s relying on for emergency spending power.

The most likely basis is found in Section 2808 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. It allows presidents to order the Defense Department to ‘undertake military construction projects’ during times of emergency ‘that are necessary to support … use of the armed forces.’

Trump began sending military troops to the southern border last year, tasking them with supporting border patrol units. Among their jobs has been hanging more than 150 miles of razor wire as a barrier to protect the border agents.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who met with Trump in the Oval office on Thursday afternoon, said in a Feb. 4 speech ‘they’re putting up barbed wire. What’s the difference between barbed ware and a steel slat? I’m confident the president has the legal ability to do this.’

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Thursday that ‘it will be challenged in court and is of dubious constitutionality.’

Trump’s opponents will have to find a loophole in Section 2293 of Title 33, which allows presidents to repurpose military ‘civil works’ budgets to build ‘authorized’ projects ‘that are essential to the national defense.’

That law applies in times of war or ‘national emergency.’

The largely civilian Army Corps of Engineers has already spent the past 18 months contracting out the work of building miles of border walls. It’s the Pentagon’s civil-works construction agency

It’s unlikely a federal court would weigh in on whether Trump has the legal authority to use his own discretion in declaring declare a national emergency. The 1975 law leaves that judgment up to the White House.

Every president since Gerald Ford has used it at least once. Barack Obama did it 12 times. Americans are still living under the conditions of 31 of the 58 declared ’emergencies.’ The U.S. Supreme Court has never invalidated one.

But his opponents would likely argue that Section 2808 can’t be used to build permanent walls that go beyond what’s necessary to protect the troops on border deployments.

And lawyers will squabble over whether Section 2293’s reference to ‘national defense’ includes border security in the first place.

A White House official said Thursday that the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which provided for wall construction along the border, is enough to show Congress has ‘authorized’ what Trump might want to fund unconventionally.

The official said the administration is betting that federal judges won’t want to weigh in on what is and is not related to national defense, a concept federal law has never clearly defined.

Trump said on Feb. 1 that while he expects legal challenges, ‘we have very, very strong legal standing to win.’

It would be ‘hard’ for Democrats to stymie him, he claimed, ‘but they tend to go to the Ninth Circuit,’ traditionally America’s most liberal and most often-overturned bank of judges.

‘And when they go to the Ninth Circuit, things happen.’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told fellow senators Thursday that Trump was ‘prepared to sign’ the budget deal, and the White House soon confirmed it with stronger language.

Said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement: ‘President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before he will also take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border. The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,’ she added.

With the flurry of action Thursday afternoon, the Senate and House were set to vote in sequence on the $328 billion package.

McConnell made his announcement on the Senate floor after signals of indecision from the White House were once again raising fears of a government shutdown after Friday.

Joint statement from Democratic leaders Schumer and Pelosi on possible declaration of ‘national emergency’

‘Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall.

It is yet another demonstration of President Trump’s naked contempt for the rule of law.

This is not an emergency, and the president’s fear-mongering doesn’t make it one.

He couldn’t convince Mexico, the American people or their elected representatives to pay for his ineffective and expensive wall, so now he’s trying an end-run around Congress in a desperate attempt to put taxpayers on the hook for it.

The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities.’

McConnell spoke to Trump Thursday, and told his colleagues the president ‘indicated he’s prepared to sign’ the deal, which was inked Wednesday night.

Declaring a national emergency will allow Trump to repurpose billions of dollars Congress approved last year for other projects at the Pentagon and other agencies. The White House and Democrats have indicated that they expect interest groups to sue, challenging the president’s power to sidestep lawmakers’ power of the purse.

With Washington on edge a day before another shutdown deadline with no clear signal from the White House, McConnell told colleagues: ‘I’ve just had an opportunity to speak with President Trump, and he would, I would say to all my colleagues, has indicated that he’s prepared to sign the bill.’

‘He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time. And I’ve indicated to him that I’m going to prepare – I’m going to support the national emergency declaration. So for all of my colleagues, the President will sign the bill. We’ll be voting on it shortly,’ McConnell said.

A top Democrat immediately blasted the move to declare an emergency for funds Congress would not approve.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland intruded on an NBC live broadcast to say ‘declaring a national emergency when there is no national emergency is not good for a President to do, and frankly I don’t think it’s good for precedent for future Presidents.’

A leading Senate Republican opened Thursday’s session with a prayer that President Trump would have the ‘wisdom’ to sign a bipartisan spending deal – after another day of mixed signals from the White House.

‘Let’s all pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn’t shut down,’ said Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, who has been a powerful defender of Trump’s but who also is pushing to make sure Special Counsel Mueller’s report gets shared with Congress.

Grassley’s appeal to a higher authority came hours after a senior Trump advisor said only that Trump was ‘taking a look’ at the legislation, which a bipartisan panel of House and Senate lawmakers agreed to Wednesday night.

Vice President Mike Pence, traveling in Poland, said Trump is ‘not happy’ with the deal – which includes just a quarter of the amount he wanted for a border wall, with funds restricted to existing forms of fencing.

‘I think he’s been very clear that he’s not happy with it. Seeing less than $ 1.4 billion dollars in border wall funding I know is a disappointment to the president, but he’s considering the bill,’ Pence said.

The president himself was circumspect, tweeting: ‘Reviewing the funding bill with my team at the @WhiteHouse!’

Trump’s earlier Twitter effort was even less revealing. It said simply ‘funding bill’, and was an apparent typo.

Other senior Republicans were taking a wait-and-see approach to avoid getting out ahead of the president. Prominent voices on the right came out Thursday to urge Trump not sign onto the deal.

 ‘This bill must NOT be signed by @realDonaldTrump,’ wrote conservative host Laura Ingraham. She added: ‘This bill is tantamount to an illegal immigration ‘stimulus’ — de facto amnesty to any ‘sponsor,’ family member or ‘potential sponsor’ of an unaccompanied minor. #ChainMigrationAmnesty,’ and in another swipe, wrote: ‘This 1,169 page monstrosity will green light more ‘family units’ crossing illegally—without a doubt.’

'Let's all pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn't shut down,' said Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa

‘Let’s all pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn’t shut down,’ said Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa

The president said only he was 'reviewing' the bill

The president said only he was ‘reviewing’ the bill

TAKE ONE: Trump deleted his initial tweet

TAKE ONE: Trump deleted his initial tweet

On Thursday morning, the White House had yet to signal Trump was certain to sign the deal, after high-profile conservative commentators balked at the arrangement, which gives the president far less than the $5.7 billion he demanded for a border wall.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters Thursday Trump was still ‘looking at’ the compromise that finally reached written form late Wednesday.

‘He’s looking at it. I think it came in very late last night. He’s taking a look at that, you’ll hear more about it when he’s ready,’ Kudlow said.

Lawmakers released the text of the 1,159-page bill Wednesday night.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said he is 'sure' the deal will pass

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said he is ‘sure’ the deal will pass

'I think he's been very clear that he's not happy with it,' Vice President Mike Pence said of Trump

‘I think he’s been very clear that he’s not happy with it,’ Vice President Mike Pence said of Trump

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters Thursday Trump was still 'looking at' the compromise that finally reached written form late Wednesday

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters Thursday Trump was still ‘looking at’ the compromise that finally reached written form late Wednesday

The deal restricts fencing to existing types already in use

The deal restricts fencing to existing types already in use

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama tweeted Wednesday that Trump ‘was in good spirits,’ and once again called the bill a ‘down-payment’ on the wall. Trump has indicated he will use other methods to procure wall funds.

Following the 35-day shutdown, Trump allowed a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both parties to negotiate a compromise. Pulling away from it could once again tag Trump with producing a shutdown.

The agreement provides $1.4 billion for border fencing, but not the $5.7 Trump demanded for wall construction. Trump has been tweaking his rhetoric as the deal approached. His Tuesday rally at the Texas border city of El Paso had banners that said ‘finish the wall,’ and Trump says repeatedly that it is already being built.

Trump said Wednesday he is taking a ‘very serious’ look at a bipartisan compromise deal to give him just a quarter of the $5.7 billion he wants for a border wall – following reports sourced to his advisors that he is preparing to sign it.

Government funding legislation is once again hinging on President Trump's support for a border wall

Government funding legislation is once again hinging on President Trump’s support for a border wall.

‘A pretty good deal’: Senators react to border spending bill

‘We haven’t gotten it yet,’ Trump said, in reference to the bipartisan compromise that has yet to be turned into final bill language. ‘We’ll take a very serious look at it,’ Trump added during a meeting with the president of Colombia.

He said he would look for ‘landmines’ surreptitiously buried in the legislation negotiated by Republicans and Democrats from both chambers of Congress, but would not formally commit to signing it.

There was a last minute standoff over back-pay for federal contractors who lost millions during the shutdown that began in December.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said he was told the president would not back the effort.

Senate Appropriations chair Richard Shelby of Alabama says he told Trump the wall funding was a 'down payment'

Senate Appropriations chair Richard Shelby of Alabama says he told Trump the wall funding was a ‘down payment’

A bipartisan compromise would provide $1.37 billion for new border fencing

A bipartisan compromise would provide $1.37 billion for new border fencing

'We'll be looking for landmines, because you could have that,' Trump said, indicating his advisors would be scrubbing legislation to fund the government in search of any surprises. Trump said he would take a 'very serious' look at bipartisan legislation to fund the government

‘We’ll be looking for landmines, because you could have that,’ Trump said, indicating his advisors would be scrubbing legislation to fund the government in search of any surprises. Trump said he would take a ‘very serious’ look at bipartisan legislation to fund the government

‘I’ve been told the president won’t sign that,’ Blunt said Wednesday, adding ‘I guess federal contractors are different in his view than federal employees.’ Negotiators left the proposal out of the final compromise.

‘I’m sure it’s going to pass. I don’t know of any drama,’ said House Democrats’ chief vote-counter, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., told the Associated Press.

President Donald Trump hasn't given his final signal that he will sign a bipartisan compromise with $1.37 billion for border fencing, after a lengthy shutdown where he was demanding $5.7 billion for wall construction, though he is expected to do so

President Donald Trump hasn’t given his final signal that he will sign a bipartisan compromise with $1.37 billion for border fencing, after a lengthy shutdown where he was demanding $5.7 billion for wall construction, though he is expected to do so

By accepting the compromise, Trump avoided yet another shutdown after the 35-day partial federal shutdown that began in December, battering Trump and Republicans in public opinion polls.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6703509/Border-security-brawl-near-serene-resolution.html

SPECIAL REPORT: President Trump to declare national emergency6:30

In a surprise development Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor that President Donald Trump told him he would sign a border security funding bill that would avert a government shutdownbut also would declare a national emergency in order to get more funding for his proposed border wall.

McConnell’s announcement caught Capitol Hill off guard. The Senate then voted to overwhelmingly approve the measure 83-16, sending it to the House for a vote late Thursday. The House approved the measure 300-128.

ABC News has learned the president plans to announce on Friday his intention to spend about $8 billion on the border wall with a mix of spending from Congressional appropriations approved Thursday night, executive action and an emergency declaration.

A senior White House official familiar with the plan told ABC News that $1.375 billion would come from the spending bill Congress passed Thursday; $600 million would come from the Treasury Department’s drug forfeiture fund; $2.5 billion would come from the Pentagon’s drug interdiction program; and through an emergency declaration: $3.5 billion from the Pentagon’s military construction budget.

 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks onto the Senate floor at the Capitol, Feb. 14, 2019.

(Erik S. Lessser/EPA/Shutterstock)  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks onto the Senate floor at the Capitol, Feb. 14, 2019.

Many Republicans, including McConnell, had advised the president against declaring a national emergency, which is a challenge to Congress’ “power of the purse” — the power to decide how and where taxpayer money is spent. However, McConnell, in announcing the president’s decision Thursday afternoon, said he now supported the move.

“I will fully support the enactment of a joint resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration, in accordance with the process described in the National Emergencies Act, and intend to pursue all other available legal options,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “The Judiciary Committee will also use its authority to hold the Administration to account and determine the supposed legal basis for the President’s actions.”

Democrats and some Republicans came out against the president’s plans.

 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 31, 2019.

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 31, 2019.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, in a joint statement, said the declaration would be a “lawless act” and a “gross abuse of the power of the presidency.”

“It is yet another demonstration of President Trump’s naked contempt for the rule of law,” their statement said, calling it “a desperate attempt to put taxpayers on the hook” for his border wall, adding that Congress “will defend our constitutional authorities.”

In a statement late Thursday, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said, “If President Trump declares a national emergency to fund his border wall, I’m prepared to introduce a resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Thursday afternoon, “This approach does set a very bad precedent for future presidents, whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican, to feel that they can get around Congress’s constitutional role to allocate funding.

“It’s very serious and troubling to me,” she added.

Senior House Democrats and aides were waiting for Trump’s emergency declaration Thursday before deciding on how to best respond, but one aide said the House could take up and pass a joint resolution disapproving of any national emergency declaration — a move that would force Republican senators to go on the record on Trump’s controversial move.

 People work on the U.S./Mexican border wall, Feb. 12, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  People work on the U.S./Mexican border wall, Feb. 12, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.

“We’re going to fight him,” Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Rules Committee, said of Trump’s plans. “I think he’s going well beyond his constitutional powers, and he’s in for a hell of a fight.”

The spending deal crafted by top appropriators funding for the Department of Homeland Security and a handful of other federal agencies impacted by the 35-day government shutdown last month.

It includes $1.375 billion to build a physical barrier on the southern border – enough to construct about 55 miles of new fencing in new geographic areas, but less than the proposal rejected by the president late last year ahead of the shutdown.

 Rep. Hakeem Jeffries questions acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker as he testifies to the House Judiciary Committee on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 8, 2019.

(Joshua Roberts/Reuters)  Rep. Hakeem Jeffries questions acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker as he testifies to the House Judiciary Committee on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 8, 2019.

It also includes hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for new border security and inspection technology at points of entry, and humanitarian relief, along with additional funding to increase the number of immigrant detention beds.

The increase in funding for the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was enough for a handful of prominent progressive House Democrats to oppose the deal.

 House Appropriations Committee ranking member Rep. Kay Granger speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol, Feb. 13, 2019, in Washington, DC.

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)  House Appropriations Committee ranking member Rep. Kay Granger speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol, Feb. 13, 2019, in Washington, DC.

“We want to be abundantly clear: this is not a rebuke of federal workers or those who depend on the services they provide, but a rejection of the hateful policies, priorities, and rhetoric of the Trump Administration,” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said in a statement.

Hours later, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, also said she would vote against the deal.

“Congress must pass a strong DHS appropriations bill to bring accountability and humanity to our detention system. Unfortunately, this bill did not accomplish this and that is why I will vote no,” she wrote.

ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky and Trish Turner contributed to this report.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/landmines-border-bill-trump-hell-sign/story?id=61047358

The bipartisan spending binge is now worse than under Bush and Obama

 · February 15, 2019

Money in a suitcase

We’re now $22 trillion in debt, yet despite all that red ink, the Mexican cartels have control of our border and we’re not one bit closer to spending money on our own security. We’ve gone into deep debt for everything except the core function of the federal government.

It feels like it was yesterday when I was watching the news as a kid with my parents in 1995, listening to Newt Gingrich, during the infamous shutdown fight, warn about the dire consequences of crossing the $5 trillion debt milestone. It feels like it was yesterday when I was writing press releases for candidates in “the year of the Tea Party” on how Obama and the Pelosi Congress took the debt to $14 trillion in such a short period of time. Now, over eight years into varying degrees of GOP control of Congress and the White House, we have crossed the $22 trillion mark, expanding the debt more rapidly than at any time in our history. Whereas the debt exploded by $5 trillion during Bush’s eight-year tenure, a shocking figure at the time, it has now increased $8 trillion just since Republicans controlled the House in 2011 and by $4 trillion over the past four years, since they controlled at least two of the three political organs of government.

Now, the only question Republicans have is how many pennies of border security they will fight for, while refusing to challenge any of the nonessential and even harmful programs of the federal government. The GOP platform on debt and spending is a lie from top to bottom, as Republicans plan to pass more budget bills allowing us to blow through the budget caps without any effort to systemically reform the way we budget.

Now that Republicans are planning to cave on border funding, can they at least force a confrontation with Democrats over spending levels for functions of government that are nowhere near as important as border security? Thus, departments like HUD, which were able to completely shut down for a month with nobody noticing, will continue to enjoy record spending. We will continue to provide security for Kabul and Baghdad with the beefed-up military budget since last year’s budget deal, but no funding for our border or meaningful use of the military to protect our own sovereignty from the daily incursions by the most brutal cartels on earth.

Why even have a Republican Party any more?

Even more indefensible, unlike during the end of Bush’s years and the beginning of Obama’s tenure, when we first began accruing trillion-dollar annual deficits, we are not facing a deep recession. In fact, we are enjoying the most robust period of job growth since the late 1990s, and revenue is at a record high baseline.

Let it be known for all of time that dire predictions of revenue slumping as a result of the tax cuts were fake news. The entirety of the current deficit problem is due to increased spending.  According to the latest monthly report released by the Treasury Department yesterday, spending was up 9.6 percent for the first three months of fiscal year 2019 relative to the first three months of FY 2018. What about revenues? They actually rose slightly by 0.2 percent, despite some declines in certain revenue categories. This is an important statistic, because it is the first clean metric we have comparing a period of time with the tax cuts in full implementation to a period before the tax cuts.

Moreover, some of the increased tax revenue from more payroll taxes likely would not have occurred without the job creation spawned by the tax cuts. If you isolate the revenue tallies for individual and corporate taxes, the government obviously did lose some revenue in certain categories, but it was made up by a $15 billion increase in payroll tax revenue (FICA, Social Security taxes), in addition to increased revenue from excise taxes.

The annual deficit after just three months stood at $319 trillion, well on pace to smash the trillion-dollar deficit mark for the first time in a booming economy.

Thus, this bipartisan era of debt is worse than anything we’ve seen this generation, and it is all happening with record revenue and a booming economy – with no world war consuming our economy and budget.

Thanks to Republican-approved budget deals, for the first three months of the fiscal year, outlays for HHS are up 12.5 percent, outlays for the Department of Education spiked 23 percent, and outlays for the Department of Commerce have doubled! Meanwhile, outlays on Homeland Security have actually been down by 30 percent because of less disaster spending under FEMA than last year. But it’s not like we went on a spending binge for Border Patrol and ICE. Outlays on military spending are up 8.45 percent, but again, what is the purpose of the military if we use it everywhere else in the world except against those who most directly harm us at our own border?

 

All of this spending is creating a crisis with interest payments on the debt. Net interest payments for the first quarter are up to $100 billion. That is an annualized pace of $400 billion, almost twice the level it has been in recent years. And this is just the beginning.

What is driving the most debt? The issue where Republicans now agree with Democrats: socialized medicine. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is now bashing the Freedom Caucus for opposing the key element of Obamacare responsible for driving up the cost of insurance, thereby generating the massive spending and the monopoly created by the health care industry.

Health care is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Federal spending on health care (not including state expenditures) is projected to be $17 trillion over the next 10 years, dwarfing the cost of Social Security and the military. By 2047, health care spending will be about 25 percent greater than the insolvent and crushing cost of Social Security. As such, health care in itself is the largest driver of the other great crisis, as noted: the mushrooming cost of the interest on the debt itself. Health care spending alone will be greater than all the revenue from payroll taxes and corporate income taxes combined and almost as large as individual income tax revenue.

This is all going to the creation of a monopoly in a circuitous death spiral of price inflation and increased government spending. It’s no mystery why our national expenditures on health care have popped from $27 billion in 1960 to over $3.3 trillion today. Assuming health care would rise at the same rate as the rest of the economy, that number would be under $250 billion today. If we flushed $1.6 trillion down the toilet every year, we’d come out with a better result because we’d just waste money. Now, we are taking that wasted money and artificially inflating the cost of health care to the point that nobody can afford it without government continuing the death spiral of spending, monopolizing, and price inflation.

Yet Republicans have acquiesced to every degree of this baseline and are only debating how much more socialized medicine they will countenance while fake-fighting the rest. Then they will say we have to agree to the new socialized medicine in order to fight the next plan. Rinse and repeat.

Now, instead of looking to cut spending elsewhere, Republican senators met with Ivanka Trump to see how they can create a new entitlement of paid family leave like they have in Europe, but of course without adding to the deficit and distorting our job market! They will find a “conservative way” to agree to Democrats.

With the deficits for FY 2019 skyrocketing just as much as the illegal immigration numbers, at some point conservatives need to asses their rate of return on the Republican Party.

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/bipartisan-spending-binge-now-worse-bush-obama/

Story 2:  When Will Trump Order The Investigation and Prosecution of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — The Greatest Scandal in United States History!  — Twelve of Never or Will Attorney General Bill Barr Bust All The Conspirators? — Statue of Limitations Is Running — Three Cheers For Judicial Watch! — Videos Videos

 

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Former US attorney Joe DiGenova says there was a brazen plot within the FBI to exonerate Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing and to frame Trump of a falsely constructed crime if she lost the presidential election. DiGenova also says the ‘lost’ texts beteween two FBI agents can be recovered

 

 

 

McCabe: There were 25th Amendment discussions at DOJ to remove Trump from office

Dylan Stableford

Senior Editor,
Yahoo News
.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says that after President Trump fired his boss, FBI Director James Comey, there were discussions within the Department of Justice about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

Last year, the New York Times reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment.

McCabe confirmed the report in a new interview with “60 Minutes” host Scott Pelley, who relayed what McCabe told him on “CBS This Morning” Thursday.

“There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment,” Pelley said.

In a statement released by the Justice Department, Rosenstein said McCabe’s account of a discussion of invoking the 25th amendment was “inaccurate and factually incorrect.”

Trump responded in a pair of tweets later Thursday morning.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a “poor little Angel” when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax – a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of “insurance policy” in case I won….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign – he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

The discussions occurred between the time of Comey’s firing in May of 2017 and the appointment eight days later of special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

According to the Times, Rosenstein also suggested that he secretly record Trump in the White House. Rosenstein disputed the account, and a Justice Department official said he made the remark sarcastically. But McCabe told Pelley that Rosenstein’s offer to wear a wire was made more than once and that he ultimately took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss.

McCabe, who was named acting director of the bureau after Comey’s firing, launched obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations into whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey.

He told Pelley he did so in order to preserve the FBI’s Russian probe in case there was an effort by Trump to terminate it.

“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” McCabe said. “That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.”

Former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe and President Trump. (Photo Illustration: Yahoo News; photos; Alex Wong/Getty Images, AP)
More

McCabe’s comments come ahead of the release of his new book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” due out next week.

In an excerpt of the book published Thursday in the Atlantic, McCabe describes a phone call he received from Trump on his first full day on the job as acting director of the FBI. According to McCabe, Trump told him that he had “hundreds of messages from FBI people [saying] how happy they are that I fired [Comey].”

“You know — boy, it’s incredible, it’s such a great thing, people are really happy about the fact that the director’s gone, and it’s just remarkable what people are saying,” Trump said, according to McCabe. “Have you seen that? Are you seeing that, too?”

McCabe was eventually fired in March 2018, less than two days before he would have collected a full early pension for his FBI career.

“Andrew McCabe FIRED,” Trump tweeted on the day of McCabe’s dismissal. “A great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy.”

Trump has since railed against McCabe dozens of times on Twitter. “He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!” he exclaimed last April. “No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”

https://news.yahoo.com/mccabe-25th-amendment-discussions-doj-remove-trump-office-140646145.html

Johnny Mathis – The Twelfth Of Never (Live)

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1200, February 1, 2019, Story 1 President Trump — A Big Beautiful Border Barrier or Wall Is Required To Stop The Continuing Illegal Alien Invasion of United States  — What about The 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens Already in the United States? — Part 2 of 2 — Videos — Story 2: Will United States Economy Measured By Gross Domestic Product Grow At Historical Average of 3% to 3.5% Annually? — Bureau of Economic Analysis Reports Scheduled for this Week Delayed  — Better Than Average Jobs Report of 304,000 Non farm Payroll Jobs Created in January 2019 — The  U-3 Unemployment Rate Increased to 4.0% from 3.86% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Increased to 8.07% from 7.59% and Number of Unemployed Increased To 6.5 Million from 6.3 Million — 100th Month of Job Increases and Growing Stronger — Videos

Posted on February 2, 2019. Filed under: Abortion, Addiction, American History, Biology, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Chemistry, China, Comedy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Germany, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Killing, Language, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medical, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Public Relations, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rule of Law, Science, Senate, Social Security, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1 President Trump — A Big Beautiful Border Barrier or Wall Is Required To Stop The Continuing Illegal Alien Invasion of United States  — What about The 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens Already in the United States? — Part 2 of 2 — Videos —

 

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Trump says Nancy Pelosi is ‘playing games’ with wall funding

– The Washington Times – Thursday, January 31, 2019

President Trump said Thursday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “playing games” with his demand for a border wall and he doesn’t expect the congressional negotiations to reach a deal on a barrier for the southern border.

“She’s playing games,” the president told reporters at the White House. “If there’s no wall, it doesn’t work.”

Minutes earlier, Mrs. Pelosi vowed at the Capitol that Democrats won’t approve money for a wall as part of negotiations on border security.

She suggested there might be money available for a so-called “Normandy” fence along the southern border, which would stop vehicles but not people on foot.

Upon hearing that, the president said he doesn’t expect a 17-member bipartisan committee to reach a deal on border security that’s acceptable to him.

“I don’t think they’re going to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t expect much coming out of this committee.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/31/donald-trump-border-wall-talks-congress/2729908002/

Story 2: Will United States Economy Measured By Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Grow At Historical Average of 3% to 3.5% Annually? — Bureau of Economic Analysis Reports Scheduled for this Week Delayed  — Better Than Average Jobs Report of 304,000 Non-farm Payroll Jobs Created in January 2019 — The  U-3 Unemployment Rate Increased to 4.0% from 3.86% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Increased to 8.07% from 7.59% and Number of Unemployed Increased To 6.5 Million from 6.3 Million — 100th Month of Job Increases and Growing Stronger — Videos

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Jobs Report

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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: February 1st, 2019

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for January 2019 is 21.8%.

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

Shadow Government Statistics
Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting

Data extracted on: February 1, 2019 (6:25:46 PM)

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Civilian Labor Force Level

163,229,000

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155763(1) 155312 155005 155394 155536 155749 155599 155605 155687 154673 155265 155182
2014 155352(1) 155483 156028 155369 155684 155707 156007 156130 156040 156417 156494 156332
2015 157053(1) 156663 156626 157017 157616 157014 157008 157165 156745 157188 157502 158080
2016 158371(1) 158705 159079 158891 158700 158899 159150 159582 159810 159768 159629 159779
2017 159693(1) 159854 160036 160169 159910 160124 160383 160706 161190 160436 160626 160636
2018 161123(1) 161900 161646 161551 161667 162129 162209 161802 162055 162694 162821 163240
2019 163229(1)
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

Labor Force Participation Rate

63.2% 

 

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

Employment Level

156,694,000

 

Series Id:           LNS12000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment Level
Labor force status:  Employed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 136559(1) 136598 136701 137270 136630 136940 136531 136662 136893 137088 137322 137614
2001 137778 137612 137783 137299 137092 136873 137071 136241 136846 136392 136238 136047
2002 135701 136438 136177 136126 136539 136415 136413 136705 137302 137008 136521 136426
2003 137417(1) 137482 137434 137633 137544 137790 137474 137549 137609 137984 138424 138411
2004 138472(1) 138542 138453 138680 138852 139174 139556 139573 139487 139732 140231 140125
2005 140245(1) 140385 140654 141254 141609 141714 142026 142434 142401 142548 142499 142752
2006 143150(1) 143457 143741 143761 144089 144353 144202 144625 144815 145314 145534 145970
2007 146028(1) 146057 146320 145586 145903 146063 145905 145682 146244 145946 146595 146273
2008 146378(1) 146156 146086 146132 145908 145737 145532 145203 145076 144802 144100 143369
2009 142152(1) 141640 140707 140656 140248 140009 139901 139492 138818 138432 138659 138013
2010 138438(1) 138581 138751 139297 139241 139141 139179 139438 139396 139119 139044 139301
2011 139250(1) 139394 139639 139586 139624 139384 139524 139942 140183 140368 140826 140902
2012 141584(1) 141858 142036 141899 142206 142391 142292 142291 143044 143431 143333 143330
2013 143292(1) 143362 143316 143635 143882 143999 144264 144326 144418 143537 144479 144778
2014 145150(1) 145134 145648 145667 145825 146247 146399 146530 146778 147427 147404 147615
2015 148150(1) 148053 148122 148491 148802 148765 148815 149175 148853 149270 149506 150164
2016 150622(1) 150934 151146 150963 151074 151104 151450 151766 151877 151949 152150 152276
2017 152128(1) 152417 152958 153150 152920 153176 153456 153591 154399 153847 153945 154065
2018 154482(1) 155213 155160 155216 155539 155592 155964 155604 156069 156582 156803 156945
2019 156694(1)
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

January 28, 2019

Bureau of Economic Analysis reports scheduled for this week and next will be delayed because of the effects of the partial government shutdown.

Those reports are:

  • Gross Domestic Product by State for the third quarter of 2018, originally scheduled for release on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
  • The “advance,” or initial, estimates of Gross Domestic Product for the fourth quarter of 2018 and for all of 2018, originally scheduled for release Wednesday, Jan. 30.
  • Personal Income and Outlays for December 2018, originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31.
  • U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services for December 2018, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5.

BEA has not yet set new release dates for those economic reports.

In addition, new release dates will be set for three other economic reports that were originally set for release while parts of the government were shut down: U.S. International Investment Position for the third quarter of 2018, scheduled for Dec. 27; U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services for November 2018, scheduled for Jan. 8; and GDP by Industry for the third quarter of 2018, scheduled for Jan. 24.

BEA reopened on Monday and is consulting with the U.S. Census Bureau and other data suppliers to determine the availability of the thousands of data series used to produce our economic indicators. We will then work with the Office of Management and Budget to publish a revised schedule of BEA’s economic releases.

Until we know more about when source data will be available, we cannot say anything definitive about release dates for specific economic indicators. We will work through this as quickly as possible and provide information as soon as we can. Watch bea.gov and our Twitter feed, @BEA_News, for updates.

 

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until		USDL-19-0140
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, February 1, 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 -- JANUARY 2019


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, and the
unemployment rate edged up to 4.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Job gains occurred in several industries, including leisure
and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing. 

 _____________________________________________________________________________
| 									      |
|                Changes to The Employment Situation Data		      |
|									      |
|   Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual     |
|   benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors.     |
|   Also, household survey data for January 2019 reflect updated population   |
|   estimates. See the notes beginning at the end of this news release for    |
|   more information about these changes.				      |
|_____________________________________________________________________________|


Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate, at 4.0 percent, and the number of unemployed persons,
at 6.5 million, edged up in January. The impact of the partial federal government
shutdown contributed to the uptick in these measures. Among the unemployed, the
number who reported being on temporary layoff increased by 175,000. This figure
includes furloughed federal employees who were classified as unemployed on
temporary layoff under the definitions used in the household survey. (See tables
A-1 and A-11. For information about annual population adjustments to the household
survey estimates, see the note at the end of this release and tables B and C. For
more information on the classification of workers affected by the partial federal
government shutdown, see the box note at the end of this news release.) 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics increased to
4.9 percent in January. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult
women (3.6 percent), teenagers (12.9 percent), Whites (3.5 percent), Blacks
(6.8 percent), and Asians (3.1 percent) showed little change over the month. (See
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
was little changed at 1.3 million and accounted for 19.3 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent, and the employment-population
ratio, at 60.7 percent, changed little over the month; both measures were up by 0.5
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) increased by about one-half million to 5.1
million in January. Nearly all of this increase occurred in the private sector and
may reflect the impact of 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 January, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,
essentially unchanged 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 prior 12 months. They were not counted as 
unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the
survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 426,000 discouraged workers in January,
little different than 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 1.2 million persons
marginally attached to the labor force in January had not searched for work for
reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, compared with
an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. In January, employment grew in several
industries, including leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and
transportation and warehousing. There were no discernible impacts of the partial
federal government shutdown on the estimates of employment, hours, and earnings
from the establishment survey. (See table B-1. For information about the annual
benchmark process, see the note at the end of this release and table A. For more
information on the classification of workers affected by the partial federal
government shutdown, see the box note at the end of this news release.) 

In January, employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 74,000. Within the
industry, job gains occurred in food services and drinking places (+37,000) and in
amusements, gambling, and recreation (+32,000). Over the year, leisure and
hospitality has added 410,000 jobs. 

Construction employment rose by 52,000 in January. Job gains occurred among
specialty trade contractors, with increases in both the nonresidential (+19,000)
and residential (+15,000) components. Employment also rose in heavy and civil
engineering construction (+10,000) and residential building (+9,000). Construction
has added 338,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in health care increased by 42,000 in January. Within the industry, job
gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+22,000) and hospitals (+19,000).
Health care has added 368,000 jobs over the past year.

Over the month, employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 27,000,
following little change in December. In January, job gains occurred in warehousing
and storage (+15,000) and among couriers and messengers (+7,000). Over the year,
employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 219,000.

In January, retail trade employment edged up by 21,000. Job gains occurred in
sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (+17,000), while general merchandise
stores lost jobs (-12,000). Employment in retail trade has shown little net change
over the past 12 months (+26,000). 

Mining employment increased by 7,000 in January. The industry has added 64,000 jobs
over the year, almost entirely in support activities for mining.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up over the
month (+30,000) and has increased by 546,000 in the past 12 months.

Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up in January (+13,000). Over-the-
month job gains occurred in durable goods (+20,000), while employment in nondurable
goods changed little (-7,000). Manufacturing employment has increased by 261,000
over the year, with more than four-fifths of the gain in durable goods industries.

Employment in federal government was essentially unchanged in January (+1,000).
Federal employees on furlough during the partial government shutdown were counted as
employed in the establishment survey because they worked or received pay (or will
receive pay) for the pay period that included the 12th of the month. 

Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including
wholesale trade, information, and financial activities.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at
34.5 hours in January. In manufacturing, both the workweek and overtime decreased by
0.1 hour to 40.8 hours and 3.5 hours, respectively. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls held at 33.7
hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 3 cents to $27.56, following a 10-cent gain in December. Over the year,
average hourly earnings have increased by 85 cents, or 3.2 percent. Average hourly
earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3
cents to $23.12 in January. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up from
+176,000 to +196,000, and the change for December was revised down from +312,000 to
+222,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined
were 70,000 less than previously reported. After revisions, job gains have averaged
241,000 per month over the last 3 months. (Monthly revisions result from additional
reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published
estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process
also contributed to the November and December revisions.) 

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

   _____________________________________________________________________________
  |									        |
  |                     Partial Federal Government Shutdown		        |
  |										|
  |  Some federal government agencies were shut down or operating at reduced	|
  |  staffing levels during a lapse in appropriations from December 22, 2018,	|
  |  through January 25, 2019. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was		|
  |  funded during the shutdown period and was operating as usual. Data		|
  |  collection for the household and establishment surveys occurred as		|
  |  scheduled.									|
  |										|
  |  In the household survey, individuals are classified as employed,		|
  |  unemployed, or not in the labor force based on their answers to a series	|
  |  of questions about their activities during the survey reference week.	|
  |  Workers who indicated that they were not working during the entire		|
  |  survey reference week and expected to be recalled to their jobs should	|
  |  be classified as unemployed on temporary layoff. In January 2019, there	|
  |  was an increase in the number of federal workers who were classified as	|
  |  unemployed on temporary layoff. However, there also was an increase in	|
  |  the number of federal workers who were classified as employed but absent	|
  |  from work. BLS analysis of the underlying data indicates that this group	|
  |  included federal workers affected by the shutdown who also should have	|
  |  been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff. Such a			|
  |  misclassification is an example of nonsampling error and can occur when	|
  |  respondents misunderstand questions or interviewers record answers		|
  |  incorrectly. If the federal workers who were recorded as employed but	|
  |  absent from work had been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff,	|
  |  the overall unemployment rate would have been slightly higher than		|
  |  reported. However, according to usual practice, the data from the		|
  |  household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity,	|
  |  no ad hoc actions are taken to reassign survey responses. 			|
  |										|
  |  In the establishment survey, businesses and government agencies report the |
  |  number of people on payrolls during the pay period that includes the 12th  |
  |  of the month. Individuals who work or receive pay for any part of the pay  |
  |  period are	defined as employed. Federal employees on furlough during the   |
  |  partial federal government shutdown were considered employed in the        |
  |  establishment survey because they worked or received pay (or will receive  |
  |  pay) for the pay period that included the 12th of the month. Other workers |
  |  (including	federal contractors) who did not work or receive pay during the |
  |  partial federal government shutdown were not counted among the employed.	|
  |										|
  |  Additional information is available online at				|
  |  www.bls.gov/bls/shutdown_2019_empsit_qa.pdf.				|
  |_____________________________________________________________________________|	


	         Revisions to Establishment Survey Data

In accordance with annual practice, the establishment survey data released today
have been benchmarked to reflect comprehensive counts of payroll jobs for March
2018. These counts are derived principally from the Quarterly Census of Employment
and Wages (QCEW), which counts jobs covered by the Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax
system. The benchmark process results in revisions to not seasonally adjusted data
from April 2017 forward. Seasonally adjusted data from January 2014 forward are
subject to revision. In addition, data for some series prior to 2014, both
seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, incorporate other revisions.                           
                                                                
The total nonfarm employment level for March 2018 was revised downward by 1,000
(-16,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis, or less than -0.05 percent). The
absolute average benchmark revision over the past 10 years is 0.2 percent. 

The effect of these revisions on the underlying trend in nonfarm payroll employment
was minor. For example, the over-the-year change in total nonfarm employment for 2018
was revised from +2,638,000 to +2,674,000 (seasonally adjusted). Table A presents
revised total nonfarm employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis from January to
December 2018.

All revised historical establishment survey data are available on the BLS website at
www.bls.gov/ces/data.htm. In addition, an article that discusses the benchmark and
post-benchmark revisions and other technical issues is available at
www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart.htm. 


Table A. Revisions to total nonfarm employment, January to December 2018, seasonally
adjusted
(Numbers in thousands)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 |                                    |                                
                 |                Level               |      Over-the-month change     
                 |---------------------------------------------------------------------
 Year and month  |    As     |           |            |    As    |         |           
                 |previously |    As     | Difference |previously|   As    | Difference
                 |published  |  revised  |            |published | revised |           
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 |           |           |           |          |         |           
       2018      |           |           |           |          |         |           
                 |           |           |           |          |         |           
 January.........|  147,801  |  147,767  |    -34    |    176   |    171  |     -5   
 February........|  148,125  |  148,097  |    -28    |    324   |    330  |      6   
 March...........|  148,280  |  148,279  |     -1    |    155   |    182  |     27   
 April...........|  148,455  |  148,475  |     20    |    175   |    196  |     21   
 May.............|  148,723  |  148,745  |     22    |    268   |    270  |      2   
 June............|  148,931  |  149,007  |     76    |    208   |    262  |     54   
 July............|  149,096  |  149,185  |     89    |    165   |    178  |     13   
 August..........|  149,382  |  149,467  |     85    |    286   |    282  |     -4   
 September.......|  149,501  |  149,575  |     74    |    119   |    108  |    -11   
 October.........|  149,775  |  149,852  |     77    |    274   |    277  |      3   
 November........|  149,951  |  150,048  |     97    |    176   |    196  |     20   
 December (p)....|  150,263  |  150,270  |      7    |    312   |    222  |    -90   
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   (p) = preliminary.


                Adjustments to Population Estimates for the Household Survey


Effective with data for January 2019, updated population estimates were incorporated into
the household survey. Population estimates for the household survey are developed by the
U.S. Census Bureau. Each year, the Census Bureau updates the estimates to reflect new
information and assumptions about the growth of the population since the previous decennial
census. The change in population reflected in the new estimates results from adjustments
for net international migration, updated vital statistics, and estimation methodology
improvements. 

In accordance with usual practice, BLS will not revise the official household survey
estimates for December 2018 and earlier months. To show the impact of the population
adjustments, however, differences in selected December 2018 labor force series based on
the old and new population estimates are shown in table B.

The adjustments decreased the estimated size of the civilian noninstitutional population
in December by 800,000, the civilian labor force by 506,000, employment by 488,000,
unemployment by 18,000 and the number of persons not in the labor force was by 294,000.
The total unemployment rate, employment-population ratio, and labor force participation
rate were unaffected.

Data users are cautioned that these annual population adjustments can affect the comparability
of household data series over time. Table C shows the effect of the introduction of new
population estimates on the comparison of selected labor force measures between December 2018
and January 2019. Additional information on the population adjustments and their effect on
national labor force estimates is available at 
https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cps-pop-control-adjustments.pdf.
Table B. Effect of the updated population controls on December 2018 estimates by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, not seasonally adjusted
(Numbers in thousands)
Category Total Men Women White Black or
African
Ameri-
can
Asian Hispanic or
Latino
ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

-800 -412 -389 -455 -119 -224 -275

Civilian labor force

-506 -281 -226 -303 -67 -134 -183

Participation rate

0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0

Employed

-488 -270 -217 -292 -62 -131 -176

Employment-population ratio

0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0

Unemployed

-18 -11 -8 -12 -4 -4 -8

Unemployment rate

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Not in labor force

-294 -131 -164 -153 -53 -90 -91

NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Estimates for the above race groups (White, Black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

Table C. December 2018-January 2019 changes in selected labor force measures, with adjustments for population control effects
(Numbers in thousands)
Category Dec.-Jan.
change, as
published
2019
population
control effect
Dec.-Jan. change, after
removing the
population control
effect(1)

Civilian noninstitutional population

-649 -800 151

Civilian labor force

-11 -506 495

Participation rate

0.1 0 0.1

Employed

-251 -488 237

Employment-population ratio

0.1 0 0.1

Unemployed

241 -18 259

Unemployment rate

0.1 0 0.1

Not in labor force

-639 -294 -345

(1) This Dec.-Jan. change is calculated by subtracting the population control effect from the over-the-month change in the published seasonally adjusted estimates.

NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

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

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

256,780 258,708 258,888 258,239

Civilian labor force

161,123 162,821 163,240 163,229

Participation rate

62.7 62.9 63.1 63.2

Employed

154,482 156,803 156,945 156,694

Employment-population ratio

60.2 60.6 60.6 60.7

Unemployed

6,641 6,018 6,294 6,535

Unemployment rate

4.1 3.7 3.9 4.0

Not in labor force

95,657 95,886 95,649 95,010

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.1 3.7 3.9 4.0

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.9 3.3 3.6 3.7

Adult women (20 years and over)

3.6 3.4 3.5 3.6

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

13.9 12.0 12.5 12.9

White

3.5 3.4 3.4 3.5

Black or African American

7.7 6.0 6.6 6.8

Asian

3.0 2.7 3.3 3.1

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.0 4.5 4.4 4.9

Total, 25 years and over

3.4 3.0 3.1 3.3

Less than a high school diploma

5.5 5.6 5.8 5.7

High school graduates, no college

4.4 3.5 3.8 3.8

Some college or associate degree

3.4 3.1 3.3 3.4

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.2 2.2 2.1 2.4

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,243 2,842 2,903 3,082

Job leavers

724 697 839 805

Reentrants

1,959 1,880 1,958 1,945

New entrants

638 577 588 606

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,271 2,128 2,126 2,325

5 to 14 weeks

1,927 1,842 2,027 2,013

15 to 26 weeks

959 865 897 902

27 weeks and over

1,428 1,259 1,306 1,252

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

4,982 4,781 4,657 5,147

Slack work or business conditions

3,006 2,882 2,891 3,451

Could only find part-time work

1,648 1,562 1,496 1,419

Part time for noneconomic reasons

20,978 20,909 21,234 20,949

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,653 1,678 1,556 1,614

Discouraged workers

451 453 375 426

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

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Jan.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018(P)
Jan.
2019(P)

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

Total nonfarm

171 196 222 304

Total private

186 200 206 296

Goods-producing

56 29 53 72

Mining and logging

7 -3 5 7

Construction

33 5 28 52

Manufacturing

16 27 20 13

Durable goods(1)

17 16 17 20

Motor vehicles and parts

2.0 -1.9 1.8 0.7

Nondurable goods

-1 11 3 -7

Private service-providing

130 171 153 224

Wholesale trade

-2.3 11.3 10.9 4.7

Retail trade

2.4 32.5 -12.0 20.8

Transportation and warehousing

19.8 23.6 -4.9 26.6

Utilities

-1.5 0.3 -0.2 -0.5

Information

-9 -3 -4 -4

Financial activities

2 3 4 13

Professional and business services(1)

37 34 29 30

Temporary help services

-0.8 1.3 7.9 1.0

Education and health services(1)

65 29 67 55

Health care and social assistance

45.9 36.6 55.5 45.4

Leisure and hospitality

13 39 55 74

Other services

4 1 9 4

Government

-15 -4 16 8

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

188 194 232 241

Total private

188 198 230 234

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

Total nonfarm women employees

49.6 49.7 49.7 49.7

Total private women employees

48.2 48.3 48.3 48.3

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.4 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.4 34.4 34.5 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$26.71 $27.43 $27.53 $27.56

Average weekly earnings

$918.82 $943.59 $949.79 $950.82

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

108.3 110.1 110.6 110.9

Over-the-month percent change

-0.1 -0.2 0.5 0.3

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

138.2 144.4 145.6 146.1

Over-the-month percent change

0.1 0.1 0.8 0.3

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

Total private (258 industries)

58.1 61.6 66.3 61.0

Manufacturing (76 industries)

61.8 65.8 63.2 59.9

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

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2018 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.


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

 

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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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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 Steele dossier when, in fact, Steele had talked to the news outlet.

If the FBI knew Steele had that media contact before it submitted the article, it likely would be guilty of circular intelligence reporting, a forbidden tactic in which two pieces of evidence are portrayed as independent corroboration when, in fact, they originated from the same source.

These issues are why the FBI email chain, kept from most members of Congress for the past two years, suddenly landed on the declassification list.

The addition to the list also comes at a sensitive time, as House Republicans prepare on Friday to question Comey, who signed off on the FISA warrant while remaining an outlier in the intelligence community about the Steele dossier.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation.

Lawmakers now want to question Comey about whether the information in the October email string contributed to the former FBI director’s assessment.

The question long has lingered about when the doubts inside the FBI first surfaced about the allegations in the Steele dossier.

Sources tell me the email chain provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.

Sources say the specifics of the email chain remain classified, but its general sentiments about the Steele dossier and the media contacts have been discussed in nonclassified settings.

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one knowledgeable source told me.

Congressional investigators also have growing evidence that some evidence inserted into the fourth and final application for the FISA — a document signed by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — was suspect.

Nunes hinted as much himself in comments he made on Sean Hannity’s Fox News TV show on Nov. 20, when he disclosed the FBI email string was added to the declassification request. The release of the documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign” and verify that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia during the election, Nunes said.

As more of the secret evidence used to justify the Russia probe becomes public, an increasingly dark portrait of the FBI’s conduct emerges.

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

If ever there were grounds to investigate the investigators, these facts provide the justification.

Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein likely hold the answers, as do the still-classified documents. It’s time all three be put under a public microscope.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/419901-fbi-email-chain-may-provide-most-damning-evidence-of-fisa-abuses-yet

 

FBI Knew Steele Dossier Was Bogus Before Using In FISA Application: Solomon

A string of emails quietly requested by House Republicans for declassification by President Trump may be the smoking gun that the FBI and DOJ committed egregious abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.

The email exchanges – kept from Congressional investigators for over two years, “included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division,” according to the report – and took place in early to mid-October of 2016, prior to the FBI successfully securing 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 Hill

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Two weeks after the FBI secured the FISA warrant using the Steele Dossier, Steele was fired by the FBI on November 1, 2016 for inappropriate communications with the news media.

Also withheld from both Congress and the general public until months later is the fact that Steele had been paid by Fusion GPS – an opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Moreover, Steele absolutely hated Donald Trump.

And as Solomon notes; “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. –The Hill

The FBI, however, went to extreme lengths to convince the FISA judge that Steele (“Source #1”), was reliable when they could not verify the unsubstantiated claims in his dossier – while also having to explain why they still trusted his information after having terminated Steele’s contract over inappropriate disclosures he made to the media.

“Not withstanding Source1’s reason for conducting the research into Candidate1’s ties to Russia, based on Source1’s previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source 1s reporting herein to be credible

Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

On top of that, Bill Priestap told Congress that corroboration of the dossier was in its “infancy” when FISAs were being granted. An FBI unit found dossier was only “minimally” corroborated.

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Of course, none of this mattered to the FBI – which painted Carter Page in the most criminal light possible, as intended, in order to convince the FISA judge to grant the warrant.In order to reinforce their argument, the FBI presented various claims from the dossier as facts, such as “The FBI learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials” – when in fact that was simply another unverified claim from the dossier.

It flat out accuses Page of being a Russian spy who was recruited by the Kremlin, which sought to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law,” the application reads.

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

ALERT: The declassified FBI warrant application attests to secret FISA court that “THE FBI LEARNED that Page met with at least two Russian officials during the trip,”as if FBI learned this independently,when in fact it’s clear it relied on Clinton-paid dossier for the information

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Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

FBI represented to a federal judge that investigators knew for certain that Carter Page met w/ Igor Sechin and Diveykin. Except, the FISA app acknowledges this intel came from Steele dossier. And FBI has acknowledged dossier was not verifieid. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/21/doj-release-carter-page-fisa/ 

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Another approach used to beef up the FISA application’s curb appeal was circular evidence, via the inclusion of a letter from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) to former FBI Director James Comey, citing information Reid got from John Brennan, which was in turn from the Clinton-funded dossier.

Meanwhile – current and former members of the US intelligence community continue to hinge their theories of Trump-Russia collusion on the Steele Dossier, despite Comey admitting that it was “salacious” and “unverified” during sworn testimony.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation. –The Hill

Congressional investigators now want to question Comey about the October email string and whether it contributed to his assessment. According to Solomon, the newly requested email chain “provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.”

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one source told Solomon.

What’s more, House GOP investigators now have a growing pile of evidence that some of the information inserted into a fourth and final application for the FISA – signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was suspect – as evidence by hints by House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Fox News‘s Sean Hannity TV show November 20. Nunes said that the declassification of the requested documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign.”

As Solomon bluntly puts it:

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

No wonder Comey wanted a public testimony – where he wouldn’t have to discuss any of this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-06/fbi-knew-steele-dossier-was-bogus-using-fisa-application-solomon

Obama Political Spying Scandal: Trump Associates Were Not the First Targets

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

This list includes Dennis Kucinich and investigative journalists.In 2011, Dennis Kucinich was still a Democratic congressman from Ohio. But he was not walking in lockstep with President Obama — at least not on Libya. True to his anti-war leanings, Kucinich was a staunch opponent of Obama’s unauthorized war against the Qaddafi regime.

Kucinich’s very public efforts included trying to broker negotiations between the administration and the Qaddafi regime, to whom the White House was turning a deaf ear. It was in that context that he took a call in his Washington office from Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the ruler’s son and confidant. Four years later, as he recalled in a recent opinion piece, Kucinich learned that the call had been recorded and leaked to the Washington Times.

To be sure, it is not a solid case. Kucinich is now a commentator at Fox News, on whose website he explains his side of the story, and on whose programming ardently pro-Trump contributors are a staple — including contributors who have been sympathetic to the new president’s claim that he was monitored by his predecessor. The gist of Kucinich’s piece is to “vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur.” The express point is to counter the ridicule heaped on Trump’s claim that he personally was wiretapped at Trump Tower.

As we’ve repeatedly noted (see, e.g., herehere, and here), there is no known support for Trump’s narrow claim (made in a series of March 4 tweets). Yet, there is now overwhelming evidence that the Obama administration monitored Trump associates and campaign and transition officials. There were, moreover, leaks of classified information to the media — particularly in the case of Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, whose telephone communications with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were unlawfully disclosed to the Washington Post.

The answer is no.

In an important analysis published by Tablet magazine, Lee Smith considers the likely abuse of foreign-intelligence-collection authority by the Obama administration in connection with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The White House knew there would be vigorous Israeli opposition to the Iran deal — just as there was ardent American opposition to the highly objectionable pact. Notwithstanding that Israel is an important ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., became surveillance targets — agents of a foreign power, treated no differently under the law than such operatives of hostile foreign powers. Fair enough — it is simply a fact that allies occasionally spy on each other. Obviously, their interests sometimes diverge.

But there was something different about this monitoring initiative. It was not targeted merely at Israeli officials plotting their opposition strategy. The Wall Street Journal, Smith notes, reported in late December 2015 that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of [the Israeli officials’] private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And — with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access — terrorize them.

Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.

Do you really think the Obama administration, which turned the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department into process cudgels for beating Obama detractors, would be above that sort of thing?

At her website, Sharyl Attkisson provides a very useful “Obama-era Surveillance Timeline” — with “surveillance” broadly construed to encompass many varieties of government power to collect and coerce the production of information. Attkisson notes, for example:

‐The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, a politicized initiative that stymied the groups’ ability to contest Obama’s reelection in 2012.

‐The administration’s targeting of journalists, including (a) attorney general Eric Holder’s approval of the seizure of personal and business phone records of Associated Press reporters en masse (i.e., not a particularized search targeting a specific journalist suspected of wrongdoing); and (b) Holder’s approval of a warrant targeting the e-mails of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation — based on an application in which the government represented to a federal court that the journalist could be guilty of a felony violation of the Espionage Act in connection with a leak of classified information (in addition to purportedly being a “flight risk”).

‐The administration’s 2011 loosening of minimization procedures to enable more-liberal scrutiny of communications of American citizens incidentally swept up in foreign-intelligence gathering

‐The CIA’s accessing of Senate Intelligence Committee computers and staff e-mails — which CIA director John Brennan initially denied, then apologized for after it was confirmed by an inspector-general report.

‐The investigation of Trump associate Carter Page, including a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant based on the claim that Page was a Russian agent, which would have authorized monitoring of Page’s communications — including any with Trump, then the Republican nominee for president.

‐The criminal leaking to the media of former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

‐The “unmasking” of identities of Americans (connected to Trump) at the behest of Obama national-security adviser Susan Rice, a White House staffer and Obama confidant.

Ms. Attkisson also has her own story to tell. Formerly at CBS News, she was one of the few journalists at mainstream outlets who aggressively reported on the Fast and Furious scandal and the Benghazi massacre. In the latter, we recall, Rice and other Obama officials falsely told the public that the attack, which resulted in the killing of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador, grew out of spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video (rather than being a coordinated jihadist strike). The Obama administration later used its criminal-prosecution authority to trump up a case against its chosen scapegoat: the video producer.

Attkisson’s reporting prompted internal administration complaints that she was “out of control.”

As a tale of political spying intrigue, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal?

Based on examinations by two forensic experts, Attkisson and CBS eventually reported that her personal and work computers were “accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions.” Was this “unknown party” the government? The experts say it was a highly advanced intruder, which “used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity.” Moreover, one computer was infiltrated remotely by the use of “new spy software proprietary to a federal agency.”

It is a good bet that the National Security Agency was monitoring the communications of Qaddafi’s son and other regime figures in 2011. If so, it is likely that then-congressman Kucinich was lawfully intercepted “incidentally.” It is also entirely possible, however, that the Libyans themselves were recording their conversations with prominent Americans and that the Kucinich–Qaddafi call was found after the regime fell.

The Washington Times reporters did not reveal to Kucinich how they had gotten the tape, but the paper’s related stories had referred to “secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.” Moreover, if the Obama administration had been behind a vindictive leak against Kucinich, one might have expected the leak to have happened in 2011, during Kucinich’s prominent opposition to the Libya war, rather than four years later, when the regime had long been toppled and Kucinich had retired from Congress.

On the other hand, Kucinich recounts that the recording is very clear on both ends (one might expect a Libyan recording would be distinctly clearer on the Libyan end). The Washington Timesalso does not seem the most natural destination for a secret disclosure from Libya. Furthermore, Kucinich explains, he made routine FOIA requests regarding information pertinent to him before leaving Congress in 2012. Although he did not learn of the recording until 2015, these FOIA requests would have covered his communication with Qaddafi, he adds. Kucinich says that some of the intelligence agencies have failed to respond.

On its own, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling — not as a tale of political spying intrigue. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal? The measures taken to make “incidental” monitoring of Americans easier, its fruits far more widely disseminated and, inevitably, criminally leaked? The shocking abuse of IRS processes to collect information on, and procedurally persecute, Barack Obama’s political adversaries? Fast and Furious — the use of government police powers to create a political anti-gun narrative, then the contemptuous cover-up when it went horribly wrong, resulting in a Border Patrol officer’s death? The scandalous Benghazi cover-up — including a bogus prosecution of a pathetic video producer to help prop up the fraud? The monitoring of Trump associates and members of his campaign and transition staffs — the unmasking, the intentional wide dissemination of raw intelligence, the willful felony publication of classified information?

There is considerably more evidence that the Obama administration grossly abused its awesome intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers than that Russian meddling had a meaningful impact on the 2016 election. And these abuses of power certainly did not start with the targeting of Donald Trump’s campaign.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been emended since its initial posting.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/04/barack-obama-spying-journalists-dennis-kucinich-sharyl-attkisson-donald-trump-campaign-transition/

Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, unfortunately, the answer is yes.

he controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

But regardless of whether these claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn’t be casually dismissed: Could President Obama’s administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump’s administration now do the same?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. And that should make Republicans and Democrats nervous enough to work together to reform our surveillance laws.

Many have dismissed President Trump’s accusations as the unsubstantiated ramblings of a Twitter addict with little understanding of how our intelligence laws work. These may be fair criticisms—today the president cannot simply order the intelligence agencies to wiretap his domestic political opponents. But many of our surveillance authorities have been interpreted so broadly that they put vast amounts of Americans’ data easily within the president’s reach. Without significant reform, exploiting this immense pool of data may one day prove irresistible. Thus, whether President Trump’s accusations are true or not, the potential for White House officials to abuse our spying laws for political purposes is real.

It is important to remember that surveilling political opponents in the name of security is something of an American pastime. In the 1960s, the FBI targeted political activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., claiming they posed “national security” threats. Cesar Chavez, the prominent labor and civil-rights activist, was similarly tracked for years because of his supposed communist ties.

In response to many of these types of abuses, Congress created the Church Committee to investigate surveillance practices. The widespread crimes and abuse they uncovered led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. But recent disclosures demonstrate that the law did not go far enough. Moreover, passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 and other laws have undercut the protections in FISA, further opening the door to biased, unjustified, or politically motivated spying. There are jarringly few protections against these abuses.

The result: if the president wanted to surveil his critics, he could exploit at least three national security authorities.

Section 702 of FISA

Section 702 of FISA was passed at the request of the Bush administration and extended at the request of the Obama administration with bipartisan support. Now the Trump administration is reportedly pushing for reauthorization of this law when it is set to expire in 2017, with the nominee for the director of national intelligence calling it the “crown jewels” of the intelligence community. FBI Director Comey once again defended the controversial program.

While Section 702 was passed to protect against international terrorism, its tentacles reach much farther. Under the law, the government collects emails and phone calls—without a warrant—of nearly 100,000 foreign “targets.” These include their conversations with people in the United States. These targets can include journalists, human-rights workers, and other individuals who have no connection to terrorism or criminal activity, and whose only offense may be discussing information related to “foreign affairs”—a nebulous term.

Over 250 million internet communications alone are collected under Section 702 annually. While the government refuses to disclose how many Americans have been swept up in this dragnet, analysis of leaked documents suggests that at least half those communications contain information about a U.S. citizen or resident. If that’s accurate, the Trump administration will collect over 125 million internet communications that contain information about someone in the United States. Given that much of the data collected under Section 702 is stored for five years or longer, it means the government likely has access to hundreds of millions of stored emails and phone calls.

Once collected, the government asserts that they can mine this information to scrutinize the activities of Americans—opening the door to political abuse. For example, if the intelligence agencies under President Obama had wanted to search through Section 702 data for information about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), on the argument that McConnell might possess information about “foreign affairs,” no technological barrier or explicit provision in Section 702 would have stopped them. Under current procedures, no court would have needed to approve this and Senator McConnell would not need to be notified that he had been the subject of such a search.

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, this information could then be used as the basis for a criminal prosecution, criminal investigation, civil action, or additional surveillance.

Executive Order (EO) 12333

Under Executive Order 12333, the government engages in the bulk collection of communications and data—with no approval from a court or any other independent judicial body. This surveillance primarily takes place abroad. While the government is not supposed to target Americans under EO 12333, this spying likely results in the collection of information of millions of Americans. We know, for example, that the government reportedly relied on EO 12333 to steal data transmitted between certain Yahoo and Google data centers; to capture the content of all phone calls to, from, and within the Bahamas and other countries; and to collect millions of text messages from individuals around the world.

Under EO 12333, the government can target foreigners for “foreign intelligence” purposes, which, similar to Section 702, is a category so broad that it easily encompasses individuals who have no nexus to a national-security threat. As a result of recent NSA procedures, agencies across the federal government now have the right to request access to the raw information collected under EO 12333, which can contain the information of both Americans and foreigners.

While NSA officials have said there are procedures that limit the ability of the NSA to search through electronic surveillance captured under EO 12333 for information about Americans, those procedures are largely secret and can be modified purely at the discretion of the president. Moreover, the government has taken the position that information collected under the executive order can be used to prosecute Americans for certain ordinary domestic crimes—even though it was collected without a warrant.

In practice, this means that if the president decided to unilaterally change EO 12333 procedures to allow him to search for information for purposes unrelated to national security, he would have broad latitude to do so under the government’s current legal interpretations. In addition, it means that if the government stumbles across information related to these individuals in the trove of data they collect, they may assert the right to use it as the basis to prosecute or further investigate these individuals, without ever notifying them. This creates a bizarre incentive for any ill-intentioned president: the more information collected under EO 12333 in the name of security, the more information that can be mined for other purposes.

“Traditional” FISA

Although FISA was passed with the admirable goal of halting many of the surveillance abuses of the 1960s, this statutory scheme is not nearly as protective as a warrant. Specifically, unlike an ordinary warrant or wiretapping order, a traditional FISA order does not require the government to believe that its spying will produce evidence of a crime, and the secrecy surrounding the FISA court undermines effective oversight. For these reasons, the ACLU has long cautioned that FISA authorities are prone to abuse.

Under FISA, when the government seeks to conduct electronic surveillance, it must submit an application to the secret intelligence court demonstrating that there is probable cause that its individual target is a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” and it must identify the particular phone line or communications facility used by the target. The terms “foreign power or agent of a foreign power” are broadly defined. They include foreign government officials, foreign political organizations not substantially composed of U.S. citizens or green-card holders, and foreign individuals engaged in terrorism. While this authority is certainly narrower than EO 12333 or Section 702, it too leaves room for abuse.

For example, under traditional FISA, the government would have the authority to surveil virtually any foreign government official—including that official’s entirely legal conversations with individuals in the United States. These communications can be retained or disseminated under procedures that are more lenient than those that apply to federal wiretaps. For instance, in the wiretapping context, the government is supposed to immediately purge communications that are considered irrelevant. FISA, by contrast, permits retention, analysis, and dissemination of Americans’ information for years, regardless of whether there is any evidence of criminal activity.

The Potential for Abuse Is Real, No Matter What the Intel Community Says

The intelligence agencies would argue that these authorities do not permit the government to deliberately “target” Americans—at least not without a warrant—mitigating constitutional concerns. But that explanation only tells half the story. The reality is that these authorities are used to vacuum up large amounts of Americans’ data, do not prevent the government from knowingly capturing the communications that Americans have with tens of thousands of foreign “targets,” and, in some cases, routinely collect purely domestic communications. Moreover, once Americans’ information is collected, there are inadequate safeguards to ensure that such data is not inappropriately used.  

The fact that our intelligence-gathering laws leave room for politically motivated surveillance should give us pause. And it’s not enough for President Trump or members of Congress to simply express outrage that the private communications of political leaders could have been surveilled. With the expiration of Section 702 looming, they have the opportunity to push for a complete overhaul of our surveillance authorities, and ensure that they are brought fully in line with the requirements of our Constitution.  

In other words, President Trump should match his action to his tweets, and demand that Section 702 and other authorities be reformed.

Neema Singh Guliani is a legislative counsel at the ACLU focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national-security issues. Prior to the ACLU, she worked at the Department of Homeland Security and as an investigative counsel with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/could-the-president-spy-on-his-political-opponents/

Story 2: Time Running Out For Federal $25 Billion Funding Appropriation $25 Billion of for Trump’s  Wall — Videos

Pelosi takes hard line on paying for Trump’s border wall

an hour ago
Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, meets with reporters at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the idea of paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall in exchange for helping hundreds of thousands of young immigrants avoid deportation.

Funding for the wall — a top Trump priority — and legal protections for so-called Dreamers, a key Democratic goal, should not be linked, Pelosi said.

“They’re two different subjects,” she said.

Her comments came as the House and Senate approved a stopgap bill Thursday to keep the government funded through Dec. 21. The measure, approved by voice votes in near-empty chambers, now goes to the White House.

Trump has promised to sign the two-week extension to allow for ceremonies this week honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30. But he wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for his proposed wall, something Democrats have rejected. Trump is set to meet Tuesday at the White House with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker in January, said the lame-duck Congress should now pass a half-dozen government funding bills that key committees have already agreed on, along with a separate measure funding the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border. Funding for the homeland agency should address border security and does not necessarily include a wall, Pelosi said.

Most Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive,” Pelosi said, noting that Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for it, an idea Mexican leaders have repeatedly rejected.

Even if Mexico did pay for the wall, “it’s immoral still,” Pelosi said.

Protecting borders “is a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values as well,” she added.

Schumer said Thursday that a bipartisan Senate plan for $1.6 billion in border security funding does not include money for the 30-foot-high (9-meter-high) concrete wall Trump has envisioned. The money “can only be used for fencing” and technology that experts say is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature, Schumer said.

If Republicans object to the proposal because of pressure from Trump, Schumer said lawmakers should follow Pelosi’s advice and approve six appropriations bills and a separate measure extending current funding for Homeland Security.

Either option would avert a partial government shutdown, which lawmakers from both parties oppose, he said.

“The one and only way we approach a shutdown is if President Trump refuses both of our proposals and demands $5 billion or more for a border wall,” Schumer said. He called the wall “a nonstarter” for Democrats, who face increasing pressure from outside groups and liberal lawmakers to resist Trump’s continued push for the barrier, which Trump says is needed to stop an “invasion” of Central American migrants and others from crossing into the country illegally.

Schumer called the spat over the wall unnecessary, noting that the administration has not spent more than $1 billion approved for border security in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. “The idea that they haven’t spent last year’s money and they’re demanding such a huge amount this year makes no sense at all,” he said.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby said he prefers to include Homeland Security in an omnibus package containing seven unresolved spending bills for the current budget year.

“I believe the best route is to keep all seven together and pass them,” the Alabama Republican told reporters Thursday. Lawmakers have “made a lot of progress” in recent weeks on the seven spending bills. “I’d like to conclude it,’” he said.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Republican leadership, said the key question is whether Trump will sign a bill without funding for the wall.

“It doesn’t matter how much appetite there is for a shutdown anywhere else, if he is willing to have a shutdown over this issue,” Blunt said. “He has given every indication that he would.”

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Padmananda Rama contributed to this story.

https://apnews.com/e3fd315c66554c22bfdf97710e0df711

 

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President George H.W. Bush, is the leading candidate for the job as a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that President Donald Trump could choose his nominee for attorney general in coming days, and that Trump had told advisers he plans to nominate Barr.

Sessions departed from the role last month, and Trump named Matthew Whitaker as the government’s top lawyer on an interim basis. With the current session of Congress set to soon end, anyone Trump nominates may have to wait until well into 2019 for confirmation.

Barr has worked in the private sector since serving as attorney general from 1991 to 1993, retiring from Verizon Communications (VZ.N) in 2008.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert, Editing by David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

President Trump To Tap Former Attorney General William Barr To Head Justice Department

William P. Barr

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Bill Barr
William Barr, official photo as Attorney General.jpg
77th United States Attorney General
In office
November 26, 1991 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Dick Thornburgh
Succeeded by Janet Reno
25th United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
May 1990 – November 26, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Donald B. Ayer
Succeeded by George J. Terwilliger III
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Office of Legal Counsel
In office
April 1989 – May 1990
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Douglas Kmiec
Succeeded by J. Michael Luttig
Personal details
Born
William Pelham Barr

May 23, 1950 (age 68)
New York CityNew York, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Christine Moynihan
Children 3
Education Columbia University (BAMA)
George Washington University(JD)

William Pelham Barr (born May 23, 1950) is an American attorney who served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States. He is a Republican and served as Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

 

Early life, education, and career

Barr was born in New York City. The son of Columbia University faculty members Mary and Donald Barr, he grew up on the Upper West Side, attended the Corpus Christi School and Horace Mann School. He received his B.A. degree in government in 1971 and his M.A. degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University. He received his J.D. degree with highest honors in 1977 from the George Washington University Law School.[1]

Barr with President Ronald Reaganin 1983

From 1973-77, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

Department of Justice

Barr and Dan Quayle watch as President George H. W. Bush signs the Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in 1991

During 1989, at the beginning of his administration, President George H. W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor for the President and executive agencies. Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted by the United States government for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

During May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr was generally praised for his professional management of the Department.[4]

Acting Attorney General of the United States

During August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to campaign for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr accepted that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. He directed the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team to assault the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6]

Nomination and confirmation

It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr’s management of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

Barr’s two-day confirmation hearing was “unusually placid” and he received a good reception from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[8] Asked whether he thought a constitutional right to privacy included the right to an abortion, Barr responded that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8] Committee Chairman, Senator Joe Biden, though disagreeing with Barr, responded that it was the “first candid answer” he had heard from a nominee on a question that witnesses would normally evade.[9] Barr was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Biden hailed Barr as “a throwback to the days when we actually had attorneys general that would talk to you.”[9]

Attorney General of the United States

Tenure

Analysis

The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[10] The New York Times described the “central theme” of his tenure to be: “his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders.”[10] At the same time, reporters consistently described Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[11]

Subsequent career

After his tenure at the Department of Justice, Barr spent more than 14 years as a senior corporate executive. At the end of 2008 he retired from Verizon Communications, having served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation from 1994 until that company merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon. During his corporate tenure, Barr directed a successful litigation campaign by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by scuttling a series of FCC rules, personally arguing several cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.[12] Barr currently serves with several corporate boards.[citation needed]

In his adopted home state of Virginia, Barr was appointed during 1994 by then-Governor George Allen to co-chair a commission to reform the criminal justice system and abolish parole in the state.[13] He served on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg from 1997 to 2005.[14]

He became an independent director of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) in July 2009.

In 2009, Barr was of counsel to Kirkland & Ellis and joined the firm in 2017.[15]

On December 6, 2018, it was reported that President Donald Trump was considering Barr to be Attorney General.[16][17]

Policy positions

Immigration

As deputy attorney general, Barr successfully challenged a proposed rule by the Department of Health and Human Services to allow people with HIV/AIDS into the United States.[18] He also advocated the use of Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and HIV infected peoples from claiming asylum in the United States.[19]

Crime and security

Social issues

Barr has stated that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8]

Health care reform

Energy and environment

Executive power

Personal life

Barr is an avid bagpiper, an avocation he began at age 8, and has played competitively in Scotland with a major American pipe band; he was a member for some time of the City of Washington Pipe Band.[20]

Barr is a Roman Catholic. He married Christine Moynihan in June 1973, and they have three grown daughters. He is a resident of Virginia.[citation needed]

References … 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_P._Barr

Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

OPEC set to curb oil supply? | DW News

The US Is Making Its Mark On The Global Oil Market, But How Long Will It Last?

Study: US Could Be a Net Energy Exporter

Analysts: OPEC Meeting in Vienna to Result in Less Production

The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years

 Updated on 
  • Crude, refined products exports exceed imports in weekly data
  • Shale boom has boosted U.S. crude oil shipments to record
Oil Analyst Sankey Sees OPEC Cuts Stabilizing Market Short-Term
Paul Sankey, analyst at Mizuho, examines what production cuts from OPEC+ can mean to the global oil market.

America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil and marking a pivotal — even if likely brief — moment toward what U.S. President Donald Trump has branded as “energy independence.”

The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania.

While the country has been heading in that direction for years, this week’s dramatic shift came as data showed a sharp drop in imports and a jump in exports to a record high. Given the volatility in weekly data, the U.S. will likely remain a small net importer most of the time.

“We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “But, because the change is gradual over time, I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge revolution, but you do have to think that OPEC is going to have to take that into account when they think about cutting.”

The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the U.S. into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century. The cartel and its allies are meeting in Vienna this week, trying to make a tough choice to cut output and support prices, risking the loss of more market share to the U.S.

American Oil Renaissance

U.S. net imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products

Sources: 1918-1948 courtesy of Michael Lynch and adapted from American Petroleum Institute’s ‘Petroleum Facts and Figures 1959’; for 1949-2017 U.S. EIA ‘Monthly Energy Review’. 2018 and 2019 are forecast from the EIA.

The U.S. sold overseas last week a net 211,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products such as gasoline and diesel, compared to net imports of about 3 million barrels a day on average so far in 2018, and an annual peak of more than 12 million barrels a day in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA said the U.S. has been a net oil importer in weekly data going back to 1991 and monthly data starting in 1973. Oil historians that have compiled even older annual data using statistics from the American Petroleum Institute said the country has been a net oil importer since 1949, when Harry Truman was at the White House.

On paper, the shift to net oil imports means that the U.S. is today energy independent, achieving a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush. Yet, it’s a paper tiger achievement: In reality, the U.S. remains exposed to global energy prices, still affected by the old geopolitics of the Middle East.

U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers. The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.

The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.

While the net balance shows the U.S. is selling more petroleum than buying, American refiners continue to buy millions of barrels each day of overseas crude and fuel. The U.S. imports more than 7 million barrels a day of crude from all over the globe to help feed its refineries, which consume more than 17 million barrels each day. In turn, the U.S. has become the world’s top fuel supplier.

“The U.S. is now a major player in the export market,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “We continue to re-tool our export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to expand capacity, and you continue to see strong demand globally for crude oil.”

— With assistance by Jessica Summers

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/u-s-becomes-a-net-oil-exporter-for-the-first-time-in-75-years

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1182, December 5, 2018, Story 1: Presidential Character Matters — Eulogies at George H.W. Bush Funeral — Videos — Story 2: What is A Globalist? — Videos —

Posted on December 6, 2018. Filed under: Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Canada, Cartoons, Climate Change, College, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Fiscal Policy, High Crimes, House of Representatives, Public Corruption, Senate, Syria, Tax Policy, United Kingdom, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Character Matters — Eulogy at George H.W. Bush Funeral — Videos —

Presidential historian Jon Meacham delivers eulogy at George H.W. Bush funeral

President George HW Bush’s funeral – Fmr Canadian PM Brian Mulroney delivers his eulogy

Alan K. Simpson delivers eulogy at George H.W. Bush’s funeral

Former President George W. Bush delivers final eulogy at father’s funeral

 

28 minutes ago
1 of 22

Former President George W. Bush becomes emotional as he speaks at the State Funeral for his father, former President George H.W. Bush, at the National Cathedral, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation bid goodbye to George H.W. Bush with high praise, cannon salutes and gentle humor Wednesday, celebrating the life of the Texan who embraced a lifetime of service in Washington and was the last president to fight for the U.S. in wartime. Three former presidents looked on at Washington National Cathedral as a fourth — George W. Bush — eulogized his dad as “the brightest of a thousand points of light.”

His plane, which often serves as Air Force One, arrived at Ellington Field outside Houston in late afternoon.

The national funeral service at the cathedral was a tribute to a president, a patriarch and a faded political era that prized military service and public responsibility. It was laced with indirect comparisons to President Donald Trump but was not consumed by them, as speakers focused on Bush’s public life and character — with plenty of cracks about his goofy side, too.

Trump sat with his wife, a trio of ex-presidents and their wives, several of the group sharp critics of his presidency and one of them, Hillary Clinton, his 2016 Democratic foe. Apart from courteous nods and some handshakes, there was little interaction between Trump and the others.

George W. Bush broke down briefly at the end of his eulogy while invoking the daughter his parents lost in 1953 and his mother, who died in April. He said he took comfort in knowing “Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom’s hand again.”

The family occupied the White House for a dozen years — the 41st president defeated after one term, the 43rd serving two. Jeb Bush stepped up to try to extend that run but fell short when Trump won the 2016 Republican primaries.

The elder Bush was “the last great-soldier statesman,” historian Jon Meacham said in his eulogy, “our shield” in dangerous times.

But he took a lighter tone, too, noting that Bush, campaigning in a crowd in a department store, once shook hands with a mannequin. Rather than flushing in embarrassment, he simply quipped, “Never know. Gotta ask.”

Meacham recounted how comedian Dana Carvey once said the key to doing an impersonation of Bush was “Mr. Rogers trying to be John Wayne.”

None of that would be a surprise to Bush. Meacham had read his eulogy to him, said Bush spokesman Jim McGrath, and Bush responded to it with the crack: “That’s a lot about me, Jon.”

The congregation at the cathedral, filled with foreign leaders and diplomats, Americans of high office and others touched by Bush’s life, rose for the arrival of the casket, accompanied by clergy of faiths from around the world. In their row together, Trump and former Presidents Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton stood with their spouses and all placed their hands over their hearts.

Alan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming, regaled the congregation with stories from his years as Bush’s friend in Washington. More seriously, he recalled that when he went through a rough patch in the political game, Bush conspicuously stood by him against the advice of aides. “You would have wanted him on your side,” he said.

George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama Barack Obama, Jummy Carter Rosalynn Carter, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Melania Trump

The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a military honor guard past dignitaries at the Washington National Cathedral. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Simpson said Bush “loved a good joke — the richer the better. And he threw his head back and gave that great laugh, but he never, ever could remember a punchline. And I mean never.”

George W. Bush turned the humor back on the acerbic ex-senator, saying of the late president: “He placed great value on a good joke, so he chose Simpson to speak.”

Meacham praised Bush’s call to volunteerism, placing his “1,000 points of light” alongside Abraham Lincoln’s call to honor “the better angels of our nature” in the American rhetorical canon. Meacham called those lines “companion verses in America’s national hymn.”

Trump had mocked “1,000 points of light” last summer at a rally, saying “What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out? And it was put out by a Republican, wasn’t it?”

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney praised Bush as a strong world leader who helped oversee the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union and helped bring about the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, signed into law by his successor, Clinton.

With Trump, a bitter NAFTA critic, seated in the front row, Mulroney hailed the “largest and richest free trade area in the history of the world.” The three countries have agreed on a revised trade agreement pushed by Trump.

Earlier, a military band played “Hail to the Chief” as Bush’s casket was carried down the steps of the U.S. Capitol, where he had lain in state. Family members looked on as servicemen fired off a cannon salute.

His hearse was then driven in a motorcade to the cathedral ceremony, slowing in front of the White House, the route lined with people much of the way, bundled in winter hats and taking photos.

Waiting for his arrival inside, Trump shook hands with Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who greeted him by saying “Good morning.” Trump did not shake hands with Bill and Hillary Clinton, who looked straight ahead.

Bill Clinton and Mrs. Obama smiled and chatted as music played. Carter was seated silently next to Hillary Clinton in the cavernous cathedral. Obama cracked up laughing at someone’s quip. Vice President Mike Pence shook Carter’s hand.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that the day marked “a celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life.”

Bush’s death makes Carter, also 94 but more than 100 days younger, the oldest living ex-president.

Following the cathedral service, the hearse and its long motorcade drove to the National Mall to pass by the World War II Memorial, a nod to the late president’s service as a World War II Navy pilot, then transferred his remains at Joint Base Andrews for the flight home to Texas with members of his family.

Bush will lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church before his burial Thursday.

On Tuesday, soldiers, citizens in wheelchairs and long lines of others on foot wound through the Capitol Rotunda to view Bush’s casket and honor a president whose legacy included a landmark law affirming the rights of the disabled. Former Sen. Bob Dole, a compatriot in war, peace and political struggle, steadied himself out of his wheelchair and saluted his old friend and one-time rival.

Trump ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning. Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days.

___

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

https://apnews.com/0e443c78c337423db71b9270303888c1

‘That’s a lot about me, Jon’: Presidential biographer Jon Meacham reveals how George H.W. Bush humbly reacted after he read his eulogy to the former president before his death

  • Meacham has been praised for his moving tribute to Bush Senior on Wednesday  
  • Spoke of the day Bush’s plane was shot down during WWII and only he survived
  • Said Bush lived his life asking ‘Why me?’ and wanted to prove himself ‘worthy’ 
  • Meacham also spoke of Bush Senior and Barbara’s incredible 73-year-marriage 
  • And recalled moment Bush broke down in tears while meeting child with cancer 

Before President George H.W Bush passed away, he had the chance to hear the eulogy written for him by his biographer and old friend Jon Meacham.

Meacham would deliver the same tribute to the 41st president on Wednesday, moving the audience as he spoke of the important events in Bush’s 94 years of life.

But when the humble Texan heard Meacham’s stirring words, he simply replied: ‘That’s a lot about me, Jon’.

Meacham spoke at length about the moments that shaped Bush, including his time as a pilot for the US Navy in World War II, his long love for wife Barbara, and his enduring legacy as a president of the United States.

‘On his watch, a wall fell in Berlin, a dictator’s aggression did not stand, and doors across American opened to those with disabilities,’ Meacham told the assembled mourners.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO AND JON MEACHAM’S EULOGY IN FULL 

Presidential biographer Jon Meacham delivered a stirring eulogy to George HW Bush during the 41st president's funeral on Wednesday morning 

Presidential biographer Jon Meacham delivered a stirring eulogy to George HW Bush during the 41st president’s funeral on Wednesday morning

Meacham spoke of Bush's time as a pilot for the US Navy during World War II, his love of wife Barbara, and his enduring legacy as a president of the United States

Meacham spoke of Bush’s time as a pilot for the US Navy during World War II, his love of wife Barbara, and his enduring legacy as a president of the United States

NBC host Willie Geist revealed how Bush responded after Meacham read him the stirring eulogy before his death 

NBC host Willie Geist revealed how Bush responded after Meacham read him the stirring eulogy before his death

Meacham opened his eulogy at the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday with a moment that would define Bush Senior for the rest of his life.

It was September 2, 1944. Bush, just 20 years old at the time, was a Navy lieutenant in the thick of World War II.

‘The story was almost over even before it had fully begun,’ Meacham said.

‘Lieutenant Junior Grade George Herbert Walker Bush, joined by two crew mates, took off from the USS San Jacinto to attack a radio tower on Chichijima.’

‘As they approached the target, the air was heavy with flack. The plane was hit. Smoke filled the cockpit, flames raced across the wings. “My god,” Lieutenant Bush thought, “This thing’s gonna go down.”’

‘Yet he kept the plane in its 35-degree dive, dropped his bombs, and then roared off out to sea, telling his crew mates to hit the silk. Following protocol, Lieutenant Bush turned the plane so they could bail out.’

Meacham, seen here walking past Bush's casket, has been resoundingly praised for his poetic and touching tribute to a man he knew for decades 

Meacham, seen here walking past Bush’s casket, has been resoundingly praised for his poetic and touching tribute to a man he knew for decades

Bush parachuted from the cockpit, smacking his head on the tail of the plane as the wind propelled him backwards.

He plunged into the ocean and lifted himself onto a tiny raft.

‘His head bleeding, his eyes burning, his mouth and throat raw from salt water, the future 41st President of the United States was alone,’ Meacham told the crowd.

‘Sensing that his men had not made it, he was overcome. He felt the weight of responsibility as a nearly physical burden. And he wept.’

A submarine would rescue Bush from the water, setting the course of history.

‘George Herbert Walker Bush was safe. The story, his story and ours, would go on by God’s grace,’ Meacham continued.

It was a moment that stayed with Bush for the rest of his life. He asked himself, almost every single day, why it was he who was spared.

‘In a sense, the rest of his life was a perennial effort to prove himself worthy of his salvation on that distant morning,’ Meacham said.

Meacham could be seen shaking George W Bush's hand after delivering the moving eulogy for his father at the National Cathedral 

Meacham could be seen shaking George W Bush’s hand after delivering the moving eulogy for his father at the National Cathedral

Meacham praised Bush as 'America's last great soldier-statesman, a 20th century founding father' during his eulogy 

Meacham praised Bush as ‘America’s last great soldier-statesman, a 20th century founding father’ during his eulogy

‘To him, his life was no longer his own. There were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch, and more love to give. And what a headlong race he made of it all. He never slowed down.’

Meacham praised Bush as ‘America’s last great soldier-statesman, a 20th century founding father’ who ‘governed with virtues’ seen in the likes of George Washington, John Adams, and FDR – ‘men who believed in causes larger than themselves’.

He also compared Bush to Abraham Lincoln, saying that both presidents ‘called on us to choose the right over the convenient, to hope rather than to fear’.

‘Because life gave him so much, he gave back again and again and again,’ Meacham told the crowd at one point.

‘He stood in the breach in the Cold War against totalitarianism. He stood in the breach in Washington against unthinking partisanship. He stood in the breach against tyranny and discrimination.’

Meacham also spoke lovingly of Bush’s 73-year marriage to Barbara Bush, revealing he called his wife ‘Barb’, ‘the silver fox’, or ‘the enforcer’.

Meacham became close with the Bush family as he worked on the president's life story. He is pictured here shaking Bush's hand and holding a copy of the biography 

Meacham became close with the Bush family as he worked on the president’s life story. He is pictured here shaking Bush’s hand and holding a copy of the biography

Bush (pictured with Meacham and Bob Dole in December 2016) handpicked the biographer to deliver the eulogy, as well as his son George W Bush, former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson, and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

Bush (pictured with Meacham and Bob Dole in December 2016) handpicked the biographer to deliver the eulogy, as well as his son George W Bush, former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson, and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

‘He was the only boy she ever kissed. Her children, Mrs Bush liked to say, always wanted to throw up when they heard that,’ Meacham said as the crowd laughed.

‘In a letter to Barbara during the war, young George HW Bush had written, “I love you, precious, with all my heart, and to know that you love me means my life. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you.”’

‘And as they will tell you, they surely were.’

Robin Bush, the three-year-old daughter that Bush and Barbara lost to leukemia, was mentioned throughout Wednesday’s ceremony – including during Meacham’s eulogy.

The biographer recalled a visit that Bush paid to Krakow, Poland while serving as vice president under Ronald Reagan.

It was there that he met a small boy who was sick with the same cancer that had taken his little girl.

Meacham spoke at length of the day Bush was nearly killed among his men while flying with the Navy in World War II. Bush (pictured here in his cockpit during WWII) spent the rest of his life asking himself 'Why Me?' 

Meacham spoke at length of the day Bush was nearly killed among his men while flying with the Navy in World War II. Bush (pictured here in his cockpit during WWII) spent the rest of his life asking himself ‘Why Me?’

Meacham also joked about comedian Dana Carvey's famous impersonation of Bush on SNL 

Meacham also joked about comedian Dana Carvey’s famous impersonation of Bush on SNL

Meacham read a diary entry that Bush had written that day, revealing he had burst into tears upon meeting the boy.

‘Behind me was a bank of television cameras. And I thought, “I can’t turn around. I can’t dissolve because of personal tragedy in the face of the nurses that give of themselves every day.” So I stood there looking at this little guy, tears running down my cheek, hoping he wouldn’t see. But if he did, hoping he’d feel that I loved him.’

Meacham also had a few light-hearted tales to tell of Bush, including once when he remarked that ‘fluency in English is something that I’m often not accused of’.

‘When he realized his mistake, he said, ‘Never know. Gotta ask,” Meacham said as the crowd laughed.

‘You can hear the voice, can’t you? As Dana Carvey said, the key to a Bush 41 impersonation is Mr. Rogers trying to be John Wayne.’

All four living presidents, as well as a number of foreign dignitaries, attended Bush's funeral in Washington DC on Wednesday morning 

Meacham concluded his stirring eulogy by returning to the very moment he opened it. A young Bush, alone in the water, asking ‘Why me?’

‘The workings of providence are mysterious, but this much is clear,’ Meacham began.

‘George Herbert Walker Bush, who survived that fiery fall into the waters of the Pacific three quarters of a century ago, made our lives and the lives of nations freer, better, warmer, and nobler.’

‘That was his mission. That was his heartbeat. And if we listen closely enough, we can hear that heartbeat even now.’

‘For it’s the heartbeat of a lion, a lion who not only led us, but who loved us. That’s why him. That’s why he was spared.’

JON MEACHAM’S FULL EUOLOGY TO GEORGE H.W. BUSH

The story was almost over even before it had fully begun. Shortly after dawn on Saturday, September 2, 1944, Lieutenant Junior Grade George Herbert Walker Bush, joined by two crew mates, took off from the USS San Jacinto to attack a radio tower on Chichijima. As they approached the target, the air was heavy with flack. The plane was hit. Smoke filled the cockpit; flames raced across the wings. ‘My god,’ Lieutenant Bush thought, ‘this thing’s gonna go down.’ Yet he kept the plane in its 35-degree dive, dropped his bombs, and then roared off out to sea, telling his crew mates to hit the silk. Following protocol, Lieutenant Bush turned the plane so they could bail out.

Only then did Bush parachute from the cockpit. The wind propelled him backward, and he gashed his head on the tail of the plane as he flew through the sky. He plunged deep into the ocean, bobbed to the surface, and flopped onto a tiny raft. His head bleeding, his eyes burning, his mouth and throat raw from salt water, the future 41st President of the United States was alone. Sensing that his men had not made it, he was overcome. He felt the weight of responsibility as a nearly physical burden. And he wept. Then, at four minutes shy of noon, a submarine emerged to rescue the downed pilot. George Herbert Walker Bush was safe. The story, his story and ours, would go on by God’s grace.

Through the ensuing decades, President Bush would frequently ask, nearly daily, he’d ask himself, ‘why me? Why was I spared?’ And in a sense, the rest of his life was a perennial effort to prove himself worthy of his salvation on that distant morning. To him, his life was no longer his own. There were always more missions to undertake, more lives to touch, and more love to give. And what a headlong race he made of it all. He never slowed down.

On the primary campaign trail in New Hampshire once, he grabbed the hand of a department store mannequin, asking for votes. When he realized his mistake, he said, ‘Never know. Gotta ask.’ You can hear the voice, can’t you? As Dana Carvey said, the key to a Bush 41 impersonation is Mr. Rogers trying to be John Wayne.

George Herbert Walker Bush was America’s last great soldier-statesman, a 20th century founding father. He governed with virtues that most closely resemble those of Washington and of Adams, of TR and of FDR, of Truman and of Eisenhower, of men who believed in causes larger than themselves. Six-foot-two, handsome, dominant in person, President Bush spoke with those big strong hands, making fists to underscore points.

A master of what Franklin Roosevelt called the science of human relationships, he believed that to whom much was given, much is expected. And because life gave him so much, he gave back again and again and again. He stood in the breach in the Cold War against totalitarianism. He stood in the breach in Washington against unthinking partisanship. He stood in the breach against tyranny and discrimination. And on his watch, a wall fell in Berlin, a dictator’s aggression did not stand, and doors across America opened to those with disabilities.

And in his personal life, he stood in the breach against heartbreak and hurt, always offering an outstretched hand, a warm word, a sympathetic tear. If you were down, he would rush to lift you up. And if you were soaring, he would rush to savor your success. Strong and gracious, comforting and charming, loving and loyal, he was our shield in danger’s hour.

Now, of course, there was ambition, too. Loads of that. To serve, he had to succeed. To preside, he had to prevail. Politics, he once admitted, isn’t a pure undertaking; not if you want to win, it’s not. An imperfect man, he left us a more perfect union.

It must be said that for a keenly intelligent statesman of stirring, almost unparalleled, private eloquence, public speaking was not exactly a strong suit. ‘Fluency in English,’ President Bush once remarked, ‘is something that I’m often not accused of.’ Looking ahead to the ’88 election, he observed inarguably, ‘it’s no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or the other.’ And late in his presidency, he allowed that ‘we are enjoying sluggish times, but we are not enjoying them very much.’

His tongue may have run amuck at moments, but his heart was steadfast. His life code, as he said, was ‘Tell the truth. Don’t blame people. Be strong. Do your best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course.’ And that was and is the most American of creeds. Abraham Lincoln’s ‘better angels of our nature’ and George H.W. Bush’s ‘thousand points of light’ are companion verses in America’s national hymn. For Lincoln and Bush both called on us to choose the right over the convenient, to hope rather than to fear, and to heed not our worst impulses, but our best instincts.

In this work, he had the most wonderful of allies in Barbara Pierce Bush, his wife of 73 years. He called her ‘Barb,’ ‘the silver fox’-and when the situation warranted-‘the enforcer.’ He was the only boy she ever kissed. Her children, Mrs. Bush liked to say, always wanted to throw up when they heard that. In a letter to Barbara during the war, young George H.W. Bush had written, ‘I love you, precious, with all my heart, and to know that you love me means my life. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you.’ And as they will tell you, they surely were.

As Vice President, Bush once visited a children’s Leukemia ward in Krakow. Thirty-five years before, he and Barbara had lost a daughter, Robin, to the disease. In Krakow, a small boy wanted to greet the American Vice President. Learning that the child was sick with the cancer that had taken Robin, Bush began to cry.

To his diary later that day, the Vice President said this: ‘My eyes flooded with tears. And behind me was a bank of television cameras. And I thought, ‘I can’t turn around. I can’t dissolve because of personal tragedy in the face of the nurses that give of themselves every day.’ So I stood there looking at this little guy, tears running down my cheek, hoping he wouldn’t see. But if he did, hoping he’d feel that I loved him.’

That was the real George H.W. Bush, a loving man with a big, vibrant, all-enveloping heart. And so we ask, as we commend his soul to God, and as he did, ‘Why him? Why was he spared?’ The workings of providence are mysterious, but this much is clear: that George Herbert Walker Bush, who survived that fiery fall into the waters of the Pacific three quarters of a century ago, made our lives and the lives of nations freer, better, warmer, and nobler.

That was his mission. That was his heart beat. And if we listen closely enough, we can hear that heartbeat even now. For it’s the heartbeat of a lion, a lion who not only led us, but who loved us. That’s why him. That’s why he was spared.

 

Story 2: What is A Globalist? — Videos —

 

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G. Edward Griffin on Trump, Secret Societies, Collectivism, Bitcoin and Taking The Red Pill

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The Many Tentacles Of Globalism – How The New World Order Enslaves Us

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Convention flashback: ‘Read my lips …’

Fallout from George H.W. Bush breaking ‘no new taxes’ pledge

 

Globalism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Globalism refers to various systems with scope beyond the merely international. The term is used by detractors of globalization such as populist movements. While primarily associated with world-systems, other things with global reach have also been so described.

Historically, it has been associated with international endeavours begun after World War II, such as the United Nations and the European Union, and also sometimes the later neo-liberal and neoconservative policies of “nation building” and military interventionism between the end of the Cold War in 1992 and the beginning of the War on Terror in 2001.

Definitions and interpretations

Paul James defines globalism, “at least in its more specific use, … as the dominant ideology and subjectivity associated with different historically-dominant formations of global extension. The definition thus implies that there were pre-modern or traditional forms of globalism and globalization long before the driving force of capitalism sought to colonize every corner of the globe, for example, going back to the Roman Empire in the second century AD, and perhaps to the Greeks of the fifth-century BC.”[1]

Manfred Steger distinguishes between different globalisms such as justice globalism, jihad globalism, and market globalism.[2] Market globalism includes the ideology of neoliberalism. In some hands, the reduction of globalism to the single ideology of market globalism and neoliberalism has led to confusion. For example, in his 2005 book The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World, Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul treated globalism as coterminous with neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization. He argued that, far from being an inevitable force, globalization is already breaking up into contradictory pieces and that citizens are reasserting their national interests in both positive and destructive ways.

Alternatively, American political scientist Joseph Nye, co-founder of the international relations theory of neoliberalism, generalized the term to argue that globalism refers to any description and explanation of a world which is characterized by networks of connections that span multi-continental distances; while globalization refers to the increase or decline in the degree of globalism.[3] This use of the term originated in, and continues to be used, in academic debates about the economic, social, and cultural developments that is described as globalization.[4] The term is used in a specific and narrow way to describe a position in the debate about the historical character of globalization (i.e. whether globalization is unprecedented or not).

During the election and presidency of United States president Donald Trump, Trump and members of his administration used the term globalist on multiple occasions. Critics claimed that the administration used the term as an anti-Semitic “dog whistle” term referring to members of a Jewish conspiracy.[5][6][7][8][9]

History of the concept

The word itself came into widespread usage, first and foremost in the United States, from the early 1940s.[10] This was the period when US global power was at its peak: the country was the greatest economic power the world had ever known, with the greatest military machine in human history.[11] As George Kennan‘s Policy Planning Staff put it in February 1948: “[W]e have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. […] Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity”.[12] America’s allies and foes in Eurasia were suffering the dreadful effects of World War II at this time.

In their position of unprecedented power, US planners formulated policies to shape the kind of postwar world they wanted, which, in economic terms, meant a globe-spanning capitalist order centered exclusively upon the United States.[13]

The first person in the United States to use the term economic integration in its modern sense (i.e. combining separate economies into larger economic regions) did so at this time: one John S. de Beers, an economist in the US Treasury Department, towards the end of 1941.[14] By 1948, economic integration was appearing in an increasing number of American documents and speeches.[15] Paul Hoffman, then head of the Economic Cooperation Administration, made the most marked use of the term in a 1949 speech to the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation.[15] As The New York Times put it,

Mr Hoffmann used the word ‘integration’ fifteen times or almost once to every hundred words of his speech. It is a word that rarely if ever has been used by European statesmen having to do with the Marshall Plan to describe what should happen to Europe’s economies. It was remarked that no such term or goal was included in the commitments the European nations gave in agreeing to the Marshall Plan. Consequently it appeared to the Europeans that “integration” was an American doctrine that had been superimposed upon the mutual engagements made when the Marshall Plan began …[16]

While ideologies of the global have a long history, globalism emerged as a dominant set of associated ideologies across the course of the late twentieth century. As these ideologies settled, and as various processes of globalization intensified, they contributed to the consolidation of a connecting global imaginary.[17] In their recent writings, Manfred Steger and Paul James have theorized this process in terms of four levels of change: changing ideas, ideologies, imaginaries and ontologies.[18]

See also

References …

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

 

New World Order

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New World Ordernew world order or The New World Order may refer to:

 

Books

  • The New World Order (Wells), a 1940 book by H. G. Wells promoting a post-World War II new world order uniting the world and bringing peace
  • The New World Order (Robertson), a 1991 book by Pat Robertson presenting a conspiracy theory in which Christians are targeted for persecution
  • The New World Order of Islam, (Urdu: Nizam-e-Nau), an address delivered in 1942 by Mirza Mahmood Ahmad, the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya movement in Islam (later published as a book); being a comparative appraisal of Islam’s solution to the problem of socio-economic inequality in the world
  • The New World Order, a 1944 book by Maulana Muhammad Ali arguing that only Islam can establish lasting world peace
  • The Gulf Crisis and the New World Order is a 1990 book comprising a series of seventeen sermons delivered by Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Islamic movement
  • The New World Order, a 1990 book by A. Ralph Epperson presenting a Masonic New World Order conspiracy theory
  • The New World Order, a 2004 science fiction novel by Ben Jeapes
  • The New World Order: Facts & Fiction, a 2010 book by Mark Dice analyzing NWO conspiracy theories

Music

Other media

See also

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

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1174, November 14, 2018, Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video — Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

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Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video

Special Report w Bret Baier 11/15/18 Fox News November 15, 2018

Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/15/18 Breaking Fox News November 15, 2018

Latest on the disputed election count for Georgia governor

Kemp says he won Georgia governor race

Stacey Abrams says she recognizes Brian Kemp will be Georgia’s next governor

Abrams campaign responds to the legal drama unfolding post-election

Stacey Abrams refuses to concede in Georgia Gubernatorial defeat

GEORGIA RACE OVER: Democrat Stacey Abrams Ends Challenge For Governor Race

Abrams ends run for governor against Kemp, but won’t concede

Kemp pledges to put ‘divisive politics’ behind him

Stacey Abrams ended her run for Georgia governor on Friday, but the Democrat said she would not concede the contest to Republican Brian Kemp as state officials prepared to certify the election.

Saying the law “allows no further viable remedy” to extend her quest to be the nation’s first black female governor, Abrams announced a new voting rights group that will file “major” litigation against the state over electoral issues.

And she laced her speech with bruising critiques of Kemp, a former secretary of state who she said was “deliberate and intentional in his actions” to suppress the vote.

“I will not concede,” she added, “because the erosion of our democracy is not right.”

Kemp, meanwhile, thanked Abrams for her “passion, hard word and commitment to public service.”

“The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward,” said Kemp. “We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.”

The Democrat’s campaign was considering a long-shot legal challenge under a law that allows losing candidates to contest the election in the case of misconduct, fraud or “irregularities.”

She would have faced a tremendous legal burden to prove her case, and even some Democrats warned that prolonging the court battle would jeopardize two down-ticket runoffs set for next month.

The secretary of state could certify the election as soon as 5 p.m. Friday and cement Kemp’s victory in the tightest race for Georgia governor since 1966.

The latest tally showed Abrams is roughly 55,000 votes behind Kemp — and in need of more than 17,000 votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, which is only a possibility because a third-party contender netted about 1 percent.

Hundreds of previously uncounted votes could still be added Friday before the election is certified by Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden.

Abrams’ campaign has long tried to make the case that Kemp used his role as secretary of state to suppress the vote.

In her fiery speech, Abrams cited long lines at voting sites, closed polling stations and the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of voter registrations.

But to have a chance in court, Abrams would have had to prove there were enough Georgians blocked from voting to close the gap. Her campaign apparently could not meet that requirement.

Before Abrams ended the campaign, Republicans blasted the suggestion that she might contest the election in court. In one of the most biting barbs, Kemp’s spokesman called for Abrams to end her “ridiculous temper tantrum and concede.”

Unchanged dynamics

Kemp’s lead had dwindled since Election Day as absentee and provisional ballots trickled in. But as more counties completed their vote tallies, Abrams and her allies claimed there were thousands of outstanding ballots that never materialized.

Her campaign also went to court to force local officials to accept some previously rejected ballots.

She secured one court order that required elections officials to review as many as 27,000 provisional ballots, though it didn’t require those votes to be accepted.

Another ruling required the state to count absentee ballots with incorrect birthdate data, but rejected an effort to accept provisional ballots cast in the wrong counties.

That order, by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, set off a scramble by county officials to revisit rejected ballots. But it left Kemp’s lead virtually unchanged, even as the biggest trove of those votes in Gwinnett County was added to the total.

Those final ballots in Gwinnett also likely cemented the contest for Georgia’s 7th District. Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall led Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux by about 400 votes, though her campaign on Friday requested a recount.

Some pushback

Abrams has long hinted at more litigation challenging “irregularities” at polling sites, and targeted what she claimed was Kemp’s abuse of the secretary of state’s office. But she determined that new legal action wouldn’t prevent Kemp’s victory.

Some Abrams’ allies had raised alarms that the prospect of extending her legal fight would shift attention away from a pair of candidates who are already in a runoff: John Barrow for secretary of state and Lindy Miller for Public Service Commission.

“I totally concur with the notion that every vote should be counted,” said Michael Thurmond, the DeKalb chief executive and a former Democratic state labor commissioner. “And going forward, the most effective way to do that is to focus on electing John Barrow as the next secretary of state.”

And former U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden said it’s “pretty evident” the race will be certified for Kemp and that Abrams should begin focusing on a 2020 run against U.S. Sen. David Perdue.

“Never stop. Keep using this energy,” he said. “Keep using these new voters.”

Kemp, meanwhile, has tried to cast himself as the eventual winner.

Several of his aides were at the Capitol this week to meet with state legislators and scope out executive offices. And Kemp’s campaign has repeatedly criticized Abrams for refusing to concede, saying she has no mathematical chance at forcing a runoff.

On Friday, Kemp struck a far more conciliatory tone.

“I humbly ask for citizens of our great state to stand with me in the days ahead,” he said.

“Together, we will realize the opportunities and tackle the challenges to come. We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians – no matter their zip code or political preference – first.”

https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/kemp-holds-steady-lead-over-abrams-state-prepares-certify-vote/WI5zxjHjLNR2WbvcEBVYWL/

Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

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Hannity: FISA court was abused for political gain

Joe diGenova on Mueller Wrap Up

OH BOY!! HAPPENING NOW! Hannity Just EXPOSED Dems HIDE This BIGGEST PLAN Against Trump!

Trump legal team finalizing answers to Mueller questions

Lindsey Graham on Florida recount, Mueller probe

Sen. Mike Lee on Democrats’ objections to Matt Whitaker

Joe diGenova Talks About Jeff Sessions Replacement

MUELLER JUST GOT TRUMP’D! [AND HE DIDN’T SEE IT COMING

Matthew Whitaker (attorney)

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Matthew Whitaker
Matthew G. Whitaker official photo.jpg
Acting United States Attorney General
Assumed office
November 7, 2018
President Donald Trump
Deputy Rod Rosenstein
Preceded by Jeff Sessions
Chief of Staff to the United States Attorney General
In office
September 22, 2017 – November 7, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Preceded by Jody Hunt
Succeeded by Gary Barnett
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
In office
June 15, 2004 – November 25, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Stephen Patrick O’Meara
Succeeded by Nicholas A. Klinefeldt
Personal details
Born Matthew George Whitaker
October 29, 1969 (age 49)
Des MoinesIowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Iowa (BAJDMBA)

Matthew George Whitaker (born October 29, 1969) is an American lawyer and politician serving as Acting United States Attorney General since November 7, 2018. He was appointed by President Donald Trump on November 7, 2018, after Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump’s request.[1] Whitaker served as a U.S. Attorney during the Bush Administration and served as Chief of Staff to Sessions from September 2017 to November 2018.[2]

In 2002, Whitaker was the candidate of the Republican Party for Treasurer of Iowa. From 2004 to 2009 he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Whitaker ran in the 2014 Iowa Republican primary for the United States Senate. He later wrote opinion pieces and appeared on talk-radio shows and cable news as the director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative advocacy group.

The legality of Whitaker’s appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney General was challenged by the State of Maryland.[3][4] His appointment prompted a number of legal scholars, commentators, and politicians to question its legality and constitutionality, noting that his selection circumvented Senate confirmation.[5] Some also called for Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller because of his public criticisms of the probe and his ties to Trump, and to Sam Clovis, a witness in the investigation.[6][7][8]

After Whitaker took office, reports surfaced of his prior involvement with World Patent Marketing, which had been fined $26 million and shut down by federal regulators in 2017 for deceiving consumers.[9][10]

Early life and education

Whitaker was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 29, 1969. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father a car salesman. Whitaker graduated from Ankeny High School and attended the University of Iowa, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, a Master of Business Administration, and a law degree in 1995.[11] While in college he wanted to be in the film industry.[12]

During his undergraduate years at Iowa, Whitaker played tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, appearing in Iowa’s Rose Bowl game in 1991.[13]

Career

After graduating from law school, Whitaker worked for a number of regional law firms including Briggs & Morgan (Minneapolis) and Finley Alt Smith (Des Moines). He was also corporate counsel for a national grocery company, SuperValu, and small businessman owning interests in a trailer manufacturing company, a daycare, and a concrete supply company.[14] Whitaker ran as a Republican for Treasurer of Iowa in 2002, losing to incumbent Democrat Michael Fitzgerald by 55% to 43%.[15]

In 2003, Whitaker founded “Buy The Yard Concrete,” based in Urbandale, Iowa which did projects as far away as Las Vegas. In 2005, Whitaker was named as a defendant to a collections lawsuit in Nevada for $12,000 in unpaid invoices for supplies and equipment rentals related to a concrete project in Las Vegas. The lawsuit was settled out of court.[16]

Whitaker’s U.S. Attorney portrait

United States Attorney

On June 15, 2004, Whitaker was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush. The appointment was at the recommendation of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, in spite of Whitaker’s minimal relevant legal experience.[17]

From 2005 to 2007, Whitaker was responsible for the unsuccessful investigation and prosecution of Iowa State Sen. Matt McCoy, a gay, liberal Democrat, on charges of attempting to extort $2000.[18] A columnist for the Des Moines Register said that the case “… was based on the word of a man former associates depicted as a drug user, a deadbeat and an abuser of women; a man so shady even his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors called him ‘a pathological liar.'”[19][20] The jury took less than two hours to return a verdict of “not guilty”.[21][22]

Whitaker resigned in November 2009 following the Senate confirmation of his replacement, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, who was nominated by President Barack Obama.[13][23]

Private practice and political activities

From 2009 to 2017, Whitaker was a managing partner of the small general practice law firm Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP (now Hagenow & Gustoff LLP) in Des Moines, Iowa.[24]

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Whitaker was Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty‘s co-chairman in Iowa, and then state co-chairman for Texas governor Rick Perry.[25]

Whitaker was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2014 United States Senate election in Iowa, a seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin. He came in fourth in the Republican primary in June, with 11,909 votes (7.54%). The nomination was won by Joni Ernst, who went on to win the general election.[26]

After losing the Republican primary, Whitaker chaired the campaign of Sam Clovis, another unsuccessful primary candidate who had been selected, later in June, to run for Iowa State Treasurer.[27] Clovis lost in the November 2014 general election.[28][29][30]

MEM Investment

In 2012, Whitaker and two partners used their company, MEM Investment, to purchase and develop an affordable-housing apartment building in Des Moines.[31] In 2014, the partnership reverted to just Whitaker. By spring of 2016, the company failed to deliver on the contracted renovation, the city terminated the loan agreement, Lincoln Savings Bank declared MEM in default of the $687,000 mortgage, and the property was sold to another developer for completion.[32][33]

World Patent Marketing

In 2014, Whitaker joined the board of World Patent Marketing (WPM) which was a fraudulent invention promotion firm based in Florida that deceived inventors into thinking that the company had successfully commercialized other inventions.[34][35][36] In March 2017, the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with fraudulently deceiving consumers and suppressing complaints through intimidation and the use of gag clauses.[36][37][38] In May 2018, a federal court ordered the company to close and pay a $26 million fine.[39] Many customers suffered significant losses as a result of working with the company[9][40] and when they tried to recoup their fees, the company used Whitaker’s background as a U.S. Attorney to threaten them. In a 2015 email mentioning his background as a former federal prosecutor, Whitaker told a customer that filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or “smearing” the company online could result in “serious civil and criminal consequences.”[41][42] The owner of Ripoff Report told The Wall Street Journal that Whitaker had called him in 2015 demanding his website take down negative reports about WPM, alleging, “He threatened to ruin my business if I didn’t remove the reports. He [said he] would have the government shut me down under some homeland security law.”[43][44] The company contributed to Whitaker’s 2014 US Senate campaign.[45] Whitaker performed almost $17,000 in compensable work for the company.[46] In 2017 FTC investigators examined whether Whitaker had played any role in making threats of legal action to silence the company’s critics. Whitaker rebuffed an FTC subpoena for records in October 2017, shortly after he had joined the Justice Department.[47]

White House and senior Justice Department officials were surprised to learn of Whitaker’s connection to the company.[48] Through a DOJ spokesperson, Whitaker has denied awareness of the company’s fraud.[9] The court receiver in the case said he has “no reason to believe that [Whitaker] knew of any of the wrongdoing.”[48] As of November 2018, the FBI is still investigating World Patent Marketing.[49]

Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust

From October 2014 to September 2017, Whitaker was the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT),[50] and the organization’s only full-time employee in 2015 and 2016.[51] FACT, founded in late 2014, is a conservative nonprofit organization specializing in legal and ethical issues related to politics.[52][53] The group was backed by $1 million in seed money from conservative donors, who Whitaker declined to identify to the media.[54] According to the organization’s first tax return, its funding — $600,000 in 2014 – came from a conservative donor-advised fund called DonorsTrust, a pass-through vehicle that allows donors to remain anonymous.[55]

While Whitaker was the head of FACT, the organization had a special focus on the Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy and perceived favoritism in the business dealings of Clinton.[56] Despite claiming to be nonpartisan, the organization called for ethics investigations into or filed complaints about forty-six different Democratic politicians, officials, and organizations, compared to only a few Republicans.[57] FACT has been described as using “the legal system as a political weapon”[58] and characterized, by a GOP operative, as a “chop shop of fake ethics complaints”.[59] During this time, Whitaker wrote opinion pieces that appeared in USA Today and the Washington Examiner, and appeared regularly on conservative talk-radio shows and cable news.[60]

CNN contributor

Whitaker aspired to become a judge in Iowa, and hoped his media appearances would catch the eye of the Trump administration.[25] For four months, from June to September 2017, he was a CNN contributor.[61] One month prior to joining the Justice Department, Whitaker wrote an opinion column for CNN titled “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far.”[62] He stated that Mueller’s investigation was a “lynch mob”, that it should be limited, and that it should not probe into Trump’s finances.[63][64]

Legal and policy views

Constitutional issues

Whitaker stated in a question-and-answer session during his 2014 Iowa Senatorial campaign that “the courts are supposed to be the inferior branch.”[65][66] Whitaker was critical of the United States Supreme Court‘s decision in Marbury v. Madison (1803), the decision that allows judicial review of the constitutionality of the acts of the other branches of government, and several other Supreme Court holdings. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe commented on Whitaker’s views that “the overall picture he presents would have virtually no scholarly support,” and that they would be “‘destabilizing’ to society if he used the power of the attorney general to advance them.”[65]

Whitaker also stated during his 2014 Senate bid that he would not support “secular” judges and that judges should “have a biblical view of justice.” Asked if he meant Levitical or New Testament justice, he replied “I’m a New Testament.”[67] Whitaker’s answer has been interpreted by various individuals and groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, to imply that he would disqualify non-Christian judges, and were condemned as unconstitutional. An ADL spokesperson said, “The notion that non-Christian judges are disqualified from service is patently wrong, and completely inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, which explicitly bars any religious test for public office.”[68]

Whitaker stated in 2013 he supports the right of states to nullify federal laws.[69] Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, stated that Whitaker’s views on nullification are “irreconcilable not only with the structure of the Constitution, but with its text, especially the text of the Supremacy Clause,” and added that “For someone who holds those views to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, even temporarily, is more than a little terrifying.”[69]

Criticisms of 2017 Special Counsel investigation

During the months prior to joining the Justice Department as Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff in September 2017, Whitaker made several statements critical of the Mueller investigation, of which he assumed oversight responsibility upon being appointed Acting Attorney General in November 2018. By July 2017, the Trump White House was interviewing Whitaker to join the Trump legal team.[70] During a six-month span in 2017, Whitaker insisted that there was no obstruction of justice or collusion and criticized the initial appointment of the special counsel. He also called the probe “political”[71] and “the left is trying to sow this theory that essentially Russians interfered with the U.S. election, which has been proven false.”[72] He also published an op-ed titled, “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump Is Going Too Far”[73] in which he expressed skepticism about the investigation generally and called the appointment of Mueller “ridiculous.”[72] Through social media, he also promoted an article that referred to the investigation as a “lynch mob.”[63][73][74]

Relationship with Donald Trump

Trump saw Whitaker’s supportive commentaries on CNN in the summer of 2017, and in July White House counsel Don McGahn interviewed Whitaker to join Trump’s legal team as an “attack dog” against Robert Mueller, who was heading the Special Counsel investigation. Trump associates believe Whitaker was later hired to limit the fallout of the investigation, including by reining in any Mueller report and preventing Trump from being subpoenaed.[70] On November 13, Whitaker sought advice from ethics officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) about whether a recusal from overseeing the Russia investigation was warranted.[75]

In 2017 Whitaker provided private advice to Trump on how the White House might pressure the Justice Department to investigate the president’s adversaries, including appointing a special counsel to investigate the FBI and Hillary Clinton.[76]

Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society recommended Whitaker to McGahn as chief of staff for Sessions, and Whitaker was installed into that role at the direction of the White House. Sessions, it is reported, did not realize for a year that Whitaker wanted to replace him.[77]

By early September 2018 Whitaker was on the short list of President Trump‘s White House staff as the replacement for Don McGahn as the White House Counsel.[78][79]

In September 2018, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to Whitaker as the White House’s “eyes and ears” in the Justice Department, which the president considered himself at war with.[80]

Trump had spoken with Whitaker in September 2018 about potentially assuming Sessions’s role as Attorney General, although it was not clear whether Whitaker would take over on an interim basis or be nominated in a more permanent capacity.[81] At that time, The New York Times described Whitaker as a Trump loyalist who had frequently visited the Oval Office and as having “an easy chemistry” with Trump.[80] Whitaker was referenced by White House staff after a New York Times article disclosed in September that Rod Rosenstein had discussed secretly taping his conversations with the president and talked about using the Twenty-fifth Amendment to remove Trump from office.[73]

Trump repeatedly stated on November 9, “I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” contradicting remarks a month prior on Fox & Friends when he said, “I can tell you Matt Whitaker’s a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker.”[82][83][84] The president met with Whitaker at least ten times and frequently talked to him on the phone, and according to a former and a current administration official, Whitaker advised Trump in private on how to potentially pressure the Justice Department into investigating Trump’s adversaries.[85]

Other policy Issues

Whitaker has ties to the evangelical Christian community, his website previously stated that he is a “Christian who regularly attends church with his family, Matt has built a life on hard work and free enterprise” and he stated in 2014 that “life begins at conception.”[86][87][88]In 2014 he advocated for reducing the influence of the government saying, “I know that the government forcing people to violate their faith must never be tolerated. In the Senate, I will be a steadfast protector of every American’s religious rights.”[89]

He has expressed a desire to get rid of chain immigration and is against “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.[90] Whitaker argued in 2014 that expressing homophobic comments is legitimate expression of religious beliefs that should be protected speech, saying “I just really think this case is a prime example of where religious freedom in our country is under assault and we need to send a strong message.”[91] Whitaker supported repealing the Affordable Care Act in his 2014 Senate campaign.[73]

Department of Justice

Chief of Staff

On September 22, 2017, a Justice Department official announced that Sessions had appointed Whitaker to replace Jody Hunt as his chief of staff.[63][92] George Terwilliger, a former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general, said in his role as chief of staff, Whitaker would have dealt daily with making “substantive choices about what is important to bring to the AG….”[93]

Acting Attorney General

With the resignation of Sessions on November 7, 2018, Whitaker was appointed to serve as Acting Attorney General under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.[11][94] The Acting Attorney General directly supervises Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation, which had previously been supervised by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his role as Acting Attorney General, due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Supervision of the Special Counsel investigation

Soon after Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General, a “broad and growing array” of legal experts expressed concern.[95] New York University law professor Ryan Goodman and Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, argued for Whitaker to recuse himself from supervising the investigation, citing potential conflicts of interest such as his previous criticism of the Special Counsel investigation and his ties to Sam Clovis who is a witness in the investigation.[7][96][97] NYU law professor Stephen Gillerssaid Whitaker “has no such legal or ethical obligation to step aside” but agrees that “Whitaker should be recused. His repeated expression of hostility to the Mueller investigation makes it impossible for the public to have confidence in his ability to exercise the necessary prosecutorial judgment in supervising Mueller”.[98][99] According to people close to Whitaker, he does not have any plans to recuse.[100]

Democrats poised to assume chairmanships of key House committees in January 2019 warned the Justice Department and other departments to preserve records relating to the Mueller investigation and Sessions’ firing. Republicans Senator Susan Collins, Senator Jeff Flake, and Senator-elect Mitt Romney, also issued statements insisting that Mueller’s investigation must remain free from interference.[101]

Legality and constitutionality of the appointment

Former Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, who both served in the George W. Bush administration, questioned the legality of the appointment.[102] Lawyers Neal Katyal and George T. Conway III called the appointment “illegal” and “unconstitutional” under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.[103][104][105] Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano posited that Whitaker is “not legally qualified for the role” as he is neither the Deputy Attorney General nor in a role that required Senate confirmation, and the senate is not in recess currently.[106][107] Lawyers Renato Mariotti and Laurence Tribe have argued that the Vacancies Act would not allow Trump to appoint Whitaker if Sessions was fired and that a court could conclude that Sessions did not resign but was fired.[108] John E. Bies, who served in the Obama Administration as a deputy assistant attorney general, has written that legality and constitutionality of Whitaker’s appointment is an open question and it has not been answered. Bies also points out that it is a difficult argument to make that Sessions was fired instead of resigning since a court would probably not “look past an official’s formal statement that they resigned”.[109]

Law professor John Yoo, who notably argued in favor of expansive executive power as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the George W. Bush administration, echoed the Katyal and Conway argument, stating that because of the Appointments Clause “it is not only the special-counsel investigation that he cannot supervise. Every action of the Justice Department might fall before challenges to Whitaker’s appointment.”[110] Law professor Stephen Vladeck argued that the U.S. Supreme Courtdecision United States v. Eaton allowed the appointment since it was temporary and that Sessions formally resigned.[95] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “I think this will be a very interim AG.”[111]

The US Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel released an internal legal opinion supporting the legality of the appointment. The memo concluded that because the appointment was temporary, no senate confirmation was required. It found that previously in 1866 an assistant attorney general who was not confirmed by the senate was appointed as acting attorney general, and that a non senate confirmed individual served as a principal officer in an acting capacity over 160 times between 1809 and 1860, and more recently at least nine times in the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations.[112][113][114]

NBC News analyzed the section of the Code of Federal Regulations that prohibits a federal employee from participating in a criminal investigation if he has a personal or political relationship and said it may “arguably apply,” but also noted that “Even if a court could review the application of the recusal regulations to Whitaker in this situation, it might conclude that this personal or political relationship does not warrant [Whitaker’s] disqualification.”[115] Writers at Lawfare also noted Whitaker’s personal and prior political relationship with Sam Clovis, Trump’s campaign co-chairman and chief policy adviser, who has been questioned by Mueller’s investigators and testified before the investigation grand jury.[116][117]

A group of prominent conservative and libertarian lawyers have formed a group called Checks and Balances in the wake of Whitaker appointment.[118] Members include George T. Conway III, Tom Ridge, Peter D. KeislerJonathan H. AdlerOrin S. Kerr, Lori S. Meyer, Paul McNultyPhillip D. BradyJohn B. Bellinger III, Carrie Cordero, Peter Keisler, Marisa C Maleck, Alan Charles Raul and Paul Rosenzweig amongst others.[119][120][121][122] The group was formed to provide a critical legal and conservative voice for when, “he [Trump] attacks the Justice Department and the news media.”[123][124] The group was formed by Conway after he published a letter critical of Matthew Whitaker appointment that argued the illegality of his appointment because of constitutional reasons and specifically mentions the phrase checks and balances, “It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.”[125]

On November 14 The American Constitution Society released a letter signed by over 1,600 attorneys nationwide calling for lawmakers and Justice Department officials to protect the special counsel’s Russia probe in light of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general.[126][127] The signatories demand that Whitaker recuse himself or “otherwise be removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation as a result of his profound ethical conflicts.”[128]

Legal challenges

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh representing the State of Maryland filed for an injunction against Whitaker’s appointment.[129] Maryland had previously filed a suit against the then Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding his inability to defend the Affordable Care Act in court as part of a broader hostility of the Obama era act from the Trump administration.[130][131][132] Maryland is expected to test the argument in court that Whitaker was unlawfully named acting attorney general, and thus has no standing in the court or authority to respond to their lawsuit.[3][4] Maryland is also arguing that Whitaker’s appointment violates the Constitution, which requires that principal officers of the United States be appointed “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Whitaker was not serving in a Senate-confirmed position when he was appointed.[3] The state is arguing that the role of acting Attorney General rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.[133]. A judge has set a December 19 hearing.[134]

On November 12 San Francisco’s city attorney questioned the appointment of a new acting attorney general, saying in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that his office may take court action if the DOJ does not provide a legal justification for the designation.[135][136]

Lawyers for former agricultural products executive Doug Haning filed a motion on November 13 asking a federal court in St. Louis to rule that Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General is illegal thereby he has no standing to hear the case.[134] Some lawyers have predicted a flood of similar motions.[134]

Personal life

Whitaker has three children with his wife, Marci, a civil engineer.[137] He is affiliated with Lutheran Evangelicalism.[138][89]

Electoral history

2002 Iowa State Treasurer

General election results[139]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Michael Fitzgerald 534,714 54.77%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 421,574 43.18%
Libertarian Tim Hird 19,687 2.02%
Republican Write-ins 344 0.04%
Total votes 976,319 100.00%

2014 U.S. Senator for Iowa

Republican primary results[140]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joni Ernst 88,535 56.12%
Republican Sam Clovis 28,418 18.01%
Republican Mark Jacobs 26,523 16.81%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 11,884 7.53%
Republican Scott Schaben 2,233 1.42%
Republican Write-ins 155 0.10%
Total votes 157,748 100.00%

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Whitaker_(attorney)

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

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

 

 

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

See the source image

President Trump SHOCKING Speech Chairs the UN Security Council Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___

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

___

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

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

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

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

 

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President Trump holds press conference

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

 

Key takeaways from Trump’s marathon press conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fed hikes interest rates, economic forecast

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

Will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates in December?

Fox Business

Published on Sep 6, 2018

What Higher Fed Interest Rates Mean for You

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

Wall Street Journal

Published on Sep 17, 2015

 

Fed hikes interest rates amid rising inflation

By The FedFOXBusiness

Fed raises rates for third time in 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More from FOX Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Watch Live! Trump Rally in Las Vegas, NV!

Trump pushes for border wall funding during rally in Las Vegas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___

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

___

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Donald Trump waves as he arrives for a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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Story 3: Free U.S.-Led Uncensored Internet and Authoritarian Chinese-Led Censored Internet — Breaking Up Is Hard To Do — Videos

Report: Google working on a censored search engine for China

Google employees revolt against China project

Could the Internet Split in Two?

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split: American vs. Chinese

Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do – Neil Sedaka

 

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two  — and one part will be led by China

  • Speaking at a private event hosted by Village Global VC yesterday night, tech luminary and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that the internet will bifurcate into Chinese-led and US-led versions within the next decade.
  • Under Sundar Pichai’s leadership, Google has explored the potential to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, stirring up controversy internally and outside the company.

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.

Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. “What’s the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?”

Schmidt said:

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.

If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it’s perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom.”

The Belt and Road is a massive initiative by Beijing to increase China’s political and economic influence by connecting and facilitating all kinds of trade, including digital trade, between China and countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Schmidt’s predictions come at a time when his successor at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai, has stirred up controversy around the company’s strategy in China.

Reportedly, Google has been developing “Project Dragonfly,” a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China. The project allegedly included a means to suppress some search results, booting them off the first page, and a means to fully block results for sensitive queries, for example, around “peaceful protests.”

n recent weeks, hundreds of Google employees lobbied Pichai for more transparency and signed a letter saying that the reported plans raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Pichai has said that Google has been “very open about our desire to do more in China,” and that the team “has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now,” and considering “many options,” but is nowhere near launching in China.

In a separate discussion last night between Schmidt and several start-up founders, he lauded Chinese tech products, services and adoption, especially in mobile payments. He noted that Starbucks in China don’t feature a register. Customers order ahead online and pay with their phones before picking up their lattes.

Former Google CEO claims internet will split between U.S. & China  

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.

Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. “What’s the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?”

Schmidt said:

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.

If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it’s perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom.”

The Belt and Road is a massive initiative by Beijing to increase China’s political and economic influence by connecting and facilitating all kinds of trade, including digital trade, between China and countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Schmidt’s predictions come at a time when his successor at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai, has stirred up controversy around the company’s strategy in China.

Reportedly, Google has been developing “Project Dragonfly,” a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China. The project allegedly included a means to suppress some search results, booting them off the first page, and a means to fully block results for sensitive queries, for example, around “peaceful protests.”

What's next for Schmidt?

What’s next for Google’s Eric Schmidt? Sree Sreenivasan weighs in  

In recent weeks, hundreds of Google employees lobbied Pichai for more transparency and signed a letter saying that the reported plans raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Pichai has said that Google has been “very open about our desire to do more in China,” and that the team “has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now,” and considering “many options,” but is nowhere near launching in China.

In a separate discussion last night between Schmidt and several start-up founders, he lauded Chinese tech products, services and adoption, especially in mobile payments. He noted that Starbucks in China don’t feature a register. Customers order ahead online and pay with their phones before picking up their lattes.

A business development leader with Facebook, Ime Archebong, asked Schmidt if large tech companies are doing enough good in the world.

Schmidt replied: “The judge of this is others, not us. Self-referential conversations about ‘Do I feel good about what I’m doing?’ are not very helpful. The judge is outside.”

At several points in the private discussion, Schmidt urged entrepreneurs to build products and services that are not merely addictive, but valuable. He also said not enough companies “measure the right things.” Too many focus on short-term revenue growth and satisfying shareholders, rather than what’s best for their users, society and the long-term health of their companies.

Schmidt was the CEO of Google from 2001, when he took over from co-founder Larry Page, through 2011, when Page reclaimed the reins. He remained as executive chairman of Google and then Alphabet until earlier this year.

Correction: Eric Schmidt did not specify a date by which he believed the internet would bifurcate. He was responding to a question from Tyler Cowen which specified “in the next 10 to 15 years.”

GOOGLE BOSSES HAVE forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned.

The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data.

The memo was shared earlier this month among a group of Google employees who have been organizing internal protests over the censored search system, which has been designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian Communist Party regime views as sensitive, such as information about democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

According to three sources familiar with the incident, Google leadership discovered the memo and were furious that secret details about the China censorship were being passed between employees who were not supposed to have any knowledge about it. Subsequently, Google human resources personnel emailed employees who were believed to have accessed or saved copies of the memo and ordered them to immediately delete it from their computers. Emails demanding deletion of the memo contained “pixel trackers” that notified human resource managers when their messages had been read, recipients determined.

The Dragonfly memo reveals that a prototype of the censored search engine was being developed as an app for both Android and iOS devices, and would force users to sign in so they could use the service. The memo confirms, as The Intercept first reported last week, that users’ searches would be associated with their personal phone number. The memo adds that Chinese users’ movements would also be stored, along with the IP address of their device and links they clicked on. It accuses developers working on the project of creating “spying tools” for the Chinese government to monitor its citizens.

People’s search histories, location information, and other private data would be sent out of China to a database in Taiwan, the memo states. But the data would also be provided to employees of a Chinese company who would be granted “unilateral access” to the system.

To launch the censored search engine, Google set up a “joint venture” partnership with an unnamed Chinese company. The search engine will “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, according to documents seen by The Intercept. Blacklisted search terms on a prototype of the search engine include “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize” in Mandarin, said sources familiar with the project.

According to the memo, aside from being able to access users’ search data, the Chinese partner company could add to the censorship blacklists: It would be able to “selectively edit search result pages … unilaterally, and with few controls seemingly in place.”

That a Chinese company would maintain a copy of users’ search data means that, by extension, the data would be accessible to Chinese authorities, who have broad powers to obtain information that is held or processed on the country’s mainland. A central concern human rights groups have expressed about Dragonfly is that it could place users at risk of Chinese government surveillance — and any person in China searching for blacklisted words or phrases could find themselves interrogated or detained. Chinese authorities are well-known for routinely targeting critics, activists, and journalists.

“It’s alarming to hear that such information will be stored and, potentially, easily shared with the Chinese authorities,” said Patrick Poon, a Hong Kong-based researcher with the human rights group Amnesty International. “It will completely put users’ privacy and safety at risk. Google needs to immediately explain if the app will involve such arrangements. It’s time to give the public full transparency of the project.”

ON AUGUST 16, two weeks after The Intercept revealed the Dragonfly plan, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory.” However, employees working on the censored search engine were instructed in late July, days before the project was publicly exposed, that they should prepare to get it into a “launch-ready state” to roll out within weeks, pending approval from officials in Beijing.

“It will completely put users’ privacy and safety at risk.”

The memo raises new questions about Pichai’s claim that the project was not well-developed. Information stored on the company’s internal networks about Dragonfly “paints a very different picture,” it says. “The statement from our high-level leadership that Dragonfly is just an experiment seems wrong.”

The memo identifies at least 215 employees who appear to have been tasked with working full-time on Dragonfly, a number it says is “larger than many Google projects.” It says that source code associated with the project dates back to May 2017, and “many infrastructure parts predate” that. Moreover, screenshots of the app “show a project in a pretty advanced state,” the memo declares.

Most of the details about the project “have been secret from the start,” the memo says, adding that “after the existence of Dragonfly leaked, engineers working on the project were also quick to hide all of their code.”

The author of the memo said in the document that they were opposed to the China censorship. However, they added, “more than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy that has been built around it.”

The memo was first posted September 5 on an internal messaging list set up for Google employees to raise ethical concerns. But the memo was soon scrubbed from the list and individuals who had opened or saved the document were contacted by Google’s human resources department to discuss the matter. The employees were instructed not to share the memo.

Google reportedly maintains an aggressive security and investigation team known as “stopleaks,” which is dedicated to preventing unauthorized disclosures. The team is also said to monitor internal discussions.

“More than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy that has been built around it.”

Internal security efforts at Google have ramped up this year as employees have raised ethical concerns around a range of new company projects. Following the revelation by Gizmodoand The Intercept that Google had quietly begun work on a contract with the military last year, known as Project Maven, to develop automated image recognition systems for drone warfare, the communications team moved swiftly to monitor employee activity.

The “stopleaks” team, which coordinates with the internal Google communications department, even began monitoring an internal image board used to post messages based on internet memes, according to one former Google employee, for signs of employee sentiment around the Project Maven contract.

Google’s internal security team consists of a number of former military and law enforcement officials. For example, LinkedIn lists as Google’s head of global investigations Joseph Vincent, whose resume includes work as a high-ranking agent at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit. The head of security at Google is Chris Rackow, who has described himself as a former member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s hostage rescue team and as a former U.S. Navy SEAL.

For some Google employees, the culture of secrecy at the company clashes directly with the its public image around fostering transparency, creating an intolerable work environment.

“Leadership misled engineers working on [Dragonfly] about the nature of their work, depriving them of moral agency,” said a Google employee who read the memo.

Google did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

https://theintercept.com/2018/09/21/google-suppresses-memo-revealing-plans-to-closely-track-search-users-in-china/

Story 4: American People’s Right To Privacy — National Privacy Law? — Videos

Facebook and Google Attempting to End California Privacy Laws

California lawmakers pass data privacy bill

California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff calls for national privacy law

Fight looms over national privacy law

Fight looms over national privacy law

The tech industry and consumer groups are gearing up for a fight as lawmakers begin considering whether to draft a national privacy law.

The push to get Congress to enact federal privacy standards is gaining new urgency after California passed what is seen as the nation’s toughest privacy law this June. The measure forces businesses to be more transparent about what they do with consumer data and gives users unprecedented control over their personal information.

But the California law has sparked worries within the tech industry, which fears having to comply with a patchwork of varying state regulations.

Now industry groups are pushing Congress to pass a national privacy bill that would block states from implementing their own standards.

Privacy advocates are skeptical of the industry proposals and concerned that internet giants will co-opt the process in order to get protections that are weaker than the California standard implemented across the country.

“They do not want effective oversight. They do not want regulation of their business practices, which is really urgently needed,” Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), told The Hill. “They’re going to work behind the scenes to shape legislation that will not protect Americans from having all of their information regularly gathered and used by these digital giants.”

“They see federal law as an opportunity to preempt stronger rules,” he added.

Next week, executives from Google, Apple, AT&T and other major technology and telecommunications companies will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee as the panel’s Republican chairman, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), prepares to introduce a new privacy law.

Consumer groups are concerned that only industry voices will be heard at the hearing and that internet companies will have an outsized role in shaping the legislation. They are now demanding a seat at the table.

On Wednesday, a coalition of public interest groups including the CDD, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center sent a letter to Thune asking him to ensure that consumers have a voice in the process.

“While we have no objection to the participation of business groups in Senate hearings on consumer privacy, the Senate’s first instinct should be to hear from the American public on these important issues,” the letter reads.

Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the committee, told The Hill in an email that the panel will hold more hearings on the issue.

“For the first hearing, the committee is bringing in companies most consumers recognize to make the discussion about privacy more relatable,” Hill said. “We expect there will be opportunities for other voices at future hearings on the subject.”

A source familiar with the committee’s plans told The Hill that it could hold a hearing for privacy advocates to testify in the coming weeks.

The stakes are high for all sides in the privacy debate after a year which saw Facebook rocked by a massive data scandal.

The company disclosed earlier this year that a data firm had accessed the personal data of over 80 million Facebook users. The revelation sparked a firestorm that saw CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress in a pair of marathon hearings to address lawmakers’ concerns.

Overseas, Europe has already passed its own tough privacy law, which took effect this year.

Whether Congress can actually get behind a national privacy framework, though, is an open question. Lawmakers have tried before, unsuccessfully.

In 2012, the Obama White House unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” that it hoped to enact into law. The debate dragged on for several years and the process was eventually derailed by contentious disagreements between business and consumer groups.

As Congress gears up to try again, industry groups in recent weeks have been pushing wish lists for what they hope to see in a federal privacy framework. Lobbying groups including the Chamber of Commerce, the Internet Association and BSA | The Software Alliance have all released their own sets of privacy principles.

The industry proposals include calls for codifying transparency rules that require businesses to disclose their collection practices and giving consumers the right to request copies of their data and request that some data be deleted.

Shaundra Watson, BSA’s policy director, said the group’s privacy principles were not a response to the new California law but the result of a discussion among their members, including companies like Apple and Microsoft, of how to codify the consumer protections they already offer.

“Our companies really are responsible for personal data, and so they not only want to continue to embrace those practices but look more broadly to see what protections should be in place across the board and concluded the best way to do that is a [federal] law,” Watson told The Hill.

But privacy advocates remain skeptical. After a series of data scandals, many tech critics believe that any effective privacy framework needs to restrict the data collection practices that companies like Facebook and Google rely on as a business model.

Chester, who says public interest groups are banding together to come up with their own legislative principles, believes the frameworks being pushed by industry lobbyists don’t go far enough.

“What has to happen is the basic business practices have to change,” he said. “We believe there need to be restrictions on how these companies engage in data collection.

“These so-called principles are really principles to undermine privacy, not to protect it,” he said.

https://thehill.com/policy/technology/407528-fight-looms-over-national-privacy-law

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