Extortion

The Pronk Pops Show 1272, June 11, 2019, Story 1: President Trump vs. Creepy Sleepy Dummy 1% Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) (Booker, Buttigieg, Gillibrand, Harris, Klbuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders, Warren) — Videos — Story 2: Trump’s Political Pander to Corn Farmers With Enthanol Policy — Videos — Story 3: Stock Market Heading For Historic High — Videos

Posted on June 11, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Coal, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Diet, Disasters, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Ebola, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Environment, European History, European Union, Exercise, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Food, Food, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Freud, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, James Comey, Japan, Joe Biden, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Mexico, Middle East, Mike Pompeo, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, Nutrition, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, South Korea, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP_, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1272 June 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1271 June 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1270 June 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1269 June 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1268 June 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1267 May 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1266 May 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1265 May 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1253 May 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1243 April 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

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Story 1: President Trump vs. Creepy Sleepy 1% Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) (Booker, Buttigieg, Gillibrand, Harris, Klbuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders, Warren) — Videos —

 

MENTALLY WEAK: President Trump SLAMS Joe Biden in BLISTERING News Conference

Trump calls Biden a ‘dummy’ as he heads to Iowa

Trump takes aim at Biden ahead of dueling Iowa rallies

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 49% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-nine percent (49%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 36% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 40% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -4. (see trends).

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

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

20-Jan-1705-May-1721-Aug-1706-Dec-1727-Mar-1812-Jul-1825-Oct-1819-Feb-1911-Jun-190%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%www.RasmussenReports.comTotal Approve (Trump)Total Approve (Obama)

-420-Jan-1705-May-1721-Aug-1706-Dec-1727-Mar-1812-Jul-1825-Oct-1819-Feb-1911-Jun-1910%20%30%40%50%60%www.RasmussenReports.comStrongly DisapproveStrongly Approve

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

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

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

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

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_jun11

 

Right Direction or Wrong Track

40% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Monday, June 10, 2019

Forty percent (40%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending June 6.

This week’s finding remains unchanged from a week ago. Prior to this, that number had been on the decline week-over-week from 43% in early December to 31% by the end of January. It ran in the mid- to upper 20s for much of 2016, President Obama’s last full year in office.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from June 2-6, 2019. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_wrong_track_jun10

 

Tldr: Biden leads in Iowa, but Buttigieg and Warren show strength

Our new CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom’s new Iowa caucuses poll conducted by Selzer and Co. shows Joe Biden at 24%, Bernie Sanders at 16%, Elizabeth Warren at 15%, Pete Buttigieg at 14% and Kamala Harris at 7% among likely caucusgoers.

It’s the first high quality Iowa poll conducted since Biden entered the race and shows him in a tenuous position. Buttigieg and Warren are doing better than other polls in the state have suggested.

Sanders is not in great shape for someone with near universal name recognition.

Here are a few other takeaways from the poll:

  • This is our first poll taken that weighs in-person and virtual caucusgoers as 90% and 10% of the total respectively. This follows a rule change that allows for caucusgoers to vote virtually.
  • No candidate greatly seems to benefit from this change, though virtual caucusgoers are allotted fewer delegates (10%) than the expected percentage of caucusgoers who say they will virtually caucus at this point (28%).
  • It’s not just the topline that’s good for Buttigieg and Warren. Among those who can form an opinion of a given candidate, both are tied for the best very favorable rating among in-person caucusgoers.
  • Biden’s very favorable rating among caucusgoers is 34% among in-person caucusgoers, which actually trails Warren’s 38%.
  • A look back previous Democratic caucuses (1988, 2004 and 2008) with polling at this point similar to what it is now shows the eventual winner was ahead one of three times. This suggests we have a long way to go.

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/cnn-poll-iowa-joe-biden-2020-democrats/index.html

 

Story 2: Trump’s Political Pander to Corn Farmers With Enthanol Subsidies and Mandates — End All Subsidies and Mandates — Videos

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President Trump visiting Iowa ethanol plant

Trump Speaks At An Ethanol Production Plant In Iowa | NowThis

After Corn Ethanol’s Crushing Defeat, Will Congress Repeal Mandate?

Can you afford the Ethanol Tax?

Ethanol Pig

Can 100% renewable energy power the world? – Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei

Renewable Energy Explained in 2 1/2 Minutes

The Renewable Fuel Standard – What is it?

What can we do to fight the ethanol mandate?

Farm State Senators Questioning the White House RFS Strategy

The RFS Hurts Small Businesses

Small Retailers Coalition – RINs, the RFS, and EPA

An Update on the Renewable Fuel Standard

Ten years of the Renewable Fuel Standard

Why We Need The Renewable Fuel Standard, In 60 Seconds

President Trump promised to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard

Is the Renewable Fuel Standard working for America?

Repeal the RFS

WDBJ7: Goodlatte calls for repeal of Renewable Fuel Standard

AMERICA FIRST DINNER: President Trump Full Remarks in West Des Moines, IA

For farmers, record flooding and a wet spring mean many fields can’t be planted

ETHANOL – GOOD OR BAD? – How it Works | SCIENCE GARAGE

Trump’s New $12 Billion Farm Subsidies and My Thoughts

Farmers in Trump country protest Pruitt’s ethanol policies

Clearing the Air on the Ethanol Mandates

Pros and Cons of Ethanol in Motor Vehicle Gas Explored

Inconvenient Fact: Support for Ethanol Mandates Crumbling

Who Gets More Subsidies? | The Ethanol Effect

Ethanol vs Gasoline – Which Type of Fuel is Best for Your Car

Never Go to This Gas Station

The Ethanol Effect

Trump’s ethanol moves: good policy or corn country politics?

Why Ethanol Is Worse Than Gasoline

Is Ethanol Bad For Your Car’s Engine?

Trump Hearts Ethanol | The Ethanol Effect

 

Trump’s ethanol move delivers gift to corn country

Updated 

President Donald Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to expand sales of corn ethanol on Tuesday, delivering a gift to farm state Republicans a month before the midterm elections.

The move ends months of bitter behind-the-scenes fighting between corn backers and the oil industry over Trump’s calls to increase ethanol sales, and it could benefit Iowa’s Republican governor, who is trailing her Democratic challenger in the polls, as well as at least two Iowa House incumbents who are also vulnerable. But the oil industry’s most powerful trade group immediately said it will fight to block the action.

“We want to get more fuel into the system,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One to travel to a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “This is great for our farmers, and it’s a promise I made during the campaign, and as you know I keep my promises.”

EPA expects to finish a rule by the beginning of June to allow year-round sales of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol content, an increase over the 10 percent blends that are sold at most gas stations around the nation. The sale of the blends, known as “E15,” is currently prohibited during the summer months in several states because of Clean Air Act restrictions, and corn growers have long sought to expand sales of the higher concentrations.

“This is a big deal,” said Jeff Navin, a Democratic former aide to ex-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and former chief of staff in the Obama administration’s Energy Department. “It’s not something that makes a front page of East and West Coast newspapers, but it’s something that farmers watch closely. I’m sure the political team and elected officials in Iowa told [Trump] he has to do something to staunch bleeding.”

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), along with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Rep. David Young (R-Iowa) joined Trump in the Oval Office for his announcement, which the White House did not publicly broadcast.

“This is a very good victory for agriculture, a very good victory for workers at our 50 ethanol plants in Iowa and other states. it’s a very good victory for the environment and everything about this is good, good, good,” Grassley said in a video posted on Instagram.

Trump has previously called for increased sales of ethanol, which consumes about 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop. He strongly backed the biofuel during the 2016 campaign, a stance that appealed to Midwestern farmers who helped carry him to victory but who have been battered by his trade war and retaliatory tariffs from countries angry over his steel and aluminum tariffs.

But the U.S. oil industry has staunchly opposed increasing ethanol sales, and it has pressed for EPA and Congress to overhaul the federal biofuels mandate that Congress first created in 2005 to help reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil. The mandate requires oil refiners to blend specified volumes of biofuels into the nation’s gasoline supply, and to purchase biofuels credits that are traded in a market that has been plagued by fraud.

Trump has personally sought to mediate the dispute, which has pitted ethanol backers like Iowa Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has pressed the president to grant concessions to the oil industry. But despite a half dozen Oval Office meetings with Trump and several months of study by EPA and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, oil refiners will receive only modest changes in how regulators handle the biofuel credits.

“The president has repeatedly stated his support for the [ethanol program],” the White House official told reporters Monday. “He thinks that it’s good to have domestically produced energy here and he thinks it will be good for the agriculture industry as well as the economy overall.”

The oil industry had benefited from the more than two dozen waivers that former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt granted to refineries that allowed them to ignore the mandate that they blend the corn-based fuel with gasoline. But that angered farm groups, who said it reduced the requirement for ethanol by billions of gallons.

Now, Trump may be trying to make it up to Iowans and come to the aid of a friendly governor before the 2020 Iowa caucuses. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who took the post after Gov. Terry Branstad became Trump’s ambassador to China, is currently trailing her Democratic challenger, businessman Fred Hubbell, by 3.5 points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.

Trump has twice before promised to expand E15 sales, most recently in July, and Tuesday’s move was warmly welcomed by the industry.

“It’s hard to find the proper adjectives to describe how exciting it is to see year-round E15 move forward,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “We have worked non-stop on this issue for seven years while the unjustified restrictions hampered retailers from offering E15.”

Most U.S. gasoline sold in the U.S. is E10, meaning it contains 10 percent ethanol, though the 15 percent ethanol is sold by many retailers, particularly in big corn-producing states. Trump, who cannot change the policy through an executive order, has now ordered acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to issue a waiver to the rules specifically for E15 to allow year-round sales.

The White House sought to mollify refiners by ordering Wheeler to alter the trade of biofuels credits, called Renewable Identification Numbers, that oil processors must purchase to show they are complying with the law. Independent refiners have long looked for ways to lower the cost of compliance and to increase transparency in that market. The new measures include limiting the credit purchases to refiners and ethanol importers, as well as requiring individuals holding more than a certain number of credits to disclose their holdings publicly.

Refiners will also now have to prove compliance with the program quarterly rather than annually, and EPA will limit how long companies other than refiners and importers can hold credits.

“President Trump has made strengthening the Renewable Fuel Standard an important priority of this administration,” EPA spokesman John Konkus said in a statement, referring to the ethanol program by its formal name. “He is fulfilling his promise by providing clear policy direction that will expand opportunities for our nation’s farmers, provide certainty to our refiners and bolster the United States’ role as a biofuels powerhouse. EPA will follow the president’s direction and proceed as expeditiously as practicable.”

Ethanol proponents say the rule will give gas station owners the incentive to install the equipment to sell the higher biofuel blends, which would increase sales of ethanol.

“We’re very excited to hear the president’s upcoming announcement,” Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, an ethanol trade association, said in a statement. “He knows farmers are hurting and they want action on E15 in time for the next summer driving season. Year-round sales of E15 nationwide could deliver demand for two billion bushels of American corn and help restore growth in rural communities.”

Oil companies, who would prefer to see congressional efforts led by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) develop a comprehensive legislative overhaul to the mandate, believe Trump’s new policy is “wrongheaded” and the transparency policies don’t compensate them enough.

“We just don’t think it rises to the significance of issuing the E15 waiver, and therefore it’s no deal at all, from our standpoint,” said Frank Macchiarola, vice president of downstream and operations for the American Petroleum Institute. “From a legal standpoint, we don’t think EPA has the authority to issue the E15 waiver, [and] we will aggressively be looking at all of our potential options moving forward with respect to challenging this decision.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/08/trump-ethanol-corn-831493

 

 

Time to Repeal Ethanol Subsidies

The federal government provides an array of subsidies to increase the consumption of biofuels such as corn ethanol. The subsidies include tax breaks, grants, loans, and loan guarantees. The government also imposes a mandate to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel fuels.

A new study at DownsizingGovernment.org describes the damage caused by these policies. Subsidies and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) harm taxpayers, motorists, consumers, and the environment.

The study by Nicolas Loris argues that Congress should end its intervention in the biofuels industry. It should terminate subsidies and repeal the RFS. Individuals and markets can make more efficient and environmentally sound decisions regarding biofuels without subsidies and mandates.

Investor Carl Icahn said that the RFS has created a bureaucratic market in tradable credits full of “manipulation, speculation and fraud” with the potential to “destroy America’s oil refineries, send gasoline prices skyward and devastate the U.S. economy.”

That language is probably too strong, but federal ethanol policies really are stupid. President Trump says that he wants to cut unneeded regulations and wasteful subsidies. The RFS and biofuel hand-outs would be good policies to target.

So for an interesting read illustrating the craziness of special-interest policies in Washington, check out “Ethanol and Biofuel Policies.” The next time you are at the gas station and see that “E10” sticker on the pump, remember that a tag team of D.C. politicians and corn farmers are picking your pocket.

https://www.cato.org/blog/time-repeal-ethanol-subsidies

Downsizing the Federal Government

YOUR GUIDE TO CUTTING FEDERAL SPENDING

Ethanol and Biofuel Policies

  • Nicolas Loris
February 9, 2017

The federal government provides an array of subsidies to increase the consumption of biofuels such as corn ethanol. The subsidies include tax breaks, grants, loans, and loan guarantees. The government also imposes a mandate to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel fuels. Biofuel supporters said that these policies would reduce gas prices, strengthen the economy, and benefit the environment, but none of those promises have turned out to be true.

The problem is not with the voluntary use of biofuels in the marketplace, but rather policies that mandate and subsidize biofuels. That top-down approach has harmed consumers, damaged the economy, and produced negative environmental effects. Even within the agricultural community, federal biofuel policies have adversely affected livestock producers and other businesses.

Congress should end its intervention in the biofuels industry. It should terminate subsidies and repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. Individuals and markets can make more efficient and environmentally sound decisions regarding biofuels without subsidies and mandates.

What Are Biofuels?

Biofuels are derived from biological matter. Producers ferment sugar (sugarcane and sugar beets) and starch products (corn and potatoes) to create bioalcohols, and they ferment oilseed crops (soybeans and sunflower seeds) and animal fats to create biodiesel.

Ethanol, the most common biofuel, is mainly made from corn in the United States. Before federal subsidies and mandates were put in place, ethanol was already used as an additive to gasoline, allowing it to burn cleaner and more efficiently. The use of biofuels is not new, and it did not originally stem from government policies. A century ago, Henry Ford had planned for the Model T to run on ethanol, and Rudolf Diesel showcased a diesel engine that ran on peanut oil.1

Today, fuel suppliers mix biofuels into gasoline and diesel at blending stations. Most vehicles can handle gasoline blended with at most 10 percent ethanol (E10). In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a blend of up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) for vehicles in model year 2001 and newer, but that mix is damaging to engines in older vehicles.2 Possible engine harm, automobile warranty concerns, and a lack of infrastructure have delayed adoption of E15.3 A further concern is that higher ethanol blends are harmful to the smaller engines in lawnmowers, motorcycles, and boats.4Another fuel blend is E85, which contains from 51 percent to 83 percent ethanol and is used in flexible-fuel vehicles.5

The federal government distinguishes between conventional (first-generation) biofuels and advanced (second-generation) biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol. Producers create advanced biofuels from nonfood parts of crops and other biomass such as leaves, switchgrass, algae, and woodchips. However, developing commercially viable fuel from these sources has proven to be very difficult.

Federal Biofuel Policies

The federal government has supported biofuels for decades. Republican and Democratic administrations and congresses have put in place a variety of subsidies—including tax credits, import tariffs, grants, loans, and mandates—to increase the production, sale, and use of biofuels.

In response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, Congress passed the first ethanol tax credit in the Energy Tax Act of 1978. Later legislation, including the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, and the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, introduced or expanded subsidies for biofuels. Farm bills in 2002, 2008, and 2014 also added and expanded biofuel programs. Today, there are at least 11 different federal subsidy programs for biofuels providing loans, grants, and other benefits.6

However, the most important component of federal biofuel policy is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It mandates that billions of gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline and diesel fuel each year. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 mandated the sale of oxygenated fuels in some regions of the country, and that “kicked off the modern U.S. ethanol industry growth.”7 Then the Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that increasing amounts of renewable fuels be mixed into America’s fuel supplies over time, primarily corn-based ethanol. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 greatly increased the mandated quantities.

Under the 2007 law, there must be 36 billion gallons of biofuels blended into the nation’s fuel supplies by 2022. No more than 15 billion gallons of that can be corn-based ethanol, and 21 billion gallons must be from advanced biofuels. After 2022 the EPA is granted authority to set annual targets.

The RFS is causing major economic and compliance problems. One problem is that cellulosic biofuel is supposed to be 44 percent of the total mandate by 2022, but actual production of these advanced fuels is far below expectations and running into major technical setbacks.8 In 2017 production of cellulosic biofuel will be just 1.6 percent of the 19 billion gallons of the overall biofuels mandated under the RFS.9

A broad range of groups oppose the RFS mandate, including environmental groups, anti-poverty groups, most economists, energy companies, and many farm groups. The RFS is opposed by the National Chicken Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, Milk Producers Council, and others.10It is also opposed by the American Petroleum Institute, National Resource Defense Council, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Environmental Working Group, and Oxfam.11

Despite the opposition, the biofuel lobbies have so far held sway in Congress. Over time, however, opposition to the RFS has increased as the negative economic, technical, and environmental effects have become more obvious. The RFS is a failed experiment. Congress should recognize its mistake before more damage is done and repeal the mandate.

Such a reform would not end the biofuels industry. Some biofuels are cost competitive with traditional fuels and make a useful addition to gasoline mixed in at small levels. In the year before the government mandated ethanol use, American companies produced more than 81 million barrels of ethanol.12 Used at a modest level, ethanol is a cost-effective oxygenate for gasoline, meaning an additive that improves efficiency and helps meet fuel emissions requirements. A study by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture estimated that with no RFS and no ethanol tax credit, demand for corn ethanol would have been 4.3 billion gallons in 2014, or about 30 percent of actual corn ethanol production that year.13

By ending federal subsidies and mandates, biofuels use would decline to efficient levels that maximized consumer benefits. Agriculture and food markets would benefit from the elimination of distortions that biofuel mandates are creating. The most competitive elements of the biofuels industry would survive and thrive in a free market.

The following sections discuss how current biofuels policies increase costs for drivers, raise food prices, and harm the environment.

Increase Costs for Drivers

Ethanol is not a good substitute for regular gasoline because it contains less energy. Ethanol has only two-thirds the energy content of regular gasoline.14 Drivers get fewer miles per gallon the higher the share of ethanol and other biofuels mixed into their tanks.

During times of high gas prices, ethanol may appear less expensive. But after adjusting for the energy content difference, higher concentrations of ethanol in fuel costs more. As an example, the national average price of regular gasoline in February 2016 was $1.71 per gallon and E85 was $1.52 per gallon.15 But adjusting for E85’s lower energy content pushed the price up to the equivalent of $1.99 per gallon at the time. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the overall energy content of fuel at the pump fell 3 percent between 1993 and 2013 as mandated ethanol use increased.16

The additional cost of ethanol varies depending on current ethanol and gasoline prices. But, in general, the higher the ethanol content, the lower is gas mileage, and the more drivers must spend to go the same distance. Motorists can spend hundreds of dollars more per year running common flexible-fuel vehicles on E85 instead of regular gasoline blended with E10.17

Raise Food Prices

Ethanol production uses a large share of America’s corn crop and diverts valuable crop land away from food production. The resulting increases in food prices have hurt both urban and rural families. Families with moderate incomes are particularly burdened by the higher food prices created by federal biofuel policies. Higher corn prices also hurt farmers and ranchers who use corn for animal feed. Higher food prices caused by biofuel policies also hurt low-income families in other countries that rely on U.S. food imports. U.S. corn accounts for more than half of the world’s corn exports.18

Almost 40 percent of the entire U.S. corn crop has been used for ethanol in recent years, up from about 13 percent when Congress mandated the original quota in 2005.19 The remaining 60 percent is used for food, animal feed, and exports. In 2012 the amount of corn used to produce ethanol in the United States exceeded the entire corn consumption of the continent of Africa and of any single country except China.20

The U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that “increased corn prices draw land away from competing crops, raise input prices for livestock producers, and put moderate upward pressure on retail food prices.”21 These negative effects were particularly apparent during the 2012 drought in the United States, which destroyed crops, drove corn prices up 33 percent, and heightened concerns that the RFS was diverting food to fuel.22Since corn is an ingredient in many foods, and an important feedstock for animals, many in the food industry (from cattle and chicken farmers to restaurant associations) complained about the mandate’s effect on food prices.

In 2012 the governors of Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming petitioned the EPA for a waiver of the RFS in order to reduce corn prices, but the EPA denied the request.23 Yet according to a study by economists at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the drought’s impact on corn prices could have been “fully negated” by reducing the RFS by 23 percent that year.24

A number of studies have examined the link between biofuels policies and global food prices, as well as the adverse consequences on the world’s poorest citizens. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ActionAid, World Resources Institute, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank have all identified higher food prices as a negative effect of biofuel policies.25

The magnitude of the RFS’s effect on the prices of corn and other farm products is difficult to determine precisely, but the direction of the impact is clear. The RFS has increased demand for corn and pushed up prices. One study by University of California at Davis economists found that the RFS increases corn prices by 30 percent, while a Heritage Foundation study found the increase to be 68 percent.26 The Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that economists “are nearly universally agreed that the strong, steady growth in ethanol demand for corn has had an important and sustained upward price effect, not just on the price of corn, but in other agricultural markets including food, feed, fuel, and land.”27

Proponents of the RFS and biofuel subsidies argue that the policies support economic growth in rural communities. Actually, the policies support corn growers at the expense of other rural industries such as livestock production, which use corn as animal feed.

In the future, biofuels may make more economic sense than they do today and become a preferred fuel choice by Americans in open markets. But current policies that mandate the increasing use of biofuels are imposing large costs on motorists, harming food consumers and livestock producers, and damaging the overall economy.

Harm the Environment

Supporters of biofuel subsidies and the RFS claim that the policies create environmental benefits, including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. But most evidence now indicates that biofuel policies do not reduce such emissions or benefit the environment overall.

Here are some of the factors to consider regarding biofuels and the environment:

  • Biofuel policies draw additional land into agricultural production. After accounting for this land-use conversion, the additional use of fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides, as well as the fossil fuels used for production and distribution, biofuel production is quite carbon intensive.28
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that converting noncropland to production of corn ethanol released at least 17 times more emissions than the amount of reduced carbon dioxide emissions by the use of biofuels.29
  • University of Michigan Professor John DeCicco found that even without accounting for indirect land use changes, biofuels increase the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere compared to regular gasoline.30
  • Despite once hailing biofuels as a tool to mitigate climate change, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now acknowledges that biofuels policies negatively affect the lives of the poor, distort land use, and may have negative environmental consequences.31
  • A study by Iowa State University researchers concluded that the increased production of biofuels generated by government policies has led to environmental harm from the use of fertilizers and land-use conversion for agricultural production, which can result in increased soil erosion, sedimentation, and nitrogen and phosphorous runoff into lakes and streams.32

Ethanol does have benefits as a fuel additive to help gasoline burn more cleanly and efficiently. However, in a report to Congress on the issue, the EPA projected that nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and ethanol-vapor emissions, among other pollutants, would increase at different points in the production and use of ethanol.33

Many types of agricultural production affect the natural environment, both positively and negatively. Almost all industrial output has some unwanted effects, whether air pollutants or discharges into water systems. But those effects are not a reason to eliminate market activities that generate net value overall. The problem with biofuel policies is that they are both harmful to the economy and they have negative environmental effects. Biofuel policies were sold as being “green,” but today’s high levels of subsidized biofuel use does not benefit the environment.

Renewable Fuel Standard

The RFS illustrates the folly of trying to centrally plan energy markets. Current rules require a steadily increasing share of biofuels in gasoline until 2022. In 2016 ethanol exceeded 10 percent of all U.S. gasoline sales for the first time. Petroleum refiners are now coming up against a “blend wall” such that further biofuel increases will begin causing harm to vehicle performance and damage to engines and catalytic converters.

The RFS is also a bureaucratic nightmare. The 2007 law created separate requirements for different classes of biofuels, including conventional, advanced, cellulosic, and biomass. It also created a greenhouse gas accounting system because each fuel generates different lifecycle emission amounts. There are special rules for crops on forested areas and federal land, and there are complex procedures for the EPA to follow in setting each year’s mandated amounts.

For fuel refiners, the RFS has created a complicated system of credits and credit trading. Each refiner in the United States must have a certain percentage of its domestic sales contain blended ethanol, called a renewable volume obligation (RVO).34 But refiners have an option to meet part of their requirement by buying credits rather than blending more ethanol. In order to track this, the EPA requires a renewable identification number (RIN) to account for the amount of biofuel reaching the market and to make sure refiners blend enough ethanol. Refiners can hold on to these credits to meet their RFS requirement or they can purchase RIN credits from other refiners. Different RIN prices exist for different forms of biofuels.

Since refineries now face the blend wall, increased trading for RIN credits has caused the price of the credits to spike from pennies previously to more than a dollar in 2013 and then back up to nearly a dollar in 2016.35 The system also generates abuse as refineries buy fake credits with made-up RINs. Investor Carl Icahn says that “RINs have turned into a $15 billion market full of manipulation, speculation and fraud.”36 A report by a former head of EPA’s criminal investigations, Doug Parker, found that fraud in the RINs market could be as high as $1 billion.37 Parker concluded that the RFS program was “a ripe target for massive fraud and illicit gain.”38

Overmandating—requiring the use of more ethanol than can be blended—and forcing the purchase of RINs, could cost consumers billions of dollars at the pump.39 The consulting firm NERA warned that attempting to hit the original RFS targets in 2022 would result in severe economic harm:

When the required biofuel volume standards are too severe, as with the statute scenario, the market becomes disrupted because there are an insufficient number of RINs to allow compliance. “Forcing” additional volumes of biofuels into the market beyond those that would be “absorbed” by the market based on economics alone at the levels required by the statute scenario will result in severe economic harm.40

Federal mandates to continually increase biofuel use make no sense partly because we do not know the overall level of fuel demand in the future. If fuel demand is flat due to higher vehicle fuel efficiency, the blend wall problem will persist. Flexible-fuel vehicles capable of using E85 offer little economic relief for the blend wall. Demand for these vehicles is very low, and drivers who own flexible-fuel vehicles often fill their tanks with E10 because the energy content is higher than E85.

Proponents of the RFS pointed to oil price volatility as a reason to support federal policies. But in free markets there is nothing wrong with energy price changes, which work to balance supplies and demands. Besides, the passage of the RFS has done little to curb the effects of oil price volatility. And furthermore, ethanol is subject to its own price volatility. As CRS noted of a 2008 price spike, “The experience of $7.00-per-bushel corn, albeit temporary, shattered the idea that biofuels were a panacea for solving the nation’s energy security problems and left concerns about the potential for unintended consequences from future biofuels expansion.”41

While corn-based ethanol has kept up with mandates so far, the production of other biofuels has not. The production of cellulosic ethanol, made from nonfood sources, is nowhere near meeting targets, even though the RFS mandates 16 billion gallons to be used by 2022. High capital costs and difficulty in scaling up cellulosic biofuel conversion plants have prevented advanced biofuels from becoming economically viable.

The EPA has had to reduce Congress’s original annual quotas for cellulosic ethanol because not enough was available on the market. The EPA adjusted Congress’s first cellulosic target from 100 million gallons in 2010 to just 6.5 million. However, even the adjusted mandate was a stretch compared with reality; in fact, zero gallons were produced that year and the following one.42 For 2017 the EPA has set the target for cellulosic ethanol at 311 million gallons and total advanced biofuels at 4.28 billion gallons.43

Refiners have had to pay millions of dollars in waiver credits or surcharges for failure to comply with the EPA’s minimum volume requirements. Refiners pass these costs onto consumers. In January 2013 the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA “let its aspirations for a self-fulfilling prophecy divert it from a neutral methodology,” and that the RFS target was an “unreasonable exercise of agency discretion.”44 It vacated the cellulosic ethanol requirement required by the RFS for the year 2012. The EPA has since proposed future cellulosic mandates that are equally out of touch with market realities.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2016 that the RFS was creating big winners and big losers among companies because of the buying and selling of RINs:

Environmental regulations designed to boost the amount of ethanol blended into the U.S. gasoline supply have inadvertently become a multibillion-dollar windfall for some of the world’s biggest oil companies.

Companies including Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and BP PLC could reap a total of more than $1 billion this year by selling the renewable fuel credits associated with the ethanol program…

For other companies, especially smaller refiners, the rules have had the opposite effect, forcing them to spend hundreds of millions to buy credits to comply.45

Carl Icahn, who is a part owner of a refinery that is bearing heavy costs, complained that “a shadowy, unregulated trade in electronic credits called Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) threatens to destroy America’s oil refineries, send gasoline prices skyward and devastate the U.S. economy.”46 Icahn wants policymakers to reform the RFS, but for all the reasons discussed here, it should be completely repealed.

Policy Reforms  

The political tide is turning against ethanol and biofuels as more experts and policymakers are recognizing the shortcomings of federal policies. Biofuel policies promised a lot of benefits, but they have delivered more harm than good. While some farmers and agribusinesses gained, taxpayers, motorists, food consumers, livestock producers, and the environment have been harmed. Furthermore, the federal mandate is generating vast bureaucracy, imposing major losses on some refiners, and generating widespread fraud and abuse.

The administration should work with Congress to:

  • Repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. Biofuels existed before the RFS, and biofuels would remain after repealing it to the extent that they were economically viable. Repealing the mandate would create a more efficient biofuels market based on entrepreneurial initiative rather than government dependence.
  • Eliminate biofuels subsidy programs. Congress should repeal all the biofuels spending programs that have been included in farm bills and other bills, including grant and loan programs.
  • Allow producers and consumers to drive innovation. Make broad reforms to the energy sector to level the playing field between producers, fuels, and technologies. Congress should allow consumers to choose their favored fuels for transportation and other uses within open and competitive markets.

 


Nicolas Loris is an economist at the Heritage Foundation.

https://www.downsizinggovernment.org/ethanol-and-biofuel-policies

Ethanol fuel in the United States

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Blender fuels pump in 2012 selling the standard E10 ethanol blend together with E15, E30 and E85 in East Lansing, Michigan

Ethanol fuel production by state

The United States became the world’s largest producer of ethanol fuel in 2005. The U.S. produced 13.9 billion U.S. liquid gallons (52.6 billion liters) of ethanol fuel in 2011,[1] an increase from 13.2 billion U.S. liquid gallons (49.2 billion liters) in 2010, and up from 1.63 billion gallons in 2000.[2] Brazil and U.S. production accounted for 87.1% of global production in 2011.[1] In the U.S, ethanol fuel is mainly used as an oxygenate in gasoline in the form of low-level blends up to 10 percent, and to an increasing extent, as E85 fuel for flex-fuel vehicles.[3]

The ethanol market share in the U.S. gasoline supply grew by volume from just over 1 percent in 2000 to more than 3 percent in 2006 to 10 percent in 2011.[1][4][5] Domestic production capacity increased fifteen times after 1990, from 900 million US gallons to 1.63 billion US gal in 2000, to 13.5 billion US gallons in 2010.[4][6] The Renewable Fuels Association reported 209 ethanol distilleries in operation located in 29 states in 2011, and 140 under construction or expansion as of December 2011, that upon completion, would bring U.S. total installed capacity to 15.0 billion US gallons. Most expansion projects are aimed to update the refinery’s technology to improve ethanol production, energy efficiency, and the quality of the livestock feed they produce.[1]

By 2011 most cars on U.S. roads could run on blends of up to 10% ethanol(E10), and manufacturers had begun producing vehicles designed for much higher percentages. However, the fuel systems of cars, trucks, and motorcycles sold before the ethanol mandate may suffer substantial damage from the use of 10% ethanol blends. Flexible-fuel cars, trucks, and minivans use gasoline/ethanol blends ranging from pure gasoline up to 85% ethanol (E85). By early 2013 there were around 11 million E85-capable vehicles on U.S. roads.[7][8] Regular use of E85 is low due to lack of fueling infrastructure, but is common in the Midwest.[9][10] In January 2011 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a waiver to allow up to 15% of ethanol blended with gasoline (E15) to be sold only for cars and light pickup trucks with a model year of 2001 or later. The EPA waiver authorizes, but does not require stations to offer E15. Like the limitations suffered by sales of E85, commercialization of E15 is constrained by the lack of infrastructure as most fuel stations do not have enough pumps to offer the new E15 blend, few existing pumps are certified to dispense E15, and no dedicated tanks are readily available to store E15.[11][12][13]

Ethanol production was expected to continue to grow over the next several years, since the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required 36 billion US gallons of renewable fuel use by 2022. The target for ethanol production from cellulosic feedstocks was 16 billion US gallons a year. The corn ethanol target was 15 billion US gallons by 2015.[14][15] Ethanol industries provided jobs in agriculture, construction, operations and maintenance, mostly in rural communities.[16]

In early 2009 the industry experienced financial stress due to the effects of the economic crisis of 2008. Motorists drove less, gasoline prices dropped sharply, capacity rose and less financing was available.[17][18][19]

Historically most U.S. ethanol has come from corn and the required electricity for many distilleries came mainly from coal. Debate ensued about ethanol’s sustainability. The primary issues related to the large amount of arable land required for crops and ethanol production’s impact on grain supplyindirect land use change (ILUC) effects, as well as issues regarding its energy balance and carbon intensity considering its full life cycle.[20][21][22][23][24][25] Recent developments with cellulosic ethanol production and commercialization may allay some of these concerns.[26]

Contents

History

Typical label at the gas pumps warning drivers of ethanol content up to 10%, used as oxygenate additive instead of MTBEMiamiFlorida.

In 1826 Samuel Morey experimented with an internal combustion chemical mixture that used ethanol (combined with turpentine and ambient air then vaporized) as fuel. At the time, his discovery was overlooked, mostly due to the success of steam power. Ethanol fuel received little attention until 1860 when Nicholas Otto began experimenting with internal combustion engines. In 1859, oil was found in Pennsylvania, which decades later provided a new kind of fuel. A popular fuel in the U.S. before petroleum was a blend of alcohol and turpentine called “camphene“, also known as “burning fluid.”[citation needed] The discovery of a ready supply of oil and unfavorable taxation on burning fluid made kerosene a more popular fuel.

In 1896, Henry Ford designed his first car, the “Quadricycle” to run on pure ethanol.[27] In 1908, the revolutionary Ford Model T was capable of running on gasolineethanol or a combination.[27][28][29] Ford continued to advocate for ethanol fuel even during the prohibition, but lower prices caused gasoline to prevail.[27]

Typical manufacture’s warning placed in the fuel filler of U.S. vehicles regarding the capability of using up to E10, and warning against the use of blends between E20 and E85.

Gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol began a decades-long growth in the United States in the late 1970s. The demand for ethanol produced from field corn was spurred by the discovery that methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) was contaminating groundwater.[27][30] MTBE’s use as an oxygenate additive was widespread due to mandates in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1992 to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. MTBE in gasoline had been banned in almost 20 states by 2006. Suppliers were concerned about potential litigation and a 2005 court decision denying legal protection for MTBE.[citation needed] MTBE’s fall from grace opened a new market for ethanol, its primary substitute.[27] Corn prices at the time were around US$2 a bushel.[citation needed] Farmers saw a new market and increased production. This demand shift took place at a time when oil prices were rising.

The steep growth in twenty-first century ethanol consumption was driven by federal legislation aimed to reduce oil consumption and enhance energy security. The Energy Policy Act of 2005required use of 7.5×109 US gal (28×106 m3) of renewable fuel by 2012, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 raised the standard, to 36×109 US gal (140×106 m3) of annual renewable fuel use by 2022. Of this requirement, 21×109 US gal (79×106 m3) had to be advanced biofuels, defined as renewable fuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%.[15][31][32]

Recent trends

U.S. fuel ethanol
production and imports
(2000–2011)[1][33]
(Millions of U.S. liquid gallons)
Year Production Imports Demand
2000 1,630 n/a n/a
2001 1,770 n/a n/a
2002 2,130 46 2,085
2003 2,800 61 2,900
2004 3,400 161 3,530
2005 3,904 135 4,049
2006 4,855 653 5,377
2007 6,500 450 6,847
2008 9,000 556 9,637
2009 10,600 193 10,940
2010 13,230 10 13,184
2011 13,900 160 n/a(1)
Note: Demand figures includes stocks change and
small exports in 2005.
(1) Exports in 2011 reached a record 1,100 billion gal.[1]

Graph of monthly production and net imports of fuel ethanol in the U.S. 1993–2012. Data from EIA

The world’s top ethanol fuel producer in 2010 was the United States with 13.2 billion U.S. gallons (49.95 billion liters) representing 57.5% of global production, followed by Brazil with 6.92 billion U.S. gallons (26.19 billion liters), and together both countries accounted for 88% of the world production of 22.95 billion U.S. gallons (86.85 billion liters).[2] By December 2010 the U.S. ethanol production industry consisted of 204 plants operating in 29 states,[4][6] and 9 plants under construction or expansion, adding 560 million gallons of new capacity and bringing total U.S. installed capacity to 14.6 billion U.S. gallons (55.25 billion liters).[6] At the end of 2010 over 90 percent of all gasoline sold in the U.S. was blended with ethanol.[4]

Production[edit]

Most of the ethanol consumed in the US is in the form of low blends with gasoline up to 10%. Shown a fuel pump in Maryland selling mandatory E10.

Beginning in late 2008 and early 2009, the industry came under financial stress due to that year’s economic crisis. Motorists drove less and gasoline prices dropped sharply, while bank financing shrank.[17][18][19] As a result, some plants operated below capacity, several firms closed plants, others laid off staff, some firms went bankrupt, plant projects were suspended and market prices declined.[17][18][19] The Energy Information Administration raised concerns that the industry would not meet the legislated targets.[17][34]

As of 2011, most of the U.S. car fleet was able to run on blends of up to 10% ethanol, and motor vehicle manufacturers produced vehicles designed to run on more concentrated blends. As of 2015, seven states – MissouriMinnesotaLouisianaMontanaOregonPennsylvania, and Washington – required ethanol to be blended with gasoline in motor fuels.[35] These states, particularly Minnesota, had more ethanol usage, and according to a source at Washington University, these states accumulated substantial environmental and economic benefits as a result.[36] Florida required ethanol blends as of the end of 2010,[37] but has since repealed it. Many cities had separate ethanol requirements due to non-attainment of federal air quality standards.[38] In 2007, Portland, Oregon, became the first U.S. city to require all gasoline sold within city limits to contain at least 10% ethanol.[39][40] Chicago has proposed the idea of mandating E15 in the city limits, while some area gas stations have already begun offering it.[41][42]

Expanding ethanol (and biodiesel) industries provided jobs in plant construction, operations, and maintenance, mostly in rural communities. According to RFA the ethanol industry created almost 154,000 U.S. jobs in 2005, boosting household income by $5.7 billion. It also contributed about $3.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.[16]

The return on investment (ROI) to upgrade a service station to sell E15 is quick given today’s markets. Given ethanol’s discount to gasoline and the current value of RINs, retailers offering mid-level ethanol blends like E15 can quickly recoup their investments in infrastructure. Federal, state and local incentives and grant programs are available in most areas, and would further help reduce the cost of equipment and installation. E15 is a higher octane fuel, it is currently available in 29 states at retail fueling stations. E15 was approved for use in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs), and all flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2012.

E85 vehicles

Typical labeling used in the US to identifyE85 flexible-fuel vehicles. Top left: a small sticker in the back of the fuel filler door. Bottom left: the bright yellow gas cap used in newer models. E85 Flexfuel badging used in newer models from Chrysler (top right), Ford(middle right) and GM (bottom right).

E85 fuel dispenser at a regular gasoline station, Washington, D.C..

FordChrysler, and GM are among many automobile companies that sell flexible-fuel vehicles that can run blends ranging from pure gasoline to 85% ethanol (E85), and beginning in 2008 almost any type of automobile and light duty vehicle was available with the flex-fuel option, including sedansvansSUVs and pickup trucks. By early 2013, about 11 million E85 flex-fuel cars and light trucks were in operation,[7][8] though actual use of E85 fuel was limited, because the ethanol fueling infrastructure was limited.[43]

As of 2005, 68% of American flex-fuel car owners were not aware they owned an E85 flex.[9][10] Flex and non-flex vehicles looked the same. There was no price difference. American automakers did not label these vehicles.[10][44] In contrast, all Brazilian automakers clearly labeled FFVs with text that was some variant of the word Flex. Beginning in 2007 many new FFV models in the US featured a yellow gas cap to remind drivers of the E85 capabilities.[45][46] As of 2008, GM badged its vehicles with the text “Flexfuel/E85 Ethanol”.[47][48] Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimated that in 2009 only 504,297 flex-fuel vehicles were regularly fueled with E85, and these were primarily fleet-operated vehicles.[49] As a result, only 712 million gallons were used for E85, representing just 1% of that year’s ethanol consumption.[50]

During the decade following 2000, E85 vehicles became increasingly common in the Midwest, where corn was a major crop.

Fueling infrastructure has been a major restriction hampering E85 sales.[43] As of March 2013, there were 3,028 fueling stations selling E85 in the U.S.[14] Most stations were in the Corn Belt states. As of 2008 the leading state was Minnesota with 353 stations, followed by Illinois with 181, and Wisconsin with 114. About another 200 stations that dispensed ethanol were restricted to city, state and federal government vehicles.[43]

E15 blend[edit]

E15 warning sticker required to be displayed in all fuel dispensers selling that blend in the U.S.

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid fuel filler cap showing a warning regarding the maximum ethanol blend allowed by the carmaker, up to E10 gasoline. The warning label indicates that ethanol blends between E15 to E85 shall not be used in this vehicle.

In March 2009 Growth Energy, a lobbying group for the ethanol industry, formally requested the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow the ethanol content in gasoline to be increased to 15%, from 10%.[51] In October 2010, the EPA granted a waiver to allow up to 15% blends to be sold for cars and trucks with a model year of 2007 or later, representing about 15% of vehicles on the roads.[11][12] In January 2011 the waiver was expanded to authorize use of E15 to include model year 2001 through 2006 passenger vehicles. The EPA also decided not to grant any waiver for E15 use in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or non-road engines because current testing data does not support such a waiver. According to the Renewable Fuels Association the E15 waivers now cover 62% of vehicles on the road in the country.[13][52] In December 2010 several groups, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, filed suit against the EPA in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[53] In August 2012 the federal appeals court rejected the suit against the EPA ruling that the groups did not have legal standing to challenge EPA’s decision to issue the waiver for E15.[54][55] In June 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from industry groups opposed to the EPA ruling about E15, and let the 2012 federal appeals court ruling stand.[56]

According to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in 2012, only about 12 million out of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles on the U.S. roads in 2012 are approved by manufacturers are fully compliant with E15 gasoline. According with the Association, BMWChryslerNissanToyota, and Volkswagen warned that their warranties will not cover E15-related damage.[57] Despite the controversy, in order to adjust to EPA regulations, 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles manufactured by General Motors can use fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol, as indicated in the vehicle owners’ manuals. However, the carmaker warned that for model year 2011 or earlier vehicles, they “strongly recommend that GM customers refer to their owners manuals for the proper fuel designation for their vehicles.” Ford Motor Company also is manufacturing all of its 2013 vehicles E15 compatible, including hybrid electrics and vehicles with Ecoboost engines.[8] Also Porsches built since 2001 are approved by its manufacturer to use E15.[57] Volkswagen announced that for the 2014 model year, its entire lineup will be E15 capable.[58] Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced in August 2015 that all 2016 model year Chrysler/FiatJeepDodge and Ram vehicles will be E15 compatible.[59]

Despite EPA’s waiver, there is a practical barrier to the commercialization of the higher blend due to the lack of infrastructure, similar to the limitations suffered by sales of E85, as most fuel stations do not have enough pumps to offer the new blend, few existing pumps are certified to dispense E15, and there are no dedicated tanks readily available to store E15.[11][12] In July 2012 a fueling station in Lawrence, Kansas became the first in the U.S. to sell the E15 blend. The fuel is sold through a blender pump that allows customers to choose between E10, E15, E30 or E85, with the latter blends sold only to flexible-fuel vehicles.[60] This station was followed by a Marathon fueling station in East Lansing, Michigan.[citation needed] As of June 2013, there are about 24 fueling stations selling E15 out of 180,000 stations operating across the U.S.[56]

As of November 2012, sales of E15 are not authorized in California, and according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the blend is still awaiting approval, and in a public statement the agency said that “it would take several years to complete the vehicle testing and rule development necessary to introduce a new transportation fuel into California’s market.”[61]

Legislation and regulations

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, directed DOE to assess the feasibility of using intermediate ethanol blends in the existing vehicle fleet.[62] The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) evaluated the potential impacts on legacy vehicles and other engines.[62] In a preliminary report released in October 2008, NREL described the effects of E10, E15 and E20 on tailpipe and evaporative emissions, catalyst and engine durability, vehicle driveability, engine operability, and vehicle and engine materials.[62][63] This preliminary report found that none of the vehicles displayed a malfunction indicator light; no fuel filter plugging symptoms were observed; no cold start problems were observed at 24 °C (75 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F) under laboratory conditions; and all test vehicles exhibited a loss in fuel economy proportional to ethanol’s lower energy density. For example, E20 reduced average fuel economy by 7.7% when compared to gas-only (E0) test vehicles.[62]

The Obama Administration set the goal of installing 10,000 blender pumps nationwide by 2015. These pumps can dispense multiple blends including E85, E50, E30 and E20 that can be used by E85 vehicles. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a rule in May 2011 to include flexible fuel pumps in the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This ruling provided financial assistance, via grants and loan guarantees, to fuel station owners to install E85 and blender pumps.[64][65]

In May 2011 the Open Fuel Standard Act (OFS) was introduced to Congress with bipartisan support. The bill required that 50 percent of automobiles made in 2014, 80 percent in 2016, and 95 percent in 2017, be manufactured and warrantied to operate on non-petroleum-based fuels, which included existing technologies such as flex-fuel, natural gashydrogenbiodieselplug-in electric and fuel cell. Considering the rapid adoption of flexible-fuel vehicles in Brazil and the fact that the cost of making flex-fuel vehicles was approximately $100 per car, the bill’s primary objective was to promote a massive adoption of flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on ethanol or methanol fuel.[66][67][68]

In November 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency opened for public comment its proposal to reduce the amount of ethanol required in the US gasoline supply as mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The agency cited problems with increasing the blend of ethanol above 10%. This limit, known as the “blend wall,” refers to the practical difficulty in incorporating increasing amounts of ethanol into the transportation fuel supply at volumes exceeding those achieved by the sale of nearly all gasoline as E10.[69][70]

Contractual restrictions

Gasoline distribution contracts in the United States generally have provisions that make offering E15 and E85 difficult, expensive, or even impossible. Such provisions include requirements that no E85 be sold under the gas station canopy, labeling requirements, minimum sales volumes, and exclusivity provisions. Penalties for breach are severe and often allow immediate termination of the agreement, cutting off supplies to retailers. Repayment of franchise royalties and other incentives is often required.[71]

Energy security

Ethanol fuel plant in West Burlington, Iowa.

One rationale for ethanol production in the U.S. is increased energy security, from shifting supply from oil imports to domestic sources.[31][72] Ethanol production requires significant energy, and current U.S. production derives most of that energy from domestic coal, natural gas and other non-oil sources.[73] Because in 2006, 66% of U.S. oil consumption was imported, compared to a net surplus of coal and just 16% of natural gas (2006 figures),[74] the displacement of oil-based fuels to ethanol produced a net shift from foreign to domestic U.S. energy sources.

Effect on gasoline prices

The effect of ethanol use on gasoline prices is the source of conflicting opinion from economic studies, further complicated by the non-market forces of tax credits, met and unmet government quotas, and the dramatic recent increase in domestic oil production.[75] According to a 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis, ethanol, and biofuel in general, does not materially influence the price of gasoline,[76] while a runup in the price of government mandated Renewable Identification Number credits has driven up the price of gasoline.[77] These in contrast to a May, 2012, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development study which showed a $0.29 to $1.09 reduction in per gallon gasoline price from ethanol use.[78]

The U.S. consumed 138.2×109 US gal (523×106 m3) of gasoline in 2008, blended with about 9.6×109 US gal (36×106 m3) of ethanol, representing a market share of almost 7% of supply by volume. Given its lower energy content, ethanol fuel displaced about 6.4×109 US gal (24×106 m3) of gasoline, representing 4.6 percent in equivalent energy units.[15]

The EPA announced in November, 2013, a reduction in mandated U.S. 2014 ethanol production, due to “market conditions.” [79][80]

Tariffs and tax credits

Since the 1980s until 2011, domestic ethanol producers were protected by a 54-cent per gallon import tariff, mainly intended to curb Brazilian sugarcane ethanol imports. Beginning in 2004 blenders of transportation fuel received a tax credit for each gallon of ethanol they mix with gasoline.[81][82] Historically, the tariff was intended to offset the federal tax credit that applied to ethanol regardless of country of origin.[83][84] Several countries in the Caribbean Basin imported and reprocessed Brazilian ethanol, usually converting hydrated ethanol into anhydrous ethanol, for re-export to the United States. They avoided the 2.5% duty and the tariff, thanks to the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and free trade agreements. This process was limited to 7% of U.S. ethanol consumption.[85]

As of 2011, blenders received a US$0.45 per gallon tax credit, regardless of feedstock; small producers received an additional US$0.10 on the first 15 million US gallons; and producers of cellulosic ethanol received credits up to US$1.01. Tax credits to promote the production and consumption of biofuels date to the 1970s. For 2011, credits were based on the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, and the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.[31]

A 2010 study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that in fiscal year 2009, biofuel tax credits reduced federal revenues by around US$6 billion, of which corn and cellulosic ethanol accounted for US$5.16 billion and US$50 million, respectively.

In 2010, CBO estimated that taxpayer costs to reduce gasoline consumption by one gallon were $1.78 for corn ethanol and $3.00 for cellulosic ethanol. In a similar way, and without considering potential indirect land use effects, the costs to taxpayers of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through tax credits were about $750 per metric ton of CO2-equivalent for ethanol and around $275 per metric ton for cellulosic ethanol.[31]

On June 16, 2011, the U.S. Congress approved an amendment to an economic development bill to repeal both the tax credit and the tariff, but this bill did not move forward.[81][82] Nevertheless, the U.S. Congress did not extend the tariff and the tax credit, allowing both to end on December 31, 2011.[86][87] Since 1980 the ethanol industry was awarded an estimated US$45 billion in subsidies.[86]

Feedstocks

Corn

Corn is the main feedstock used for producing ethanol fuel in the United States.[27][88] Most of the controversies surrounding U.S. ethanol fuel production and use is related to corn ethanol’s energy balance and its social and environmental impacts.[citation needed]

Cellulose

Cellulosic sources have the potential to produce a renewable, cleaner-burning, and carbon-neutral alternative to gasoline.[citation needed] In his State of the Union Address on January 31, 2006, President George W. Bush stated, “We’ll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks or switchgrass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.”

On July 7, 2006, DOE announced a new research agenda for cellulosic ethanol. The 200-page scientific roadmap cited recent advances in biotechnology that could aid use of cellulosic sources. The report outlined a detailed research plan for additional technologies to improve production efficiency. The roadmap acknowledged the need for substantial federal loan guarantees for biorefineries.

The 2007 federal budget earmarked $150 million for the research effort – more than doubling the 2006 budget. DOE invested in enzymaticthermochemicalacid hydrolysis, hybrid hydrolysis/enzymatic, and other research approaches targeting more efficient and lower–cost conversion of cellulose to ethanol.

The first materials considered for cellulosic biofuel included plant matter from agricultural waste, yard waste, sawdust and paper. Professors R. Malcolm Brown Jr. and David Nobles, Jr. of the University of Texas at Austin developed cyanobacteria that had the potential to produce cellulose, glucose and sucrose, the latter two easily converted into ethanol. This offers the potential to create ethanol without plant matter.[citation needed]

Sugar

United States fuel ethanol
imports by country (2002–2007)[89]
(Millions of U.S. liquid gallons)
Country 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Brazil 188.8 433.7 31.2 90.3 0
Jamaica 75.2 66.8 36.3 36.6 39.3
El Salvador 73.3 38.5 23.7 5.7 6.9
Trinidad and Tobago 42.7 24.8 10.0 0 0
Costa Rica 39.3 35.9 33.4 25.4 14.7

Producing ethanol from sugar is simpler than converting corn into ethanol. Converting sugar requires only a yeast fermentation process. Converting corn requires additional cooking and the application of enzymes. The energy requirement for sugar conversion is about half that for corn.[citation needed] Sugarcane produces more than enough energy to do the conversion with energy left over. A 2006 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report found that at market prices for ethanol, converting sugarcane, sugar beets and molasses to ethanol would be profitable.[90] As of 2008 researchers were attempting to breed new varieties adapted to U.S. soil and weather conditions, as well as to take advantage of cellulosic ethanol technologies to also convert sugarcane bagasse.[91][92]

U.S. sugarcane production occurs in FloridaLouisianaHawaii, and Texas. The first three plants to produce sugarcane-based ethanol were expected to go online in Louisiana by mid-2009. Sugar mills in LacassineSt. James and Bunkie were converted to sugarcane ethanol production using Colombian technology to enable profitable ethanol production. These three plants planned to produce 100×106 US gal (380×103 m3) of ethanol per year within five years.[92][93][94]

By 2009 two other sugarcane ethanol production projects were being developed in Kauai, Hawaii and Imperial Valley, California. The Hawaiian plant was projected to have a capacity of between 12–15 million US gallons (45×103–57×103 m3) a year and to supply local markets only, as shipping costs made competing in the continental US impractical. This plant was expected to go on line by 2010. The California plant was expected to produce 60×106 US gal (230×103 m3) a year and it was expected in 2011.[91]

Presidents George W. Bush and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during Bush’s visit to Brazil, March 2007.

In March 2007, “ethanol diplomacy” was the focus of President George W. Bush’s Latin American tour, in which he and Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, promoted the production and use of sugarcane ethanol throughout the Caribbean Basin. The two countries agreed to share technology and set international biofuel standards.[95] Brazilian sugarcane technology transfer was intended to permit various Central American, such as HondurasEl SalvadorNicaraguaCosta Rica and Panama, several Caribbean countries, and various Andean Countries tariff-free trade with the U.S., thanks to existing trade agreements. The expectation was that such countries would export to the United States in the short-term using Brazilian technology.[96]

In 2007, combined exports from Jamaica, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rica to the U.S. reached a total of 230.5×106 US gal (873×103 m3) of sugarcane ethanol, representing 54.1% of imports. Brazil began exporting ethanol to the U.S. in 2004 and exported 188.8×106 US gal (715×103 m3) representing 44.3% of U.S. ethanol imports in 2007. The remaining imports that year came from Canada and China.[89]

Other feedstocks

Cheese wheybarleypotato waste, beverage waste, and brewery and beer waste have been used as feedstocks for ethanol fuel, but at a far smaller scale than corn and sugarcane ethanol, as plants using these feedstocks have the capacity to produce only 3 to 5 million US gallons (11×103 to 19×103 m3) per year.[88]

Comparison with Brazilian ethanol

Sugarcane ethanol has an energy balance 7 times greater than corn ethanol.[97] As of 2007, Brazilian distiller production costs were 22 cents per liter, compared with 30 cents per liter for corn-based ethanol.[98] Corn-derived ethanol costs 30% more because the corn starch must first be converted to sugar before distillation into alcohol.[83] However, corn-derived ethanol offers the ability to return 1/3 of the feedstock to the market as a replacement for the corn used in the form of Distillers Dried Grain.[27] Sugarcane ethanol production is seasonal: unlike corn, sugarcane must be processed into ethanol almost immediately after harvest.[99]

Comparison of key characteristics between
the ethanol industries in the United States and Brazil
Characteristic Brazil U.S. Units/comments
Main feedstock Sugar cane Corn Main cash crop for ethanol production, the US has less than 2% from other crops.
Total ethanol fuel production (2011)[1] 5,573 13,900 Million U.S. liquid gallons
Total arable land[100] 355 270 Million hectares. Only contiguous U.S., excludes Alaska.
Total area used for ethanol crop (2006)[27][100] 3.6
(1%)
10
(3.7%)
Million hectares (% total arable)
Productivity[27][97][100][101] 6,800–8,000 3,800–4,000 Ethanol yield (liter/hectare). Brazil is 727 to 870 gal/acre (2006), US is 321 to 424 gal/acre (2003–05)
Energy balance (input energy productivity)[27][27][83][102] 8.3 to 10.2 1.3 to 1.6 Ratio of the energy obtained from ethanol/energy expended in its production
Estimated greenhouse gas emission reduction[20][24][27] 86–90%(1) 10–30%(1)  % GHGs avoided by using ethanol instead of gasoline, using existing crop land, without ILUC effects.
EPA‘s estimated 2022 GHG reduction for RFS2.[103] 61%(2) 21% Average % GHGs change as compared to gasoline and considering direct and indirect land use change effects.
CARB‘s full life-cycle carbon intensity[21][104] 73.40 105.10(3) Grams of CO2 equivalent released per MJ of energy produced, includes indirect land use changes.[24]
Estimated payback time for greenhouse gas emission[22] 17 years(4) 93 years(4) Brazilian cerrado for sugar cane and US grassland for corn. Land use change scenarios by Fargione et al.[23]
Flexible-fuel vehicles produced/sold
(includes autos, light trucks and motorcycles)[105][106][107]
16.3 million 10 million All fleets as of December 2011. The Brazilian fleet includes 1.5 million flex fuel motorcycles.[108][109][110]
USDOE estimates that in 2009 only 504,297 flex-fuel vehicles were regularly fueled with E85 in the US.[49]
Ethanol fueling stations in the country 35,017
(100%)
2,749
(1.6%)
As % of total gas stations in the country. Brazil by December 2007,[111] U.S. by May 2011.[14] (170,000 total.[44])
Ethanol’s share within the gasoline market[5][112][113][114] 50%(5) 10% As % of total consumption on a volumetric basis. Brazil as of April 2008. U.S. as of December 2010.
Cost of production (USD/US gallon)[97] 0.83 1.14 2006/2007 for Brazil (22¢/liter), 2004 for U.S. (35¢/liter)
Notes: (1) Assuming no land use change.[24] (2) Estimate is for U.S. consumption and sugarcane ethanol is imported from Brazil. Emissions from sea transport are included. Both estimates include land transport within the U.S.[103] (3) CARB estimate for Midwest corn ethanol. California‘s gasoline carbon intensity is 95.86 blended with 10% ethanol.[21][104] (4) Assuming direct land use change.[23] (5) If diesel-powered vehicles are included and due to ethanol’s lower energy content by volume, bioethanol represented 16.9% of the road sector energy consumption in 2007.[115]

Environmental and social impact

Environmental effects

Energy balance and carbon intensity

Until 2008, several full life cycle (“Well to Wheels” or WTW) studies had found that corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline. In 2007 a team led by Farrel from the University of California, Berkeley evaluated six previous studies and concluded corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by only 13 percent.[116][117][118] However, a more commonly cited figure is 20 to 30 percent, and an 85 to 85 percent reduction for cellulosic ethanol.[117][119] Both figures were estimated by Wang from Argonne National Laboratory, based on a comprehensive review of 22 studies conducted between 1979 and 2005, and simulations with Argonne’s GREET model. All of these studies included direct land use changes.[118][120]

The reduction estimates on carbon intensity for a given biofuel depend on the assumptions regarding several variables, including crop productivity, agricultural practices, and distillery power source and energy efficiency. None of these studies considered the effects of indirect land-use changes, and though their impact was recognized, its estimation was considered too complex and more difficult to model than direct land use changes.[117][121]

Effects of land use change

Summary of Searchinger et al.
comparison of corn ethanol and gasoline GHG emissions
with and without land use change
(CO2 release rate (g/MJ))[24][122]
Fuel type
(U.S.)
Carbon
intensity
Reduction
GHG
Carbon
intensity
ILUC
Reduction
GHG
Gasoline 92 92
Corn ethanol 74 -20% 177 +93%
Cellulosic ethanol 28 -70% 138 +50%
Notes: Calculated using default assumptions for 2015 scenario for ethanol in E85.
Gasoline is a combination of conventional and reformulated gasoline.[122]

Two 2008 studies, both published in the same issue of Scienceexpress, questioned the previous assessments.[23][24][123] A team led by Searchinger from Princeton University concluded that once direct and indirect effect of land use changes (ILUC) are considered, both corn and cellulosic ethanol increased carbon emissions as compared to gasoline by 93 and 50 percent respectively.[24] The study limited the analysis to a 30-year time horizon, assuming that land conversion emitted 25 percent of the carbon stored in soils and all carbon in plants cleared for cultivation. Brazil, China and India were considered among the overseas locations where land use change would occur as a result of diverting U.S. corn cropland, and it was assumed that new cropland in each of these regions correspond to different types of forestsavanna or grassland based on the historical proportion of each natural land converted to cultivation in these countries during the 1990s.[24]

A team led by Fargione from The Nature Conservancy found that clearing natural lands for use as agricultural land to produce biofuel feedstock creates a carbon debt. Therefore, this carbon debt applies to both direct and indirect land use changes. The study examined six scenarios of wilderness conversion, Brazilian Amazon to soybean biodiesel, Brazilian Cerrado to soybean biodiesel, Brazilian Cerrado to sugarcane ethanol, Indonesian or Malaysian lowland tropical rainforest to palm biodiesel, Indonesian or Malaysian peatland tropical rainforest to oil palm forest, and U.S. Central grassland to corn ethanol.[23]

Low-carbon fuel standards

On April 23, 2009, the California Air Resources Board approved specific rules and carbon intensity reference values for the California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that was to go into effect on January 1, 2011.[124][125][126] The consultation process produced controversy regarding the inclusion and modeling of indirect land use change effects.[127][128][129][130][131] After the CARB’s ruling, among other criticisms, representatives of the ethanol industry complained that the standard overstated the negative environmental effects of corn ethanol, and also criticized the inclusion of indirect effects of land-use changes as an unfair penalty to home-made corn ethanol because deforestation in the developing world had been tied to US ethanol production.[125][132][133][134][135][136][137] The emissions standard for 2011 for LCFS meant that Midwest corn ethanol would not meet the California standard unless current carbon intensity is reduced.[124][135][137][138]

A similar controversy arose after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on May 5, 2009, its notice of proposed rulemaking for the new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).[139][140][141] EPA’s proposal included the carbon footprint from indirect land-use changes.[142][143] On the same day, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Directive with the aim to advance biofuel research and commercialization. The Directive asked a new Biofuels Interagency Working Group comprising the Department of Agriculture, EPA, and DOE,[144][145] to develop a plan to increase flexible fuel vehicle use, assist in retail marketing and to coordinate infrastructure policies.

The group also was tasked to develop policy ideas for increasing investment in next-generation fuels, and for reducing biofuels’ environmental footprint.[144][145][146]

In December 2009 two lobbying groups, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy, filed a lawsuit challenging LCFS’ constitutionality. The two organizations argued that LCFS violates both the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and “jeopardizes the nationwide market for ethanol.”[147][148] In a press release the associations announced that “If the United States is going to have a low carbon fuel standard, it must be based on sound science and it must be consistent with the U.S. Constitution…”[149]

On February 3, 2010, EPA finalized the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2) for 2010 and beyond.[150] EPA incorporated direct emissions and significant indirect emissions such as emissions from land use changes along with comments and data from new studies.[151] Adopting a 30-year time horizon and a 0% discount rate[103] EPA declared that ethanol produced from corn starch at a new (or expanded capacity from an existing) natural gas-fired facility using approved technologies would be considered to comply with the 20% GHG emission reduction threshold.[151] Given average production conditions it expected for 2022, EPA estimated that corn ethanol would reduce GHGs an average of 21% compared to the 2005 gasoline baseline. A 95% confidence interval spans a 7-32% range reflecting uncertainty in the land use change assumptions.[103]

The following table summarizes the mean GHG emissions for ethanol using different feedstocks estimated by EPA modelling and the range of variations considering that the main source of uncertainty in the life cycle analysis is the GHG emissions related to international land use change.[152]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Life cycle year 2022 GHG emissions reduction results for RFS2 final rule[152]
(includes direct and indirect land use change effects and a 30-year payback period at a 0% discount rate)
Renewable fuel pathway
(for U.S. consumption)
Mean
GHG emission
reduction(1)
GHG emission
reduction
95% confidence
interval(2)
Assumptions/comments
Corn ethanol 21% 7–32% New or expanded natural gas fired dry mill plant, 37% wet and 63% dry DGS it produces, and employing corn oil fractionation technology.
Corn biobutanol 31% 20–40% Natural gas fired dry mill plant, 37% wet and 63% dry DGS it produces, and employing corn oil fractionation technology.
Cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass 110% 102–117% Ethanol produced using the biochemical process.
Cellulosic ethanol from corn stover 129% No ILUC Ethanol produced using the biochemical process. Ethanol produced from agricultural residues does not have any indirect land use emissions.
Notes: (1) Percent reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions compared to the average lifecycle GHG for gasoline or diesel sold or distributed as transportation fuel in 2005.
(2) Confidence range accounts for uncertainty in the types of land use change assumptions and the magnitude of resulting GHG emissions.

Water footprint

Water-related concerns relate to water supply and quality, and include availability and potential overuse, pollution, and possible contamination by fertilizers and pesticides. Several studies concluded that increased ethanol production was likely to result in a substantial increase in water pollution by fertilizers and pesticides, with the potential to exacerbate eutrophication and hypoxia, particularly in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.[153][154][155][156]

Growing feedstocks consumes most of the water associated with ethanol production. Corn consumes from 500–2,000 litres (110–440 imp gal; 130–530 US gal) of water per liter of ethanol, mostly for evapotranspiration.[153] In general terms, both corn and switchgrass require less irrigation than other fuel crops. Corn is grown mainly in regions with adequate rainfall. However, corn usually needs to be irrigated in the drier climates of Nebraska and eastern Colorado. Further, corn production for ethanol is increasingly taking place in areas requiring irrigation.[153] A 2008 study by the National Research Council concluded that “in the longer term, the likely expansion of cellulosic biofuel production has the potential to further increase the demand for water resources in many parts of the United States. Biofuels expansion beyond current irrigated agriculture, especially in dry western areas, has the potential to greatly increase pressure on water resources in some areas.[154]

A 2009 study estimated that irrigated corn ethanol implied water consumption at between 50 US gal/mi (120 L/km) and 100 US gal/mi (240 L/km) for U.S. vehicles. This figure increased to 90 US gal/mi (210 L/km) for sorghum ethanol from Nebraska, and 115 US gal/mi (270 L/km) for Texas sorghum. By contrast, an average U.S. car effectively consumes between 0.2 US gal/mi (0.47 L/km) to 0.5 US gal/mi (1.2 L/km) running on gasoline, including extraction and refining.[155]

In 2010 RFA argued that more efficient water technologies and pre-treated water could reduce consumption.[88] It further claimed that non-conventional oil “sources, such as tar sands and oil shale, require far more water than conventional petroleum extraction and refining.[88]

Dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. standard agricultural practices for most crops employ fertilizers that provide nitrogen and phosphorus along with herbicidesfungicidesinsecticides, and other pesticides.

Some part of these chemicals leaves the field. Nitrogen in forms such as nitrate (NO3) is highly soluble, and along with some pesticides infiltrates downwards toward the water table, where it can migrate to water wells, rivers and streams. A 2008 National Research Council study found that regionally the highest stream concentrations occur where the rates of application were highest, and that these rates were highest in the Corn Belt. These flows mainly stem from corn, which as of 2010 was the major source of total nitrogen loading to the Mississippi River.[154]

Several studies found that corn ethanol production contributed to the worsening of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The nitrogen leached into the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf, where it fed giant algae blooms. As the algaedied, it settled to the ocean floor and decayed, consuming oxygen and suffocating marine life, causing hypoxia. This oxygen depletion killed shrimpcrabsworms and anything else that could not escape, and affected important shrimp fishing grounds.[153][154][156]

Social implications

Effect on food prices

Some environmentalists, such as George Monbiot, expressed fears that the marketplace would convert crops to fuel for the rich, while the poor starved and biofuels caused environmental problems.[123][157][158][159][160] The food vs fuel debate grew in 2008 as a result of the international community‘s concerns regarding the steep increase in food prices. On April 2008, Jean Ziegler, back then United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, repeated his claim that biofuels were a “crime against humanity“,[161][162] echoing his October 2007 call for a 5-year ban for the conversion of land for the production of biofuels.[163][164] Also in April 2008, World Bank President Robert Zoellick stated that “While many worry about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs. And it’s getting more and more difficult every day.[165][166][167]

Corn is the main feedstock for the production of ethanol fuel in the U.S.

A July 2008 World Bank report[168] found that from June 2002 to June 2008 “biofuels and the related consequences of low grain stocks, large land use shifts, speculative activity and export bans” accounted for 70–75% of total price rises. The study found that higher oil prices and a weak dollar explain 25–30% of total price rise. The study said that “…large increases in biofuels production in the United States and Europe are the main reason behind the steep rise in global food prices.”[169][170] The report argued that increased production of biofuels in these developed regions was supported by subsidies and tariffs, and claimed that without such policies, food price increases worldwide would have been smaller. It also concluded that Brazil’s sugarcane ethanol had not raised sugar prices significantly, and recommended that both the U.S. and E.U. remove tariffs, including on many African countries.[168]

An RFA rebuttal said that the World Bank analysis was highly subjective and that the author considered only “the impact of global food prices from the weak dollar and the direct and indirect effect of high petroleum prices and attribute[d] everything else to biofuels.”[171]

A 2010 World Bank study concluded that its previous study may have overestimated the impact, as “the effect of biofuels on food prices has not been as large as originally thought, but that the use of commodities by financial investors (the so-called ”financialization of commodities”) may have been partly responsible for the 2007/08 spike.”[172]

A July 2008 OECD economic assessment[173] agreed about the negative effects of subsidies and trade restrictions, but found that the impact of biofuels on food prices was much smaller. The OECD study found that existing biofuel support policies would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by no more than 0.8 percent by 2015. It called for more open markets in biofuels and feedstocks to improve efficiency and lower costs. The OECD study concluded that “…current biofuel support measures alone are estimated to increase average wheat prices by about 5 percent, maize by around 7 percent and vegetable oil by about 19 percent over the next 10 years.[174]

The 2008 financial crisis illustrated corn ethanol’s limited impact on corn prices, which fell 50% from their July 2008 high by October 2008, in tandem with other commodities, including oil, while corn ethanol production continued unabated. “Analysts, including some in the ethanol sector, say ethanol demand adds about 75 cents to $1.00 per bushel to the price of corn, as a rule of thumb. Other analysts say it adds around 20 percent, or just under 80 cents per bushel at current prices. Those estimates hint that $4 per bushel corn might be priced at only $3 without demand for ethanol fuel.“.[175]

See also

Further reading

  • Duffield, James A., Irene M. Xiarchos, and Steve A. Halbrook, “Ethanol Policy: Past, Present, and Future,” South Dakota Law Review, 53 (no. 3, 2008), 425–53.

References …

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1213, February 21, 2019, Story 1: Black Russian Gay Empire Actor Busted–Jussie Smollett — Big Lie Media Mob Propagated “Despicable Lies” — Junk Journalism Aided and Abetted Criminal Hoax — Videos — Story 2: Open Border Democrats and Republicans Are Supporting Drug Cartels By Aiding and Abetting Criminal Illegal Alien and Illegal Drug Smuggling — Videos — Story 3: Under Communist China’s Social Credit System Jussie Smollett Would Be Labeled As Untrustworthy And Unable To Travel Because of A Low Social Credit Score Due To Criminal Behavior and Blacklist Banning — Vast Surveillance Facial Recognition System — Safe, Secure, State Socialism in The Police Surveillance State of Communist China — Videos

Posted on February 22, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, Agenda 21, Airlines, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bernie Sander, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Diet, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Exercise, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Kamala Harris, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Middle East, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Public Corruption, Railroads, Rape, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, Social Security, South America, Spying, Spying on American People, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, The 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Transportation, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United Nations, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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See the source imageChicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson tore through Smollett at a press conference on Thursday where he labeled him 'shameful' and 'despicable' See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

Story 1: Black Russian Gay Empire Actor Busted–Jussie Smollett — Big Lie Media Mob Propagated “Despicable Lies” — Junk Journalism Aided and Abetted Criminal Hoax — Videos

Chicago Police Chief: Jussie Smollett Faked Attack ‘To Promote His Career’ | NBC News

Chicago PD Labels Jussie Smollett “Despicable”

Jussie Smollett Arrested in Hate Crime Attack | E! News

BAIL SET: Jussie Smollett’s Bail Set At $100,000

Jussie Smollett staged attack because he was ‘dissatisfied’ with his salary, police say

Jussie Smollett denies all allegations in court hearing

Jussie Smollett FULL Interview on alleged attack | ABC News Exclusive

 

PICTURED: Jussie Smollett leaves jail after posting $100k bail after prosecutor details video evidence against him and reveals he’d previously bought DRUGS from the brothers he paid to attack him after texting ‘might need your help on the low’

  • The actor’s siblings, Jazz, Jocqui, Jake, and Jojo were pictured arriving at the Cook County Criminal Court before his bond hearing on Thursday afternoon 
  • A judge set Smollett’s bond at $100,000, which he will have to pay a portion of, and told him to give up his passport 
  • Prosecutors shared an extremely detailed timeline of the night of the attack and the days beforehand  
  • Smollett sent himself a threatening, racist and homophobic letter on January 22 to get more money from 20th Century Fox, police said Thursday  
  • When that did not work, he hired brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo to attack him on January 25 
  • On January 27, he took them to the exact location where he wanted it to happen and pointed out surveillance cameras nearby   
  • Smollett was in contact with them an hour before the incident, an hour afterwards and when they were in Nigeria, laying low for two weeks 
  • When they returned on February 13, they were picked up by police and later confessed ‘the entire plot’
  • Smollett paid $10,000, ten percent of his bond, and agreed to surrender his passport
  • The 36-year-old will return to court on March 14 to face a felony charge of filing a false police report  

ussie Smollett has been freed after posting $10,000 bond and agreeing to surrender his passport at a court hearing where he was supported by his family and prosecutors shared more details of his relationship with the two Nigerian brothers he allegedly paid to stage an attack on him in the hope that it would boost his profile.

The actor was hurried out of the Cook County Jail shortly before 5pm on Thursday and said nothing as he fought his way through photographers to get into a waiting car. He was flanked by bodyguards and driven away immediately.

Three of the actor’s five famous siblings, Jazz, Jocqui and Jake, were pictured arriving at the Cook County Criminal Court before his bond hearing wearing sunglasses. They were later joined by their brother Jojo but their other sister Jurnee and mother Janet were not seen.

They left the court before Smollett once the hearing was over, fighting their way through a scrum of photographers to get into a waiting van parked outside without answering any questions.

Scroll down for video 

Jussie Smollett was ushered out of county jail on Thursday by police officers and body guards after posting $10,000, ten percent of his $100,000 bond, and agreeing to surrender his passport. He clung on to his security guard's shoulders as he followed him out to a waiting car 

Jussie Smollett was ushered out of county jail on Thursday by police officers and body guards after posting $10,000, ten percent of his $100,000 bond, and agreeing to surrender his passport. He clung on to his security guard’s shoulders as he followed him out to a waiting car

Smollett said nothing and held on to his security guard who led him through a crowd of photographers outside the jail

Smollett said nothing and held on to his security guard who led him through a crowd of photographers outside the jail

Smollett was sandwiched between security guards as he made his way to the car. He has to return to the court March 14 

Smollett was sandwiched between security guards as he made his way to the car. He has to return to the court March 14

Smollett was escorted out of the jail by two police officers. He stared at news cameras waiting for him outside and kept his hands in his pockets

Smollett was escorted out of the jail by two police officers. He stared at news cameras waiting for him outside and kept his hands in his pockets

Smollett was escorted out of the jail by two police officers. He stared at news cameras waiting for him outside and kept his hands in his pockets
Even before he reached the scrum of photographers, Smollett placed his hands on his security guard's shoulders 

Even before he reached the scrum of photographers, Smollett placed his hands on his security guard’s shoulders

After the hearing, prosecutors gave a detailed description of how he allegedly put the hoax together.

Police say he knew Abel Osundairo, one of the brothers, because he bought ‘designer drugs’ from him. In text messages that predate the hoax attack, he asked Abel for ‘Molly’ – the street name for ecstasy – multiple times.  The pair are believed to have met when Abel was a stand-in on Empire.

On January 25, he convinced Abel and his brother Ola to ‘simulate’ an attack on him, giving them specific instructions about which words to use and how to rough him up but not hurt him too severely, according to police.

His alleged motive was that he did not get enough attention over a letter he is said to have sent himself a week earlier and he thought that painting himself as

Smollett took them to the location where he wanted the attack to happen outside his apartment, according to prosecutors, and even pointed to a surveillance camera he believed would capture it.  

The claims came after a blistering press conference during which furious police bosses alleged that he mailed himself a threatening letter then staged a hoax attack because he was unhappy with his $1.8million Empire salary.   

The actor wore a stony expression as he was seen for the first time publicly since being labeled 'shameful' and 'despicable' by the police department 

Smollett was wearing black pants and a black puffer jacket. He turned himself into police at 5am on Thursday

Smollett was wearing black pants and a black puffer jacket. He turned himself into police at 5am on Thursday

Smollett was wearing black pants and a black puffer jacket. He turned himself into police at 5am on Thursday
A sketch from inside the courtroom shows Smollett appearing before Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald to have his bond set. The judge said that if true, the allegations against him are 'utterly outrageous'. He was particularly disturbed by the use of a noose in the attack, saying it is an image which 'conjures up such evil in this country's history'

A sketch from inside the courtroom shows Smollett appearing before Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald to have his bond set. The judge said that if true, the allegations against him are ‘utterly outrageous’. He was particularly disturbed by the use of a noose in the attack, saying it is an image which ‘conjures up such evil in this country’s history’

Jocqui, Jake and Jazz Smollett arrive at the Cook County Criminal Court on Thursday to attend their brother Jussie's bond hearing. There was no sign of the actor's mother Janet, his other sister Jurnee or his brother Jojo

Jocqui, Jake and Jazz Smollett arrive at the Cook County Criminal Court on Thursday to attend their brother Jussie's bond hearing. There was no sign of the actor's mother Janet, his other sister Jurnee or his brother Jojo

Jocqui (in beige coat), Jake (in black, right) and Jazz Smollett (center in fur-trimmed coat) arrive at the Cook County Criminal Court on Thursday to attend their brother Jussie’s bond hearing. There was no sign of the actor’s mother Janet, his other sister Jurnee or his brother Jojo

Jocqui Smollett is show entering the court and waiting for proceedings to begin. The Smollett family issued a statement when the attack was first reported to condemn hate crimes and stand by Jussie. Jocqui has since accused the media of vilifying his brother in social media posts

Jocqui Smollett is show entering the court and waiting for proceedings to begin. The Smollett family issued a statement when the attack was first reported to condemn hate crimes and stand by Jussie. Jocqui has since accused the media of vilifying his brother in social media posts

Jocqui Smollett is show entering the court and waiting for proceedings to begin. The Smollett family issued a statement when the attack was first reported to condemn hate crimes and stand by Jussie. Jocqui has since accused the media of vilifying his brother in social media posts
Jazz, Jocqui and Jake entered the courthouse without speaking on Thursday. Their other two siblings, Jojo and Jurnee, did not join them

Jazz, Jocqui and Jake entered the courthouse without speaking on Thursday. Their other two siblings, Jojo and Jurnee, did not join them

Surveillance footage emerged on Wednesday showing Ola and Abel Osundairo buying ski masks the day before the attack. Smollett gave them a $100 bill to pay for the bleach, ski masks, red hat and gloves that they used, according to prosecutors 

Surveillance footage emerged on Wednesday showing Ola and Abel Osundairo buying ski masks the day before the attack. Smollett gave them a $100 bill to pay for the bleach, ski masks, red hat and gloves that they used, according to prosecutors

After his bail hearing, the state’s attorney gave a press conference where she described in painstaking detail how the hoax came together.

On January 25, he texted Abel asking him when he was planning to go to Nigeria, a trip that had been prearranged.

Jussie Smollett is shown in his mugshot on Thursday morning. The Empire actor handed himself in at 5am on charges of filing a false police report. Police now say he concocted the fake attack because he wanted a raise 

Jussie Smollett is shown in his mugshot on Thursday morning. The Empire actor handed himself in at 5am on charges of filing a false police report. Police now say he concocted the fake attack because he wanted a raise

They were familiar with one another because Abel had once filled in as a character on Empire who was a love interest of Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon.

Abel replied that he and his brother were leaving on January 29 to which Smollett replied: ‘Might need your help on the low.

‘You around to meet up and talk face to face?’

That afternoon, they met up at the CineSpace studio and Smollett drove Abel home.

During the car ride, he told him about his ‘displeasure’ over 20th Century Fox’s reaction to the letter he allegedly sent himself days earlier.

He said he wanted to stage an attack and suggested that Ola, Abel’s younger brother, get involved.

Once they got to the brothers’ home, they summoned Ola outside and Smollett asked the pair if he could trust them.

Smollett then allegedly laid out what he wanted them to do and gave them a $100 bill to buy ski masks, a red hat, gloves, rope and bleach to use.

‘He stated that he wanted the brothers to catch his attention by calling him an Empire f****t Empire n****r. He detailed that he wanted Abel to attack him but not to hurt him too badly and give him a chance to fight back.

HOW THE ATTACK WAS PUT TOGETHER

January 22: Jussie Smollett receives a letter at the CineSpace studio which threatens his life and has ‘MAGA’ written on it in red pen. He reports it to police

January 25: Smollett sends a text to Abel Osundairo asking him when he is going to Nigeria and if they can meet up face-to-face

Abel goes to the studio where he is working and Smollett drives him home. During the ride, he said he was ‘displeased’ with the reaction to the letter.

Once at their home, Abel’s brother Ola gets in the car and Smollett tells them what he wants them to do. He gives them a $100 bill to buy the goods they will need to fake the attack

January 27: Smollett picks the brothers up then drives them to the spot where he wants them to fake the attack.

He then goes to New York.

January 28: Smollett is in New York City for a reading of the play Take Me Out.

The brothers are filmed buying ski masks, a red hat and gloves

January 29 – Day of attack

The attack was due to take place at 10pm on January 28 but because Smollett’s flight was delayed, it was pushed back.

12.30am: Smollett arrives back in Chicago

12.49am: He calls Abel Osundairo and they talk for three minutes

Abel orders an Uber minutes later.

1.22am: The brothers arrive in the area of the attack

1.45am: Smollett leaves his building to go to Subway

2.04am: The attack takes place in the arranged location

2.10am: Brothers get a taxi from a hotel nearby

2.25am: The brothers arrive back in their neighborhood in a taxi

2.27am: Smollett’s manager calls the police

2.42am: Police arrive at Smollett’s building and he asks them to turn off their body cameras

7.45pm: Smollett calls Abel. The conversation lasts five seconds.

7.47pm: Abel calls back and they speak for 1 minute 34 seconds.

The brothers then board their flight.

January 30, 10:46am: Smollett calls Abel who is by now in Istanbul, Turkey.

They speak for 8 minutes and eight seconds.

‘He also included that he wanted Ola to place a rope around his neck, pour gasoline on him and yell: “This is MAGA country” and “Make America Great Again,”‘ a proffer that was released by the State’s Attorney’s office said.

Police have found surveillance footage of the ride and have phone records which put Smollett in the area of the brothers home at the time.

On January 27, he picked the brothers up from their home and drove them to where he wanted the attack to happen in the late morning.

He warned them not to bring their cell phones with them and showed them a surveillance camera on the corner which he believed would capture the incident.

Smollett drove the brothers home and provided them with a $3500 personal check made payable to Abel, which was backdated to January 23, 2019.

He then flew to New York City to take part in a reading of a play.

The attack was scheduled to take place at 10pm on January 28 but was set back several hours by Smollett’s delayed flight from New York to Chicago on the day of the incident.

His flight landed at 12.30am, January 29.

At 12.49am, he called Abel and their conversation lasted three minutes. During this call, he instructed him to carry out the attack at 2am.

Abel then ordered an Uber to pick the pair up at their home and take them to the crime scene.

They took the Uber part of the way but then got out and hopped in a taxi to take them the remainder of the distance.

At 1.22am, they arrived within three blocks of it. At 1.45am, Smollett left his apartment building to go to a Subway and the brothers made their way towards the intended spot.

Smollett, however, was late. They did not cross paths until 2.04am which is when they carried out the attack. At the exact moment it was occurring, an NBC News employee was getting out of her car nearby. She told police later that she did not hear anything suspicious, despite Smollett alleging that the attackers yelled racial slurs.

The attack only lasted 45 seconds and was ‘just outside the view of the desired nearby camera that Smollett had pointed out to the brothers approximately 15 hours earlier.’

The brothers then ran away on foot, heading southbound towards the Chicago River. They then got in a taxi at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Fifteen minutes later, they got out of the cab a few blocks from their house.

Two minutes later, at 2.27am, Smollett’s manager reported it to police and police arrived at Smollett’s apartment at 2.42am, 12 minutes later.

While being interviewed, he not only described the attack but claimed to have received a phone call on January 26 from someone who said ‘hey you little f****’ and hung up. He said the call happened near a camera and that it captured the attack. It was the same camera he pointed out to the brothers in the hope that it would capture their staged ambush.

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson abhorred him as a ‘troubled young man’ who has ‘taken advantage of the pain and anger of racism to further his career’ by allegedly lying that he was attacked by racist and homophobic assailants on January 29.

Smollett makes $100,000 per episode on Empire, according to an associate who spoke to DailyMail.com, and there are 18 episodes in the current season which earns him $1.8million.

He also has a record deal with Columbia Records but, according to police, was ‘dissatisfied’ and wanted to boost his profile.

When police learned that Smollett’s motive was to get more money, it ‘p****d everybody off’, Superintendent Johnson said, adding that Smollett’s repeated ‘lies’ were ‘shameful’ and ‘despicable’.

He called for ‘absolute justice’ which he said amounted to Smollett apologizing and offering to pay for the police resources he wasted.

20th Century Fox, which defended the actor on Wednesday, is now ‘considering its options’ in light of his arrest.

President Trump has also called for Smollett to apologize for making it appear as though he was being targeted by one of his supporters.

 

 

This is the state's case against Smollett, as laid out in their bond proffer that was submitted in court on Thursday 

This is the state’s case against Smollett, as laid out in their bond proffer that was submitted in court on Thursday

Police say they have found phone records which prove Smollett spoke with brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo an hour before the attack, an hour afterwards and while they were in Nigeria, keeping their heads down, while the case gained global attention.

Prosecutor Risa Lanier laid bare the allegations in a press conference after the bond hearing 

Prosecutor Risa Lanier laid bare the allegations in a press conference after the bond hearing

They also say they have the check that Smollett used to pay them $3,500.

The brothers ‘confessed’ to the ‘entire plot’ once they were in custody on Thursday.

It began on January 22 when Smollett allegedly mailed himself a threatening letter to the Empire studio in Chicago which had ‘MAGA’ written on it and included racist and homophobic slurs.

It read: ‘Smollett Jussie, you will die’ and included a drawing of a stick figure with a gun pointed towards it.

He reported it to the police along with producer Dennis Hammer.

When that did not win him a pay rise from 20th Century Fox, however, he allegedly hired the brothers to attack him at 2am on January 29 in what he then told police was a random, racist and homophobic attack.

The attack did happen but was not caught on camera. According to the brothers, they punched him after meeting at an arranged spot and time then ran away and got into a taxi.

President Trump tweeted on Thursday after the details of his arrest emerged to demand an apology from the actor who said his attackers shouted 'This is MAGA country!' 

 

President Trump tweeted on Thursday after the details of his arrest emerged to demand an apology from the actor who said his attackers shouted ‘This is MAGA country!’

Smollett then went home to his friend, 60-year-old Frank Gatson, who was in the apartment and told him that he had been jumped by two masked assailants who shouted: ‘Empire f****t n****r’, poured bleach on him, tied a noose around his neck and screamed: ‘This is MAGA country!’

Police say that the actor gave himself the scratches on his face that were visible in a hospital-bed selfie he took after reporting it.

The same day, the brothers went to the airport and boarded a flight to Nigeria.

While Smollett received an outpouring of sympathy from politicians, celebrities and public figures around the world, they laid low but were allegedly in contact with the star.

As the police investigation heated up, officers honed in on them by tracking taxis that were in the area at around the time of the incident.

In particular, a ride-share the brothers took to the location gave police their details.

They were then picked up when they returned to Chicago on February 13.

Once in custody, they told police that Smollett had hired them and said it was because he wanted a higher salary.

Smollett, a vocal Trump critic, said his attackers shouted 'This is MAGA country!' and later suggested he was targeted because he is so critical of the president 

Smollett, a vocal Trump critic, said his attackers shouted ‘This is MAGA country!’ and later suggested he was targeted because he is so critical of the president 

He paid them a reported $3,500 to carry out the attack, they said, and promised them $500 more when they returned from their trip.

Smollett is in custody awaiting his first court appearance on felony charges of filing a false police report. He will appear before a judge at 1.30pm. 

His lawyers issued a statement on Wednesday to protest his innocence and condemn the police for leaking so many details of the investigation.

During the press conference, Superintendent Johnson revealed Smollett went from being treated as the victim in the case to a suspect when the brothers ‘confessed’ the ‘entire plot’ in the final hour of a 48 hour hold.

That is when they, in their lawyer’s words, ‘manned up’ and revealed that they had been hired to carry out the attack by the actor himself.

Smollett actually furthered the investigation along by going on Good Morning America and confirming that the two people in a grainy surveillance footage still were the men who attacked him.

He was unaware when he made the remark that Chicago PD had identified those men as the Osundairo brothers and that they had them in custody.

‘I come to you today not only as the Superintendent of Chicago Police Department but as a black man who has spent his entire life living in the city of Chicago.

‘I know the racial divide. I know how hard it has been for our city and our nation to come together.

‘Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.

‘I’m left hanging my head and asking why? Why would anyone, especially an African American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?

Chicago PD also shared this map of Smollett's movements on the night of the attack and show where it happened. The cameras in the area where it happened were not facing him, to his dismay

Another map shows where the assailants were dropped off in a ride-share, top right, then walked to the attack and fled to get in another taxi afterwards 

Another map shows where the assailants were dropped off in a ride-share, top right, then walked to the attack and fled to get in another taxi afterwards

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson tore through Smollett at a press conference on Thursday where he labeled him 'shameful' and 'despicable' 

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson tore through Smollett at a press conference on Thursday where he labeled him ‘shameful’ and ‘despicable’

‘I love the city of Chicago, warts and all, but this publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn and certainly didn’t deserve.

‘The accusations within this phony attack received national attention for weeks…Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor,’ he went on.

 When we discovered the actual motive, it p****d everybody off
 Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson

He added that he was ‘angry and offended’ and said it was a travesty that other crimes do not garner as much attention.

‘I just wish that the families of the victims of gun violence in this city got as much attention. That is who really deserves this amount of attention.’

He was emphatic, later, about the fact that no other investigations suffered as a result of Smollett’s claims, but said: ‘Bogus police reports cause real harm.

‘They do harm to ever legitimate victim who is in need of support by police.’

Johnson finished his remarks by saying: ‘I’ll continue to pray for this troubled young man who resorted to both drastic and illegal tactics to gain attention.

Police say Smollett cut his own cheek to make it look like he had suffered injuries in the attack. He is shown in a hospital bed selfie FaceTiming Lee Daniels, the show's creator, hours after the attack 

Police say Smollett cut his own cheek to make it look like he had suffered injuries in the attack. He is shown in a hospital bed selfie FaceTiming Lee Daniels, the show’s creator, hours after the attack

‘I’ll also continue to pray for our city asking that we can move forward from this and begin to heal.’

Police examined footage from 55 surveillance cameras, obtained more than 50 search warrants and conducted more than 100 interviews.

If convicted, Smollett may be asked to repay the money that was spent investigating the crime.

Smollett has not made any statements since he was taken into custody.

His lawyers said on Wednesday night that he would fight the charges with an ‘aggressive defense’.

In previous statements, his representatives have angrily hit out at the media and insisted that he is the victim.

Within hours of him being charged, Smollett’s attorneys arranged for him to hand himself in quietly at Chicago’s 1st District afterwards.

He appeared in his mugshot wearing a black puffer jacket, staring blankly at the camera.

After being processed at the station, he was transferred to the Cook County courthouse where he will appear at 1.30pm. He is being held separately from other detainees.

20th Century Fox, which released a statement hours before he was charged to say it was standing by him, is now reportedly suspending the actor.

20th Century Fox said on Thursday that it was now considering its options. It had been standing by the actor 

20th Century Fox said on Thursday that it was now considering its options. It had been standing by the actor

A press conference is scheduled for 9am CT during which detectives will give more details about the arrest. It is not yet known where he was or what time he was taken into custody.

‘Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,’ the actor’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said.

‘Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.’

The Osundairo brothers testified before the grand jury for about two and a half hours on Wednesday.

Addressing reporters outside afterwards, their attorney Gloria Schmidt said they’d ‘manned up’ by speaking out against Smollett.

The rope they put around Smollett's neck was bought in this hardware store 

The rope they put around Smollett’s neck was bought in this hardware store 

They have not been arrested or charged and their lawyer said they had not been offered any form of immunity deal in exchange for testifying against Smollett. 

‘There was a point where this story needed to be told, and they manned up and they said: “We’re gonna correct this.”

‘Plea deal, immunity, all of that — they don’t’ care about that.’

She said that Smollett was lying, and that she didn’t know how his conscience could let him sleep at night.

There was a point where this story needed to be told and they manned up and they said, “we’re going to correct this”
Gloria Schmidt, lawyer for two Nigerian brothers

‘I think Jussie’s conscience is not letting him sleep right now and he should unload that conscience and come out and tell the American people what happened,’ she added.

‘I think the biggest thing for the American people to know. Is that this story, has a lot of complications to it.

‘We’re not trying to hide anything from the press. But we wanted to make sure that everything checked out.

‘When I say that the police spent countless man-hours trying to piece this together, I mean that, I absolutely mean that.

‘When I say that my clients spent countless hours getting their story out there to the police so that they could do their work, I mean that, too,’ she said.

The brothers’ testimony came after footage emerged of them buying ski masks, a red hat and gloves in a store the day before the attack.

The brothers said Smollett also sent himself this letter to the Fox studio where Empire is filmed a week before the attack. If he did, he faces another 5-10 years in prison on a federal mail fraud charge 

The brothers said Smollett also sent himself this letter to the Fox studio where Empire is filmed a week before the attack. If he did, he faces another 5-10 years in prison on a federal mail fraud charge

Abel and Ola Osundairo's lawyers said on Wednesday night that they 'manned up' by telling police that Smollett paid them 

Abel and Ola Osundairo’s lawyers said on Wednesday night that they ‘manned up’ by telling police that Smollett paid them. Ola once appeared on the show as an extra. He is shown with creator Lee Daniels, right

It was taken on January 28 and shows brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo inside what looks like a drug store buying the masks and one hat.

Smollett told police that he was attacked by two masked assailants who punched him, poured bleach on him, tied a noose around his neck and called him ‘Empire n****r f****t’.

No footage has ever emerged of the incident itself.

In the video taken inside the store the day earlier, the brothers look calm as they bring the items to the register.

Smollett follows the brothers' joint Instagram account where they post videos and photographs of themselves working out 

Smollett follows the brothers’ joint Instagram account where they post videos and photographs of themselves working out

Abel, whose full name is Abimbola, is dressed in a blue plaid jacket. About 30 seconds into the video, he puts his hood up while standing at the register.

His younger brother Ola, who once appeared on Empire as an extra, is in a green jacket.

The brothers were picked up by police at Chicago O’Hare Airport on Wednesday night as they returned from Nigeria.

Police seized a red hat from the brothers’ home along with ski masks when they raided it last week.  Smollett said his attackers were wearing masks but there was not a description of a red hat in the initial reports.

Police have since shared their belief that at least one of them was wearing a red hat at the time of the attack.

Smollett’s family, many of whom are also actors, have spoken out repeatedly in support of him since the January 29 attack as have many of his co-stars on Empire.

Among them is Gabby Sidibe, his roommate at one time, who said on Instagram on Wednesday: ‘I know him. I believe him.’

Fox also insisted that he was not being written out of the show, as had been claimed, and called him a ‘consummate professional’ in a statement.

Smollett’s lawyers include Mark Geragos, who has represented Michael Jackson and Colin Kaepernick, in the past.

Last Thursday, the actor wept as he said 'who the f*** would make that up' when addressing the skepticism surrounding his version of events during an interview on Good Morning America. He has also called himself the 'gay Tupac' and issued statements via attorneys and representatives condemning coverage of the incident 

When news of the attack first emerged on January 29 and 30, Smollett was inundated with support across the political spectrum.

Among those who tweeted their condemnation of him were Democratic presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

But as days went by with no suspects on the horizon, details about the case and the police’s investigation into it began to cast doubt on Smollett’s version of events.

One of the earliest sources of speculation was the fact that Smollett waited 42 minutes to call the police then refused to hand over his phone to the police for them to verify his story.

He then handed over redacted files that police described as ‘insufficient’.

Frustrated with the coverage of his case, he hit out at the media for reporting on leaked information coming from within the Chicago police department and insisted he was the victim.

He then went on Good Morning America to protest his innocence.

In an hour-long interview with Robin Roberts, he wept as he recalled the attack and abhorred the reaction to it.

CELEBRITIES REACT TO JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S ARREST

Celebrities have lashed out at Empire actor Jussie Smollett following his arrest after many of them publicly voiced support for him when he first claimed he had been targeted in a racist and homophobic attack.

Actor and comedian Tyler Perry penned a lengthy Facebook post saying he had personally spoken to Smollett who insisted he was telling the truth.

Perry added that the evidence seemed to contradict Smollett’s version and that he was ‘lost for words’.

‘I have personally spoken to Jussie, and he is adamant that he’s telling the truth. Also, everyone that I know who knows him says that he is not the kind of person who would make up such a horrible and awful thing,’ he said.

50 Cent mocked Smollett and his Tupac reference with an Instagram photo of the actor's face imposed on the cover of the rapper's album, saying: 'All Liez On Me'

50 Cent mocked Smollett and his Tupac reference with an Instagram photo of the actor’s face imposed on the cover of the rapper’s album, saying: ‘All Liez On Me’

Snoopdog posted a Scooby Doo cartoon with Smollett's face edited in

 

Snoopdog posted a Scooby Doo cartoon with Smollett’s face edited in

 

‘Yet the evidence seems to state otherwise. I’m lost for words. To stoke fears and raise racial tensions is wrong in every situation on ALL SIDES! Yet my prayers are still with him and his family and our Nation.’

Straight Outta Compton actor O’Shea Jackson Jr was scathing in a series of lengthy tweets about the developments.

‘What upsets me about this Jussie situation is that people were genuinely worried about you man. And the things that you said happened could have led to some serious outcomes. People were prepared to fight for you bruh. Things coulda got ugly…… and you made it up.

‘The world has plenty of real monsters. You don’t have to make up any. And what for? Just further dividing people for personal gain? It sucks for the people who actually have to deal with that type of hate.

‘And why did you call yourself the gay Tupac. What does Tupac have to do with anything that happened to you? Did you do this to sell records bro? Did you fake a hate crime, Enrage the Black community. The LBGT community and anti-Trump community just to sell records bruh?

Actor and comedian Tyler Perry penned a lengthy Facebook post saying he had personally spoken to Smollett who insisted he was telling the truth but later added that the evidence seemed to tell a different story

Actor and comedian Tyler Perry penned a lengthy Facebook post saying he had personally spoken to Smollett who insisted he was telling the truth but later added that the evidence seemed to tell a different story

Straight Outta Compton actor O'Shea Jackson Jr was scathing in a series of lengthy tweets about the developments

Straight Outta Compton actor O’Shea Jackson Jr was scathing in a series of lengthy tweets about the developments

‘People could’ve gotten hurt. Thinking they’re protesting and standing up for you. This is not a game.’

Smollett had compared himself to Tupac during a performance in West Hollywood earlier this month. He ended his set saying he fought back against his so-called attackers and said he was ‘the gay Tupac’.

50 Cent mocked Smollett and his Tupac reference with an Instagram photo of the actor’s face imposed on the cover of the rapper’s album, saying: ‘All Liez On Me’.

Andy Cohen tweeted that his ‘head is exploding’ following news of Smollett’s arrest before calling the story ‘pathetic’.

Actor Patton Oswalt retweeted a tweet from President Donald Trump, saying: ‘Way to go Jussie. You just handed this racist dips**t a ‘Get Out Of Race-Baiting Free’ card that he’s gonna wave around like a soiled diaper until he’s re-elected.’

Trump had tweeted: ‘.@JussieSmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA’.

Choking back tears, he explained when asked why it took so long for him to contact the authorities: ‘There is a level of pride there.

‘We live in a society where as a gay man you are considered somehow to be weak and I am not weak. I am not weak and we as a people are not weak.’

Later, he added how desperate he was for them to find footage of the attack.

‘I want that video found so badly because, for probably four reasons.

‘Number one, I want them to find the people that did it.

‘Number two, I want them to stop being able to say ‘alleged’ attack.

‘Number three,  I want them to see that I fought back,’ he continued, welling-up.

‘I want a little gay boy who might watch this to see that I fought the f*** back. They ran off,’ I didn’t,’ he said.

After it emerged that Smollett knew the brothers and may have been involved in the staging of the attack, the celebrities and politicians who rushed to support him walked back their claims.

Nancy Pelosi deleted her tweet about it and Cory Booker said he would now be ‘withholding judgement’ until more information emerged.

Kamala Harris said, when questioned about her tweet that it was a ‘modern day lynching’, that she was ‘very concerned’.

Key moments in reported attack on actor Jussie Smollett

 January 29, 2019

Smollet is seen with a cut cheek on Jan. 29

Smollet is seen with a cut cheek on Jan. 29

Jussie Smollett tells Chicago police he was physically attacked by two men in downtown Chicago while walking home from getting food from a Subway restaurant at 2am.

The black and openly gay actor tells authorities the men used racial and homophobic slurs, wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an ‘unknown substance’ on him.

Smollett told detectives that the attackers yelled he was in ‘MAGA country,’ an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign slogan, which some critics of Trump have claimed is a racist dog whistle.

January 30

Chicago police say they’ve reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance camera footage, including of Smollett walking downtown, but none of the videos show the attack.

Police obtain and release images of two people they would like to question.

Reports of Smollett’s attack draw outrage and support on social media, including from U.S. Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren.

Both Booker and Harris called the incident a ‘modern day lynching’.

Joe Biden said: ‘We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts.’

Police released this image of 'persons of interest' taken near the reported attack

Police released this image of ‘persons of interest’ taken near the reported attack

January 31

Trump tells reporters at the White House that he saw a story the night before about Smollett and that, ‘It doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned.’

Smollett’s family issues a statement calling the attack a racial and homophobic hate crime.

Smollett’s family says he ‘has told the police everything’ and ‘his story has never changed,’ disputing assertions leveled on social media that he has been less than cooperative and changed his story.

February 1

Smollett issues a statement telling people that he is OK and thanking them for their support.

He says he is working with authorities and has been ‘100 percent factual and consistent on every level.’

February 2

Smollett gives sold-out concert in West Hollywood, California, opening with an emotional speech, saying he had to play the show because he couldn’t let his attackers win.

At the end of the set, he announces that he fought back against his attackers, calling himself ‘the gay Tupac’.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is in attendance at the concert.

Smollet is seen performing on February 2, where he called himself 'the gay Tupac'

Smollet is seen performing on February 2, where he called himself ‘the gay Tupac’

February 5th: Chicago PD releases incident report which reveals Smollett did not want to call police. There is no mention of the MAGA country remark which he gave in a follow-up interview

Brandon Z. Moore, his manager, gives police a screenshot to prove their call.

February 11th: Smollett finally hands over redacted phone records to prove the phone call but police label them ‘insufficient’.

His neighbors say they don’t believe his version of events.

February 12th: Smollett’s rep releases statement to say he is the victim and that he has been telling the truth

February 14th:  Good Morning America airs the full interview with Smollett, in which he blasts speculation that the attack was staged as itself racist and hateful.

Hours later, it emerges that two Nigerian brothers were picked up at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on their return from Nigeria the night before.

Cops identify the two men as the individuals seen in the surveillance images released from the night of January 29 but will not share their names.

Two television stations in Chicago simul report the widespread belief among investigators that Smollett staged the attack as a hate hoax.

Chicago’s police superintendent later said that he had no evidence to prove that the attack was a hoax.

Producers of ‘Empire’ dispute media reports that Smollett’s character was being written off the show.

High-powered criminal defense attorney Michael Monico reveals that he is representing Smollett.

Brothers Olabinjo 'Ola' Osundairo, 27, and Abimbola 'Abel' Osundairo, 25, were detained by police on February 13

Brothers Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo, 27, and Abimbola ‘Abel’ Osundairo, 25, were detained by police on February 13

Police logs show the items that cops seized from the Nigerian brothers' Chicago home

 

Police logs show the items that cops seized from the Nigerian brothers' Chicago home

 

Police logs show the items that cops seized from the Nigerian brothers’ Chicago home

February 15

DailyMail.com confirms they are brothers Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo, 27, and Abimbola ‘Abel’ Osundairo, 25. 

Later, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielimi says the two ‘persons of interest’ are now considered suspects. He says the men are in custody but have not been charged with a crime.

Chicago police release two men without charges after arresting them on suspicion of assaulting Smollett and holding them for nearly 48 hours. 

A police spokesman said the two are no longer considered suspects and that investigators have ‘new evidence’ to consider as a result of questioning them.

February 16

A police spokesman said that the investigation had ‘shifted’ after detectives questioned the two brothers about the attack and released them without charges.

Smollett hired Michael Cohen’s high-powered criminal defense attorney, Michael Monico, as the police investigation into the attack he reported last month took a sudden shift amid allegations of a hoax.

Smollett’s lawyers said on Saturday the actor felt ‘victimized by reports he played a role in the assault, and that Smollett would continue cooperating with police.

February 17

A police spokesman said that Chicago police have told Smollett’s attorneys they want to do a follow-up interview with the actor.

A spokesperson for Smollett’s lawyers said she couldn’t comment on whether Smollett had agreed to another interview.

This is the letter Smollett allegedly received at the Fox studio, a week before the January 29 incident. No photographs of it emerged until after the alleged attack. He reported the letter to the police when he received it along with Empire producer Dennis Hammer 

This is the letter Smollett allegedly received at the Fox studio, a week before the January 29 incident. No photographs of it emerged until after the alleged attack. He reported the letter to the police when he received it along with Empire producer Dennis Hammer

February 18 

Stars and politicians who spoke out in support of Smollett walk back their condemnation of the attack amid growing suspicion that it is a hate hoax

February 19 

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx  recused herself from the Smollett case

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx  recused herself from the Smollett case

The Osundairo brothers speak with police and prosecutors in Chicago but are halted at the last minute before going to testify before a grand jury.

Smollett hires Colin Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos and his legal team present a ‘hail Mary’ piece of evidence which stops the brothers’ testimony

State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx recuses herself from the case citing her ‘familiarity with potential witnesses’

Leaked information from the brothers’ meetings with prosecutors and police emerges. They reportedly claimed Smollett was involved in sending himself the letter on January 22

February 20 

Fox says Smollett is not being written out of Empire contrary to reports and Smollett’s co-stars speak out in support of him.

He is named as a suspect later in the afternoon and the brothers are seen entering grand jury offices at the courthouse.

Smollett is criminally charged with filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony which carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine.

February 21 

Smollett hands himself in to police at 5am.

Prosecutor: Actor Gave Detailed Instructions For Fake Attack

CHICAGO (AP) — “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett gave detailed instructions to two brothers who helped him stage a racist, anti-gay attack on himself, including giving them specific slurs to yell, telling them to shout “MAGA country” and pointing out a surveillance camera that he thought would record the beating, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Police said Smollett planned the hoax because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to promote his career. Before the attack, he also sent a letter that threatened him to the Chicago studio where “Empire” is shot, police said.

Smollett, who is black and gay, turned himself in to face accusations that he filed a false police report last month when he told authorities he was attacked in downtown Chicago by two masked men who hurled racist and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck, police said.

The actor “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

“This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn and certainly didn’t deserve,” he added.

As part of the instructions, Smollett also told the brothers to put the rope around his neck, Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier told a news conference.

His plans for the surveillance camera were thwarted. Police say it was pointed another way and did not have a view of the beating.

At Smollett’s first court appearance, a judge set bond at $100,000, meaning that he had to post $10,000 to be released. Smollett’s attorneys asked for him to be freed on his own recognizance, but the judge, who is also black, rejected that idea and said he was particularly bothered by the allegations involving the noose.

Smollett, who was released a couple of hours after the hearing, said little during the proceedings, except to state his name. The actor, his attorneys and supporters left without speaking to reporters.

One of the attorneys, Jack Prior, told the judge that Smollett “maintains these are outrageous allegations” and denies they are true.

The FBI has been investigating the threatening letter. Johnson would not say whether Smollett could face additional charges for that.

The companies that make “Empire,” Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television, issued a statement Thursday saying that they were “evaluating the situation” and “considering our options.”

In less than a month, Smollett went from being the seemingly sympathetic victim of a hate crime to being accused of fabricating the entire thing. The 36-year-old was charged Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct, a charge that could bring up to three years in prison and force the actor to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating.

Police treated Smollett as a victim until the two brothers , who had been taken into custody for questioning, admitted to helping him stage the attack, Johnson said.

It was the brothers who also explained Smollett’s motive to detectives. Authorities have a check for $3,500 that Smollett paid the brothers, he said.

Smollett, who plays a gay character on the show that follows a black family as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording industry, said he was attacked as he was walking home from a downtown Subway sandwich shop. He said the men yelled “This is MAGA country” — an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — before fleeing.

In describing what police believe actually happened, Johnson made it sound as if Smollett was casting and directing a short movie.

“He probably knew he needed somebody with bulk,” he said of Smollett’s decision to hire the two muscular brothers. Police have said at least one of the brothers worked on “Empire,” and Smollett’s attorneys said one of the men is the actor’s personal trainer.

The brothers, who are not considered suspects, wore gloves during the staged attack and “punched him a little bit,” Johnson said. The scratches and bruising Smollett had on his face were “most likely self-inflicted,” Johnson said.

Detectives found the two brothers after reviewing hundreds of hours of video. They released images of two people they said they wanted to question and last week picked up the pair at O’Hare Airport as they returned from Nigeria. Police questioned the men and searched their apartment.

The brothers, who were identified by their attorney as Abimbola “Abel” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, were held for nearly 48 hours on suspicion of assaulting Smollett.

The two appeared before a grand jury on Wednesday to “lock in their testimony,” according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Smollett was charged by prosecutors, not the grand jury.

Speaking outside the courthouse where the grand jury met, the brothers’ attorney said the two men testified for about two and a half hours.

“There was a point where this story needed to be told, and they manned up and they said we’re going to correct this,” Gloria Schmidt said.

She said her clients did not care about a plea deal or immunity. “You don’t need immunity when you have the truth,” she said.

Smollett has been active in LBGTQ issues, and initial reports of the assault drew outrage and support for him on social media, including from Sen. Kamala Harris of California and TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Referring to a published account of the attack, Trump said last month that “it doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned.” On Thursday, he tweeted to Smollett: “What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA.”

https://hosted.ap.org/article/7f419a0f017e4f7b933167f2e206de43/empire-actor-goes-victim-accused-felon-3-weeks

Hate crime

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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hate crime (also known as a bias-motivated crime or bias crime[1]) is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership (or perceived membership) in a certain social group or race.

Examples of such groups can include and are almost exclusively limited to: sexethnicitydisabilitylanguagenationalityphysical appearancereligiongender identity or sexual orientation.[2][3][4] Non-criminal actions that are motivated by these reasons are often called “bias incidents“.

“Hate crime” generally refers to criminal acts which are seen to have been motivated by bias against one or more of the social groups listed above, or by bias against their derivatives. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullyingharassmentverbal abuse or insultsmate crime or offensive graffiti or letters (hate mail).[5]

hate crime law is a law intended to deter bias-motivated violence.[6] Hate crime laws are distinct from laws against hate speech: hate crime laws enhance the penalties associated with conduct which is already criminal under other laws, while hate speech laws criminalize a category of speech. Hate speech laws exist in many countries. In the United States, hate crime laws have been upheld by both the Supreme Court [7] and lower courts, especially in the case of ‘fighting’ words and other violent speech, but they are thought by some people to be in conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, but hate crimes are only regulated through threats of injury or death.[8]

History

The term “hate crime” came into common usage in the United States during the 1980s, but the term is often used retrospectively in order to describe events which occurred prior to that era.[9] From the Roman persecution of Christians to the Nazi slaughter of Jews, hate crimes were committed by both individuals and governments long before the term was commonly used.[4] A major part of defining a crime as a hate crime is that it is directed toward a historically oppressed group.[10][11]

As Europeans began to colonize the world from the 16th century onwards, indigenous peoples in the colonized areas, such as Native Americans increasingly became the targets of bias-motivated intimidation and violence.[citation needed] During the past two centuries, typical examples of hate crimes in the U.S. include lynchings of African Americans, largely in the South, and lynchings of Mexicans and Chinese in the Westcross burnings to intimidate black activists or to drive black families from predominantly white neighborhoods both during and after Reconstructionassaults on white people traveling in predominantly black neighborhoods; assaults on lesbiangaybisexual and transgender people; the painting of swastikas on Jewish synagogues; and xenophobic responses to a variety of minorityethnic groups.[12]

Postcard of the Duluth lynchings of African-American men on June 15, 1920

The verb “to lynch” is attributed to the actions of Charles Lynch, an 18th-century Virginia Quaker. Lynch, other militia officers, and justices of the peace rounded up Tory sympathizers who were given a summary trial at an informal court; sentences handed down included whipping, property seizure, coerced pledges of allegiance, and conscription into the military. Originally, the term referred to extrajudicial organized but unauthorized punishment of criminals. It later evolved to describe execution outside “ordinary justice.” It is highly associated with white suppression of African Americans in the South, and periods of weak or nonexistent police authority, as in certain frontier areas of the Old West.[4]

The murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom and the Wichita Massacre were not classified as “hate crimes” by U.S. investigative officials or the media. In the early 21st century, conservative commentators David HorowitzMichelle Malkin (Fox News channel and author) and Stuart Taylor Jr. (journalist) did describe these events as “hate crimes against whites by blacks.”[13]

Psychological effects

Hate crimes can have significant and wide-ranging psychological consequences, not only for their direct victims but for others as well. A 1999 U.S. study of lesbian and gay victims of violent hate crimes documented that they experienced higher levels of psychological distress, including symptoms of depression and anxiety, than lesbian and gay victims of comparable crimes which were not motivated by antigay bias.[14] A manual issued by the Attorney-General of the Province of Ontario in Canada lists the following consequences:[15]

Impact on the individual victim
psychological and affective disturbances; repercussions on the victim’s identity and self-esteem; both reinforced by a specific hate crime’s degree of violence, which is usually stronger than that of a common crime.
Effect on the targeted group
generalized terror in the group to which the victim belongs, inspiring feelings of vulnerability among its other members, who could be the next hate crime victims.
Effect on other vulnerable groups
ominous effects on minority groups or on groups that identify themselves with the targeted group, especially when the referred hate is based on an ideology or a doctrine that preaches simultaneously against several groups.
Effect on the community as a whole
divisions and factionalism arising in response to hate crimes are particularly damaging to multicultural societies.

Hate crime victims can also develop depression and psychological trauma.[16]

A review of European and American research indicates that terrorist bombings cause Islamophobia and hate crimes to flare up but, in calmer times, they subside again, although to a relatively high level.[17] Terrorist’s most persuasive message is that of fear and fear, a primary and strong emotion, increases risk estimates and has distortive effects on the perception of ordinary Muslims.[17] Widespread Islamophobic prejudice seems to contribute to anti-Muslim hate crimes, but indirectly: terrorist attacks and intensified Islamophobic prejudice serve as a window of opportunity for extremist groups and networks.[17]

Laws

Hate crime laws generally fall into one of several categories:

  1. laws defining specific bias-motivated acts as distinct crimes;
  2. criminal penalty-enhancement laws;
  3. laws creating a distinct civil cause of action for hate crimes; and
  4. laws requiring administrative agencies to collect hate crime statistics.[18] Sometimes (as in Bosnia and Herzegovina), the laws focus on war crimesgenocide, and crimes against humanity with the prohibition against discriminatory action limited to public officials.

Eurasia

European Union

Since 2002, with an amendment to the Convention on Cybercrime, the European Union mandates individual states to punish as a crime hate speech done through the internet.[19]

Andorra

Discriminatory acts constituting harassment or infringement of a person’s dignity on the basis of origin, citizenship, race, religion, or gender (Penal Code Article 313). Courts have cited bias-based motivation in delivering sentences, but there is no explicit penalty enhancement provision in the Criminal Code. The government does not track hate crime statistics, although they are relatively rare.[18]

Armenia

Armenia has a penalty-enhancement statute for crimes with ethnic, racial, or religious motives (Criminal Code Article 63).[18]

Austria

Austria has a penalty-enhancement statute for reasons like repeating a crime, being especially cruel, using others’ helpless states, playing a leading role in a crime, or committing a crime with racist, xenophobic or especially reprehensible motivation (Penal Code section 33(5)).[20]

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has a penalty-enhancement statute for crimes motivated by racial, national, or religious hatred (Criminal Code Article 61). Murder and infliction of serious bodily injury motivated by racial, religious, national, or ethnic intolerance are distinct crimes (Article 111).[18]

Belarus

Belarus has a penalty-enhancement statute for crimes motivated by racial, national, and religious hatred and discord.[18][21]

Belgium

Belgium‘s Act of 25 February 2003 (“aimed at combating discrimination and modifying the Act of 15 February 1993 which establishes the Centre for Equal Opportunities and the Fight against Racism”) establishes a penalty-enhancement for crimes involving discrimination on the basis of gender, supposed race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, civil status, birth, fortune, age, religious or philosophical beliefs, current or future state of health and handicap or physical features. The Act also “provides for a civil remedy to address discrimination.”[18] The Act, along with the Act of 20 January 2003 (“on strengthening legislation against racism”), requires the Centre to collect and publish statistical data on racism and discriminatory crimes.[18]

Bosnia and Herzegovinavina (enacted 2003) “contains provisions prohibiting discrimination by public officials on grounds, inter alia, of race, skin colour, national or ethnic background, religion and language and prohibiting the restriction by public officials of the language rights of the citizens in their relations with the authorities (Article 145/1 and 145/2).”[22]

Bulgaria

Bulgarian criminal law prohibits certain crimes motivated by racism and xenophobia, but a 1999 report by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance found that it does not appear that those provisions “have ever resulted in convictions before the courts in Bulgaria.”[23]

Croatia

The Croatian Penal Code explicitly defines hate crime in article 89 as “any crime committed out of hatred for someone’s race, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other belief, national or social background, asset, birth, education, social condition, age, health condition or other attribute”.[24] On 1 January 2013, a new Penal Code was introduced with the recognition of a hate crime based on “race, skin color, religion, national or ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender identity”.[25]

Czech Republic

The Czech legislation finds its constitutional basis in the principles of equality and non-discrimination contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms. From there, we can trace two basic lines of protection against hate-motivated incidents: one passes through criminal law, the other through civil law. The current Czech criminal legislation has implications both for decisions about guilt (affecting the decision whether to find a defendant guilty or not guilty) and decisions concerning sentencing (affecting the extent of the punishment imposed). It has three levels, to wit:

  • circumstance determining whether an act is a crime – hate motivation is included in the basic constituent elements. If hate motivation is not proven, conviction for a hate crime is not possible.
  • circumstance determining the imposition of a higher penalty – a hate motivation is included in the qualified constituent elements for some types of crimes (murder, bodily harm). If hate motivation is not proven, the penalty is imposed according to the scale specified for the basic constituent elements of the crime.
  • general aggravating circumstance – the court is obligated to take the hate motivation into account as a general aggravating circumstance and determines the amount of penalty to impose. Nevertheless, it is not possible to add together a general aggravating circumstance and a circumstance determining the imposition of a higher penalty. (see Annex for details)

Current criminal legislation does not provide for special penalties for acts that target another by reason of his sexual orientation, age or health status. Only the constituent elements of the criminal offense of Incitement to hatred towards a group of persons or to the curtailment of their rights and freedoms, and general aggravating circumstances include attacking a so-called different group of people. Such a group of people can then, of course, be also one defined by sexual orientation, age or health status. A certain disparity has thus been created between, on the one hand, those groups of people who are victimized by reason of their skin color, faith, nationality, ethnicity or political persuasion and enjoy increased protection, and, on the other hand, those groups that are victimized by reason of their sexual orientation, age or health status and are not granted increased protection. This gap in protection against attacks motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, age or health status cannot be successfully bridged by interpretation. Interpretation by analogy is inadmissible in criminal law, sanctionable motivations being exhaustively enumerated.[26]

Denmark

Although Danish law does not include explicit hate crime provisions, “section 80(1) of the Criminal Code instructs courts to take into account the gravity of the offence and the offender’s motive when meting out penalty, and therefore to attach importance to the racist motive of crimes in determining sentence.”[27] In recent years judges have used this provision to increase sentences on the basis of racist motives.[18][28]

Since 1992, the Danish Civil Security Service (PET) has released statistics on crimes with apparent racist motivation.[18]

Estonia

Under section 151 of the Criminal Code of Estonia of 6 June 2001, which entered into force on 1 September 2002, with amendments and supplements and as amended by the Law of 8 December 2011, “activities which publicly incite to hatred, violence or discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, colour, sex, language, origin, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion, or financial or social status, if this results in danger to the life, health or property of a person, are punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units or by detention”.[29]

Finland

Finnish Criminal Code 515/2003 (enacted January 31, 2003) makes “committing a crime against a person, because of his national, racial, ethnical or equivalent group” an aggravating circumstance in sentencing.[18][30] In addition, ethnic agitation (Finnishkiihotus kansanryhmää vastaan) is criminalized and carries a fine or a prison sentence of not more than two years. The prosecution need not prove that an actual danger to an ethnic group is caused but only that malicious message is conveyed. A more aggravated hate crime, warmongering (Finnishsotaan yllyttäminen), carries a prison sentence of one to ten years. However, in case of warmongering, the prosecution must prove an overt act that evidently increases the risk that Finland is involved in a war or becomes a target for a military operation. The act in question may consist of

  1. illegal violence directed against a foreign country or its citizens,
  2. systematic dissemination of false information on Finnish foreign policy or defense
  3. public influence on the public opinion towards a pro-war viewpoint or
  4. public suggestion that a foreign country or Finland should engage in an aggressive act.[31]

Nepal

France

In 2003, France enacted penalty-enhancement hate crime laws for crimes motivated by bias against the victim’s actual or perceived ethnicity, nation, race, religion, or sexual orientation. The penalties for murder were raised from 30 years (for non-hate crimes) to life imprisonment (for hate crimes), and the penalties for violent attacks leading to permanent disability were raised from 10 years (for non-hate crimes) to 15 years (for hate crimes).[18][32]

Georgia

“There is no general provision in Georgian law for racist motivation to be considered an aggravating circumstance in prosecutions of ordinary offenses. Certain crimes involving racist motivation are, however, defined as specific offenses in the Georgian Criminal Code of 1999, including murder motivated by racial, religious, national or ethnic intolerance (article 109); infliction of serious injuries motivated by racial, religious, national or ethnic intolerance (article 117); and torture motivated by racial, religious, national or ethnic intolerance (article 126). ECRI reported no knowledge of cases in which this law has been enforced. There is no systematic monitoring or data collection on discrimination in Georgia.”[18]

Germany

The German Criminal Code does not have hate crime legislation, but instead criminalizes hate speech under a number of different laws, including Volksverhetzung. In the German legal framework motivation is not taken into account while identifying the element of the offence. However, within the sentencing procedure the judge can define certain principles for determining punishment. In section 46 of the German Criminal Code it is stated that “the motives and aims of the perpetrator; the state of mind reflected in the act and the willfulness involved in its commission.”[33] can be taken into consideration when determining the punishment; under this statute, hate and bias have been taken into consideration in sentencing in past cases.[34]

Hate crimes are not specifically tracked by German police, but have been studied separately: a recently published EU “Report on Racism” finds that racially motivated attacks are frequent in Germany, identifying 18,142 incidences for 2006, of which 17,597 were motivated by right wing ideologies, both about a 14% year-by-year increase.[35] Relative to the size of the population, this represents an eightfold higher rate of hate crimes than reported in the US during the same period.[36] Awareness of hate crimes and right-wing extremism in Germany remains low.[37]

Greece

Article Law 927/1979 “Section 1,1 penalises incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence towards individuals or groups because of their racial, national or religious origin, through public written or oral expressions; Section 1,2 prohibits the establishment of, and membership in, organisations which organise propaganda and activities aimed at racial discrimination; Section 2 punishes public expression of offensive ideas; Section 3 penalises the act of refusing, in the exercise of one’s occupation, to sell a commodity or to supply a service on racial grounds.”[38] Public prosecutors may press charges even if the victim does not file a complaint. However, as of 2003, no convictions had been attained under the law.[39]

Hungary

Violent action, cruelty, and coercion by threat made on the basis of the victim’s actual or perceived national, ethnic, religious status or membership in a particular social group are punishable under article 174/B of the Hungarian Criminal Code.[18] This article was added to the Code in 1996.[40]

Iceland

Section 233a of the Icelandic Penal Code states “Anyone who in a ridiculing, slanderous, insulting, threatening or any other manner publicly abuses a person or a group of people on the basis of their nationality, skin colour, race, religion or sexual orientation, shall be fined or jailed for up to two years.”[41]

India

In past few years, a number of hate crimes in India against minority communities especially against Muslims and Christians rise tremendously. To monitor this rising trend of hate crime based on religious identity a web portal is launched name DOTO Database to track these incidents.[42]

From the 3035 reported incidents August 2018, 1892 were Muslims. That is 62% of the total violence and 740 were Christians. That is 24% of the total violence.[43]

Ireland

“The Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989″ makes it an offense to incite hatred against any group of persons on account of their race, color, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origins, or membership of the Traveller community, an indigenous minority group.”[18]

Ireland does not systematically collect hate crime data.[18]

Italy

Italian criminal law, at Section 3 of Law No. 205/1993, the so-called Legge Mancino (Mancino law), contains a penalty-enhancement provision for all crimes motivated by racial, sex/gender, ethnic, national, or religious bias.[18]

Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan, there are constitutional provisions prohibiting propaganda promoting racial or ethnic superiority.[18]

Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, “the Constitution of the State party prohibits any kind of discrimination on grounds of origin, sex, race, nationality, language, faith, political or religious convictions or any other personal or social trait or circumstance, and that the prohibition against racial discrimination is also included in other legislation, such as the Civil, Penal and Labour Codes.”[44]

Article 299 of the Criminal Code defines incitement to national, racist, or religious hatred as a specific offense. This article has been used in political trials of suspected members of the banned organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir.[18][45]

Russia

Article 29 of the penal code of the Russian Federation bans incitement to riot for the sake of stirring societal, racial, ethnic, and religious hatred as well as the promotion of the superiority of the same. Article 282 further includes protections against incitement of hatred (including gender) via various means of communication, instilling criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment.[46]

Spain

Article 22(4) of the Spanish Penal Code includes a penalty-enhancement provision for crimes motivated by bias against the victim’s ideology, beliefs, religion, ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, illness or disability.[18]

Sweden

Article 29 of the Swedish Penal Code includes a penalty-enhancement provision for crimes motivated by bias against the victim’s race, color, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or “other similar circumstance” of the victim.[18][47]

Ukraine

I. “Constitution of Ukraine :

The most important law of the Ukraine country : the “Constitution of Ukraine” guarantees protection against Hate crime :

“Constitution of Ukraine :

Article 10 : “In Ukraine, free development, use and protection of Russian and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine are guaranteed”.

Article 11 : “The state shall promote the development of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of all indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine”.

Article 24 :”There can be no privileges or restrictions on the grounds of race, color of the skin, political, religious or other beliefs, sex, ethnic or social origin, property status, place of residence, language or other grounds”.[48]

II. “CRIMINAL CODEX OF UKRAINE” :

in Ukraine, all criminal punishments for crimes committed under the law are required to be registered in only one law, it is the only one: “CRIMINAL CODEX OF UKRAINE”

The crimes committed for Hate crime reinforce the punishment in many articles of the criminal law. There are also separate articles on punishment for Hate crime.

“CRIMINAL CODEX OF UKRAINE” :

Article 161 : “Violations of equality of citizens depending on their race, nationality, religious beliefs, disability and other grounds

1. Intentional acts aimed at incitement to national, racial or religious hatred and violence, to humiliate national honor and dignity, or to repulse citizens’ feelings due to their religious beliefs, as well as direct or indirect restriction of rights or the establishment of direct or indirect privileges citizens on the grounds of race, color, political, religious or other beliefs, sex, disability, ethnic or social origin, property status, place of residence, language or other grounds”(Maximum criminal sentence of up to 8 years in prison)

Article 300 : “Importation, manufacture or distribution of works promoting a cult of violence and cruelty, racial, national or religious intolerance and discrimination” (Maximum criminal sentence of up to 5 years in prison)[49]

United Kingdom

For EnglandWales, and Scotland, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 makes hateful behaviour towards a victim based on the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) in a racial group or a religious group an aggravation in sentencing for specified crimes.[50] The Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (c. 24) amended sections of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.[51] For Northern Ireland, Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (S.I. 1987/463 (N.I. 7)) serves the same purpose.[52] A “racial group” is a group of persons defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins. A “religious group” is a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief. The specified crimes are assault, criminal damage, offences under the Public Order Act 1986, and offences under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Sections 145 and 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 require a court to consider whether a crime which is not specified by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is racially or religiously aggravated, and to consider whether the following circumstances were pertinent to the crime:

(a) that, at the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender demonstrated towards the victim of the offence hostility based on—

(i) the sexual orientation (or presumed sexual orientation) of the victim, or
(ii) a disability (or presumed disability) of the victim, or
(b) that the offence is motivated (wholly or partly)—

(i) by hostility towards persons who are of a particular sexual orientation, or
(ii) by hostility towards persons who have a disability or a particular disability.[53][54]

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) reported in 2013 that there are an average of 278,000 hate crimes a year with 40% being reported according to a victims survey, although police records only identified around 43,000 hate crimes a year.[55] It was widely reported that police recorded a 57% increase in hate crime complaints in the four days following the UK’s European Union membership referendum, however a press release from the National Police Chief’s Council stated that “this should not be read as a national increase in hate crime of 57 per cent”.[56][57]

In 2013, Greater Manchester Police began recording attacks on goths, punks and other alternative culture groups as hate crimes.[58]

On December 4, 2013 Essex Police launched the ‘Stop the Hate’ initiative as part of a concerted effort to find new ways to tackle hate crime in Essex. The launch was marked by a conference in Chelmsford, hosted by Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh, which brought together 220 delegates from a range of partner organisations involved in the field. The theme of the conference was ‘Report it to Sort it’ and the emphasis was on encouraging people to tell police if they have been a victim of hate crime, whether it be based on race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability.[59]

Crown Prosecution Service guidance issued on 21 August 2017 stated that online hate crimes should be treated as seriously as offences in person.[60]

Perhaps the most high-profile hate crime in modern Britain occurred in ElthamLondon, on 24 April 1993, when 18-year-old black student Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in an attack by a gang of white youths. Two white teenagers were later charged with the murder, and at least three other suspects were mentioned in the national media, but the charges against them were dropped within three months after the Crown Prosecution Service concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. However, a change in the law a decade later allowed a suspect to be charged with a crime twice if new evidence emerged after the original charges were dropped or a “not guilty” verdict was delivered in court. Gary Dobson, who had been charged with the murder in the initial 1993 investigation, was found guilty of Stephen Lawrence’s murder in January 2012 and sentenced to life imprisonment, as was David Norris, who had not been charged in 1993. A third suspect, Luke Knight, had been charged in 1993 but was not charged when the case came to court nearly 20 years later.

Scotland

Under Scottish Common law[citation needed] the courts can take any aggravating factor into account when sentencing someone found guilty of an offence. There is legislation dealing with the offences of incitement of racial hatred, racially aggravated harassment, prejudice relating to religious beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, and transgender identity.[61] A Scottish Executive working group examined the issue of hate crime and ways of combating crime motivated by social prejudice, reporting in 2004.[62] Its main recommendations were not implemented, but in their manifestos for the Scottish Parliament election, 2007 several political parties included commitments to legislate in this area, including the Scottish National Party who now form the Scottish Government. The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 19 May 2008 by Patrick Harvie MSP,[63] having been prepared with support from the Scottish Government, and was passed unanimously by the parliament on 3 June 2009.[64]

Eurasian countries with no hate crime laws[edit]

A photograph of the famous fresco Bathing of the Christ, after being vandalized by a Kosovo Albanian mobduring the 2004 unrest in Kosovo

AlbaniaCyprusSan MarinoSlovenia and Turkey have no hate crime laws.[18]

North America

Canada

“In Canada the legal definition of hate crime can be found in sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code”. [65]

In 1996 the federal government amended a section of the Criminal Code that pertains to sentencing. Specifically, section 718.2. The section states (with regard to the hate crime):

A court that imposes a sentence shall also take into consideration the following principles:

(a) a sentence should be increased or reduced to account for any relevant aggravating or mitigating circumstances relating to the offence or the offender, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,

(i) evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor, . . . shall be deemed to be aggravating circumstances.” [65]

A vast majority (84 per cent) of hate crime perpetrators were “male, with an average age of just under 30. Less than 10 of those accused had criminal records, and less than 5 per cent had previous hate crime involvement (ibid O’Grady 2010 page 163.).” [66] “Only 4 percent of hate crimes were linked to an organized or extremist group (Silver et al., 2004).” [67]

As of 2004, Jewish people were the largest ethnic group targeted by hate crimes, followed by blacks, Muslims, South Asians, and homosexuals (Silver et al., 2004).[67]

During the Nazi regime, anti-Semitism was a cause of hate related violence in Canada. For example, on August 16, 1933 there was a baseball game in Toronto and one team was made up of mostly Jewish players. At the end of the game, a group of Nazi sympathizers unfolded a Swastika flag and shouted ‘Heil Hitler’. That event erupted into a brawl that had Jews and Italians against Anglo Canadians and the brawl went on for hours.[65]

The first time someone was charged with hate speech over the internet occurred on 27 March 1996. “A Winnipeg teenager was arrested by the police for sending an email to a local political activist that contained the message ‘Death to homosexuals’ it’s prescribed in the Bible! Better watch out next Gay Pride Week.’ (Nairne, 1996).”[67]

United States

Shepard (center), Louvon Harris (left), Betty Bryd Boatner (right) with President Barack Obama in 2009 to promote the Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Hate crime laws have a long history in the United States. The first hate crime[68] laws were passed after the American Civil War, beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1871, to combat the growing number of racially motivated crimes being committed by the Reconstruction era Ku Klux Klan. The modern era of hate-crime legislation began in 1968 with the passage of federal statute, 18 U.S. 245, part of the Civil Rights Act which made it illegal to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone who is engaged in six specified protected activities, by reason of their racecolorreligion, or national origin.” However, “The prosecution of such crimes must be certified by the U.S. attorney general.”.[69]

The first state hate-crime statute, California’s Section 190.2, was passed in 1978 and provided for penalty enhancement in cases where murder was motivated by prejudice against four “protected status” categories: race, religion, color, and national origin. Washington included ancestry in a statute passed in 1981. Alaska included creed and sex in 1982 and later disabilitysexual orientation, and ethnicity. In the 1990s some state laws began to include agemarital status, membership in the armed forces, and membership in civil rights organizations.[70]

Criminal acts which could be considered hate crimes in various states included aggravated assaultassault and batteryvandalismrapethreats and intimidationarsontrespassingstalking, and various “lesser” acts until in 1987 California state legislation included all crimes as possible hate crimes.[71]

Defined in the 1999 National Crime Victim Survey, “A hate crime is a criminal offense. In the United States, federal prosecution is possible for hate crimes committed on the basis of a person’s race, religion, or nation origin when engaging in a federally protected activity.” In 2009, the Matthew Shepard Act added actual or perceived gendergender identitysexual orientation, and disability to the federal definition, and dropped the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally protected activity.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of hate crimes. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have statutes creating a civil cause of action in addition to the criminal penalty for similar acts. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have statutes requiring the state to collect hate crime statistics.[72]

According to the FBI Hate Crime Statistics report for 2006, hate crimes increased nearly 8% nationwide, with a total of 7,722 incidents and 9,080 offenses reported by participating law enforcement agencies. Of the 5,449 crimes against persons, 46% were classified as intimidation and 32% as simple assaults. 81% of the 3,593 crimes against property were acts of vandalism or destruction.[73]

However, according to the FBI Hate Crime Statistics for 2007, the number of hate crimes decreased to 7,624 incidents reported by participating law enforcement agencies.[74] These incidents included 9 murders and 2 rapes(out of the almost 17,000 murders and 90,000 forcible rapes committed in the U.S. in 2007).[75]

Attorney General Eric Holder said in June 2009 that recent killings show the need for a tougher U.S. hate crimes law to stop “violence masquerading as political activism”.[76]

The 2011 hate crime statistics show 46.9% were motivated by race and 20.8% by sexual orientation.[77]

In 2015, the Hate Crimes Statistics report identified 5,818 single-bias incidents involving 6,837 offenses, 7,121 victims, and 5,475 known offenders[78]

Prosecutions of hate crimes have been difficult in the United States. Recently though, state governments have attempted to re-investigate and re-try past hate crimes. One prominent example is Mississippi’s decision in 1990 to retry Byron De La Beckwith for the murder of Medgar Evers, a prominent figure in the NAACP.[79] This would be the first time in U.S. history that an unresolved civil rights case would be re-opened. Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, was tried for the murder on two previous occasions and it resulted with a hung jury. However, he was finally sentenced to life in prison in 1994. Presented with testimony of two FBI informants who had infiltrated the KKK, the missing transcript from the first trial, the relocation of missing witnesses, numerous witness admissions of Beckwith bragging about his role in the murder and Beckwith’s own racist writings, a mixed race jury found Beckwith guilty of murder. Even though De La Beckwith was 73 years of age when he was sentenced to life in prison, the 1994 conviction has been interpreted as a way for Mississippi to shed its racist past.[80]

According to a November 2016 report issued by the FBI hate crime statistics are on the rise in the United States.[81] The number of hate crimes increased from 5,850 in 2015, to 6,121 hate crime incidents in 2016, an increase of 4.6 percent.[82][83][84]

Victims in the United States

One of the largest waves of hate crimes took place during the civil rights movement. During the 1950s and 1960s, both violence and threats of violence were common against African Americans, and hundreds of lives were lost due to such acts. Members of this social class faced violence from groups such as the Ku Klux Klan as well as violence from individuals who were committed to maintaining segregation.[85] At the time, civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and their supporters fought hard for the right of African Americans to vote as well as for equality in their everyday lives. African Americans have been the target of hate crimes since the Civil War,[86] and the humiliation of this social class was also desired by many Anti-black individuals. Other frequently reported bias motivations were bias against a religion, bias against a particular sexual orientation, and bias against a particular ethnicity/national origin.[87] At times, these bias motivations overlapped, because violence can be both anti-gay and anti-black, for example.[88]

Analysts have compared groups in terms of the per capita rate of hate crimes committed against them, to allow for differing populations. Overall, the total number of hate crimes committed since the first hate crime bill was passed in 1997 is 86,582.[89] David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Hate Crimes in the US (2008–2012) by Population Group
Population Group Estimated Population Total Hate Crimes Against (2008-2012)[90][91][92][93][94] Rate (per 100,000 people) Violent Hate Crimes Against[95] Rate (per 100,000 people)
Jewish 5,248,674[96] 4,457 84.9 411 7.8
LGBT 9,000,000[97] 7,231 66.9 3,849 35.6
Muslim 1,852,473[96] 761 41.1 258 13.9
Black 38,929,319[98] 13,411 34.4 4,356 11.2
Aboriginal 2,932,248[98] 364 12.4 161 5.5
Hispanic 50,477,594[98] 3,064 6.1 1,482 2.9
Asian & Pacific Islander 15,214,265[98] 798 5.2 276 1.8
White 223,553,265[98] 3,459 1.5 1,614 0.7
Catholic 67,924,018[99] 338 0.5 32 0.0
Atheist & Agnostic 17,598,496[99] 47 0.3 5 0.0
Protestant 148,197,858[99] 229 0.2 17 0.0

Among the groups currently mentioned in the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, the largest number of hate crimes are committed against African Americans.[100] During the Civil Rights Movement, some of the most notorious hate crimes included the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the 1964 murders of Charles Moore and Henry Dee, the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, the 1955 murder of Emmett Till,[86] as well as the burning of crosses, churches, Jewish synagogues and other places of worship of minority religions. Such acts began to take place more frequently after the racial integration of many schools and public facilities.[100]

High-profile murders targeting victims based on their sexual orientation have prompted the passage of hate crimes legislation, notably the cases of Sean W. Kennedy and Matthew Shepard. Kennedy’s murder was mentioned by Senator Gordon Smith in a speech on the floor of the US Senate while he advocated such legislation. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law in 2009. It included sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, the disabled, and military personnel and their family members.[101][citation needed] This is the first all-inclusive bill ever passed in the United States, taking 45 years to complete.[clarification needed]

Gender-based crimes may also be considered hate crimes. This view would designate rape and domestic violence, as well as non-interpersonal violence against women such as the École Polytechnique massacre in Quebec, as hate crimes.[102][103][104]

In May 2018, ProPublica reviewed police reports for 58 cases of purported anti-heterosexual hate crimes. ProPublica found that about half of the cases were anti-LGBT hate crimes that had been miscategorized, and that the rest were motivated by hate towards Jews, blacks or women or that there was no element of a hate crime at all. ProPublica found not a single case of a hate crime spurred by anti-heterosexual bias.[105]

South America

Brazil

In Brazil, hate crime laws focus on racism, racial injury, and other special bias-motivated crimes such as, for example, murder by death squads[106] and genocide on the grounds of nationalityethnicity, race or religion.[107] Murder by death squads and genocide are legally classified as “hideous crimes” (crimes hediondos in Portuguese).[108]

The crimes of racism and racial injury, although similar, are enforced slightly differently.[109] Article 140, 3rd paragraph, of the Penal Code establishes a harsher penalty, from a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 3 years, for injuries motivated by “elements referring to race, color, ethnicityreligion, origin, or the condition of being an aged or disabled person“.[110] On the other side, Law 7716/1989 covers “crimes resulting from discrimination or prejudice on the grounds of race, color, ethnicity, religion, or national origin”.[111]

In addition, the Brazilian Constitution defines as a “fundamental goal of the Republic” (Article 3rd, clause IV) “to promote the well-being of all, with no prejudice as to origin, race, sex, color, age, and any other forms of discrimination”.[112]

Chile

In 2012, the Anti-discrimination law amended the Criminal Code adding a new aggravating circumstance of criminal responsibility, as follows: “Committing or participating in a crime motivated by ideology, political opinion, religion or beliefs of the victim; nation, race, ethnic or social group; sex, sexual orientationgender identity, age, affiliation, personal appearance or suffering from illness or disability.”[113][114]

Middle East

Israel is the only country in the middle east who has hate crime laws. Hate crime, as passed by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament), is defined as crime for reason of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation

Support for and opposition to hate crime laws

Support[edit]

Justifications for harsher punishments for hate crimes focus on the notion that hate crimes cause greater individual and societal harm.[citation needed] It is said[115] that, when the core of a person’s identity is attacked, the degradation and dehumanization is especially severe, and additional emotional and physiological problems are likely to result. Society then, in turn, can suffer from the disempowerment of a group of people.[citation needed] Furthermore, it is asserted that the chances for retaliatory crimes are greater when a hate crime has been committed. The riots in Los Angeles, California that followed the beating of Rodney King, a Black motorist, by a group of White police officers are cited as support for this argument.[12] The beating of white truck driver Reginald Denny by black rioters during the same riot is also an example that supports this argument.

In Wisconsin v. Mitchell, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously found that penalty-enhancement hate crime statutes do not conflict with free speech rights, because they do not punish an individual for exercising freedom of expression; rather, they allow courts to consider motive when sentencing a criminal for conduct which is not protected by the First Amendment.[116] Whilst in the case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire the court defined “fighting words” as “those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”[117]

Opposition

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously found the St. Paul Bias-Motivated Crime Ordinance amounted to viewpoint-based discrimination in conflict with rights of free speech, because it selectively criminalized bias-motivated speech or symbolic speech for disfavored topics while permitting such speech for other topics.[118] Many critics further assert that it conflicts with an even more fundamental right: free thought. The claim is that hate-crime legislation effectively makes certain ideas or beliefs, including religious ones, illegal, in other words, thought crimes.[119][120] Heidi Hurd argues that hate crimes criminalize certain dispositions yet do not show why hate is a morally worse disposition for a crime than one motivated by jealousy, greed, sadism or vengeance or why hatred and bias are uniquely responsive to criminal sanction compared to other motivations. Hurd argues that whether or not a disposition is worse than another is case sensitive and thus it is difficult to argue that some motivations are categorically worse than others.[121]

In their book Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity PoliticsJames B. Jacobs and Kimberly Potter criticize hate crime legislation for exacerbating conflicts between groups. They assert that by defining crimes as being committed by one group against another, rather than as being committed by individuals against their society, the labeling of crimes as “hate crimes” causes groups to feel persecuted by one another, and that this impression of persecution can incite a backlash and thus lead to an actual increase in crime.[122] Jacobs and Potter also argued that hate crime legislation can end up only covering the victimization of some groups rather than all, which is a form of discrimination itself and that attempts to remedy this by making all identifiable groups covered by hate crime protection thus make hate crimes co-terminus with generic criminal law. The authors also suggest that arguments which attempt to portray hate crimes as worse than normal crimes because they spread fear in a community are unsatisfactory, as normal criminal acts can also spread fear yet only hate crimes are singled out.[122] Indeed it has been argued that victims have varied reactions to hate crimes, so it is not necessarily true that hate crimes are regarded as more harmful than other crimes.[123][124] Heidi Hurd argues that hate crime represents an effort by the state to encourage a certain moral character in its citizen and thus represents the view that the instillation of virtue and the elimination of vice are legitimate state goals, which she argues is a contradiction of the principles of liberalism. Hurd also argues that increasing punishment for an offence because the perpetrator was motivated by hate compared to some other motivation means that the justice systems is treating the same crime differently, even though treating like cases alike is a cornerstone of criminal justice[125]

Some have argued hate crime laws bring the law into disrepute and further divide society, as groups apply to have their critics silenced.[126] American forensic psychologist Karen Franklin said that the term hate crime is somewhat misleading since it assumes there is a hateful motivation which is not present in many occasions;[127] in her view, laws to punish people who commit hate crimes may not be the best remedy for preventing them because the threat of future punishment does not usually deter such criminal acts.[128] Some on the political left have been critical of hate crime laws for expanding the criminal justice system and dealing with violence against minority groups through punitive measures.[6]

See also

References

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

Story 2: Open Border Democrats and Republicans Are Supporting Drug Cartels By Aiding and Abetting Criminal Illegal Alien and Illegal Drug Smuggling — Videos

Six illegal immigrants linked to notorious Mexican drug cartel are arrested for trafficking meth and cocaine after police sting

  • Cops arrested Oscar, Regulo, Raul, and Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez in a raid
  • They also busted Francisco Garcia-Martinez and Rodolfo Martinez in the bust
  • The gang transported huge amounts of cocaine and meth to Charlotte, NC

Six illegal immigrants linked to one of Mexico‘s most dangerous cartels have been arrested in North Carolina during a drug trafficking operation – it has been revealed. 

Police documents revealed by WSOC show that the operation involved the transportation of large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The suspects were identified as Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez, Francisco Garcia-Martinez, Rodolfo Martinez, Raul Rangel-Gutierrez and Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez. 

Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez (left), Rodolfo Martinez (center), and Regulo Rangel Gutierrez (right)

Federal officials said more than 1,800 grams of meth were delivered from Oscar Rangel-Guiterrez's home in Statesville in August and October last year

Federal officials said more than 1,800 grams of meth were delivered from Oscar Rangel-Guiterrez’s home in Statesville in August and October last year

‘Members of the investigative team believe – based on wire intercepts, surveillance and other facts discovered from the investigation – that Oscar and Regulo transport illicit proceeds, derived from the sales of narcotics, when they travel from Myrtle Beach to Charlotte,’ the court documents read.

Court documents indicated that Rangel-Guiterrez and the five other suspects were in the country illegally..

The person who lived there, Oscar Rangel-Guiterrez, is an alleged high-level cartel member.

Francisco Garcia-Martinez (left), Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez (center) and Raul Rangel-Gutierrez (right)

Court documents indicated that Rangel-Guiterrez and the five other suspects were in the country illegally

Court documents indicated that Rangel-Guiterrez and the five other suspects were in the country illegally

Misty Joyner, who reportedly lived near the home in Charlotte where investigators said Rangel-Gutierrez stored drug money, was in disbelief about her neighbors.

‘Just devastating,’ Joyner told WSOC. ‘They were good people.’

The group were said to have been affiliated with the Jalisco New Generation cartel which has been engaged in a blood feud with ‘El Chapo’s’ infamous Sinaola cartel.

Sinaloa’s leader, Guzman, was convicted last Tuesday in New York, likely meaning he will spend decades behind bars in the United States.

The group were said to have links to El Chapo who was convicted by a New York court last week

The group were said to have links to El Chapo who was convicted by a New York court last week

Story 3: Under Communist China’s Social Credit System Jussie Smollett Would Be Labeled As Untrustworthy And Unable To Travel Because of A Low Social Credit Score Due To Criminal Behavior and Blacklist Banning — Vast Surveillance Facial Recognition System — Safe, Secure, State Socialism in The Police Surveillance State of Communist China — Videos

China: facial recognition and state control | The Economist

Trust and consequences: China’s evolving ‘social credit system’

Everyone In China Is Getting A ‘Social Credit Score’

 China bans millions with low ‘social credit’ from rail, air travel | Al Jazeera English

China Behavior Rating System V/S Sweden Microchip implants | Must watch technology

China rolls out social credit system to spy on population

Inside China’s High-Tech Dystopia

China’s social credit system shows its teeth, banning millions from taking flights, trains

  • Annual report shows the businesses and individuals added to trustworthiness blacklist as use of the government system accelerates
  • System aims to pressure citizens to avoid bad behaviour, although human rights advocates argue it does not take into account individual circumstances

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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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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/

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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)
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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 1201, February 4, 2019, Story 1: Patriots Win Super Bowl and Brooklyn Dodger Fans Cheer — Champions of The World — OK — Videos — Story 2: Soaking The Rich With 70% Tax Rate Is Not The Answer — Replacing All Federal Taxes With A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax Like The Fair Tax Is The Answer Together With Downsizing The Federal Government Which Is The Problem — Beware of Fake Polls — Videos — Story 3: Trump’s State of The Union Address — United We Stand Divided We Fall — Never Ever Give Up — Video

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Story 1: Patriots Win Superbowl and Brooklyn Dodger Fans Cheer — Champions of The World — OK — Videos —

Patriots vs. Rams | Super Bowl LIII Game Highlights

Super Bowl LIII Highlights | Patriots vs. Rams | NFL

Super Bowl 2019: Patriots beat Rams in historic win

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Top 15 LEAKED Super Bowl 53 Commercials (2019 Super Bowl LIII)

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Dodgers’ Brooklyn 1955 Win, LA Move & More: Ex-Broadcaster Vin Scully Remembers | Sports Illustrated

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LA vs NY Kids – Who’s Smarter?

 

Throwback night: Pats win Super Bowl the old-fashioned way

New England Patriots’ Tom Brady holds his daughter, Vivian, after the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. The Patriots won 13-3. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Graying but still gritty, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots came to the Super Bowl intending to stave off, for at least one more game, the inevitable onslaught of the NFL’s future.

Job well done.

Pro football never looked flatter, older and more stuck in the days of the VCR than it did Sunday.

In a Super Bowl only New England could love, the Patriots won their sixth title by lumbering their way to a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams — that young, brash, high-flying team with the 33-year-old coach and the 24-year-old quarterback who were, we thought, changing football before our very eyes.

If only we could’ve kept them open.

Among the Super Bowl records set: Fewest points by both teams (16); fewest points by the winning team (13); fewest combined points through three quarters (6); most consecutive drives ending with a punt (8 by the Rams); longest punt (65 yards).

The halftime show with Maroon 5 offered no relief — roundly ripped, including by an Associated Press reviewer who called it “Empty. Boring. Basic. Sleepy.”

He could have said the same about the game. But give credit where it’s due.

The defense designed by Belichick turned Rams quarterback Jared Goff into a jittery mess. He completed 19 of 38 passes for 229 yards, with an assortment of rushed throws, misread coverages and, in the tiny windows in which LA showed any sign of life, a pair of terrible passes.

One, trailing 3-0 in the third quarter, was late and high to wide-open Brandin Cooks in the end zone; the other, trailing 10-3 with 4:17 left in the fourth quarter, was high under pressure for an easy interception by Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore that essentially ended the game.

“I know I definitely have a lot to learn from this one,” said Rams coach Sean McVay, who, at 33, is exactly half the age of Belichick.

McVay has been the flavor of the month in the copycat NFL. Other teams have hired away three of his assistant coaches over the last two years, as the league tries to catch up with his newfangled offense that cracked 30 points in 13 games this season.

On Sunday, it managed one 53-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein and didn’t take a snap inside the New England 20.

Gilmore’s interception came minutes after Brady engineered the game’s lone touchdown drive.

It was five plays and included four straight completions: 18 yards to Rob Gronkowski, 13 yards to Julian Edelman, seven yards to backup running back Rex Burkhead, then a 29-yard teardrop placed perfectly into the arms of Gronkowski, who was double-covered. Sony Michel ran it in from 2 yards for the touchdown with 7 minutes left.

“We couldn’t get points on the board for one reason or another,” Brady said, “but in the end, it feels a lot better than last year, when we did get some points on the board.”

Last year, the Patriots fell 41-33 to Philly in a back-and-forth thriller that essentially featured one good defensive play: a sack and strip on Brady by Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham with the clock running down.

The year before, the Patriots scored 31 points in the second half and overtime for a riveting 34-28 comeback win over Atlanta and title No. 5.

Then, this.

New England’s road to a sixth Lombardi Trophy — tied with Pittsburgh for the most — was never easy this season. The Patriots lost five times, didn’t have home-field advantage through the playoffs and, after every loss, were beset by questions over whether the 41-year-old Brady and his 66-year-old coach might be winding down.

Through it all, though, they could score. New England averaged 27.2 points a game. And in the run through the playoffs, the offense scored 10 touchdowns and Brady barely got touched, and never got sacked.

They were not clicking like that Sunday at the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where 70,081 fans — most of them cheering for New England — watched the game.

Other than Edelman, whose 10 catches for 141 yards won him MVP honors and made him look like a combination of Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice considering everything happening around him, the Patriots were out of sync.

Brady’s first pass got intercepted. He went 21 for 35 for 262 yards and a passer rating of 71.4 — more than 26 points lower than he averaged this season.

New England outgained Los Angeles 195-57 in the first half, but settled for two field goal attempts — one miss and one make — for a 3-0 lead at the break.

It was 3-3 heading into the fourth quarter — the fewest points through the first 45 minutes of any playoff game since a 1980 barnburner between the Bucs and Rams that LA won 9-0.

Maybe the biggest irony of all: The New England dynasty’s five previous Super Bowl victories came by 3, 3, 3, 4 and 6. Two were decided on the last play. The other three came down to the final minutes.

Compared to that, this was a veritable runaway.

On a day when New England held LA running back Todd Gurley to 35 yards, when LA couldn’t muster a drive longer than five plays for nearly three quarters, and when LA’s Johnny Hekker (eight punts, 46.3 yard average) was his team’s most effective player, a 10-point lead at the end felt like a million.

“It’s a beautiful thing, man,” said New England cornerback Jason McCourty.

And a game only the Patriots could love.

https://apnews.com/cf0c0abdfc584bde84422d3bed2d524c

FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD)

The FairTax: It’s Time

Mike Huckabee – What is the “Fair Tax?”

Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail

The FairTax for Dummies – Simple to Understand

What’s the difference between the Fair Tax and the Income Tax?

Why is the FairTax better than a flat income tax?

What will the transition be like from the income tax to the FairTax?

Bill Gates: Don’t tax my income, tax my consumption

Taxes: States With Lowest Taxes Growing Fastest

Income Tax vs. Consumption Tax

Is America’s Tax System Fair?

Is Capitalism Moral?

Soak the rich? Americans say go for it

Surveys are showing overwhelming support for raising taxes on top earners.

The prospect of 70 percent tax rates for multimillionaires and special levies on the super-rich draw howls about creeping socialism and warnings of economic disaster in much of Washington.

But polling suggests that when it comes to soaking the rich, the American public is increasingly on board.

Surveys are showing overwhelming support for raising taxes on top earners, including a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Monday that found 76 percent of registered voters believe the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes. A recent Fox News survey showed that 70 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on those earning over $10 million — including 54 percent of Republicans.

The numbers suggest the political ground upon which the 2020 presidential campaign will be fought is shifting in dramatic ways, reflecting the rise in inequality in the United States and growing concerns in the electorate about the fairness of the American system.

“There is a deep wellspring in terms of perception of unfairness in the economy that’s been tapped into here that either didn’t exist five years ago or existed and had not had a chance to be expressed,” said Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and investment strategy at JPMorgan Asset Management who has studied the latest tax proposals. “This is quite a moment in American economic history where all of a sudden in a matter of months this thing has kind of exploded like this.”

Even proposals that sound radical poll well.

A plan from first-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to slap a 70 percent marginal rate on income earned over $10 million clocked in at 59 percent support in a recent Hill/HarrisX poll.

The new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted Feb. 1-2, found that 61 percent favor a proposal like the “wealth tax” recently laid out by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that would levy a 2 percent tax on those with a net worth over $50 million and 3 percent on those worth over $1 billion. Just 20 percent opposed the idea. The poll surveyed 1,993 registered voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.

It showed 45 percent favored a plan like that laid out by Ocasio-Cortez while 32 percent opposed it.

Democrats are facing some backlash from conservatives, corporate America and moderates like former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz over their embrace of higher tax rates on the rich and corporations. Shultz recently called Warren’s wealth tax “ridiculous.” Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a potential moderate Democratic candidate in 2020, likened it to policies in socialist Venezuela.

But Republicans who think they can use the proposals as a political weapon in 2020 to paint Democrats as wild-eyed, tax-and-spend liberals — a winning strategy since Walter Mondale called for higher taxes in 1984 and got crushed — may find it challenging.

“There is certainly an appetite for more taxes on the rich, though the threshold matters,” said Karlyn Bowman, a polling expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “There is also some support for redistributing income.”

Historical trend data from Gallup show that the percentage of people describing their taxes as too high peaked around 1970 at 69 percent when the top marginal rate was around 70 percent, though the effective rate after deductions and other tax-avoidance strategies was much lower.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/04/democrats-taxes-economy-policy-2020-1144874

Story 3: Trump’s State of The Union Address — United We Stand Divided We Fall — Never Ever Give Up — Video

Trump talks race, football, foreign policy and more ahead of the Super Bowl

Trump: Impeachment is the “only way” Democrats can win in 2020

#QAnon Never Ever Give Up !

Winston Churchill – “Never Give In” Speech

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The Pronk Pops Show 1155, October 12, 2018, Breaking News — Story 1: Pastor Andrew Brunson After Two Years Held By Turkey For Alledgedly Abetting Terrorist Groups and Espionage,  Convicted, Sentence Commuted and Freed To Go Home — Videos — Story 2: Missing Journalist Presumed Killed By Saudi Government — Death To Dissenters — Videos — Story 3: Major Security Breach at Facebook — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Celebrates Columbus Day? — Happy Columbus Day — Videos

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Story 1: Pastor Andrew Brunson After Two Years Held By Turkey For Alledgedly Abetting Terrorist Groups and Espionage,  Convicted, Sentence Commuted and Freed To Go Home — Videos —

Special Report w/ Bret Baier 10/12/18 | Breaking Fox News Today | October 12, 2018

Turkish court releases Pastor Brunson from house arrest

Turkish court frees American pastor Andrew Brunson

Turkey: US pastor Andrew Brunson returns to house after release by court

US pastor Andrew Brunson leaves Turkey

Trump says freed Christian pastor Andrew Brunson could meet with him in the Oval Office as soon as TOMORROW after Turkish court freed him following ‘terrorism’ arrest

  • Andrew Brunson faced life in jail if convicted of terror charges and espionage
  • The pastor, originally from North Carolina, had lived in Turkey for 20 years
  • President Donald Trump has said on Twitter that Turkey must free Brunson, 50
  • Trump’s tariff on Turkish steel and aluminum imports triggered a currency crisis
  • President now says Brunson will meet him in the Oval Office, perhaps Saturday
  • He insisted no deal was struck for Brunson’s release 

Traveling in Ohio, President Donald Trump told reporters that it was ‘good news’ and he understands that Brunson is ‘in good shape.’  Trump has long pressed Turkey for the pastor’s release.

‘He’s going to be coming to the Oval Office, most likely on Saturday,’ the president said in Ohio. ‘But we’re very honored to have him back here with us. He suffered greatly but we’re very appreciative of a lot of people, a lot of people.’

US pastor Brunson arrives at Adnan Menderes airport in Izmir, after being freed

US pastor Brunson arrives at Adnan Menderes airport in Izmir, after being freed

US pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (down L), is escorted to his home in Izmir, Turkey, before heading to the airport to board a US military plane to begin his journey back to the United States after a court freed him

US pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (down L), is escorted to his home in Izmir, Turkey, before heading to the airport to board a US military plane to begin his journey back to the United States after a court freed him

‘We went through a system and we got him out. We tried to get him out for a long time. This has nothing to do with anything and there’s no deal there at all, there’s no deal,’ he insisted.

The White House said it was still ‘deeply concerned about the continued detention of other United States citizens in Turkey and around the world, and urge the resolution of all these cases in a transparent and fair manner.’

The Turkish court’s decision to lift judicial controls meant that evangelical pastor Brunson, at the heart of a diplomatic spat between the two countries, can leave Turkey and return to the United States.

The trial of pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (pictured), which has huge implications for U.S.-Turkey relations, ended Friday with an order to release him – a move that allows him to leave the country

President Donald Trump told reporters in Ohio that Brunson will soon meet with him in the Oval Office

The White House said that despite the release of Brunson (shown in the back seat) it was still 'deeply concerned about the continued detention of other United States citizens in Turkey and around the world, and urge the resolution of all these cases in a transparent and fair manner.'

Brunson’s arrest in 2016 sparked a diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the Trump administration, which had threatened new sanctions against the Erdogan government.

President Donald Trump tweeted – after international press reported the verdict – that he was ‘[w]orking very hard on Pastor Brunson!’

He later added in a second tweet: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Brunson, and we hope to have him safely back home soon!’

And then a third hit Twitter: ‘PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON!’

Fahrettin Altun, communications director for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, insisted that Turkish courts are independent from governments, including Trump’s.

‘We would like to remind him once again that Turkey is a democratic country with the rule of law, and that Turkish courts are independent, he told reporters. ‘No body, authority, office or person may issue orders or instructions to the courts or to judges in the exercise of their powers.’

Pamela Brunson, 75, the mother of the pastor, was at her home in Black Mountain, a town in North Carolina near Asheville, when she learned of the news from a Reuters reporter calling about the court’s decision.

A U.S. embassy official escorted Norine Brunson, the wife of Andrew Brunson, before his trial in Izmir, Turkey, early Friday, October 12

US pastor Andrew Brunson (C) travels in a police vehicle escorted by Turkish police as he enters Aliaga Prison Court at Aliaga District in Izmir

‘They have?’ she said, her voice quavering. ‘Well, we were at an all-night prayer meeting during the trial and we got home and we fell asleep. We were up all night. Praise God! I’m so excited! Oh that’s wonderful! Thank you so much for letting us know. We’re so happy.’

She brought her husband, Ron, near the phone as the reporter read aloud some of a published Reuters report about the proceedings in Turkey.

‘We are overjoyed that God has answered the prayers of so many people around the world,’ she said.

In Turkey, witnesses said Brunson wept as the decision was announced. Before the judge’s ruling, the pastor told the court: ‘I am an innocent man. I love Jesus, I love Turkey.’

The fourth hearing of the case against Brunson took place in a prison complex near the western Turkish city of Izmir.

Brunson, an evangelical pastor accused of terror-related charges and espionage, arrived in a secured convoy before daybreak. He had faced up to 35 years in jail.

Brunson, 50, has lived in Turkey for more than two decades. He rejected the charges and strongly maintained his innocence.

 
President Donald Trump tweeted after international press reported Brunson's release that he was '[w]orking very hard on Partor Brunson, later adding his 'thoughts and prayers' and a prediction that he will have a safe return to the United States
President Donald Trump tweeted after international press reported Brunson’s release that he was ‘[w]orking very hard on Partor Brunson, later adding his ‘thoughts and prayers’ and a prediction that he will have a safe return to the United States

He is one of thousands caught up in the widespread government crackdown that followed a failed coup against the Turkish government in July 2016.

Prosecutors accuse Brunson of committing crimes on behalf of terror groups, linking him to outlawed Kurdish militants and a network led by a US-based Turkish cleric who is accused of orchestrating the coup attempt.

The U.S. maintained that he was being held unjustly, and repeatedly called for his release.

The new hearing came at a time of a new but growing alignment between the U.S. and Turkey over the suspected murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in America and who is feared to have been killed inside the Gulf kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.

Turkish police sources have leaked information to a number of news outlets that the Turkish government believes that the Saudi Arabian government ordered Khashoggi’s murder.

Some commentators have suggested that in order to procure America intervention – particularly against the Saudis, who Trump considers a firm ally – Turkey should release all of its American hostages – starting with Pastor Brunson.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Thursday that the US was hopeful he will soon go free, but said she was unaware of any agreement for his release.

A car carrying Norine Brunson, wife of pastor Andrew Brunson, arrives at the Aliaga Prison and Courthouse complex in Izmir

Turkish security officials stand outside a courthouse before a convoy with US pastor Andrew Brunson sitting inside a car arrives for his trial in Izmir

Norine Brunson wife of American pastor Andrew Brunson, departs for her husband's court hearing. Brunson has been under house arrest in Izmir, Turkey while awaiting trial

President Trump has posted a number of tweets about Brunson's case, demanding his release and threatening sanctions on Turkey 

President Trump has posted a number of tweets about Brunson’s case, demanding his release and threatening sanctions on Turkey

The pastor, who is originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, was imprisoned for nearly two years – detained in October 2016 and formally arrested in December that year – before being placed under house arrest on July 25 for health reasons.

The court’s decision failed to improve tensions between the two NATO allies and Washington slapped sanctions on two Turkish officials and doubled tariff on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.

Those moves in August, coupled with concerns over the government’s economic management, helped trigger a Turkish currency crisis.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has resisted demands for Brunson’s release, insisting that the courts are independent.

But he had previously suggested a possible swap of Brunson and the Pennsylvania-resident Fethullah Gulen – the cleric accused of being behind the coup.

Turkish police officers stand near the residence of US pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held under house arrest in Izmir

Official car of Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Mission to Turkey Jeffrey M. Hovenier (not pictured) arrives to visit US pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been accused of abetting terrorist groups and supporting Fethullah Gulen, the cleric blamed for the failed coup attempt in 2016

Official car of Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to Turkey Jeffrey M. Hovenier (not pictured) arrives to visit US pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been accused of abetting terrorist groups and supporting Fethullah Gulen, the cleric blamed for the failed coup attempt in 2016

A person involved in efforts to free Andrew Brunson say the 50-year-old pastor from North Carolina could be freed at his next court appearance on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because officials had not yet reached a final agreement on the release and it could still fall through

A person involved in efforts to free Andrew Brunson say the 50-year-old pastor from North Carolina could be freed at his next court appearance on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because officials had not yet reached a final agreement on the release and it could still fall through

Brunson led a small congregation in the Izmir Resurrection Church. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, with representatives monitoring the trial, has listed him as a ‘prisoner of conscience.’

William Devlin, an evangelical pastor from New York spoke to reporters outside the prison, saying hundreds of thousands of Christians are praying for Brunson’s release.

Brunson’s lawyer took the case to Turkey’s highest court last week seeking his release.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6268415/American-pastor-arrest-treason-enraged-Trump-court-released-TODAY.html

 

Story 2: Missing Journalist Presumed Killed By Saudi Government — Videos —

How the U.S. should respond to Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance

Turkey has video evidence of journalist’s killing in Saudi consulate, source says

What’s behind the Arab silence over Khashoggi fate? l Inside Story

Where is Jamal Khashoggi? Saudi Arabia denies abduction of missing journalist

Alleged Saudi Murder of Washington Post Columnist Prompts Calls to Halt U.S. Relations with Regime

Saudi Arabia’s missing princes – BBC Newsnight

How this young prince seized power in Saudi Arabia

‘He was interrogated, tortured and then murdered’: Arabic audio handed to the U.S. ‘proves Saudi critic WAS killed at consulate before 15-man assassination squad sneaked his body to consul general’s home’

  • The Washington Post reports journalist Jamal Khashoggi was beaten, killed and dismembered October 2 at the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Audio recording reportedly lays out the story as voices are heard speaking Arabic but Turkish authorities are reluctant to release it
  • Sources believe the man who split his time between the US and Istanbul was victim of a plan to lure him to KSA for punishment after his critiques
  • John R. Bradley says Khashoggi ‘had dirt’ on Saudi ties to Osama bin Laden
  • He also says Crown Prince considered him a threat to his vision for the kingdom 

The government in Turkey claims to have evidence that US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabia embassy after the critic of the country went to get a visa for his upcoming wedding.

He was captured on CCTV footage entering the building in Istanbul October 2 and a source has told The Washington Post he was killed and then dismembered by members of security.

‘The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,’ the insider told the newspaper that Khashoggi, 59, worked for.

‘You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic … You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.’

The Washington Post reports journalist Jamal Khashoggi was beaten and killed October 2 at the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

1.14pm: Jamal Khashoggi, right, at Saudi consulate in Istanbul

One of them, a Mercedes Vito, stops for several hours at Saudi consul general's residence

On the move - 3.08pm: Vehicles with diplomatic plates leave the Istanbul consulate

On the move – 3.08pm: Vehicles with diplomatic plates leave the Istanbul consulate

The audio reportedly hold the key to the ‘gruesome’ goings on that day but the Post reports the Turkish officials have been reluctant to release the recording as it may give away how they spy on foreign entities that are based there.

Recordings allegedly are very ‘persuasive’ in revealing the journalist was ‘beaten’ before various other details that have been shared with American officials took place. It’s not clear if the US side has listened directly to the alleged evidence however.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia denied the claims something happened to the man – who has been known to critique KSA – inside the consulate and state he left unharmed.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently been promoted as the member of the royal family that has pushed forward for one of the strictest Middle Eastern countries to take a more liberal approach to culture.

Khashoggi wasn’t necessarily supportive of his vision however.

However, the Post reports that even before the journalist’s plan to go to Saudi, some people connected to the US government believed Salman was involved in a plan to lure him back.

Mr Khashoggi was critical of some of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's (above) policies

One official said there was no evidence to support that claim which included speculation the team of 15 men in the consulate planned to take him to Saudi Arabia initially and didn’t arrive with the intention to kill him.

The Washington Post was told the audio reveals the team went to the home of the Saudi consul general after the incident and staff were instructed to go home earlier than usual.

It is believed a car discreetly took the body of Khashoggi out of the consulate and to the property two hours after he went in.

The report also refers to at least one phone call from inside the consulate worth noting.

President Donald Trump had commented on the disappearance but stands by his decision to sell arms to the kingdom. The US leader had shared if he didn’t make the sale the wealthy country would simply buy from Russia instead.

Democrat Senator Bob Corker believes that as more of the story unfolds Trump may regret his decision.

‘I shared with him before this happened, please do not push to have any arms sales brought up right now because they will not pass. It will not happen. With this, I can assure it won’t happen for a while,’ he added to reporter Wednesday.

The Saudi ambassador in the United States is expected to answer to officials in the country when he returns from a trip, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a media briefing.

She said: ‘We have said to him that we expect information upon his return to the United States.’

Saudi Arabia targeted Jamal Khashoggi (pictured) because the journalist knew about the kingdom's ties to al-Qaeda in the run-up to 9/11, a former colleague has said

In an article called for The Spectator , Bradley, who worked alongside Mr Khashoggi at Saudi daily Arab News, reveals Mr Khashoggi 'had dirt' on the kingdom's links to al-Qaeda before the terror attacks on September 11, 2001

Further evidence that Mr Khashoggi never left the consulate include screen grabs from a WhatsApp chat showing he used his phone minutes before entering the building - and then never again

Mr Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the US since late 2017, fearing arrest back home.

John R. Bradley – who is also a former colleague of Mr Khashoggi’s – has revealed exactly why the kingdom wants him dead.

In an article called for The Spectator, Bradley, who worked alongside Mr Khashoggi at Saudi daily Arab News, reveals Khashoggi ‘had dirt’ on the kingdom’s links to al-Qaeda before the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. 

Bradley believes the Saudis may have also worried that he had become a US asset.

Earlier this year, Mr Khashoggi had established a new political party in the US called Democracy for the Arab World.

But Mr Khashoggi’s recent rejection of the offer to return to Saudi Arabia as an advisor – a snub to the Crown Prince – may have been the final straw.

Friends of Mr Khashoggi told the Washington Post that for several months, senior Saudi officials were offering him protection, ‘even a high-level job working for the government’ if the critic returned to the kingdom – but he was sceptical of such offers.

He was the most well-known political pundit in the Arab world with more than two million followers on Twitter.

In his columns, Bradley says, he urged Crown Prince Mohammed to embrace the rise of political Islam, rather than western-style democracy.

Last month, he criticized the Saudi war in Yemen, which is closely identified with Crown Prince Mohammed.

‘Saudi Arabia must face the damage from the past three-plus years of war in Yemen,’ he wrote in the Washington Post on September 11.

Hatice Cengiz, 36, who waited outside for hours for her fiance Khashoggi to return, has spoken of being left in a 'state of deep confusion and sadness'

Despite there being a number of visible CCTV cameras - ringed in red - Saudi Arabia claims none of them worked on the day in question

TIMELINE: WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN MR KHASHOGGI’S DISAPPEARANCE

OCTOBER 2

03:28: Gulf Stream IV private jet carrying suspected Saudi agents arrives at Istanbul airport.

05:05: The group checking into two hotels nearby to the Saudi consulate building.

12:13: Several diplomatic vehicles are filmed arriving at the consulate, allegedly carrying some of the Saudi agents.

13:06: Jamal Khashoggi is last seen on WhatsApp. He then hands his mobile to his fiancée Hatice Cengiz.

13:14: Khashoggi enters the consulate building.

13.24: A message is delivered to Khashoggi’s WhatsApp – but it is never read.

15:08: Vehicles leave the consulate and are filmed arriving at the nearby Saudi consul’s residence.

17:15: A second private jet carrying a number of suspected Saudi officials lands in Istanbul.

17:33: Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, is seen on CCTV waiting outside the consulate.

18:20: One of the private jets departs from Istanbul airport.

21:00: The final plane leaves Istanbul.

OCTOBER 3

The Washington Post, for whom Khashoggi writes opinion pieces, raises the alarm, saying Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the consulate.

OCTOBER 4

After an initial period of silence, Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi had disappeared ‘after he left the consulate building’.

*All times in Istanbul time.

On Thursday, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said sanctions would have to be imposed at the ‘highest levels’ of the Saudi government if it were found that the government was behind the disappearance and reported death of Mr Khashoggi.

It comes as Turkish investigators prepared to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was last seen.

‘If it turns out to be what we all think it is today but don’t know, there will have to be significant sanctions placed at the highest levels,’ Republican Senator Bob Corker told reporters at the US Capitol.

Corker added: ‘You can´t go around killing journalists.’

Global pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, over the whereabouts of Mr Khashoggi, who entered the consulate to get documents for his planned marriage last week.

His Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside, said he never re-appeared.

‘I have to find out what happened … and we’re probably getting closer than you might think,’ President Trump said in an interview on Fox & Friends.

She also shared her heart-break in an opinion piece for the Post.

‘We were in the middle of making wedding plans, life plans. After the consulate, we were going to buy appliances for our new home and set a date. All we needed was a piece of paper,’ she wrote. ‘Jamal is a valuable person, an exemplary thinker and a courageous man who has been fighting for his principles. I don’t know how I can keep living if he was abducted or killed in Turkey.’

It comes as a witness claimed to have heard screams for help moments before Mr Khashoggi disappeared from the Saudi consulate.

The source, who was inside the consulate last Tuesday afternoon when Mr Khashoggi arrived to pick up official documents, has spoken to investigators.

They said they heard ‘sounds of loud screams and shouting, as well as calls for help and the sound of a struggle and then sudden silence,’ according to Al Jazeera.

Further evidence that Mr Khashoggi never left the consulate emerged, as screenshots of his WhatsApp account shows he last used his mobile phone minutes before entering the building – when he was sent a link to a MailOnline article regarding a prominent Saudi.

The screenshots, obtained by NBC News, show the WhatsApp conversation between Mr Khashoggi and a US friend, which indicated that the last time he was active on his phone was at 1.06pm Istanbul time.

Just eight minutes later, at 1.14pm, he was caught on CCTV as he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate.

The friend sent a message to Mr Khashoggi at 1.24pm – a message which was received, but never read.

Investigators are confident they may be able to discover Mr Khashoggi’s fate, using data collected from his Apple Watch – which was connected to the phone he left with Ms Cengiz.

Britain warned Saudi Arabia of ‘serious consequences’ if  it turns out Mr Khashoggi was murdered by his own people.

‘People who have long thought of themselves as Saudi’s friends are saying this is a very, very serious matter,’ Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged Saudi Arabia to provide CCTV images to back up its version that Mr Khashoggi had left the consulate safely, indicating he did not find the current Saudi explanations sufficient.

‘It’s not possible for us [Turkey] to stay silent regarding an incident like this,’ Erdogan said.

‘Is it possible there were no camera systems in a consulate, in an embassy? Is it possible that there was no Saudi camera system where this incident took place?’

‘If a bird flew, or a fly or a mosquito appeared, the systems would capture this; they (Saudi Arabia) have the most cutting-edge systems,’ he was quoted as saying.

The identities of an alleged 15-member assassination squad surfaced.

The team is said to include a Saudi special forces officer, members of the royal guard and a senior forensics expert.

Police were seen entering the consulate this week but it is understood the Saudis rescinded an offer to allow forensic experts onto the premises after details of the Saudi identities emerged.

Riyadh has insisted Mr Khashoggi left the building alive and murder claims are ‘baseless’.

It says CCTV at the consulate were not working on the day in question.

Story 3: Major Security Breach at Facebook With — Facebook Changes The Lock — Videos —

Facebook says hackers accessed data of 29M users

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How to Know If Your Facebook Account Has Been Hacked

How to Know If Your Facebook Account Has Been HackedFor the second time this year, hackers have attacked millions of Facebook accounts. The social network announced last week that about 50 million users were recently hacked.

The hacking occurred because of a flaw in Facebook’s “View As” feature, which allows you to see your profile as others do. Users can type in a person’s name to get an understanding of what can be seen when a particular person is viewing their page.

This feature has been susceptible to attack since an update that occurred in July 2017.

Affected access tokens, which are like digital keys that allow a person to access their account without having to log in each time, were reset, forcing 50 million users plus an additional 40 million users to manually log back into their accounts. So if you were automatically logged out on all of your devices on the morning of Friday, Sept. 28, then there’s reason to believe your account was susceptible to the vulnerability.

Facebook said it did this as a precautionary step, logging out anyone who used the “View As” feature whether their account was actually affected or not. Users who were logged out do not need to change their password to be protected. The rightful owners of affected accounts will be able to log in with their current username and password.

Currently, the “View As” feature is not available while Facebook works to rectify the problem, those who try to use this feature should see an error message.

When Facebook announced the attack on its blog last Friday, it said affected users would receive a notification at the top of their News Feed when logging back into their account explaining what happened and what steps to take moving forward.

If you received this notification, you can select “Learn More” to get an understanding of how this breach will affect you. If you did not receive a notification at the top of your News Feed, your account was probably not affected by this security issue.

If you want to be extra safe, go to Settings– Security and Login– Where You’re Logged In to see if there are any unfamiliar devices attached to your account.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company isn’t sure about the source of the attack; nor is it clear if this breach led to users’ information being stolen or misused. The investigation is ongoing and those affected will be updated accordingly as the tech company learns more about the hack and the motives behind it.

The full extent of the breach is not known, but the company has alerted law enforcement and is working with the FBI to get to the bottom of the issue.

https://blogdice.com/how-to-know-if-your-facebook-account-has-been-hacked/

Hackers accessed personal information of 30 million Facebook users

Almost 30 million Facebook users’ phone numbers and email addresses were accessed by hackers in the biggest security breach in the company’s history, Facebook said Friday. The attackers accessed even more details on 14 million of those users, including the area where they live, their relationship status, their religion, and part of their search history.

The FBI is “actively investigating” the breach, Guy Rosen, a Facebook vice-president, told reporters on a call Friday. He said the FBI has asked the company”not to discuss who may be behind this attack” or to share other details that could compromise its investigation.
The company said that it may still not know the full extent of the attack and wasn’t ruling out the possibility of other “smaller-scale attacks” linked to the breach. The company said it will continue to investigate “other ways the people behind this attack used Facebook.”
The new details come two weeks after Facebook first announced that attackers had access to 50 million users’ accounts — meaning they could have logged in as those users. Facebook said on Friday that, “We now know that fewer people were impacted than we originally thought,” and said that 30 million people had been impacted.
For the 14 million worst hit by the breach, the attackers were able to access the following information, Facebook said: “username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in, website, people or Pages they follow, and the 15 most recent searches.”
Facebook said it will send a message to the 30 million users affected in the coming days and will be posting information to its help center.
Facebook is regulated by Irish authorities in Europe as its European headquarters is located there. A spokesperson for the Irish data regulator said of Friday’s announcement, “The update from Facebook today is significant now that Facebook has confirmed that the personal data of millions of users was taken by the perpetrators of the attack.”
The attack prompted Facebook to take the unprecedented step of logging out the 50 million users whose accounts were exposed and logged out another 40 million users as a precautionary measure.
The attackers exploited a series of bugs on Facebook’s platform. The vulnerability, Facebook said, had existed since July 2017. It wasn’t patched until last month, after the company’s engineers noticed some unusual activity that turned out to be the attack.
Despite Friday’s announcement, there are still many details about the hack that have not been made public, including who was behind it and if the attackers were targeting particular users or countries.

Was I hacked?

To find out if you are among the 30 million people whose information was accessed, you can click here to go to the Facebook help center. You need to be logged into Facebook. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll find details about your account in a blue box titled, “Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?”