Sexual Harrasment

The Pronk Pops Show 1245, April 26, 2019, Story 1: Crazy Communist Bernie Sanders Trying To Turn Texas Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists (REDS) — Socialist Justice Junkies Unite — Going All The Way — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Wows Audience at NRA Convention — Videos — Story 3: Trump — Capitalist vs. Sanders — Socialist — The Winner Is? — That Guy With The Tinted Hair! — Meant to Be — I’m Gonna Show You Crazy — I’m A Mess — Last Hurrah — Videos —

Posted on April 28, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bernie Sander, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Business, Cartoons, Climate Change, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Eating, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Joe Biden, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, Obesity, Overweight, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Public Corruption, Robert S. Mueller III, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, Social Networking, United States of America, Welfare Spending | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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, 201

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

Pronk Pops Show 1218 March 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1217 February 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1216 February 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1215 February 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1214 February 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1213 February 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1212 February 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1211 February 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1210 February 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1209 February 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1208 February 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1207 February 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1206 February 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1205 February 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1204 February 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1203 February 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1202 February 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1201 February 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1200 February 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1199 January 31, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1198 January 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1197 January 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1196 January 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1195 January 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1194 January 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1193 January 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1192 January 8, 2019

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Story 1: Crazy Communist Bernie Sanders Trying To Turn Texas Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists (REDS) — Socialist Justice Junkie Unite — Going All The Way — Videos —

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Sen. Bernie Sanders holds rally in Ft. Worth

Bernie Sanders Rallies Supporters in Fort Worth | NowThis

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Holding Fort Worth Rally

Town Hall with Bernie Sanders | Part 1

Town Hall with Bernie Sanders | Part 2

Bernie Sanders is booed and jeered by crowd at a forum in Houston as he squirms while answering questions on how he would protect black voters from white supremacists

  • Sanders was speaking at the She The People Forum in Houston on Wednesday
  • He was asked several times by host Aimee Allison about plans for black voters
  • The Vermont senator, 77, was jeered as he appeared to dodge some questions  

Bernie Sanders was booed and jeered by the crowd at the She The People Forum on Wednesday as he struggled to answer questions about black voters.

The 2020 presidential candidate was subjected to heckling from the fired-up crowd at Houston’s Texas Southern University as he was asked about his plans to combat white-supremacist violence.

At one point host Aimee Allison asked the 77-year-old Vermont senator what he would do to protect black communities.

Sanders was heckled as he spoke at the She The People Forum in Houston, Texas on Wednesday afternoon

Sanders was heckled as he spoke at the She The People Forum in Houston, Texas on Wednesday afternoon

Embedded video

chris evans@notcapnamerica

Bernie Sanders was asked by a woman of color in the audience what he would do about the rise of white supremacist violence as President.

Instead he started talking about minimum wage and Medicare For All.

The audience claps when the moderator clocks him.

Yikes.

‘I know I date myself a little bit here, but I actually was at the March on Washington with Dr. [Martin Luther] King back in 1963,’ Sanders said, launching into his familiar anecdote.

But before he could continue, loud jeers broke out among the crowd and one person shouted: ‘We know!’

‘As somebody who actively supported Jesse Jackson’s campaign, as one of the few white elected officials to do so in ’88, I have dedicated my life to the fight against racism, and sexism, and discrimination of all forms,’ Sanders continued.   

At one point in the discussion when Sanders appeared to dodge another question on white supremacists, host Aimee Allison drew loud applause when she reminded him that the ‘core of the question’ concerned violence against minorities

The 2020 presidential candidate was subjected to heckling from the fired-up crowd at Houston's Texas Southern University as he was asked about his plans to combat white-supremacist violence (a woman in the unimpressed-looking audience records Sanders)

The 2020 presidential candidate was subjected to heckling from the fired-up crowd at Houston’s Texas Southern University as he was asked about his plans to combat white-supremacist violence (a woman in the unimpressed-looking audience records Sanders)

An audience member looks toward the stage during the She the People Presidential Forum in Houston, Texas

An audience member looks toward the stage during the She the People Presidential Forum in Houston, Texas

Sanders got a mixed response from the crowd. Some of whom clapped for him, others booed when he mentioned his well-worn anecdote about being on a march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sanders got a mixed response from the crowd. Some of whom clapped for him, others booed when he mentioned his well-worn anecdote about being on a march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Co-host Joy Reid then asked Sanders how he planned to win over Hillary Clinton voters, including black women in particular.

Sanders then launched a long rant about Trump and was again heckled by the crowd over his refusal to answer the question, prompting Reid to ask, ‘Yeah, and for black women specifically?’

‘I’m sorry’, Sanders replied as the jeers grew even louder.

Reid repeated: ‘For black women specifically.’

Sanders’ response was then cut off as the heckles drowned out his speech: ‘Black women will be an integral part of what our campaign, and what our administration is about. Okay? And that means…’ 

After a few seconds waiting for the crowd to quieten down Reid appeared to ask if he was finished with his point, to which he simply replied ‘Yeah’.

Sanders appeared to dodge the question when asked by host Aimee Allison about his plans for tackling white supremacism

Sanders appeared to dodge the question when asked by host Aimee Allison about his plans for tackling white supremacism

Sanders was roundly jeered after launching into a familiar anecdote about marching with Martin Luther King Jr.

Sanders was roundly jeered after launching into a familiar anecdote about marching with Martin Luther King Jr.

The 77-year-old Vermont Senator appeared reticent to answer questions on black voters with specifics

The 77-year-old Vermont Senator appeared reticent to answer questions on black voters with specifics

Bernie Sanders supports study on slavery reparations

Story 2: President Trump Wows Audience at NRA Convention — Videos —

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NRA CONVENTION: President Trump FULL Speech

Trump tells NRA he’s withdrawing from arms trade treaty

In a largely symbolic gesture to a group that helped him win the White House, President Donald Trump said Friday he is pulling the U.S. back from an international agreement on the arms trade, telling the National Rifle Association the treaty is “badly misguided.”

Trump made the announcement at the NRA’s annual convention, where he vowed to fight for gun rights and implored members of the nation’s largest pro-gun group – struggling to maintain its influence – to rally behind his re-election bid.

“It’s under assault,” he said of the constitutional right to bear arms. “But not while we’re here.”

With pro-gun legislation largely stalled in Congress and few deliverables during Trump’s term so far, the president told the group that he would be revoking the United States’ status as a signatory of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates the multibillion-dollar global arms trade in conventional weapons, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.

President Barack Obama signed the pact, which has long been opposed by the NRA, in 2013. But it has never been ratified by U.S. lawmakers.

“Under my administration, we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone,” Trump said, before signing a document on stage directing the Senate to halt the ratification process. “We will never allow foreign diplomats to trample on your Second Amendment freedom.”

President Donald Trump arrives to speak to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“I hope you’re happy,” he told the group, then appeared surprised by the cheers. “I’m impressed,” he said. “I didn’t think too many of you would really know what it is.”

His move against the treaty came as Trump sought to excite an organization that was pivotal to his victory in 2016 but, three years later, is limping toward the next election divided and diminished. And it represents just the latest in a series of withdrawals from international pacts and organizations joined by previous administrations, like the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal.

Gun activists had denounced the treaty when it was under negotiation as an infringement of civilian firearm ownership, despite the well-enshrined legal principle that says no treaty can override the Constitution or U.S. laws. The treaty is aimed at cracking down on illicit trading in small arms, thereby curbing violence in some of the most troubled corners of the world.

It was the first legally binding treaty to regulate the international trade in conventional arms and was overwhelmingly approved by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly in April 2013. It has been ratified by 101 countries – but key arms exporters including Russia and China and major importers such as India and Egypt have given no indication that they will sign it.

Advocates of tighter gun restrictions and those who had helped negotiate the treaty denounced Trump’s decision Friday.

Kris Brown, president of the Brady organization, said will “only embolden terrorists and other dangerous actors around the world.” And Rachel Stohl, managing director of the Stimson Center and a consultant to the treaty negotiations, said: “By turning its back on multilateral diplomacy yet again, the United States is disregarding global norms and allowing nefarious actors to trade weapons with impunity.”

Yet Trump’s showy rejection of the agreement from the stage has limited effect because it has been unlikely all along that he would send the treaty to the Senate for ratification.

At the United Nations, spokesman Stephane Dujarric called the treaty “a landmark achievement in the efforts to ensure responsibility in international arms transfers” and particularly important at a time of renewed interest in expanding weapons arsenals.

Trump’s speech came at a troubled time for the gun rights organization, a one-time Republican kingmaker, which has been grappling with infighting, bleeding money and facing a series of investigations into its operating practices, including allegations that covert Russian agents seeking to influence the 2016 election courted its officials and funneled money through the group.

As Trump landed in Indianapolis, a judge imposed an 18-month prison term on gun rights activist Maria Butina, an admitted Russian agent who, according to her plea agreement, worked with a former Russian lawmaker to use their contacts in the NRA to pursue back channels to American conservatives during the 2016 presidential campaign.

While the group had high hopes for easing gun regulations after pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into 2016 campaigns, much of the legislation the group championed has stalled, due, in part, to a series of mass shootings, including the massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead.

Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and expert on gun policy, allowed that the group had scored some victories under Trump, including the appointment of two Supreme Court justices who may be open to striking down gun laws.

But overall, he said, “On the legislative front, the NRA has been frustrated,” with priorities like national reciprocity for conceal carry laws and a repeal of the ban on silencers stalled.

Instead, Trump introduced a new federal regulation: a ban on bump stocks after a man using the device opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers on the Las Vegas strip, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds.

That bothered some members attending the convention, even as many donned “Make America Great Again” hats and cheered Trump loudly.

Mike Cook, who works at a shipyard in Alabama, said he’s been disappointed that gun rights haven’t seen much movement under Trump. The bump stock ban, in particular, upset him because it was done administratively by Trump officials.

He’s uncertain if the millions spent on Trump’s campaign in 2016 were worth it. But, he said, Trump is “better than the alternatives.”

__

Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman and Deb Riechmann in Washington and Edith Lederer in New York contributed to this report.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has he arrives at Indianapolis International Airport to attend the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association at Lucas Oil Stadium, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump stands with Chris Cox, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, left, and NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre, right, as he arrives to speak to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump stands with Chris Cox, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, left, and NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre, right, as he arrives to speak to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A boy leans out into the wind from the Marine One helicopter to record on his cell phone as President Donald Trump departs the White House, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Washington en route to Indianapolis where Trump will speak at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A boy leans out into the wind from the Marine One helicopter to record on his cell phone as President Donald Trump departs the White House, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Washington en route to Indianapolis where Trump will speak at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In this April 25, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In this April 25, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6962635/NRA-diminished-role-played-2016-election.html

 strength of the U.S. economy continues to confound the liberal establishment.

Last week in Burnsville, Minnesota, President Donald Trump talks about tax reform with Bob Nuss, president of Nuss Truck and Equipment.PHOTO: RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER/ZUMA PRESS

What would we do without experts? As U.S. workers continue to enjoy a vibrant job market, they should spare a thought for laborers in one category of professional services who remain mired in a multi-year slump. Established manufacturers of Keynesian economic forecasts have entered a prolonged period of secular stagnation. Some may even wonder if they can ever break out of a “new normal” of declining prestige.

At the New York Times recently, economist Paul Krugman valiantly attempted to overcome his history of underrating American potential by making another call on tax policy and the macroeconomy. On April 8, Mr. Krugman wrote about one of President Trump’s signature policy achievements:

…his one major legislative success, the 2017 tax cut — which he predicted would be “rocket fuel” for the economy — has turned out to be a big fizzle, economically and, especially, politically.

It’s true that U.S. economic growth got a bump for two quarters last year, and Trumpists are still pretending to believe that we’ll have great growth for a decade. But at this point last year’s growth is looking like a brief and rapidly fading sugar high.

Today New York Times colleague Ben Casselman helps to set Mr. Krugman straight:

Rumors of the economic expansion’s death appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy, rose at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Friday. That is significantly better than most economists expected, and far better than the dour forecasts of early this year, when many forecast a near stall in growth.

While we can all celebrate the current expansion of U.S opportunity, forgive Harvard’s Larry Summers if he finds the latest news less than entirely pleasant. A former Clinton and Obama economic adviser, Mr. Summers wrote in May of 2017 in the Washington Post:

Details of President Trump’s first budget have now been released. Much can and will be said about the dire social consequences of what is in it and the ludicrously optimistic economic assumptions it embodies. My observation is that there appears to be a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course.

Apparently, the budget forecasts that U.S. economic growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the administration’s policies — largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies. Fair enough if you believe in tooth fairies and ludicrous supply-side economics.

Sadly Messrs. Summers and Krugman have had plenty of company in struggling to predict U.S. economic performance. It seems that a significant portion of the Beltway economic forecasting sector has had some strange inability to recognize the potential of non-government-directed investment. Today the White House Council of Economic Advisers notes:

We see in today’s advance estimate of real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2019 that the economy continues to outperform expectations… in their final longer-term forecasts before the November 2016 election, the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Open Market Committee on average projected four-quarter real GDP growth in 2017, 2018, and 2019 of 2.2, 2.0, and 1.7 percent, respectively. In actuality, real GDP grew 2.5 percent in 2017, 3.0 percent in 2018, and in the first quarter of 2019 grew at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent.

Recently there also seems to have been some inexplicable tendency among esteemed left-leaning economists to overemphasize the economic damage caused by a partial shutdown of the federal government. The outstanding report on first quarter growth had this column—and perhaps a few other Americans—wondering if perhaps we should hope for more such governmental interruptions. The White House says no, arguing that Commerce Department data suggest that the first quarter could have been even better:

In the absence of residual seasonality and the government shutdown, real GDP growth in the first quarter of this year might have been up to 1.2 percentage points higher, implying… annualized growth rates of 4.4 percent.

Let’s not go overboard. As Don Luskin of Trend Macrolytics points out, beneath today’s headline GDP number, growth in consumer spending and business investment was not as strong as we’d like. But overall the economy continues to show a remarkable vitality that has been especially surprising to the Democratic economic establishment.

It can even be a tad embarrassing. It’s one thing to express pessimism about America in a column. How would you like to have scheduled an entire event dedicated to discussing a pending economic disaster and then have to read today’s blowout GDP report?

The esteemed Brookings Institution recently announced a May event, “Preparing for the next recession: Policies to reduce the impact on the U.S. economy.” This came complete with a roster of credentialed declinists and an official Twitter hashtag: #RecessionReady.

All that’s missing is a sign of recession. Harriet Torry reports in the Journal on the optimism among corporate executives, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon:

“People are going back to the workforce. Companies have plenty of capital,” he said, adding that “business confidence and consumer confidence are both rather high…it could go on for years. There’s no law that says it has to stop,” he said.

The Brookings gang should take those words to heart, and realize that while times may be tough in the industry dedicated to forecasting doom, most of the country is doing much better.

***

Bottom Stories of the Day will return on Monday.

***

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(Teresa Vozzo helps compile Best of the Web.)

***

Mr. Freeman is the co-author of “Borrowed Time,” now available from HarperBusiness.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/has-the-recession-been-cancelled-11556311511

 

Bebe Rexha – Meant to Be (feat. Florida Georgia Line) [Official Music Video]

Bebe Rexha – I’m Gonna Show You Crazy (Official Music Video)

I’m Gonna Show You Crazy – Bebe Rexha (Lyric Video) *Explicit

Bebe Rexha – I’m A Mess

Bebe Rexha – Last Hurrah (Official Music Video)

Bebe Rexha

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Bebe Rexha
Bebe Rexha live at Staples Center, Los Angeles 15 (cropped).jpg

Rexha performing in 2016
Background information
Birth name Bleta Rexha
Born August 30, 1989 (age 29)
New York CityNew York, U.S.
Genres PopR&BEDM
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active 2010–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website beberexha.com

Bleta “Bebe” Rexha (/ˈbbi ˈrɛksə/Albanian pronunciation: [bɛbɛ rɛdʒa]; born August 30, 1989) is an American singer and songwriter.[1] After signing with Warner Bros. Records in 2013, Rexha received songwriting credits on Eminem and Rihanna‘s single “The Monster” (which later received the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Performance) and has also contributed songwriting to songs recorded by Shinee,[2] Selena Gomez and Nick Jonas.[1][3][4][5] Rexha released her debut extended play in 2015, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, which saw the moderate commercial success of the single “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy“.

Rexha released two additional extended plays in 2017, All Your Fault: Pt. 1 and All Your Fault: Pt. 2, which again saw the moderate success of the singles “I Got You” and “The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)“. Rexha has also seen success with several collaborations including “Me, Myself & I” with G-Eazy, “In the Name of Love” with Martin Garrix, and “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line, the latter of which seeing large success as a country crossover single, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. Rexha’s debut studio album Expectations (2018) reached number 13 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States and saw the success of its lead single “I’m a Mess“, and brought Rexha two nominations for Best New Artist and Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards.[6][7]

Early life

Rexha was born on August 30, 1989, in BrooklynNew York,[8] to ethnic Albanian parents.[9] Her father, Flamur Rexha, is an Albanian born in Debar when it was part of Yugoslavia. He immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 21, and her mother, Bukurije Rexha, was born in the U.S. to an Albanian family with roots in Gostivar (which, like Debar, is now part of North Macedonia).[10][11] In the Albanian languagebletë means “bee“; and she explained “My parents are Albanian, and people started calling me ‘Bebe’ for short.”[1] Bleta and her family moved to nearby Staten Island when she was six.[9]

Rexha played trumpet and taught herself to play guitar and piano.[12][13] Rexha attended Tottenville High School on Staten Island,[14] where she took part in a variety of musicals.[4][11] She also joined the choir, while still in high school.[13] After joining the choir, she discovered that her voice was a coloratura soprano.[15][16] Rexha lists Coldplaythe CranberriesLauryn HillAlanis Morissette, and Kanye West as musical influences.[17][18]

As a teenager, Rexha submitted a song to be performed at the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences‘ annual “Grammy Day” event. Rexha earned the “Best Teen Songwriter” award, beating around 700 other entrants.[9][19][20] As a result, she signed a contract with talent scout Samantha Cox, who encouraged Rexha to enroll in songwriting classes in Manhattan.[12][21]

Career

2010–2012: Career beginnings with Black Cards

Rexha with Pete Wentz on September 1, 2011, at the Rumsey Playfield

In 2010, Rexha met Fall Out Boy‘s bassist Pete Wentz with whom she began working at a recording studio in New York City.[13][22] She became a member and a lead vocalist of Wentz’s new experimental project of a band, called Black Cards. The band played a variety of live shows and released several singles and remixes. However, in January 2012, Wentz announced that Rexha had left the band to pursue other endeavors.[23] Bebe Rexha was awarded the Able Olman Scholarship for her contributions as a songwriter later that year.[24]

2013–2015: Solo debut and I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

In 2013, Rexha signed with Warner Bros. Records as a solo artist.[25] Rexha had begun writing several songs, including Selena Gomez‘s “Like a Champion” and Nikki Williams‘s “Glowing”.[3] Her most prominent songwriting effort of 2013 was Eminem’s and Rihanna’s “The Monster“, which was released as the fourth single from Eminem’s album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The song went on to top the charts for the US Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard‘s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony.[26] That same year, Rexha also wrote and was featured on Cash Cash‘s single “Take Me Home“.[25][17]

On March 21, 2014, Rexha released her debut single, “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You“.[17] The song peaked at number 22 on BillboardTop Heatseekers chart.[27] The music video was released on August 12, 2014. The video was inspired by imagery from films such as Girl, Interrupted and Melancholia.[28] In November 2014, Rexha was featured on rapper Pitbull‘s song “This Is Not a Drill”.[29] and in September 2014, she was picked as Elvis Duran‘s Artist of the Month and was featured on NBC‘s Today show hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, where she performed live her single “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You”.

In December 2014, Rexha released two more singles, “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” and “Gone“.[30][31] On May 12, 2015, she released her debut EP, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, through Warner Bros. Records.[32] She also co-wrote and was featured on David Guetta’s single “Hey Mama“, alongside Nicki Minaj and Afrojack.[3] The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and received 1.1 million downloads as of June 2015. The song did not originally credit Rexha, despite the fact that she sings the chorus and is featured on background vocals. Eventually, in June 2015, she was given a credit for her work.[32][33]

2015–2017: Collaborations and All Your Fault series

In January 2015, Rexha co-wrote and was featured on G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself & I”. The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100[34] and at number one on Billboard Pop Songs.[35] The song was originally titled “I Don’t Need Anything” and was intended as a song for Rexha herself. Instead, she brought the song idea to G-Eazy and was featured during the chorus.[36]

Rexha met Nicki Minaj’s manager, Gee Roberson, and asked if Minaj would contribute to a new song. In March 2016, Rexha released her single, called “No Broken Hearts” featuring Nicki Minaj.[37][21] In April 2016, the music video was released, directed by Dave Meyer.[38] The video accumulated over 240 million views on YouTube.[39]

On July 29, 2016, Rexha and Dutch DJ and record producer Martin Garrix released their single, “In the Name of Love“. It peaked at number 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100, at number four on US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and entered the top 10 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy, and New Zealand. The music video was released on August 23, 2016, on Martin Garrix’s YouTube channel.[40]

On November 6, 2016, Rexha hosted the 2016 MTV Europe Music Awards, at Rotterdam, Netherlands and performed multiple songs throughout the night, such as her single, “I Got You“.[41]

On October 28, 2016, Rexha released “I Got You“. Both “No Broken Hearts” and “I Got You” were originally intended for the All Your Fault album.[42] The latter peaked at number 17 on US Billboard Pop Songs[43] and at number 43 on US Billboard Hot 100.[44] The music video was released on January 6, 2017 and reached over 50 million views in four weeks, and accumulated 250 million views on YouTube. Direction changed from a full studio album to a multi EP project and “No Broken Hearts” was scrapped, making “I Got You” the first and only single from All Your Fault: Pt. 1, released on February 17, 2017. The EP peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200.[45] In March 2017 in Dallas, Rexha began her first solo headlining tour, promoting the EP across North America and Europe, named the All Your Fault Tour, with a total of 29 dates.[46]

Rexha performing in London, 2017.

In May 2017, Bebe Rexha: The Ride aired on MTV—a documentary which explores the moments which changed Rexha’s life and journey to stardom.[47]

On July 21, 2017, One Direction member Louis Tomlinson released the single “Back to You“, with Rexha and Digital Farm Animals as featured artists. The song peaked at number 40 on Billboard Hot 100.

The Way I Are (Dance with Somebody)” featuring Lil Wayne was released as the first single from All Your Fault: Pt. 2 on May 19, 2017.[48] On June 12, Rexha performed the song at the Ubisoft E3 press conference, before announcing Just Dance 2018, on which the song appears.[49] The second EP as part of the project was released on August 11, 2017. In support of the EP and American singer and songwriter Marc E. Bassy‘s debut album, Rexha planned to go on a co-headlining tour across the United States: the Bebe & Bassy Tour, in October 2017. The tour was short-lived due to an infection putting Rexha on strict vocal rest, with Marc E. Bassy eventually going on a solo US tour in March 2018.[50][51]

On October 24, 2017, “Meant to Be” was released as the second single from Pt. 2, with the music video premiering a day earlier.[52][53] The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100[54] and as of November 17, 2018, has spent 50 weeks at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart,[55] breaking the record for most weeks atop the chart previously held by “Body Like a Back Road” by Sam Hunt.

2017–present: Expectations

In September 2017, Rexha began teasing new songs for a third installment in the All Your Fault series, with her manager going on record about its release.[56] However, it appeared plans had changed, as Bebe revealed through a tweet in November 2017 that her next project would be called Expectations.[57] Rexha revealed the cover art for this debut studio album on April 8, 2018, and the album was released on June 22, 2018.[6] Previous singles from All Your Fault, “I Got You” and “Meant to Be” appear on Expectations as well.

On April 13, 2018, “Ferrari” and “2 Souls on Fire”, the latter of which features Quavo of Migos, were released as promotional singles along with the pre-order.[58]

On June 15, 2018, “I’m a Mess” was released as the first single from the album.[59]

On November 20, 2018, “Say My Name” was released which featured David Guetta and J Bavin.[citation needed]

In December 2018, Rexha was nominated for Best New Artist at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.[citation needed]

On February 21, 2019, Bebe Rexha released her new single “Last Hurrah.”[citation needed]

On February 25, 2019, it was announced that Rexha will be the fifth coach for The Voice’s Comeback Stage for season 16.

Artistry

Rexha’s musical style has switched with each album,[60] but she has been labeled as a pop artist.[61][62] Her songs span a wide range of genres, including hip hopalternative rockEDMR&B and country.[61]

She was mainly influenced by Lauryn Hill whom she calls the “Queen of R&B“.[63] She was also influenced by other artists such as Bob MarleyMadonnaBlondieAlanis Morissette and Coldplay.[64]

Personal life

Rexha is a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ community,[65] and has described her own sexuality as “fluid”.[66] On April 15, 2019 Rexha revealed she is bipolar on Twitter in a personal note to her fans.[67]

Discography

Studio albums

Extended plays

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2016 MTV Europe Music Awards[68] Host Event presented by MTV Networks Europe which awards prizes to musicians and performers
2017 Bebe Rexha: The Ride[69] Herself Documentary which explores the moments that changed Rexha’s life
2017 Pitch Battle[70] Guest Judge Contest show which sees musical groups facing-off against each other, inspired by Pitch Perfect
2017 A Christmas Story Live![71] Performer A live musical television program inspired by the film of the same name and A Christmas Story: The Musical
2018 American Idol[72][73] Herself Contestant mentor and celebrity duet singer
2019 The Voice Herself/Coach The Comeback Stage
2019 Celebrity Juice Panelist 18th April 2019

Awards and nominations

Tours

Headlining

Co-headlining

Opening act

References …

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The Pronk Pops Show 1222, March 7, 2019, Story 1: Biden Running For President in 2020 with Launch In April 2019 — Videos — Story 2: Keeping Promises and Getting Results Are What The American People Want In A President — Trump Must Deliver on Promises To Stop and Reverse The 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States By Completing Border Barrier or Wall and Deporting All Illegal Aliens or Lose in 2020 — Videos

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Story 2: Keeping Promises and Getting Results Are What The American People Want In A President — Trump Must Deliver on Promises To Stop and Reverse The 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States By Completing Border Barrier or Wall and Deporting All Illegal Aliens or Lose in 2020 — Videos

 

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Story 3: U.S. Trade Deficit Explodes Into Massive Trade Deficits in 2019 — Videos

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Is the US trade deficit a bad thing?

 

As trade deficit explodes, Trump finds he can’t escape the laws of economics


President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

March 6 at 7:40 PM

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the United States last year posted an $891.2 billion trade deficit in merchandise, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies.

The results were a sobering reminder that the laws of economics still apply to a president who had promised to supercharge economic growth while simultaneously shrinking the chronic U.S. trade deficit.

Those twin promises proved incompatible, as economists had predicted.

By cutting taxes and taking the lid off government spending, Trump gave the economy a shot of adrenaline. By thinning government regulations, he sought to further spur growth and hiring.

But as these efforts boosted take-home pay, Americans spent more on foreign-made iPhones, Toyotas and Heinekens. And as the U.S. economy surged ahead of Europe’s and Japan’s, four Federal Reserve interest rate hikes lifted the dollar, making American exports more expensive.

“Macroeconomics end up ruling. You can’t wish it away. You can’t tariff it away,” said William Reinsch, a former Commerce Department official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

What is a trade deficit, anyway?

Tariffs became a key part of Trump’s strategy for shrinking the trade deficit, the difference between the country’s high import bill and its lower export sales. He used the import taxes — on solar panels, washing machines, steel, aluminum and assorted Chinese goods — to force China and other countries into negotiations, with the aim of rebalancing trade flows.

But while negotiations remain underway — with hopes of a deal with China this month — the data released Wednesday showed that significant improvement in the nation’s trade balance remains an ambition rather than an achievement.

Even with China, which has been hit hardest by U.S. tariffs, the trade gap reached a record $419 billion last year.

Administration officials say they are working to overcome decades of poor trade policy.

Trump this month labeled the trade deficit a “disaster,” blaming “horrible deals” negotiated by his predecessors and rampant cheating by U.S. trading partners. The president told a cheering crowd that he was “standing up for the American worker,” something a president was doing “for the first time in many, many decades.”

His chief trade negotiator, Robert E. Lighthizer, said last week that the administration has taken steps toward “a more balanced and sustainable trading system” by renegotiating agreements with South Korea, Canada and Mexico, seeking a new deal with China and by increasing enforcement of U.S. trade laws.

But if the president’s goal is to close the trade deficit, the Commerce Department’s final 2018 report, which was delayed by the partial government shutdown, showed how ambitious a goal that is.

Last year’s goods shortfall topped the 2006 record of $838.3 billion, which was set as the housing bubble was peaking, and marked the third consecutive year of rising deficits.

A broader measure, which includes the services sector, showed a $621 billion deficit — more than $100 billion greater than the figure Trump inherited from President Barack Obama.

It has been evident for months that Trump was not shrinking a trade gap that he calls “unsustainable” and says represents a major transfer of wealth from Americans to foreigners.

The president now begins his reelection drive with a core campaign promise unfulfilled — and with a recent flurry of economic research showing that his embrace of tariffs is damaging the U.S. economy.

“During the campaign, Donald Trump claimed that large trade deficits represented failed leadership and flawed trade policies,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.). “It is time for President Trump to acknowledge that his scattershot approach to trade policy is failing and explain how he intends to change course and reverse these record deficits.”

The president often cites the trade deficit as an indicator of U.S. decline and a sign that other nations discriminate against American companies. Many economists see it as far less consequential, except as it reflects Americans’ collective overspending.

Just as he vowed to eliminate the trade deficit, Trump had also promised to trim the U.S. federal budget deficit, a perennial Republican goal. During the 2016 campaign, he had pledged to balance the budget “relatively quickly.”

But instead, the tax cut and boom in government spending has spawned more red ink, with the budget gap expected to hit $900 billion this year and the national debt nearing $18 trillion.

All that borrowing enables Americans to ramp up their spending, including on imported goods, widening the trade deficit.

The second ingredient in the swollen trade deficit is the high dollar, which acts as a price increase for American exporters, making it harder to compete with foreign rivals. Today, the dollar is 19 percent above its 10-year average against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners, according to Federal Reserve data.

The Commerce report comes amid indications that negotiations with China may be in their final weeks.Trump has been more eager for a deal as markets gyrated in recent months and forecasters said his tariff wars were threatening U.S. economic growth.

China has offered to buy a reported $1.2 trillion in additional American products over the next six years in a deal that reportedly would ease each side’s tariffs, usher in changes to Beijing’s state-led economic model and include tough new enforcement mechanisms.

“One thing is for certain,” wrote Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist for MUFG Union Bank, wrote in a note to clients. “There will be a U.S. and China agreement on trade as the administration cannot allow the uncertainty to take a toll on economic growth any longer. Not when the presidential election is less than two years away.”

But any such deal may not change the dynamics widening the trade deficit, many economists say.

Increased Chinese purchases of U.S. goods would probably mean fewer sales to other countries, shrinking the trade gap with China but leaving the global balance largely unchanged. With the economy at or close to full employment, U.S. farms and factories have a limited ability to sharply increase output to meet a sudden increase in Chinese orders.

“That reality is not going to change,” said economist Matthew J. Slaughter, dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

In a 2016 campaign speech, Trump called the trade deficit a “politician-made disaster” and promised swift change. “We can turn it all around — and we can turn it around fast,” he said.

Trump has used tariffs more aggressively than any other American president since the 1930s. In a speech Saturday, he called them “the greatest negotiating tool in the history of our country” and credited them with bringing trade partners such as China to the bargaining table.

“Billions of dollars, right now, are pouring into our Treasury,” he told the Conservative Political Action Conference, adding that Chinese exporters are absorbing almost the entire burden of the tariffs.

But a pair of new studies concludes that he is wrong. “When we impose a tariff, it is the domestic consumers and purchasers of imports that bear the full cost of the tariffs,” said David Weinstein, an economics professor at Columbia University, who co-wrote one of the papers.

Weinstein said the president appears to be relying on a 2018 analysis of data from the 1990s, when the United States represented a larger share of the global economy and enjoyed more leverage over exporters in other countries.

Weinstein’s study, co-written with Mary Amiti of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Princeton University’s Stephen J. Redding, reviewed what actually occurred last year after U.S. tariffs took effect. It concluded that Americans paid the entire tariff bill.

second study — by four economists from the University of California at Los Angeles, Yale University, the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University — reached the same conclusion.

The best chance of the trade deficit shrinking anytime soon would require an economic downturn that no one wants. In 2009, amid the Great Recession, the trade deficit fell 40 percent from the peak three years earlier, to about $506 billion.

“If you want to lower the trade deficit, have a recession,” Reinsch said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-promised-to-shrink-the-trade-deficit-instead-it-exploded/2019/03/05/35d3b1e0-3f8f-11e9-a0d3-1210e58a94cf_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ce80c8ba2bc9

 

Story 3: Keeping Promises and Getting Results Are What The American People Want In A President — Videos

Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address | Full Speech

Rep. Jordan: Do we need an endless migrant caravan before we say it’s an emergency?

President Donald Trump’s Key Campaign Issues Coming Back To Bite | Deadline | MSNBC

Trump struggles to defend his record amid setbacks on immigration, trade, North Korea

 Published 

President Donald Trump proclaimed in a freewheeling speech to a conference of conservatives last weekend that “America is winning again.” But his administration has been on a pronounced losing streak over the past week.

Trump is losing ground on top priorities to curb illegal immigration, cut the trade deficit and blunt North Korea’s nuclear threat – setbacks that complicate his planned reelection message as a can-do president who is making historic progress.

Trump helps dying man’s wish come true

North Korea airs documentary glorifying Kim’s summit with Trump

Republican senator says she was raped in the Air Force

Late last week, Trump flew home empty-handed from a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam – and, within days, new satellite images appeared to show the North was secretly rebuilding a rocket launching site.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that unauthorized border crossings have spiked to the highest pace in 12 years – despite Trump’s hard-line rhetoric and new policies aimed at deterring migrants.

And on Wednesday, the Commerce Department said the nation’s trade deficit is at a record high – in part due to punitive tariffs Trump imposed on allies and adversaries. Trump vowed throughout his 2016 campaign and during his presidency to shrink the trade deficit, which he views as a measure of other nations taking advantage of the United States.

“The president hasn’t shown much of an ability to cut good deals with Congress or anyone else,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, who is mulling a Senate run in 2020. “Almost the only time he has been successful at one of his goals is when he can set the terms unilaterally. That’s why he’s done a lot of executive orders, executive actions, like the travel ban, deregulations, emergency declaration. Those are things that don’t require any negotiation at all.”

Yet as he has struggled to fulfill some of his signature campaign promises, Trump has consistently blamed others for his woes.

He has criticized the administrations of Barack Obama and George W. Bush for not reforming the immigration system or reining in North Korea. He has railed at Democrats for failing to support his proposed border wall and implored them to ratify new trade deals. And he has even attacked fellow Republicans, obliquely slamming former House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin during a Rose Garden news conference last month for not having pushed faster to get a deal on the wall.

White House officials argued that rather than being a setback, the immigration trends could bolster Trump’s argument that he is justified in taking unilateral action on the border. Federal authorities detained 76,103 migrants at the southern border in February, up from 58,207 a month earlier.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday the numbers were clear evidence that Trump was right to declare a national emergency last month.

“If that doesn’t define crisis, I don’t know what does,” she told reporters. “Congress should have fixed this problem. The president tried multiple times to get Congress to work with him to address the crisis. They failed to do so, and now the president has to do what is absolutely necessary.”

Republican allies praised the president for eliminating business regulations, helping pass a major tax cut in 2017, appointing two conservative Supreme Court Justices and scores of lower level judges and nurturing an economy with low unemployment.

They emphasized that difficult challenges such as North Korea will take time and chided Democrats for blocking Trump’s agenda.

“The House is just involved in investigations and really not concerned about legislation,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said Trump is “very frustrated right now with all of us. He wants to get results and we’re looking at a two-year period where it’s pretty obvious the other side doesn’t want to do anything.”

But Trump’s critics said his policies have made things worse.

On immigration, the administration has sought to block asylum seekers at legal ports of entry along the border, prompting them to try to find alternative pathways into the country. The president shut down parts of the federal government for 35 days – the longest closure in history – in an ill-fated fight for border wall funding, even though experts said the surge of migrant families is not a threat to national security and that a wall would do little to curb it.

On trade, Trump’s tariff war with China has harmed U.S. farmers as Beijing slashed agricultural imports. Although the president has signaled that a trade deal is close, analysts said an accord would not fundamentally alter the U.S. trade relationship with the world’s second-largest economy.

And on North Korea, the president’s decision to rush forward with bilateral summits with Kim have led to difficulties for U.S. negotiators engaging with their counterparts over technical and complicated nuclear matters, as Kim has preferred to deal directly with Trump.

Simon Rosenberg, founder of NDN, a liberal think tank, noted that the tax cut has not met GOP projections for economic growth and could add significantly to the ballooning federal deficit.

“The reality is he can’t point to a single thing that’s better today than when he came to office,” Rosenberg said.

Though he has projected confidence, Trump has fretted in private over his difficulties. During the government shutdown, the president’s approval ratings dipped to 37 percent in a Washington Post/ABC News poll, one of the lowest marks of his tenure.

Since then, his numbers have fluctuated. This week, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll put his approval at 46 percent, while a Quinnipiac University survey pegged it at 38 percent.

During a marathon speech Saturday to the Conservative Political Action Committee, Trump veered off script, spending much of the time attacking his rivals, including congressional Democrats, special counsel Robert Mueller III and news organizations. Trump spent less time on his governing record.

On trade, he defended his use of tariffs and suggested the United States had accrued large trade deficits because past administrations were afraid to use that tool as leverage. On North Korea, he blamed the Obama administration for allowing the Kim regime to send “rockets flying all over the place” and said his team was “making a lot of progress.” On immigration, Trump called current U.S. laws “crazy” and said he felt empowered to declare a national emergency “because our Congress can’t act.”

“Not my fault I inherited this mess, but we’re fixing it,” he said during the speech.

Trump at times also appears determined to prove that he is making progress. He publicly contradicted his own intelligence chiefs who testified to Congress in January that there is no evidence that North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear program.

Asked by a reporter Wednesday about the satellite images that showed construction work at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, Trump said he would be “very disappointed” if the news is confirmed, but he added that it was “a very early report.”

Senior White House aides have sought to cast the Hanoi summit as a sign of Trump’s negotiating fortitude and unwillingness to settle for a bad deal. Yet Trump has grown frustrated by the largely negative coverage of the summit, a senior White House official said, and his aides briefed lawmakers this week to explain his goals.

“He thought they closed the gap on some issues,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said. “He just said, ‘North Korea isn’t ready to make a deal.’ ”

Last year, Trump berated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over the rising border crossings. Though he no longer blames Nielsen, aides said, Trump told his staff that the shutdown dispute sent an important message to his conservative base that he is fighting for them.

On trade, Trump postponed a March 1 deadline to impose another round of tariffs on China in hopes of a deal. White House aides are planning events for Trump and Vice President Pence in the Midwest this spring to tout an updated trade deal reached last year with Canada and Mexico that Congress has yet to ratify.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said in an interview that farmers support Trump but are growing antsy.

“These folks are with you, they want to see you be successful,” Rounds said, speaking as if he was sending a message to Trump. “But you’re gonna have to deliver some results.”

https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Not-my-fault-Trump-struggles-to-defend-his-13668725.php

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The Pronk Pops Show 1218, March 1, 2019, Story 1: Dirt Desperate Democrats Put Trump Impeachment Talk On Hold After Cohen Testimony — No Credible Evidence Against Trump — Reality — Videos — Story 2: Socialist Democrats Wanting To Save The Planet From Climate Change — American People Simply Do Not Believe Man Is The Primary Cause Of Climate Change — Computer Climate Models Cannot Predict Temperatures Decades Into The Future! — Videos

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Story 1: Dirt Desperate Democrats Put Trump Impeachment Talk On Hold After Cohen Testimony — No Credible Evidence Against Trump On False Russian Collusion Charges — Videos

How the Democratic Party Destroyed Itself and Handed #Election2020 to President Donald Trump

 

 

Dems look to steer clear of impeachment talk after Cohen testimony

A day after the former Trump lawyer’s public session on the Hill, more Republicans than Democrats were framing it as a significant step in a push to remove the president from office.
 / Updated 
By Rebecca Shabad

Leading congressional Democrats were still largely steering clear of impeachment chatter a day after President Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, alleged in public testimony that Trump had violated campaign finance laws and lied to the American public.

“I’m not going into that, I’m not going into that,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, said at her weekly news conference Thursday, quickly dismissing talk of impeachment.

“We have two investigations, a Mueller report that we’re all anxiously awaiting” and a potential investigation by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, Pelosi added. “But again, impeachment is a divisive issue in our country and let us see what the facts are, what the law is and what the behavior is of the president.”

 

And so Republicans once again took the lead on impeachment chatter, describing the Cohen testimony as a sort of opening act in a looming drama.

“I think yesterday was all about Michael Cohen sort of laying the predicate for the Democrats and their crazy impeachment plans,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, ranking member of the Oversight Committee, told reporters at the conservative CPAC convention Thursday.

Rep. James Comer, R-Tenn., in an interview Wednesday on “PBS NewsHour,” said he believed that the Cohen hearing was “the first step in a process to try to impeach the president.”

“As far as an impeachable offense, I do not think the president has done anything wrong,” he said. “And I think that the Democrats are wasting a lot of political capital and their newfound majority on this investigation.”

But the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., like Pelosi, downplayed the idea that his panel’s seven-hour hearing had represented a significant leap forward on that front.

“I need to study the transcripts to see what we have. Keep in mind I want to proceed very cautiously,” Cummings told reporters after the hearing Wednesday, when asked if he had heard any evidence of impeachable offenses.

Asked Thursday whether the crimes alleged by Cohen would lead to impeachment, Cummings was circumspect. “I’m not there,” he said. “But I do find it interesting that there was not one Democrat that I remember even mentioning the word ‘impeach.’”

The vice chair of the Oversight panel, freshman Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., also said Thursday that an impeachment discussion was a bit premature. “I think we really need to let the process play out because while there are offenses that I think really could lead us down the road toward impeachment, this is something the public has to get on board with because we need to get to the two-thirds majority in the Senate and in the House,” she told CNN.

And Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee that is hearing closed-door testimony from Cohen on Thursday, sounded a similar note on Wednesday. “There’s growing evidence that an impeachment pleading can be made, but I think there’s more that needs to be evaluated,” she said.

Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Communications Committee, said that Democrats are proceeding cautiously for good reason — they would only have one chance to take the leap in the current Congress.

“I think everyone wants to be careful that we recognize you have one occasion to proceed with impeachment, and we ought to do it when we have gathered all of the evidence that would support it,” he told CNN Thursday. “If you are asking me if it seems more likely that the president could be removed from office based on what we know, is it more likely today than it was on Tuesday, I think the answer to that is yes.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/democrats-look-steer-clear-impeachment-talk-after-cohen-testimony-n977736

Michael Cohen Makes History

There’s no precedent for such an attack on the essential nature of an American president.

Michael Cohen testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27.
Michael Cohen testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27. PHOTO: MELINA MARA/THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES

Michael Cohen is, famously, a lowlife and screwball who’s made his living as an enforcer, liar and thug. He is going to prison essentially for these things. He has taken to implying his turning on Donald Trump is linked to an inner moral conversion, which may be true but is conveniently timed: He has nothing to lose and some form of leniency to gain.

But I found his testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee credible overall, and I suspect most everyone in America did, because no one, friend of the president or foe, love him or hate him, thinks Mr. Trump has a high personal character or an especially admirable back story. And that was Mr. Cohen’s subject.

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Michael Cohen testifies against Trump on Capitol Hill.
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Democrats say the purpose of the hearing was to get at the truth, Republicans say it was to disrupt the Trump presidency, and both are correct. But history, which is a real and actual thing, was also at the table, and this is what history was told by a man who was for 10 years the president’s personal lawyer and confidante, an intimate who was present at the creation:

Mr. Cohen implied the president’s Russian policies are not and never have been on the up-and-up: “Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump-Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign, and lied about it. He lied because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real-estate project.” Mr. Cohen said he came to see the president’s true character: “Since taking office he has become the worst version of himself. . . . Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation—only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, the campaign is going to be the ‘greatest infomercial in political history.’ He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign—for him—was always a marketing opportunity.”

None of these charges were new, precisely. They have been made in books, investigations and interviews both on and off the record. What is amazing though is that such a rebuke—such an attack on the essential nature of a president, and by an intimate—has no equal in our history. I don’t think, as we talk about Mr. Cohen’s testimony, we fully appreciate this. John Dean said there was a cancer growing in the presidency. He didn’t say Richard Nixonwas the cancer. He didn’t say the president was wicked and a fraud.

This is bigger than we think, and history won’t miss the import of this testimony.

Were the hearings step one in an ultimate impeachment attempt? We’ll see. The 7½ hours came across like the artillery bombardment before the charge. Older Democrats will counsel that the way forward is to spend the next year weakening the president—2020 is coming, a move to impeach will cause grave national trouble. Will they prevail?

Everyone focuses on the always-upcoming Mueller report, but the action seems to be in Manhattan. When Mr. Cohen was asked if there were any illegal acts regarding Donald Trump that hadn’t come up in the hearings, he said yes. “Those are a part of the investigation that’s currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York,” meaning the U.S. attorney there. What did the president or one of his agents communicate to Mr. Cohen the last time they had contact? “This topic is actually something that’s being investigated right now by the Southern District of New York.”

The Southern District of New York sure sounds busy. They’ve granted immunity to the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and they’re not limited by a specific mandate. They can look into any crime that took place within their jurisdiction. They took down the Mafia using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Performance by the new committee members was uneven. When the professionally fiery Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) made a speech implying that Republican member Mark Meadows was racist, Chairman Elijah Cummings defused the situation and Ms. Tlaib retreated, suggesting she was sorry she was misunderstood, by which she seemed to mean she was sorry she’d been comprehended. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, under criticism back home for her role in dooming the Amazon jobs deal, shrewdly played against type, eschewing a showy speech and instead asking carefully targeted questions.

OPINION LIVE EVENT

Join us on March 4 as WSJ Opinion’s Paul Gigot leads a “State of TV News” panel discussion including Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo, CBS’s Christy Tanner and “Network” actor Tony Goldwyn. Included in your admission to the event is a ticket to see “Network” on Broadway at a subsequent date.

Mr. Cohen didn’t always seem to be telling the whole truth. At least in one instance he appears to have misremembered or been untruthful. That is when he claimed he hadn’t wanted a job in the White House. Reporters who were there remember it differently. Dana Bash: “All of us, by people in and around the process, real time [were told] he very much wanted a job in the White House.”

Mr. Cohen insisted he had been offered a job, in White House counsel Don McGahn’s office, and rejected it. But that was the tell: Such jobs traditionally go to bright young people with impeccable credentials and good social skills. The president’s 50-year-old personal lawyer and fixer would have wanted a bigger role and title. If he felt dissed by such an offer it’s because he was.

I want to return to the subject of the president’s character. I texted this week with a great Trump supporter in Georgia, with whom I’d talked often during the 2016 campaign. “We do not care what Trump did before he became our president,” she said. “He has kept his promises to us.”

She was saying essentially that he has a high political character.

She does not trust those who’ve been around the president, calling them “liars, leakers and backstabbers.” I asked why he would have appointed bad men and women as aides. “He hired bad people in error,” she said. “They were bad actors, disloyal people. He was betrayed by them.”

She feels Mr. Trump has come through, from the courts to the economy. And when he got to Washington he didn’t go native—he still hates all the right people. She has also become protective of him. She sees him clobbered every day in every way throughout media. It has made him not only a sympathetic figure but an endearing one.

We close with Mr. Cummings, in his 23rd year in the House. He put a fair-minded face on the hearing. His closing remarks were powerful and humane, and seemed targeted not only at Mr. Cohen but perhaps at the newer members of Congress.

We are here to improve our democracy, he said.

To Mr. Cohen: “If I hear you correctly, it sounds like you’re crying out for a new normal—for us getting back to normal. Sounds to me like you want to make sure our democracy stays intact.”

Then, more broadly: “The one meeting I had with the president, I said, ‘The greatest gift we can give to our children is making sure we give them a democracy that is better than the one we came upon.’ ” He hoped all of us can get “the democracy we want,” and pass it on to our children, “so they can do better than we did.”

Amen.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/michael-cohen-makes-history-11551397848

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Washington Governor Inslee Announces White House Bid With Focus On Climate Change

Analysis box by Anthony Zurcher, North America reporter

Jay Inslee is someone who in the past would be a naturally formidable presidential candidate. He’s a veteran politician with the kind of executive experience that comes from being a governor of a mid-sized state.

At a small session at the liberal Netroots Nation conference last August, the 68-year-old Inslee displayed a low-key confidence and command of the issues, with the kind of self-deprecating wit that can be effective disarming critics. He won’t light up a stage like Senator Cory Booker or potential candidate Beto O’Rourke, but he’s a comfortable public speaker.

This isn’t your father’s Democratic Party, of course, and with a diverse range of candidates already in the race, Mr Inslee will be pressed to find breathing room for his campaign.

His answer is to fashion himself as the environmental candidate.

With the Green New Deal getting traction among progressives, Mr Inslee is touting his work addressing climate change in Washington state. He’s launching his presidential bid at a solar panel factory whose success he attributes to his policies as governor.

If Mr Inslee gets the attention of Democratic voters with his environmental pitch, he can then pivot to talking about his efforts to fight the Trump administration’s immigration policies, expand healthcare in his state, raise the minimum wage, enact paid family medical leave, end capital punishment and pardon Washington residents previously convicted of now-legalised marijuana drug offences.

It’s a record of progressive accomplishment that the half-dozen senators already in the race, having toiled in the minority since 2014, can’t match.

Presentational grey line

Who is Jay Inslee?

Jay Inslee is a fifth-generation Washingtonian, born and raised in Seattle.

He is a former prosecutor and former congressman who represented the state of Washington in the House of Representatives for several terms in the 1990s.

His father was a high school science teacher who helped spark his love of nature.

Mr Inslee won the governorship in 2012, defeating a Republican and replacing Democratic incumbent Christine Gregoire. He took the seat after winning only eight counties out of the state’s 39, losing the rural vote to his conservative opponent, according to the New York Times.

He was the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2018, helping with campaigning efforts across the country.

In December, he compared his presidential hopes with those of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, saying both former presidents were “unknown governors of small states” before winning the presidency, the Seattle Times reported.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47418955

 

John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor, expected to announce White House bid

John Hickenlooper, the former Democratic governor of Colorado, is expected to announce plans next week to enter the Democratic primary for president, Fox News has learned.

Hickenlooper’s team has been granted a city permit to hold an event at Denver’s Civic Center Park on Thursday, according to paperwork filed with the city. Andy Boian, an informal adviser to Hickenlooper, told Fox News the event will be a presidential announcement.

WASHINGTON GOV. JAY INSLEE ANNOUNCES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

Still, a Hickenlooper spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, told Fox News on Friday that Hickenlooper “has not made a decision yet.”

“It’s not secret that he’s been thinking about it and that we’ve been pulling together various pieces in case he gets to yes, but he has not decided yet,” Hitt said.

There is symbolism in the event site: it sits smack between his former offices of mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado.

Hickenlooper, who served as governor from 2011 to 2019, teased a future announcement on Thursday night by posting a throwback picture and quipping, “Unreleased John Folkenlooper EP dropping soon.”

Should he enter the race, Hickenlooper, who lacks the national recognition of others in the contest, would join a crowded Democratic primary battling for the chance to take on President Trump in 2020.

Hickenlooper prides himself on reaching across the aisle, and has worked together on issues with former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican. He was on 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential shortlist before she chose Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

HICKENLOOPER MAKING MOVES TOWARD 2020 RUN

Stoking speculation about his plans, Hickenlooper has traveled to early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. A former brewpub owner, the former govenor has served up beers and appeared at breweries on recent trips.

“The more and more I travel, I see that there is an appetite for a leader who not only talks about progressive policies, but who has a proven track record of enacting them,” Hickenlooper said in a statement to Fox News last month.

Earlier Wednesday, another Democratic governor, Jay Inslee of Washington State, announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination, saying he would put the issue of climate change at the center of his campaign.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

 

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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.

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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)
More

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Johnny Mathis – The Twelfth Of Never (Live)

 

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

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

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

December 25, 2018 2:11 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

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

Trump’s remarks drew some scrutiny on Tuesday morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Back to top

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

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

Here are two common scenarios that require completely different tactics.

Sorting contraband from cargo at ports of entry

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

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

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

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

Detecting and tracking people in remote areas

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

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

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

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

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

Physical barriers (a.k.a. “the wall”)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cargo scanners

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

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

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

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

Ground sensors

PROS Provides ears on the ground rather than just eyes.

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

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

Aerostats

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

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

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

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

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

Drones

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

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

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

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

Fixed surveillance towers

PROS Most effective in flat, wide-open areas.

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

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

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

Planes and helicopters

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

CONS Expensive; require a lot of maintenance and personnel.

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

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

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

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

Satellite surveillance

PROS Another set of eyes.

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

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

Radio and cell data surveillance

PROS Can be used for search and rescue.

CONS Communication can be spotty in many areas.

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

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

Mobile surveillance equipment

PROS Mobile; able to operate in extreme places.

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

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

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

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

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

Specialized gear

PROS Allow agents to be faster and more effective.

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

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

Biometrics

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

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

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

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

Patrol boats

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dog teams

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

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

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

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

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

Agents and officers

PROS Nothing happens without them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Fox contributed to this report.

About this story

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

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

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

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

Bipartisan negotiation on funding a border wall hitting a snag

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

 

Why the Wall Won’t Work

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


Joanna Andreasson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, June 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Congressional Research Service

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

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

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

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

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Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Monday, February 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Americans’ Confidence in Their Finances Keeps Growing

Americans' Confidence in Their Finances Keeps Growing

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Partisanship Plays a Role in Perceptions of Past and Future Finances

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom Line

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

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

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

View complete question responses and trends

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