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The Pronk Pops Show 1351, November 4, 2019, Story 1: Two Trump Administration National Security Council Lawyers and Two White House Staff Refuse To Testify and House Releases Chairman Schiff Selected Five Hundred Pages of Testimony From House Intelligence Committee — All U.S. Ambassador Serve At The Pleasure of The President — Can Be Fired At Any Time — Elections Have Consequences — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Answers Press Questions on Whistle-blowers, Lying Adam Schiff and Barr and Durham Investigation — The Name of Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella, Partisan Democrat and Advised Joe Biden on Ukraine — Videos

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Story 1: Two Trump Administration National Security Council Lawyers and Two White House Staff Refuse To Testify and House Releases Chairman Schiff Selected Five Hundred Pages of Testimony of From House Intelligence Committee — All U.S. Ambassador Serve At The Pleasure of The President — Can Be Fired At Any Time — Elections Have Consequences — Videos — 

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House Dems begin releasing transcripts of closed-door testimony

House Democrats release first transcripts of closed-door testimony

 

The House committees leading the impeachment probe released the first set of transcripts of testimony by witnesses who appeared behind closed doors last month. Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and Michael McKinley, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both told lawmakers about their experiences with U.S. policy toward Ukraine.

November 4, 2019 – PBS NewsHour full episode

Jim Jordan speaks out on his possible move to House Intel Committee

Steve Bannon predicts Trump impeachment fallout in Fox News exclusive

Over 100 House Republicans back bill to censure Adam Schiff

Jim Jordan makes explosive accusation against Schiff

Giuliani claims he has Ukrainian docs showing ‘collusion’ with top Dems

Giuliani slams ‘swamp media’, says it’s time to fight back against Dems

Biden sidesteps questions about son’s foreign work

Joe Biden’s son’s firm linked to Chinese government: New book

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

Clip: Biden on the Obama Administration’s Response to Russia

Foreign Affairs Issue Launch With Joe Biden

White House officials refusing to testify Monday in impeachment inquiry: report

White House officials refusing to testify Monday in impeachment inquiry: report
© Getty Images

Four White House officials will not show up for scheduled closed-door depositions on Monday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President TrumpCNN reports.

An unidentified source told the network that National Security Council lawyers John Eisenberg and Michael Ellis will not testify.

Two other officials, Robert Blair, assistant to the president and senior adviser to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Brian McCormack, associate director for natural resources energy and science at the Office of Management and Budget, had already declined to testify, outlets reported Saturday.

Blair’s attorney, Whit Ellerman, also told Politico his client would still not show up if subpoenaed, adding that “direction from the White House and advice from [the Department of Justice] cover subpoena.”

Two other Office of Management and Budget officials, Michael Duffey and Russell Vought, will not show up to testimonies later this week, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

Outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry refused to a request to testify Wednesday as part of the inquiry, a spokeswoman for his department, Shaylyn Haynes, told The Hill on Friday.

The White House did not immediately respond for comment in response to the officials not testifying.

The House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas on Sunday for Ellis and Blair to appear before the panel, according to an official familiar with the inquiry.

House Democrats have called in witnesses to testify in closed-door depositions before three House committees leading the probe for weeks. The House voted last week largely along party lines in favor of an impeachment resolution, with just two Democrats joining all Republicans in voting against the measure.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat leading the inquiry, has said public testimonies will begin soon but has not given a specific timeline.

The inquiry is centered around Trump’s alleged solicitation of foreign interference in the 2020 election, with a focus on the president’s communications with Ukraine. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/468797-white-house-officials-refuse-to-testify-in-impeachment-inquiry

‘Go big or go home’: Impeachment inquiry transcripts reveal how Ukraine ambassador was told to tweet her support for Donald Trump by his hotel millionaire EU ambassador – then was ousted when she didn’t

  • Democrat-led House committees released first two transcripts of interviews
  • Testimony was behind closed doors, offering Trump a chance to complain about fairness and transparency
  • First transcripts cover testimony from former ambassador to Ukraine and a former aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 
  • Former ambassador: Trump wanted me out and no one at State stood up for me 
  • Ambassador to the EU told her ‘Go big or go home’ and told her to praise the president publicly, which she didn’t

The Democrat-led House committees in charge of an impeachment inquiry targeting Donald Trump released two transcripts on Monday, the first records of closed-door interviews about the president’s links with Ukraine.

They painted a picture of a U.S. ambassador in a former Soviet republic with no defenders after she failed to praise the president – and who told lawmakers she felt ‘threatened’ by the president, her ultimate boss.

U.S. ambassador to the European Union told then-ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, she told lawmakers, to ‘Go big or go home,’ meaning that she should publicly profess her support for the president.

She didn’t, alienating Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani who led a push to oust her. Yovanovitch went home when Trump recalled her in June, ending her diplomatic career.

The president tweeted Sunday night that he suspected transcripts reaching the public could be altered by the Democrats who want to oust him – especially California Rep. Adam Schiff.

Witnesses before congressional committees are permitted to review transcripts of their testimony and approve them before their release.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is the driving force behind the impeachment inquiry targeting President Donald Trump; his committee released two transcripts from interviews held behind closed doors

Trump, pictured Sunday talking to reporters at the White House, believes he's being railroaded by partisans in a 'witch hunt'

Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, sat with committee members and staff in October.

The transcript of Yovanovitch’s interview shows her telling lawmakers that the Trump-appointed ambassador to the European Union, hotelier Gordon Sondland, advised her to tweet out her support for President Trump.

‘He said, you know, you need to go big or go home. You need to, you know, tweet out there that you support the President, and that all these are lies and everything else,’ she said of one conversation.

‘And, you know, so, you know, I mean, obviously, that was advice. It was advice that I did not see how I could implement in my role as an Ambassador, and as a Foreign Service Officer.’

She was asked: ‘Did he actually say, ‘support President Trump’? Was that his advice, that you publicly say something to that effect?’

Yovanovitch responded: ‘Yes. I mean, he may not have used the words ‘support President Trump,’ but he said: You know the President. Well, maybe you don’t know him personally, but you know, you know, the sorts of things that he likes. You know, go out there battling aggressively and, you know, praise him or support him.’

Ultimately Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a push to have her removed.

Ukrainian officials had warned her in advance that Rudy Giuliani and other allies of President Donald Trump were planning to ‘do things, including to me’ and were ‘looking to hurt’ her, she said.

The former envoy, who was pushed out of her job in May on Trump’s orders, testified that a senior Ukrainian official told her that ‘I really needed to watch my back.’

Yovanovitch she said was told by Ukrainian officials last November or December that Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, was in touch with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, ‘and that they had plans, and that they were going to, you know, do things, including to me.’

She said she was told Lutsenko ‘was looking to hurt me in the U.S.’

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified on October 11 that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani led a campaign to oust her and that she was advised to become an outwardly fawning cheerleader for the president

Michael McKinley, the former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, fielded questions from the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committeees on October 16

Yovanovitch told the investigators that the campaign against her, which included an article that was retweeted by Donald Trump Jr., undermined her ability to serve as a ‘credible’ ambassador and she wanted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to issue a statement defending her. But no statement was issued.

She testified that a State Department official named Philip Reeker told her that as Giuliani’s campaign wore on, Pompeo conveyed he could no longer insulate her from Trump’s desire to send her packing.

‘Mr. Reeker said that I, you know, I would need to leave. I needed to leave as soon as possible. That apparently, as I stated in my statement, the President had been – had wanted me to leave since July of 2018 … and that the Secretary had tried to protect me but was no longer able to do that,’ she said in her testimony.

‘Who had concerns as of July 2018?’ a lawmaker asked her. ‘President Trump,’ she responded.

‘And was that the first that you had heard of that?’ the lawmaker followed up. Yovanovitch said it was, and ‘I was shocked.’

At one point in April, Yovanovitch said she received a call from Carol Perez, a top foreign service official, at around 1 a.m. Ukraine time, abruptly telling her she needed to immediately fly back to Washington. Yovanovitch said when she asked why, Perez told her, ‘I don’t know, but this is about your security. You need to come home immediately. You need to come home on the next plane.’

Yovanovitch said she didn’t think Perez meant it was to protect her physical security. Instead, Yovanovitch said, Perez told her it was for ‘my well-being, people were concerned.’

 I don’t know, but this is about your security. You need to come home immediately. You need to come home on the next plane
What State Department official told Marie Yovanovich

The former envoy stressed to investigators that she was not disloyal to the president.

‘I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told our embassy team to ignore the President’s orders since he was going to be impeached,’ she said. ‘That allegation is false.’

She answered ‘no’ when asked point blank if she’d ever ‘badmouthed’ Trump in Ukraine, and said she felt U.S. policy in Ukraine ‘actually got stronger’ because of Trump’s decision to provide lethal assistance to the country, military aid that later was held up by the White House as it pushed for investigations into Trump’s political foes.

Under friendly questioning from Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Yovanovitch said she considered herself good at her job and had been there more than three years and that her bosses at the State Department wanted to extend her tour.

‘It seems to me they threw you to the wolves. Is that what happened?’ Maloney asked.

Yovanovitch replied: ‘Well, clearly, they didn’t want me in Ukraine anymore.’

Long hours into her testimony, Yovanovitch was asked why she was such ‘a thorn in their side’ that Giuliani and others wanted her fired.

‘Honestly,’ she said, ‘it’s a mystery to me.’

Yovanovitch was also asked about the call between Trump and Zlensky which took place after she was removed from her post and was released by the White House after the whistleblower complaint was made public.

In it Trump told the Ukrainian president: ‘The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news, so I just want to let you know that.’

She told the Democratic majority’s counsel: ‘I was shocked. I mean, I was very surprised that President Trump would—first of all, that I would feature repeatedly in a Presidential phone call, but secondly, that the President would speak about me or any ambassador in that way to a foreign counterpart.’

Yovanovitch was asked if she felt threatened and said: ‘Yes.’

She added: ‘ I was wondering you know, soon after this transcript came out there was the news that the IG [Inspector General of the Intelligence Community] brought to this committee, all sorts of documentation, I guess, about me that had been transferred to the FBI.

‘You know , I was wondering, i s there an active investigation against me in the FBI? I don’t know.’ She added that friends were ‘very concerned’ for her personal safety.

Yovanovitch said that she was generally shocked by the way the Trump administration threw the State Department into chaos.

‘You know … you’re going to think that I’m incredibly naive, but I couldn’t imagine all of the things that have happened over the last 5 or 7 months,’ she said. ‘I just couldn’t imagine it.’

She pushed back robustly on claims made by Republican questioners that she was biased against Trump and that she ordered the ‘monitoring’ of a string of conservative figures.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says his panel and others are releasing the transcripts so ‘the American public will begin to see for themselves’ what evidence exists that Trump may have committed an impeachable offense.

President Donald Trump suggested Sunday that transcripts coming out of Democrat-led committees could be doctored to make him look worse; witnesses are invited to read and approve of such records before their release by Congress

President Donald Trump suggested Sunday that transcripts coming out of Democrat-led committees could be doctored to make him look worse; witnesses are invited to read and approve of such records before their release by Congress

Republicans have called for the release of the transcripts, which they believe will show Trump acted appropriately and lawfully during a now-famous July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Trump claimed Sunday that ‘[i]f Shifty Adam Schiff, who is a corrupt politician who fraudulently made up what I said on the ‘call,’ is allowed to release transcripts of the Never Trumpers & others that are & were interviewed, he will change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes.’

‘Republicans should give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff’s manipulated propaganda,’ the president urged.

‘House Republicans must have nothing to do with Shifty’s rendition of those interviews. He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!’

Members of Congress can be investigated for ethics violations, and they can be expelled by a vote of their peers, but they cannot be impeached.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7648543/Democrats-impeachment-inquiry-releases-hundreds-pages-transcripts-two-witnesses.html

This Impeachment Subverts the Constitution

It’s nakedly political and procedurally defective, and so far there’s no public evidence of high crimes.

Rep. Adam Schiff speaks beside Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill, Oct. 15. PHOTO: CARLOS JASSO/REUTERS

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed committees investigating President Trump to “proceed under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” but the House has never authorized such an inquiry. Democrats have been seeking to impeach Mr. Trump since the party took control of the House, though it isn’t clear for what offense. Lawmakers and commentators have suggested various possibilities, but none amount to an impeachable offense. The effort is akin to a constitutionally proscribed bill of attainder—a legislative effort to punish a disfavored person. The Senate should treat it accordingly.

The impeachment power is quasi-judicial and differs fundamentally from Congress’s legislative authority. The Constitution assigns “the sole power of impeachment” to the House—the full chamber, which acts by majority vote, not by a press conference called by the Speaker. Once the House begins an impeachment inquiry, it may refer the matter to a committee to gather evidence with the aid of subpoenas. Such a process ensures the House’s political accountability, which is the key check on the use of impeachment power.

The House has followed this process every time it has tried to impeach a president. Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment was predicated on formal House authorization, which passed 126-47. In 1974 the Judiciary Committee determined it needed authorization from the full House to begin an inquiry into Richard Nixon’s impeachment, which came by a 410-4 vote. The House followed the same procedure with Bill Clinton in 1998, approving a resolution 258-176, after receiving independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report.

Mrs. Pelosi discarded this process in favor of a Trump-specific procedure without precedent in Anglo-American law. Rep. Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee and several other panels are questioning witnesses in secret. Mr. Schiff has defended this process by likening it to a grand jury considering whether to hand up an indictment. But while grand-jury secrecy is mandatory, House Democrats are selectively leaking information to the media, and House Republicans, who are part of the jury, are being denied subpoena authority and full access to transcripts of testimony and even impeachment-related committee documents. No grand jury has a second class of jurors excluded from full participation.

Unlike other impeachable officials, such as federal judges and executive-branch officers, the president and vice president are elected by, and accountable to, the people. The executive is also a coequal branch of government. Thus any attempt to remove the president by impeachment creates unique risks to democracy not present in any other impeachment context. Adhering to constitutional text, tradition and basic procedural guarantees of fairness is critical. These processes are indispensable bulwarks against abuse of the impeachment power, designed to preserve the separation of powers by preventing Congress from improperly removing an elected president.

House Democrats have discarded the Constitution, tradition and basic fairness merely because they hate Mr. Trump. Because the House has not properly begun impeachment proceedings, the president has no obligation to cooperate. The courts also should not enforce any purportedly impeachment-related document requests from the House. (A federal district judge held Friday that the Judiciary Committee is engaged in an impeachment inquiry and therefore must see grand-jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but that ruling will likely be overturned on appeal.) And the House cannot cure this problem simply by voting on articles of impeachment at the end of a flawed process.

The Senate’s power—and obligation—to “try all impeachments” presupposes that the House has followed a proper impeachment process and that it has assembled a reliable evidentiary basis to support its accusations. The House has conspicuously failed to do so. Fifty Republican senators have endorsed a resolution sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham urging the House to “vote to open a formal impeachment inquiry and provide President Trump with fundamental constitutional protections” before proceeding further. If the House fails to heed this call immediately, the Senate would be fully justified in summarily rejecting articles produced by the Pelosi-Schiff inquiry on grounds that without a lawful impeachment in the House, it has no jurisdiction to proceed.

The effort has another problem: There is no evidence on the public record that Mr. Trump has committed an impeachable offense. The Constitution permits impeachment only for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Founders considered allowing impeachment on the broader grounds of “maladministration,” “neglect of duty” and “mal-practice,” but they rejected these reasons for fear of giving too much power to Congress. The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” includes abuses of power that do not constitute violations of criminal statutes. But its scope is limited.

Abuse of power encompasses two distinct types of behavior. First, the president can abuse his power by purporting to exercise authority not given to him by the Constitution or properly delegated by Congress—say, by imposing a new tax without congressional approval or establishing a presidential “court” to punish his opponents. Second, the president can abuse power by failing to carry out a constitutional duty—such as systematically refusing to enforce laws he disfavors. The president cannot legitimately be impeached for lawfully exercising his constitutional power.

Applying these standards to the behavior triggering current calls for impeachment, it is apparent that Mr. Trump has neither committed a crime nor abused his power. One theory is that by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Kyiv’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter was unlawful “interference with an election.” There is no such crime in the federal criminal code (the same is true of “collusion”). Election-related offenses involve specific actions such as voting by aliens, fraudulent voting, buying votes and interfering with access to the polls. None of these apply here.

Equally untenable is the argument that Mr. Trump committed bribery. Federal bribery statutes require proof of a corrupt intent in the form of a quid pro quo—defined by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Sun-Diamond Growers (1999), as a “specific intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act.” There was no quid pro quo in the call. Mr. Zelensky has said he felt no pressure, and the purported quid (military aid to Ukraine) was not contingent on the alleged quo (opening an investigation), because the former materialized within weeks, while the latter—not “something of value” in any case—never did.

More fundamentally, the Constitution gives the president plenary authority to conduct foreign affairs and diplomacy, including broad discretion over the timing and release of appropriated funds. Many presidents have refused to spend appropriated money for military or other purposes, on grounds that it was unnecessary, unwise or incompatible with their priorities.

Thomas Jefferson impounded funds appropriated for gunboat purchases, Dwight Eisenhower impounded funds for antiballistic-missile production, John F. Kennedy impounded money for the B-70 bomber, and Richard Nixon impounded billions for highways and urban programs. Congress attempted to curtail this power with the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, but it authorizes the president to defer spending until the expiration of the fiscal year or until budgetary authority lapses, neither of which had occurred in the Ukraine case.

Presidents often delay or refuse foreign aid as diplomatic leverage, even when Congress has authorized the funds. Disbursing foreign aid—and withholding it—has historically been one of the president’s most potent foreign-policy tools, and Congress cannot impair it. Lyndon B. Johnson used the promise of financial aid to strong-arm the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea to send troops to Vietnam. The General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office) concluded that this constituted “quid pro quo assistance.” In 2013, Barack Obama, in a phone conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, said he would slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance until Cairo cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism goals. The Obama administration also withheld millions in foreign aid and imposed visa restrictions on African countries, including Uganda and Nigeria, that failed to protect gay rights.

In addition, the president’s constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” implies broad discretion to investigate and prosecute crimes, even if they involve his political rivals. Investigating Americans or Ukrainians who might have violated domestic or foreign law—and seeking the assistance of other nations with such probes, pursuant to mutual legal-assistance treaties—cannot form a legitimate basis for impeachment of a president.

It’s legally irrelevant that a criminal investigation may be politically beneficial to the president. Virtually all exercises of constitutional discretion by a president affect his political interests. It would be absurd to suggest that a president’s pursuit of arms-control agreements, trade deals or climate treaties are impeachable offenses because they benefit the president or his party in an upcoming election.

Using a private party such as Rudy Giuliani to carry out diplomatic missions is neither a crime nor an abuse of power. While the State Department’s mandarins have always lamented intrusions on their bureaucratic turf, numerous U.S. presidents have tapped people to conduct foreign-policy initiatives whose job—whether in the government or private sectors—did not include foreign-policy experience or responsibility. George Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate the “Jay Treaty” with Britain. Woodrow Wilson used American journalist Lincoln Steffens and Swedish Communist Karl Kilbom as special envoys to negotiate diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. A close Wilson friend, Edward House, held no office but effectively served as chief U.S. negotiator at the Paris Peace Conference after World War I.

Nor is it illegal or abusive to give a diplomatic assignment to a government official whose formal institutional responsibilities do not include foreign affairs, such as the energy secretary. JFK relied on Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to negotiate with Moscow during the Cuban missile crisis.

Although the impeachment inquiry has been conducted in secret, what we know suggests it has become a free-ranging exploration of Mr. Trump’s foreign-policy substance and process, with the committees summoning numerous State Department witnesses. Congress could properly undertake such an inquiry using its oversight authority, but by claiming that it is proceeding with an impeachment inquiry, it has forfeited this option.

If the House impeaches Mr. Trump because it disapproves of a lawful exercise of his presidential authority, it will in effect have accused him of maladministration. The Framers rejected that amorphous concept because it would have allowed impeachment for mere political disagreements, rendering the president a ward of Congress and destroying the executive’s status as an independent, coequal branch of government. If the House impeaches on such grounds and the Senate concludes it has jurisdiction to conduct an impeachment trial, it should focus first and foremost not on the details of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, but on the legal question of whether the conduct alleged is an impeachable offense.

Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 1835: “A decline of public morals in the United States will probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office.” What House Democrats are doing is not only unfair to Mr. Trump and a threat to all his successors. It is an attempt to overrule the constitutional process for selecting the president and thus subvert American democracy itself. For the sake of the Constitution, it must be decisively rejected. If Mr. Trump’s policies are unpopular or offensive, the remedy is up to the people, not Congress.

Mr. Rivkin and Ms. Foley practice appellate and constitutional law in Washington. He served at the Justice Department and the White House Counsel’s Office during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations. She is a professor of constitutional law at Florida International University College of Law.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-impeachment-subverts-the-constitution-11572040762

Senior Ukrainian official says he’s opened probe into US election interference

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV’s John Solomon in an interview aired on Wednesday that he has opened a probe into alleged attempts by Ukrainians to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials are aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk.

“We have always emphasized the need for deep, comprehensive, and timely reforms that respond to the demands the Ukrainian people made during the Revolution of Dignity: an end to systemic corruption, faster economic growth, and a European future for all Ukrainians,” a State spokesperson told Hill.TV.

“We have consistently said that Ukraine’s long-term success and resilience depends on its commitment to reform, in particular the fight to address corruption. To succeed, Ukraine needs committed government officials and strong anti-corruption institutions. The United States is committed to engaging with our partners in Ukraine, including on efforts to roll back the persistent corruption that continues to threaten Ukraine’s national security, prosperity, and democratic development.”

NABU issued a statement on Friday, calling Lutsenko’s comments “not true and is an absurd effort to discredit an independent anti-corruption agency.”

Hill.TV has also reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and Clinton’s spokesperson for comment.

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” Lutsenko said.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” he continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.”

— Hill.TV Staff

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/434892-senior-ukrainian-justice-official-says-hes-opened-probe-into-us-election

 

 

Story 2: President Trump Answers Press Questions on Whistle-blowers, Lying Adam Schiff and Barr and Durham Investigation — The Name of Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella, Partisan Democrat and Advised Joe Biden on Ukraine — Videos

Press Gaggle: Donald Trump Speaks to the Press After Marine One Arrival – November 3, 2019

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WATCH: Devin Nunes Sarcastically Compliments Democrats on Witch Hunts During Whistleblower Hearing

WATCH: Rep. Devin Nunes’ full questioning of acting intel chief Joseph Maguire | DNI hearing

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The Pronk Pops Show 1345, October 25, 2019, Story 1: Totally Out-of-Control Federal Government Spending With $984 Billion Deficit For Fiscal Year 2019 and National Debt Approaching 23,000 Billion — Videos — Story 2: Justice Department Opens Criminal Investigation of Spygate — Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Departure Dump On Big Lie Media and Do Nothing Democrats — Videos

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The US ran a budget deficit of $984billion in 2019, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday - $200million worse than last year, and $20million worse then August projections (pictured on this graph)See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

 

Story 1: Totally Out-of-Control Federal Government Spending With $984 Billion Deficit For Fiscal Year 2019 and National Debt Approaching 23,000 Billion — Videos — 

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Neil Howe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Neil Howe (born October 21, 1951) is an American author and consultant. He is best known for his work with William Strauss on social generations regarding a theorized generational cycle in American history. Howe is currently the managing director of demography at Hedgeye and he is president of Saeculum Research and LifeCourse Associates, consulting companies he founded with Strauss to apply Strauss–Howe generational theory. He is also a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies‘ Global Aging Initiative, and a senior advisor to the Concord Coalition.

Biography

Howe was born in Santa Monica, California. His grandfather was the astronomer Robert Julius Trumpler. His father was a physicist and his mother was a professor of occupational therapy. He attended high school in Palo Alto, California, and earned a BA in English Literature at U.C. Berkeley in 1972. He studied abroad in France and Germany, and later earned graduate degrees in economics (M.A., 1978) and history (M.Phil., 1979) from Yale University.[1]

After receiving his degrees, Howe worked in Washington, D.C., as a public policy consultant on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. His positions have included advisor on public policy to the Blackstone Group, policy advisor to the Concord Coalition, and senior associate for the Global Aging Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).[2][3]

During the 1990s, Howe developed a second career as an author, historian and pop sociologist,[4] examining how generational differences shape attitudes, behaviors, and the course of history. He has since written nine books on social generations, mostly with William Strauss. In 1997 Strauss and Howe founded LifeCourse Associates, a publishing, speaking, and consulting company built on their generational theory. As president of LifeCourse, Howe currently provides marketing, personnel, and government affairs consulting to corporate and nonprofit clients, and writes and speaks about the collective personalities of today’s generations.

Howe lives in Great Falls, Virginia, and has two young adult children.[citation needed]

Work

Howe has written a number of non-academic books on generational trends. He is best known for his books with William Strauss on generations in American history. These include Generations (1991) and The Fourth Turning (1997) which examine historical generations and describe a theorized cycle of recurring mood eras in American History (now described as the Strauss–Howe generational theory).[5][6] The book made a deep impression on Steve Bannon, who wrote and directed Generation Zero (2010), a Citizens United Productions film on the book’s theory, prior to his becoming White House Chief Strategist.[7]

Howe and Strauss also co-authored 13th Gen (1993) about Generation X, and Millennials Rising (2000) about the Millennial Generation.[8][9] Eric Hoover has called the authors pioneers in a burgeoning industry of consultants, speakers and researchers focused on generations. He wrote a critical piece about the concept of “generations” and the “Millennials” (a term coined by Strauss and Howe) for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Michael Lind offered his critique of Howe’s book “Generations” for The New York Times Book Review.[10][11]

Howe has written a number of application books with Strauss about the Millennials’ impact on various sectors, including Millennials Go to College (2003, 2007), Millennials and the Pop Culture (2006), and Millennials and K-12 Schools (2008). After Strauss died in 2007, Howe authored Millennials in the Workplace (2010).[12]

In 1988, he coauthored On Borrowed Time with Peter G. Peterson, one of the early calls for budgetary reform (the book was reissued 2004). Since the late 1990s, Howe has also coauthored a number of academic studies published by CSIS, including the Global Aging Initiative’s Aging Vulnerability Index and The Graying of the Middle Kingdom: The Economics and Demographics of Retirement Policy in China. In 2008, he co-authored The Graying of the Great Powers with Richard Jackson.[12]

Selected bibliography

  • On Borrowed Time (1988)
  • Generations (1991)
  • 13th-GEN (1993)
  • The Fourth Turning (1997)
  • Global Aging: The Challenge of the Next Millennium (1999)
  • Millennials Rising (2000)
  • The 2003 Aging Vulnerability Index (2003)
  • Millennials Go To College (2003, 2007)
  • The Graying of the Middle Kingdom (2004)
  • Millennials and the Pop Culture (2005)
  • Long-Term Immigration Projection Methods (2006)
  • Millennials and K-12 Schools (2008)
  • The Graying of the Great Powers (2008)
  • Millennials in the Workplace (2010)

Notes

  1. ^ Howe, Neil. “Profile”. LinkedIn. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  2. ^ Howe, Neil; Jackson, Richard; Rebecca Strauss; Keisuke Nakashima (2008). The Graying of the Great Powers. Center for Strategic and International Studies. p. 218. ISBN978-0-89206-532-5.
  3. ^ “Neil Howe”. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Archived from the original on 2010-10-08. Retrieved 4 October2010.
  4. ^ “Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation”. Publisher Weekly. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  5. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1991). Generations:The History of America’s Future 1584-2069. New York: William Morrow and Company. ISBN0-688-08133-9.
  6. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1997). The Fourth Turning. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN0-7679-0046-4.
  7. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (9 April 2017). “Bannon’s Views Can Be Traced to a Book That Warns, ‘Winter Is ComingThe New York Times. p. A20. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  8. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1993). 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?. New York: Vintage Print. ISBN0-679-74365-0.
  9. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (2000). Millennials Rising. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN0-375-70719-0.
  10. ^ Hoover, Eric (2009-10-11). “The Millennial Muddle: How stereotyping students became a thriving industry and a bundle of contradictions”The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  11. ^ Michael Lind (January 26, 1997). “Generation Gaps”The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  12. Jump up to:ab Howe, Neil; Reena Nadler (2010). Millennials in the Workplace. LifeCourse Associates. p. 246. ISBN978-0-9712606-4-1.

External links

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

 

William Strauss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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William Strauss
William Strauss.jpg
Born December 5, 1947

Died December 18, 2007 (aged 60)

Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation
  • author
  • playwright
  • theatre director
  • lecturer
Known for Strauss–Howe generational theoryCapitol StepsCappies

William Strauss (December 5, 1947 – December 18, 2007) was an American author, playwright, theater director, and lecturer. As an author, he is known for his work with Neil Howe on social generations and for Strauss–Howe generational theory. He is also known as the co-founder and director of the satirical musical theater group the Capitol Steps, and as the co-founder of the Cappies, a critics and awards program for high school theater students.

 

Biography

Strauss was born in Chicago and grew up in Burlingame, California. He graduated from Harvard University in 1969. In 1973, he received a JD from Harvard Law School and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government,[1] where he was a member of the program’s first graduating class.[2]

After receiving his degrees, Strauss worked in Washington, DC as a policy aid to the Presidential Clemency Board, directing a research team writing a report on the impact of the Vietnam War on the generation that was drafted. In 1978, Strauss and Lawrence Baskir co-authored two books on the Vietnam WarChance and Circumstance, and Reconciliation after Vietnam. Strauss later worked at the U.S. Department of Energy and as a committee staffer for Senator Charles Percy, and in 1980 he became chief counsel and staff director of the Subcommittee on Energy, Nuclear Proliferation, and Government Processes.[1]

In 1981, Strauss organized a group of senate staffers to perform satirical songs at the annual office Christmas party of his employer, Senator Percy. The group was so successful that Strauss went on to co-found a professional satirical troupe, the Capitol Steps, with Elaina Newport. The Capitol Steps is now a $3 million company with more than 40 employees who perform at venues across the country.[1] As director, Strauss wrote many of the songs, performed regularly off Broadway, and recorded 27 albums.

External video
 Booknotes interview with Strauss and Neil Howe on Generations, April 14, 1991C-SPAN

During the 1990s, Strauss developed another career as an historian and pop sociologist,[3] examining how generational differences shape attitudes, behaviors, and the course of history. He wrote seven books on social generations with Neil Howe, beginning with Generations in 1991.[4] In 1997, Strauss and Howe founded LifeCourse Associates, a publishing, speaking, and consulting company built on their generational theory. As a partner at LifeCourse, Strauss worked as a corporate, nonprofit, education, and government affairs consultant.

In 1999, Strauss received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. This prompted him to found the Cappies, a program to inspire the next generation of theater performers and writers.[1] Now an international program including hundreds of high schools, Cappies allows students to attend and review each other’s plays and musicals, publish reviews in major newspapers, and hold Tonys-style Cappies award Galas, in which Strauss acted as MC for the Fairfax County program. Strauss also founded Cappies International Theater, a summer program in which top Cappies winners perform plays and musicals written by teenagers.[5] In 2006 and 2007, Strauss advised creative teams of students who wrote two new musicals, Edit:Undo and SenioritisSenioritis was made into a movie that was released in 2007.[6]

Death

Strauss died of pancreatic cancer in his home in McLean, Virginia. His wife of 34 years, Janie Strauss, lives in McLean and is a member of the Fairfax County School Board. They have four grown children.

Work

Strauss authored multiple books on social generations, as well as a number of plays and musicals.

In 1978, he and Lawrence Baskir co-authored Chance and Circumstance, a book about the Vietnam-era draft. Their second book, Reconciliation After Vietnam (1978) “was said to have influenced” President Jimmy Carter‘s blanket pardon of Vietnam draft resisters.[1]

Strauss’s books with Neil Howe include Generations (1991) and The Fourth Turning (1997), which examine historical generations and describe a theorized cycle of recurring mood eras in American History (now described as the Strauss-Howe generational theory).[7][8] The book made a deep impression on Steve Bannon, who wrote and directed Generation Zero (2010), a Citizens United Productions film on the book’s theory, prior to his becoming White House Chief Strategist.[9]

Howe and Strauss also co-authored 13th Gen (1993) about Generation X, and Millennials Rising (2000) about the Millennial Generation.[10][11]

Eric Hoover has called the authors pioneers in a burgeoning industry of consultants, speakers and researchers focused on generations. He wrote a critical piece about the concept of “generations” and the “Millennials” (a term coined by Strauss and Howe) for the Chronicle of Higher Education.[12] Michael Lind offered his critique of Howe’s book “Generations” for the New York Times.[13]

Strauss also wrote a number of application books with Howe about the Millennials’ impact on various sectors, including Millennials Go to College (2003, 2007), Millennials in the Pop Culture (2005), and Millennials in K-12 Schools (2008).

Strauss wrote three musicals, MaKiddoFree-the-Music.com, and Anasazi, and two plays, Gray Champions and The Big Bump, about various themes in the books he has co-authored with Howe. He also co-wrote two books of political satire with Elaina Newport, Fools on the Hill (1992) and Sixteen Scandals (2002).[14]

Selected bibliography

Books

  • Chance and Circumstance (1978)
  • Reconciliation After Vietnam (1978)
  • Generations (1991)
  • Fools on the Hill (1992)
  • 13th-GEN (1993)
  • The Fourth Turning (1997)
  • Millennials Rising (2000)
  • Sixteen Scandals (2002)
  • Millennials Go To College (2003, 2007)
  • Millennials and the Pop Culture (2006)
  • Millennials and K-12 Schools (2008)

Plays and musicals

  • MaKiddo (2000)
  • Free-the-Music.com (2001)
  • The Big Bump (2001)
  • Anasazi (2004)
  • Gray Champions (2005)

Notes

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e Holley, Joe (December 19, 2007). “Bill Strauss, 60; Political Insider Who Stepped Into Comedy”Washington Post.
  2. ^ “Harvard Kennedy School-History”. Retrieved October 5,2010.
  3. ^ “Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation”. Publisher Weekly. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  4. ^ “William Strauss, Founding Partner”. LifeCourse Associates. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  5. ^ Martin, Noah (August 5, 2008). “The Joy of Capppies”Centre View Northern Edition. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  6. ^ Toppo, Gregg (July 31, 2007). “A School Musical in Their Own Words”USA Today. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  7. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1991). Generations:The History of America’s Future 1584–2069. New York: William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0-688-08133-9.
  8. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1997). The Fourth Turning. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-0046-4.
  9. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (April 9, 2017). “Bannon’s Views Can Be Traced to a Book That Warns, ‘Winter Is ComingThe New York Times. p. A20. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  10. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1993). 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?. New York: Vintage Print. ISBN 0-679-74365-0.
  11. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (2000). Millennials Rising. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-375-70719-0.
  12. ^ Hoover, Eric (October 11, 2009). “The Millennial Muddle: How stereotyping students became a thriving industry and a bundle of contradictions”The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  13. ^ Lind, Michael (January 26, 1997). “Generation Gaps”New York Times Review of Books. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
  14. ^ “William Strauss”williamstrauss.com. Retrieved October 5,2010.

External links

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

US deficit hits nearly $1 trillion. When will it matter?

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER

The Trump administration reported a river of red ink Friday.

The federal deficit for the 2019 budget year surged 26% from 2018 to $984.4 billion — its highest point in seven years. The gap is widely expected to top $1 trillion in the current budget year and likely remain there for the next decade.

The year-over-year widening in the deficit reflected such factors as revenue lost from the 2017 Trump tax cut and a budget deal that added billions in spending for military and domestic programs.

Forecasts by the Trump administration and the Congressional Budget Office project that the deficit will top $1 trillion in the 2020 budget year, which began Oct. 1. And the CBO estimates that the deficit will stay above $1 trillion over the next decade.

Those projections stand in contrast to President Donald Trump’s campaign promises that even with revenue lost initially from his tax cuts, he could eliminate the budget deficit with cuts in spending and increased growth generated by the tax cuts.

Here are some questions and answers about the current state of the government’s finances.

___

WHAT HAPPENED?

The deficit has been rising every year for the past four years. It’s a stretch of widening deficits not seen since the early 1980s, when the deficit exploded with President Ronald Reagan’s big tax cut.

For 2019, revenues grew 4%. But spending jumped at twice that rate, reflecting a deal that Trump reached with Congress in early 2018 to boost spending.

___

WHY DOESN’T WASHINGTON DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

Fiscal hawks have long warned of the economic dangers of running big government deficits. Yet the apocalypse they fear never seems to happen, and the government just keeps on spending.

There have been numerous attempts by presidents after Reagan to control spending. President George H.W. Bush actually agreed to a tax increase to control deficits when he was in office, breaking his “Read my lips” pledge not to raise taxes.

And a standoff between President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich did produce a rare string of four years of budget surpluses from 1998 through 2001. In fact, the budget picture was so bright when George W. Bush took office in 2001 that the Congressional Budget Office projected that the government would run surpluses of $5.6 trillion over the next decade.

That didn’t happen. The economy slid into a mild recession, Bush pushed through a big tax cut and the war on terrorism sent military spending surging. Then the 2008 financial crisis erupted and triggered a devastating recession. The downturn produced the economy’s first round of trillion-dollar deficits under President Barack Obama and is expected to do so again under Trump.

___

SHOULD WE WORRY?

As far as most of us can tell, the huge deficits don’t seem to threaten the economy or elevate the interest rates we pay on credit cards, mortgages and car loans. And in fact, the huge deficits are coinciding with a period of ultra-low rates rather than the surging borrowing costs that economists had warned would likely occur if government deficits got this high.

There is even a new school of economic theory known as the “modern monetary theory.” It argues that such major economies as the United States and Japan don’t need to worry about running deficits because their central banks can print as much money as they need.

Yet this remains a distinctly minority view among economists. Most still believe that while the huge deficits are not an immediate threat, at some point they will become a big problem. They will crowd out borrowing by consumers and businesses and elevate interest rates to levels that ignite a recession.

What’s more, the interest payments on the deficits become part of a mounting government debt that must be repaid and could depress economic growth in coming years. In fact, even with low rates this year, the government’s interest payments on the debt were one of the fastest growing items in the budget, rising nearly 16% to $375.6 billion.

___

HAVEN’T ECONOMISTS BEEN MAKING THESE WARNING FOR DECADES?

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the day of reckoning is still coming but isn’t here yet. Most analysts think any real solution will involve a combination of higher taxes and cost savings in the government’s huge benefit programs of Social Security and Medicare.

___

ANY SIGN THAT WASHINGTON MAY TAKE THE POLITICALLY PAINFUL STEPS TO CUT THE DEFICIT?

In short, no. There has been a major change since the first round of trillion-dollar deficits prompted the Tea Party revolt. This shift brought Republicans back into power in the House and incited a round of fighting between GOP congressional leaders and the Obama administration. A result was government shutdowns and near-defaults on the national debt.

But once Trump took office, things changed: The president focused on his biggest legislative achievement, the $1.5 trillion tax cut passed in 2017. This appeared to satisfy Republican lawmakers and quelled concerns about rising deficits.

Democratic presidential candidates have for the most part pledged to roll back Trump’s tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals. But they would use the money not to lower the deficits but for increased spending on expensive programs such as Medicare for All.

___

SO THE DEFICITS WON’T ANIMATE THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN?

It doesn’t seem likely, though former Rep. Mark Sanford, who has mounted a long-shot Republican campaign against Trump, is urging Republican voters to return to their historic concerns about the high deficits.

And economists note that today’s huge deficits are occurring when the economy is in a record-long economic expansion. This is unlike the previous stretch of trillion-dollar deficits, which coincided with the worst recession since the 1930s.

But analysts warn that if the economy does go into a recession, the huge deficits projected now will expand significantly — possibly to a size that would send interest rates surging. Such a development, if it sparked worries about the stability of the U.S. financial system, might produce the type of deficit crisis they have been warning about for so long.

https://apnews.com/caeb6d6c4eff45e4bc5da12db06004bc

Federal budget deficit climbs to $984billion – the highest in seven years – despite economic growth and low unemployment

  • Congressional Budget Office released figures for financial year 2019 on Monday 
  • They showed the deficit had risen to $984bn, $200million higher than last year 
  • Figure is highest in seven years, and $20million larger than August prediction
  • 2019 also marked fourth straight year the deficit grew faster than the economy 

Federal deficit increases 26% to $984 billion for fiscal 2019, highest in 7 years

 POINTS
  • The U.S. Treasury on Friday said that the federal deficit for fiscal 2019 was $984 billion, a 26% increase from 2018 but still short of the $1 trillion mark.
  • The U.S. government also collected nearly $71 billion in customs duties, or tariffs, a 70% increase compared to the year-ago period.
  • The gap between revenues and spending was the widest in seven years. Defense, Medicare and interest payments ballooned the shortfall.

Federal deficit baloons to $984 billion for fiscal 2019, highest in 7 years

The U.S. Treasury on Friday said that the federal deficit for fiscal 2019 was $984 billion, a 26% increase from 2018 but still short of the $1 trillion mark previously forecast by the administration.

The gap between revenues and spending was the widest it’s been in seven years as expenditures on defense, Medicare and interest payments on the national debt ballooned the shortfall.

The government said corporate tax revenues totaled $230 billion, up 12%, thanks to a rebound in the second half of the year. Individual tax revenues rose 2% to $1.7 trillion.

Receipts totaled $3.4 trillion, up 4% through September, while federal spending rose 8%, to $4.4 trillion.

 The U.S. government also collected nearly $71 billion in customs duties, or tariffs, a 70% increase compared to the year-ago period. As a percentage of U.S. economic output the deficit was 4.6%, 0.8 percentage points higher than the previous year.

“President Trump’s economic agenda is working: the Nation is experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years, there are more jobs to fill than there are job seekers, and Americans are experiencing sustained year-over-year wage increases,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a press release.

“In order to truly put America on a sustainable financial path, we must enact proposals—like the President’s 2020 budget plan—to cut wasteful and irresponsible spending,” he added.

Annual deficits have nearly doubled under President Donald Trump’s tenure notwithstanding an unemployment rate at multidecade lows and better earnings figures. Deficits usually shrink during times of economic growth as higher incomes and Wall Street profits buoy Treasury coffers, while automatic spending on items like food stamps decline.

Two big bipartisan spending bills, combined with the administration’s landmark tax cuts, however, have defied the typical trends and instead aggravated deficits. The Congressional Budget Office projects the trillion-dollar deficit could come as soon as fiscal 2020.

Still, the Treasury’s report will likely come as a relief to the Trump administration, which had previously forecast that the deficit would hit $1 trillion during the 2019 fiscal year. The White House pushed through a $1.5 trillion tax cut nearly two years ago that President Trump vowed would pay for itself.

— CNBC’s Ylan Mui contributed to this report.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/25/federal-deficit-increases-26percent-to-984-billion-for-fiscal-2019.html

American Generation Fast Facts

(CNN)Here’s a look at six generations of Americans in the 20th century: the Greatest Generation (or GI Generation), the Silent Generation, baby boomers, Generation X, millennials and Generation Z. In order to examine economic trends and social changes over time, demographers compare groupings of people bracketed by birth year. There are sometimes variations in the birth year that begins or ends a generation, depending on the source. The groupings below are based on studies by the US Census, Pew Research and demographers Neil Howe and William Strauss.

The Greatest Generation (or GI Generation)
Born in 1924 or earlier.
Tom Brokaw coined the term the Greatest Generation as a tribute to Americans who lived through the Great Depression and then fought in WWII. His 1998 bestselling book, “The Greatest Generation,” popularized the term.
John F. Kennedy, born in 1917, was the first member of the Greatest Generation to become president. Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald ReaganJimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush were also born between 1901 and 1924.
The Silent Generation
Born 1925-1945 (Sometimes listed as 1925-1942).
A 1951 essay in Time magazine dubbed the people in this age group the “Silent Generation” because they were more cautious than their parents. “By comparison with the ‘Flaming Youth’ of their fathers & mothers, today’s younger generation is a still, small flame.”
The Silent Generation helped shape 20th century pop culture, with pioneering rock musicians, iconic filmmakers, television legends, beat poets, gonzo journalists and groundbreaking political satirists.
No members of the Silent Generation have served as president.
Baby Boomers
Born 1946-1964 (Sometimes listed as 1943-1964)
Baby boomers were named for an uptick in the post-WWII birth rate.
At the end of 1946, the first year of the baby boom, there were approximately 2.4 million baby boomers. In 1964, the last year of the baby boom, there were nearly 72.5 million baby boomers. The population peaked in 1999, with 78.8 million baby boomers, including people who immigrated to the United States and were born between 1946 and 1964.
Bill Clinton was the first baby boomer to serve as president. George W. BushBarack Obama and President Donald Trump are also baby boomers.
Generation X
Born 1965-1980 (Sometimes listed as 1965-1979)
“Class X” was the name of a chapter in a 1983 book, “Class: A Guide Through the American Status System,” by historian Paul Fussell. Novelist Douglas Coupland used the term as the title of his first book, “Generation X: Tales for An Accelerated Culture,” published in 1991.
No members of Generation X have served as president.
In the 2016 presidential election, Generation X-ers and Millennials made up more than half of the electorate, according to Pew. For the first time in decades, younger voters outnumbered older voters, albeit by a slight margin. Millennials and Generation-X-ers (age 18-51), cast 69.6 million votes, compared with 67.9 million votes cast by Baby Boomers and older voters (age 52 and up).
Millennials
Born 1981-1996 (Sometimes listed as 1980-2000)
Howe and Strauss introduced the term millennials in 1991, the year their book, “Generations,” was published.
In 2014, the number of millennials in the United States eclipsed the number of baby boomers, according to the Census Bureau. The Census counted approximately 83.1 million millennials, compared with 75.4 million baby boomers. Millennials represented one quarter of the nation’s population. The Census also reported that millennials are more diverse than previous generations, as 44.2% are part of a minority race or ethnic group.
About 39% of millennials ages 25-37 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, a larger percentage than previous generations, according to Pew. Millennials with a bachelor’s degree or higher had a median annual earnings valued at $56,000 in 2018, about the same earnings as Generation X workers in 2001. Millennials without a college education had lower earnings that prior generations. About 46% of millennials ages 25-37 were married in 2018, a lower percentage than Generation X (57%), baby boomers (67%) and the Silent Generation (83%).
About 15% of millennials age 25-37 lived at home with their parents as of 2018, according to Pew. Fewer members of older generations lived at home with their parents between the ages of 25-37. The rate for Generation-X was 9%. The rate for Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation was 8%. Education factors into the percentage of millennials living at home. Among millennials without college degrees, 20% lived at home with their parents.
2016 was the first year any millennial was eligible to run for president (the minimum age is 35).
Generation Z or Gen Z (sometimes called post-millennials)
Born 1997-current
According to Pew, Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse cohort. One in four members of Gen Z are Hispanic while 52% are non-Hispanic white and 14% are black. A total of 6% are Asian and the remaining 4% are of another racial identity, primarily two or more races. The majority of individuals in Gen Z live in metropolitan areas and western states, with just 13% residing in rural areas.
High school completion and college enrollment rates for Gen Z are up, with significant increases for young adults who are Hispanic or African-American, according to Pew. In 2017, 64% of Gen Z women aged 18-20 were enrolled in college, an increase over millennials (57%) and Generation X (43%).

Story 2: Justice Department Opens Criminal Investigation of Spygate — Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

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SPYING: William Barr Says Trump Campaign Was Spied On By Feds

Justice Dept. Is Said to Open Criminal Inquiry Into Its Own Russia Investigation

The move is likely to open the attorney general to accusations that he is trying to deliver a political victory for President Trump.

President Trump has long sought to undermine the Russia investigation, attacking it as a hoax.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — For more than two years, President Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it. Now, Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into how it all began.

Justice Department officials have shifted an administrative review of the Russia investigation closely overseen by Attorney General William P. Barr to a criminal inquiry, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move gives the prosecutor running it, John H. Durham, the power to subpoena for witness testimony and documents, to convene a grand jury and to file criminal charges.

The opening of a criminal investigation is likely to raise alarms that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies. Mr. Trump fired James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director under whose watch agents opened the Russia inquiry, and has long assailed other top former law enforcement and intelligence officials as partisans who sought to block his election.

Mr. Trump has made clear that he sees the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. That view factors into the impeachment investigation against him, as does his long obsession with the origins of the Russia inquiry. House Democrats are examining in part whether his pressure on Ukraine to open investigations into theories about the 2016 election constituted an abuse of power.

The move also creates an unusual situation in which the Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into itself.

Mr. Barr’s reliance on Mr. Durham, a widely respected and veteran prosecutor who has investigated C.I.A. torture and broken up Mafia rings, could help insulate the attorney general from accusations that he is doing the president’s bidding and putting politics above justice.

It was not clear what potential crime Mr. Durham is investigating, nor when the criminal investigation was prompted. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Mr. Trump is certain to see the criminal investigation as a vindication of the years he and his allies have spent trying to discredit the Russia investigation. In May, Mr. Trump told the Fox News host Sean Hannity that the F.B.I. officials who opened the case — a counterintelligence investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Moscow’s election sabotage — had committed treason.

“We can never allow these treasonous acts to happen to another president,” Mr. Trump said. He has called the F.B.I. investigation one of the biggest political scandals in United States history.

Federal investigators need only a “reasonable indication” that a crime has been committed to open an investigation, a much lower standard than the probable cause required to obtain search warrants. However, “there must be an objective, factual basis for initiating the investigation; a mere hunch is insufficient,” according to Justice Department guidelines.

When Mr. Barr appointed Mr. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, to lead the review, he had only the power to voluntarily question people and examine government files.

Mr. Barr expressed skepticism of the Russia investigation even before joining the Trump administration. Weeks after being sworn in this year, he said he intended to scrutinize how it started and used the term “spying” to describe investigators’ surveillance of Trump campaign advisers. But he has been careful to say he wants to determine whether investigators acted lawfully.

“The question is whether it was adequately predicated,” he told lawmakers in April. “And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”

The F.B.I. did not use information from the C.I.A. in opening the Russia investigation, former American officials said. But agents’ views on Russia’s election interference operation crystallized by mid-August, after the C.I.A. director at the time, John O. Brennan, shared intelligence with Mr. Comey about it.

The C.I.A. did contribute heavily to the intelligence community’s assessment in early 2017 that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and tried to tip it in Mr. Trump’s favor, and law enforcement officials later used those findings to bolster their application for a wiretap on a Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

The special counsel who took over the Russia investigation in 2017, Robert S. Mueller III, secured convictions or guilty pleas from a handful of Trump associates and indictments of more than two dozen Russians on charges related to their wide-ranging interference scheme.

In his report, Mr. Mueller said that he had “insufficient evidence” to determine whether Mr. Trump or his aides engaged in a criminal conspiracy with the Russians but that the campaign welcomed the sabotage and expected to benefit from it.

Mr. Barr is closely managing the Durham investigation, even traveling to Italy to seek help from officials there to run down an unfounded conspiracy that is at the heart of conservatives’ attacks on the Russia investigation — that the Italian government helped set up the Trump campaign adviser who was told in 2016 that the Russians had damaging information that could hurt Clinton’s campaign.

But Italy’s intelligence services told Mr. Barr that they played no such role in the events leading to the Russia investigation, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy said in a news conference on Wednesday. Mr. Barr has also contacted government officials in Britain and Australia about their roles in the early stages of the Russia investigation.

Revelations so far about Mr. Durham’s investigation have shown that he has focused in his first months on the accusations that Mr. Trump’s conservative allies have made about the origins of the Russia inquiry in their efforts to undermine it. Mr. Durham’s efforts have prompted criticism that he and Mr. Barr are trying to deliver the president a political victory, though investigators would typically run down all aspects of a case to complete a review of it.

Mr. Durham is running the investigation with a trusted aide, Nora R. Dannehy, and a pair of retired F.B.I. agents. Other prosecutors are also assisting, people familiar with the investigation said.

In interviewing more than two dozen former and current F.B.I. and intelligence officials, Mr. Durham’s investigators have asked about any anti-Trump bias among officials who worked on the Russia investigation and about one aspect of the investigation that was at the heart of highly contentious allegations that they abused their powers: the secret application seeking a court order for a wiretap on Mr. Page.

Law enforcement officials suspected Mr. Page was the target of recruitment by the Russian government, which he has denied.

Mr. Durham has also asked whether C.I.A. officials might have somehow tricked the F.B.I. into opening the Russia investigation.

Mr. Durham has indicated he wants to interview former officials who ran the C.I.A. in 2016 but has yet to question either Mr. Brennan or James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence. Mr. Trump has repeatedly attacked them as part of a vast conspiracy by the so-called deep state to stop him from winning the presidency.

Some C.I.A. officials have retained criminal lawyers in anticipation of being interviewed. It was not clear whether Mr. Durham was scrutinizing other former top intelligence officials. Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the former director of the National Security Agency, declined to say whether he had spoken with Mr. Durham’s investigators.

Mr. Durham also has yet to question many of the former F.B.I. officials involved in opening the Russia investigation.

As Mr. Durham’s investigation moves forward, the Justice Department inspector general is wrapping up his own inquiry into aspects of the F.B.I.’s conduct in the early days of the Russia investigation. Among other things, the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is scrutinizing the application for a warrant to wiretap Mr. Page.

Mr. Barr has not said whether Mr. Durham’s investigation grew out of the inspector general’s findings or something that prosecutors unearthed while doing interviews or reviewing documents. But the inspector general’s findings, which are expected to be made public in coming weeks, could contribute to the public’s understanding of why Mr. Durham might want to investigate national security officials’ activities in 2016.

Though the inspector general’s report deals with sensitive information, Mr. Horowitz anticipates that little of it will be blacked out when he releases the document publicly, he wrote in a lettersent to lawmakers on Thursday and obtained by The New York Times.

Mr. Durham has delved before into the secret world of intelligence gathering during the Bush and Obama administrations. He was asked in 2008 to investigate why the C.I.A. destroyed tapes depicting detainees being tortured. The next year, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. appointed Mr. Durham to spearhead an investigation into the C.IA. abuses.

Career prosecutors had already examined many of the same cases and declined to bring charges, and in an echo of the Russia investigation, they fumed that Mr. Holder was revisiting the issue. Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, then the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said that the abuses had been “exhaustively reviewed” and that a new inquiry could put national security at risk.

After nearly four years, Mr. Durham’s investigation ended with no charges against C.I.A. officers, including two directly involved in the deaths of two detainees, angering human rights activists.

Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.

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The Pronk Pops Show 1341, October 15, 2019, Story 1: Senator Mitch McConnell on Unfair Behind Closed Doors Single Party Impeachment Inquiry and Syria — Videos — Story 2: The Search of Leakers in Trump Administration — Videos — Story 3: Democrats Goal of Replacing Your Employer Provided Health Care Cover With Higher Taxes for Medicare For All — Socialized Medicine — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Congratulates The St.Louis Blues For Winning The Stanley Cup — Videos

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Story 1: Senator Mitch McConnell on Unfair Behind Closed Doors Single Party Impeachment Inquiry and Syria — Videos —

Senator Mitch McConnell: Democrats Are ‘Throwing Fairness And Precedent To The Wind’ | NBC News

Senate Needs to Make a Strong, Strategic Statement on Syria

Trump was ‘absolutely right’ to take troops out of Syria: Rand Paul

Democrats, Republicans unite on Trump’s decision on Syria

Senate Needs to Make a Strong, Strategic Statement on Syria

McConnell splits with Trump on Syria pullout

 

Mitch McConnell rebukes Donald Trump over Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held Syria, saying troop pullout gives Iran a chance to reach Israel’s doorstep and contending worthwhile intervention does NOT make the U.S. world’s policeman

  • McConnell once again expressed his ‘grave concern’ about the situation in Syria  
  • Said the door is ‘wide open’ for resurgence of ISIS
  • Said policy could put Iran on Israel’s ‘door-step’
  • Said standing up for U.S. interests does not make nation the ‘evil empire’
  • Trump has repeatedly complained the nation should not be world’s policeman 
  • At the same time, he blasted House Democrats on impeachment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell directly confronted President Trump‘s complaint that U.S. troop deployment’s make it the ‘world’s policeman’ and expressed his ‘grave concern’ about Trump’s policy moves in Syria.

McConnell issued the rebuke without directly blaming President Trump for the latest calamity in the region – although he said Trump’s policy threatens to put Iran on Israel’s door-step and fuel a ‘humanitarian catastrophe.’

Following Turkey’s incursion into Syria in territory that had been controlled by U.S.-allied members of the Kurdish minority, McConnell warned that the ‘door is wide open for resurgence of the Islamic State.’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took on President Trump's contention that having forces remain in Syria was akin to being the 'world's policeman'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took on President Trump’s contention that having forces remain in Syria was akin to being the ‘world’s policeman’

In a Senate floor speech, McConnell said the situation created a power vacuum that could fuel the meddling influence of Russia, and ‘leaving northeastern Syria wide open Iran to extend reach unimpeded all the way from tehran to the door step of our friends in Israel.

He also confronted the view, espoused directly by President Trump, that the U.S. should pull out of the region rather serving as the ‘world’s policeman.’

I want to make something clear, the United States has taken the fight to Syria and Afghanistan because that is where our enemies are, that’s why we’re there. Fighting terrorists, exercising leadership and troubled regions and advancing U.S. interests around the world does not make us an evil empire or the world’s policeman,’ McConnell said.

This picture taken on October 15, 2019 shows a missile fired by Turkish forces towards the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa on the first week of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces

This picture taken on October 15, 2019 shows a missile fired by Turkish forces towards the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa on the first week of Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish forces

McConnell shared his 'grave concern' about the situation in Syria

McConnell shared his ‘grave concern’ about the situation in Syria

‘When it looked like President Trump would withdraw from Syria at beginning of the year, 70 senators joined in warning of the risk of precipitously withdrawing from Syria or Afghanistan,’ McConnell noted in his floor speech

McConnell had also warned of his ‘grave concern’ in a written statement Monday that did not mention Trump by name. But in his floor speech Tuesday, he included such a reference.

‘When it looked like President Trump would withdraw from Syria at beginning of the year, 70 senators joined in warning of the risk of precipitously withdrawing from Syria or Afghanistan,’ McConnell noted.

But even as he challenged the president on a policy that has resulted in the release of ISIS prisoners, led to attacks against key regional allies, and even led to shelling by Turkish forces toward a U.S. troop-held position, he defended the president on impeachment by attacking Democrats.

‘House Democrats are finally indulging in their impeachment obsession. Full steam ahead,’ McConnell warned. ‘I don’t think many of us were expecting to witness a clinic in terms of fairness or due process. But even by their own partisan standards, House Democrats have already found new ways to lower the bar,’ he complained.

McConnell has said he was required by Senate rules to hold a trial should the House impeach Trump.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7577029/Mitch-McConnell-rebukes-Donald-Trump-Turkish-invasion-Kurdish-held-Syria.html

Trump’s Syria Mess

He resorts to sanctions as the harm from withdrawal builds.

Syrians fleeing Turskih advance arrive to the town of Tal Tamr in north Syria, Oct. 14. PHOTO: BADERKHAN AHMAD/ASSOCIATED PRESS

What a fiasco. Foreign-policy blunders often take months or years to reveal their damaging consequences, but the harm from President Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria is playing out almost in real time.

Critics said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would invade northern Syria despite Mr. Trump’s public warnings, and the Turkish strongman did. Critics said our Kurdish allies would strike a deal with Syria’s Bashar Assad to defend themselves, and the Kurds have. Critics said Islamic State prisoners held by the Kurds would be released and scatter to wage jihad again, and they are.

The mess compounded Monday when Mr. Trump authorized sanctions against several Turkish officials and agencies who are “contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.” The sanctions include financial measures and barring entry to the U.S. Mr. Trump also said he’s ending trade talks with Turkey and raising steel tariffs to 50%.

Mr. Trump now finds himself back in an economic and diplomatic brawl with Turkey that he said he wanted to avoid. Wouldn’t it have been easier simply to tell Mr. Erdogan, on that famous phone call two Sundays ago, that the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate a Turkish invasion against the Kurds and would use air power to stop it? Mr. Erdogan would have had to back down and continue negotiating a Syrian safe zone with the Kurds and the U.S.

Mr. Trump is also making matters worse with his unserious justifications. “After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria. Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land,” he tweeted Monday. “Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!”

We suppose the Napoleon line was a joke, but the world is laughing at an American President. Mr. Trump was able to project an image of strength in his early days as he prosecuted the war against ISIS and used force to impose a cost on Mr. Assad for using chemical weapons. But that image has faded as he has indulged his inner Rand Paul and claims at every opportunity that the main goal of his foreign policy is to put an end to “endless wars.”

This is simple-minded isolationism, and it’s a message to the world’s rogues that a U.S. President has little interest in engaging on behalf of American allies or interests. Friends like Israel and Saudi Arabia are quietly dismayed, while Iran, Russia and Hezbollah can’t believe Mr. Trump has so glibly abandoned U.S. commitments and military partners.

By now it’s not unreasonable to conclude that Mr. Trump’s foreign policy can be distilled into two tactics—sanctions and tariffs. Mr. Trump wields them willy-nilly against friend and foe alike as substitutes for diplomacy and the credible threat of military force.

Mr. Trump won’t like to hear it, but the Syrian mess is hurting him at home too. Republicans who have stood by him through the Russia fight and more are questioning his judgment as Commander in Chief in an increasingly dangerous world. With impeachment looming, he can’t afford to alienate more friends.

Opinion: Trump's Foreign Policy Needs to Change Course

Opinion: Trump’s Foreign Policy Needs to Change Course
As Turkey advances into Syria, foreign powers will increasingly act on the belief that the American executive is both politically weak and intellectually unfocused. Image: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Imageshttps://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-syria-mess-11571095091

TRUMP’S CHAOTIC SYRIA EXIT PUTS ANTI-WAR 2020 DEMOCRATS IN A DELICATE SPOT

THE PENTAGON announced on Monday that the U.S. was pulling all of its troops out of northeastern Syria at President Donald Trump’s direction, completing a withdrawal he had started by Twitter declaration a week earlier. The move further clears the way for a full-on invasion by Turkey, whose soldiers have already been accused of executing noncombatants. In the chaos, hundreds of Islamic State detainees have reportedly escaped.

Trump defended his decision in a series of early-morning tweets on Monday. “The same people who got us into the Middle East mess are the people who most want to stay there!” he wrote. “Never ending wars will end!”

Trump’s abandonment of eastern Syria and the U.S. military’s Kurdish allies has put progressive Democrats — many of whom also favor withdrawing from overseas military operations — in a delicate spot. Over the past week, they have been trying to thread the needle between condemning Trump for recklessly abandoning an ally and emphasizing that withdrawing U.S. troops should be an eventual policy goal.

Trump’s decision has showcased what a worst-case scenario for expedited military withdrawal could look like, making it harder for progressive Democratic presidential candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to press their cases against “endless wars” on the campaign trail. The question of how progressives can go about drawing down U.S. military commitments without repeating Trump’s calamitous actions would be an obvious pick for Tuesday night’s Democratic debate.

So far, the Democratic candidates have been critical of Trump but light on specifics about what they would do differently. Last week, Sanders condemned Trump’s withdrawal from Syria, telling reporters that “as somebody who does not want to see American troops bogged down in countries all over the world — you don’t turn your back on allies who have fought and died alongside American troops. You just don’t do that.” But when George Stephanopoulos asked Sunday morning on ABC for Sanders to explain the difference between his and Trump’s approaches, Sanders responded simply that Trump “lies. I don’t.”

Warren’s response was similarly vague. She tweeted that “Trump recklessly betrayed our Kurdish partners” and that “we should bring our troops home, but we need to do so in a way that respects our security.”

Ro Khanna, a Democratic representative from California and co-chair of Sanders’s 2020 campaign, told The Intercept that progressives urgently need to make the case for a “doctrine of responsible withdrawal.”

“I don’t believe that withdrawal from a progressive perspective means a moral indifference to the lives of the places that we leave,” Khanna said in a phone interview. “It’s not an ‘America First’ approach that says our interests and our American lives are the only things that have moral worth. Rather, our withdrawal is based on an understanding of the limitations of American power to shape and restructure societies. It emphasizes the need for effective diplomacy and understands our moral obligations in these places.”

The U.S. should not have withdrawn troops without negotiating a deal that would have kept Turkey from invading Syria, backed by a threat to withhold future arms sales and economic assistance, Khanna told The Intercept. “We could have used all those points of leverage to get their commitment that they wouldn’t slaughter the Kurds.”

Another key difference between Trump’s approach and that of progressives is their level of trust for civil service expertise, Khanna said. “What this shows is that it’s not enough to have a president with certain instincts. Foreign policy requires great expertise. You need a progressive president who understands the importance of military restraint, but who also has the ability to put together an extraordinary foreign policy team to implement the goals that they may have.”

Far from admiring Trump’s approach to Syria, many anti-interventionists and foreign policy experts in D.C. view it as a blueprint for how not to withdraw from a conflict, according to Adam Wunische, a researcher with the Quincy Institute, a new pro-diplomacy, noninterventionist, and nonpartisan think tank.

“What we should have been doing from the very beginning is once we achieved the limited objective of destroying ISIS territory, they should have immediately begun contemplating what kind of peace or settlement could come afterwards,” Wunische told The Intercept. “To my knowledge, the U.S. is one of the only actors that can effectively talk to both the Turks and the Kurds. So they should have been trying to find an acceptable political arrangement for all the parties involved that doesn’t involve an endless, ill-defined military presence for the U.S.”

The Quincy Institute is working on a report outlining a possible plan for U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan that would avoid the type of disorder on display in northeastern Syria, Wunische said, though the timing of the report remains unclear.

Throughout the 2020 Democratic primary campaign, a number of candidates have railed against “endless wars.” But in a conversation that has been defined by intricate domestic policy proposals and detailed outlines of how to structure a wealth tax, candidates have said little about the rest of the world and even less about how they would wind down overseas conflicts.

Sanders, for example, has called for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan “as expeditiously as possible.” Warren has said “it’s long past time to bring our troops home, and I would begin to do so immediately.” Joe Biden has said he would bring “American combat troops in Afghanistan home during my first term,” but left the door open for a “residual U.S. military presence” that would be “focused on counterterrorism operations.” When asked during a July debate whether he would withdraw from Afghanistan during the first year of his presidency, Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend mayor and Navy Reserve veteran who spent seven months in Afghanistan, answered emphatically in the affirmative.

But aside from seeking a diplomatic solution, candidates have said very little about their policies for ending the war. And as in Syria, stakes for U.S. allies in Afghanistan are high.

A January study by the Rand Corporation found that a “precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan” would have far-reaching consequences. The legitimacy for the U.S.-backed Kabul government would plummet, the report argued, and the Taliban would extend its control and influence. People all across the country would turn to regional militias and rival warlords for basic security.

“I don’t think that anyone, whether they promise it or not, is going to get out of Afghanistan in a week,” said Wuinsche. “What we need to focus on is, what is the political solution that we think is possible, and how do we get there? That requires marshaling all of these different tools of foreign policy, not just the military.”

Kate Kizer, policy director for the D.C.-based advocacy group Win Without War, stressed that one of the most revealing differences between progressives and Trump is how they would treat a conflict’s refugees. Under Trump, the U.S. has accepted historically low numbers of refugees and closed the door on future Syrian immigrants applying for Temporary Protected Status.

“One of the cruelest parts of Trump’s policy is the fact that, in addition to fueling more bloodshed with this decision, he’s also banning any types of civilians who would be fleeing from the conflict,” Kizer said. “In a situation like Syria and even Afghanistan, there’s a way to responsibly withdraw and then there’s a way to cut and run, which is what Trump has shown he has a predilection for. But I’m not sitting here saying that any type of military withdraw will necessarily be bloodless.”

https://theintercept.com/2019/10/15/syria-troop-withdrawal-trump-democrats/

Story 2: The Search of Leakers in Trump Administration — Videos

RUST NO ONE

Trump Suspects a Spiteful John Bolton Is Behind Some of the Ukraine Leaks

Trump fears the leaks are now coming from the people he chose to serve him—and that only increases the paranoia currently infecting the West Wing.

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/Getty

At a critical juncture in his presidency, facing a rapidly unfolding impeachment inquiry by House Democrats, Donald Trump is feeling besieged by snitches.

In recent weeks, numerous leaks have appeared in the pages of The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and other major papers and news outlets detailing the president’s attempts to enlist foreign leaders to help dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and also aid Trump’s quest to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s concluded investigation. And as is his MO, the media-obsessed president has been fixated on not just the identity of the whistleblower behind the internal complaint that brought this scandal to the fore, but also on who, exactly, has been namelessly feeding intel to the press.

In the course of casual conversations with advisers and friends, President Trump has privately raised suspicions that a spiteful John Bolton, his notoriously hawkish former national security adviser, could be one of the sources behind the flood of leaks against him, three people familiar with the comments said. At one point, one of those sources recalled, Trump guessed that Bolton was behind one of the anonymous accounts that listed the former national security adviser as one of the top officials most disturbed by the Ukraine-related efforts of Trump and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney who remains at the center of activities that spurred the impeachment inquiry.

“[Trump] was clearly implying [it, saying] something to the effect of, ‘Oh, gee, I wonder who the source on that could be,’” this source said, referring to the president’s speculation. Bolton, for his part, told The Daily Beast last month that allegations that he was a leaker in Trump’s midst are “flatly incorrect.”

The former national security adviser—who departed the administration last month on awfulmutually bitter terms—is working on a book about his time serving Trump, and has “a lot to dish,” one knowledgeable source noted.

Neither Bolton nor White House spokespeople provided comment for this story. Matt Schlapp, an influential conservative activist with close ties to the White House, said his assumption was that the leaks were coming from “career folks inside who hate Trump” and that the president and his campaign had “14 months of this” to come. As for Bolton, Schlapp said, “He’s smarter than that, although he does aggressively defend himself.”

Indeed, Bolton’s name surfaced Monday before House impeachment inquiry committees, when Hill reportedly testified that he told her to alert the chief lawyer for the National Security Council that Giuliani was working with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on an operation with legal implications, the Times reported late Monday. “I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton told Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to sources familiar with the testimony.

“I have not spoken to John about [his comments, as conveyed by Hill],” Giuliani told The Daily Beast on Tuesday morning. “John is a longtime friend. I have no idea why John is doing this. My best guess is that he’s confused and bought into a false media narrative without bothering to call me about it.”

Regarding Bolton’s reported comment about Mulvaney being involved in this figurative Ukraine “drug deal,” the former New York City mayor insisted that “Mick wasn’t involved in this. I don’t recall having any lengthy conversation with him about this subject… I don’t recall ever having a lengthy conversation [about Ukraine] with John, either.”

Trump has felt under siege from within before, including at various flashpoints of his presidency. For instance, near the end of the Mueller probe, the president became so distrustful and resentful toward Don McGahn, his own White House counsel at the time, he started asking those close to him, “Is [Don] wearing a wire?”

But the current sense that he has been undermined by people whom he brought into his orbit has come at a critical juncture and colored some of the decisions he has made since the whistleblower complaint became public.  The president has openly declared that the whistleblower committed an act of treason. He has attempted to stop prominent advisers—including Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a man who donated $1 million to the Trump inauguration—from testifying to Congress, only to apparently fail. On Monday, Fiona Hill, Trump’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe, was on Capitol Hill, where she reportedly told lawmakers that Sondland and Giuliani circumventedthe standard national-security process on high-profile Ukraine matters. The president has struggled to add to his current legal team, and appeared to begin putting some distance between himself and Giuliani last week.

And when outside allies began to talk about constructing a war room to help with impeachment, Trump shot down the concept, in part out of a sense that he couldn’t rely on them to get the message out right. One top White House aide subsequently labeled the idea an exercise by “outside peeps trying to self-aggrandize.”

The impression left on Republicans is one of a president increasingly driven by paranoia and a desire for insularity—and not, necessarily, to his own benefit.

“There is a certain level of frustration that all the sudden the president says something, then Rudy does, and it is not always consistent. There is a frustration that not everybody knows what they should be doing. It is not that they can’t defend the president it is a frustration that they don’t know exactly how they are supposed to defend the president,” said John Brabender, a longtime GOP consultant. “From the president’s perspective, this whole thing is a witch hunt and is outrageous and, therefore, it shouldn’t even need explanation…But with that said, you can’t just be angry. You need a unified communications team.”

According to those who’ve known the president, the sense that a good chunk of the government has never fully accepted his presidency and has actively worked to undermine it has animated much of his activity over the past few weeks. And though they believe he has a point, they also wonder if it is making him functionally incapable of taking the advice of some advisers: to simply ignore impeachment and apply his attention to other facets of governance.

Trump, they add, is preternaturally incapable of ignoring press about him and lingers particularly on leaks that depict atmospherics of his inner sanctum, the West Wing, and his internal well-being.

“In my experience, what he despises is somebody writing that Donald Trump feels under siege and his emotions are this and his thinking is this,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide. “He hates people saying what he is thinking… And one of his most frequent tricks in terms of talking about himself on background [as an anonymous source] is him having the reporter say [he is] someone ‘familiar with the president’s thinking.’”

Nunberg said he had yet to see a blind quote in any recent report that would lead him to believe that Trump is cold-calling reporters. But the president is certainly working the fourth estate. Democratic aides were left shaking their heads last week when they received an email from the White House with the subject line, “Article from President Trump” and a PDF attachment of a Kimberly Strassel Wall Street Journal column.

“He’s apparently so anxious about GOP support in the Senate, he’s taken to sending WSJ columns against the House inquiry,” said a Senate source.

Still, for all of Trump’s grousing and preoccupation with who is and isn’t stabbing him in the back, loyalty has always been a one-way street for this president. Last week, after the news broke that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born businessmen tied to Giuliani, were arrested on charges of violating campaign-finance law, a reporter at the White House asked Trump if the former New York mayor was still his personal attorney. The president responded that he didn’t know.

Though the president would later tweet out his support for Giuliani over the weekend, Trump has a long track record for being loyal to and supportive of a longtime associate, friend, or staffer—up until the moment he’s not. Perhaps the quintessential example of this is that of one of the president’s former attorneys, Michael Cohen, who famously turned on Trump after becoming convinced that the president had abandoned him while he was in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors.

Asked by The Daily Beast last week if the president told him that he still had his lawyer’s back—an attorney who further earned the president’s trust by defending Trump during the Mueller investigation—Giuliani let out a big belly-laugh and responded, “There’s nothing, [no knife], in my back.”

“My back feels very comfortable right now,” he added.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-suspects-a-spiteful-john-bolton-is-behind-ukraine-leaks

Story 3: Democrats Goal of Replacing Your Employer Provided Health Care Cover With Higher Taxes for Medicare For All — Socialized Medicine — Videos —

 

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Medicare For All: What Does it Actually Mean?

DEBUNKED: Medicare for All MYTHS! | Louder With Crowder

Story 4: President Trump Congratulates The St.Louis Blues For Winning The Stanley Cup — Videos —

Trump welcomes the Stanley Cup Champions to WH

President Trump Welcomes the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Champions

Trump welcomes 2019 Stanley Cup champions to White House

Trump welcomes the St. Louis Blues to the White House

WATCH: Trump hosts NHL champions St. Louis Blues at the White House

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1329, September 27, 2019, Story 1: National Chocolate Milk Day — Videos — Story 2: Stopping Nuclear Proliferation — Videos — Story 3: Trump Administration Will Appeal Ruling Barring Indefinite Detention of Illegal Alien Families Thus Ending Catch and Release Under The Flores Agreement — Democrats Want The Invasion of United States To Continue and Citizenship For All Illegal Aliens That Reach The United States — The Majority of American People Want Immigration Laws Enforced and Deportation of All 30-60 Millions Illegal Aliens — American People vs. The REDS (Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists) — Videos —

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NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MILK DAY – September 27

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MILK DAY

Across the country, folks enjoy a tall, frosty glass on National Chocolate Milk Day, which is observed annually on September 27. 

In the late 1680s, an Irish-born physician by the name of Sir Hans Sloane invented the chocolatey beverage. When offered the position of personal physician to an English Duke in Jamaica, Sloane jumped at the opportunity. Jamaica interested the naturalist in him.

While in Jamaica, Sloane encountered a local beverage. The locals mixed cocoa and water together.  However, when Sloane tasted it, he reported the flavor to be nauseating. After some experimentation, the doctor found a way to combine cocoa with milk. The creamy combination made it a more pleasant-tasting drink. Years later, Sloane returned to England with the chocolate recipe in hand. Initially, apothecaries introduced the concoction as a medicine.

Generations later, chocolate milk lovers enjoy their treat a variety of ways.  It can be purchased premixed by the jug or individual serving. For a custom mix, powders and syrups allow us to make it as chocolatey as we like at home.

HOW TO OBSERVE #ChocolateMilkDay

Do you use powder, premix or syrup? Today we even have skim, 2% and whole milk. Which do you prefer? Mix up some chocolate milk to drink. Invite a friend to enjoy the celebration with you. Besides, the best way to #CelebrateEveryDay is with others. Share your celebration using #ChocolateMilkDay on social media.

Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® classroom for ways to incorporate this day into your classes.

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MILK DAY HISTORY

National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this sweet beverage holiday.

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

 

National Chocolate Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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There are a variety of dates that have been designated as “Chocolate Day” around the world. The most commonly accepted such date is July 7.[citation needed] Various Chocolate Days have been called Local, National or International/World, including conflicting claims.[citation needed]

The U.S. National Confectioners Association lists four primary chocolate holidays on their calendar[1][improper synthesis?] (Chocolate Day (July 7), two National Chocolate Days (October 28 and December 28), and International Chocolate Day (September 13)[2]), in addition to variants such as National Milk Chocolate Day, National White Chocolate Day, and National Cocoa Day.

International Chocolate Day coincides with the birth date of Milton S. Hershey (September 13, 1857),[3][4][5] founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company.

See also

References

  1. ^ “Candy Holidays”National Confectioners Association. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  2. ^ “Reasons to celebrate chocolate in September”National Confectioners Association. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  3. ^ “Milton Hershey Biography”Biography.com. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  4. ^ September 2008 dates to celebrateCreative Forecasting20 (7–12): 6. Retrieved 7 July 2014International Chocolate Day – This day celebrates the birth anniversary of Milton Hershey (1857 – 1945)
  5. ^ “Milton Hershey: Happy Birthday”. The Hershey Company. Retrieved 2 October 2017.

Further reading

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

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Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

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Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles
Gorbachev and Reagan sign the INF Treaty.

Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan sign the INF Treaty.
Type Nuclear disarmament
Signed 8 December 1987, 1:45 p.m.[1]
Location White HouseWashington, D.C.
Effective 1 June 1988
Condition Ratification by the Soviet Union and United States
Expiration 1 February 2019
Signatories
Languages English and Russian
Text of the INF Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range MissilesRussianДоговор о ликвидации ракет средней и меньшей дальности / ДРСМД, Dogovor o likvidatsiy raket sredney i menshey dalnosti / DRSMD) was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union (and its successor state, the Russian Federation). US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty on 8 December 1987.[1][2] The United States Senate approved the treaty on 27 May 1988, and Reagan and Gorbachev ratified it on 1 June 1988.[2][3]

The INF Treaty banned all of the two nations’ land-based ballistic missilescruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short medium-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). The treaty did not apply to air- or sea-launched missiles.[4][5] By May 1991, the nations had eliminated 2,692 missiles, followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.[6]

Amidst continuing growth of China’s missile forces, US President Donald Trump announced on 20 October 2018 that he was withdrawing the US from the treaty, accusing Russia of non-compliance.[7][8] The US formally suspended the treaty on 1 February 2019,[9] and Russia did so on the following day in response.[10] The US formally withdrew from the treaty on 2 August 2019.[11] On September 4, 2019, President Putin stated that Russia will make new missiles but will not deploy them until the United States does so first. [12]

Contents

Background

In March 1976, the Soviet Union first deployed the RSD-10 Pioneer (called SS-20 Saber in the West) in its European territories, a mobile, concealable intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) containing three nuclear 150-kiloton warheads.[13] The SS-20’s range of 4,700–5,000 kilometers (2,900–3,100 mi) was great enough to reach Western Europe from well within Soviet territory; the range was just below the SALT II minimum range for an intercontinental ballistic missile, 5,500 km (3,400 mi).[14][15][16] The SS-20 replaced aging Soviet systems of the SS-4 Sandal and SS-5 Skean, which were seen to pose a limited threat to Western Europe due to their poor accuracy, limited payload (one warhead), lengthy preparation time, difficulty in being concealed, and immobility (thus exposing them to pre-emptive NATO strikes ahead of a planned attack).[17] Whereas the SS-4 and SS-5 were seen as defensive weapons, the SS-20 was seen as a potential offensive system.[18]

The US, then under President Jimmy Carter, initially considered its strategic nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable aircraft to be adequate counters to the SS-20 and a sufficient deterrent against possible Soviet aggression. In 1977, however, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of West Germany argued in a speech that a Western response to the SS-20 deployment should be explored, a call which was echoed by NATO, given a perceived Western disadvantage in European nuclear forces.[16] Leslie H. Gelb, the US Assistant Secretary of State, later recounted that Schmidt’s speech pressured the US into developing a response.[19]

SS-20 launchers

On 12 December 1979, following European pressure for a response to the SS-20, Western foreign and defense ministers meeting in Brussels made the NATO Double-Track Decision.[16] The ministers argued that the Warsaw Pact had “developed a large and growing capability in nuclear systems that directly threaten Western Europe”: “theater” nuclear systems (i.e., tactical nuclear weapons).[20] In describing this “aggravated” situation, the ministers made direct reference to the SS-20 featuring “significant improvements over previous systems in providing greater accuracy, more mobility, and greater range, as well as having multiple warheads”. The ministers also attributed the altered situation to the deployment of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bomber, which they believed to display “much greater performance” than its predecessors. Furthermore, the ministers expressed concern that the Soviet Union had gained an advantage over NATO in “Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces” (LRTNF), and also significantly increased short-range theater nuclear capacity.[21]

To address these developments, the ministers adopted two policy “tracks” which Joseph Stalin had created in 1941. One thousand theater nuclear warheads, out of 7,400 such warheads, would be removed from Europe and the US would pursue bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union intended to limit theater nuclear forces. Should these negotiations fail, NATO would modernize its own LRTNF, or intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF), by replacing US Pershing 1a missiles with 108 Pershing II launchers in West Germany and deploying 464 BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs) to BelgiumItaly, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom beginning in December 1983.[15][22][23][24]

Negotiations

Early negotiations: 1981–1983

The Soviet Union and United States agreed to open negotiations and preliminary discussions, named the Preliminary Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Talks,[15] which began in GenevaSwitzerland, in October 1980. On 20 January 1981, Ronald Reagan was sworn into office as President after defeating Jimmy Carter in an election. Formal talks began on 30 November 1981, with the US then led by Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union by Leonid Brezhnev. The core of the US negotiating position reflected the principles put forth under Carter: any limits placed on US INF capabilities, both in terms of “ceilings” and “rights”, must be reciprocated with limits on Soviet systems. Additionally, the US insisted that a sufficient verification regime be in place.[25]

Paul Nitze, 1983

Paul Nitze, a longtime hand at defense policy who had participated in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), led the US delegation after being recruited by Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Though Nitze had backed the first SALT treaty, he opposed SALT II and had resigned from the US delegation during its negotiation. Nitze was also then a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, a firmly anti-Soviet group composed of neoconservatives and conservative Republicans.[19][26] Yuli Kvitsinsky, the well-respected second-ranking official at the Soviet embassy in West Germany, headed the Soviet delegation.[18][27][28][29]

On 18 November 1981, shortly before the beginning of formal talks, Reagan made the Zero Option proposal (or the “zero-zero” proposal).[30] The plan called for a hold on US deployment of GLCM and Pershing II systems, reciprocated by Soviet elimination of its SS-4, SS-5, and SS-20 missiles. There appeared to be little chance of the Zero Option being adopted, but the gesture was well received in the European public. In February 1982, US negotiators put forth a draft treaty containing the Zero Option and a global prohibition on intermediate- and short-range missiles, with compliance ensured via a stringent, though unspecific, verification program.[27]

Opinion within the Reagan administration on the Zero Option was mixed. Richard Perle, then the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, was the architect of the plan. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who supported a continued US nuclear presence in Europe, was skeptical of the plan, though eventually accepted it for its value in putting the Soviet Union “on the defensive in the European propaganda war”. Reagan later recounted that the “zero option sprang out of the realities of nuclear politics in Western Europe”.[30] The Soviet Union rejected the plan shortly after the US tabled it in February 1982, arguing that both the US and Soviet Union should be able to retain intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Specifically, Soviet negotiators proposed that the number of INF missiles and aircraft deployed in Europe by one side be capped at 600 by 1985 and 300 by 1990. Concerned that this proposal would force the US to withdraw aircraft from Europe and not deploy INF missiles, given US cooperation with existing British and French deployments, the US proposed “equal rights and limits”—the US would be permitted to match Soviet SS-20 deployments.[27]

Between 1981 and 1983, US and Soviet negotiators gathered for six rounds of talks, each two months in length—a system based on the earlier SALT talks.[27] The US delegation was composed of Nitze, General William F. Burns of the Joint Chiefs of StaffThomas Graham of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), and officials from the US Department of StateOffice of the Secretary of Defense, and US National Security Council. Colonel Norman Clyne, a SALT participant, served as Nitze’s chief of staff.[18][31]

There was little convergence between the two sides over these two years. A US effort to separate the question of nuclear-capable aircraft from that of intermediate-range missiles successfully focused attention on the latter, but little clear progress on the subject was made. In the summer of 1982, Nitze and Kvitsinsky took a “walk in the woods” in the Jura Mountains, away from formal negotiations in Geneva, in an independent attempt to bypass bureaucratic procedures and break the negotiating deadlock.[32][18][33] Nitze later said that his and Kvitsinsky’s goal was to agree to certain concessions that would allow for a summit meeting between Brezhnev and Reagan later in 1982.[34]

Protest in Amsterdam against the nuclear arms race between the US/NATO and the Soviet Union

Nitze’s offer to Kvitsinsky was that the US would forego deployment of the Pershing II and continue deployment of GLCMs, but limited to 75 missile launchers. The Soviet Union, in return, would also have to limit itself to 75 intermediate-range missile launchers in Europe and 90 in Asia. Due to each GLCM launcher containing four GLCMs and each SS-20 launcher containing three warheads, such an agreement would have resulted in the US having 75 more intermediate-range warheads in Europe than the Soviet Union, though SS-20s were seen as more advanced and maneuverable than GLCMs. While Kvitsinsky was skeptical that the plan would be well received in Moscow, Nitze was optimistic about its chances in Washington.[34] The deal ultimately found little traction in either capital. In the US, the Office of the Secretary of Defense opposed Nitze’s proposal, as it opposed any proposal that would allow the Soviet Union to deploy missiles to Europe while blocking US deployments. Nitze’s proposal was relayed by Kvitsinsky to Moscow, where it was also rejected. The plan accordingly was never introduced into formal negotiations.[32][18]

Thomas Graham, a US negotiator, later recalled that Nitze’s “walk in the woods” proposal was primarily of Nitze’s own design and known beforehand only to William F. Burns, another arms control negotiator and representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and Eugene V. Rostow, the director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In a National Security Council meeting following the Nitze-Kvitsinsky walk, the proposal was received positively by the JCS and Reagan. Following protests by Richard Perle, working within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Reagan informed Nitze that he would not back the plan. The State Department, then led by Alexander Haig, also indicated that it would not support Nitze’s plan and preferred a return to the Zero Option proposal.[18][33][34] Nitze argued that one positive consequence of the walk in the woods was that the European public, which had doubted US interest in arms control, became convinced that the US was participating in the INF negotiations in good faith.[34]

In early 1983, US negotiators indicated that they would support a plan beyond the Zero Option if the plan established equal rights and limits for the US and Soviet Union, with such limits valid worldwide, and excluded British and French missile systems (as well as those of any other third party). As a temporary measure, the US negotiators also proposed a cap of 450 deployed INF warheads around the world for both the US and Soviet Union. In response, Soviet negotiators expressed that a plan would have to block all US INF deployments in Europe, cover both missiles and aircraft, include third parties, and focus primarily on Europe for it to gain Soviet backing. In the fall of 1983, just ahead of the scheduled deployment of US Pershing IIs and GLCMs, the US lowered its proposed limit on global INF deployments to 420 missiles, while the Soviet Union proposed “equal reductions”: if the US cancelled the planned deployment of Pershing II and GLCM systems, the Soviet Union would reduce its own INF deployment by 572 warheads. In November 1983, after the first Pershing IIs arrived in West Germany, the Soviet Union walked out of negotiations, as it had warned it would do should the US missile deployments occur.[35]

Restarted negotiations: 1985–1987

Reagan and Gorbachev shake hands after signing the INF Treaty ratification during the Moscow Summit on 1 June 1988.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher played a key role in brokering the negotiations between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1986 to 1987.[36]

In March 1986, negotiations between the US and the Soviet Union resumed, covering not only the INF issue, but also separate discussions on strategic weapons (START I) and space issues (Nuclear and Space Talks). In late 1985, both sides were moving towards limiting INF systems in Europe and Asia. On 15 January 1986, Gorbachev announced a Soviet proposal for a ban on all nuclear weapons by 2000, which included INF missiles in Europe. This was dismissed by the US and countered with a phased reduction of INF launchers in Europe and Asia to none by 1989. There would be no constraints on British and French nuclear forces.[37]

A series of meetings in August and September 1986 culminated in the Reykjavík Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev on 11 and 12 October 1986. Both agreed in principle to remove INF systems from Europe and to equal global limits of 100 INF missile warheads. Gorbachev also proposed deeper and more fundamental changes in the strategic relationship. More detailed negotiations extended throughout 1987, aided by the decision of West Germany Chancellor Helmut Kohl in August to unilaterally remove the joint US-West German Pershing 1a systems. Initially, Kohl had opposed the total elimination of the Pershing Missiles, claiming that such a move would increase his nation’s vulnerability to an attack by Warsaw Pact Forces.[38] The treaty text was finally agreed in September 1987. On 8 December 1987, the Treaty was officially signed by President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at a summit in Washington and ratified the following May in a 93-5 vote by the United States Senate.[39][40]

Contents

The treaty prohibits both parties from possessing, producing, or flight-testing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500–5,000 km. Possessing or producing ground-based launchers of those missiles is also prohibited. The ban extends to weapons with both nuclear and conventional warheads, but does not cover air-delivered or sea-based missiles.[41]

Existing weapons had to be destroyed, and a protocol for mutual inspection was agreed upon.[41]

Each party has the right to withdraw from the treaty with six months’ notice, “if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests”.[41]

Timeline

Implementation[edit]

A Soviet inspector examines a BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missile in 1988 prior to its destruction.

Accompanied by their NATO counterparts, Soviet inspectors enter a nuclear weapons storage area at Greenham Common, UK, 1989.

By the treaty’s deadline of 1 June 1991, a total of 2,692 of such weapons had been destroyed, 846 by the US and 1,846 by the Soviet Union.[42] The following specific missiles, their launcher systems, and their transporter vehicles were destroyed:[43]

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the United States considered twelve of the post-Soviet states to be inheritors of the treaty obligations (the three Baltic states are considered to preexist their annexation by the Soviet Union). Of the six having inspectable INF facilities on their territories, BelarusKazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine became active participants in the treaty process, while Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, having less significant INF sites, assumed a less active role.[44]

As provided by the treaty, onsite inspections ended in 2001. After that time, compliance was checked primarily by satellites.[45]

Initial skepticism and allegations of treaty violations

In February 2007, the Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the Munich Security Conference in which he said the INF Treaty should be revisited to ensure security, as it only restricted Russia and the US but not other countries.[46] The Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Yuri Baluyevsky contemporaneously said that Russia was planning to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in response to deployment of adaptable defensive NATO missile system and because other countries were not bound to the treaty.[47]

According to US officials, Russia violated the treaty by testing the SSC-8 cruise missile in 2008.[48] Russia rejected the claim that their SSC-8 missiles violates the treaty, and says that the SSC-8 can travel only up to a maximum of 480 km.[49] In 2013, reports came out that Russia had tested and planned to continue testing two missiles in ways that could violate the terms of the treaty: the SS-25 road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and the newer RS-26 ICBM.[50] The US representatives briefed NATO on a Russian nuclear treaty breach again in 2014[51][52] and 2017,[48][53] and in 2018, NATO formally supported the US accusations and accused Russia of breaking the treaty.[11][54] Russia denied the accusation and Putin said it was a pretext for the US to leave the pact.[11] A BBC analysis of the meeting that culminated in the NATO statement said that “NATO allies here share Washington’s concerns and have backed the US position, thankful perhaps that it includes this short grace period during which Russia might change its mind.”[55]

In 2011, Dan Blumenthal of the American Enterprise Institute wrote that the actual Russian problem with the INF was that China is not bound by it and continued to build up their own intermediate-range forces.[56]

According to Russian officials and academic Theodore Postol, the American decision to deploy the missile defense system in Europe was a violation of the treaty as they claim they could be quickly retrofitted with offensive capabilities;[57][58][59] this accusation has in turn been rejected by US and NATO officials and analyst Jeffrey Lewis.[59][60] Russian experts also stated that the US usage of target missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-4, violated the INF Treaty[61] which has also in turn been rejected by US officials.[62]

US withdrawal and termination

The United States declared its intention to withdraw from the treaty on 20 October 2018.[7][63][64] Donald Trump mentioned at a campaign rally that the reason for the pullout was because “they’ve [Russia has] been violating it for many years”.[63] This prompted Putin to state that Russia would not launch first in a nuclear conflict but would “annihilate” any adversary, essentially re-stating the policy of “Mutually Assured Destruction“. Putin claimed Russians killed in such a conflict “will go to heaven as martyrs”.[65]

It was also reported that the United States’ need to counter a Chinese arms buildup in the Pacific, including within South China Sea, was another reason for their move to withdraw, because China is not a signatory to the treaty.[7][63][64] US officials extending back to the Obama period have noted this. For example, Kelly Magsamen, who helped craft the Pentagon’s Asian policy under the Obama administration, said China’s ability to work outside of the INF treaty had vexed policymakers in Washington, long before Trump came into office.[66] A Politico article noted the different responses US officials gave to this issue: “either find ways to bring China into the treaty or develop new American weapons to counter it” or “negotiating a new treaty with that country”.[67] The deployment since 2016 of the DF-26 missile system with a range of 4,000 km meant that US forces as far as Guam can be threatened.[66] The United States Secretary of Defense at the time, Jim Mattis, was quoted stating that “the Chinese are stockpiling missiles because they’re not bound by it at all”.[7] Bringing an ascendant China into the treaty, or into a new comprehensive treaty including other nuclear powers, was further complicated by relationships between China, India and Pakistan.[68]

John R. Bolton holds a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on 23 October 2018

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said a unilateral US withdrawal would have a negative impact and urged the US to “think thrice before acting”. John R. BoltonUS National Security Advisor, said on Echo of Moscow that recent Chinese statements indicate that it wants Washington to stay in the treaty, while China itself is not bound in a treaty.[66] It’s been estimated that 90% of China’s ground missile arsenal would be outlawed if China were a party to the treaty.[67] Bolton said in an interview with Elena Chernenko from the Russian newspaper Kommersant on 22 October 2018: “we see China, IranNorth Korea all developing capabilities which would violate the treaty if they were parties to it. So the possibility that could have existed fifteen years ago to enlarge the treaty and make it universal today just simply was not practical.”[69]

On 26 October 2018, Russia called but lost a vote to get the UN General Assembly to consider calling on Washington and Moscow to preserve and strengthen the treaty.[70] Russia had proposed a draft resolution in the 193-member General Assembly’s disarmament committee, but missed the 18 October submission deadline[70] so it instead called for a vote on whether the committee should be allowed to consider the draft.[70] On the same day, John R. Bolton said in an interview with Reuters that the INF Treaty was a cold war relic and he wanted to hold strategic talks with Russia about Chinese missile capabilities.[71] China has been suggested to be “the real target of the [pull out]”.[67]

Four days later, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to comply with the treaty at a news conference in Norway saying “The problem is the deployment of new Russian missiles”.[72]

Russian president Vladimir Putin announced on 20 November 2018 that the Kremlin was prepared to discuss INF with Washington but would “retaliate” if the United States withdrew.[73]

Starting on 4 December 2018, the United States said Russia had 60 days to comply with the treaty.[74] On 5 December 2018, Russia responded by revealing their Peresvet combat laser, stating they had been deployed to Russia armed forces as early as 2017 “as part of the state procurement program”.[75]

Russia presented the 9M729 (SSC-8) missile and its technical parameters to foreign military attachés at a military briefing on 23 January 2019, held in what it said was an exercise in transparency it hoped would persuade Washington to stay in the treaty.[76] The Russian Defence Ministry said diplomats from the United States, Britain, France and Germany had been invited to attend the static display of the missile, but they declined to attend.[76] The United States had previously rejected a Russian offer to do so because it said such an exercise would not allow it to verify the true range of its warheads.[76]

The summit between US and Russia on 30 January 2019 failed to find a way to preserve the treaty.[77]

The United States suspended its compliance with the INF Treaty on 2 February 2019 following an announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the day prior. In addition the US said there was a six-month timeline for full withdrawal and INF Treaty termination if the Russian Federation did not come back into compliance within those six months given.[78][68] The same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had also suspended the INF Treaty in a ‘mirror response’ to President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend the treaty, effective that day.[10] The next day, Russia started work on new intermediate range (ballistic) hypersonic missiles along with land based (club kalibr – biryuza) systems (both nuclear armed) in response to the USA announcing it would start to conduct research and development of weapons prohibited under the treaty.[79]

Following the six-month period from 2 February suspension from INF, the United States administration formally announced it had withdrawn from the treaty on 2 August 2019. According to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise”.[80] While formally ratifying a treaty requires two-thirds of the Senate to ratify, a number of presidential decisions during the 20th and 21st centuries have set a common legal ground that the President and executive branch can unilaterally withdraw from a treaty without congressional approval, as Congress has rarely acted to stop such actions.[81] On the same day of the withdrawal, the United States Department of Defense announced plans to test a new type of missile, one that would have violated the treaty, from an eastern NATO base. Military leaders stated the need for this new missile as to stay ahead of both Russia and China, in response to Russia’s continued violations.[80]

The US’s withdrawal was backed by several of its NATO allies, citing the years of Russia’s non-compliance with the INF treaty.[80] In response to the withdrawal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov invited the US and NATO “to assess the possibility of declaring the same moratorium on deploying intermediate-range and shorter-range equipment as we have, the same moratorium Vladimir Putin declared, saying that Russia will refrain from deploying these systems when we acquire them unless the American equipment is deployed in certain regions.”[80] This moratorium request was rejected by Stoltenberg who said that it was not credible as Moscow had already deployed such warheads.[82] On August 5, 2019, Russian president Vladimir Putin stated, “As of August 2, 2019 the INF Treaty no longer exists. Our US colleagues sent it to the archives, making it a thing of the past.”[83]

United States test firing a conventionally configured ground-launched medium-range cruise missile on 18 August 2019

On 18 August 2019, the United States conducted a test firing of a missile that would not have been allowed under the treaty.[84][85] The Pentagon said that the data collected and lessons learned from this test would inform its future development of intermediate-range capabilities while the Russian foreign ministry said that it was a cause for regret, and accused the US of escalating military tensions.[84][85]

Reactions to the withdrawal

Numerous prominent nuclear arms control experts, including George ShultzRichard Lugar and Sam Nunn, urged Trump to preserve the treaty.[86] Mikhail Gorbachev commented that Trump’s nuclear treaty withdrawal is “not the work of a great mind” and that “a new arms race has been announced”.[87][88]

The decision was criticized by chairmen of the United States House of Representatives Committees on Foreign Affairs and Armed Services who said that instead of crafting a plan to hold Russia accountable and pressure it into compliance, the Trump administration has offered Putin an easy way out of the treaty and has played right into his hands.[89] Similar arguments were brought previously, on 25 October 2018 by European members of NATO who urged the United States “to try to bring Russia back into compliance with the treaty rather than quit it, seeking to avoid a split in the alliance that Moscow could exploit”.[70]

Stoltenberg has suggested the INF Treaty could be expanded to include countries such as China and India, whose non-inclusion, Stoltenberg said, Russia had previously admonished.[90]

There were contrasting opinions on the withdrawal among American lawmakers. The INF Treaty Compliance Act (H.R. 1249) was introduced to stop the United States from using Government funds to develop missiles prohibited by the treaty.[91][92] while Senators Jim Inhofe and Jim Risch issued statements of support.[93]

On 8 March 2019, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine announced that since the United States and Russian Federation had both pulled out of the INF treaty, it now had the right to develop intermediate-range missiles, citing Russian aggression as a serious threat to the European continent, and the presence of Russian Iskander-M nuclear-capable missile systems in Crimea.[94] Ukraine had about forty percent of Soviet space industry, but never developed a missile with the range to strike Moscow[95] (only having both longer and shorter-ranged missiles). Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said “We need high-precision missiles and we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest Memorandum“.[95]

After the United States withdrew from the treaty, multiple sources opined that it would allow the country to more effectively counter Russia and China’s missile forces.[96][97][98]

References…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate-Range_Nuclear_Forces_Treaty

Story 3: Trump Administration Will Appeal Ruling Barring Indefinite Detention of Illegal Alien Families Thus Ending Catch and Release Under The Flores Agreement — Democrats Want The Invasion of United States To Continue and Citizenship For All Illegal Aliens That Reach The United States — The Majority of American People Want Immigration Laws Enforced and Deportation of All 30-60 Millions Illegal Aliens — American People vs. The REDS (Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists) — Videos

 

Judge blocks effort to extend migrant children’s detention

Carafano: Trump’s Action On Flores Agreement Much More Humane

News Wrap: House challenges Trump on border national emergency

19 States File Lawsuit Against Government Over Flores Settlement Agreement

Trump Administration To Allow Longer Detention Of Migrant Families

Press conference of the U.S. Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Trump administration ends “loophole” immigration rule that could keep kids in detention for longer

Flores Settlement

U.S. judge blocks Trump rule on migrant child detention

By Kristina Cooke

LOS ANGELES, Sept 27 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday blocked a Trump administration rule that would have allowed indefinite detention of migrant families, saying it was inconsistent with a decades-old court settlement that governs conditions for migrant children in U.S. custody.

The 1997 settlement agreement, which originated in 1985 with a complaint brought on behalf of 15-year-old Salvadoran immigrant Jenny L. Flores, set standards for humane treatment of children in detention and ordered their prompt release in most cases.

The Trump administration had hoped a new rule issued on Aug. 23 would replace the settlement, which had been modified over the years to prevent the long-term detention of families. The administration had said its rule would allow families to be held in humane conditions while their U.S. immigration court cases were decided.

The judge disagreed.

“This regulation is inconsistent with one of the primary goals of the Flores Agreement, which is to instate a general policy favoring release and expeditiously place minors ‘in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs,'” U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles wrote in her ruling.

“The Flores Settlement Agreement remains in effect and has not been terminated,” she wrote.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made cracking down on immigration a hallmark of his presidency, and administration officials have repeatedly referred to the Flores agreement’s standards as “loopholes” that have attracted increasing numbers of mostly Central American families seeking U.S. asylum by forcing authorities to release them into the United States to wait for the outcome of their immigration hearings.

The new regulation would have allowed the administration to hold families indefinitely during court processes that can take months or years because of large court backlogs. It had been due to go into effect next month.

In a court hearing in Los Angeles on Friday, Gee asked Department of Justice Attorney August Flentje how he could argue that the new regulations were not inconsistent with the terms of the Flores agreement.

“Just because you tell me it is night outside, doesn’t mean it is not day,” Gee said.

Lawyers for the Trump administration are expected to appeal. A Department of Justice spokesman said it was “disappointed that the court is continuing to impose the outdated Flores Agreement even after the government has done exactly what the Agreement required: issue a comprehensive rule that will protect vulnerable children, maintain family unity, and ensure due process for those awaiting adjudication of their immigration claims.”

The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Matthew Albence, said earlier this week that family detention was just one tool available to the administration as it seeks to end what it calls “catch and release”. A policy that began this year of sending border crossers back to Mexico to wait for their immigration hearings is another, he said.

Albence and other administration officials have said the government would not be able to add to its around 3,300 family detention beds without additional funds being made available by the U.S. Congress. (Reporting by Kristina Cooke in Los Angelese and Alexandra Alper in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler )

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7514067/U-S-judge-blocks-Trump-rule-migrant-child-detention.html

 

Reno v. Flores

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Reno v. Flores
Seal of the United States Supreme Court

Argued October 13, 1992
Decided March 23, 1993
Full case name Janet Reno, Attorney General, et al. v. Jenny Lisette Flores, et al.
Citations 507 U.S. 292 (more)

113 S. Ct. 1439; 123 L. Ed. 2d 1; 1993 U.S. LEXIS 2399; 61 U.S.L.W. 4237; 93 Cal. Daily Op. Service 2028; 93 Daily Journal DAR 3628; 7 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 73
Case history
Prior 942 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir. 1991); cert. granted, 503 U.S. 905 (1992).
Holding
INS regulation—which provides that alien juveniles detained on suspicion of being deportable may be released only to a parent, legal guardian, or other related adult—accords with both the Due Process Clause and the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
Byron White · Harry Blackmun
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O’Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Case opinions
Majority Scalia, joined by Rehnquist, White, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, and Thomas
Concurrence O’Connor, joined by Souter
Dissent Stevens, joined by Blackmun
Laws applied
8 U.S.C.§ 1252(a)(1)

Janet Reno, Attorney General, et al. v. Jenny Lisette Flores, et al. (Reno v. Flores), 507 U.S. 292 (1993), was a Supreme Court of the United States case that addressed the detention and release of unaccompanied minors.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Immigration and Naturalization Service‘s regulations regarding the release of alien unaccompanied minors did not violate the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.[1] The Court held that “alien juveniles detained on suspicion of being deportable may be released only to a parent, legal guardian, or other related adult.” The legacy for which Reno v. Flores became known was the subsequent 1997 court-supervised stipulated settlement agreement which is binding on the defendants (the federal government agencies)[2]—the Flores v. Reno Settlement Agreement or Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA) to which both parties in Reno v. Flores agreed in the District Court for Central California (C.D. Cal.).[3][Notes 1] The Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), supervised by C.D. Cal., has set strict national regulations and standards regarding the detention and treatment of minors by federal agencies for over twenty years. It remains in effect until the federal government introduces final regulations to implement the FSA agreement. The FSA governs the policy for the treatment of unaccompanied alien children in federal custody of the legacy INS and its successor—United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the various agencies that operate under the jurisdiction of the DHS. The FSA is supervised by a U.S. district judge in the District Court for Central California.[4]

The litigation originated in the class action lawsuit Flores v. Meese filed on July 11, 1985 by the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) and two other organizations on behalf of immigrant minors, including Jenny Lisette Flores, who had been placed in a detention center for male and female adults after being apprehended by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as she attempted to illegally cross the Mexico-United States border.

Under the Flores Settlement and current circumstances, DHS asserts that it generally cannot detain alien children and their parents together for more than brief periods [4]. In his June 20, 2018 executive order, President Trump had directed then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ask the District Court for the Central District of California, to “modify” the Flores agreement to “allow the government to detain alien families together” for longer periods, which would include the time it took for the family’s immigration proceedings and potential “criminal proceedings for unlawful entry into the United States”.[4]:2 In July 9, Judge Gee of the Federal District of California, ruled that there was no basis to amend the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA) that “requires children to be released to licensed care programs within 20 days.”[5]

In 2017, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee found that children who were in custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection lacked “food, clean water and basic hygiene items” and were sleep-deprived. She ordered the federal government to provide items such as soap and to improve the conditions.[6] The federal government appealed the decision saying that the order forcing them to offer specific items and services exceeded the original Flores agreement. The June 18, 2019 hearing became infamous[7] and caused nation wide outrage when a video of the Department of Justice senior attorney arguing against providing minors with toothbrushes and soap, went viral. The federal government lost their appeal when the 3 judge appeals court upheld Judge Gee’s order on August 15, 2019.[6]

Contents

Background and lower court cases

In 1985, Jenny Lisette Flores, an unaccompanied 15-year-old girl from El Salvador, was apprehended by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) after illegally attempting to cross the Mexico-United States border.[8]:1648 The unaccompanied minor was taken to a detention facility where she was held among adults of both sexes, was daily strip searched, and was told she would only be released to the custody of her parents, who, INS suspected, were illegal immigrants.[9]

On July 11, 1985, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and two other organizations, filed a class action lawsuit Flores v. Meese, No. 85-4544 (C.D. Cal.) on behalf of Flores and “all minors apprehended by the INS in the Western Region of the United States”,[3]:1 against U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, challenging the conditions of juvenile detention and alleging that the “defendants’ policies, practices and regulations regarding the detention and release of unaccompanied minors taken into the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the Western Region” were unconstitutional.[3]:1 Lawyers for the plaintiffs said that government’s detention and release policies were in violation of the children’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.[8]:1648[10] The plaintiffs originally directed their complaint at the newly released policy introduced by then director of Western Region of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Harold W. Ezell. Under the new policy—83 Fed. Reg. at 45489—which was introduced on September 6, 1984, a detained immigrant minor “could only be released to a parent or legal guardian”. This resulted in minors, such as Flores, being detained in poor conditions for “lengthy or indefinite” periods of time.[11]:33

In late 1987, the C.D. Cal District Court had “approved a consent decree to which all the parties had agreed, “that settled all claims regarding the detention conditions”.[12]

In 1988, INS issued a new regulation— 8 CFR 242.24—that amended the 8 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 212 and 242 regarding the Detention and Release of Juveniles. The new INS regulation, known as 242.24, provided for the “release of detained minors only to their parents, close relatives, or legal guardians, except in unusual and compelling circumstances.”[12] The stated purpose of the rule was “to codify the [INS] policy regarding detention and release of juvenile aliens and to provide a single policy for juveniles in both deportation and exclusion proceedings.”[13]

On May 25, 1988, soon after the 8 CFR 242.24 regulation took effect, C.D. Cal District Judge Kelleher in Flores v. Meese, No. CV 85-4544-RJK (Px) rejected it and removed limitations regarding which adults could receive the minors. Judge Kelleher held that all minors have the right to receive a hearing from an immigration judge.[14][15] Judge Kelleher held that 8 CFR 242.24 “violated substantive due process, and ordered modifications to the regulation.”[13] He ruled that “INS release and bond procedures for detained minors in deportation proceedings fell short of the requirements of procedural due process.” He ordered the INS to provide the minors with an “administrative hearing to determine probable cause for his arrest and the need for any restrictions placed upon his release.”[13] The court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs regarding the release conditions.[12][16]:35 This “invalidating the regulatory scheme on due process grounds” and ordered the INS to “release any otherwise eligible juvenile to a parent, guardian, custodian, conservator, or “other responsible adult party”. The District Court also required that the juvenile have a hearing with an immigration judge immediately after their arrest, even if the juvenile did not request it.[12][14]

In Flores v. Meese, 681 F. Supp. 665 (C.D. Cal. 1988), U.S. District Judge Robert J. Kelleher found that the INS policy to strip search children was unconstitutional.[17][Notes 2]

In June 1990, in Flores v. Meese, 934 F.2d 991 (9th Cir. 1990), in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judges John Clifford Wallace and Lloyd D. George, reversed Judge Kelleher’s 1988 ruling. Judge Betty Binns Fletcher dissented.[18][19] In the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the judges concluded that the INS did not exceed its statutory authority in promulgating 242.24. They ruled that 242.24 did not violate substantive due process, under the Federal Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. They ruled that a remand was necessary with respect to a procedural due process claim (934 F2d 991).

On August 9, 1991, the Ninth Circuit 11-judge en banc majority in Flores v. Meese, overturned its June 1990 panel opinion and affirmed Judge Kelleher’s 1988 ruling against the government citing federal constitutional grounds including due process.[Notes 3][20] They vacated the panel opinion and affirmed the District Court’s order in all respects (942 F2d 1352).[Notes 4][21] According to Judge Dee’s ruling in Flores v. Sessions, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of plaintiffs’ motion to enforce [Paragraph 24A of] the Flores Agreement, holding that nothing in the text, structure, or purpose of the Homeland Security Act (HSA) or Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPRA) renders continued compliance with Paragraph 24A, as it applies to unaccompanied minors, “impermissible.”[22]

On March 23, 1993, the Supreme Court announced judgment in favor of the government, in Janet Reno, Attorney General, et al. v. Jenny Lisette Flores, et al.[23][24] Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Byron WhiteSandra Day O’ConnorAnthony KennedyDavid Souter, and Clarence Thomas, held that the unaccompanied alien children had no constitutional right to be released to someone other than a close relative, nor to automatic review by an immigration judge.[25]

On January 17, 1997 both parties signed the class action settlement agreement in Flores v. RenoThe Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), which is binding on the defendants—the federal government agencies.[2]

USSC Reno v. Flores 1993

…”Where a juvenile has no available parent, close relative, or legal guardian, where the government does not intend to punish the child, and where the conditions of governmental custody are decent and humane, such custody surely does not violate the Constitution. It is rationally connected to a governmental interest in `preserving and promoting the welfare of the child,’ …and is not punitive since it is not excessive in relation to that valid purpose.” …Because this is a facial challenge, the Court rightly focuses on the Juvenile Care Agreement. It is proper to presume that the conditions of confinement are no longer ” `most disturbing,’ …and that the purposes of confinement are no longer the troublesome ones of lack of resources and expertise published in the Federal Register…but rather the plainly legitimate purposes associated with the government’s concern for the welfare of the minors. With those presumptions in place, “the terms and conditions of confinement…are in fact compatible with [legitimate] purposes,” …and the Court finds that the INS program conforms with the Due Process Clause.”

507U.S. 292 (1993) 1993[23]

In Reno v. Flores, the Supreme Court ruled on March 23, 1993 that while “detained children in question had a constitutionally protected interest in freedom from institutional confinement”, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ 1991 decision in Flores v. Meese because the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulation 8 CFR 242.24 in question, complied with the requirements of due process. The INS regulation—8 CFR 242.24—”generally authorized the release of a detained alien juvenile, in order of preference, to a parent, a legal guardian, or specified close adult relatives of the juvenile, unless the INS determined that detention was required to secure an appearance or to ensure the safety of the juvenile or others”.[23][12] This “meant that in limited circumstances” juveniles could be released to “to another person who executed an agreement to care for the juvenile and to ensure the juvenile’s attendance at future immigration proceedings”. Juveniles who are not released would “generally require” a “suitable placement at a facility which, in accordance with the [1987] consent decree, had to meet specified care standards.”[12][Notes 5][Notes 6]

On March 23, 1993, on certiorari the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government, voting 7–2 to reverse the lower court—the Court of Appeals.[24]:A19 Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Byron WhiteSandra Day O’ConnorAnthony KennedyDavid Souter, and Clarence Thomas, held that the unaccompanied alien children had no constitutional right to be released to someone other than a close relative, nor to automatic review by an immigration judge.[25] In an opinion by Scalia, joined by Rehnquist, White, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, and Thomas, it was held that the INS policy—242.24—did not violate substantive due process under the Fifth Amendment. While lawyers for the plaintiffs alleged in a “novel” way that children have a fundamental right to liberty, in which a child who has “no available parent, close relative, or legal guardian, and for whom the government was responsible” has the right “to be placed in the custody of a willing and able private custodian rather than the custody of a government-operated or government-selected child care institution.” The Court ruled that if that fundamental right existed, “it would presumably apply to state custody over orphaned and abandoned children as well.” They ruled that “under the circumstances” “continued government custody was rationally connected to a government interest in promoting juveniles’ welfare and was not punitive” and that “there was no constitutional need to meet even a more limited demand for an individualized hearing as to whether private placement would be in a juvenile’s “best interests,” so long as institutional custody was good enough.” The Court held that the INS “did not violate procedural due process, under the Fifth Amendment, through failing to require the INS to determine in the case of each alien juvenile that detention in INS custody would better serve the juvenile’s interests than release to some other “responsible adult,” not providing for automatic review by an immigration judge of initial INS deportability and custody determinations, or failing to set a time period within which an immigration judge hearing, if requested, had to be held.” The Court also held that this was not “beyond the scope of the Attorney General’s discretion” because the INS 242.24 “rationally pursued the lawful purpose of protecting the welfare of such juveniles.”[12][Notes 7][26][Notes 8] It held that the juveniles could be “detained pending deportation hearings pursuant” under 8 CFR § 242.24 which “provides for the release of detained minors only to their parents, close relatives, or legal guardians, except in unusual and compelling circumstances.”[23]

The Supreme Court justices said that in Reno v. Flores, most of the juveniles detained by INS and the Border Patrol at that time [1980s – early 1990s] were “16 or 17 years old”, and had “telephone contact with a responsible adult outside the INS–sometimes a legal services attorney”. They said that due process was “satisfied by giving the detained alien juveniles the right to a hearing before an immigration judge” and that there was no proof at that time “that all of them are too young or too ignorant to exercise that right when the form asking them to assert or waive it is presented.”[27]

Stevens, joined by Blackmun, dissented, expressing the view that the litigation history of the case at hand cast doubt on the good faith of the government’s asserted interest in the welfare of such detained alien juveniles as a justification for 242.24, and demonstrated the complete lack of support, in either evidence or experience, for the government’s contention that detaining such juveniles, when there were “other responsible parties” willing to assume care, somehow protected the interests of those juveniles; an agency’s interest in minimizing administrative costs was a patently inadequate justification for the detention of harmless children, even when the conditions of detention were “good enough”; and 242.24, in providing for the wholesale detention of such juveniles for an indeterminate period without individual hearings, was not authorized by 1252(a)(1), and did not satisfy the federal constitutional demands of due process.[12]

Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA)

On January 28, 1997, during the administration of President Bill Clinton, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) and the federal government signed the Flores v. Reno Settlement Agreement, which is also known as The Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), Flores SettlementFlores v. Reno Agreement.[28] [29][30][31] Following many years of litigation which started with the July 11, 1985 filing of class action lawsuit, Flores v. Meese, and included the Supreme Court case Reno v. Flores which was decided in 1993, the consent decree or settlement was reached in the United States District Court for the Central District of California between the parties. The court-supervised settlement, The Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), continues to overseen by the District Court for the Central District of California. The Flores Agreement has set strict national regulations and standards regarding the detention and treatment of minors in federal custody since then. Among other things, the federal government agreed to keep children in the least restrictive setting possible and to ensure the prompt release of children from immigration detention.[8]:1650

According to September 17, 2018 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, the FSA was “intended as a temporary measure”.[4]:7 By 2001, both parties agreed that the FSA “would remain in effect until 45 days following [the] defendants’ publication of final regulations” governing the treatment of detained, minors.”[4]:7 By 2019, the federal government had “not published any such rules or regulations” so the FSA “continues to govern those agencies that now carry out the functions of the former INS.”[4]:7 With the Flores Settlement in place, the executive branch maintains that it has two options regarding the detention of arriving family units that demonstrate a credible fear of persecution pending the outcome of their removal proceedings in immigration court: (1) generally release family units; or (2) generally separate family units by keeping the parents in detention and releasing the children only.[4]

The Flores Agreement sets nationwide policies and “standards for the detention, release and treatment of minors in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)[31] by prioritizing them for release to the custody of their families and requiring those in federal custody to be placed in the least restrictive environment possible,” according to a 2018 NBC News article.[32]

According to the legal nonprofit Human Rights First, the FSA required that immigration authorities “release children from immigration detention without unnecessary delay in order of preference beginning with parents and including other adult relatives as well as licensed programs willing to accept custody”. If a suitable placement is not “immediately available, the government is obligated to place children in the “least restrictive” setting appropriate to their “age and any special needs”.[33] The settlement agreement also required that the government “implement standards relating to the care and treatment of children in immigration detention.[33]

The FSA required immigration officials to provide detained minors with “food and drinking water as appropriate”, “medical assistance if minor is in need of emergency services”, “toilets and sinks”, “adequate temperature control and ventilation”, “adequate supervision to protect minors from others”, “contact with family members who were arrested with the minor and separation from unrelated adults whenever possible.”[34]:3-4[29]

Under the settlement agreement, immigration officials agreed to release minors “without unnecessary delay” when detention isn’t required to protect the safety and well-being of the minor or to secure the timely appearance of the minor at a proceeding before immigration authorities, that is, when officials release the minor to a parent or guardian who agree to appear, and the minor is not a flight risk.[31]

The FSA set a “preference ranking for sponsor types” with parents, then legal guardians as first choices then an “adult relative”, an “adult individual or entity designated by the child’s parent or legal guardian”, a “licensed program willing to accept legal custody”, an “adult or entity approved” by Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).[34]:8[3]:10 or sent to a state-licensed facility.[31][35][36]

Immigration officials agreed to provide minors with contact with family members with whom they were arrested, and to “promptly” reunite minors with their families. Efforts to reunify families are to continue as long as the minor is in custody.[31][30][Notes 9][37]

The Flores settlement does, however, require that “Following arrest, the INS shall hold minors in facilities that are safe and sanitary and that are consistent with the INS’s concern for the particular vulnerability of minors” and “…such minor shall be placed temporarily in a licensed program … at least until such time as release can be effected … Or until the minor’s immigration proceedings are concluded, whichever occurs earlier”.[citation needed]

Subsequent history

The parties agreed the litigation would terminate once the government finalized regulations complying with the settlement. Because the government has not yet finalized any such regulations, the litigation is ongoing. Compliance with the settlement has been the subject of criticism and litigation, resulting in extensions and modifications.[34][38] In 2001 the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General concluded “Although the INS has made significant progress since signing the Flores agreement, our review found deficiencies with the implementation of the policies and procedures developed in response to Flores.”[38]

In November 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Homeland Security Act, which abolished the INS and removed responsibility for unaccompanied alien minors from the Justice Department.[34] The new United States Department of Homeland Security was given responsibility for the apprehension, transfer, and repatriation of illegal aliens while the Office of Refugee Resettlement inside the United States Department of Health and Human Services was given responsibility for the unaccompanied alien minors’ care, placement, and reunification with their parents.[34] In 2005 the Bush administration launched Operation Streamline, which referred all illegal immigrants for prosecution, but exempted those traveling with children.[39]

In 2008, President Bush signed into law the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, a reauthorization of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, which codified some of the standards in the Flores Agreement. The Act provided for the expedited repatriation of unaccompanied alien minors to contiguous nations Mexico and Canada, while exempting unaccompanied children from El SalvadorGuatemala and Honduras from expedited repatriation in order to provide some protection to victims of human trafficking.[34][35][40][36]

Attempting to comply with the Agreement while keeping families together and coping with the 2014 American immigration crisis, a surge of refugees fleeing violence in Central America, the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama built family detention centers in Pennsylvania and Texas.[41][42][39]

On July 24, 2015, in “Flores v. Johnson” 2015 C.D. Cal., District Judge Dolly M. Gee ruled found that the consent decree applied equally to accompanied and unaccompanied minors and that immigration officials violated the consent decree by refusing to release accompanied minors held in a family detention facility.[16][43][44][36] The government said an average of 20 days was required for adjudication of “credible fear” and “reasonable fear” claims, among the grounds for asylum in the United States, and on August 21, 2015 Judge Gee clarified the “without unnecessary delay” and “promptly” language in the Flores settlement, ruling that holding parents and children for up to 20 days “may fall within the parameters” of the settlement.[43][45][46] Judge Dee ruled that detained children and their parents who were caught crossing the border illegally could not be held more than 20 days, saying that detention centers in Texas, such as the GEO Group‘s privately run Karnes County Residential Center (KCRC) in Karnes City, Texas, and the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, in Taylor, Texas, had failed to meet Flores standards. Gee expanded Flores to cover accompanied and unaccompanied children.[47] Judge Gee ruled that Flores calls on the government to release children “without unnecessary delay”, which she held was within 20 days.[48][49] The court ordered the release of 1700 families that were not flight risks.[42][50][51]

This was a major change to Flores. Dee was an Obama-appointed federal district court judge.[52][53] Judge Dee said that that the defendants’ “blanket no-release policy with respect to minors accompanied by their mothers is a material breach of the Agreement.”[49]

In 2016, in Flores v. Lynch, Ninth Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz, joined by Judges Michael J. Melloy and Ronald M. Gould, reversed in part, finding that the Agreement applied to all detained children but that it did not give their parents any affirmative right of release.[54][16][36][55]

District Judge Gee next issued an enforcement order against the government and, on July 5, 2017, in Flores v. Sessions, Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, joined by Judges A. Wallace Tashima, and Marsha Berzon, affirmed, finding that Congress had not abrogated the Agreement through subsequent legislation.[22][56]:181 Judge Gee ruled that “Congress did not terminate Paragraph 24A of the Flores Settlement with respect to bond hearings for unaccompanied minors” by “[e]nacting the Homeland Security Act (HSA) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).”[22] Judge Gee said that the Flores v. Sessions appeal had stemmed from the Flores Settlement Agreement “between the plaintiff class and the federal government that established a nationwide policy for the detention, release, and treatment of minors in the custody of the INS” and that Paragraph 24A of the Flores Agreement provides that a “minor in deportation proceedings shall be afforded a bond redetermination hearing before an immigration judge.” The Ninth Circuit affirmed Judge Gee’s motion to enforce the Flores Agreement, saying that there was “nothing in the text, structure, or purpose of the HSA or TVPRA” that rendered “continued compliance with Paragraph 24A, as it applies to unaccompanied minors, “impermissible.”[22] Because of the ruling in Flores v. Sessions, ORR is required to “inform all unaccompanied children in staff-secure and secure placements of their right to a bond hearing, and schedule one if requested.”[56]:184

In her July 2017 ruling, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee found that children who were in custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection were sleep-deprived because of inadequate conditions and that their food and water was inadequate, and they lacked “basic hygiene items” which was in violation of the Flores Settlement Agreement.[6] She ordered to federal government to provide an itemized list and improve the conditions.[6] The federal government appealed the decision saying that 1997 Flores Agreement did not mention “allowing children to sleep or wash themselves with soap”.

“Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep-deprived are without doubt essential to the children’s safety.”

Judge Marsha S. Berzon. August 15, 2019. 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals[6]

In June 2019, three judges of the Ninth Circuit court of appeals heard the case, 17-56297 Jenny Flores v. William Barr, in which Sarah Fabian, the senior attorney in the Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation requested the Court to overturn Judge Dee’s 2017 order “requiring the government to provide detainees with hygiene items such as soap and toothbrushes in order to comply with the “safe and sanitary conditions” requirement set forth in Flores Settlement. During the June 20, 2019 proceedings, Ninth Circuit Judge William Fletcher said it was “inconceivable” that the United States government would consider it “safe and sanitary” to detain child migrants in conditions where it was “cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you’ve got an aluminium foil blanket?”[57][58] Fabian said that the Flores agreement mandating “safe and sanitary” conditions for detained migrant children was “vague” which let the federal agencies determine “sanitation protocols.”[7] It was not compulsory for the government to provide toothbrushes, soap or adequate bedding to the minors in their care.[59] Videos of the hearing were widely circulated on social media.[60] One of the justices, Judge A. Wallace Tashima, was detained in an internment camp as a child. According to the Los Angeles Times, the “case stirred nationwide outrage” when videos of the hearing went viral.[6]

On August 15, 2019 the three-judge panel of the federal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Judge Dee’s 2017 “order requiring immigration authorities to provide minors with adequate food, water, bedding, toothbrushes and soap.”[6]

Trump administration family separation policy

As Presidential candidate, Donald Trump had promised to end what he called the Obama administration’s policy of “catch and release”. It was the second of his top priorities for immigration reform, after walling off Mexico.[61][62] In the first 15 months of the administration of President Trump, nearly 100,000 immigrants apprehended at the United States-Mexico border were released, including more than 37,000 unaccompanied minors and 61,000 family members.[63][64]

On May 26, 2018 Trump tweeted, “Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the border into the U.S.”[65] On May 29, 2018 White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller told reporters, “A nation cannot have a principle that there will be no civil or criminal immigration enforcement for somebody traveling with a child. The current immigration and border crisis, and all of the attendant concerns it raises, are the exclusive product of loopholes that Democrats refuse to close,”[65] such as the Flores Settlement Agreement and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.[35]

By June 2018, the Flores Agreement received increased public attention when Trump, his administration, and supporters cited the FSA and Democratic recalcitrance as justification for the Trump administration family separation policy, in which all adults detained at the U.S.–Mexico border were prosecuted and sent to federal jails while children and infants were placed under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).[66] In June 2018 Vox Media summarized the administration’s interpretation of the settlement as since the government “cannot keep parents and children in immigration detention together, it has no choice but to detain parents in immigration detention (after they’ve been criminally prosecuted for illegal entry) and send the children to” DHS as “unaccompanied alien children.”[55] Despite the wording of Flores v. Reno, human rights advocates asserted that no law or court order mandated the separation of children from their families.[65][63][41][44] On June 11, 2018 Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz said in a Dallas public radio interview “There’s a court order that prevents keeping the kids with the parents when you put the parents in jail.” PolitiFact fact-checked Cruz’s statement, concluding it was “mostly false.”[30] On June 14, 2018, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, “The separation of illegal alien families is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close. And these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade. The president is simply enforcing them,” Republican Representative from Wisconsin and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told reporters “What’s happening at the border in the separation of parents and their children is because of a court ruling,” and Republican Senator from Iowa Chuck Grassley tweeted “I want 2 stop the separation of families at the border by repealing the Flores 1997 court decision requiring separation of families.” The New York Times said “there is no decades-old law or court decision that requires” separating migrant children from their parents.[41]

On June 19, 2018 White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short told reporters the Trump administration had sought legislative relief from Congress on the Flores Settlement, saying “In each and every one of our negotiations in the last 18 months, all the immigration bills, we asked for resolution on the Flores settlement that is what we view requires 20 days before you have to release children and basically parents been released with children into society.”[32] According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, President Trump’s June 20, 2018 executive order, had directed directed then-United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ask the Judge Dolly M. Gee of District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, which oversees the Flores Agreement Settlement, to “modify the agreement” to “allow the government to detain alien families together throughout the duration of the family’s immigration proceedings as well as the pendency of any criminal proceedings for unlawful entry into the United States.[4] The executive order reversed the family separation policy, directing the United States Armed Forces to make room available on military bases for family detention and requested that the District Court for the Central District of California be flexible on the provisions of the settlement requiring state licensing of family detention centers and limiting detention of immigrant children to 20 days, in order to detain families for the duration of their immigration court proceedings.[67][68][69] On July 9, 2018, Gee rejected the request, citing that there was no basis to modify the agreement and pointing out that it is an issue the legislative branch has to solve instead.[70]

On September 7, 2018 federal agencies published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would terminate the FSA “so that ICE may use appropriate facilities to detain family units together during their immigration proceedings, consistent with applicable law.”[71]

On August 23, 2019, the administration issued a rule allowing families to be held in humane conditions while their U.S. immigration court cases were decided. On September 27, a judge blocked the rule, stating: “This regulation is inconsistent with one of the primary goals of the Flores Agreement, which is to instate a general policy favoring release and expeditiously place minors ‘in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs’”.[72]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ According to the Congressional Research Service January 18, 2017 report, many of the terms of the Flores Settlement Agreement, Flores v. Meese—Stipulated Settlement Agreement (U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1997), have been codified at 8 CFR §§236.3, 1236.3.
  2. ^ Flores v. Meese, 934 F.2d 991, 993 (9th Cir. 1990). According to Flores v. Meese, by 1988, migrant juveniles were detained by INS in the Western region in three sectors, Los Angeles, San Diego, and El Centro.] Particularly in the San Diego sector, these juveniles were routinely strip searched by Border Patrol officers at local Border Patrol stations if the INS makes the decision to detain the juvenile. Attorneys for Flores, said that “the INS policy of routinely strip searching juveniles upon their admission to INS facilities, and after all visits with persons other than their attorneys, violate[d] the Fourth Amendment.”
  3. ^ In Flores v. Meese 1991, Judges WallaceCharles E. WigginsMelvin T. Brunetti, and Edward Leavy dissented.
  4. ^ Jenny Lisette Flores, a Minor, by Next Friend Mario Hugh Galvez-Maldonado Dominga Hernandez-Hernandez, a Minor, by Next Friend Jose Saul Mira Alma Yanira Cruz-Aldama, a Minor, by Next Friend Herman Perililo Tanchez v. Edwin Meese, III Immigration & Naturalization Service Harold Ezell, 942 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir. 1991) Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Filed: August 9th, 1991 Precedential Status: Precedential Citations: 942 F.2d 1352 Docket Number: 88-6249 42 F.2d 1352 60 USLW 2125 Jenny Lisette FLORES, a minor, by next friend Mario Hugh GALVEZ-MALDONADO; Dominga Hernandez-Hernandez, a minor, by next friend Jose Saul Mira; Alma Yanira Cruz-Aldama, a minor, by next friend Herman Perililo Tanchez, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Edwin MEESE, III; Immigration & Naturalization Service; Harold Ezell, Defendants-Appellants. No. 88-6249. United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Argued En Banc and Submitted April 18, 1991. Decided August 9, 1991.
  5. ^ This reference includes the March 23, 1993 Concurrence, Syllabus, Dissent, and Opinion.
  6. ^ The Court noted that Reno v. Flore is a “facial challenge to INS regulation 242.24” because the policy has never been applied “in a particular instance”. The District Court invalidated 242.24 a week after it came into effect. When the original lawsuit was filed in 1985, it was directed against the newly released policy introduced in —83 Fed. Reg. at 45489—which was introduced on September 6, 1984 by then director of Western Region of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Harold W. Ezell. Under 83 Fed. Reg. at 45489, a detained immigrant minor “could only be released to a parent or legal guardian”. This resulted in minors, such as Flores, being detained in poor conditions for “lengthy or indefinite” periods of time. The Supreme Court said that “We have before us no findings of fact, indeed no record, concerning the INS’s interpretation of the regulation or the history of its enforcement. We have only the regulation itself and the statement of basis and purpose that accompanied its promulgation. To prevail in such a facial challenge, respondents “must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the [regulation] would be valid.”
  7. ^ The case began with oral arguments on October 13, 1992. Deputy Solicitor General Maureen Mahoney appeared for the government.
  8. ^ The March 23, 1993 syllabus for the USSC case Reno v. Flores said that the respondents in Reno v. Meese, are a “class of alien juveniles arrested by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on suspicion of being deportable.”
  9. ^ According to Snopes, there is “no federal law mandating children and parents be separated at the border; a policy resulting in that outcome was enacted in May 2018.”

References …

External links

  • Text of Flores v. Meese, 681 F. Supp. 665 (C.D. Cal. 1988) is available from: Justia
  • Text of Flores v. Meese, 934 F.2d 991 (9th Cir. 1990) is available from: CourtListener
  • Text of Flores v. Meese, 942 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir. 1992) (en banc) is available from: Cornell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reno_v._Flores

 

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Story 1: Zuckerberg Meets President Trump and Senators — Regulating Big Tech Data Cartel: Internet Regulation, Data Privacy, Bias, Censorship, Filtering, Shadow Banning, Cryptocurrency, Control — Breakup The Big Tech Data Cartel or Threat of Changing Big Tech Platforms to Publishers — Internet Bill of Rights — Videos —

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Zuckerberg meets Trump, senators; nixes breaking up Facebook

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg held private meetings with US lawmakers in Washington to discuss technology regulations and social media issues, including concerns about the social network's operations

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg held private meetings with US lawmakers in Washington to discuss technology regulations and social media issues, including concerns about the social network’s operations

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg met Thursday with US President Donald Trump and members of Congress on a political reconnaissance mission to Washington, where he rejected calls to break up the world’s biggest social network.

Zuckerberg’s visit comes as Facebook faces a myriad of regulatory and legal questions surrounding issues like competition, digital privacy, censorship and transparency in political advertising.

A Facebook spokesman said discussions were focusing in part on future internet regulation.

Senate Democrat Mark Warner, one of the lawmakers who has taken the lead in Washington on digital security, signalled they gave Zuckerberg an earful.

The visit, including a Wednesday night private dinner with Warner and other lawmakers, comes after his stormy appearance last year before Congress, where he was grilled on Facebook’s data protection and privacy missteps.

Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican freshman and one of the more outspoken critics of Facebook, said he had a “frank conversation” with Zuckerberg but remains concerned.

“Challenged him to do two things to show FB is serious about bias, privacy & competition. 1) Sell WhatsApp & Instagram 2) Submit to independent, third-party audit on censorship,” Hawley tweeted.

“He said no to both.”

Trump late Thursday posted a picture on Facebook and Twitter showing him shaking hands with Zuckerberg, but didn’t share details of their conversation.

“Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook in the Oval Office today,” the president wrote.

Federal and state anti-trust enforcers are looking into potential anti-competitive actions by Facebook, and members of Congress are debating national privacy legislation.

The messaging product WhatsApp and picture-sharing giant Instagram are part of Facebook’s broad family of services that has made it a global online behemoth, but have also exposed the company to concerns about competition, data harvesting and sprawling digital control.

Warner said he was not prepared to call for Facebook’s dismantlement.

“I’m not yet with some of my friends who want to go straight to break up,” he told Fox Business Network.

“I am concerned. These are global companies, and I don’t want to transfer the leadership to Chinese companies,” he added.

“But I do think we need a lot more transparency. We need to have privacy rights protected. We need to increase competition with things like data portability and interoperability.”

Two months ago, the US Federal Trade Commission hit Facebook with a record $5 billion fine for data protection violations in a wide-ranging settlement that calls for revamping privacy controls and oversight at the social network.

Earlier Wednesday, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter appeared before a Senate panel to answer questions on “digital responsibility” in the face of online violence and extremism.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7484185/Saudi-led-coalition-launches-military-operation-north-Hodeidah-Yemen.html

Hawley Introduces Bill to Make Big Tech Embrace Free Speech

By Corinne Weaver | June 19, 2019 10:49 AM EDT

Republicans in the Senate plan on striking a blow for online free speech — by eradicating censorship of conservatives online.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced a new bill June 19, meant to tackle the problem of tech monopolies and their consistent censorship of conservatives and conservative ideology. The bill, called the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, looks to remove the immunity enjoyed by Big Tech companies from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The bill would target companies with more than 30 million monthly users, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube.

Hawley wrote that the companies could earn their immunity back through a series of third-party external audits that provided “convincing evidence that their algorithms and content-removal practices are politically neutral.”

The legislation would exclude smaller companies. Hawley’s bill is more interested in going after the “tech monopolies” that present a greater threat through censorship. He stated in his press release:

There’s a growing list of evidence that shows big tech companies making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints they disagree with. Even worse, the entire process is shrouded in secrecy because these companies refuse to make their protocols public. This legislation simply states that if the tech giants want to keep their government-granted immunity, they must bring transparency and accountability to their editorial processes and prove that they don’t discriminate.”

In the bill itself, all acts of business were permitted except for those that favored or were biased against a specific ideology, political candidates, or political opinions.

The Free Speech Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 conservative organizations led by the Media Research Center, urged that tech companies “mirror the First Amendment.” This bill, if passed, would require Big Tech to do just that.

So far, major critics have gone after Hawley on Twitter. Americans for Prosperity called the bill “misguided legislation.” The group argued that the bill will prevent innovative startups from succeeding, even though it is clearly aimed at companies larger than 30 million monthly users.

Executive editor of Vox’s tech magazine, The Verge, Dieter Bohn, wrote that Hawley “doesn’t understand section 230.”

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/2019/06/19/hawley-introduces-bill-make-big-tech-embrace-free-speech

 

Mark Zuckerberg’s Call to Regulate Facebook, Explained

Here’s why the Facebook chief executive invited Congress to regulate his company in a post on Saturday.

Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, at Senate hearings last year. With the expectation that personal data handling and content restrictions are coming, Facebook tries in an op-ed piece to set the playing field.
CreditCreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

Facebook has faced months of scrutiny for a litany of ills, from spreading misinformation to not properly protecting its users’ data to allowing foreign meddling in elections.

Many at the Silicon Valley company now expect lawmakers and regulators to act to contain it — so the social network is trying to set its own terms for what any regulations should look like.

That helps explain why Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post on Saturday laying out a case for how he believes his company should be treated.

In his post, Mr. Zuckerberg discussed four policy areas — harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability — which he said the government should focus attention on.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/30/technology/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-regulation-explained.html

What Would Regulating Facebook Look Like?

In an interview with WIRED, Mark Zuckerberg seemed to accept the idea of some US regulation. Other countries could provide the blueprint.

In an interview with WIRED Mark Zuckberg seemed to accept the idea of some US regulation. Other countries could provide...
In an interview with WIRED, Mark Zuckberg seemed to accept the idea of some US regulation. Other countries could provide the blueprint .PHUC PHAM The drumbeat to regulate Big Tech began pounding long before the Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked Facebook—six long years ago, the Obama administration pushed a “Privacy Bill of Rights” that, like most other legislative attempts to safeguard your data online, went nowhere. But this time, as they say, feels different. Thanks to repeated lapses from not just Facebook but all corners of Silicon Valley, some sort of regulation seems not only plausible but imminent.

US politicians have called for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in person before Congress. Some tech-focused legislation is currently wending its way through the Capitol’s corridors. And regulators in other countries have already clamped down on tech.

‘I think what tends to work well is transparency, which I think is an area where we need to do a lot better and are working on.’

FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG

In an interview with WIRED editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckberg seemed if not outright welcoming toward regulation, at least accepting of it. “There are some really nuanced questions though about how to regulate, which I think are extremely interesting intellectually,” says Zuckerberg, who points to the bipartisan Honest Ads Act, cosponsored by senators Mark Warner, Amy Klobuchar, and John McCain, as an example of the sort of bill his company can get behind.

The Honest Ads Act, legislation that calls for increased transparency behind who pays for political ads online, makes for a convenient example, though, in part because Facebook has already implemented many of its provisions. The bill, introduced last October, also appears to have languished, making it a non-substantive threat. Meanwhile, critics say it wouldn’t have stopped Russian propagandists from flooding Facebook in the first place.

Besides, even the Honest Ads Act’s sponsors have noted that it addresses a very small piece of a very large problem. And it does nothing to address the data privacy concerns that rightly create so much angst among anyone with any sort of presence online. Which is to say, everyone. For that, the US would need something much bigger.

“We do not have an omnibus privacy legislation at the federal level,” says David Vladeck, former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We don’t have a statute that recognizes generally that privacy is a right that’s secured by federal law. And that puts us at the opposite end of the spectrum from some of the other major economies in the world.”

It’s not that living in the US puts you totally in the privacy hinterlands. The FTC has a modicum of authority, and has used it when companies grossly overreach—as it did against Facebook in 2011, when the company failed to keep its promises regarding how it treated their data. Facebook had made user information public, even if they’d previously had more restrictive privacy settings, and allowed third-party developers to mine the data not just of the Facebook users who downloaded their apps, but of all of those peoples’ friends. (If that sounds familiar, well, it’s precisely what allowed the Cambridge Analytica fiasco.)

Even then, though, Facebook got off with a scolding. It had to sign a consent decree, essentially a promise that it wouldn’t stray again. That’s gone unchecked until this week, when the FTC reportedly opened an investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and could fine Facebook up to $40,000 per violation—with 50 million people impacted, the potential fine hypothetically stretches into the trillions.

But the threat of retroactive fines clearly hasn’t done the trick. The FTC, meanwhile, can only work with the legislative tools it’s given. So what would it look like if Congress gave it better tools? Other countries might offer something like an outline, if not an outright blueprint.

In Finland, officials feel that their strong public education system and a coordinated government response have been enough to stave off Russia’s propaganda; Sri Lanka banned Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram entirely. Which is to say, it’s a wide gamut.

On the data privacy front, the most recent high-profile model comes from the European Union, where General Data Protection Regulation becomes the law of the land on May 25. GDPR focuses on ensuring that people who use online services know not only exactly what data those companies will take, but how they put it to use.

Zuckerberg, at least, seems supportive of those levels of transparency—although they’re also, since GDPR’s passage, an inevitability. “I think what tends to work well is transparency, which I think is an area where we need to do a lot better and are working on,” Zuckerberg tells WIRED. “I think guidelines are much better than dictating specific processes.”

‘We do not have an omnibus privacy legislation at the federal level.’

DAVID VLADECK FORMER BUREAU OF CONSUMER PROTECTION DIRECTOR

Rough guidelines also seem like a more plausible approach in the US due to both precedent and practicality. The EU approach to privacy law has long been highly detailed and prescriptive, says Vladeck, which sounds good in theory but can create issues in practice. “The implementation of it, in my view, is going to be ineffective, because it places an enormous regulatory burden on some parties, and worse, it places an enormous regulatory burden on the data protection authorities that need to enforce it,” says Vladeck. “I don’t think we could simply take the European regulation and simply adopt it in the United States. But I think there are a lot of elements in it that could provide guidance.”

One danger of an overly prescribed law is that technological solutions can outpace those mandates. Zuckerberg points to Germany, where hate speech laws require Facebook and other companies to remove offending posts within 24 hours. “The German model—you have to handle hate speech in this way—in some ways that’s actually backfired,” Zuckerberg says. “Because now we are handling hate speech in Germany in a specific way, for Germany, and our processes for the rest of the world have far surpassed our ability to handle that. But we’re still doing it in Germany the way that it’s mandated that we do it there. So I think guidelines are probably going to be a lot better.”

Zuckerberg also raises the question of the use of artificial intelligence in weeding out unwelcome uploads. “Now that companies increasingly over the next five to 10 years as AI tools get better and better will be able to proactively determine what might be offensive content or violate some rules, what therefore is the responsibility and legal responsibility of companies to do that,” Zuckerberg says.

Here, too, Facebook’s getting out ahead of any potential legal requirements; it already scans for nudity and terrorist content, and remains hard at work at AI that can spot what Zuckerberg calls “really nuanced hate speech and bullying.”

Eventually, though, Silicon Valley may run out of ways to appease regulators. By now there have been too many data breaches, too much negligence, whether by Facebook, Equifax, or the government itself. “I do think increasingly that there’s a sense that we need it,” says Vladeck.

At the very least, when regulation does come, Facebook has an open invite to help inform what happens, albeit in gruff terms. “Mr. Zuckerberg needs to testify before the Senate and answer some tough questions about Russian activity on the platform, and the way his company protects—or doesn’t—its users’ data,” said Senator Mark Warner in a email to WIRED Wednesday.

And if it doesn’t pitch in, Congress has a model for privacy protection waiting for it, at least philosophically, just an ocean away.

Facebook’s World

https://www.wired.com/story/what-would-regulating-facebook-look-like/

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

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Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 (a common name for Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996) is a landmark piece of Internet legislation in the United States, codified at 47 U.S.C. § 230. Section 230(c)(1) provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an “interactive computer service” who publish information provided by third-party users:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

Section 230 was developed in response to a pair of lawsuits against Internet service providers in the early 1990s that had different interpretations of whether the services providers should be treated as publishers or distributors of content created by its users. It was also pushed by the tech industry and other experts that language in the proposed CDA making providers responsible for indecent content posted by users that could extend to other types of questionable free speech. After passage of the Telecommunications Act, the CDA was challenged in courts and ruled by the Supreme Court in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1997) to be partially unconstitutional, leaving the Section 230 provisions in place. Since then, several legal challenges have validated the constitutionality of Section 230. Section 230 protects are not limitless, requiring providers to remove criminal material such as copyright infringement; more recently, Section 230 was amended by the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act in 2018 to require the removal of material violating federal and state sex trafficking laws.

Passed at a time where Internet use was just starting to take off, Section 230 has frequently been referred as a key law that has allowed the Internet to flourish, often referred to as “The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet”.

Contents

History

Prior to the Internet, case law was clear that a liability line was drawn between publishers of content and distributors of content; publishers would be expected to have awareness of material it was publishing and thus should be held liable for any illegal content it published, while distributors would likely not be aware and thus would be immune. This was established in Smith v. California (1959), where the Supreme Court ruled that putting liability on the provider (a book store in this case) would have “a collateral effect of inhibiting the freedom of expression, by making the individual the more reluctant to exercise it.”[1]

In the early 1990s, the Internet became more widely adopted and created means for users to engage in forums and other user-generated content. While this helped to expand the use of the Internet, it also resulted in a number of legal cases putting service providers at fault for the content generated by its users. This concern was raised by legal challenges against CompuServe and Prodigy, early service providers at this time.[2] CompuServe stated they would not attempt to regulate what users posted on their services, while Prodigy had employed a team of moderators to validate content. Both faced legal challenges related to content posted by their users. In Cubby, Inc. v. CompuServe Inc., CompuServe was found not be at fault as, by its stance as allowing all content to go unmoderated, it was a distributor and thus not liable for libelous content posted by users. However, Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co. found that as Prodigy had taken an editorial role with regard to customer content, it was a publisher and legally responsible for libel committed by customers.[3][a]

Chris Cox
Ron Wyden
Chris Cox (left) and Ron Wyden, the framers of Section 230

Service providers made their Congresspersons aware of these cases, believing that if upheld across the nation, it would stifle the growth of the Internet. United States Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA) had read an article about the two cases and felt the decisions were backwards. “It struck me that if that rule was going to take hold then the internet would become the Wild West and nobody would have any incentive to keep the internet civil”, Cox stated.[4]

At the time, Congress was preparing the Communications Decency Act (CDA), part of the omnibus Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was designed to make knowingly sending indecent or obscene material to minors a criminal offense. A version of the CDA had passed through the Senate pushed by Senator J. James Exon.[5] A grassroots effort in the tech industry reacted to try to convince the House of Representatives to challenge Exon’s bill. Based on the Stratton Oakmont decision, Congress recognized that by requiring service providers to block indecent content would make them be treated as publishers in context of the First Amendment and thus become liable for other illegal content such as libel, not set out in the existing CDA.[2] Cox and fellow Representative Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote the House bill’s section 509, titled the Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act, designed to override the decision from Stratton Oakmont, so that services providers could moderate content as necessary and did not have to act as a wholly neutral conduit. The new Act was added the section while the CDA was in conference within the House.

The overall Telecommunications Act, with both Exon’s CDA and Cox/Wyden’s provision, passed both Houses by near-unanimous votes and signed into law by President Bill Clinton by February 1996.[6] Cox/Wyden’s section was codified as Section 230 in Title 47 of the US Code. The anti-indecency portion of the CDA was immediately challenged on passage, resulting in the Supreme Court 1997 case, Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, that ruled all of the anti-indecency sections of the CDA were unconstitutional, but left Section 230.[7]

One of the first legal challenges to Section 230 was the 1997 case Zeran v. America Online, Inc., in which a Federal court affirmed that the purpose of Section 230 as passed by Congress was “to remove the disincentives to self-regulation created by the Stratton Oakmont decision”.[8] Under that court’s holding, computer service providers who regulated the dissemination of offensive material on their services risked subjecting themselves to liability, because such regulation cast the service provider in the role of a publisher. Fearing that the specter of liability would therefore deter service providers from blocking and screening offensive material, Congress enacted § 230’s broad immunity “to remove disincentives for the development and utilization of blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to restrict their children’s access to objectionable or inappropriate online material.”[8] In addition, Zeran notes “the amount of information communicated via interactive computer services is . . . staggering. The specter of tort liability in an area of such prolific speech would have an obviously chilling effect. It would be impossible for service providers to screen each of their millions of postings for possible problems. Faced with potential liability for each message republished by their services, interactive computer service providers might choose to severely restrict the number and type of messages posted. Congress considered the weight of the speech interests implicated and chose to immunize service providers to avoid any such restrictive effect.”[8]

Application and limits

In analyzing the availability of the immunity offered by Section 230, courts generally apply a three-prong test. A defendant must satisfy each of the three prongs to gain the benefit of the immunity:[9]

  1. The defendant must be a “provider or user” of an “interactive computer service.”
  2. The cause of action asserted by the plaintiff must treat the defendant as the “publisher or speaker” of the harmful information at issue.
  3. The information must be “provided by another information content provider,” i.e., the defendant must not be the “information content provider” of the harmful information at issue.

Section 230 immunity is not unlimited. The statute specifically excepts federal criminal liability and intellectual property claims.[10] However, state criminal laws have been held preempted in cases such as Backpage.com, LLC v. McKenna[11] and Voicenet Commc’ns, Inc. v. Corbett[12] (agreeing “[T]he plain language of the CDA provides … immunity from inconsistent state criminal laws.”).

As of mid-2016, courts have issued conflicting decisions regarding the scope of the intellectual property exclusion set forth in 47 U.S.C. § 230(e)(2). For example, in Perfect 10, Inc. v. CCBill, LLC,[13] the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the exception for intellectual property law applies only to federal intellectual property claims such as copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and patents, reversing a district court ruling that the exception applies to state-law right of publicity claims.[14] The 9th Circuit’s decision in Perfect 10 conflicts with conclusions from other courts including Doe v. Friendfinder. The Friendfinder court specifically discussed and rejected the lower court’s reading of “intellectual property law” in CCBill and held that the immunity does not reach state right of publicity claims.[15]

Additionally, with the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, services provides must comply with additional requirements for copyright infringement to maintain “safe harbor” protections from liability, as defined in the DMCA’s Title II, Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act.[16]

Controversies

The first major challenge to Section 230 was in Zeran v. AOL, a 1997 case decided at the Fourth Circuit. The case involved a person that sued America Online (AOL) for failing to remove, in a timely manner, libelous ads posted by AOL users that inappropriately connected his home phone number to the Oklahoma City bombing. The court found for AOL and upheld the constitutionality of Section 230, stating that Section 230 “creates a federal immunity to any cause of action that would make service providers liable for information originating with a third-party user of the service.”[17] This rule, cementing Section 230’s liability protections, has been considered one of the most important case laws affecting the growth of the Internet, allowing websites to be able to incorporate user-generated content without fear of prosecution.[18] However, at the same time, this has led to Section 230 being used as a shield for some website owners as courts have ruled Section 230 provides complete immunity for ISPs with regard to the torts committed by their users over their systems.[19]

Sex trafficking

Around 2001, a University of Pennsylvania paper warned that “online sexual victimization of American children appears to have reached epidemic proportions” due to the allowances granted by Section 230.[20] Over the next decade, advocates against such exploitation such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children pressured major websites to block or remove content related to sex trafficking, leading to sites like FacebookMySpace, and Craigslist to pull such content. Because mainstream sites were blocking this content, those that engaged or profited from trafficking started to use more obscure sites, leading to the creation of sites like Backpage. In addition to removing these from the public eye, these new sites worked to obscure what trafficking was going on and who was behind it, limiting ability for law enforcement to take action.[20] Backpage and similar sites quickly came under numerous lawsuits from victims of the sex traffickers and exploiters for enabling this crime, but the court continually found in favor of Backpage due to Section 230,[21] and the Supreme Court let stand a Circuit Court decision in favor of Backpage due to Section 230 in January 2017.[22]

Due to numerous complaints from constituents, Congress began an investigation into Backpage and similar sites in January 2017, finding Backpage complicit in aiding and profiting from illegal sex trafficking.[23] Subsequently, Congress introduced the FOSTA-SESTA bills: the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) in the House of Representatives by Ann Wagner in April 2017, and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) U.S. Senate bill introduced by Rob Portman in August 2017. Combined, the FOSTA-SESTA bills modified Section 230 to exempt services providers from Section 230 immunity when dealing with civil or criminal crimes related to sex trafficking,[24] which removes section 230 safe harbors for services that knowingly facilitate or support sex trafficking.[25] The bill passed both Houses and was signed into law by President Donald Trump on April 11, 2018.[26][27]

The bills were criticized by pro-free speech and pro-Internet groups as a “disguised internet censorship bill” that weakens the section 230 safe harbors, places unnecessary burdens on Internet companies and intermediaries that handle user-generated content or communications with service providers required to proactively take action against sex trafficking activities, and requires a “team of lawyers” to evaluate all possible scenarios under state and federal law (which may be financially unfeasible for smaller companies).[28][29][30][31][32] Critics also argued that FOSTA-SESTA did not distinguish between consensual, legal sex offerings from non-consensual ones, and argued it would cause websites otherwise engaged in legal offerings of sex work would be threatened with liability charges.[23] Online sex workers argued that the bill would harm their safety, as the platforms they utilize for offering and discussing sexual services in a legal manner (as an alternative to street prostitution) had begun to reduce their services or shut down entirely due to the threat of liability under the bill.[33][34]

Social media

Many social media sites, notably Facebook and Twitter, came under scrutiny as a result of the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, where it was alleged that Russian agents used the sites to spread propaganda and fake news to swing the election in favor of Donald Trump. These platforms also were criticized for not taking action against users that used the social media outlets for harassment and hate speech against others. Shortly after the passage of FOSTA-SESTA acts, some in Congress recognized that additional changes could be made to Section 230 to require service providers to deal with these bad actors, beyond what Section 230 already provided to them.[35] During 2019, there have been renewed calls for changes in Section 230 to address what are seen as growing problems across social media and the protections given to tech companies.

Platform neutrality

Some politicians, including Republican senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, have accused major social networks of displaying a bias against conservative perspectives when moderating content (such as Twitter suspensions).[36][36][37][38] In a Fox News op-ed, Cruz argued that section 230 should only apply to providers that are politically “neutral”, suggesting that a provider “should be considered to be a [liable] ‘publisher or speaker’ of user content if they pick and choose what gets published or spoke.”[39] Section 230 does not contain any requirements that moderation decisions be neutral.[39] Hawley alleged that section 230 safe harbors were a “sweetheart deal between big tech and big government”.[40][41]

In December 2018, Republican house representative Louie Gohmert introduced the Biased Algorithm Deterrence Act (H.R.492), which would remove all section 230 protections for any provider that used filters or any other type of algorithms to display user content when otherwise not directed by a user.[42][43]

In June 2019, Hawley introduced the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act (S. 1914), that would remove section 230 protections from companies whose services have more than 30 million active monthly users in the U.S. and more than 300 million worldwide, or have over $500 million in annual global revenue, unless they receive a certification from the majority of the Federal Trade Commission that they do not moderate against any political viewpoint, and have not done so in the past 2 years.[44][45]

There has been criticism—and support—of the proposed bill from various points on the political spectrum. A poll of more than 1,000 voters gave Senator Hawley’s bill a net favorability rating of 29 points among Republicans (53% favor, 24% oppose) and 26 points among Democrats (46% favor, 20% oppose).[46] Some Republicans feared that by adding FTC oversight, the bill would continue to fuel fears of a big government with excessive oversight powers.[47] Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated support for the same approach Hawley has taken.[48] The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Graham, has also indicated support for the same approach Hawley has taken, saying “he is considering legislation that would require companies to uphold ‘best business practices’ to maintain their liability shield, subject to periodic review by federal regulators.” [49]

Legal experts have criticized the Republicans’ push to make Section 230 encompass platform neutrality. Wyden stated in response to potential law changes that “Section 230 is not about neutrality. Period. Full stop. 230 is all about letting private companies make their own decisions to leave up some content and take other content down.”[50] Law professor Jeff Kosseff, who has written extensively on Section 230, has stated that the Republican intentions are based on a “fundamental misunderstanding” of Section 230’s purpose, as platform neutrality was not one of the considerations made at the time of passage.[51] Kosseff stated that political neutrality was not the intent of Section 230 according to the framers, but rather making sure providers had the ability to make content-removal judgement without fear of liability.[2] There have been concerns that any attempt to weaken Section 230 could actually cause an increase in censorship when services lose their liability.[41][52]

Hate speech

In the wake of the 2019 shootings in Christchurch, New ZealandEl Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the impact on Section 230 and liability towards online hate speech has been raised. In both the Christchurch and El Paso shootings, the perpetrator posted hate speech manifestos to 8chan, a moderated imageboard known to be favorable for the posting of extreme views. Concerned politicians and citizens raised calls at large tech companies for the need for hate speech to be removed from the Internet; however, hate speech is generally protected speech under the First Amendment, and Section 230 removes the liability for these tech companies to moderate such content as long as it is not illegal. This has given the appearance that tech companies do not need to be proactive against hateful content, thus allowing the hate content to fester online and lead to such incidents.[53][5]

Notable articles on this concerns were published after the El Paso shooting by The New York Times,[53] The Wall Street Journal,[54] and Bloomberg Businessweek,[5] among other outlets, but which were criticized by legal experts including Mike GodwinMark Lemley, and David Kaye, as the articles implied that hate speech was protected by Section 230, when it is in fact protected by the First Amendment. In the case of The New York Times, the paper issued a correction to affirm that the First Amendment protected hate speech, and not Section 230.[55][56][57]

Members of Congress have indicated they may pass a law that changes how Section 230 would apply to hate speed as to make tech companies liable for this. Wyden, now a Senator, stated that he intended for Section 230 to be both “a sword and a shield” for Internet companies, the “sword” allowing them to remove content they deem inappropriate for their service, and the shield to help keep offensive content their from sites without liability. However, Wyden argued that become tech companies have not been willing to use the sword to remove content, it is necessary to take away that shield.[53][5] Some have compared Section 230 to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a law that grants gun manufacturers immunity from certain types of lawsuits when their weapons are used in criminal acts. According to law professor Mary Anne Franks, “They have not only let a lot of bad stuff happen on their platforms, but they’ve actually decided to profit off of people’s bad behavior.”[5] Representative Beto O’Rourke has stated his intent for his 2020 presidential campaign to introduce sweeping changes to Section 230 to make Internet companies liable for not being proactive in taking down hate speech.[58]

Terrorism-related content

In the aftermath of the Backpage trial and subsequent passage of FOSTA-SESTA, others have found that Section 230 appears to protect tech companies from content that is otherwise illegal under United States law. Professor Danielle Citron and journalist Benjamin Wittes found that as late as 2018, several groups deemed as terrorist organizations by the United States had been able to maintain social media accounts on services run by American companies, despite federal laws that make providing material support to terrorist groups subject to civil and criminal charges.[59] However, case law from the Second Circuit has ruled that under Section 230, technology companies are not liable for civil claims based on terrorism-related content.[60]

Case law

Defamatory information

Immunity was upheld against claims that AOL unreasonably delayed in removing defamatory messages posted by third party, failed to post retractions, and failed to screen for similar postings.

  • Blumenthal v. Drudge, 992 F. Supp. 44, 49-53 (D.D.C. 1998).[62]

The court upheld AOL’s immunity from liability for defamation. AOL’s agreement with the contractor allowing AOL to modify or remove such content did not make AOL the “information content provider” because the content was created by an independent contractor. The Court noted that Congress made a policy choice by “providing immunity even where the interactive service provider has an active, even aggressive role in making available content prepared by others.”

The court upheld immunity for an Internet dating service provider from liability stemming from third party’s submission of a false profile. The plaintiff, Carafano, claimed the false profile defamed her, but because the content was created by a third party, the website was immune, even though it had provided multiple choice selections to aid profile creation.

  • Batzel v. Smith, 333 F.3d 1018 (9th Cir. 2003).[64]

Immunity was upheld for a website operator for distributing an email to a listserv where the plaintiff claimed the email was defamatory. Though there was a question as to whether the information provider intended to send the email to the listserv, the Court decided that for determining the liability of the service provider, “the focus should be not on the information provider’s intentions or knowledge when transmitting content but, instead, on the service provider’s or user’s reasonable perception of those intentions or knowledge.” The Court found immunity proper “under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the position of the service provider or user would conclude that the information was provided for publication on the Internet or other ‘interactive computer service’.”

  • Green v. AOL, 318 F.3d 465 (3rd Cir. 2003).[65]

The court upheld immunity for AOL against allegations of negligence. Green claimed AOL failed to adequately police its services and allowed third parties to defame him and inflict intentional emotional distress. The court rejected these arguments because holding AOL negligent in promulgating harmful content would be equivalent to holding AOL “liable for decisions relating to the monitoring, screening, and deletion of content from its network — actions quintessentially related to a publisher’s role.”

Immunity was upheld for an individual internet user from liability for republication of defamatory statements on a listserv. The court found the defendant to be a “user of interactive computer services” and thus immune from liability for posting information passed to her by the author.

  • MCW, Inc. v. badbusinessbureau.com(RipOff Report/Ed Magedson/XCENTRIC Ventures LLC) 2004 WL 833595, No. Civ.A.3:02-CV-2727-G (N.D. Tex. April 19, 2004).[67]

The court rejected the defendant’s motion to dismiss on the grounds of Section 230 immunity, ruling that the plaintiff’s allegations that the defendants wrote disparaging report titles and headings, and themselves wrote disparaging editorial messages about the plaintiff, rendered them information content providers. The Web site, http://www.badbusinessbureau.com, allows users to upload “reports” containing complaints about businesses they have dealt with.

  • Hy Cite Corp. v. badbusinessbureau.com (RipOff Report/Ed Magedson/XCENTRIC Ventures LLC), 418 F. Supp. 2d 1142 (D. Ariz. 2005).[68]

The court rejected immunity and found the defendant was an “information content provider” under Section 230 using much of the same reasoning as the MCW case.

False information

  • Gentry v. eBay, Inc., 99 Cal. App. 4th 816, 830 (2002).[69]

eBay‘s immunity was upheld for claims based on forged autograph sports items purchased on the auction site.

  • Ben Ezra, Weinstein & Co. v. America Online, 206 F.3d 980, 984-985 (10th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 824 (2000).[70]

Immunity for AOL was upheld against liability for a user’s posting of incorrect stock information.

Immunity was upheld against claims of fraud and money laundering. Google was not responsible for misleading advertising created by third parties who bought space on Google’s pages. The court found the creative pleading of money laundering did not cause the case to fall into the crime exception to Section 230 immunity.

Immunity for Orbitz and CheapTickets was upheld for claims based on fraudulent ticket listings entered by third parties on ticket resale marketplaces.

  • Herrick v. Grindr, 18-396

The Second Circuit upheld immunity for the Grindr dating app for LGBT persons under Section 230 in regards to the misuse of false profiles created in the names of a real person. The plaintiff had broken up with a boyfriend, who later went onto Grindr to create multiple false profiles that presented the real-life identity and address of the plaintiff and as being available for sexual encounters, as well as having illegal drugs for sale. The plaintiff reported that over a thousand men had come to his house for sex and drugs, based on the communications with the fake profile, and he began to fear for his safety. He sued Grindr for not taking actions to block the false profiles after multiple requests. Grindr asserted Section 230 did not make them liable for the actions of the ex-boyfriend. This was agreed by the district court and the Second Circuit.[73][74]

Sexually explicit content and minors

  • Doe v. America Online, 783 So. 2d 1010, 1013-1017 (Fl. 2001),[75] cert. denied, 122 S.Ct. 208 (2000).

The court upheld immunity against state claims of negligence based on “chat room marketing” of obscene photographs of minor by a third party.

  • Kathleen R. v. City of Livermore, 87 Cal. App. 4th 684, 692 (2001).[76]

The California Court of Appeal upheld the immunity of a city from claims of waste of public funds, nuisance, premises liability, and denial of substantive due process. The plaintiff’s child downloaded pornography from a public library’s computers, which did not restrict access to minors. The court found the library was not responsible for the content of the internet and explicitly found that section 230(c)(1) immunity covers governmental entities and taxpayer causes of action.

The court upheld immunity for a social networking site from negligence and gross negligence liability for failing to institute safety measures to protect minors and failure to institute policies relating to age verification. The Does’ daughter had lied about her age and communicated over MySpace with a man who later sexually assaulted her. In the court’s view, the Does’ allegations were “merely another way of claiming that MySpace was liable for publishing the communications.”

The court upheld immunity for Craigslist against a county sheriff’s claims that its “erotic services” section constituted a public nuisance because it caused or induced prostitution.

  • Backpage.com v. McKenna, et al., CASE NO. C12-954-RSM[79]
  • Backpage.com LLC v Cooper, Case #: 12-cv-00654[SS1][80]
  • Backpage.com LLC v Hoffman et al., Civil Action No. 13-cv-03952 (DMC) (JAD)[81]

The court upheld immunity for Backpage in contesting a Washington state law (SB6251)[82] that would have made providers of third-party content online liable for any crimes related to a minor in Washington state.[83] The states of Tennessee and New Jersey later passed similar legislation. Backpage argued that the laws violated Section 230, the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, and the First and Fifth Amendments.[82] In all three cases the courts granted Backpage permanent injunctive relief and awarded them attorney’s fees.[80]