Illegal Drugs

The Pronk Pops Show 1354, November 7, 2019, Story 1: More State Department Career Diplomat Testimony Released – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent Resented President’s Use of His Personal Lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s  Whose  Smear Campaign To Discredit Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Forced Her Recall To Washington Based Upon False Claims — Kent Critical of Hunter Biden Activities in Ukraine and Warned Vice-President in 2015!– Clinton Obama Democratic Political Scandal About To Rock America — Videos — Story 2: Hell on Earth and Paradise Lost In Hours 85 Dead and One Year Later California Is Still Burning As Fires Spreading By Humans Moving To Harm’s Way As Death Toll Mounts: Camp Fire in Northern California & Hill Fire and Woolsey Fires in Southern California — Update — Fire Approaching Hollywood — Videos — 

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Story 1: More State Department Career Diplomat Testimony Released – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent Resented President’s Use of His Personal Lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s  Whose  Smear Campaign To Discredit Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Forced Her Recall To Washington Based Upon False Claims — Kent Critical of Hunter Biden Activities in Ukraine and Warned Vice-President in 2015!– Major Obama Scandal About To Hit — Videos —

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Ranking Member Nunes discusses Mueller Report findings and Mifsud

WATCH: Rep. Ben Cline’s full questioning of Robert Mueller | Mueller testimony

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Senior Obama Officials Targeted in Spygate Investigation | Gina Shakespeare | Declassified

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Why the Mifsud Story Matters | Gina Shakespeare | Declassified

Professor Joseph Mifsud, alleged link between Trump & Russia – BBC Newsnight

 

Bongino: Papadopoulos part of ‘set up’ to hurt Trump

Mifsud’s role in Mueller probe under investigation

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Schiff blasts Trump’s order to declassify 2016 surveillance docs

Shocking Use of FISA by Obama’s FBI to Spy on Trump Campaign – Exclusive with Tony Shaffer

BREAKING NEWS! Testimony Of Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State George Kent

House releases George Kent testimony transcript

Anderson Cooper: Rudy Giuliani’s name mentioned at least 78 times in transcripts

Key insights from transcripts of depositions with Amb. Yovanovitch, Michael McKinley

House releases transcript of testimony by top State Department official George Kent

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Giuliani says Pompeo told him he was “aware” of outreach to Ukrainians

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Giuliani responds to Bolton claims on Ukraine

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Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
November 8, 2019 at 9:15 a.m. CST

The Post reports on the release of the transcript of a senior State Department official’s testimony: “Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, who oversaw Ukraine policy, told lawmakers that to get an Oval Office meeting, [President] Trump was demanding that the country’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, promise to open investigations into the 2016 U.S. election, Trump’s former rival Hillary Clinton and former vice president Joe Biden, a possible 2020 challenger.” (It is not clear whether “Hillary Clinton” meant simply the hacking and release of emails during the 2016 election, or whether there was some other fishing expedition on Trump’s list of demands.)

Kent becomes a critical witness, and a good opening witness, because he can cover a lot of ground. There are a number of critical topics about which he can testify in public next week.

First, he can attest to the parallel foreign policy run by Rudolph Giuliani that was not a foreign policy at all, but rather a personal mission for Trump. As the New York Times reports, “The detail suggests that Mr. Trump was thinking of his political fortunes — not a broad interest in Ukraine’s anti-corruption agenda, as many of his defenders have claimed — as he pressed Mr. Zelensky to take action.” This is critical because the central issue here is whether Trump was demanding something of personal benefit to him (an announced investigation) in return for a public act (a meeting, release of aid). Kent confirms that what was going on was corrupt, a bribe for Trump’s personal benefit, not a bargain in the context of foreign policy.

Second, Kent can attest that Giuliani was out to smear a distinguished diplomat, someone Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to publicly support. Kent testified behind closed doors at the impeachment hearing: “Mr. Giuliani, at that point, had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about Ambassador [Marie] Yovanovitch, so this was a continuation of his campaign of lies.”

Why is this important? The Post explains, “Giuliani had aligned himself with corrupt Ukrainian prosecutors, including one official who was ‘essentially colluding’ with other corrupt officials to undermine a Ukrainian probe into a fake passport ring that threatened U.S. security, Kent told impeachment investigators.” Again, Giuliani has been empowered by Trump to conduct activities that promote corruption, not investigate corruption, as Trump’s defenders implausibly argue. (When was Trump ever concerned about corruption?) This also paints Pompeo is a bad light, showing him to be unwilling to defend his employee or push back against Giuliani, who was helping to hijack U.S. policy. Was Pompeo weak or ruthlessly ambitious (in never crossing Trump)? Both, perhaps.

Third, Kent suggests an effort in the State Department to be less than forthcoming in response to congressional investigators. Kent described a confrontation in a 20-person meeting with a State Department lawyer who objected strenuously to Kent’s insistence that the House request for documents extend to Carl Risch, the assistant secretary for consular affairs. The lawyer pulled Kent out of the meeting. The Post recounts what occurred, with Kent speaking first.

“I said, ‘That was unprofessional.’ And he then said, ‘You were unprofessional.’ He got very angry. He started pointing at me with a clenched jaw,” arguing that Congress could interpret Kent’s comments as trying to influence the collection of document.
“I said, ‘That’s called projection,’ ” he continued. “What I hear you saying is that you think that I am doing that. What I was trying to do was make sure that the department was being fully responsive.”

The State Department, you might recall, issued a statement accusing House investigators of “bullying” employees to testify. Kent seems to have taken issue with that as well.

In other words, Kent is describing a campaign to be as unresponsive as possible. Whether this rises to the level of a cover-up remains to be seen. Once again, Pompeo comes off as less than attentive to his constitutional obligations.

Fourth, Kent implicates acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Kent testified, “It was clear to me that Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland had a direct connection with Chief of Staff Mulvaney. . . . It was not, to the best of my knowledge, done through the national security staff and Ambassador [John] Bolton. It was done [through] Ambassador Sondland directly to Chief of Staff Mulvaney.” Trump’s refusal to allow Mulvaney to testify is one of many examples of Trump’s obstruction of the investigation.

Fifth, Kent echoes many other witnesses who point to the impropriety if not the illegality of what Trump was doing:
On Aug. 15, Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s new assistant, Catherine Croft, went to Kent’s office and asked, “Have we ever asked the Ukrainians to investigate anybody?”
Kent suspected that she was really asking whether U.S. officials had ever gone to the Ukrainians “and asked them to investigate or prosecute individuals for political reasons,” he testified. “And if that was the question, the answer is, ‘I hope we haven’t’,’ ” he said he told her. “And we shouldn’t because that goes against everything that we are trying to promote in the post-Soviet states for the last 28 years, which is the rule of law.”
The following day, he said, he spoke with the acting ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., who “amplified” the theme. Taylor told him that Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak made a remark referring to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, a formal process by which one government requests legal help from another.
“And I told Bill Taylor, that’s wrong, and we shouldn’t be doing that as a matter of U.S. policy,” Kent said. He said Taylor agreed.

Finally, we get a glimpse of how Trump is manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and where he came up with this cock-and-bull story that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in our election. Kent testified that it was Putin and Hungary’s strongman Viktor Orban “along with former Mayor Giuliani, [whose] communications with President Trump shaped the President’s view of Ukraine and Zelensky, and would account for the change from a very positive first call on April 21 to his negative assessment of Ukraine when he had the meeting in the Oval Office on May 23.” Once more, whatever Trump does in foreign policy always seems to inure to Putin’s advantage. Strange.

Kent is a compelling witness who can cover a lot of ground. No wonder he is on the schedule for the critical first week of testimony.

Read more:

The latest commentary on the Trump impeachment inquiry

Updated October 29, 2019

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/08/heres-why-george-kent-is-star-witness/

George P. Kent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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George Kent
George Kent.jpg
Education Harvard University (AB)
Johns Hopkins University (MA)
National Defense University (MS)

George P. Kent is an American diplomat serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs since September 4, 2018.[1]

 

Education

Kent graduated in 1989 with an AB in Russian history and literature from Harvard University. He then earned an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1992.[1] Kent later graduated with an MS in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the National Defense University in 2012.[2]

Career

Kent has been in the State Department‘s foreign service since 1992.[3][4] He speaks UkrainianRussian, and Thai, as well as some PolishGerman, and Italian.[1] His work as a US Foreign Service Officer has included service in Ukraine, Poland, Thailand and Uzbekistan.[2]

From 1995 to 1997, he was posted in Warsaw, Poland, as an economics officer dealing with trade, environmental, and counter-narcotics issues.[2] Kent was later assigned to serve as deputy political counselor in Kyiv, Ukraine, from 2004 to 2007, which include the time period of the Orange Revolution.[2] From 2012 to 2014, Kent served as director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.[1] He served as a senior anti-corruption coordinator in the European bureau in 2014–2015,[1] and as deputy chief of mission in Kyiv, from 2015 to 2018.[4] On September 4, 2018, he was appointed to his current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.[2][4]

On October 15, 2019 Kent testified in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump, serving as a key witness on whether Rudy Giuliani used a campaign of disinformation to undermine the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.[5] Kent’s warnings regarding the disinformation campaign are documented in State Department emails submitted to Congress by the organization’s inspector general. Kent protested a “fake news smear” directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch by media commentators supportive with President Trump. He also criticized the Ukrainian prosecutor undermining Yovanovitch, calling the disinformation “complete poppycock.”[6]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e “George P. Kent”United States Department of StateArchived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e “USUBC Members welcomed George Kent, new Deputy Assistant Secretary, Europe, U.S. State Department, in Washington, D.C”U.S.–Ukraine Business Council. September 10, 2018. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Hansler, Jennifer (October 15, 2019). “Another career diplomat caught in the Ukraine scandal speaking to impeachment probe Tuesday”CNN. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  4. Jump up to:a b c Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “State Department official to face questions about Ukraine and Giuliani”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Kane, Paul; Demirjian, Karoun; Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “White House directed ‘three amigos’ to run Ukraine policy, senior State department official tells House investigators”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Fandos, Nicholas; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Shear, Michael D. (October 15, 2019). “Senior State Dept. Ukraine Expert Says White House Sidelined Him”The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 16, 2019.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_P._Kent

Marie Yovanovitch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Marie Yovanovitch
Marie L. Yovanovitch.jpg
9th United States Ambassador to Ukraine
In office
August 29, 2016 – May 20, 2019
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Geoffrey Pyatt
Succeeded by Kristina Kvien (Acting)
United States Ambassador to Armenia
In office
September 22, 2008 – June 9, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by John Evans
Succeeded by John Heffern
United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan
In office
February 4, 2005 – February 4, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Stephen Young
Succeeded by Tatiana Gfoeller
Personal details
Born 1958 (age 60–61)
MontrealQuebecCanada
Education Princeton University (BA)
National Defense University (MS)

Marie Louise Yovanovitch (born 1958),[1] also known as Masha Yovanovitch,[2] is an American diplomat and member of the senior ranks of the United States Foreign Service. She served in a variety of State Department posts, including Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2004–2005); U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (2005–2008); U.S. Ambassador to Armenia (2008–2011); Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (2012–2013); and Ambassador to Ukraine (2016–2019). Yovanovitch is a diplomat in residence at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.[3][4]

While ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch was subjected to a conspiracy-driven smear campaign, amplified by President Donald Trump and his allies. In May 2019, Trump abruptly recalled Yovanovitch from her post following claims by Trump surrogates that she was undermining Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden. Yovanovitch’s removal preceded a July 2019 phone call by Trump in which he attempted to pressure Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden. Following revelation of a whistleblower complaint about the phone call and attempts to cover it up, an impeachment inquiry against Trump was initiated by the House of Representatives. In October, Yovanovitch testified in three House committee depositions in the inquiry.

Contents

Early life and education

Marie Yovanovitch is the daughter of Mikhail Yovanovitch and Nadia (Theokritoff) Yovanovitch,[5] who fled the Soviet Union and later the Nazis.[3] She was born in Canada, moved to Connecticut at age three, and became a naturalized American citizen at age eighteen. She grew up speaking Russian.[3]

Yovanovitch graduated from the Kent School in Connecticut in 1976; her parents were longtime foreign language teachers at the school.[6] Yovanovitch earned a B.A. in History and Russian Studies from Princeton University in 1980.[7] She studied at the Pushkin Institute (1980) and was awarded an M.S. from the National Defense University‘s National War College in 2001.[7]

Career

Early diplomatic career

Yovanovitch joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1986. Her first foreign assignment, in Ottawa, was followed by overseas assignments including MoscowLondon, and Mogadishu. From May 1998 to May 2000 she served as the Deputy Director of the Russian Desk in the U.S. Department of State.[7]

From August 2001 to June 2004, as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine.[8] From August 2004 to May 2005 she was the senior advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.[9] Yovanovitch also served as International Advisor and Deputy Commandant at the National Defense University‘s Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy and as dean of the School of Language Studies within the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute.[9]

U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and Armenia and subsequent service

Yovanovitch is “well known in diplomatic circles for her measured demeanor and diligence in representing both Republican and Democratic administrations.”[10] Yovanovitch was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan on November 20, 2004; she presented her credentials on February 4, 2005, and remained in this post until February 4, 2008.[1][11] Her nomination as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan was confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote.[12]

Yovanovitch was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Armenia on August 4, 2008; she presented her credentials on September 22, 2008, and remained in this post until June 9, 2011.[11] Her nomination as ambassador to Armenia was again confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote.[13] During confirmation hearings, Yovanovitch acknowledged that Turks had committed mass killings, rapes, and expulsions of Armenians between 1915 and 1923, calling this “one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century,” but, in line with U.S. policy, declined to use the phrase Armenian Genocide, saying that the use of this politically sensitive phrase was a policy decision that could be made only by the highest-ranking U.S. officials, namely President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[14]

While in Armenia, Yovanovitch pushed Armenian authorities to give fair treatment to Armenians arrested in post-election protests in 2008.[10] Yovanovitch received the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award,[9] a department award honoring ambassadors who demonstrate “extraordinary commitment to defending human rights.”[10]

After returning to Washington in 2012 and 2013, Yovanovitch served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.[4] In that position, Yovanovitch was a key State Department headquarters contact for U.S. diplomats in Europe, working with, among others, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein, regarding issues such as U.S. missile defense in Poland.[10] Yovanovitch received the department’s Senior Foreign Service Performance Award six times and the Superior Honor Award five times.[9] She was promoted to the rank of Career Minister in 2016.[15]

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Yovanovitch was announced as the nominee for U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt;[16] the nomination was sent to the Senate the next day, and confirmed by voice vote of the Senate on July 14, 2016.[17] Yovanovitch was sworn in on August 12, 2016, and presented her credentials on August 29, 2016.[1]

Anti-corruption work and other activities

Yovanovitch was respected within the national security community for her efforts to encourage Ukraine to tackle corruption,[18] and during her tenure had sought to strengthen the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau, which had been created to bolster efforts to fight corruption in Ukraine; these efforts earned Yovanovitch some enemies within the country.[19] In a March 2019 speech to the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Yovanovitch said that the Ukrainian government was not making sufficient progress to combat corruption, saying: “It is increasingly clear that Ukraine’s once-in-a-generation opportunity for change has not yet resulted in the anti-corruption or rule of law reforms that Ukrainians expect or deserve.”[20]

Smear campaign against Yovanovitch and ouster

As U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch was the target of a conspiracy-driven smear campaign.[21] Unfounded allegations against her were then made by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, as well as conservative commentator John Solomon of The Hill and Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, who accused her of being part of a conspiracy involving anti-corruption probes in Ukraine and efforts by the Trump administration to investigate ties between Ukrainian officials and the Hillary Clinton campaign.[3][22][23] Lutsenko, who has been accused by Ukrainian civil society organizations of corruption,[20] claimed that Yovanovitch, an Obama administration appointee, had interfered in Ukraine politics, had given him a “do-not-prosecute” list and was interfering in his ability to combat corruption in Ukraine.[22][19] The U.S. State Department said that Lutsenko’s allegations against Yovanovitch were “an outright fabrication”[22] and indicated that they were a “classic disinformation campaign.”[21] Lutsenko subsequently recanted his claims of a “do-not-prosecute” list.[22] Lutsenko’s unfounded allegation was nonetheless amplified by President Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Giuliani, Solomon, and conservative media outlets.[22][24] Ukrainians who opposed Yovanovitch were also sources for Giuliani, who “was on a months-long search for political dirt in Ukraine to help President Trump.”[20]

In May 2019, after complaints from Giuliani and other Trump allies that Yovanovitch was undermining and obstructing Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden, Trump ordered Yovanovitch’s recall.[25][26] In a July 25, 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (the contents of which became public in September 2019), Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden and disparaged Yovanovitch to his foreign counterpart.[24][18]

Yovanovitch’s abrupt ouster shocked and outraged career State Department diplomats.[19][27] Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker, the chief diplomat for U.S. policy for Europe, testified that he had urged top State Department officials David Hale and T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, to issue a statement expressing strong support for Yovanovitch, but that top State Department leadership rejected this proposal.[21] Former senior U.S. diplomats Philip Gordon and Daniel Fried, who served as assistant secretaries of state for European and Eurasian Affairs and as National Security Council staffers under presidents of both parties, praised Yovanovitch and condemned Trump’s “egregious mistreatment of one of the country’s most distinguished ambassadors,” writing that this had demoralized the U.S. diplomatic corps and undermined U.S. foreign policy.[28] The American Foreign Service Association and American Academy of Diplomacy, representing members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, expressed alarm at Trump’s disparagement of Yovanovitch in his call with Zelensky.[29] Michael McKinley, a career foreign service officer who served as ambassador to four countries and had been chief adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, resigned in October 2019 in protest of Trump’s attacks against Yovanovitch and “the State Department’s unwillingness to protect career diplomats from politically motivated pressure.”[30][31] Yovanovitch’s ouster became one of the issues explored in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against Trump;[25] her recall was termed “a political hit job” by Democratic members of Congress.[18][22]

Congressional testimony

On October 11, 2019, Yovanovitch gave closed-door deposition testimony before the House Oversight and ReformForeign Affairs and Intelligence committees.[32][19][33] A transcript of Yovanovitch’s full testimony was released to the public on November 5, 2019.[33]

The State Department sought to stop Yovanovitch from testifying before Congress, in line with Trump’s policy of refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.[19] The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena, stating that “the illegitimate order from the Trump Administration not to cooperate has no force”—and Yovanovitch proceeded to give testimony.[19]

In her testimony, Yovanovitch testified that Trump had pressured the State Department to remove her, and that she was “incredulous” to be removed based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”[19] Yovanovitch stated that after her removal, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan had told her that she had done nothing wrong but that the State Department had been under political pressure from Trump to remove her since summer 2018.[19] Sullivan, in his own testimony to Congress, corroborated Yovanovitch’s testimony, confirmed that Yovanovitch was the target of a smear campaign, and publicly affirmed that Yovanovitch had served “admirably and capably” as ambassador.[34]

Yovanovitch testified that her removal was the result of “significant tension between those who seek to transform the country and those who wish to continue profiting from the old ways,” and that false narratives were pushed from an “unfortunate alliance between Ukrainians who continue to operate within a corrupt system, and Americans who either did not understand that corrupt system, or who may have chosen, for their own purposes, to ignore it.”[35] Yovanovitch described the State Department under Trump as “attacked and hollowed out from within,” and warned that the Russia and other U.S. rivals would benefit “when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system.”[19] Yovanovitch testified that when she sought advice from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on how to respond to the smear campaign, Sondland recommended that she tweet praise for Trump.[36][37]

Yovanovitch also detailed attempts by Giuliani to interfere in the State Department’s consular decisions, by attempting to override a U.S. visa denial for former Ukrainian official Viktor Shokin, who had been declared ineligible for travel in the United States based on his “known corrupt activities.”[38][36] Yovanovitch also said that she was “shocked” and felt threatened by Trump’s statement, in a phone call with Zelensky, that “she’s going to go through some things,” testifying that she was very concerned “that the President would speak about me or any ambassador in that way to a foreign counterpart.”[36]

Subsequent posting

After being ousted as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch became a Senior State Department Fellow at Georgetown University‘s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.[4]

See also

References…

External links

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

In Testimony, American Envoy to Ukraine Outlines Trump’s Quid Pro Quo

Not pulling any punches. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

In dramatic testimony Tuesday morning, William Taylor, the American envoy to Ukraine, provided the most complete picture yet of how centrally the Trump administration’s Ukraine policy revolved around a quid pro quo: military aid and a White House visit in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden’s son and another involving the origins of the FBI’s investigation into President Trump.

In a long opening statement that prompted sighs and gasps among lawmakers, Taylor made it clear that those who were steering the White House’s Ukraine policy, including U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland, were preoccupied with the investigations. Sondland, Taylor said, had cited them as a reason the White House held up Ukraine military aid for months. Taylor also said Sondland had heard about the Biden investigation from the president himself, contradicting Sondland’s testimony last week. Taylor drew on extensive notes he had taken at the time of the events he described.

Democrats framed his statements as deeply damaging to the president, while Republicans attempted to shrug them off. “What he said was incredibly damning to the president of the United States,” Representative Ted Lieu said, echoing others’ assessments of the testimony.

Taylor was involved in a now-notorious text-message exchange with Sondland and former special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker involving the administration’s unusual posture toward the country. “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor texted at one point. Sondland assured him there was no quid pro quo, in a text he has said he wrote after speaking with the president.

Multiple Democrats suggested that Sondland, who testified last week, needed to return to clear up statements that conflicted with Taylor’s.

Taylor took over as envoy after Marie Yovanovitch, the previous ambassador, was fired under suspicious circumstances in May.

As with other witnesses involved in the proto-impeachment inquiry, the Trump administration attempted to block Taylor from talking to lawmakers. But after Democrats issued a subpoena compelling him to appear, Taylor, like previous witnesses, complied.

The White House has vociferously denied the existence of a quid pro quo, though the White House chief of staff admitted the existence of one in a bungled press conference last week.

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Taylor was acting ambassador to Ukraine.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/10/william-taylor-ukraine-trump.html

Two summits with Italian spy chiefs and a tape of the vanished professor who kicked off claims of Russian ‘collusion’: How Bill Barr launched criminal inquiry into his OWN department and Washington’s spies after ‘breakthrough’ in Rome

  • Professor Joseph Mifsud met Trump campaign adviser George Popodopolus in April 2016 and allegedly offered him ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails 
  • Popodopolus is thought to have relayed that information to an Australia diplomat, who in turn informed Washington, sparking the Russia investigation 
  • After the probe opened Mifsud asked for protection in Italy, fearing for his safety
  • As part of the application he gave taped testimony to the security services, which was listened to be Attorney General Barr and prosecutor John Durham 
  • After listening to the tape, Barr decided to launch a full criminal probe 

Attorney General William Barr decided to launch a criminal investigation into his own department after hearing taped testimony from a professor at the centre of the FBI’s Russia investigation.

The ‘breakthrough’ came on Barr’s second trip to Rome this summer, in which he and prosecutor John Durham are understood to have sat down and listened to a tape containing a deposition from academic Josef Mifsud.

Mifsud is alleged to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails in April 2016. When word of the meeting reached Washington, it provided the basis for what became the Mueller investigation.

Barr is now investigating Mifsud as part of a counter-investigation into how the Mueller probe – which found no clear evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government – got started.

Durham and Barr reportedly heard a recording of Joseph Mifsud in Italy - the professor widely credited with sparking the counterintelligence probe into Trump campaign officials

Probe: Bill Barr, the attorney general, flew to Rome twice to meet spy chiefs there - to ask what the U.S. government's own agents were up to

Probe: John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, flew to Rome twice to meet spy chiefs there - to ask what the U.S. government's own agents were up to

While it is not clear what Barr (left) and Durham (right) heard on the tape, sources said their investigation into the Russia probe ‘expanded significantly’ afterwards, before being upgraded to a criminal inquiry

Mifsud went into hiding in 2017 and Italian justice ministry records show he applied for police protection around the same time, giving a taped deposition about why people might want to harm him.

It is thought that is the tape that Barr and Durham listened to when they visited Rome in September – their second journey to Italy after another visit in August.

While it is not clear what they heard on the tape, Fox News reported earlier this week that Durham’s investigation ‘expanded significantly’ after the second Rome visit.

Two sources told the news site on Thursday that the administrative review has now become a full criminal investigation.

Papadopoulos – who was jailed in 2018 for lying to FBI investigators – has previously accused Mifsud of being planted by the intelligence services to cook up a pretext to investigate Trump. 

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has acknowledged the existence of both meetings with Barr, saying that he was seeking information about the activities of FBI agents assigned to Italy.

Conte insisted on the complete legitimacy of both the meetings and his own role, after local media accused him of violating protocols in permitting the meetings.

Barr visited and called world leaders from around the world over the summer, collecting evidence into how the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's connections to Russia got started

Mifsud is believed to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London. When word of the meeting got back to Washington, it is understood to have formed the basis of the Mueller probe

Mifsud is believed to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London. When word of the meeting got back to Washington, it is understood to have formed the basis of the Mueller probe

Conte said Barr’s request arrived via normal diplomatic channels for ‘a preliminary exchange of information with our intelligence aimed at verifying activities of American agents. This must be clear.’

Conte argued that Italian law gives the country’s premier sole responsibility for responding to intelligence requests, and that he could not seek, for example, preliminary clearance from the parliamentary intelligence committee or legally discuss the request with any minister or political leader.

Conte also emphasized that the Americans showed no interest in the activities of Italian intelligence, and that the Italian intelligence services were ‘completely extraneous to these events.’

Conte said that Barr first held a ‘preliminary technical’ meeting with intelligence officials in offices at Rome’s Piazza Dante on Aug. 15. That was followed up with another meeting in the same offices on Sept. 27.

‘I hate to disappoint you but there were no meetings in bars or hotels,’ Conte said, referring to media speculation. ‘They were all held in institutional settings.’

Referring to domestic criticism that the meetings came at a moment when the previous Conte-led government was in crisis, Conte emphasized that the American request for the meetings was made in June – before Interior Minister Matteo Salvini sought to push Conte out of power – and that the request arrived by normal diplomatic channels.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7613295/How-Bill-Barr-launched-criminal-inquiry-breakthrough-meeting-Rome.html

Joseph Mifsud

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Joseph Mifsud
Born 1960

Disappeared 6 November 2017 (aged 56–57)
RomeItaly
Nationality Maltese
Education University of Malta (BA)
University of Padua (MA)
Queen’s University Belfast(PhD)

Joseph Mifsud (born 1960)[1] is a Maltese academic. In 2016, he became involved with George Papadopoulos, an advisor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, and was later accused of being a link between that campaign and Russia. In 2018, he was described as missing, and an Italian court listed his location as “residence unknown”.[2] According to media reports he was in Rome as of April 2019.[3]

Education

Mifsud holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Malta (1982) and a master’s degree in education from the University of Padua (1989).[1] He was awarded a PhD in 1995 from Queen’s University Belfast; his thesis was titled “Managing educational reform: a comparative approach from Malta (and Northern Ireland); a headteachers’ perspective”.[4]

Career

From 2006 to 2008, Mifsud served as the chef de cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta.[1] He later became a principal in the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP). In 2008, he was named President of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Slovenia (EMUNI).[1][5] At least as early as 2010, he began making numerous trips to Russia.[6] He was a professorial teaching fellow at the University of Stirling in Scotland,[7] as well as director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, where he served as director from 2012 until it closed in 2016. The academy was partnered with the University of Stirling.[8][9][10] He has also served as president of the University Consortium of the Province of Agrigento in Sicily; in September 2018, an Italian court ordered him to repay the Consortium 49,000 euros ($56,700) in overpayments.[2]

In a 2017 interview, he claimed to be a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR),[11] although the ECFR website in 2018 did not list him as a member.[12] He regularly attended meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Russia, backed by the Kremlin and attended by Vladimir Putin.[13] According to a BBC report, Mifsud was in Moscow in April 2016 to speak on a panel run by the Valdai Club alongside Stephan Roh, the German multimillionaire lawyer and investor described as a “wheeler-dealer” by the BBC Newsnight program.[14] Roh is Mifsud’s former employer,[15] he could not be reached for comment by the BBC. Another speaker at the Valdai Club was Ivan Timofeev, who works for a think tank close to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whom Mifsud subsequently introduced to Papadopoulos via email.[14] Mifsud reportedly claimed to his former girlfriend that he was friends with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.[16]

Mifsud denied having any contact with the Russian government, saying “I am an academic, I do not even speak Russian.”[7] The Mueller Report, released in 2019, said that Mifsud “maintained various Russian contacts while living in London”, including an unnamed person (name redacted), who was a former staff member of the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm based in Saint Petersburg.[17]

Connection to George Papadopoulos

In March 2016, shortly after Papadopoulos was named as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, Mifsud met Papadopoulos in Rome. They later met again in London, where Mifsud allegedly introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian woman that he falsely claimed was Putin’s niece; Mifsud has denied this.[7][13] At a meeting in April, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had learned that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos allegedly repeated the information to the Australian High Commissioner in London, Alexander Downer, who later reported to American authorities that Papadopoulos had apparently known about Russia’s theft of emails from Democratic sources before it was publicly reported. Papadopoulos has since publicly declared that he did tell Downer about the fact that he was offered “dirt” on Clinton but he has denied any recollection of communicating this theft of emails with Downer. The FBI then launched an investigation into possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.[18]

Volume 1 of the Mueller Report stated that Mifsud travelled to Moscow in April 2016, and upon his return told Papadopoulos that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.[19][17] It also mentions that Papadopoulos “suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton”. This would appear to corroborate the contact with Downer.

According to Mifsud, he was interviewed by the FBI in February 2017 while visiting the United States to speak at a conference.[20][21] The FBI has not confirmed that they interviewed him, but he is listed as a featured speaker at the February 2017 national meeting of Global Ties, an event sponsored by the US Department of State.[22] Mifsud left the United States on 11 February 2017. Prosecutors with the investigation into Russian interference in the election suggested, in a 17 August 2018 sentencing memorandum for Papadopoulos, that they might have wanted to challenge, detain, or arrest Mifsud if Papadopoulos had told the truth about their interactions.[23]

Papadopoulos and some critics of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign have asserted that Mifsud was actually a Western intelligence operative who was instructed to entrap Papadopoulos in order to justify the investigation.[24][25] During Robert Mueller‘s testimony to two congressional committees on 24 July 2019, Republicans Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes portrayed Misfud as a central figure in what they asserted was an investigation based on false and politically motivated premises, while Democrats tried to frame their assertion as a diversion and conspiracy theory.[26] Jim Jordan asked Robert Mueller why he never charged Mifsud with lying to the FBI while George Papadopoulos was charged for lying about Mifsud.[27]

Connection to Stephan Roh

Stephan Roh, the Russian-speaking[28] German lawyer and multimillionaire with close ties to Russia,[29] has worked alongside Mifsud for years. Papadopoulos’s wife, who briefly worked for Mifsud, has described Roh as Mifsud’s lawyer, best friend, and funder.[citation needed] Roh owns multiple businesses, many headquartered in Moscow or Cyprus. Roh also is an investor in Link Campus University, holding a 5% stake.[30][unreliable source?] The university is known for its diplomatic, intelligence and analytical studies, such as the School of Analysis–Security and Intelligence section, and a place where Mifsud taught.[31]

Link Campus University was founded 1999 by Vincenzo Scotti as a subsidiary of the University of Malta, with help from Mifsud, who was then the head of the university’s education department. Scotti was Italian interior minister from 1990 to 1992, when he oversaw the country’s domestic intelligence apparatus. Scotti has been the ″director″ at Link Campus University, while Mifsud was its “director of international relations” and recruited foreign students for Link Campus University.[32][unreliable source?] After Robert Mueller in May 2017 took over the Trump Russia collusion investigation Mifsud could not start classes at that academic year.[33] Mifsud lived in university housing until summer 2018.[34]

The Mueller Report made no mention of Mifsud’s longtime association with Italian Ex-Minister Vincenzo Scotti or with the institution that Scotti headed in Rome, Link Campus University.[32][unreliable source?]

In his book, Roh claimed that he was detained and questioned by investigators on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team in October 2017.[29]

Missing report

According to a filing in a U.S. federal court in the case Democratic National Committee v. Russian Federation in September 2018, Mifsud was “missing and may be deceased”. Mifsud’s whereabouts were unknown and he could not be served with the complaint.[35] He spoke to his girlfriend on 31 October 2017. The next day an Italian newspaper revealed that the “professor” referred to in news reports about Papadopoulos was Mifsud, and she has not heard from him since then.[36] According to CNN, he has “gone to ground” and was last seen on 6 November 2017 at Link University, a private university in Rome where he was teaching at the time.[20] In September 2018, an Italian court described his location as “residence unknown”.[2]

According to media reports Mifsud was in Rome as of April 2019.[3] On October 1, 2019, the Italian newspaper il Foglio published a photo of Mifsud in Switzerland with a copy of the Swiss newspaper Zürichsee-Zeitung dated May 21, 2018, as proof that he was still alive.[34]

See also

References

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

 

Story 2: Hell on Earth and Paradise Lost In Hours 85 Dead and One Year Later California Is Still Burning As Fires Spreading By Humans Moving To Harm’s Way As Death Toll Mounts: Camp Fire in Northern California & Hill Fire and Woolsey Fires in Southern California — Update — Fire Approaching Hollywood — Videos — 

Update November 11, 2019

State of emergency declared as fires devastate California

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Breaking News! Warner Brothers in Flames

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Paradise Lost: Inside California’s Camp Fire, 60 Minutes’ 2018 report

Fire in Paradise (full film) | FRONTLINE

Brush Fire Burns Near School in Santa Clarita Area

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Strong winds fuel raging wildfires across California

As wildfires burn, California residents express fear, anger toward PG&E

Hill Fire Erupts Near 60 Freeway in Jurupa Valley | NBCLA

Assessment of Woolsey fire reveals limits of government’s ability to protect residents

The Woolsey Fire, One Year Later | NBCLA

Massive wildfires rage across Southern California

Multiple raging California fires force thousands to evacuate

California is in a statewide emergency as 2 new fires ignite near San Francisco l ABC News

Pacific Palisades brush fire threatens homes I ABC7

Why these California wildfire victims wish their houses had burned down

2017

Wildfire devastation in California spreads

4 major fires continue to burn and endanger residents in California

Fighting California’s Wildfires: Stunning Footage from the Front Lines

Wildfires continues to ravage through Southern California as conditions worsen

After the fire, heroes become homeless

Refusing to evacuate, one man fought the fire alone to save his house

2015

California Fires Leave Behind Apocalyptic-Like Destruction

 

Five people are burned alive in their cars in California wildfires as 240,000 are forced to evacuate and millions more are warned their homes are under imminent threat

  • The fires fueled by the notorious Santa Ana winds and low humidity are expected rage on into the weekend
  • In Northern California, the Camp Fire has spread across 70,000 acres in Butte County north of Sacramento 
  • Camp Fire killed five people trapped in their cars, burned 2,000 structures and destroyed town of Paradise
  • In Southern California, the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire have already scorched more than 40,000 acres
  • Nearly 150,000 residents near Ventura and Los Angeles counties have been ordered to evacuate 
  • Winds of up to 70mph are blowing the westward toward the Pacific Ocean, forcing total evacuation of Malibu
  • Caitlyn Jenner’s Malibu home was destroyed, and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s home is under threat
  • Lady Gaga’s home and Will Smith’s are also at risk of being consumed by the wildfire
  • The fires are flanking Thousand Oaks, threatening the community still reeling from Wednesday’s shooting 
  • Actor James Woods has retweeted nearly 20 posts from families pleading for information about loved ones

 

Five people have been burned alive in their cars by a wildfire in Northern California while officials warn that two other blazes ravaging the southern part of the state are zero percent contained, threatening to destroy thousands of homes.

The notorious Santa Ana winds are expected to continue fueling the three fast-moving wildfires as they tear across large swaths of the coastal state. Over 240,000 have been evacuated across the state.

In Southern California, nearly 150,000 people are under evacuation orders as a pair of life-threatening fires have overtaken more than 40,000 acres, with dry winds of up to 70mph push them westward toward the Pacific Ocean.

The larger of the two southern blazes, the Woolsey Fire, has scorched as least 35,000 acres north of Los Angeles since igniting near Rocketdyne at around 2pm local time Thursday, quickly spreading southwest toward Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, the community still reeling from a mass shooting on Wednesday night.

The massive Woolsey Fire was a zero containment on Friday night, and dozens of communities on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties as well as the beachside city of Malibu have been ordered to evacuate as the flames approach.

To the west of the Woolsey Fire a second, smaller blaze dubbed the Hill Fire has torched almost 6,000 acres in Ventura County after igniting at around the same time in Hill Canyon Thursday afternoon.

Three wildfires are seen burning in California on Friday. The larger Camp Fire in the north has killed five and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the south, near Los Angeles the twin Hill and Woolsey Fires have forced an evacuation of Malibu

Three wildfires are seen burning in California on Friday. The larger Camp Fire in the north has killed five and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the south, near Los Angeles the twin Hill and Woolsey Fires have forced an evacuation of Malibu

 

In Southern California, the fire has spread toward the Pacific, forcing the total evacuation of Malibu. Caitlyn Jenner’s home was destroyed by the flames, and other celebrity homes under fire threat are seen on the map above

The smoke from the fire is seen from the Pacific Coast Highway as residents flee Malibu and nearby areas

The smoke from the fire is seen from the Pacific Coast Highway as residents flee Malibu and nearby areas

A home burns on Friday as seen from a helicopter in the Calabasas section of Los Angeles

A home burns on Friday as seen from a helicopter in the Calabasas section of Los Angeles

A house along Pacific Coast Highway burns as the Woolsey Fire reached the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California on Friday

A house along Pacific Coast Highway burns as the Woolsey Fire reached the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California on Friday

In Northern California, the Camp Fire has raced across 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning, destroying 2,000 structures and killing at least five people who had no time to escape.

That fire has devastated the town of Paradise, where officials say nearly every structure has been razed by out-of-control flames and five people were found dead in burned out vehicles early Friday afternoon. The Camp Fire is 5 per cent contained.

When Paradise was evacuated, the order set off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got stuck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee on foot.

People reported seeing much of the community go up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement center.

‘There was really no firefight involved,’ said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate. ‘These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday.’

The causes of all three fires are under investigation. The Camp Fire began at 6.29am on Friday, while in the south the Hill and Woolsey Fires began on Friday afternoon.

Over 2,500 fire personnel are fighting the three blazes on the ground as challenging fire conditions are expected to continue through the weekend.

The map above shows the approximate location of all three fires in California as of Friday

The map above shows the approximate location of all three fires in California as of Friday

Five people were found burned alive in their cars midday Friday after the relentless Camp Fire ravaged the town of Paradise+56

Five people were found burned alive in their cars midday Friday after the relentless Camp Fire ravaged the town of Paradise

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia in Northern California

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia in Northern California

Even after sunrise, smoke still filtered the sun over the burned out areas Paradise, as the Camp Fire burns out of control

Even after sunrise, smoke still filtered the sun over the burned out areas Paradise, as the Camp Fire burns out of control

Abandoned vehicles sit at a car lot in Paradise, north of Sacramento, California on Friday after the Camp Fire ravaged the area+56

Abandoned vehicles sit at a car lot in Paradise, north of Sacramento, California on Friday after the Camp Fire ravaged the area

In Paradise, a line of burned out abandoned cars sit on the road after the Camp Fire moved through the area on Thursday+56

In Paradise, a line of burned out abandoned cars sit on the road after the Camp Fire moved through the area on Thursday

Abandoned cars from fleeing residents of the Magalia and Paradise Pine area, line Skyway road the day after the start of the Camp Fire that continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

Abandoned cars from fleeing residents of the Magalia and Paradise Pine area, line Skyway road the day after the start of the Camp Fire that continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

The Camp Fire (above) completely engulfed the town of Paradise in Northern California, growing to 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning and killing at least five people who became trapped in their cars while trying to escape

The Camp Fire (above) completely engulfed the town of Paradise in Northern California, growing to 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning and killing at least five people who became trapped in their cars while trying to escape

In Southern California, wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued, warning wind gusts could reach 70mph and relative humidity could be as low as 2 percent.

No injuries have been reported in either southern fire as of Friday morning, but officials have warned that they will remain life-threatening through the weekend.

At around 7am local time Friday, officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire city of Malibu as the Woolsey Fire raged toward the Pacific Ocean.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department punctuated the evacuation message with the declaration: ‘Imminent threat!’

‘We’re in a situation where this fire is moving quickly – conditions are changing rapidly,’ Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Buschow said at a press conference.

The Woolsey fire jumped US Highway 101 in the Calabasas area overnight and is now continuing it’s path into the Santa Monica Mountains.

The approximate area touched by the Woolsey and Hill Fires as of midday Friday is shown on the map above. Thousands of residents living in the areas marked in yellow, including Calabasas and Malibu, have been ordered to evacuate as the fires move west toward the Pacific with help from fierce dry winds

Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted this view of the Woolsey Fire from the company's headquarters in Burbank, California

Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted this view of the Woolsey Fire from the company’s headquarters in Burbank, California

A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind a home during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California on Friday

A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind a home during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California on Friday

Clouds of smoke appear from the Woosley Fire to the north in Malibu as people ride their bicycles in Venice Beach, California

Clouds of smoke appear from the Woosley Fire to the north in Malibu as people ride their bicycles in Venice Beach, California

People watch the heavy smoke rises over the the Santa Monica Mountains during the Woolsy fire in Malibu, California

People watch the heavy smoke rises over the the Santa Monica Mountains during the Woolsy fire in Malibu, California

A firefighter keeps watch as the charred remains of a burned out home are seen during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu+56

A firefighter keeps watch as the charred remains of a burned out home are seen during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu

The Southern California fires are flanking the city of Thousand Oaks, threatening the beleaguered community as it tries to mend itself after a gunman stormed a bar holding ‘College Night’ on Wednesday, killing 12 people and himself.

‘Just 48 hours ago our city experience tragedy that had national implications,’ Thousand Oaks Mayor Andy Fox said at a press conference on Friday night.

He pointed out that many of those affected by the shooting had probably been forced to evacuate their homes, and noted that the loss of property was never comparable to the loss of life.

‘Those lives will never be recovered. Tonight we are talking about a serious fire situation, but thankfully we have not lost a single life,’ the mayor said.

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill less than 24 hours earlier.

The Thousand Oaks Teen Center that was used as meeting point after the massacre has now been transformed into a shelter from the fire.

Paramount Ranch, where a number of Hollywood westerns have been filmed, is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire+56

 

Paramount Ranch, where a number of Hollywood westerns have been filmed, is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire

The HBO series Westworld shoots at Paramount Ranch, which is seen above on Friday decimated by the Woolsey Fire

The HBO series Westworld shoots at Paramount Ranch, which is seen above on Friday decimated by the Woolsey Fire

Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills in Southern California is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire on Friday

Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills in Southern California is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire on Friday

Kanye West's office (above) in Calabasas was evacuated on Friday as the intense flames of the Woolsey Fire approached

Kanye West’s office (above) in Calabasas was evacuated on Friday as the intense flames of the Woolsey Fire approached

Celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Rainn Wilson, and Alyssa Milano have been forced to evacuate as the flames surrounded their homes.

West’s offices in Calabasas also had to be evacuated after the raging wildfire encroached on the area.

Around the same time reports emerged that Caitlyn Jenner’s 3,500 square foot, 4-bedroom pad overlooking the Malibu beach was destroyed by fierce flames from the same blaze.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga’s mansion nearby in Malibu was seen surrounded by a blanket of thick smoke as the wildfire overtook the beachside city before moving toward Oxnard.

Will Smith posted a video to his Instagram story expressing worry that his own home would be hit by the flames as the path of destruction continues.

In Agoura Hills, the Woolsey Fire destroyed Paramount Ranch, the set of HBO’s Westworld and many other western films and shows.

HBO said that no cast or crew were at the Paramount Ranch location when it burned down.

Among the films that have been shot at the ranch are Caught in the Draft with Bob Hope, The Lake House with Sandra Bullock, and TV shows including The Mentalist, Weeds and Quickdraw.

Dr Quinn Medicine Woman was also shot there from 1992 to 1997.

Nearly 20,000 acres have been scorched by the twin wildfires tearing across Ventura and Los Angeles counties

Nearly 20,000 acres have been scorched by the twin wildfires tearing across Ventura and Los Angeles counties

The Woolsey fire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, California on Friday. The fire has reached 14,000 acres

The Woolsey fire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, California on Friday. The fire has reached 14,000 acres

A firefighter wipes soot from his eyes while fighting flames engulfing a home near Malibu Lake in Southern California on Friday. As of midday the Woolsey and Hill Fires ravaging the area are zero percent contained, according to state officials

A firefighter wipes soot from his eyes while fighting flames engulfing a home near Malibu Lake in Southern California on Friday. As of midday the Woolsey and Hill Fires ravaging the area are zero percent contained, according to state officials

A firefighter battles flames at a home in Thousand Oaks, where the community still reeling from Wednesday night's shooting

A firefighter battles flames at a home in Thousand Oaks, where the community still reeling from Wednesday night’s shooting

The Hill and Woolsey Fires have approached Thousand Oaks from both sides as they scorch a path toward the Pacific

The Hill and Woolsey Fires have approached Thousand Oaks from both sides as they scorch a path toward the Pacific

A helicopter dispenses water over flames burning a portion of Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. Staff at the Los Angeles Zoo, which is located in the park, are preparing animals to be evacuated as the Woolsey Fire approaches+56

A helicopter dispenses water over flames burning a portion of Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. Staff at the Los Angeles Zoo, which is located in the park, are preparing animals to be evacuated as the Woolsey Fire approaches

A large plum of smoke from a brush fire rises over a congested Interstate 5 in Los Angeles as thousands evacuate their homes 

A large plum of smoke from a brush fire rises over a congested Interstate 5 in Los Angeles as thousands evacuate their homes

An aerial view of the Hill Fire in Southern California shows smoke rising out of Camarillo after the blaze jumped over Highway 101, threatening thousands of homes and forcing a number of communities to evacuate+56

An aerial view of the Hill Fire in Southern California shows smoke rising out of Camarillo after the blaze jumped over Highway 101, threatening thousands of homes and forcing a number of communities to evacuate

Large plumes of smoke from a fast moving wildfire are seen in the background as volunteers care for evacuated horses at The Pierce College Equine Center where evacuees are bringing their large and small animals in the Woodland Hills section of LA

Large plumes of smoke from a fast moving wildfire are seen in the background as volunteers care for evacuated horses at The Pierce College Equine Center where evacuees are bringing their large and small animals in the Woodland Hills section of LA

The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted a picture of a truck in front of a blazing hillside as smoke billows behind it 

The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted a picture of a truck in front of a blazing hillside as smoke billows behind it

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of Wednesday's shooting

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting

The fire has been spread by powerful winds that pushed it through canyons and to the edge of Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands, both of which were evacuated.

More than 165 firefighters were rushed to the area and eight aerial air tankers have been ordered to tackle the fierce blaze from above.

A ‘red flag’ warning came into effect at 10am today in the San Diego County mountains and valleys and will last until 10pm Friday.

In nearby Newbury Park where ex-marine Ian Michael Long lived, residents stood and watched two scenes unfolding – one of reporters standing outside of home of the suspected shooter, the other a brush fire raging behind their homes.

Connor Chaney, 21, told the LA Times: ‘You feel hopeless. There’s nothing you can do over there or there.’

This morning the flames were said to be only three miles from the Borderline Bar and Grill.

The Hill Fire is burning in the same area as the Springs Fire from 2013, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

‘The wind is definitely pushing this thing toward the ocean just like the Springs Fire a few years ago,’ Ventura County Fire Capt Brian McGrath told the Los Angeles Times. ‘It’s very fast.’

Flames from the Woolsey Fire scorch a hill on Friday in Calabasas, where more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated

Flames from the Woolsey Fire scorch a hill on Friday in Calabasas, where more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated

Strong, dry winds are expected to continue into Friday night, pushing the wildfires westward toward the Pacific Ocean

Strong, dry winds are expected to continue into Friday night, pushing the wildfires westward toward the Pacific Ocean

Kim Kardashian and three children given just one hour to evacuate wildfire-threatened Calabasas mansion

Kim Kardashian and her three children were given just one hour to evacuate her home as wildfires swept through California.

The reality TV star flew back from San Quentin jail, where a death row inmate she is campaigning to have released is being held, when she was told to quickly flee the devastating blazes.

As the 38-year-old came into land in her private plane she took aerial videos and pictures of the flames spreading around the around Los Angeles and Ventura County.

The star has asked her fans to ‘pray for Calabasas’ after the reality TV star was ‘evacuated’ from her home due to wildfires.

She took to Instagram to share aerial photos of the Woosley fire in California and praise the efforts of firefighters.

However once she landed, Kim revealed her and kids North, Chicago and Saint only ‘had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home’.

The socialite was returning from a business trip when she spotted the fires from the air.

 

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

 

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

Kim had just one hour to evacuate the $20million home she shares with Kanye West in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Calabasas

Kim had just one hour to evacuate the $20million home she shares with Kanye West in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Calabasas

And once on the ground, Kim made sure to document the action, sharing pictures and videos of first responders to the tragedy.

She captioned as video with: ‘Fire fighters are arriving. Thank you for all that you do for us!!!’ wrote the mother-of-three.’

Kim and rapper Kanye West’s 15,000 sqft estate in Hidden Hills is thought to be worth around $20million.

The fire first erupted on Thursday afternoon east of neighboring city Chatsworth and has since grown to 4,000 acres in Ventura County.

It rapidly burned down several houses as mandatory evacuations were ordered in areas like the Kardashian neighborhood of Hidden Hills.

Kim and her sister Kourtney, 39, both live in exclusive Calabasas, near their mother Kris Jenner and brother Rob.

Kourtney left her Calabasas home and posted an Instagram picture of suitcases in her car as she went to stay with sister Kendall Jenner’s house in Beverly Hills and joked she was raiding her pantry for food.

Kim Kardashian has asked her fans to 'pray for Calabasas' after the reality TV star was 'evacuated' from her home due to wildfires. She shared the photo above with her three kids [L-R] North, Chicago and Saint last night

Kim Kardashian has asked her fans to ‘pray for Calabasas’ after the reality TV star was ‘evacuated’ from her home due to wildfires. She shared the photo above with her three kids [L-R] North, Chicago and Saint last night

She wrote alongside the picture: ‘I pray that everyone is kept safe and protected from these fires. No Calabasas tonight.’

Kris Jenner’s upmarket Hidden Hills neighborhood was evacuated, but she was also not at her $9.9m home as the drama unfolded as she was watching daughter, Kendall, take to the catwalk and star in the Victoria Secrets fashion show in New York.

Kylie was not in California at the time as she was supporting boyfriend, Travis Scott, at his Astroworld tour in Baltimore, Maryland.

Khloe Kardashian revealed that she and daughter True were staying with Rob Kardashian and his daughter, Dream, who live near Kris, but were not forced out of their home.

She tweeted last night: ‘I am with Rob, Dream and True and I am up keeping watch! Saying prayers and thanking all of the brave firefighters who risk their lives for us.’

Reporting by Chris Dyer for MailOnline 

On Friday officials confirmed that five people had been found dead in their vehicles after having been burnt alive by ferocious flames in Northern California’s Camp Fire.

In the northern part of the state, the town of Paradise has been ‘pretty much destroyed’ by a raging wildfire that forced some 27,000 terrified residents to flee their homes.

All of the city’s 27,000 residents were ordered to evacuate on Thursday as the wildfire quickly turned into an inferno. Many residents said traffic jams developed as they left as panicked people fled, some abandoning their cars to try to escape on foot.

Evacuees were seen clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the blaze that engulfed the town, destroying hundreds of buildings and causing highway pylons to collapse into roads.

One witness Gina Oviedo described a devastating scene as she fled the town as the flames took over, saying: ‘Things started exploding. People started getting out of their vehicles and running.’

 

Towering “firenado” seen swirling amid the that has scorched at least 20,000 acres in Northern California.

The Butte County Sheriff has received reports of multiple fatalities, but officials are trying to confirm those reports, authorities say. https://abcn.ws/2DtY1QD 

Embedded video

An ABC News crews caught the 'firenado' in action as wildfires swept through Butte County in nouthern California 

An ABC News crews caught the ‘firenado’ in action as wildfires swept through Butte County in nouthern California

A red flag warning was in effect from Friday morning, meaning firefighters face a battle against the high dry winds and low humidity that help spread the wildfire.

On Thursday night fire officials said the blaze was ‘growing uncontrollably’ as it swept across Butte County at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute, and more than 2,200 firefighters fought against the flames.

Cal Fire Capt Scott McLean late last night: ‘Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation. The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.’

McLean says a wind-whipped wildfire destroyed thousands of structures but he said they won’t have an exact count, nor have an idea over the extent of any injuries until they can get into the dangerous area.

Little remains of the the Blackbear Diner as fire roared past it taking with it a hospital, a gas station and dozens of homes

 

Officials say nearly every structure in Paradise has been razed by out-of-control flames and multiple people have likely died. Pictured are the remains of the Blackbear Diner as fire roared past, taking with it a hospital, a gas station and dozens of homes

Some 2,000 firefighters are working to bring the Camp Fire under control as it ravages Butte County north of Sacramento

Some 2,000 firefighters are working to bring the Camp Fire under control as it ravages Butte County north of Sacramento

 The Camp Fire has spread across 15 square miles in Butte County north of Sacramento. Pictured: A home in Paradise is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire tears through the town of 27,000 people

 The Camp Fire has spread across 15 square miles in Butte County north of Sacramento. Pictured: A home in Paradise is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire tears through the town of 27,000 people

Embers blow in the wind as the flames from the Camp Fire tear through a KFC restaurant in Paradise on Thursday+56

Embers blow in the wind as the flames from the Camp Fire tear through a KFC restaurant in Paradise on Thursday

A home burns to the ground in Paradise as the Camp Fire quadrupled in size over Thursday night, scorching 110 square miles 

A home burns to the ground in Paradise as the Camp Fire quadrupled in size over Thursday night, scorching 110 square miles

A Jack in the Box fast food restaurant is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire overtook the town of Paradise Thursday night

A Jack in the Box fast food restaurant is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire overtook the town of Paradise Thursday night

The restaurant was one of the many commercial building destroyed in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California+56

The restaurant was one of the many commercial building destroyed in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

California Highway Patrol officers attempt to transfer a potbelly pig they rescued to Butte County Animal control officers in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region

California Highway Patrol officers attempt to transfer a potbelly pig they rescued to Butte County Animal control officers in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region

Paradise resident Cathy Fallonstands near the charred remains of her home. 'I'll be darned if I'm going to let those horses burn in the fire' said Fallon, who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses, 'It has to be true love.' The horses all survived

Paradise resident Cathy Fallonstands near the charred remains of her home. ‘I’ll be darned if I’m going to let those horses burn in the fire’ said Fallon, who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses, ‘It has to be true love.’ The horses all survived

An American flag stands above the smoldering ground outside a home in Paradise after the Camp Fire passed through

An American flag stands above the smoldering ground outside a home in Paradise after the Camp Fire passed through

‘Ominous’ piece of burnt paper descends from sky amid fast-moving California blaze

As a vicious wildfire rages through Northern California, the warning to flee came to one woman in the form of a small ‘ominous’ piece of charred paper that descended from the sky.

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, said she stepped outside her home on Thursday around 9am to assess the menacing cloud of black smoke taking over the sky about 10 miles away from her home.

As she stood outside the single piece of burnt parchment floated down from above.

‘I thought, “If this is a piece of the Bible, this is going to be crazy,”‘ she said to the San Francisco Gate. ‘It looked very ominous. It was kind of a like a leaf…how they fall down.’

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, shared this photo of a charred piece of paper that descended from the blackened sky on Thursday, near the Camp Fire blaze

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, shared this photo of a charred piece of paper that descended from the blackened sky on Thursday, near the Camp Fire blaze

But upon a closer look she said the singed piece of paper appeared to be from a fire manual and included information about fire hose pressure.

She shared it to social media where writing: ‘I was standing outside looking at the smoke in the sky with the #campfire near my office and this fell out of the sky.’

The  picture racked up more than 500 likes with some Twitter users saying the paper looked like a ‘holy message’.

‘Wow. At least it’s not a piece of a page from the #Bible. Then, I would be getting in my vehicle and heading for the ocean…’ twitter user David Nyro wrote.

‘Dang…don’t scare me….there for a minute, I thought it was the Constitution,’ one Twitter user wrote.

‘That’s a poignant photo. Hope you aren’t too close,’ another added.

‘This is disconcerting to see. Burned debris falling from sky from #CampFire is a page from a fire truck manual,’ yet another Twitter fan said.

Some online users said they had eerily similar incidents happen to them.

‘I’ll never forget that happening years ago during the huge Oakland fires. Just heartbreaking,’ Twitter user Kim O’Connor said.

‘I had a VERY similar thing happen to me during the Carr Fire a few months ago in Redding. The page was from a Self Help/Inspirational book, but nearly the whole page fell at my feet during the fire tornado.’

While officials say there have likely been a number of fatalities from the rapidly expanding Camp Fire, no official number has been reported.

Meanwhile, families in search of missing loved ones have received aid from an unlikely source: actor James Woods.

The award-winning actor has filled his Twitter page -@RealJamesWoods – with retweets of nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about their missing loved ones.

Woods tweeted: ‘To all my wonderful followers: I want to thank you for your extraordinary efforts tonight connecting people with lost loved ones in the terrible #CampFire. Your thousands of retweets of invaluable information literally saved lives. God bless you all.’

At the top of the profile Woods pinned a link to a running list of missing persons, which stood at a total of 40 as of 10am PST Friday morning.

The award-winning actor has retweeted nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about loved ones

Actor James Woods has been helping families in search of loved ones caught up in the Camp Fire by turning his Twitter account - @RealJamesWoods - into a missing persons database

Actor James Woods has been helping families in search of loved ones caught up in the Camp Fire by turning his Twitter account – @RealJamesWoods – into a missing persons database

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6371393/Southern-California-fires-force-evacuation-1-000-homes.html

 

 

 

2019 California wildfires

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2019 California wildfires
Statistics[1]
Total fires 6,402
Total area 250,349 acres (101,313 ha)
Cost $163 million in suppression[2]
Fatalities 3
Non-fatal injuries 22
Season
← 2018
2020 →

The 2019 wildfire season is the current-running fire season in California. So far, over 6,402 fires have been recorded according to Cal Fire and the US Forest Service, totaling an estimated of 250,349 acres (101,313 ha) of burned land as of November 3.[1] Although the 2019 fire season had been relatively quiet in California through mid-September as compared to past years,[3] October through December is still expected to have the greatest fire potential as the Diablo winds and the Santa Ana winds pick up.[4]

In late October, the Kincade Fire became the largest fire of the year, burning 77,758 acres (31,468 ha) in Sonoma County by November 6.

Massive preemptive public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events have been controversial. PG&E and other power utilities have preemptively shut off power to over one million residents due to perceived risk of wildfires starting in high winds due to high-voltage power lines. While large areas have been without power for days, people in fire danger areas had trouble getting updates and critical life support equipment would not work without backup power.[5]

 

Early projections

Smoke from the Kincade Fire on October 24 as viewed from GOES-17

Fire behavioral experts and climatologists have warned that heavy rains from months early in the year have produced an excess of vegetation that would become an abundance of dry fuel later in the year as the fire season gets underway.[6] According to the US Forest Service and Interior Department officials, early projections indicated that the fire season would possibly be worse than the year prior, stating that “if we’re lucky, this year will simply be a challenging one.” This assessment was written on the basis of noting that the state has recently been seeing consistently destructive fires more often than ever before.[7]

Wildfires

The following is a list of fires that burned more than 1,000 acres (400 ha), or produced significant structural damage or casualties.

Name County Acres Start date Containment date Notes hideRef
Refuge Kern 2,500 May 7 May 9 1 structure destroyed [8]
Boulder San Luis Obispo 1,127 June 5 June 11 [9]
Sand Yolo 2,512 June 8 June 17 7 structures destroyed, 2 injuries [10][11]
West Butte Sutter 1,300 June 8 June 10 [12][13]
McMillan San Luis Obispo 1,764 June 12 June 14 [12][14]
Lonoak Monterey 2,546 June 25 June 26 Downed PG&E power line was the cause[15] [16]
Rock Stanislaus 2,422 June 25 June 27 [17]
Cow InyoTulare 1,975 July 25 October 11 Caused by lightning strike [18]
Springs Mono 4,840 July 26 October 7 Caused by lightning strike [19]
Tucker Modoc 14,150 July 28 August 15 Unintentionally caused by vehicular traffic along California State Route 139[20][21] [22][23]
W-1 McDonald Lassen 1,020 August 8 August 11 Caused by lightning strike [24][25]
Gaines Mariposa 1,300 August 16 August 20 [26]
Mountain Shasta 600 August 22 August 26 14 buildings destroyed, 7 damaged and 3 people injured [27]
Long Valley Lassen 2,438 August 24 August 27 [28]
R-1 Ranch Lassen 3,380 August 28 September 5 Caused by lightning strike [29]
Tenaja Riverside 1,926 September 4 September 14 [30]
Walker Plumas 54,608 September 4 September 25 9 structures destroyed [31]
Taboose Inyo 10,296 September 4 Active (85% contained) Caused by lightning strike [32]
Lime Siskiyou 1,872 September 4 September 19 Caused by lightning strike [33][34]
Middle Trinity 1,339 September 5 October 5 Caused by lightning strike [35]
Red Bank Tehama 8,838 September 5 September 13 Caused by lightning strike; 2 buildings destroyed [36]
South Tehama 5,332 September 5 October 11 Caused by lightning strike [37][38]
Lone Modoc 5,737 September 5 September 13 Caused by lightning strike [39][40]
Springs Mono 4,840 September 6 September 23 Caused by lightning strike [41][42]
Briceburg Mariposa 5,563 October 6 October 24 1 structure destroyed [43][44]
Sandalwood Riverside 1,011 October 10 October 14 Trash in a garbage truck caught fire and spread to nearby brush
74 structures destroyed, 16 structures damaged, 2 civilian fatalities
[45][46]
Caples El Dorado 3,435 October 10 November 1 Caused by a controlled burn that went out of control [47]
Saddleridge Los Angeles 8,799 October 10 October 31 Unconfirmed cause, but reported that high-voltage SCE transmission line malfunctioned near point of origin
19 structures destroyed, 88 structures damaged, 1 civilian fatality, 8 firefighter injuries
[48][49]
Kincade Sonoma 77,758 October 23 November 6 Unconfirmed cause, but reported that high-voltage PG&E transmission line malfunctioned near point of origin
374 structures destroyed, 40 structures damaged, 0 reported deaths, 2 firefighters injured
[50][51][52][53]
Tick Los Angeles 4,615 October 24 October 31 22 structures destroyed, 27 structures damaged [54]
Getty Los Angeles 745 October 28 November 6 Caused by a tree branch that fell on a power line during high winds
12 homes destroyed, 5 homes damaged
[55][56][57]
Easy Ventura 1,806 October 30 November 2 Threatened the area near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley[58] [59][60][61]
Hillside San Bernardino 200 October 31 Active (95% contained) 6 homes destroyed, 18 homes damaged [62]
Maria Ventura 9,999 October 31 November 5 Brush fire broke out at around 6:15 p.m. October 31 on South Mountain in Santa Paula[63] [64]
Ranch Tehama 2,534 November 3 Active (55% contained) 3 injuries, acreage reduced from 3,768 due to better mapping [65][66] [67]

Other fires

Three people were injured during the Moose Fire (August 12–17).[68] Two people were injured and four structures were destroyed during the Country Fire (September 3–6).[69] Four people were injured during the Lopez Fire (September 21–27),[70] and one during the Electra Fire (September 25).[71] A small brush fire ignited in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles County on October 21. The fire burned 42 acres (17 hectares) within a few hours,[72] forcing the evacuation of 200 homes. Three firefighters suffered injuries while one civilian was treated for respiratory illness.[72][73]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_California_wildfires

 

List: The 20 largest wildfires in California history

Since modern record keeping began in the 1930s, California has had dozens of major fires

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

The Kincade Fire, threatening towns in Sonoma County and causing major evacuations, expanded to 66,231 acres as of Monday morning. That’s more than twice the size of the city of San Francisco. So far, however, the fire isn’t yet among the 20 largest in modern California history. The list, ranked by acres burned:

1) Mendocino Complex – July 2018 – Colusa County, Lake County,
Mendocino County & Glenn County – 459,123 acres, 280 structures destroyed, 1 death

A Cal Fire firefighter monitors a back fire while battling the Medocino Complex fire on August 7, 2018 near Lodoga, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

2) Thomas – December 2017 – Ventura & Santa Barbara counties – 281,893 acres, 1,063 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

Flames come close to a house as the Thomas Fire advances toward Santa Barbara County seaside communities on December 10, 2017 in Carpinteria, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) 

3) Cedar – October 2003 – San Diego County – 273,246 acres, 2,820 structures destroyed, 15 deaths

A San Jose firefighter battles a portion of the Cedar Fire using a water spout from atop a firetruck October 27, 2003 near Lakeside in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) 

4) Rush – August 2012 – Lassen County – 271,911 acres in California, 43,666 acres in Nevada, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

5) Rim –  August 2013 – Tuolumne County – 257,314 acres, 112 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Inmate firefighters walk along Highway 120 after a burnout operation as firefighters continue to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) 

6) Zaca – July 2007 – Santa Barbara County – 240,207 acres burned, 1 structure destroyed, 0 deaths

The Zaca Fire, burning in the mountains north of Santa Barbara, Calif., illuminates the smoke covering the mountain top while smaller fire descend toward rural homes, ranches and campgrounds along Paradise Road, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, as seen in this time-lapse exposure. (AP Photo/ Michael A. Mariant) 

7) Carr – July 2018 – Shasta and Trinity counties – 229,651 acres, 1,614 structures destroyed, 8 deaths

The Carr Fire burn activity surges along Highway 299 near the Trinithy-Shasta county line, near Lewiston, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group Archives) 

8) Matilija – September 1932 – Ventura County – 220,000 acres burned, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

9)  Witch – October 2007 – San Diego County – 197,990 acres, 1,650 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

A helicopter prepares to drop water on the Witch Fire on October 23, 2007 in the Del Dios area of Escondido, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images) 

10) Klamath Complex –  June 2008 – Siskiyou County – 192,038 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

11) Marble Cone – July 1977 – Monterey County – 177,866 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Firefighters at the Marble Cone Fire in Big Sur on August 15, 1977. (Monterey County Herald Archives) 

12) Laguna – September 1970 – San Diego – 175,425 acres, 382 structures destroyed, 5 deaths

13) Basin Complex – June 2008 – Monterey County, 162,818 acres, 58 structures, 0 deaths

The Basin Complex Fire on the east side of Highway One near the Esselen Institute in Monterey County on Monday, July 7, 2008. (Vern Fisher/Monterey County Herald) 

14) Day – September 2006 – Ventura County – 162,702 acres, 11 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

A crew member from the California Department of Forestry lights a backfire to try and stop the Day Fire from reaching Interstate 5 Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006, near Castaic, Calif. (AP Photo/The Ventura Star, Juan Carlo) 

15) Station – August 2009 – Los Angeles County – 160,557 acres, 209 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

Los Angeles County fire fighters mop up hot spots as they fight the Station Fire August 30, 2009 in Acton, California.(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

16) Camp – November 2018 – Butte County – 153,336 acres, 18,804 structures destroyed, 86 deaths

The massive plume from the Camp Fire, burning in the Feather River Canyon and near Paradise, wafts over the Sacramento Valley as seen from Chico on Thursday November 8, 2018. (David Little/Bay Area News Group) 

17) Rough – July 2015 – Fresno County – 151,623 acres, 4 structures destroyed, 0
deaths

18 McNally -July 2002 – Tulare County -150,696 acres, 17 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Flames of the McNally Fire are reflected in the North Fork of the Kern River July 23, 2002 in the Sequoia National Forest north of Kernville, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) 

19) Stanislaus Complex – August 1987 – Tuolumne County – 145,980 acres, 28 structures destroyed, 1 death

20) Big Bar Complex – August 1999 – Trinity County – 140,948 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Looking to the southwest from the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation about 50 miles east of Eureka, Calif., a thick blanket of fog-like smoke drifts far to the southwest as the Big Bar Complex wildfires continue to burn Oct. 7, 1999. (AP Photo/Times-Standard, Shaun Walker) 

Source: CalFire, US Forest Service

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/28/list-the-20-largest-wildfires-in-california-history/?shared=email&msg=fail

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1353, November 6, 2019, Story 1: House Intelligence Committee Will Begin Public Hearings on Trump  Impeachment Inquiry or Democrat 2016 Cover-up, Coup Attempt, and 2020 Campaign Event — Chaired By Unbelievable Pathological Liar Adam Schiff — Call The Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information Eric Ciaramella as First Republican Witness — Videos — Story 2: Front Channel Deep State Bureaucrats Opinions/Here Say on Trump Phone Call vs. Trump’s Back Channel Rudy Giuliani — Big Lie Media and Democrat Cover-up of Biden and Clinton Corruption in Ukraine — Videos — Story 3: Kentucky goes Republican Except For Governor By Electing Democrat Andy Beshea By A Margin of 5,189 votes Out of 1.4 million Votes — Videos

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Story 1: House Intelligence Committee Will Begin Public Hearings on Trump  Impeachment Inquiry or Democrat 2016 Cover-up, Coup Attempt, and 2020 Campaign Event — Chaired By Unbelievable Pathological Liar Adam Schiff — Call The Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella as First Republican Witness — Videos —

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Mark Levin Goes Off On “Political Hack” Whistleblower, His Lawyers, Dems & Impeachment Inquiry

Schiff slammed for ‘parody’ of Trump call transcript

The Five’ reacts to House Dems taking impeachment probe public

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Washington Post calls out Schiff over false whistleblower comments

 

Whistleblower Protection Act

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Whistleblower Protection Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to amend title 5, United States Code, to strengthen the protections available to Federal employees against prohibited personnel practices, and for other purposes.
Nicknames Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989
Enacted by the 101st United States Congress
Effective April 10, 1989
Citations
Public law 101-12
Statutes at Large 103 Stat. 16
Codification
Titles amended 5 U.S.C.: Government Organization and Employees
U.S.C. sections amended 5 U.S.C. ch. 12 § 1201 et seq.
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 20 by Carl Levin (DMIon January 25, 1989
  • Passed the Senate on March 16, 1989 (97-0, Roll call vote 24, via Senate.gov)
  • Passed the House on March 21, 1989 (Agreed voice vote)
  • Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush onApril 10, 1989

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9), Pub.L. 101-12 as amended, is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report the possible existence of an activity constituting a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant.[1]

 

Authorized Federal Agencies

  • The Office of Special Counsel investigates federal whistleblower complaints. In October 2008, then-special counsel Scott Bloch resigned amid an FBI investigation into whether he obstructed justice by illegally deleting computer files following complaints that he had retaliated against employees who disagreed with his policies. Then-Senator Barack Obama made a campaign vow to appoint a special counsel committed to whistleblower rights. It was not until April 2011 that President Obama’s appointee Carolyn Lerner was confirmed by the Senate. Today, the primary mission of OSC is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing.
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board, a quasi-judicial agency that adjudicates whistleblower complaints, uses appointed administrative law judges who often back the government. Since 2000, the board has ruled for whistleblowers just three times in 56 cases decided on their merits, according to a Government Accountability Project analysis. Obama appointed a new chairperson and vice chairperson with backgrounds as federal worker advocates, but Tom Devine of GAP says, “It’s likely to take years for them to turn things around.” Currently, this office works to protect the Merit System Principles and promote an effective Federal workforce free of Prohibited Personnel Practices.
  • The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established under Article III of the Constitution on October 1, 1982. It is the only court empowered to hear appeals of whistleblower cases decided by the merit board, has been criticized by Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) and others in Congress for misinterpreting whistleblower laws and setting a precedent that is hostile to claimants. Between 1994 and 2010, the court had ruled for whistleblowers in only three of 203 cases decided on their merits, GAP’s analysis found.[2]

Legal Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 04-473, ruled in 2006 that government employees do not have protection from retaliation by their employers under the First Amendment of the Constitution when they speak pursuant to their official job duties.[3] The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) uses agency lawyers in the place of administrative law judges to decide federal employees’ whistleblower appeals. These lawyers, dubbed “attorney examiners,” deny 98% of whistleblower appeals; the Board and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals give great deference to their initial decisions, resulting in affirmance rates of 97% and 98%, respectively.[4] The most common characteristics for a court claim that are encompassed within the protection of the Act include: that the plaintiff is an employee or person covered under the specific statutory or common law relied upon for action, that the defendant is an employer or person covered under the specific statutory or common law relied upon for the action, that the plaintiff engaged in protected whistleblower activity, that the defendant knew or had knowledge that the plaintiff engaged in such activity, that there was retaliatory action taken against the one doing the whistleblowing and that the unfair treatment would not have occurred if the plaintiff hadn’t brought to attention the activities.[5] Robert MacLean blew the whistle on the fact that the TSA had cut its funding for more air marshals. In 2009 MacLean, represented by the Government Accountability Project, challenged his dismissal at the Merit Systems Protection Board, on the grounds that “his disclosure of the text message was protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, because he ‘reasonably believe[d]’ that the leaked information disclosed ‘a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety’.” MacLean won the case in a ruling of 7–2 in the Supreme Court in January 2015.[6]

Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and Presidential Policy Directive 19

President Barack Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), entitled “Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information”. According to the directive signed by Obama on October 10, 2012, it is written that “this Presidential Policy Directive ensures that employees (1) serving in the Intelligence Community or (2) who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.[7]

However, according to a report that the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs submitted to accompany S. 743, “the federal whistleblowers have seen their protections diminish in recent years, largely as a result of a series of decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has exclusive jurisdiction over many cases brought under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). Specifically, the Federal Circuit has accorded a narrow definition to the type of disclosure that qualifies for whistleblower protection. Additionally, the lack of remedies under current law for most whistleblowers in the intelligence community and for whistleblowers who face retaliation in the form of withdrawal of the employee’s security clearance leaves unprotected those who are in a position to disclose wrongdoing that directly affects our national security.”[8] S. 743 would address these problems by restoring the original congressional intent of the WPA to adequately protect whistleblowers, by strengthening the WPA, and by creating new whistleblower protections for intelligence employees and new protections for employees whose security clearance is withdrawn in retaliation for having made legitimate whistleblower disclosures.[9] S. 743 ultimately became Pub.L. 112-199 (S.Rep. 112-155).

Related legislation

On July 14, 2014, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the All Circuit Review Extension Act (H.R. 4197; 113th Congress), a bill that gives authority to federal employees who want to appeal their judgment to any federal court, and which allows whistleblowers to appeal to any U.S. Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction. The bill would extend from three years after the effective date of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (i.e., December 27, 2012), the period allowed for: (1) filing a petition for judicial review of Merit Systems Protection Board decisions in whistleblower cases, and (2) any review of such a decision by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).[10][11]

See also

References

External links

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

Story 2: Front Channel Deep State Bureaucrats Policy Differences, Opinions/Heresay (Acting Ambassador Bill Taylor and Others) on Trump Phone Call vs. Trump’s Back Channel Rudy Giuliani — Big Lie Media and Democrat Cover-up of Biden and Clinton Corruption in Ukraine — Videos

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What Is And What Is Not A Diplomatic Backchannel | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

‘I would quit’: Takeaways from diplomat Taylor’s testimony

 

William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Wednesday.

Taylor last month methodically recounted his conversations with other diplomats and expressed his concerns about the influence of the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukraine policy. Referring to his own detailed notes – he has a notebook in his pocket at all times, he said – he told lawmakers about his efforts to restore the military aid.

House Democrats released a 324-page transcript of Taylor’s interview as part of a rolling release of documents in the new, public phase of the impeachment inquiry. Taylor’s transcript was the fifth released this week, and more are expected. Taylor is also scheduled to testify publicly next week.

Takeaways from the Taylor transcript:

AN ‘IRREGULAR’ DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL

Taylor told investigators he began to realize, after taking the top job in Ukraine in May, that were two diplomatic channels on Ukraine: one regular and an “irregular” one that was “guided by Mr. Giuliani.” The military aid, and a meeting between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was blocked by the second channel, Taylor said.

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo, Ambassador William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats' impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers last month that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country's president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Nov. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo, Ambassador William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats’ impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers last month that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Nov. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The irregular channel included Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Giuliani. Taylor says the two channels eventually began to diverge in their goals as Trump pushed for investigations of political rival Joe Biden’s family and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s calls for those probes, and the delay in military assistance to Ukraine, are the center of the Democrats’ investigation.

___

“A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING”

Taylor told the investigators he understood that the military aid – not just the White House meeting – was conditioned on Ukraine opening the investigations. Sondland had told him that “everything” was dependent on Zelenskiy making such an announcement.

“That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President committed to pursue the investigation,” Taylor told the lawmakers, even though Sondland insisted, after talking to Trump, that there was no “quid pro quo.”

Taylor said he understood the reason for investigating Burisma, a gas company linked to Joe Biden’s son, was “to cast Vice President Biden in a bad light” and that it could help Trump’s reelection.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., asked Taylor in the questioning: “So if they don’t do this, they are not going to get that was your understanding?”

“Yes, sir,” Taylor said.

“Are you aware that quid pro quo literally means this for that?” Schiff asked.

“I am,” Taylor said.

___

WARY OF THE JOB

Taylor recounts his own struggles with the decision to take the job in Ukraine after Trump had ordered the ouster of the previous ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. He said he was worried about “snake pits” in Washington and Kyiv and raised his concerns with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he was offered the job.

Later in the summer, after a few months in Ukraine, he told Volker and Sondland that he would quit if Zelenskiy gave an interview promising the investigations Trump had sought and then the military aid was never released. In a text, he described that scenario as his “nightmare.”

When asked to explain that text, Taylor told lawmakers: “The Russians want to know how much support the Ukrainians are going to get in general, but also what kind of support from the Americans. So the Russians are loving, would love, the humiliation of Zelenskiy at the hand of the Americans, and would give the Russians a freer hand, and I would quit.”

___

WORRIES ABOUT MILITARY AID

Taylor said he decided, at the encouragement of then-national security adviser John Bolton, to write a cable to Pompeo outlining his concerns about the holdup in military aid. He did not get a reply, but he was told that Pompeo had brought the cable with him to at least one White House meeting at which the secretary argued in favor of releasing the aid to Ukraine.

“I know that Secretary Pompeo was working on this issue, that he wanted it resolved,” Taylor said. “I was getting more and more concerned that it wasn’t getting resolved. And so I wanted to add my concern and my arguments, from the perspective of Kyiv and the Ukrainians, about how important this assistance was.”

Taylor told the lawmakers that he wrote the cable in the first person, which he thought would get Pompeo’s attention. He also hinted in the cable that he might resign.

In the deposition, Taylor described the importance of the military aid that Ukraine was receiving from the U.S. to fight the insurgency backed by Russia in the east. “What we can say is that that radar and weapons and sniper rifles, communication, that saves lives. It makes the Ukrainians more effective. It might even shorten the war.”

___

FOCUS ON UKRAINE … OR GREENLAND?

Taylor testified that as he was pushing for the aid to Ukraine to be released, he was hearing from colleagues in Washington that it was difficult to arrange a meeting with Trump on the issue.

He said that may have had to do with travel schedules, but also the president’s keen interest in buying Greenland from Denmark, which the National Security Council was looking into.

“I think this was also about the time of the Greenland question, about purchasing Greenland, which took up a lot of energy in the NSC,” Taylor told the lawmakers.

Schiff responded: “Okay. That’s disturbing for a whole different reason.”

Trump sparked a diplomatic dispute with U.S. ally Denmark in August after he proposed that the U.S. buy Greenland and the Danish government rejected the idea.

___

GOP PUSHBACK

In a preview of the public hearing, Republicans criticized Taylor by arguing that he received none of the information firsthand. Taylor says in the interview that he hadn’t spoken directly to Trump or Giuliani.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., grilled Taylor on whether he had primary knowledge that Trump was demanding that Ukraine investigate the Bidens. Republicans also suggested in the interview that Ukrainians wanted to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Trump in 2016.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-7658395/I-quit-Takeaways-diplomat-Taylors-testimony.html

 

William Joseph Burns

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William Joseph Burns
AmbassadorBurns.jpg
17th United States Deputy Secretary of State
In office
July 28, 2011 – November 3, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Steinberg
Succeeded by Tony Blinken
United States Secretary of State
Acting
In office
January 20, 2009 – January 21, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Condoleezza Rice
Succeeded by Hillary Clinton
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
In office
May 13, 2008 – July 28, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by R. Nicholas Burns
Succeeded by Tom Shannon (Acting)
5th United States Ambassador to Russia
In office
November 8, 2005 – May 13, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Alexander Vershbow
Succeeded by John Beyrle
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
In office
June 4, 2001 – March 2, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Edward S. Walker Jr.
Succeeded by David Welch
United States Ambassador to Jordan
In office
August 9, 1998 – June 4, 2001
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Wesley Egan
Succeeded by Edward Gnehm
Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State
In office
January 16, 1996 – February 27, 1998
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Kenneth C. Brill
Succeeded by Kristie Kenney
Personal details
Born April 4, 1956 (age 63)
Fort BraggNorth Carolina, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lisa Carty
Children 2
Education La Salle University (BA)
St John’s College, Oxford(MPhilDPhil)

William Joseph Burns (born April 11, 1956) is a former career Foreign Service Officer,[1] and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace since February 2015.[2] Previously, he was Ambassador of the United States to the Russian Federation from 2005 until 2008, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, and United States Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 to 2014.

 

Early life and education

Burns was born at Fort BraggNorth Carolina. He earned a B.A. in History from La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and M.Phil and D.Phil degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, United Kingdom, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. His dissertation was expanded and published in 1985 as Economic Aid and American Policy Toward Egypt, 1955–1981.

Career

U.S. Foreign Service

Ambassador Burns entered the Foreign Service in 1982, and served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 until 2014. Previously, he served as Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2008 until 2011. He was U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2005 until 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 until 2005, and U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 until 2001. Before these, he was also Executive Secretary of the State Department and Special Assistant to Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright; Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff; and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

Burns, together with George Tenet was instrumental in forcing through the short-lived Israeli-Palestinian cease fire agreement of June 2001.[3][4] He played a leading role in the elimination of Libya’s illicit weapons program, and the secret bilateral channel with the Iranians that led to a historic interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1.[5] He also played a major role in efforts to re-set relations with Russia early in the Obama Administration and in the strengthening of the strategic partnership with India. Secretary of State John Kerry lauded his “quiet, head-down, get-it-done diplomacy”, stating that it had earned him the trust of both Republican and Democratic administrations; The Atlantic called him a “secret diplomatic weapon” deployed against some of the United States’ thorniest foreign policy challenges.[6]

A cable Burns signed as ambassador and released by WikiLeaks[7] describing “a high society wedding in the Caucasus — complete with massive quantities of alcohol, lumps of gold and revolver-wielding drunkards” attended by President Ramzan Kadyrov,[8] received widespread international coverage, with historian Timothy Garton Ash writing that “Burns’s analyses of Russian politics are astute,” with the “highly entertaining account” of the wedding “almost worthy of Evelyn Waugh.”[9]

Retirement from the Foreign Service

On April 11, the State Department announced Burns would step down as Deputy Secretary of State in October 2014, after he twice delayed his retirement first at the request of Secretary John Kerry and then at the request of President Obama.

In a press statement announcing Ambassador Burns’ decision to retire, Secretary Kerry said that “Bill is a statesman cut from the same cloth, caliber, and contribution as George F. Kennan and Chip Bohlen, and he has more than earned his place on a very short list of American diplomatic legends”.[10] President Obama, in his own statement, said Ambassador Burns “has been a skilled advisor, consummate diplomat, and inspiration to generations of public servants…the country is stronger for Bill’s service”.[11]

On October 29, 2014, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced that Ambassador Burns would begin his tenure as its ninth President on February 4, 2015.

Burns was widely assumed to be on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s shortlist of Secretary of State nominees, had she won.[12]

His memoir of his diplomatic career The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal was published in 2019.

Awards

Burns with CMU President Subra Suresh (middle) and ITU-T Director Malcolm Johnson (left), 2016

Burns is the recipient of three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and a number of Department of State awards, including three Secretary’s Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award, the 2006 Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Ambassadorial Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, the 2005 Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award, and the James Clement Dunn Award. He also received the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service and the U.S. Intelligence Community Medallion. In 1994, he was named to TIME Magazine‘s list of the “50 Most Promising American Leaders Under Age 40”, and its list of “100 Young Global Leaders”. Burns holds four honorary doctoral degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[13] He was also awarded Foreign Policy‘s “Diplomat of the Year” award in 2013;[14] and the Anti-Defamation League‘s “Distinguished Statesman Award” (2014).[15] He is also an Honorary Fellow, St. John’s College, Oxford (from 2012).[16]

Personal life

Burns and his wife Lisa Carty have two daughters.

References

  1. ^ “NNDB Article”. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  2. ^ “Ambassador William J. Burns Named Next Carnegie President”. National Endowment for Democracy (NEFD). 28 October 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  3. ^ Ephron, Dan (13 June 2001). “US rokers a cease-fire in Mid-East 11th hour Deal Spells Out Steps; Disputes Remain”. Boston Globe. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  4. ^ “The Tenet Plan : Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire and Security Plan, Proposed by CIA Director George Tenet; June 13, 2001”Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  5. ^ Gordon, Michael (April 11, 2014). “Diplomat Who Led Secret Talks with Iran Plans to Retire”New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  6. ^ Kralev, Nicholas (April 4, 2013). “The White House’s Secret Diplomatic Weapon”The Atlantic. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  7. ^ “US embassy cables: A wedding feast, the Caucasus way”, 1 Dec 2010, The Guardian
  8. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/wedding-in-the-caucasus-the-us-ambassador-learns-that-cognac-is-like-wine-a-732370.html
  9. ^ Garton Ash, Timothy (November 28, 2010). “US Embassy Cables: A Banquet of Secrets”. The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  10. ^ “Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns’ Decision to Retire in October 2014”http://www.state.gov. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  11. ^ “Statement by President Obama on the Retirement of Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns”. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  12. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/hillary-clinton-john-kerry-secretary-state-226740
  13. ^ http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/1014
  14. ^ “Bill Burns Honored as Diplomat of the Year”foreignpolicy.com. Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  15. ^ “Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns Presented with ADL Award”http://www.adl.org. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  16. ^ “RAI in America”http://www.rai.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2014.

External links

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

 

Story 3: Kentucky goes Republican Except For Governor By Electing Democrat Andy Beshea By A Margin of 5,189 votes Out of 1.4 million Votes  — Videos

 

Kentucky’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andy Beshear, shown with running mate Jacqueline Coleman, held a lead of more than 5,000 votes. PHOTO: BRYAN WOOLSTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory in the Kentucky governor’s race and pressed ahead with transition plans, despite Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s refusal to concede and his request for a formal review of vote totals.

With 100% of counties reporting results, Mr. Beshear led Mr. Bevin by 5,189 votes out of more than 1.4 million cast, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections. The race was too close to call, according to the Associated Press.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, with his wife, Glenna, in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday. PHOTO: TIMOTHY D. EASLEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

“I feel confident in declaring Andy Beshear Gov.-elect Beshear,” said Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, in an interview. But she said she would follow established procedures in response to any petitions from Mr. Bevin.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bevin’s campaign formally requested a recanvass, or review of the vote totals in each county, citing an “election too close to call and multiple reports of voting irregularities.” At a news conference Wednesday, Mr. Bevin said the campaign was seeking to corroborate alleged incidents such as voting machines that didn’t work properly, and he criticized Ms. Grimes for calling the race.

“We want the people of Kentucky to have absolute confidence that their votes were counted,” Mr. Bevin said.

Ms. Grimes said her office hadn’t received substantiated reports of irregularities. She scheduled the recanvass for Nov. 14.

Eric Hyers, Mr. Beshear’s campaign manager, said he hoped Mr. Bevin would honor the results of the recanvass.

Mr. Beshear, Kentucky’s attorney general and son of the state’s most recent Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, said at a news conference Wednesday that he hadn’t spoken with Mr. Bevin and was moving ahead with transition plans.

“We’re confident in the outcome of the election,” he said. “Today is about moving forward. The election is over.”

Mr. Beshear detailed some early priorities: rescind a Medicaid work requirement pursued by Mr. Bevin, appoint a new state Board of Education and restore voting rights for about 140,000 felons who were disenfranchised under state law.

Apart from the recanvass, Mr. Bevin can pursue another option under the state’s election laws: contest the results. He would need to do so within 30 days of their certification by the Board of Elections, and the process would be guided by a committee formed by the state House and Senate.

Contests of elections are rare in the state, and the last time one occurred in a governor’s race was in 1899, said Joshua Douglas, a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Recanvasses are more common, but “the likelihood this would change the numbers materially is extremely low,” he said.

Andy Beshear stands with his wife, Britainy, as he delivers a speech at the Kentucky Democratic Party election night watch party on Tuesday.PHOTO: BRYAN WOOLSTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mr. Bevin, a 52-year-old former businessman who never held elected office before winning in 2015, ran as a staunch ally of President Trump, often invoking national issues like abortion, immigration and the impeachment inquiry into the president.

President Trump, who won Kentucky by 30 points in 2016 and heavily backed Mr. Bevin, pushed for his victory with a rally in the state ahead of the election and a barrage of tweets voicing his support. But, as he acknowledged in a tweet late Tuesday, his efforts didn’t appear to be enough to secure a victory for the Republican.

Mr. Beshear carried a number of counties in eastern Kentucky’s coal country that are bastions of support for Mr. Trump and some that Mr. Bevin won in 2015, including Kenton and Campbell in northern Kentucky, a conservative part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

The Democrat also won by wide margins in the counties that include Louisville and Lexington, far exceeding the totals for the 2015 Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

“In urban and suburban counties, Beshear’s victory was unprecedented,” said Matt Erwin, a Democratic political consultant.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Republicans largely beat their Democratic challengers in other state elections Tuesday—including capturing the attorney general’s seat for the first time in decades. Republican Daniel Cameron will become the first African-American to hold that office in the state. Former elections board member Michael Adams, a Republican, was elected as Kentucky’s next secretary of state.

Mr. Beshear, 41, focused on what he said are the issues Kentuckians care most about: education, jobs, the state’s troubled pension system and health care.

Mr. Beshear had campaigned heavily on rolling back the Medicaid work requirement, and Democrats viewed their gains Tuesday as evidence that they hold an advantage on health care heading into the 2020 elections. A state estimate projected 95,000 people would lose Medicaid coverage under the work rules, which were stalled by a lawsuit. Rescinding the work mandate could end the lawsuit.

While Mr. Bevin held an advantage as a GOP incumbent in a state that Republicans have come to dominate, his tenure at times has been rocky.

Last year, he called teachers who opposed plans to overhaul the pension system “selfish” and “ignorant,” and tangled with state lawmakers over the issue. He was rated the most unpopular governor in the U.S. earlier this year in a survey by polling firm Morning Consult. Mr. Bevin dismissed the poll, saying it wasn’t credible.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Mr. Beshear specifically thanked the state’s teachers for their support.

“To our educators: Your courage to stand up and fight against all the bullying and name-calling helped galvanize our state,” he said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/election-results-2019-tight-kentucky-governor-race-sparks-fight-11573051470

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1350, November 1, 2019, Story 1: Understanding The November Jobs Report With Increased U-3 Unemployment Rate of 3.6%, U-6 Unemployment Rate of 7.0% and Labor Participation Rate of 63.3% With Estimated 128,000 New Jobs Created — Economy Growing — Videos — Story 2: Stock Market Hits New Record Highs in S&P 500 and NASDAQ — Videos– Story 3: The Decline of United States Monetary Base Could Lead to Massive Deflation and Recession? — What Institutions are The Fed Bailing Out? — Videos — Story 4: Listen To Reading and Read The Transcript of Call Between President Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky —  Videos — Story 5: Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden Does Not Get It — Lying Will Not Work — Ukraine Government Interfered in 2016 Election For Hillary Clinton  — Democrats Colluding with Ukraine Government — Videos — Story 6: Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist “Beto” Robert Francis O’Rourke Leaves Race — Crisis and Fear Monger — Will Not Be Missed By American People — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1350 November 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1349 October 31, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1348 October 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1347 October 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1346 October 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1345 October 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1344 October 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1343 October 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1342 October 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1341 October 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1340 October 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1339 October 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1338 October 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1337 October 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1336 October 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1335 October 7, 2019

 Pronk Pops Show 1334 October 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1333 October 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1332 October 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1331 October 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1330 September 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1329 September 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1328 September 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1327 September 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1326 September 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1325 September 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1324 September 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1323 September 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1322 September 18 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1321 September 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1320 September 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1319 September 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1318 September 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1317 September 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1316 September 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1315 September 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1314 September 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1313 August 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1312 August 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1311 August 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1310 August 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1309 August 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1308 August 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1307 August 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1306 August 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1305 August 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1304 August 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1303 August 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1302 August 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1301 August 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1300 August 1, 2019

 

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

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageImage result for stock market new record highsSee the source image

Story 1: Understanding The November Jobs Report With Increased U-3 Unemployment Rate of 3.6% and Labor Participation Rate of 63.3% With Estimated 128,000 New Jobs Created — Videos

Watch Wall Street five experts react to the October jobs report

Pay attention to the manufacturing data in the jobs report, says NationsShares’ Scott Nations

October Jobs Report: 128,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment At 3.6 Percent | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Nightly Business Report – November 1, 2019

 

Alternate Unemployment Charts

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: November 1st, 2019

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for October 2019 is 21.0%.

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

Civilian Labor Force Level

164,364,000

 

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

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155763(1) 155312 155005 155394 155536 155749 155599 155605 155687 154673 155265 155182
2014 155352(1) 155483 156028 155369 155684 155707 156007 156130 156040 156417 156494 156332
2015 157053(1) 156663 156626 157017 157616 157014 157008 157165 156745 157188 157502 158080
2016 158371(1) 158705 159079 158891 158700 158899 159150 159582 159810 159768 159629 159779
2017 159693(1) 159854 160036 160169 159910 160124 160383 160706 161190 160436 160626 160636
2018 161123(1) 161900 161646 161551 161667 162129 162209 161802 162055 162694 162821 163240
2019 163229(1) 163184 162960 162470 162646 162981 163351 163922 164039 164364
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

Labor Force Participation Rate

63.3%

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

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.7 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8
2015 62.9 62.7 62.6 62.7 62.9 62.6 62.6 62.6 62.4 62.5 62.6 62.7
2016 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7
2017 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.7 62.8 62.7
2018 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.9 62.9 63.1
2019 63.2 63.2 63.0 62.8 62.8 62.9 63.0 63.2 63.2 63.3

 Employment Level

158,510,000

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

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 136559(1) 136598 136701 137270 136630 136940 136531 136662 136893 137088 137322 137614
2001 137778 137612 137783 137299 137092 136873 137071 136241 136846 136392 136238 136047
2002 135701 136438 136177 136126 136539 136415 136413 136705 137302 137008 136521 136426
2003 137417(1) 137482 137434 137633 137544 137790 137474 137549 137609 137984 138424 138411
2004 138472(1) 138542 138453 138680 138852 139174 139556 139573 139487 139732 140231 140125
2005 140245(1) 140385 140654 141254 141609 141714 142026 142434 142401 142548 142499 142752
2006 143150(1) 143457 143741 143761 144089 144353 144202 144625 144815 145314 145534 145970
2007 146028(1) 146057 146320 145586 145903 146063 145905 145682 146244 145946 146595 146273
2008 146378(1) 146156 146086 146132 145908 145737 145532 145203 145076 144802 144100 143369
2009 142152(1) 141640 140707 140656 140248 140009 139901 139492 138818 138432 138659 138013
2010 138438(1) 138581 138751 139297 139241 139141 139179 139438 139396 139119 139044 139301
2011 139250(1) 139394 139639 139586 139624 139384 139524 139942 140183 140368 140826 140902
2012 141584(1) 141858 142036 141899 142206 142391 142292 142291 143044 143431 143333 143330
2013 143292(1) 143362 143316 143635 143882 143999 144264 144326 144418 143537 144479 144778
2014 145150(1) 145134 145648 145667 145825 146247 146399 146530 146778 147427 147404 147615
2015 148150(1) 148053 148122 148491 148802 148765 148815 149175 148853 149270 149506 150164
2016 150622(1) 150934 151146 150963 151074 151104 151450 151766 151877 151949 152150 152276
2017 152128(1) 152417 152958 153150 152920 153176 153456 153591 154399 153847 153945 154065
2018 154482(1) 155213 155160 155216 155539 155592 155964 155604 156069 156582 156803 156945
2019 156694(1) 156949 156748 156645 156758 157005 157288 157878 158269 158510
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

Unemployment Level

5,855,000

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12471 11950 11689 11760 11654 11751 11335 11279 11270 11136 10787 10404
2014 10202 10349 10380 9702 9859 9460 9608 9599 9262 8990 9090 8717
2015 8903 8610 8504 8526 8814 8249 8194 7990 7892 7918 7995 7916
2016 7749 7771 7932 7928 7626 7795 7700 7817 7933 7819 7480 7503
2017 7565 7437 7078 7019 6991 6948 6927 7115 6791 6588 6682 6572
2018 6641 6687 6486 6335 6128 6537 6245 6197 5986 6112 6018 6294
2019 6535 6235 6211 5824 5888 5975 6063 6044 5769 5855

Unemployment Rate

3.6%

 

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.1 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.6 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.8 4.9 4.8 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.7 4.7
2017 4.7 4.7 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.2 4.1
2018 4.1 4.1 4.0 3.9 3.8 4.0 3.9 3.8 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.9
2019 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.6 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.5 3.6

Not in Labor Force

95,481,000

 

Series Id:           LNS15000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Not in Labor Force
Labor force status:  Not in labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 69142 69120 69338 69267 69853 69876 70398 70401 70645 70782 70579 70488
2001 70088 70409 70381 70956 71414 71592 71526 72136 71676 71817 71876 72010
2002 72623 72010 72343 72281 72260 72600 72827 72856 72554 73026 73508 73675
2003 73960 74015 74295 74066 74268 73958 74767 75062 75249 75324 75280 75780
2004 75319 75648 75606 75907 75903 75735 75730 76113 76526 76399 76259 76581
2005 76808 76677 76846 76514 76409 76673 76721 76642 76739 76958 77138 77394
2006 77339 77122 77161 77318 77359 77317 77535 77451 77757 77634 77499 77376
2007 77506 77851 77982 78818 78810 78671 78904 79461 79047 79532 79105 79238
2008 78554 79156 79087 79429 79102 79314 79395 79466 79790 79736 80189 80380
2009 80529 80374 80953 80762 80705 80938 81367 81780 82495 82766 82865 83813
2010 83349 83304 83206 82707 83409 84075 84199 84014 84347 84895 84590 85240
2011 85441 85637 85623 85603 85834 86144 86383 86111 85940 86308 86312 86589
2012 87888 87765 87855 88239 88100 88073 88405 88803 88613 88429 88836 88722
2013 88900 89516 89990 89780 89827 89803 90156 90355 90481 91708 91302 91563
2014 91563 91603 91230 92070 91938 92107 92016 92099 92406 92240 92350 92695
2015 92671 93237 93454 93249 92839 93649 93868 93931 94580 94353 94245 93856
2016 94026 93872 93689 94077 94475 94498 94470 94272 94281 94553 94911 94963
2017 94389 94392 94378 94419 94857 94833 94769 94651 94372 95330 95323 95473
2018 95657 95033 95451 95721 95787 95513 95633 96264 96235 95821 95886 95649
2019 95010 95208 95577 96223 96215 96057 95874 95510 95599 95481

 

U-6 Unemployment Rate

7.0%

 

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

 

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.2 15.8 15.9 16.5 16.5 16.4 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.1 17.1 16.6 16.4 16.4 16.5 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.9 16.1 15.8 16.1 15.9 16.1 16.4 15.8 15.5 15.2
2012 15.2 15.0 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.8 14.6 14.8 14.4 14.4 14.4
2013 14.6 14.4 13.8 14.0 13.8 14.2 13.8 13.6 13.5 13.6 13.1 13.1
2014 12.7 12.6 12.6 12.3 12.2 12.0 12.1 12.0 11.7 11.5 11.4 11.2
2015 11.3 11.0 10.8 10.8 10.9 10.4 10.3 10.2 10.0 9.8 10.0 9.9
2016 9.8 9.7 9.8 9.7 9.9 9.5 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.6 9.4 9.2
2017 9.3 9.1 8.7 8.6 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.6 8.3 8.0 8.0 8.1
2018 8.2 8.2 7.9 7.8 7.7 7.8 7.5 7.4 7.5 7.5 7.6 7.6
2019 8.1 7.3 7.3 7.3 7.1 7.2 7.0 7.2 6.9 7.0

October job creation comes in at 128,000, easily topping estimates even with GM auto strike

POINTS
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose by 128,000 in October, exceeding the estimate of 75,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
  • There were big revisions of past numbers as well. August’s initial 168,000 payrolls addition was revised up to 219,000, while September’s jumped from 136,000 to 180,000.
  • The unemployment rate ticked slightly higher to 3.6% from 3.5%, still near the lowest in 50 years.
  • The pace of average hourly earnings picked up a bit, rising 0.1% to a year-over-year 3% gain.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 128,000 in October as the U.S. economy overcame the weight of the GM autoworkers’ strike and created jobs at a pace well above expectations.

Even with a decline of 42,000 in the motor vehicles and parts industry, the pace of new jobs well exceeded the estimate of 75,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The loss of jobs came due to the General Motors strike that has since been settled. That 42,000 job loss itself was less than the 50,000 or more that many economists had been anticipating.

The unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, in line with estimates, but remains around the lowest in 50 years. A more encompassing measure that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time positions for economic reasons also edged up to 7%.

The unemployment rate for African Americans nudged down to a record low 5.4%. Also, the total employment level as measured in the household survey jumped to 158.5 million, also a new high.

The pace of average hourly earnings picked up a bit, rising 0.1% to a year-over-year 3% gain, also in line with estimates. The average work week was unchanged at 34.4 hours.

“This report is yet another sign that the economy is still strong right now and adds to a list of indicators that are looking optimistic of late,” said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group. “The vigor of this labor market, along with a more positive housing market and solid Q3 GDP, should offer some welcome reassurance.”

Big revisions upward

Along with the better-than-expected performance in October, previous months’ counts were revised considerably higher. August’s initial 168,000 estimate came all the way up to 219,000 while September’s jumped from 136,000 to 180,000.

Together, the new estimates added 95,000 positions for the two-month period, bringing the three-month average to 176,000, which is well above the pace needed to keep the unemployment rate around its current level.

For the year, monthly job creation now averages 167,000 compared with 223,000 in 2018.

The report helps further quell worries that the U.S. economy is teetering toward recession and helps affirm the assessment from most Federal Reserve officials.

Central bank leaders have largely praised the state of the U.S. economy, particularly compared with its global peers. The Fed earlier this week lowered its benchmark interest rate a quarter point, the third such move this year, but Chairman Jerome Powell clearly indicated that this likely will be the last cut for some time unless conditions change significantly.

“The October jobs report is unambiguously positive for the US economic outlook,” said Citigroup economist Andrew Hollenhorst. “Above-consensus hiring in October, together with upward revisions to prior months, is consistent with our view that job growth, while clearly slower in 2019 than in 2018, will maintain a pace of 130-150K per month. Wage growth remaining at 3.0% should further support incomes and consumption-led growth.”

VIDEO02:25
How the unemployment rate is calculated

Hottest sectors

At the industry level, the biggest job creation came in food services and drinking establishments, which added 48,000.While those positions are generally associated with lower wages, they also can reflect consumer demand and the willingness to spend discretionary money. The industry has seen a surge in job creation as of late, with the past three months averaging 38,000 compared with 16,000 in the first seven months of this year.

Professional and business services added 22,000 and health care rose 15,000, part of a gain of 402,000 for that industry over the past year.

Social assistance increased by 20,000 while financial activities rose by 16,000, bringing to 108,000 the total Wall Street jobs added over the past year.

Job losses came in manufacturing (-36,000) as part of the GM strike, and the federal government, which subtracted 17,000 because 20,000 workers hired for Census duties finished their work.

The total employment level in the household survey reached another record high, swelling by 241,000 to 158.5 million.

The labor force expanded by 325,000 to 164.4 million and the labor force participation rate edged higher to 63.3%. Those counted as not in the labor force declined by 118,000 to nearly 95.5 million.

After previously sitting at a record low, the unemployment rate for Asians jumped 0.4 percentage points to 2.9%.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/01/jobs-report-october-2019.html

private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 4 cents to $23.70.
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged
at 34.4 hours in October. In manufacturing, the average workweek decreased by
0.2 hour to 40.3 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average
workweek of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees held at 33.6
hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised up by 51,000
from +168,000 to +219,000, and the change for September was revised up by 44,000
from +136,000 to +180,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August and
September combined were 95,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions
result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies
since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.)
After revisions, job gains have averaged 176,000 over the last 3 months.

_____________
The Employment Situation for November is scheduled to be released on
Friday, December 6, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).



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

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Oct.
2018
Aug.
2019
Sept.
2019
Oct.
2019
Change from:
Sept.
2019-
Oct.
2019

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

258,514 259,432 259,638 259,845 207

Civilian labor force

162,694 163,922 164,039 164,364 325

Participation rate

62.9 63.2 63.2 63.3 0.1

Employed

156,582 157,878 158,269 158,510 241

Employment-population ratio

60.6 60.9 61.0 61.0 0.0

Unemployed

6,112 6,044 5,769 5,855 86

Unemployment rate

3.8 3.7 3.5 3.6 0.1

Not in labor force

95,821 95,510 95,599 95,481 -118

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

3.8 3.7 3.5 3.6 0.1

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.5 3.4 3.2 3.2 0.0

Adult women (20 years and over)

3.4 3.3 3.1 3.2 0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

12.0 12.6 12.5 12.3 -0.2

White

3.3 3.4 3.2 3.2 0.0

Black or African American

6.2 5.5 5.5 5.4 -0.1

Asian

3.1 2.8 2.5 2.9 0.4

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4.4 4.2 3.9 4.1 0.2

Total, 25 years and over

3.1 2.9 2.8 2.9 0.1

Less than a high school diploma

5.9 5.4 4.8 5.6 0.8

High school graduates, no college

4.0 3.6 3.6 3.7 0.1

Some college or associate degree

3.0 3.1 2.9 2.9 0.0

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.0 2.1 2.0 2.1 0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

2,858 2,876 2,572 2,674 102

Job leavers

731 781 840 849 9

Reentrants

1,914 1,801 1,669 1,703 34

New entrants

605 574 677 627 -50

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,062 2,207 1,868 1,968 100

5 to 14 weeks

1,845 1,757 1,781 1,749 -32

15 to 26 weeks

859 835 819 899 80

27 weeks and over

1,370 1,243 1,314 1,264 -50

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

4,630 4,381 4,350 4,438 88

Slack work or business conditions

2,837 2,678 2,588 2,754 166

Could only find part-time work

1,461 1,351 1,322 1,287 -35

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,448 21,697 21,573 21,549 -24

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,491 1,564 1,299 1,229

Discouraged workers

506 467 321 341

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

 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.a.htmEmployment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Oct.
2018
Aug.
2019
Sept.
2019(P)
Oct.
2019(P)

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

Total nonfarm

277 219 180 128

Total private

285 163 167 131

Goods-producing

60 4 7 -26

Mining and logging

6 -5 1 0

Construction

25 7 11 10

Manufacturing

29 2 -5 -36

Durable goods(1)

19 -2 -6 -41

Motor vehicles and parts

7.1 -2.6 -3.5 -41.6

Nondurable goods

10 4 1 5

Private service-providing

225 159 160 157

Wholesale trade

6.7 2.4 7.1 10.8

Retail trade

-9.9 -1.3 6.7 6.1

Transportation and warehousing

24.3 -7.6 6.3 9.9

Utilities

1.4 -0.9 -1.3 -1.4

Information

10 -4 4 -4

Financial activities

14 17 8 16

Professional and business services(1)

55 38 37 22

Temporary help services

14.3 9.5 20.1 -8.1

Education and health services(1)

37 63 49 39

Health care and social assistance

46.7 54.8 44.8 34.2

Leisure and hospitality

79 48 45 61

Other services

7 5 -2 -3

Government

-8 56 13 -3

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

222 188 188 176

Total private

213 149 151 154

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

Total nonfarm women employees

49.7 49.9 49.9 49.9

Total private women employees

48.3 48.5 48.6 48.6

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.4 82.3 82.3 82.2

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.5 34.4 34.4 34.4

Average hourly earnings

$27.35 $28.11 $28.12 $28.18

Average weekly earnings

$943.58 $966.98 $967.33 $969.39

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

110.3 111.4 111.5 111.6

Over-the-month percent change

0.3 0.5 0.1 0.1

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

144.2 149.7 149.9 150.4

Over-the-month percent change

0.4 0.9 0.1 0.3

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

Total private (258 industries)

67.4 55.8 55.4 55.4

Manufacturing (76 industries)

59.9 48.7 40.8 43.4

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

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

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

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In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the fact that the massive daily NY Fed interventions in the repo market are getting worse and worse. What was meant to be small and temporary seems now to be huge and permanent. Investors are asking, “What is the Fed hiding?” They also look at the 23% decline in the U.S. Monetary Base since 2016 and ask whether or not it signifies anything. In the second half, Max talks to David Morgan of The Morgan Report about what he sees in the turmoil in the repo markets. They also discuss China’s gold purchases and whether or not he agrees with Alasdair MacLeod’s belief that China could announce they have more than 10,000 tons of gold.

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Opinion: The Federal Reserve is in stealth intervention mode

Published: Oct 26, 2019 4:23 p.m. ET

What the central bank passes off as ‘funding issues’ could more accurately be described as liquidity injections to keep interest rates low

Getty Images
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

By SVENHENRICH

The Federal Reserve has gone into full intervention mode.

Actually, accelerated intervention mode. Not just a “mid-cycle adjustment,” as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in July, but interventions to the tune of tens of billions of dollars every day.

What’s the crisis, you ask? After all, we live in an age of trillion-dollar market-cap companies and unemployment at 50-year lows. Yet the Fed is acting like the doomsday clock has melted as a result of a nuclear attack.

Think I’m in hyperbole mode? Far from it.

Unless you think the biggest repurchase (repo) efforts ever — surpassing the 2008 financial-crisis actions — are hyperbole:

Something’s off. See, it all started as a temporary fix in September when, suddenly, the overnight target rate jumped sky high and the Fed had to intervene to keep the wheels from coming off. Short-term liquidity issues, the Fed said. Those have become rather permanent:

And liquidity injections are massive and accelerating. On Tuesday, the Fed injected $99.9 billion in temporary liquidity into the financial system and $7.5 billion in permanent reserves as part of a program to buy $60 billion a month in Treasury bills. The $99.9 billion comes from $64.9 billion in overnight repurchase agreements and $35 billion in repo operations.

But market demand for overnight repo operations has far exceeded even the $75 billion the Fed has allocated, suggesting a lot more liquidity demand. Hence, on Wednesday the Fed suddenly announced a $45 billion increase on top of the $75 billion repo facility for a daily total of $120 billion. Here’s the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the branch involved in such actions:

“Consistent with the most recent FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] directive, to ensure that the supply of reserves remains ample even during periods of sharp increases in non-reserve liabilities, and to mitigate the risk of money market pressures that could adversely affect policy implementation, the amount offered in overnight repo operations will increase to at least $120 billion starting Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.”

And, consequently, on Oct. 24 the Fed injected $134 billion in temporary liquidity.

These actions are surprising. What stable financial system requires over $100 billion in overnight liquidity injections? The Fed did not see the need for these actions coming. It is reacting to a market that suddenly requires it.

Funding issues,” Chairman Powell called it in October. The Fed was totally caught off guard when the overnight financing rate suddenly jumped to over 5%, and it’s been reacting ever since.

What started as a slow walk in policy reversion from last year’s rate-hike cycle and balance-sheet roll-off (aka quantitative tightening, or QT) on autopilot has now turned into ongoing interest-rate cuts and balance-sheet expansion:

To be clear: This is not a temporary rise in the balance sheet; this is the beginning of something big. The Fed’s balance sheet looks like it will expand to record highs once again.

I keep questioning the efficacy of all this, and I have to question the honesty of the Fed. After all, the central bank keeps chasing events, and its policy actions are turning ever more aggressive while it insists that everything is fine. The bank’s actions are saying things are not fine. Far from it. Otherwise, the Fed wouldn’t be forced into all these policy actions. But would the Fed cop to things not being fine? To do so would be to sap confidence — can’t have that.

What would markets look like without these policy interventions? One can only wonder. For one, we know the overnight financing rate would be much higher. That is, after all, why the Fed is forced to intervene: To keep the target rate low.

Many analysts now suggest there will be a year-end stock market rally, primarily driven by the Fed as earnings growth remains weak. If they print, you must buy.

It may well be that our financial markets have permanently devolved into a Fed-subsidized, wealth-inequality-generating machine benefitting the few that own stocks. But one has to wonder why the rate cutting and liquidity injections haven’t been able to produce sustained market highs.

Consider the evolution of the Fed’s “put” in 2019:

First came the hints in January. “Flexible on the balance sheet,” Powell suddenly was uttering following the fourth-quarter 2018 stock market massacre, producing a 3.5% rally in one day on that pronouncement. Then we got treated to a multi-month jawboning of Fed speakers increasingly sending dovish messages, and markets gladly jumping from Fed speech to Fed speech. Powell again rescued the market in early June after May’s market rout. “Ready to act” was the rallying cry then — and the market rallied dutifully into the July rate cut.

But then the dynamics changed. Rate cut No. 1 in July was sold. Rate cut No. 2 in September was sold. Then came the repo operations, also in September. And now, in October, the Fed launched the $60 billion-a-month Treasury-bill-buying program.

Did you note the accelerated pace of Fed actions here? The Fed went from pausing rate increases to ending the balance sheet roll-off to multiple rate cuts and, finally, aggressive daily repos and balance-sheet expansion. All of this since July. And guess what? Another rate cut is coming next week.

Why? Because markets want it. And what markets want, markets shall receive. That’s the only data point that matters, it appears.

And markets really want that third rate cut next week:

There’s a 94.6% probability of a rate cut. Think that a Fed that is intervening in markets daily by the tens of billions of dollars will chance to disappoint markets by not cutting rates? Please.

Investors have been chasing the Fed into corporate multiple expansion all year. But now that the Fed is forced to intervene ever more aggressively, it has to prove something: Efficacy.

Are we seeing an improvement in growth? No. Are we seeing an improvement in earnings? No. From the looks of it, the Fed is barely keeping it together and is forced to do ever more to prevent markets from falling as the principal bull rationale for buying stocks is the Fed.

And so one has to ponder a larger question:

But, to be fair, so far the Fed has succeeded in compressing volatility as price discovery has degraded to overnight action over any intraday price discovery. Markets are back to tight intra-ranges void of any actions and elevating indices near record highs.

Whether the Fed can prompt a move to sustained new highs remains to be seen. All eyes will be on the Fed next week to see whether policy makers can achieve it.

If they can, investors can look for another run at the upper trend line on the S&P 500 SPX, -0.12%  chart:

If they can’t, things may turn out quite differently, such as this speculative scenario:

You don’t think the Fed is all about markets? Where have you been? After all, the Fed’s stated policy objective now is to extend the business cycle by any means necessary. And policy makers can’t do that with falling stock prices.

And so they are in accelerated daily intervention mode. Because that is what it takes. The questions that investors have to ask themselves is: What if it’s not enough? And what is it policy makers aren’t telling us? Why are they are forced into these historic, unexpected measures? What happens if they lose control? We may know more next week.

Sven Henrich is founder and the lead market strategist of NorthmanTrader.com. Follow him on Twitter at @NorthmanTrader.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-federal-reserve-is-in-stealth-intervention-mode-2019-10-25

 

PERATING POLICY
Statement Regarding Repurchase and Reverse Repurchase Agreements Small Value Exercise
November 4, 2019

The New York Fed undertakes certain small value open market transactions from time to time for the purpose of testing operational readiness to implement existing and potential policy directives from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The FOMC authorizes the New York Fed’s Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) to conduct these exercises to test its operational readiness in the Authorization for Domestic Open Market Operations and Authorization for Foreign Currency Operations.

In connection with these authorizations, the Desk intends to conduct one small value forward-settling repo and one small value reverse repo operation during the month of November. Each operation will begin around 9:45 AM ET and end at 10:00 AM ET. The operations will be open to Primary Dealers and/or Reverse Repo Counterparties.  All counterparties will be limited to one $1 million proposition per tranche during each operation. The planned schedule, including operation details, follows below:

Repurchase Agreement Operation:

OPERATION TENOR/TYPE ELIGIBLE COUNTERPARTIES OPERATION DATE SETTLEMENT DATE MATURITY DATE COLLATERAL TYPE MAXIMUM VALUE OF OPERATION
Term Repo Primary Dealers Tues, Nov 5, 2019 Wed, Nov 6, 2019 Fri, Nov 8, 2019 Multi-tranche: Treasury, Agency, Agency MBS $75 million

Reverse Repurchase Agreement Operation:

OPERATION TENOR/TYPE ELIGIBLE COUNTERPARTIES OPERATION DATE SETTLEMENT DATE MATURITY DATE COLLATERAL TYPE OFFERING RATE MAXIMUM VALUE OF OPERATION
Term Reverse Repo Primary Dealers and Reverse Repo Counterparties Tues, Nov 19, 2019 Tues, Nov 19, 2019 Thu, Nov 21, 2019 Single-tranche: Agency MBS -only ON RRP Offering Rate on Nov 19 $175 million

Announcements and results will be posted on the New York Fed’s website at the start and following the completion of each operation.

 

Monetary Base

 

What is Monetary Base

A monetary base is the total amount of a currency that is either in general circulation in the hands of the public or in the commercial bank deposits held in the central bank’s reserves. This measure of the money supply typically only includes the most liquid currencies; it is also known as the “money base.”

 

Breaking Down Monetary Base

The monetary base is a component of a nation’s money supply. It refers strictly to highly liquid funds including notes, coinage and current bank deposits. When the Federal Reserve creates new funds to purchase bonds from commercial banks, the banks see an increase in their holdings, which causes the monetary base to expand.

For example, country Z has 600 million currency units circulating in the public and its central bank has 10 billion currency units in reserve as part of deposits from many commercial banks. In this case, the monetary base for country Z is 10.6 billion currency units.

As of June 2016, the U.S. had a monetary base of almost $3.9 trillion.

 

Monetary Base and the Money Supply

The money supply expands beyond the monetary base to include other assets that may be less liquid in form. It is most commonly divided into levels, listed as M0 through M3 or M4 depending on the system, with each representing a different facet of a nation’s assets. The monetary base’s funds are generally held within the lower levels of the money supply, such as M1 or M2, which encompasses cash in circulation and specific liquid assets including, but not limited to, savings and checking accounts.

To qualify, the funds must be considered a final settlement of a transaction. For example, if a person uses cash to pay a debt, that transaction is final. Additionally, writing a check against money in a checking account, or using a debit card, can also be considered final since the transaction is backed by actual cash deposits once they have cleared.
In contrast, the use of credit to pay a debt does not qualify as part of the monetary base, as this is not the final step to the transaction. This is due to the fact the use of credit just transfers a debt owed from one party, the person or business receiving the credit-based payment and the credit issuer.

Managing Monetary Bases

Most monetary bases are controlled by one national institution, usually a country’s central bank. They can usually change the monetary base (either expanding or contracting) through open market operations or monetary policies.

For many countries, the government can maintain a measure of control over the monetary base by buying and selling government bonds in the open market.

Smaller Scale Monetary Bases and Money Supplies

At the household level, the monetary base consists of all notes and coins in the possession of the household, as well as any funds in deposit accounts. The money supply of a household may be extended to include any available credit open on credit cards, unused portions of lines of credit and other accessible funds that translate into a debt that must be repaid.

 

 

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Ukraine Court Rules Manafort Disclosure Caused ‘Meddling’ in U.S. Election

Paul Manafort, center, arriving for his arraignment hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., in March.
Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

MOSCOW — A court in Ukraine has ruled that officials in the country violated the law by revealing, during the 2016 presidential election in the United States, details of suspected illegal payments to Paul Manafort.

In 2016, while Mr. Manafort was chairman of the Trump campaign, anti-corruption prosecutors in Ukraine disclosed that a pro-Russian political party had earmarked payments for Mr. Manafort from an illegal slush fund. Mr. Manafort resigned from the campaign a week later.

The court’s ruling that what the prosecutors did was illegal comes as the Ukrainian government, which is deeply reliant on the United States for financial and military aid, has sought to distance itself from matters related to the special counsel’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential race.

Some of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has dealt with Mr. Manafort’s decade of work in Ukraine advising the country’s Russia-aligned former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, his party and the oligarchs behind it.

After President Trump’s victory, some politicians in Ukraine criticized the public release by prosecutors of the slush fund records, saying the move would complicate Ukraine’s relations with the Trump administration.

In Ukraine, investigations into the payments marked for Mr. Manafort were halted for a time and never led to indictments. Mr. Manafort’s conviction in the United States on financial fraud charges related to his work in Ukraine was not based on any known legal assistance from Ukraine.

Two Ukrainian members of Parliament had pressed for investigations into whether the prosecutors’ revelation of the payment records, which were first published in The New York Times, had violated Ukrainian laws that, in some cases, prohibit prosecutors from revealing evidence before a trial.

Both lawmakers asserted that if the release of the slush fund information broke the law, then it should be viewed as an illegal effort to influence the United States presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton by damaging the Trump campaign.

Artem Sytnik, the head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, said he had revealed the information about Paul Manafort “in accordance with the law in effect at the time.”
Credit…Oleksandr Stashevskyi/Associated Press

The Kiev District Administrative Court, in a statement issued Wednesday, said that Artem Sytnik, the head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the agency that had released information about the payments, had violated the law. The court’s statement said this violation “resulted in meddling in the electoral process of the United States in 2016 and damaged the national interests of Ukraine.”

 

A spokeswoman for the anti-corruption bureau said she could not comment before the court released a full text of the ruling. In an interview last June, Mr. Sytnik said he had revealed the information “in accordance with the law in effect at the time.”

The court also faulted a member of Ukraine’s Parliament, Serhiy A. Leshchenko, who had commented on Mr. Manafort’s case and publicized at a news conference materials that the anti-corruption bureau had already posted on its website.

Mr. Leshchenko said he would appeal the ruling, and that the court was not independent and was doing the bidding of the Ukrainian government as it sought to curry favor with the Trump administration.

“This decision of the court is for Poroshenko to find a way to Trump’s heart,” he said, referring to President Petro O. Poroshenko. “At the next meeting with Trump, he will say, ‘You know, an independent Ukrainian court decided investigators made an inappropriate move.’ He will find the loyalty of the Trump administration.”

Mr. Leshchenko said the prosecutors’ revelations about Mr. Manafort were legal because they were “public interest information,” even if they were also potential evidence in a criminal investigation.

Mr. Manafort has not been charged with a crime in Ukraine, and earlier this year, Ukrainian officials froze several investigations into Mr. Manafort’s payments at a time when the government was negotiating with the Trump administration to purchase sophisticated anti-tank missiles, called Javelins.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general said the delay on Mr. Manafort’s cases was unrelated to the missile negotiations. In total, the United States provides about $600 million in bilateral aid to Ukraine annually.

Earlier this month, the special counsel accused Mr. Manafort of violating a cooperation agreement by lying. Two of the five alleged lies, according to the filing, related to meetings or conversations with Konstantin V. Kilimnik, Mr. Manafort’s former office manager in Kiev, whom the special counsel’s office has identified as tied to Russian intelligence and as a key figure in the investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Ukrainian law enforcement officials last year allowed Mr. Kilimnik to leave for Russia, putting him out of reach for questioning.

Let’s get real: Democrats were first to enlist Ukraine in US elections

Story 6: Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist “Beto” Robert Francis O’Rourke Leaves Race — Crisis and Fear Monger — Will Not Be Missed By American People  — Videos

Watch: O’Rourke Gives Farewell Campaign Speech | NBC News

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The Pronk Pops Show 1346, October 28, 2019, Story 1: United States Military Special Operators Force Suicide of ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — Videos — Story 2: Democrats Still Pushing Impeachment Despite No Evidence of High Crimes and Misdemeanors — Videos — Story 3: Joe Biden The Marathon Man For President — Videos

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Story 1: United States Military Special Operators Force Suicide of ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — Videos –

See the source image

President Trump Announces ISIS Leader Killed in US Military Raid

President Donald Trump announces the death of Islamic State Leader al-Baghdadi

Trump confirms death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Mike Pompeo goes inside the mission that killed al-Baghdadi

‘It was a brilliantly executed operation’: Defense secretary on al-Baghdadi raid | ABC News

‘He died like a dog’ Trump addresses the nation and says ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died ‘whimpering and crying and screaming’

  • Donald Trump announced Sunday morning that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead 
  • U.S.-led forces descended on al-Baghdadi’s lair in Idlib, Syria overnight 
  • The president said al-Baghdadi ‘died like a dog’ after being run down a dead-end tunnel and cornered
  • Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children
  • Eleven children were cleared from the lair
  • Baghdadi’s two wives were killed during the operation without their suicide vests being detonated
  • Trump teased Saturday night that he would be making a ‘major statement’ 
  • Al-Baghdadi issued a chilling call to arms in 2014 declaring an Islamic ‘caliphate’ 
  • Under his leadership, smaller-scale higher-frequency attacks became the norm 
  • Trump says he does not regret pulling U.S. forces from northern Syria 

 

Donald Trump announced Sunday morning that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ‘died like a dog’ as the result of a U.S. Special Ops forces raid on his hideout in northwest Syria.

‘Last night the United State brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,’ Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room, where just a week earlier he announced a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds.

‘He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world,’ he continued as he described the events of the raid.

Al-Baghdadi, the president confirmed, detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three children, during an overnight targeted attack in Syria’s Idlib province.

The president touted the operation and al-Baghdadi’s death as ‘bigger than bin Laden.’ Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda and the terrorist leader behind the September 11 terrorist attacks, was killed in 2011 during a Navy SEALs operation during Barack Obama’s presidency.

‘This is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center. This is a man who built a whole, as he would like to call it, a country,’ Trump said, referencing al-Baghdadi’s creation of the Islamic State.

Donald Trump addressed the nation Sunday morning, confirming that the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He said he had watched and monitored the whole operation Saturday night

Donald Trump addressed the nation Sunday morning, confirming that the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He said he had watched and monitored the whole operation Saturday night

Meeting in the situation room Saturday night (from left to right): National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark Milley and Brig. General Marcus Evans

Meeting in the situation room Saturday night (from left to right): National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark Milley and Brig. General Marcus Evans

Trump also referred to al-Baghdadi and those who followed him as ‘losers,’ and lauded that no U.S. personnel were lost during the raid. He did say, however, that one ‘talented canine’ was injured.

‘I got to watch much of it. No personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him,’ Trump said during his rare Sunday morning remarks.

‘He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way,’ Trump continued, adding that Baghdadi drug three of his children with him. ‘They were led to certain death.’

‘He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast. the tunnel had caved in on it, in addition. But test results gave certain, immediate and totally positive identification. It was him. The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him,’ he detailed.

he White House confirmed that Trump watched and listened to the operations unfold in the Situation room Saturday night – Sunday morning Syria time – with National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark Milley and Brig. General Marcus Evans.

The president said, while claiming he’s been looking for Baghdadi ever since assuming office, that he’s potentially the only one better at ‘using the internet’ than ISIS forces.

‘A couple of weeks ago they were able to scope him out,’ Trump said of the U.S. intelligence community.

‘You know, these people are very smart, they are not into the use of cell phones any more. They’re very technically brilliant,’ the president said in reference to those working for ISIS.

‘You know, they use the internet better than almost anybody in the world, perhaps other than Donald Trump,’ he continued. ‘But they use the internet incredibly well and what they’ve done with the internet through recruiting and everything – and that is why he died like a dog, he died like a coward. He was whimpering, screaming and crying, and frankly I think it’s something that should be brought out so that his followers and all of these young kids that want to leave various countries – including the United States – they should see how he died. He didn’t die a hero, he died a coward – crying, whimpering, and screaming and bringing three kids with him to die. Certain death.’

The president teased Saturday night, ‘Something very big has just happened!’ and the White House also announced that night that the president would be ‘making a major statement’ Sunday morning from the White House.

Trump said he does not regret his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which opened the way for Turkey to invade and target Kurdish forces.

Caliphate leader: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated his own suicide vest during the targeted raid on his lair in Syria's Idlib province and killed three of his children in the blast. He is shown in a still from a video released in April, having not been seen since he spoke at the Grand Mosque in Mosul in 2014

Caliphate leader: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated his own suicide vest during the targeted raid on his lair in Syria’s Idlib province and killed three of his children in the blast. He is shown in a still from a video released in April, having not been seen since he spoke at the Grand Mosque in Mosul in 2014

Syrians ride a motorcycle past a burnt vehicle near the site where a helicopter gunfire reportedly killed nine people near the northwestern Syrian village of Barisha

Syrians ride a motorcycle past a burnt vehicle near the site where a helicopter gunfire reportedly killed nine people near the northwestern Syrian village of Barisha

Al-Baghdadi arrived at the area of the raid 48 hours beforehand, Turkish officials said – and the CIA assisted in locating him.

Information is now emerging over how the U.S. was able to track down Baghdadi, including details of his whereabouts from two inside informants.

A senior Iraqi intelligence official told the Associated Press that a few months ago an Iraqi aide to al-Baghdadi was killed in western Iraq by a U.S. airstrike, and his wife was arrested and handed over to Iraqi authorities.

The official indicated that the wife ended up being a key source of information on al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts. The Iraqis who had her in custody were ultimately able to pass along to the U.S. coordinates on al-Baghdadi through information they learned from the aide’s wife.

A second Iraqi security official said al-Baghdadi’s brother-in-law was recently arrested by the Iraqis and also gave information on Baghdadi’s whereabouts

The ISIS leader’s two wives, who were both wearing explosive devices that never detonated, were taken down. Several of his children were taken from the lair and are still alive. Several others were killed in the attack.

Trump said more people were killed than captured, but confirmed there are some in U.S. custody.

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) confirmed on Sunday they had worked with the U.S. on a ‘successful’ operation against Islamic State.

‘Our strong and effective operations once again confirm our strength and determination to go after (Islamic State),’ the head of the SDF’s media office said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces is an alliance in the Syrian Civil War made up of primarily Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian/Syriac militias.

SDF General Commander Mazloum Abdi took partial credit for taking down al-Baghdadi, but also thanked the president and U.S. Army in its efforts, which he said have been under way for almost half-a-year.

‘For five months there has been joint intel cooperation on the ground and accurate monitoring, until we achieved a joint operation to kill Abu Bakir al-Baghdadi. Thanks to everybody who participate in this great mission,’ Abdi tweeted, tagging Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the so-called Islamic caliphate, blew himself up during the targeted attack on his lair in Syria's Idlib province in the early hours of Sunday morning. His lair was in a village known for smuggling, and he arrived there 48 hours before the raid

The ISIS leader has been among U.S. and Europe’s force’s most wanted figures since his chilling call to arms in 2014, which saw a shift away from the mass casualty attacks carried out by al-Qaeda in favor of smaller-scale acts of violence.

Shifting away from the airline hijackings and other mass-casualty attacks that came to define al-Qaeda, al-Baghdadi encouraged smaller-scale acts of violence that would be harder for law enforcement to prepare for and prevent.

He encouraged jihadists who could not travel to the caliphate to instead kill where they were using whatever weapon they had at their disposal, resulting in a series of devastating attacks in the UK and Europe.

His words inspired more than 140 terrorist attacks in 29 countries other than Iraq and Syria, resulting in the deaths of at least 2,043 people, CNN reports.

Since 2016, the State Department has offered a reward of up to $25 million for information or intelligence that could lead to Baghdadi’s capture or death.

Al-Baghdadi led ISIS for the last five years, presiding over its ascendancy as it cultivated a barbaric reputation for beheadings and horrific executions.

These recordings, often noted for their high production values, were distributed online along with the ISIS propaganda magazine Dabiq.

He remained among the few ISIS commanders still at large despite multiple claims in recent years about his death and even as his so-called caliphate dramatically shrank, with many supporters who joined the cause either imprisoned or jailed.

A picture taken on October 27, 2019 shows a burnt vehicle at the site where a helicopter gunfire killed nine people near the northwestern Syrian village of Barisha in the province of Idlib near the border with Turkey

A picture taken on October 27, 2019 shows a burnt vehicle at the site where a helicopter gunfire killed nine people near the northwestern Syrian village of Barisha in the province of Idlib near the border with Turkey

Trump teased, without explanation on Saturday that 'Something very big has just happened!' and the White House confirmed the president would be addressing the nation on Sunday morning

Trump teased, without explanation on Saturday that ‘Something very big has just happened!’ and the White House confirmed the president would be addressing the nation on Sunday morning

With a £19.5 million ($25m) bounty on his head, al-Baghdadi had been far less visible in recent years, releasing only sporadic audio recordings, including one just last month in which he called on members of the extremist group to do all they could to free ISIS detainees and women held in jails and camps.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported an attack carried out by a squadron of eight helicopters accompanied by a warplane.

The attacks were on positions where ISIS  operatives were believed to be hiding in the Barisha area north of Idlib city, after midnight on Saturday-Sunday.

It said the helicopters targeted ISIS positions with heavy strikes for about 120 minutes, during which jihadists targeted the helicopters with heavy weapons.

The Syrian Observatory documented the death of nine people as a result of the coalition helicopter attack, adding that the death toll is likely to rise due to the presence of a large number of wounded.

The strike came amid concerns that a recent American pullback from northeastern Syria could infuse new strength into the militant group, which had lost vast stretches of territory it had once controlled.

The purported audio was his first public statement since last April, when he appeared in a video for the first time in five years.

Reports suggest that al-Baghdadi, the elusive militant who has been the subject of an international manhunt for years, had been killed in Idlib, Syria

Reports suggest that al-Baghdadi, the elusive militant who has been the subject of an international manhunt for years, had been killed in Idlib, Syria

In 2014, he was a black-robed figure delivering a sermon from the pulpit of Mosul’s Great Mosque of al-Nuri, his only known public appearance.

He urged Muslims around the world to swear allegiance to the caliphate and obey him as its leader.

‘It is a burden to accept this responsibility to be in charge of you,’ he said in the video.

‘I am not better than you or more virtuous than you. If you see me on the right path, help me. If you see me on the wrong path, advise me and halt me. And obey me as far as I obey God.’

The death of such a high-value U.S. target comes amid a difficult political backdrop for Trump, who has been frustrated heavy media focus on the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, which he calls a bipartisan smear.

He has also faced withering criticism from both Republicans and Democrats alike for his U.S. troop withdrawal from northeastern Syria, which permitted Turkey to attack America’s Kurdish allies.

The rise and fall of the Islamic State

The Islamic State group erupted from the chaos of Syria and Iraq’s conflicts, declaring itself a ‘caliphate’ after conquering a giant stretch of territory.

Its territorial rule, which at its height in 2014 stretched across nearly a third of both Syria and Iraq, ended in March with a last stand by several hundred of its militants at a tiny Syrian village on the banks of the Euphrates near the border with Iraq.

But the militants have maintained a presence in both countries, and their shadowy leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had continued releasing messages urging them to keep up the fight.

Here are the key moments in the rise and fall of the Islamic State group:

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - who was also known as Caliph Ibrahim - released a propaganda video in 2014 where he addressed Muslim worshipers at a mosque in Mosul

April 2013 – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announces the merger of his group with al-Qaeda’s franchise in Syria, forming the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

January 2014 – Al-Baghdadi’s forces overrun the city of Fallujah in Iraq’s western Anbar province and parts of the nearby provincial capital of Ramadi. In Syria, they seize sole control of the city of Raqqa after driving out rival Syrian rebel factions, and it becomes their de facto capital.

February 2014 – Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri disavows al-Baghdadi after the Iraqi militant ignores his demands that IS leave Syria.

June 2014 – IS captures Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and pushes south as Iraqi forces crumble, eventually capturing Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit and reaching the outskirts of Baghdad. When they threaten Shiite holy sites, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric issues a call to arms, and masses of volunteers, largely backed and armed by Iran, join militias.

June 29, 2014 – The group renames itself the Islamic State and declares the establishment of a self-styled ‘caliphate’ in its territories in Iraq and Syria. Al-Baghdadi is declared the caliph.

July 4, 2014 – Al-Baghdadi makes his first public appearance, delivering a Friday sermon in Mosul’s historic al-Nuri Mosque. He urges Muslims around the world to swear allegiance to the caliphate and obey him as its leader.

August 2014 – IS captures the town of Sinjar west of Mosul and begins a systematic slaughter of the tiny Yazidi religious community. Women and girls are kidnapped as sex slaves; hundreds remain missing to this day.

August 8, 2014 – The U.S. launches its campaign of airstrikes against IS in Iraq.

September 22, 2014 – The U.S.-led coalition begins an aerial campaign against IS in Syria.

January, 2015 – Iraqi Kurdish fighters, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, drive IS out of several towns north of Mosul. In Syria, Kurdish fighters backed by U.S. airstrikes repel an IS onslaught on the town of Kobani on the border with Turkey, the first significant defeat for IS.

April 1, 2015 – U.S.-backed Iraqi forces retake Tikrit, their first major victory against IS.

May 20, 2015 – IS captures the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, where the extremists later destroy archaeological treasures.

February 9, 2016 – Iraqi forces recapture Ramadi after months of fighting and at enormous cost, with thousands of buildings destroyed. Almost the entire population fled the city.

June 26, 2016 – Fallujah is declared liberated by Iraqi forces after a five-week battle.

July 3, 2016 – IS sets off a gigantic suicide truck bomb outside a Baghdad shopping mall, killing almost 300 people, the deadliest attack in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

October 17, 2016 – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announces the start of the operation to liberate Mosul.

Iraqi Army soldiers celebrate as they hold an IS flag, which they captured during a raid on a village outside Mosul in November 2016

Iraqi Army soldiers celebrate as they hold an IS flag, which they captured during a raid on a village outside Mosul in November 2016

November 5, 2016 – The U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces launch Operation Euphrates Wrath, the first of five operations aiming to retake Raqqa, starting with an encircling of the city.

January 24, 2017 – Al-Abadi announces eastern Mosul has been ‘fully liberated’.

May 10, 2017 – SDF captures the strategic Tabqa dam after weeks of battles and a major airlift operation that brought SDF fighters and their U.S. advisers to the area. The fall of the dam facilitated the push on Raqqa, about 25 miles away.

June 6, 2017 – SDF fighters begin an attack on Raqqa from three sides, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

June 18, 2017 – Iraqi forces launch battle for Mosul’s Old City, the last IS stronghold there.

June 21, 2017 – IS destroys Mosul’s iconic al-Nuri Mosque and its 12th century leaning minaret as Iraqi forces close in.

July 10, 2017 – Iraqi PM declares victory over IS in Mosul and end of the extremists’ caliphate in Iraq.

October 17, 2017 – SDF takes full control of Raqqa after months of heavy bombardment that devastates the city.

September – December, 2017 – Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air power and Iranian forces, recapture IS territory on the western bank of the Euphrates River, seizing the cities of Deir el-Zour, Mayadin and Boukamal on the border with Iraq.

Isis lost its hold over Mosul in July 2017 but the city suffered severe bombing

Isis lost its hold over Mosul in July 2017 but the city suffered severe bombing

August 23, 2018 – IS leader al-Baghdadi resurfaces in his first purported audio recording in almost a year; he urges followers to ‘persevere’ and continue fighting.

September 10, 2018 – SDF launches a ground offensive, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, to take the last territory held by IS in Syria’s eastern province of Deir el-Zour.

March 23, 2019 – SDF declares the complete capture of Baghouz and the end of the Islamic State group’s territorial ‘caliphate’.

October 27, 2019 – President Donald Trump announced that al-Baghdadi was killed during a US. Special Ops forces raid on his hideout in northwest Syria. Trump said the ‘violent terror leader’ died after running into a dead-end tunnel, and detonating his suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children.

  – Source: Associated Press

Story 2: Delusional Democrats Still Pushing Impeachment Despite No Evidence of High Crimes and Misdemeanors — Videos —

See the source image

Varney: Dems still pushing impeachment despite al-Baghdadi triumph

Trump blasts Adam Schiff: ‘He’s a corrupt politician’

Trump calls impeachment inquiry a ‘lynching’

 

Story 3: Joe Biden The Marathon Man For President — Videos

JOE BIDEN LEAD IS FADING: Could Pete Buttigieg Win the 2020 Democratic Nomination?

Joe Biden slips in latest New Hampshire poll

Biden unconcerned about Warren’s rise

Behind Biden’s bounce back

Joe Biden in Danger of Humiliating Loss in Iowa, Top Democrats Warn

2020 Daily Trail Markers: Biden campaigns in Iowa as others rise in polling

Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden In Statistical Dead Heat In Iowa: Poll | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Joe Biden Adds To Lead And Warren Surges In New NBC Poll Of 2020 Democrats | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

See the source image

UPDATED DATA 10/28/2019

POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE
The State of the Democratic Primary

On a daily basis, Morning Consult is surveying over 5,000 registered voters across the United States on the 2020 presidential election. Every Monday, we’ll update this page with the latest survey data, offering an in-depth guide to how the race for the Democratic nomination is shaping up.

 

To receive an early look at this report, and other key 2020 data, sign up here.

Who’s Leading Now

The figures are broken out among Democratic primary voters nationwide and in early primary states, which includes just voters who live in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada. The latest results are based on 15,431 survey interviews conducted between Oct. 21-27, 2019.

1
Joe Biden Former Vice President
32%
2
Bernie Sanders U.S. Senator
20%
Elizabeth Warren U.S. Senator
20%
4
Pete Buttigieg Mayor
7%
5
Kamala Harris U.S. Senator
6%
6
Andrew Yang Business Person
3%
7
Cory Booker U.S. Senator
2%
Tulsi Gabbard U.S. Representative
2%
Amy Klobuchar U.S. Senator
2%
2%
1%
1%
1%
1%
1%
0%
1%
SEE MORE CANDIDATES

Tracking The Field Over Time

Hover over or click each line to track how support for candidates has changed week to week.

Select Options
All
None
 Andrew Yang
 Amy Klobuchar
 Bernie Sanders
 Beto O’Rourke
 Bill de Blasio
 Cory Booker
 Elizabeth Warren
 Joe Biden
 John Delaney
 Julian Castro
 Kamala Harris
 Marianne Williamson
 Michael Bennet
 Pete Buttigieg
 Steve Bullock
 Tulsi Gabbard
 Tom Steyer
 Tim Ryan
AMONG DEMOCRATIC VOTERSJan-13-201917-Feb24-Mar28-Apr2-Jun7-Jul11-Aug15-Sep20-Oct0%10%20%30%40%

Second Choices: Where Voters Could Migrate

After voters registered their first choice, they were asked a follow-up about whom they would choose as a second option. The results below show where the supporters for a selection of leading candidates could go next. Hover over or click cards to see more.

BIDEN SUPPORTERS
Elizabeth Warren
U.S. Senator
BIDEN SUPPORTERS
Second Choice Selections

Elizabeth Warren

28%

Bernie Sanders

26%

Pete Buttigieg

9%
WARREN SUPPORTERS
Bernie Sanders
U.S. Senator
WARREN SUPPORTERS
Second Choice Selections

Bernie Sanders

28%

Joe Biden

25%

Pete Buttigieg

14%
SANDERS SUPPORTERS
Joe Biden
Former Vice President
SANDERS SUPPORTERS
Second Choice Selections

Joe Biden

30%

Elizabeth Warren

28%

Kamala Harris

6%
BUTTIGIEG SUPPORTERS
Elizabeth Warren
U.S. Senator
BUTTIGIEG SUPPORTERS
Second Choice Selections

Elizabeth Warren

28%

Joe Biden

20%

Bernie Sanders

11%
HARRIS SUPPORTERS
Elizabeth Warren
U.S. Senator
HARRIS SUPPORTERS
Second Choice Selections

Elizabeth Warren

25%

Joe Biden

22%

Bernie Sanders

14%

Tracking Name Recognition and Favorability

Respondents were asked whether they had a favorable impression of each of the following, and also had the option of saying they hadn’t heard of that person or had no opinion about them.

 Favorable
 Heard Of, No Opinion
 Never Heard Of
 Unfavorable
Bernie Sanders U.S. Senator
76%6%1%17%
Joe Biden Former Vice President
74%7%1%19%
Elizabeth Warren U.S. Senator
68%11%6%15%
Kamala Harris U.S. Senator
55%15%11%19%
Beto O’Rourke Former U.S. Representative
45%20%17%18%
Cory Booker U.S. Senator
47%19%18%16%
Julian Castro Former Secretary, HUD
34%27%19%19%
Pete Buttigieg Mayor
48%18%21%13%
Andrew Yang Business Person
40%23%23%14%
Amy Klobuchar U.S. Senator
34%23%27%16%
John Delaney Former U.S. Representative
18%37%31%14%
Tim Ryan U.S. Representative
21%32%31%16%
Tulsi Gabbard U.S. Representative
21%23%33%23%
Michael Bennet U.S. Senator
20%33%35%12%
Tom Steyer Business Person
26%24%36%14%
Marianne Williamson Activist & Author
17%24%37%22%
Steve Bullock Governor
18%32%39%12%

Methodology

About Morning Consult Political Intelligence

On a daily basis, Morning Consult surveys over 5,000 registered voters across the United States. Along with 2020 presidential election data, Political Intelligence tracks the approval ratings for all governorssenators, House members, the president, and more at the national, state and congressional district level.

Each week, we will release a report with the most important findings on the 2020 election. Sign up to receive that report in your inbox here.

Results from the most recent update

This page was last updated on October 28, 2019.

Our Democratic primary results are reported using 15,431 interviews with registered voters who indicated they may vote in the Democratic primary or caucus in their state. For those who say don’t know or no opinion, they are asked to pick a candidate they are leaning toward. Results are reported among first choice and those who lean toward a candidate. The interviews were collected October 21-27, 2019, and have a margin of error of +/- 1%. The “Early Primary State Voters” demographic consists of 611 voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, and has a margin of error of +/- 4%.

In the case of a tie, candidates are ordered alphabetically by last name.

https://morningconsult.com/2020-democratic-primary-2/

 

The Zombie Campaign

Joe Biden is the least formidable front-runner ever. Will it matter?

Vice President Joe Biden at a campaign rally in Philadelphia on May 18, 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Inevitably, he arrives late, by SUV or van. The former vice-president is thin and, yes, he’s old. He dresses neatly and always in blue. Staff envelop him. There’s the body man, the advance man, the videographer, the photographer, the digital director, the traveling chief of staff, the traveling press secretary, the local press secretary, the adviser, the other adviser, the adviser’s adviser, the surrogate, the other surrogate, and the bodyguard.

The looming presence of the last guy, Jim, is especially important for optics. Jim is tall and official-looking. He greets the world chest-first, his hands resting in a dignified clasp, his expression even, his mouth unmoving. Most people assume that he’s a Secret Service agent. Which he was.

But ex-VPs don’t get security for life the way ex-presidents do. Most people don’t know that, not even the politically savvy types who attend these sorts of things. And that’s all for the best, because Jim — or whatever local guy they’ve got filling in for him in Iowa or New Hampshire or Nevada or wherever else — is a necessary component of the vibe they’re trying to generate here, the Big Presidential Energy, if you will, that powers this production.

And it is a production. This is true even when the event is small, which it often is, because the stakes never are — Joe Biden speaking off the cuff is something the entire campaign seems focused on preventing at all costs. Inside the community center or union hall or college auditorium, the stage is crafted just so. The red and blue letters — each roughly the size of a 9-year-old — spell IOWA 4 BIDEN. The American flag is stretched taut and stapled to the plywood. The lawn sign is stapled to the lectern. The delicate panes of teleprompter glass angle to meet his hopeful gaze, so that he may absorb the programmed speech as he peers out at his audience, which usually skews quite old and white, unless he’s in South Carolina.

This first part — the reading of the speech — he almost always gets right. Even when he makes changes, rearranging the order of the words, skipping over a few, adding others, how could he not get it right? He’s been delivering some version of it for more than 40 years and living it for longer. He could deliver it in his sleep, if he ever sleeps. It’s like my father always said: Joey, a job is about more than just a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about being able to look your child in the eye and say, “It’s gonna be okay …” There is an undercurrent of shame that pulses throughout, this idea that the unequalness of our society is embarrassing for those who have access to less, rather than embarrassing for those who have more than anyone could need.

Folks … Not a joke! He’s always saying something rather solemn, about cancer or immigration, and then adding, “Not a joke!” as if anyone thought it might be. I’m being serious here … Come on … The bottom line is … I’m not kidding around … The fact of the matter is … Barack and me … Folks … Folks … Folks … folks … folks … folks … folks … folks … folks … folks … FOLKS … folks … FoLkS … fOlKs … F. O. L. K. S. …

And this next part — the greeting of the voters — he gets right, too. In this context, he possesses an almost mystical quality that, for whatever reason, does not come across when filtered through the kaleidoscope of newsprint or television. It’s the way he focuses his eyes, which are as blue as the seas, except for (yikes) that time the left eye filled with blood on CNN a few weeks back.

He is swarmed. Women reach out to him, linking their arms in his. He bows his head and lifts their hands to his mouth for a kiss and, later, when you ask them if that makes them uncomfortable, they look at you like you have three heads. This is the best day of their lives. Are you insane? There are men, too, who embrace him, wrapping their hands around his neck. He calls every male-presenting human he encounters “man.” I watched him call a baby “man.” As in, Hey! How­areya, man?! He is as skilled a selfie-taker as any influencer, and in the span of 30 or 40 minutes, he snaps hundreds, leaning his body against the rope that separates him from the crowd, straining it one, two, three feet forward. He really does connect with every living being this way, talking about their jobs or their health care as he listens, sometimes crying with them, whispering in their ears, taking their phone numbers and promising to call them. He does, in fact, do that. Everybody is Joe Biden’s long-lost friend. Every baby is Joe Biden’s long-lost child. A little girl in Iowa City called him her uncle Joe. On the Fourth of July in the town of Independence, he took off, running through the parade like a dingo with somebody’s newborn. As hard as it might be to believe that anything in this realm could not be bullshit, it’s simply true that this isn’t.

His own loss is staggering in its scale and cruelty: Neilia, his wife, and Naomi, his infant daughter, killed in a car crash. Beau, his oldest son, who survived that crash with his brother, Hunter, killed decades later by brain cancer. And it’s as though in that loss he’s gained access to an otherwise imperceptible wavelength on which he communicates in this way, with the eyes and the hands.

“I don’t know how to describe it, but sometimes some people would walk up with a lot of emotion in their face, and without even hearing their story, he could connect with them,” John Flynn, who served as Biden’s senior adviser in the White House, said. “He would know it was either one thing or another, and he would just know how to approach them and to get them to gently open up if they wanted to. And if they didn’t want to, he just said, ‘Hey, I’m with you, and I’m there for you. I feel your pain.’ ”

Chris Coons was an intern for Biden in the Senate and is now a United States senator from Delaware himself. He told me about Loretta Wootten, a former colleague who in January went into a coma after a car crash that killed her husband. “I went to visit Loretta when she regained consciousness, and she looks at me, and she says, ‘Does Joe know I’m here?’ That’s her first sentence. I said, ‘I don’t know. I mean, he’s running for president.’ And, she says, ‘I just would love to hear from him.’ The next time I see him, I say, ‘Do you remember Loretta Wootten?’ and he smiles and he says, ‘Of course.’ I said, ‘Well, Loretta’s husband was just killed in a car accident, and she’s in recovery.’ And he gets this look, and he turned to someone and said, ‘Get me a piece of paper.’ And he writes out this page-long, heartfelt message to her, hands it to me, and says, ‘Please get this to her.’ When I delivered that to her, she wept with joy.”

I have witnessed this kind of connection at nearly all of the countless events I’ve attended in a half-dozen states in the six months since Biden announced his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. If he ever does sleep, surely Joe Biden dreams as he proselytizes, of an unbroken America, its ideals and reputation restored, where everybody is folks and folks have everything they need and maybe some of what they want, where the field is just even enough that nobody is ashamed of their own place on it, and where the president isn’t an idiot but where you can easily deal with the idiots by kicking the shit out of them out back in a parking lot or something. Crucially, in this dream, Joe Biden is the president.

A campaign event in New Hampshire in October. Photo: M. Scott Brauer

The pitch goes like this: Joe Biden ought to be the nominee because he’s electable, a meaningless concept if recent history is any guide, and presidential, that wonderful word — the thing Donald Trump could never be even though he literally is president — despite the fact that Biden, who appears by almost any measure to be a good man, a man whose lone sin in life is ego (and does that even count anymore?), has spent a half-century grasping for this position and watching it slip through his fingers.

To anyone paying attention — the army of political professionals more wired to observe shortcomings than are those likely to actually vote for him or for anyone else — it looks, unmistakably, like it’s happening again. His vulnerabilities are close to the surface. There’s the basic fact of his oldness and the concerns, explicit or implicit, about his ability to stay agile and alive for four more years. This was true of Biden, who is 76, even more than it was true of Bernie Sanders, who is the oldest candidate at 78, up until Sanders had a heart attack while campaigning in Nevada earlier this month. (It’s not true at all of Elizabeth Warren, who is 70 but seems a decade younger. And it’s not exactly true of Trump, who is 73 and really just seems crazy, not old.)

But it’s not just his age itself. It’s his tendency to misspeak, his inartful debating style, and — most of all — his status as a creature from another time in the Democratic Party, when the politics of race and crime and gender were unrecognizably different. It’s not just that the Joe Biden of yesteryear sometimes peeks out from behind the No. 1 Obama Stan costume. It’s that the Joe Biden of today is expected to hold his former self accountable to the new standards set by a culture that’s prepared to reject him. And though he’s the party Establishment’s obvious exemplar, he can’t seem to raise any money — spending more in the last quarter than he brought in and moving into the homestretch with less than $9 million in the bank (roughly a third of what Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders has on hand). For political reporters, marveling every day at just how well this isn’t going, watching Biden can feel like being at the rodeo. You’re there because on some level you know you might see someone get killed.

Yet Biden is still the front-runner. Volatile and potentially worthless as they may be, it’s what the polls say. Biden leads the field on average by a handful of percentage points, though his lead has trended steadily downward, from a high of 33 in May to 20 in June to 11, and then to 9.9, and 6.6, and 5.4, according to RealClearPolitics. In the whole campaign, there has only been one day — October 8 — when he slipped to second place, an average of 0.2 points behind Warren. He’s also the front-runner in South Carolina, Nevada, California, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida. “There is this sense of hanging on. And perhaps he can. But that’s generally not the way the physics of these things work,” former Obama adviser David Axelrod told me. “Generally, you’re either moving up or moving down. Warren is clearly moving up. There’s no sign that he is.”

Biden is aware that it’s not going well. But it’s not apparent that he knows how to fix it. Recently, according to his staff, his anxieties have manifested more visibly. If he begins to question something small, he spirals, eventually questioning everything. Should he be saying this in his speech? Wait, should he be giving this speech at all? Should he even be focusing on this group? Is this even the right position? He freaks out over minor stuff on the trail that staffers don’t believe he should be concerning himself with and yet is unable to make strategic adjustments. But the staff concern themselves with unimportant matters, too, running what they think is a general-election campaign when they need to be running a primary. Inside the campaign, the Biden brain trust seems to exist more to comfort the candidate than to compel him, and strategy meetings inevitably devolve into meandering, ruminative roundtables that feel purposeless except to fill time in the day. Nobody will tell the candidate in plain terms what they think he needs to change. Not that Biden really listens anyway.

Some on the campaign still believe he can win, in part because they believe he should win. But even to them, the path to a collapse seems clear: Biden loses in Iowa and New Hampshire, where his leads have been steadily declining for months and where, recently, Elizabeth Warren has overtaken him, and then, as a result, loses his sheer aura of electability, too. But inside the campaign, they reportedly see another path, though it might not seem, at first, an optimistic one: Okay, so he loses Iowa and then New Hampshire, but so what? Because he is who he is and represents what he represents — the embodiment of both the white-working-class model of the electorate and the glow of the Obama years — he can weather the losses and march to victory through Super Tuesday and beyond. “Their theory is a long, twilight struggle where they accumulate delegates everywhere as minority voters start playing a larger role,” Axelrod said. “But in reality, it’s tough to be a winner when you keep losing or at least appear to be.”

Biden would obviously like you to think about his age as experience, but another way of thinking about experience is as a record. He’s got a long one. When he was elected to the Senate, Pete Buttigieg was still a decade away from birth. There’s a lot of material, then, for Biden’s critics to work with. All sorts of stuff that doesn’t age well, or doesn’t quite compute, in this season of absolutism: Anita Hill and allegations that he violated the personal space of several women, controversy over his crusade against busing as a desegregation measure and his eagerness to work with segregationist lawmakers. Last week, after Biden attacked Trump for calling his impeachment a “lynching,” video emerged of Biden calling Bill Clinton’s impeachment the same thing. If it was relevant to American political life at any point since Richard Nixon was president, Biden probably said something about it, but it’s new to many younger voters and activists and talking heads now.

Many of them treat Biden’s talking as yet another symptom of his age, but Biden has always been like this. “His major defect is that he goes on and on and on,” Orrin Hatch told the Washington Post in 1986, when Biden was 43. To say he overcame his childhood stutter would be a bad joke, like one of those I BEAT ANOREXIA T-shirts they sell on the Jersey boardwalk in size XXXL.

In Des Moines, in August, he told a crowd, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” Realizing what he’d done, he tried to correct himself. “Wealthy kids,” he said, “black kids, Asian kids. No, I really mean it, but think how we think about it.” Two weeks later, in Keene, New Hampshire, he said, “I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it? And what a neat town. This is sort of a scenic, beautiful town.” (When he returned to New Hampshire the following month, a protester held a sign that read WELCOME TO VERMONT, JOE.) And so on.

Biden is cocooned by family, longtime advisers, and former White House staff. His wife Jill, Val, Mike Donilon, Ted Kaufman, Bruce Reed, Annie Tomasini, Tony Blinken, Steve Ricchetti, Ron Klain. But beyond that small circle, veterans are harder to find on his campaign. Biden is chronically slow to make decisions, and his late entry into the race, which came months after many of his competitors, was an additional challenge to staffing the campaign. Many working at Biden headquarters in Philadelphia have no experience on a presidential campaign, and some have never worked on any campaign at all; even those closest to the candidate address him, deferentially, as “sir.”

“Some of these folks who have never worked on a presidential before are like, ‘Okay, I’m working for the former vice-president!’ They don’t really feel like it’s slipping,” one senior campaign adviser told me. “There’s such reverence for getting to work for the vice-president that I think, for some of those folks, there’s a mentality of How could we possibly lose? He’s who he is. I don’t think they see that that’s not all it’s gonna take.” (Yes, even Biden’s staff say “folks” the way others say “like” or “um.”)

For many of these staffers, the campaign feels like it should be a coronation. Joe Biden 2020 isn’t a labor of love or ideology. It’s about the proper order of things. It’s about who’s entitled to what. It’s the vehicle by which the Democratic Party Establishment arrives once more to power, the displaced Obama and Clinton professionals reinstalled at the levers. If the Republic is spared in the process — which everybody genuinely wants, sure! — that’s a plus. And it’s great branding. When it comes to the enthusiasm voters wear on their sleeves for Warren or Sanders, the Biden campaign strikes a cool, dismissive pose, as if it could be believed that a candidate for president weren’t preoccupied with such metrics.

The activist wing of the party is a lost cause to Biden just as he’s a lost cause to them. When they show up at his speeches to confront him or protest in support of the Green New Deal, something I’ve witnessed twice in New Hampshire, he attempts to formulate what he surely believes is a respectful response, and yet they don’t think it’s enough, because nothing that he says could be enough because of who he is. Can you blame anyone under the age of 30 for their cynicism, for their hostility?

“Internally, there was always this idea that there would be some point when he wasn’t No. 1,” one senior campaign adviser swears. “To some extent, people were prepped for that. There isn’t a culture inside the campaign right now like, This is a done deal and we’ve lost. The culture is, This is getting real. People are still reacting to that. The question is: Does this now change our strategy and our culture? That’s where we are right now, figuring out what this new stature means.”

Where they are, if you’re keeping track, is slumped. And it’s a strange dynamic — the most qualified candidate in the race, surrounded by entitled staff who don’t understand that they have to fight for the nomination, or even the presidency, but without a real case to make beyond a Democratic succession that would amount to an Obama restoration. “He has no center,” as one person close to the Biden family put it. “He’s literally only a politician. That’s who he is. That’s all he is. Biden is fundamentally a toadie. He’s just political. He needs to kiss ass? He’ll kiss ass.”

“They have him in the candidate-protection program,” Axelrod says. “I don’t know if you can do that. I don’t know if you can get through a whole campaign that way. Either he can hack it or he can’t hack it. If you’re worried the candidate can hurt himself talking to a reporter, that’s a bad sign.” (Biden declined to be interviewed for this story.)

For his part, Biden is consumed with his endorsements, another sign of his perhaps outdated political instincts; getting insiders to declare their support meant something when powerful political machines controlled the primary process, but it has much less relevance to presidential politics today. And the only endorsement that could matter hasn’t materialized. President Barack Obama has remained silent on the 2020 primary even as he saw it fit to involve himself in Canadian affairs, endorsing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. A senior White House official, reflecting on Biden’s weakness, told me Biden should have never even entered the race without knowing he’d have the former president’s support.

Of course, that was always less of a sure thing than it might have seemed. In 2016, Obama went all-in for Hillary, even as his vice-president contemplated a run. In the early stages of this race, he didn’t just avoid aligning himself with Biden but gestured toward other candidates, including unlikely contender Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, possibly to discourage his former veep from running.

And then there’s Hunter Biden himself, who was going to become an issue one way or another. The 49-year-old son of privilege and tragedy, he has had struggles with addiction and run-ins with the law that have been well-documented. The campaign did its best to control the subject, cooperating with a tell-all interview over the summer in which Hunter candidly discussed his drug use and his relationship with his brother’s widow. This is sometimes how flacks think they’ll get ahead of a story: You neuter the shock value by delivering the shock yourself. But when your son is a central character in an impeachment saga likely to preoccupy all of Washington and political news for six months, it’s a hard thing to get ahead of, especially when you don’t really seem to want to engage.

“It’s sort of bewildering,” Axelrod says. “I guess I understand it from a familial, psychological sense. It would just be so much better if he stated the obvious: Even Hunter has said he exercised poor judgment. He won’t even say what his kid said. It’s an obvious question as to why the rules that he’s going to apply in the future didn’t apply in the past. All this was foreseeable … You can’t say, ‘He did nothing wrong,’ and, ‘He’ll never do it again.’ Those things don’t go together. Biden can be stubborn. I think his stubbornness is showing here.” All of that said, Axelrod added, “what Trump is doing is loathsome and outrageous because there’s no evidence that Biden did anything wrong or that Hunter did anything wrong.”

In a certain sense, impeachment creates for Biden what he wanted all along: a direct competition with Trump. Looked at it one way, it’s a story about how the president of the United States was so worried about his formidable opponent that he risked his entire presidency, and even broke the law, to try to stop him. But in other ways, it’s exactly what Biden hoped to avoid: a focus on his most troubled child, the last remaining member of his first family, and the privilege his political and celebrity status affords. Even if he didn’t do anything “wrong,” Trump is right that there’s a swamp, though he doesn’t realize he’s its ugliest creature, and impeachment is a daily reminder that Biden swims there, too. Who could withstand an entire year of character assassination by the president, who is aided by a political media that projects his every statement to the world?

Former vice-president Joe Biden.
Photo: Mark Peterson/Redux/Mark Peterson/Redux

At the Iowa State Fair in August, as candidates took to the stage to deliver their stump speeches and answer questions from the Des Moines Register, I stood off to the side with a few members of the press. We craned our necks downward to squint at a zoomed-in photo of the side of Joe Biden’s head. There, just behind the ear, is where you can supposedly observe the scar from a face-lift, one of many cosmetic procedures Biden is rumored to have had.

The dramatic change to Biden’s appearance is a matter of preoccupation for Biden-watchers. In the timeline of images from throughout his career, you can observe as he grows older and then younger and then older but somehow more elegant and alert. His hair is white now but thicker than it was in the 1980s. He’s thinner, but his cheeks are fuller than they were in 2008. To be honest with you, he looks good. He’s almost 77!

This is also a minor obsession of the White House, as you can probably imagine. Privately, Trump has marveled at the “work” Biden has had done and the fact that, in his opinion, he doesn’t look any better for it. Those who know him say the president is against plastic surgery (by which I assume they don’t mean breast implants) and, especially, bad plastic surgery, and he considers it an all-too-common tragedy when someone has their face inexpertly altered.

A senior White House official who regularly discusses the campaign with Trump was describing how his view of Biden has evolved since the winter. It was then, before Biden declared, that the campaign began conducting polling and sharing the results with Trump himself. The internal numbers were as bad as the external. Biden destroyed Trump. The president’s anxieties only grew as Biden became a more popular topic on cable news. “It was easy to get caught up,” this official said. “The president saw that it’s easier to picture Joe Biden up on the debate stage than some of the others.”

Over time, as Biden formally waded into the race, and the president saw the reality of the candidate as opposed to the idea of Vice-President Joe Biden, he grew less concerned, according to the senior White House official. Biden was no longer “the guy he was worried about.” And one of the reasons was, in Trumpian fashion, “his look.” Though the official adds a few more items to the list as well: “His cadence. His inability to speak. His small crowds.”

Trump has also commented on Biden’s wardrobe choices, wondering why he’d wear Ralph Lauren polo shirts on the campaign trail that show off his graying chest hair and skinny arms. (Trump himself wears polo shirts almost exclusively while golfing).

Inside the White House and the reelection campaign, the true believers know how to decode Trump’s bitchy nicknames for his competitors. As iconic as “Crooked Hillary” and “Lyin’ Ted” may be, his crowning achievement remains “Low Energy,” his characterization of Jeb Bush. “Sleepy Joe” is considered Trump’s attempt at a 2020 remake of “Low Energy,” and it’s all about emphasizing Biden’s age.

In September, somebody had the bright idea to stage an afternoon event under the open sky at the Indian Creek Nature Center in sunny Cedar Rapids. It was the day after news of the whistle-blower broke, but Biden stuck to the event’s topic, climate change, addressing all the usual themes. Then faces began turning upward to the birds overhead. Somebody from Showtime’s The Circus told me the birds were bald eagles, but at the time I thought they looked like hawks, which, I guess, is a sort of glass-half-empty or -half-full dilemma. Eventually, word of the alleged bald eagles made its way to Biden, and with a look of optimism, he turned his face to the sky. He grew emotional. He said that at the Lake House, Beau used to sit by the water and watch the bald eagles fly overhead. The night Beau died, in 2015, Biden said he watched an eagle take off from the lake, circle in the sky, and then fly away. He hadn’t seen another bald eagle since that night, he said, until now. Looking at the bird, he said, “Maybe that’s my Beau.”

Biden wrote a book about his grief, and about his son, called Promise Me, Dad. Therein, he tells a similar story, but with a different bird. That night, he wrote, “Jill spotted a white egret at the far edge of the water.” She told her husband that, as he lay dying, she whispered to Beau to go to the dock, “his happy place,” with his brother. “We watched the egret for twenty minutes, until it finally took flight,” Biden wrote. “The two of us sat in silence as the egret circled overhead repeatedly, slowly gaining altitude, until it finally headed away to the south, beneath the clouds, and gradually disappeared from sight. ‘It’s a sign from God,’ Jill said. ‘Beau being at the lake one last time, and heading for heaven.’ ”

Anne Kearns is an 84-year-old grandmother of 16 and retired professor. For 58 years, she has lived in the modest blue house with black shutters on North Washington Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden lived during the first decade of his life.

“He calls this ‘the Homestead,’ ” she told me last Sunday. We were sitting in the living room, surrounded by framed photos of her large family and one photo of Biden, propped up on the TV stand. For most of his career, Biden was among the least-wealthy members of Congress, an attractive bullet point that he continues to note even after amassing a fortune in his post–White House life. He often claims that “they” call him “Middle-Class Joe.” (As far as I can tell, he is the only person who calls himself this.) But he’s always had a weakness for grand old houses, even before he could really afford them, and an odd habit of referring to his properties by nicknames: North Star (for the Delaware village in which it was located), the Station (his once-bustling home in Wilmington), and the Lake House (self-explanatory). What does Anne call the Homestead in which she lives? “Well, nothing,” she said, laughing.

You could tell the story of Biden’s astonishingly long political career through Anne and through this house.

She first learned there was an interesting man who had once lived here in 1972, when she saw Biden’s ads on TV. At the time, he was running for the U.S. Senate against Cale Boggs, a powerful Republican who had won seven consecutive elections in Delaware, climbing from Congress to the governor’s mansion and ultimately to the Senate. Boggs was 63, and Biden, who at 29 wouldn’t even be eligible to serve in the office he was seeking until two weeks after Election Day, used his seniority against him. “We need some new thinking,” read one of Biden’s advertisements. “He understands what’s happening today,” read another. “My husband said to me — he watched him all the time on TV — and he’d say, ‘Ah, he’s going to be something someday,’ ” Anne said.

In 1988, when Biden was running for president the first time, reporters and authors began knocking on Anne’s door. A boy who lived down the street brought her a signed photo Biden had addressed to her, thanking her for her cooperation in this strange endeavor.

By her count, Biden himself has visited the Homestead six times over the years, once privately with his late mother, who refused to get out of the car despite Anne assuring her that the visit was not a disturbance, and other trips with the media and even Hillary Clinton.

“He came another time with Terry Moran from Nightline, and they walked across the street. At that time, I had a leg done, and so my niece was sitting where you are” — she gestured to my chair — “and she said, ‘I think that’s Joe Biden coming.’ I thought, No, he was here two weeks ago. My nephew stood up, and he said, ‘Anne, it is Joe Biden.’ They had left a message on my phone and I didn’t hear it.”

In 2008, the Obama-Biden campaign staged a formal event here with 400 people plus Secret Service sweeping through and rows of seating set up next door for reporters. Biden went upstairs to his old bedroom and signed the wall. Anne keeps photos from that day in an album underneath the television, and in them, Biden can be seen writing in black Sharpie, I AM HOME — JOE BIDEN 9 * 1 * 08. By then, Biden had served in the Senate for 25 years and run for president twice — once disastrously, ending in a plagiarism scandal, and once unremarkably, ending in a vice-presidential campaign.

The whole neighborhood, Anne said, took pride in him, supported him. Even the old lady across the street, whose sons told her she wasn’t allowed to speak to reporters or let them into the house anymore, still loves Joe Biden.

Age isn’t just a weakness for Biden. There are a lot of old people in America, and many of them really like the former vice-president. They don’t see a doddering, out-of-touch, exhausted man, as the 20- and 30- and 40-somethings who cover the campaign and dominate social media do. They look at him and see, well, a statesman from the popular recent administration who has moved to the left as the party has, if not quite as much as his younger rivals. These are the people that really vote in elections, and, to them, that all seems pretty good. “I worry when I read that he is even with somebody. I just read a piece this morning that he’s even with the Warren lady,” Anne said.

“I really think he’d be wonderful in getting us back with the people that are overseas. I think he’s wonderful dealing with people. I would definitely support him. I think he knows what’s going on with all those people … He’s a wonderful man. He really is wonderful, and he cares about people.”

A few days after I left the Homestead, Biden gave a speech at the Scranton Cultural Center. At the last minute, he decided to make an unplanned stop on North Washington Avenue. As photographers snapped away from the sidewalk, Anne answered the door. Biden wrapped her in a hug.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/10/joe-biden-2020-campaign.html

CNN Poll: Biden’s lead in Democratic primary hits widest margin since April

WASHINGTON (CNN) Former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in the race for the Democratic nomination for president has rebounded, and now stands at its widest margin since April, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

Biden has the support of 34% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters, his best showing in CNN polling since just after his campaign’s formal launch on April 25.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont are about even for second, with 19% and 16%, respectively. Behind them, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris of California each have 6% support, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke each at 3%.
Biden’s rise comes largely from a consolidation of support among his core backers, and doesn’t appear to harm any individual opponent. Warren and Sanders hold about even with their standing in the last CNN poll in September, and no other candidate has seen a shift of more than 2 points in that time.
But Biden has seen big spikes in support among moderate and conservative Democrats (43% support him now, up from 29% in the September poll), racial and ethnic minorities (from 28% among all nonwhites in September to 42% now) and older voters (up 13 points since September among those 45 and older) that outpace those among younger potential Democratic voters (up 5 points among those younger than 45).
The gains come as Biden’s time as vice president is put under the spotlight by President Donald Trump and his allies. Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry by the House of Representatives over allegations that he pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as the 2016 US election in return for releasing hundreds of millions in congressionally mandated defense funding meant for Ukraine. Hunter Biden was on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company while Biden was vice president. There is no evidence that either Biden did anything wrong in Ukraine.
The poll suggests that although Biden’s October debate performance did not blow away the audience (15% who watched or followed news about it said he had done the best job in the debate, well behind Warren’s 28% — but better than most on the stage), the arguments he made on health care, foreign policy and the economy may have boosted his standing with the potential Democratic electorate.
Asked which candidate would best handle a range of top issues, Biden leads the way on four of the six issues tested in the poll. He holds a massive edge over the field on foreign policy (56% say he would handle it best, well ahead of Sanders at 13% and Warren at 11%), and tops the next closest candidate by nearly 20 points on the economy (38% Biden, 19% Sanders, 16% Warren). Biden also outpaces the rest of the field as most trusted on immigration (29% Biden, 16% each Warren and Sanders) and gun policy (27% vs. 13% Sanders and 11% Warren, with O’Rourke close at 9%).
Biden doesn’t hold a significant edge on the critical issue of health care (31% Biden, 28% Sanders, 17% Warren) but he’s surged 13 points on the issue since June, when he lagged behind Sanders. Neither Sanders’ nor Warren’s numbers on the issue have moved significantly in that time.
And Biden now runs even with Sanders at 26% as best able to handle the climate crisis. Warren is at 18% on that issue. The results mark increases for Biden and Sanders, who were each at 19% on handling the climate in June.
The former vice president’s advantages on the issues come as he emphasizes an approach that appears to align with the preferences of most potential Democratic voters. A 53% majority say they want the nominee to advocate policies that have a good chance of becoming law, even if the changes aren’t as big, vs. 42% who prefer advocating big changes even if they have less of a chance of becoming law.
Among those voters who prefer an approach that prioritizes policies with a better chance of becoming law, 38% support Biden for the Democratic nomination, 17% Warren and just 8% Sanders. On the other side, it’s nearly a three-way split, with 27% behind Biden, 24% Sanders and 21% Warren.
About 1 in 5 potential Democratic voters say they watched last week’s debate among 12 Democratic candidates, and those who watched it came away with a different assessment than those who mainly followed news about the debate. Overall, among everyone who either watched or followed news coverage on the debate, 28% say Warren had the best night, 15% Biden, 13% Sanders, 11% Buttigieg, 4% Klobuchar and 2% Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, with the rest at 1% or less. Among those who say they watched it, though, Warren remains on top at 29%, but 21% say Buttigieg had the best night, then 13% Biden, 11% Sanders, 10% Klobuchar and 4% Booker, with everyone else at 1% or less
.
And those who watched the debate seem to have more favorable views of the lesser-known candidates who were seen as having good nights than do those who followed coverage. Among debate watchers, 74% have a favorable view of Buttigieg, vs. 54% among those who followed news instead. Booker’s favorability rating is 80% among those who watched, vs. 55% among those who followed coverage, and Klobuchar’s favorability stands at 56% among watchers vs. 36% among those who followed news.
Warren tops the list of candidates who potential Democratic voters say they want to hear more about: 31% name her, 24% Buttigieg, 23% Harris, 18% Booker, 17% Sanders, 16% Biden, 13% Klobuchar, 11% O’Rourke and 10% businessman Andrew Yang.
Majorities of potential Democratic voters say they would at least be satisfied with any of the top three becoming the party’s nominee, with about 4 in 10 saying they’d be enthusiastic about Biden (43%), Warren (41%) or Sanders (39%). Fewer would feel as excited should Buttigieg become the party’s nominee (27% enthusiastic).
Registered voters generally give Biden, Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg large advantages over President Donald Trump in hypothetical general election matchups. Biden leads the President by 10 points, 53% to 43%, with Sanders up 9 (52% to 43%) and Warren up 8 (52% to 44%). Buttigieg holds a 6-point edge, 50% to 44%.
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS from October 17 through 20 among a random national sample of 1,003 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer, including 424 registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. For results among potential Democratic voters, it is plus or minus 5.8 points.
OVERVIEW
The study was conducted for CNN via telephone by SSRS, an independent research company. Interviews were
conducted from October 17-20, 2019 among a sample of 1,003 respondents. The landline total respondents were
352 and there were 651 cell phone respondents. The margin of sampling error for total respondents is +/- 3.7 at
the 95% confidence level. The design effect is 1.47.More information about SSRS can be obtained by visiting
http://www.ssrs.com. Question text noted in parentheses was rotated or randomized. Unless otherwise noted, results
beginning with the March 31-April 2, 2006 survey and ending with the April 22-25, 2017 survey are from surveys
conducted by ORC International. Results before March 31, 2006 are from surveys conducted by Gallup.
NOTE ABOUT CROSSTABS
Interviews were conducted among a representative sample of the adult population, age 18 or older, of the United
States. Members of demographic groups not shown in the published crosstabs are represented in the results for
each question in the poll. Crosstabs on the pages that follow only include results for subgroups with a minimum
n=125 unweighted cases. Results for subgroups with fewer than n=125 unweighted cases are not displayed and
instead are denoted with “SN” because samples of that size carry larger margins of sampling error and can be too
small to be projectable with confidence to their true values in the population.

2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries

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2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries


← 2016
2024 →

1,885 of 3,769[a] pledged delegate votes needed to win the presidential nomination at the convention‘s first ballot.[1]
(2,268 of all 4,535[b] delegate votes needed to win any subsequent ballots at a contested convention)[1]


Previous Democratic nominee
Hillary Clinton

The 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses will be a series of electoral contests organized by the Democratic Party to select the approximately 3,769[a] pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Those delegates shall, by pledged votes, elect the Democratic nominee for president of the United States in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.[2] The elections are scheduled to take place from February to June 2020 in all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and Democrats Abroad.

Independently of the result of primaries and caucuses, the Democratic Party will—from its group of party leaders and elected officials—also appoint 765[b] unpledged delegates (superdelegates) to participate in its national convention. In contrast to all previous election cycles, superdelegates will no longer have the right to cast decisive votes at the convention’s first ballot for the presidential nomination (limiting their voting rights to either non-decisive votes on the first ballot or decisive votes for subsequent ballots on a contested convention).[2][3][4]

The field of major Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 election peaked at more than two dozen. As of October 24, 2019, 18 major candidates are seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. The October 15, 2019 Democratic presidential debate in Westerville, Ohio featured 12 candidates, setting a record for the highest number of candidates in one presidential debate.

Contents

Background[edit]

After Hillary Clinton‘s loss in the previous election, many felt the Democratic Party lacked a clear leader.[5] There remained divisions in the party following the 2016 primaries which pitted Clinton against Bernie Sanders.[6][7] Between the 2016 election and the 2018 midterm elections, Senate Democrats have generally shifted to the political left in relation to college tuition, healthcare, and immigration.[8][9] The 2018 elections saw the Democratic Party regain the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, picking up seats in both urban and suburban districts.[10][11]

Soon after the 2016 general election, the division between Clinton and Sanders supporters was highlighted in the 2017 Democratic National Committee chairmanship election between Tom Perez and Keith Ellison.[12] Perez was narrowly elected chairman and subsequently appointed Ellison as the Deputy Chair, a largely ceremonial role.[8][9]

The 2020 field of Democratic presidential candidates peaked at more than two dozen candidates. According to Politifact, this field is believed to be the largest field of presidential candidates for any American political party since 1972;[c] it exceeds the field of 17 major candidates that sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.[14] In May 2019, CBS News referred to the field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates as “the largest and most diverse Democratic primary field in modern history”.[15] As of October 24, 2019, 18 major candidates are seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.[16] The October 15, 2019 Democratic presidential debate in Westerville, Ohio featured 12 candidates, setting a record for the highest number of candidates in one presidential debate.[17][18]

Reforms since 2016[edit]

On August 25, 2018, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) members passed reforms to the Democratic Party’s primary process in order to increase participation[19] and ensure transparency.[20] State parties are encouraged to use a government-run primary whenever available and increase the accessibility of their primary through same-day or automatic registration and same-day party switching. Caucuses are required to have absentee voting, or to otherwise allow those who cannot participate in person to be included.